Legal vs. Lawful; What Is The Difference Between These Two Concepts

If you want to deceive masses of people in order to gain power and control over them, what is one of the first things you would do in order to achieve that end?  This question is asked not in a hypothetical way in order to whimsically look at the possibilities, but rather as a sobering question in light of the present moment in history, which may help people begin to more critically pay attention and apply their power of discernment with regard to events which seem to be out of reasonable control.  It is a serious question, and deserves serious thought and proper heedfulness. 

When you want people, in general, to agree with your policies or ideas, what is the best way to go about guaranteeing that outcome?  Somehow, you have to persuade them to see the reasonableness of your position in such a way that it makes it difficult for them to argue against what you want.  This implies being able to get inside their minds in such a way that the person finds it difficult to rebut the misapprehended information that you are proposing.  Yet, how do you get people to go along with what you want when by all appearances it goes against their sense of right and wrong, fairness and unfairness?  How do you achieve a mechanical compliance?  The word “mechanical” here implying “without thinking or critical examination,” but just based on the mere knee-jerk letter of your assertion. 

When an idea or concept becomes recognized by society as being common knowledge, there is no need to argue one way or the other against it.  Because that argument will fall on deaf ears.  An example of this kind of manufactured thinking is the following: “Don’t you know? It’s common knowledge that you need a driver license to operate your private automobile on the pubic roadways.”  Ninety-nine percent of people have been pre-programmed to respond this way.  They’ve never even stopped to look at the law involved in this issue.  They’re simply repeating a meme that they’ve heard thousands of times or more without thinking about it.  How do you break through that kind of cognitive dissonance, and get people to reexamine the facts?

It’s not difficult to accomplish this cognitive dissonance as most people might think.  All it takes is simple repetition of the ambiguous falsehood that you want people to accept, over and over again, without their  being able to discern such, until it is ingrained in their minds.  And yet it does take a great deal of reinforcing before people can be worn down to finally—at least at a superficial level of mind—accept whatever view is being planted.  Once you’ve captured a person’s thought process, you’ve made it very difficult to change their minds, even in the face of overwelming evidence to the contrary.  This is how those in government have brainwashed people’s thinking!  They keep repeating the lie over and over and over again until people’s minds finally give up resisting.  “It must be true if I’ve heard it this many times.”

What does all this have to do with the subject of this article, which is an exploration of the concepts of law and lawfulness as those terms differ from what the term legal implies?  Well, it all depends upon what one has been taught about the definitions of these words and how they can be applied in the real world.  We see one or the other of these words being mentioned in disclaimers for information discussions such as on matters concerning the law.  For example,  when someone says or writes that “the following is for information and education purposes and not to be taken or used as legal advice.”  What are they really saying and meaning?

One might surmise after reading such a disclaimer, if the subject matter is about law, why shouldn’t one be able to accept that the discussion could be applied to a legal matter?  Don’t the words “law” and “legal” refer to essentially the same thing: the law?  In one sense they do.  But in a greater sense, and in the sense that we mean it here, it depends upon what kind of “legal” matter one is referring to.  If your country’s system of law has been hijacked by the British Temple Bar Associations, then, yes, there could be a lot of difference between what is legal and what is lawful, even as it might relate to any legitimate national constitution.  And in that sense, not everything that is legal is slso lawful.  There may be some laws purporting to be legal that are, in actuality, unconstitutional and therefore unlawful! 

What we are implying relates to the issue of jurisdiction.  In other words, there is a difference between the jurisdiction over artificial (dead) entities and that which is over living beings!  The legal world, not only in the United States but worldwide, deals primarily with presumed dead entitites in the form of your name printed in all capital letters.  Yet this application of the term legal is a whole other ball of wax, even though it has relevance here.  It is important, though, to keep this relevance in mind as we attempt to get to the bottom of the jurisdictional questions.

This point is where we step in and clarify the difference between what is lawful and what is legal, because those in the legal system don’t want you to understand the difference.  Read that last idea again and let it sink in. They don’t want you to understand the difference.  In the everyday parlance of the average man, when you say something is legal, shouldn’t it also be lawful?  For the average man who hasn’t taken the time to look into the nuances in meaning between these two words, his first instinct is to conflate them as having the same meaning.  But that would be a mistake, and here is where the issue of context can make a very important difference.  Because in one sense, we may be talking about the law (universal law) which is one thing, and in another sense we may be referring to artificial rules (man-made by-laws or rules) being used as what is known as “color of law” or corporate by-laws—essentially the rules of a private institution,  organization, or political group wherein the consent of the members to the contractual nature of the issue is assumed.

That last statement is very important, because within their man-made set of self-proposed “laws,” it is possible for whatever fact is assumed to take precedence over what has not been proven on the record.  In actual law, this is not possible.  An assumed truth needs to be backed up by credible evidence before a court can legitimately accept the assumption as true.  And even then, if rebutted by credible proof, the assumption can be overturned.  But this is not what is happening in the courts today.  The courts today are “legal” tribunals existing within a separate and distinct jurisdiction which differs from the law of the land based on the common law as the latter is applied to people who are not identifying themselves as legal fictions. 

Before we go into the differences between the nuanced meaning of these two words, we need to return to the question that arose at the initiation of this discussion.  That is, if you want to deceive masses of people in order to gain power and control over them, what is one of the first things you would do in order to achieve that end?  The answer to this may seem inconceivable at first, until you stop to think about it and imagine how it might come about.  The answer is: you corrupt the language and mislead people’s thinking to believe whatever it is that you want them to believe.  You don’t allow them to question your definition.  You simply assert it as true and defined, and then a move on. 

Therefore the only definition they’ve ever been exposed to is the only one that you want them to accept and perceive.  Thus if they mistakenly use a lawful process in a legal matter which doesn’t take the elements of the legal matter into consideration, thinking that it sounds like a reasonable defense or position, they may be destined to lose that assertion on the basis that they confused one jurisdictional matter with a separate jurisdictional matter which the court that they are in has no obligation to recognize.

How this occurs is that people’s minds are programmed in the first instance (perhaps first by their family and then society, and then reinforced by the educational system) to accept whatever definition or connotation to which you want them to adhere.  The notable point here being: you corrupt the very language they are using to define concepts that may have an ambiguous meaning!  And then you make it difficult for any common man or woman to figure out what you actually mean by using a jargon of words that they assume they understand the meaning of, but which have a different legal meaning and implication from what is falsely assumed.  In other words, this is how you get inside their minds and create their reality for them.  One version of this process is called propaganda.  And it exists in all governments the world over.

For our purposes here, though, we are speaking about the conflation of the terms legal and lawful as generally referring to the same thing, the same jurisdiction, when in reality the latter may be referring to a separate and distinct jurisdiction other than that to which the former is referring.  That difference can make a huge difference in how the matter is perceived by a court.  It can be the difference between prevailing in court with one’s lawful assertions and losing using those same assertions..

Now, to return to the issue at hand: what is the difference between what is law and lawful,  and what is legal and belonging to the legal system?  First one must realize that all concepts of law had their beginning as concepts surrounding a dispute between a man (or woman) against another man (or woman).  In other words, they were societal proclamations that were universally accepted by all people as being true, fair, and just.  These concepts of a law (some might call it natural law) commonly accepted by all people first came to be memorialized as maxims of law.  A maxim is “a concisely expressed principle or rule of conduct, or a statement of a general truth.” 

If you wish to learn about the historical origin and roots of the English and American common law traditions, you must look first at what are called these maxims of law.  In other words, when someone who knows the difference uses the term “law,” this is what they are referring to: the very origin of law itself based on universally recognized principles, and not just to some form of written legislation purporting to be “law.”  In our captured system of jurisprudence, everything is based on man-made written (legal) rules for commercial conduct between consenting parties and or fictonal entities.  Outside of a valid contract or agreement between entities or parties, a written rule (or ordinance) is not considered to be a law per se  unless it is properly enacted into law by a duly seated governing authority answerable to the people.  In the United States we haven’t had a legitimately seated governing body at the federal level at least since March twenty-seventh  of 1861.  In other words, if there is no basis for a fair meeting of the minds, politically and otherwise, there is no law.  That is, what is being called a law is simply an unagreed upon rule or policy (a by-law in the case of the corporate federal government) that cannot, in all good conscience, be enforced because it has no valid meeting of the minds and agreed upon authority behind it.

As such, the terms law and lawful refer to the substance or spirit of the law. Whereas the term legal references strictly the written form of a law, a mechanical and strict “letter of the law” viewpoint without considering other possible relevant reasons for the actions taken by the parties involved.   The substance of law, in order to be just, must include the components of moral and ethical intentions on the part of both parties, and not just a bare yielding to the letter (or form) of the law as written.  In substantive law, each disputed situation has its own set of extenuating human circumstances which ought to be taken into consideration before a tribunal can fairly and justly adjudge a particular situation.  But that’s not what happens in a governmental administrative court which enforces legal precepts.

When used in casual conversation, both terms legal and lawful generally mean that which is “allowed by law.”  However, as discussed above, the terms law and lawful in nuanced parlance carry a connotation of ethics and morality, meaning that something “lawful” will be thought to follow the moral and ethical sprit of the applicable law and not just the legal letter or form of the law.  Thus, what is viewed as legal according to statutory law may not always be lawful in terms of the common law and whatever other limitations on it may be involved, such as constitutional limitations. Hence what is deemed lawful (or legal) by a statutory court of no record, may or may not always be either legal or lawful according to a court of record under common law which has a limitation placed upon it by a constitution.

In order to get an idea about the importance and use of maxims of law in the formation of credible concepts of law, and why they were used in early times as a way to settle disputes as well as why they were viewed as universally true, it will help to see a few examples of maxims that have stood the test of time.  The following brief statements, as will be seen, are axiomatically proven or established principles of moral and ethical behavior agreed upon by all honorable people.

A l’impossible nul n’est tenu.  No one is bound to do what is impossible. 1 Bouv. Inst. n. 601.

Actio exteriora indicant interiora secreta.  External actions show internal secrets. 8 Co. R. 146.

Actio non datur non damnificato.  An action is not given to him who has received no damages.

Actus non reum facit, nisi mens sit rea. An act does not make a person guilty, unless the intention be also guilty.  (This maxim applies only to criminal cases; in civil matters it is otherwise.)  2 Bouv. Inst. n. 2211.

Affirmati, non neganti incumbit probatio.  The proof lies upon him who affirms, not on him who denies.

Augupia verforum sunt judice indigna.  A twisting of language is unworthy of a judge. Hob. 343.

Consensus facit legem.  Consent makes the law. A contract is a law between the parties, which can acquire force only by [mutual] consent.

So now, in this light, let’s review the differences between the nuances of the terms of lawful and legal.  The difference between something “lawful” and something “legal” is that something lawful follows the substance of the law (its underlying meaning) which takes into account a transaction between living beings in terms of moral and ethical behavior, while something legal (within the atmosphere of the current legal system) follows the form or strict letter of the law, the exact letter of what is stated in a statute or ordinance without unbiased consideration for the perceived state (condition or status) of the two parties involved. 

Now what is meant by the use of the term “state” here?  It refers to a state of mind.  If one party perceives itself to be one thing and not another, one entity and not another, if the terms of the so-called agreement being used to impose the letter of the contract on that party were never properly disclosed, can the party alledged to be at fault be blamed if the terms of the agreement were never fully explained?  If that was the case, then, a meeting of the minds never occurred!  And the party at fault cannot be legitimately penalized.  In criminal law the concept of mens rea (meaning “a guilty mind”) is supposed to come into play here, meaning that unlawful or illegal intent must be proven on the record.

The term “lawful” carries with it an implication of ethics and morality in relation to the state of the parties in a way that the term “legal” does not.  The term legal, the way it’s being used by the legal system, refers to an inanimate corpus or body (a presumed “thing” or res) being used to substitute for a living being in order to “legalize” some action or status which has presumably been agreed upon beforehand by both parties.  This is primarily because law, in its original formation, as a common social structure (common law) for justice among disputes between people was originally meant to be carried out between living men and women of equal rank under the law.  The concept of corporations (or artificial “persons,” meaning fictional), was not yet a prevalent concept accepted among early societies.  During those times there was no concept of a fictional interloper, in the form of government in it’s corporate capacity, waiting in the wings and hovering above the people to usurp the power and the rights of men and women. 

Fictions in law (which is what a government is) inherently have no power or rights over the people who constitute them other than those powers and rights that may be delegated to them through legitimate formal agreements (such as written constitutions or charters authorizing such).  Yet even so, in the original American system of jurisprudence, whatever rights have not been delegated to public officials (whose offices themselves are always fictional) are generally reserved ultimately by the people themselves and never fully relinquished to officialdom (public office holders). 

When the Church of England, in the mid-fifteenth century, created the concept of the “corporation sole,” in order to construct a fictional juristic entity to hold its assets (property in the form of land, buildings, and money) in perpetuity over time, it also added this novation to the legal framework for the modern governmental legal systems which base their authority over the artificial (dead) entities that it charters called corporations, partnerships, individuals and persons, which it formally creates and authorizes in written form, and which are considered as a legal “person” for purposes of suing and being sued and for interacting with actual people. 

So when you see the term “legal” used somewhere, it is not far from the truth to associate it with a separate jurisdiction where the creation of artificial entities called “persons,” “individuals,” and “partnerships,” all arise from the first government authorized artificial entity called a “corporation.”  The concept of the corporation itself has its origin in ancient Roman law dating back to 49 B.C.  So, everything you see in modern government law has its historical basis in Roman civil law.  It is dispairing to think that this is the form of institutional law (rule making) that is being fraudulently enforced to restrain and suppress the people, not only in America but around the world, using the compelled assumption that the people are but artifical representations of juristic persons, in the modern day, and that the people, for the most part, do not realize it!

If you would like to learn more about concepts of law so you can avoid the whole mess without having to “appear” in court, you can download our free ebook Common Law Remedy To Beat Traffic Tickets and learn about the secrets that the courts and legal profession don’t want you to know.


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The laws sometimes sleep, but never die.