Nothing is mandatory. It is always a question of whether we choose to comply.
What is the world except a little gap perceived to tear eternity apart, and break it into days and months and years? (A Course in Miracles)

Punishment makes honesty impossible

Imagine a relationship or marriage in which you could be perfectly honest and open about everything. Imagine if your partner, children, family, and friends could do the same with you. I enjoy exactly this kind of relationship with my partner and children. It is bliss. I would describe it as comfort without disruption. No conflict. Closeness. Freedom. Love that never fades.

This type of relationship is only possible through a mutual commitment to unconditional acceptance (unconditional love). There can sometimes be feelings to work through. But there can never be any judging, blaming, shaming, or making anyone wrong. We love one another, so that must mean we love the whole truth about who we are.

Today, the world is devoid of honesty. Not just in relationships and families, but in politics, business—in all institutions and through every aspect of life. Everyone is afraid of being shut down, cut out, shamed, or brutally punished. It is a culture of violence where we are made to feel that something is always wrong with us. We nervously hold our breath as we struggle to hide everything. We hide from society and from each other. We even try to hide our honest thoughts, feelings, and desires from ourselves.

Dishonesty is the sickness which has cast such a dark spell over the world, but it is the effect of punishment. Punishment is the cause. The healing of the world is only possible through honesty and openness. To achieve this, we need to start with the full truth about everything. From that point forward, there can be no punishment but there can also be no secrecy. Criminal behavior, or any form of corruption and secrecy, is never justified and must be corrected through loving intervention rather than punishment.

There are those who lack the light of love and honesty. In the new, awakened world, they can be forcefully rehabilitated through the thought system and energy of love. Love’s healing is inevitable and self-evident because love contains within it everything that each of us want. When the reality of love, honesty, truth, and beauty is experienced—when we are fully accepted and forgiven—then we are reborn. This is salvation, which is only possible when we do away with punishment. Forgiveness.