There are places in the North that have a strong antinomian spirit. The place I find myself in has a history of personal independence and laissez faire. A portion of the population that migrated here did so to avoid the government. Some were tired of so many laws in the south, others came here to hide from those laws. Don’t ask too many questions and leave people alone is still the way to deal with people in the smaller communities.
Under these conditions, relationships develop that are careful, and when trust is given those relationships go much deeper and require more responsibility. Living in a location / place with people who are less likely to put up with any bs has led me to consider antinomian ways in more depth.
I have two working definitions for antinomianism.
1 – Anti – against, and nome – law
2 – Self directed moral law
Number one will lead to the second. The first is the workhorse, the one I use most to break the grip of whatever might be holding me back. The second one cannot be achieved in a healthy way until I know myself to a point where my thinking and acts are my own and not the conditioning of society.
Going against the law or socially held belief often starts off with a great big F.T.W., I’m doing this my way! The first lesson learned was that being contrarian to everything led to a lot more problems than I needed. Once I understood that it wasn’t needed all the time I was able to use it with more precision.
Self directed moral law: my law above all others.
How can anyone who is controlled by outside social forces say that they are living by their own law? In the first part it’s a forced or willed action to go against something. In this second part, what I was working to break away from simply does not affect me anymore. My behaviour is changed and I’m no longer affected by whatever used to have a hold on me. This new behaviour is now a new “law” to me, I can say that it is really mine and then operate from there.
Being contrarian is going against the grain just for the hell of it.
Antinomian is going against the grain to break some hold society has on you.
Being contrarian is a thought construct that is pretty much in your face to almost everything out there. This would give great strength of character, but the drawback is that you give off the perception of always looking for a fight. Getting things done can be difficult if people are avoiding you. The flip side is that less people will mess with you. Swinging a baseball bat at everything in front of you would eventually get boring too and give the same results. Mostly a mess.
Thinking of antinomianism as a tool gives me more options. I can turn it on or off as needed. I understand it better by using it for specific situations. It can be either direct or subtle, whatever works best for the situation.
Breaking the grip that others have on you gives you the freedom to look carefully at what you want in a way that is no longer biased (or at least a lot less so). Being able to do this is a great freedom, you get to know who you are and what you value more clearly. From there a true self directed moral law can begin to be developed.