© 2024 Dr. Frederick David Graves, JD  
Copy and Share!  

Contrary to Popular Myth

Contrary to popular myth, our "rights" in this nation do not derive from our Constitution.Magic Carpet Ride

The people of this great nation deserve to know the truth.

Our rights come from ancient principles of law upon which our Constitution was built. The Constitution did not "create" them.

Our Constitution is an attempt to codify ancient principles of law and to provide a mechanism for enforcing those principles for the benefit of all by granting rights to the people while restraining the exercise of government power beyond what is good for the people, i.e., what is good for each and every one of you ... each of you individually!

The printed words you see before you are only symbols of the spirits they represent. The symbols are not the words, nor can thoughts expressed by printed words be locked on a page. Thoughts are alive and exist separate from the words that express them. Thoughts are spirits.

Thoughts exist apart from printed symbols. Thoughts can be expressed by printed or spoken words, however thoughts themselves are independent of the page or voice expressing them. True thoughts are part of eternal spirit.

False thoughts are darkness.

Words and the spirit-thoughts they represent are not tangible things. One cannot put words or the spirit-thoughts they express in a basket like apples. Words and ideas are intangible things.

Trees and cobblestones are tangible things. They are not spirits.

There is a difference.

This difference is critically important to understanding legal principles, for law is spirit and exists apart from the tangible world.

There is a tangible reality ... and there is a spiritual reality.

Guns and swords are tangible.

Principles and promises are spiritual.

In the realm of tangible things we find transition. Change is constantly at work. Change affects all. What was true yesterday in the tangible world (i.e., in the world separate from words) may not be true today. Moth and rust consumes all. As Lucretius said, "Tall towers will fall and mountains will crumble." Tangible things don’t last.

However, spiritual truths last forever, for they were true from the beginning and always will be true.

True words are enduring spirits.

When words express truth, they overcome falsehood (the adversary of peace and human happiness).

Thus the maxim, "A thing similar is not exactly the same," is true. It cannot be refuted. It is not subject to changes in the tangible world precisely because it exists outside the tangible. It is spirit, this simple maxim of law, and it is true … self-evidently so.

Truth exists.

Truth in the tangible world may change from day-to-day.

Truth in the spiritual world never changes.

Maxims teach us unchanging truths and guide us in wisdom.

Truth is truth. Nothing else is.

Reality in the tangible world may be illusion, but reality in the world of spirit is real! That which is true spirit is always true.

It is upon this fundamental truth that maxims of law are erected, principles of justice and truth that never change. They were true before you or I were born. They will be true then the sun stops shining and the oceans freeze solid. They are self-evidently true, i.e., they comply with the scrutiny of common-sense. Only the most unreasonable (or deceitfully self-interested person) will attempt to deny self-evident truth.

Over mankind’s 6,000 year history wise writers have written self-evident truths to guide us in the administration of justice, to give us a measure by which we can examine our system of codes and precepts to judge if they are truly "just". These self-evident maxims of law are relied upon and cited in cases today by every court in the land. They are not subject to debate. They need not be taken on faith. All they require is a modicum of common-sense. Indeed, they are the bedrock of common-sense as it applies to the administration of law in civilized societies.

Unfortunately, however, principles codified by ancient legal maxims are being displaced by modern thinkers who are intentionally eroding our due process rights and the rule of law with stupidity and self-serving policies that ultimately threaten the welfare of those with little or no financial or political power to secure justice in our legal system today.

Before Columbus sailed maxims were studied and preserved by scholars wise enough to know that someday principles embodied in maxims would improve the human condition, establishing republics like ours where justice and liberty would be preserved by people willing to adhere to the reliable guide of self-evident truth.

The men who met on the 4th of July 1776 were in agreement about maxims. Indeed, it was their faith in the self-evident truths of maxims and their love for the people that guided them to rebel against King George in the first place and later to draft our Constitution as they did. Maxims were the bedrock of our nation’s liberty. Maxims guided the founding fathers to declare our independence from the crown. Maxims were embodied in our Constitution and form its framework. Maxims expressed the principles of equity that encouraged them to stand together and trust the blessing of Providence on their holy enterprise. This truth is too little known today, yet it is as certain as the stars.

The "Holy Experiment", as William Penn called the foundling nation of America, was predicated on maxims of law that compelled right-thinking men and women of courage and goodwill to work together, pledging their lives and sacred fortunes to the cause of liberty and justice for all. Truth would see them through. Self-evident truth.

So, where did the maxims come from?

Most maxims come from the Church of England (that had its own courts called courts of equity) where principles of fairness were applied to the cases brought before its bench, regardless of the wealth or political station of the litigants. These maxims were held to outweigh imperatives of the King's written royal law. The jus of love and mercy was held higher than the lex that flowed from the King’s pen.

The courts of the Church dispensed equity. 

The courts of the king enforced the written law.

Maxims of equity temper the law.

Maxims of equity prevent law from being cruel.

Maxims of equity, therefore, must be preserved and published to this present generation and to each succeeding generation until the end of time.

The maxims (e.g., "He who seeks the benefit of equity must come to court with clean hands.") are fundamental expressions of self-evident truth intended to guide our courts to dispense justice fairly.

"The safety of the people cannot be judged but by the safety of every individual."

"Liberty to all but preference to none."

Such maxims are built on principles of love, supported by common-sense and the experience wherein history has taught us the consequence of ignoring their self-evident truth.

Maxims encouraged the framers to embark on their holy experiment that is America.

Who sees this today? Who speaks of it openly? Who teaches these principles?

The maxims need to be taught today!

Without the power of self-evident truths expressed so wisely by ancient maxims, liberty may soon become an empty dream for all but the rich and powerful. Without the protections of self-evident truths, the weak and few will be destroyed by the powerful and many. Justice cannot survive where there are no rules to guide it. Maxims prevent the abuse of power. Only by reestablishing the self-evident truths set forth in the maxims of equity can we hope to guide our children safely in this Twenty-First Century.

What is needed is a team of talented artists, writers, educators, publishers, promoters, and media personalities to impart these simple concepts to our children and to all who will listen, lifting the lamp higher, leading our children out of the darkness toward which they are steadfastly marching with misplaced confidence at this hour.

Today's generation is guided only by good intentions. Fill in the blank.

The maxims of equity must be restored as soon as possible.

No expense should be spared. The need is critical.

Time is of the essence.

Lift the Lamp Higher!



© 1997-2024 by Dr. Frederick David Graves, JD  
Copy freely with acknowledgement.