Is it good to be King?
This is a good discussion. In law school, we talked about freedom both in terms of “power to” and “freedom from”. One of the interesting realities to deal with is the fact that each individual’s “power to”, especially in the West, has never been so great. For example, I (as no one in particular) have the power to do things that Solomon, likely the most powerful man in the world in his time, couldn’t even dream about. I’m thinking of “little” things like using the telephone–regularly–or even the internet to talk with you and others in a different part of the planet, or getting on a plane to go to the other side of the world and back in short order–the list could go on for hours and would include some more dangerous powers as well. We’re over-run with so many choices, so many powers to do this or that, with the effect of doing the opposite of ‘grounding’ us in every sense. If power corrupts, how can we avoid being corrupted with so much power at our fingertips every day?
I think a lot of what we see in the new monasticism is an attempt to turn down some measure of the god-like powers and treatment that modern culture offers each individual so that we can become more human.