Wednesday, April 01, 2009
Laws on global commerce dictate that an original work or invention by an individual belongs to the originator and violators of such a right are criminally liable. This protection upon one’s Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) has its prescribed time duration; but as long as one holds the patent for or copyright to an idea, one has absolute legal freedom to its benefits through fair and free enterprise.
Pirates – whether armed to the teeth or not -- do exist, even in our overly high-tech and semi-enlightened world. Precisely, those laws were made to prevent unscrupulous people from making money out of the efforts or properties of others. The concept is as old as Moses who launched the 8th Commandment (Thou shall not steal) at Mt. Sinai. Or perhaps, Cain, very early on, established the whole idea of taking what you do not own as a grave offense. For in a deeper sense, murder is taking away the life of another person as if you had the right over that person. Worse, it robs God of the power He alone has over that person’s enjoyment of life. It wrests from the Creator – the One Who worked to give life and to sustain a human being -- the sole authority and privilege to control the life of that person and to nurture it according to His graciousness.
All other laws rest upon that overarching love God has for His creatures to allow them to savor life and all its many material and spiritual benefits. In general terms: to gain maturity as an individual according to the Divine Plan established for all. In specific terms: to acquire an education suited to one’s aptitude and personality, to practice a noble profession, to raise a good family, perhaps, or to become part of one and to become a useful and productive member of a community.
In creating humans, therefore, God provided all the possible means for everyone to attain abundance of satisfaction and challenge in any meaningful pursuit allowed within any cultural setting. Hence, God – our Creator – has absolute and complete Spiritual Property Right over humans from the day they are conceived. And even beyond death, He holds the prerogative to award those He deems worthy to live with Him in a glorious existence. Nobody creates something merely to destroy it or annihilate it. God, much more so than humans, knows how to enjoy the fruits of His prudent labors.
So, how did God apply for a patent over humans? Did He submit an application to an International Patent Office? Did He submit a prototype for investigators to test whether what He made worked and served its intended purposes? Did God have any intentions of making good use of His inventions or simply to prove He could do it and forget about its future? And, finally, did He have any afterthought of revising His handiwork to make it better or worse?
Patent is defined as “the exclusive right to market an invention.” To the first question, therefore, God formally claimed that right by publishing His intentions many centuries after the fact was established or the deed was done. In proclaiming to all, whether in Heaven or Earth, that He created everything, He made known His purposes and plans for humans. God sold the idea of a Universe to His own creation and proclaimed the idea as “good”. In truth, it was excellent, it was perfect. Thus, beginning with Light, He unleashed a multi-dimensional Marketplace transacted through a complex interplay of various phenomena such as gravitation, quantum mechanics as well as spiritual, economic and social forces. Within that vast market, the key players were humans granted certain gifts and abilities to harness those forces at will upon rules set or allowed by the Creator.
With no one else to submit His idea to except Himself and to His own creation, God swore by His own infinite being to do good by His invention. Thus, His covenant with humans began with His intention to create humans in His “own image”. God-like. Pure. Holy. Perfect. Everlasting.
Yes, God tested man to be alone. It was not good; He agreed with Adam. God, therefore, made them male and female in the beginning and united them. And after everything was done, He said everything was very good. Order and progress ruled. But only for a while.
No, God never intended for His masterpiece to become bad. God is good and nothing evil can come from Him. But the bloodthirsty pirates got hold of His invention. They succeeded in corrupting its purposes and usefulness. Instead of giving credit or profit to their True Maker, humans sold out to the Deceiver. They made their own False Manufacturers and Evil Marketers. For a measly sum of gold and silver, they chose to forfeit their inheritance and to reject the Real Patent Owner.
If God is unhappy with the world today, it is because He no longer sees the Original Copyright or Pattern He once established in the beginning. Instead of living the life God chose for humans to live, people now claim a New Patent for a New Lifestyle based on the idea that people are free to live their lives they see fit. And so, whereas at the start there were only two genders; today, there are at least four and maybe others in between. Fake DVDs, watches, jeans and even body parts can be had for a bargain (except for the last). All possibilities are available for those who are bored with the traditional norms or the God-patented values.
To choose to be something the Maker and Owner did not intend is more than just piracy. We will not call it sin for it scares people to know it leads to death. We will simply call it undiscriminating, without trying to judge those who do so and to avoid being judged, ironically, as discriminating against others. We will label it as unwise, without meaning to be biased against some people although they are biased against ancient values. We will name it what it really is: an emotional hang-up occasioned by lack of knowledge of and faith in the true history of humanity. We will call it a spiritual aberration made possible by evil machinations of the one who started the lucrative piracy of God’s glorious Creation.
If God overthrew the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah with fire and brimstone, it was because He could not sell or use His perfect products in such utterly corrupt marketplaces. No, His few remaining stocks in good condition – Lot and his family, only four at that – did not stand a chance of remaining good themselves if they had not escaped. The example and lesson are set in salt and rock. You can taste it and feel it. The testimony will remain valid, hard and strong. The people of those cities will rise one day to judge our generation, saying: Did we die in vain with such violence that you learned nothing at all?
So, for people today to proclaim to the world (holding a golden statuette) that the recognition of their “sexual choice” has been vindicated by an award and by more people following their selfish path is nothing but a pirate’s speech before his prospective buyers of his wares, saying: We bring you the best that the fakers and forgers can make. These products are cheap but as good as, if not better than, the original. Buy them and you will get the same satisfaction you get with the genuine. And don’t believe what they say that buying pirated is bad. You have the right and freedom to buy pirated. We are proof that pirated is respectable!
Hollywood producers and actors, like many people, despise Intellectual Property pirates. Yet, they nonchalantly reject the Spiritual Property Rights of God. In fact, some of them and many others not so rich and famous sell themselves short by living a fake and corrupt lifestyle they were not meant to live. Profiting from or promoting something that glorifies a distortion of the Life-Design made, owned and patented by Someone else must be an offense worse than piracy.
In spite of the pirates, God has worked to reverse the process and recover His rights upon humans, to reform them and to perfect them. Back to the original design. Back in the Marketplace of Bliss and Abundance. Where the light dispels the darkness. And the truth destroys deception. And righteousness removes wickedness. The Renewed Patent God holds over us is lovingly signed by the precious blood of Christ.
Beware of Spiritual Pirates!
(Photo above) A young owl caught by residents of Sto. Tomas, Benguet was sold to us for PHP200 (we haggled and paid PHP50). Not much for the privilege of setting it free. But they probably caught it again made some more money.