WHAT IS THE EXCHANGE?
Many things are exchanged during SM. It is legitimate to exchange power, to exchange joy, to exchange love, or to exchange control. The dynamics of human interaction are the play and the adventure of living. Those with an authentic need to experience spiritual development through SM are a small select group of the general population with a special need for exchange.
It’s all about obedience. The need for it, the direction that comes from it, the self esteem and pride that result from forming a habit of obedience. Obedience is the heartbeat of slavery. Obedience is the primal tone of evolution for those of us for whom SM is the only authentic path to our growth, destiny and happiness.
Obedience is exchanged for responsibility. In equal amounts, and in the same areas of our life. Obedience that is given without a commensurate exchange of responsibility amounts to abandonment of the spirit.
It is this abandonment of the spirit that forces every slave, consensual or not, to eventually put into motion the conditions which ultimately demand separation from the one to whom the obedience has been given when the spirit is being starved from a lack of responsibility for that spirit.
Many Masters avoid taking responsibility for specified areas of a slave’s life. Sometime the exclusion is of work, or of its religious practices, or family obligations. It is proper, then, to not demand obedience in those areas that are excluded from the responsibility taken.
The challenge is to “peel the onion” smoothly as obedience is demanded for each of the situations and circumstances for which responsibility is taken. Responsibility without obedience is academic and empty. Obedience without responsibility is spiritually irresponsible.
A parent without obedience cannot afford to let a child play outside because if called out of the street to avoid being hit by a truck, the child with the option to disobey is unprotected. The parent cannot fulfill its responsibility when the option to refuse to get out of the street remains. Without the protection that comes from unequivocal obedience to the parent, the child is not free to play, to explore, nor to experience. All meaningful growth comes only from experience.
Likewise, when the obedience is given, but the parent does not accept the responsibility of watching over the child playing outside, that obedience is wasted and contributes nothing to the experience, and will ultimately stop the child’s exploration.
The spiritual growth we experience through SM and the relationships we establish to support that growth are far more complex and demanding than that of a parent watching a child. The “truck” that we are protecting the SM “student” from can be so subtle that only a pure spirit and refined instinct can even see the truck. The personal obedience of the Developer is the only real way to qualify to take responsibility for the one who is being developed.
Obedience qualifies the one who takes responsibility. Obedience qualifies the one who is being developed. It’s all about obedience.
The process begins most easily with simple exchanges of responsibility for obedience, in areas that don’t have significant effect. As the less important areas of someone’s life is converted to living in obedience, the habit of doing so is being developed. Little by little, activity by activity, an order is given and responsibility taken for each of the demands made. Trust develops and the spirit inside silently learns that it isn’t being forgotten.
Establishing a history of obedience creates the capacity for additional obedience, and in a cycling fashion engenders greater obedience. When a critical level of obedience is reached, those who accept responsibility will develop, from their own obedience, the insight and inspiration to begin demanding significant changes. The habit of obeying the “small stuff” will qualify both the obedient and the Responsible for greater, more meaningful change.
Like in the division of labor that facilitated the industrial revolution, when each is focused singularly on that which is their job, their task, their authentic activity, both grow. One has the singular responsibility of obedience. The other has a singular obedience to responsibility.
Done for real, within the personal integrity of each, the obedience/responsibility exchange will develop naturally, and no order will feel any more challenging than any before it even while more significant changes are being demanded. When we’re honest with ourselves, we can see this is what we were created to do. Our fetishes aren’t coincidental in our lives, but are a road map to fulfilling the role we are destined to fulfill.
This exchange isn’t for the casual player in SM, but for those who have concluded the reality and severity of purpose that SM plays in our lives. Anything done seriously, especially so seriously that we are willing to bet our moral lives on it, demands being clear-visioned about our roles. We can define our exchanges any way we want, but when we begin to play for real, there is only one ultimate exchange that has an ultimate effect.
It’s all about obedience, either the obedience necessary to develop greater obedience, or to develop responsibility for another.