Quendi, some really interesting points you make. I especially liked the point about both Satan and Jehovah using the word "please" as a sign of respect for boundaries. Ironic, isn't it? Some things the brothers get right, but then they go off and miss the big issues!
I would suggest a slight revision to one of your comments, " They [boundaries] are essential in all HEALTHY relationships since without them no HEALTHY relationship can exist because we do not recognize the other person as an individual . "
Obviously we can have relationships where boundaries are not respected, just not good ones. They are dysfunctional, codependent and often abusive to one of the parties in the relationship. In reality everyone in a relationship suffers when appropriate boundaries are not respected.
As you and I have commented here and elsewhere, WT culture, policies and practices deliberately supress the individual for the sake of the collective group. It is, I believe, a form of psychological violence to the soul of the individual.
I'm definitely going to check out the two books you recommended, thanks!
rip van winkle, ditto to what Quendi said.
I also went back to school in my 40s and got my B.A. in Music Education. I was even serving as an elder at the time. I got some disapproving comments from a few people, but I pretty much flew under the radar and, although I wasn't secretive about it, I also didn't make a big deal about it. This was during one of the "it's a conscience matter" phases of the Society's position on Higher Education (HE). Some of the elders in my congregation even came to my Senior Recital!
I'll never forget, a few months after I was awarded my degree we were having an elders' meeting and we read a letter from the WTBTS which changed the policy on HE to the currrent one where essentially no one can have "privileges" in the congregation if they are pursuing HE.
I remember feeling several powerful emotions within a few short minutes. First I felt shame as if I had somehow done something wrong. Then I became angry because I was made to feel guilty about something that was acceptable only moments ago (before the letter was read).
I had been having serious doubts about the organization for some time previously, and had become aware of serious flaws in the integrity of the WT Leadership. In particular, a couple of years before when I learned about the UN/NGO scandal my faith in the WT as "God's Organization" was severely shaken. But it was this letter changing the policy on HE that made me start looking for the door. I realized I was part of a controlling, manipulative group that hypocritically didn't follow their own mandates and capricioiusly changed doctrines and policies with complete disregard for the fallout and negative effects that resulted to the lives of the individual faithful R&F followers. They just didn't care.
No one should make decisions for another person. That is a boundary violation. It's psychological and emotional trespassing. But the violation is worse when it comes from someone that allegedly is speaking for God, but in reality is a complete fraud and a sham.
We can't go back and change the past. But we can learn from it. Certainly we all made some bad decisions based on trusting people that we now know were unworthy of our trust. Lesson learned.
As Quendi said, " This is your life and you should enjoy it to the full. " Amen to that brother!