Conformity

Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.

At first glance, life appears meaningless, futile, full of contradictions and absurdities. But a deeper, meditating look uncovers beauty, order and harmony, revealing life as a supreme accomplishment of eternal wisdom... All of creation is an act of love and providence, a drama imbued with meaning... In simple words: Life is a mission of awareness and awakening and deep enlightenment. We are here to sense this divine presence beyond all phenomena. We are here to recognize a deep urge in our hearts to act in harmony, in conformity and in love with these divinities.

The rule of law is essentially a negative value. The law inevitably creates a great danger of arbitrary power - the rule of law is designed to minimize the danger created by the law itself. Similarly, the law may be unstable, obscure, retrospective, etc., and thus infringe people’s freedom and dignity. The rule of law is designed to prevent his danger as well. Thus the rule of law is a negative virtue in two senses: conformity to it does not cause good except through avoiding evil and the evil which is avoided is evil which could only have been caused by the law itself.

He who cannot rule his passions, nor hold them in check out of respect for the law, while he may be excusable on the ground of weakness, is incapable of enjoying conformity of spirit and knowledge and love of God; and he is lost inevitably.

To act absolutely in conformity with virtue is nothing but acting according to the laws of our own proper nature. But only in so far as we understand do we act. Therefore, to act in conformity with virtue is nothing but acting, living, and preserving our being as reason directs, and doing so from the ground of seeking our own profit.

Man have long begun to suspect that civilization's repression of our primitive impulses has somehow warped what are potentially the most productive forces in human nature. We are increasingly disturbed by the thought that society's passion for obedience and conformity may have overreached itself, causing us to lose in individual happiness perhaps as much as we have gained in group activity.

As children we all possess a natural, uninhibited curiosity, a hunger for explanation, which seems to die slowly as we age - suppressed, I suppose, by the high value we place on conformity and by the need not to appear ignorant. It betokens a conviction that somehow science is innately incomprehensible. It precludes reaching deeper, thereby denying the profound truth that understanding enriches experience, that explanation vastly enhances beauty of the natural world in the eye of the beholder.

Success, recognition, and conformity are the bywords of the modern world where everyone seems to crave the anesthetizing security of being identified with the majority.

Human progress is furthered, not by conformity, but by aberration.

Creativity can replace conformity as the primary mode of social being. We can cling to that which is passing, or has already passed, or we can remain accessible to - even surrender to - the creative process, without insisting that we know in advance the ultimate outcome for us, our institutions, or our planet. To accept this challenge is to cherish freedom, to embrace life, and to find meaning.

A constitution is not a thing in name only, but in fact. It has not an ideal but a real existence, and wherever it cannot be produced in a visible form, there is none. A constitution is a thing antecedent to a government, and a government is only the creature of a constitution. The constitution of a country is not the act of its government, but of a people constituting a government. It is the body of elements to which you refer, and quote article by article, and contains the principles on which the government shall be established - the form in which it shall be organized - the powers it shall have - the mode of elections - the duration of Congress - and, in fine, everything that relates to the complete organization of a civil government, and the principles on which it shall act, and by which it shall be bound. A constitution is to a government, therefore, what the laws made by that government care to a court of judicature. The court of judicature does not make laws, neither can it alter them; it only acts in conformity to the laws made; and the government is in like manner governed by the constitution.

To be able to live in strict conformity with nature is what the men of old defined as the end of happiness.

We are half ruined by conformity, but we should be wholly ruined without it.

That the truths of the Bible have the power of awakening an intense moral feeling in every human being; that they make bad men good, and send a pulse of healthful feeling through all the domestic, civil, and social relations; that they teach men to love right, and hate wrong, and seek each other's welfare as children of a common parent; that they control the baleful passions of the heart, and thus make men proficient in self-government; and finally that they teach man to aspire after conformity to a being of infinite holiness, and fill him with hopes more purifying, exalted, and suited to his nature than any other book the world has ever known - these are facts as incontrovertible as the laws of philosophy, or the demonstrations of mathematics.

The price of group membership is conformity to prevailing norms.

Religion is not mere conformity to moral law, it is an espousal of moral ideals, a dedication of the heart, a loyal devotion, the perpetual renewal of a right spirit within us.

I believe that our choice between two models of psychiatry is really a choice between two competing sets of moral values that will ultimately determine the kind of society we live in. One is the Psychotherapeutic Model’s ideal of healing the soul with its values of self-awareness, autonomy, personal growth, an I-Thou spirit of love, respect, and compassion for others, and an acceptance of moral responsibility for our own egoistic impulses and emotions. The other is the Medical Model’s ideal of quick fix, with its swimming-pool values of stability and conformity, and an I-It orientation toward material success and other superficial addictive pleasures

The tyranny of conformity tends to deprive man of his inner identity, of his ability to stand still in the midst of flux, to remain a person in the midst of a crowd.

Religions, considered as moral teachers, are realized and effective only when their moral teaching is in conformity with the teaching of their age.

The whole drift of our law is toward the absolute prohibition of all ideas that diverge in the slightest from the accepted platitudes, and behind that drift or law there is far more potent force of growing custom, and under that custom there is a national philosophy which erects conformity into the noblest of virtues and the free functioning of personality into a capital crime against society.