The Independent Basican
A Basican may be solitary or social in spiritual practice but is an independent sort, either way. Basicans think their own thoughts rather than allowing their opinions to be dictated by others. They belong to themselves. With their freely chosen path of following the Basica, they neither need nor desire to be led about by those attempting to assert special religious status, exclusive knowledge, or a unique grant of power bestowed by God.
Basicans are cautious of claims by others to be prophets or to fulfill prophesy, because such people far too often have an underlying agenda contrary to their stated message. A Basican will not exclude the possibility of legitimate prophesy or fulfillment but will remember to be wise to the possibility of inflated egos and cravings - as well as to either the encouragement of such things in others or the pressure to become subservient. Someone's personal appeal or interesting ideas may be enough to initially grab attention, but this is no reason to abandon rationality for what some may consider the attractive prospect of being carried away as a follower to one who purports to be uniquely designated to have all the answers. A declaration of such personal glorification is recognized, instead, as a clear warning sign.
It is the message that matters, and truth cannot be diminished by the status of the one who utters it. Nor can falsehood be elevated to truth by any amount of prestige or charisma. Fancy language is no factor at all. Rather, terminology is simply part of a chosen style of expression. Facts may be difficult to sort out at times, but people of good conscience will do their best to find their way, not just wait to be told what to think, say, and do. Remember where the focus of attention in Basicanism resides. Is it on the founder or on the foundation?
Being so independent, and being guided by respect and goodwill towards others, a Basican can move about anywhere, circulating amongst the people of different faiths and philosophies. Even the undecided and the unbeliever are no less well thought of for that. Each individual is taken as such, and discourse and other interaction may proceed at the willingness of those involved. Thus, a Basican has the potential to be a friend to all, wherever friendship is offered or accepted.
A Basican is a student but not a thief. Basicans have their own ways and need not grab piecemeal from the ways of others. If another tradition is truly open to newcomers or is the path a Basican originally came from, the Basican may choose to adopt or continue with it while still being a Basican. But this is different from cultural or religious thievery, and a Basican will make a conscientious effort always to distinguish well and properly between the two, being honor bound to do so.
If you say, even just to yourself, that you are a Basican, it is incumbent upon you to make every effort to live up to the demands of Basicanism, even as you go about enjoying the pleasures and advantages of it. Responsibility is central. In any instance in which you fail, you will bear the burden of lost integrity, even while others are unaware of it. Denial is no escape. This is not to deter you, as though you were expected to be beyond human. Instead, let it inspire you, even in light of your own imperfection. In fact, it is that very imperfection which gives you reason to strive for betterment. The Basican Guide is brief and simple, but that does not make adhering to it an always easy task. And this is as it was meant to be. The easy path asks nothing of us. It is that which is difficult which draws out and develops our best, so long as we are willing to make the effort, and including when that effort is to right our own wrongs or to live with those instances when they cannot be righted somehow. To be a Basican is not to be shielded from ourselves and from life but to rise to the best of what it means to live and to be human - to do it in the most whole, beautiful, joyous, loving, and honorable way we can. And it is to do it shouldering our own responsibility for our thoughts, speech, and deeds, which means being our own people, not the puppets of others.
All Basicans, independent as we are, cannot collectively be held accountable for the actions of one or of a small group of us. However, it behooves us to bear in mind that any one of us may be viewed by others as representative of the rest. Therefore, we would do well to hold ourselves both privately and publicly to a standard befitting a good ambassador. We must demonstrate, at all times, regardless of who may or may not be aware of us, that we live by what we believe.
But we do more than just respond as circumstances present themselves or anticipate the reactions others may have to us. Looking to build our lives ever more upon our good and solid foundation, we proactively seek out opportunities and creatively devise means for helping and cheering others. We are eager to make contributions that will enhance the wellbeing of humanity and all that surrounds us, with great interest in taking care that our efforts will not just be well meant but truly beneficial. We are concerned with easing and sharing burdens, healing hurts, maintaining and improving quality of life, encouraging and supporting diversity, promoting harmony through mutual appreciation and consideration, furthering rights and freedoms, advocating courtesy, increasing joy, and nurturing love. In this way, we both bring out what each of us has within us to offer and bring to life what would otherwise only be words on a page, pleasant to contemplate but meaningless without action.
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