July 4, 2013
What does freedom or independence mean to you? To some, it means having no one over yourself to tell you what choices to make or how to behave. To others, it means enjoying the ability to be your true self without censorship, to be able to reach full potential without outside interference. There are many possible meanings and interpretations. To me, freedom means the ability to reach inside of my deepest, most eternal and in some ways most impersonal self in order to enjoy the thrill of being truly connected to everything and everyone that exists in the universe. While I have no desire to be oppressed by others and feel a deep need to protect myself and others from injustice, I feel that inter-dependence is a more accurate term requiring maturity and a profound sense of responsibility.
The twentieth century materialistic paradigm into which we have all been indoctrinated will have us believe that we are all separate beings, independent from one another and from all that exists. This model of reality is outdated and inaccurate. Our bodies, our earth, all of matter and non-matter are substances and systems that are intricately co-dependent on one another to function in harmony.
The ultimate freedom that we are given by life is the freedom of choice. As sentient beings, we and all of life contain the seeds of light and love as well as grains of shadow or evil. I define evil as the illusion of separateness that intrinsically gives each of us permission to harm others or use others for our own benefit without sensing the need to be responsible for all that is “other”. In reality, there is no other. When I harm you, I harm myself. When I take more from the earth than she is willing to give, I am harming my own life-force, my own body, and I am affecting the level of light, love, and well-being in the universe. Ultimately, free will is given to us so that we can become fully aware of our own birth-right – which is endless love, beauty, and compassion. Without the illusory evil that is ego, greed, and a selfish fearful need to accumulate power and oppress others, we would not be able to choose light or love.
We are on earth to learn, to grow our souls. The human condition is a difficult one, because we are all born blind. We yearn for freedom, but no one tells us exactly what freedom really is. Many people try to indoctrinate us in order to manipulate us as pawns in their own rise to power, accumulating wealth while they deplete the well-being of the majority.
Today, living in the United States as one of the 99% who do not enjoy monetary wealth, access to a luxurious life-style, or simply employment that supplies sufficient income to support a family, I feel that America is not a land of opportunity. It has become a place where many people struggle to survive from day to day, and where elected officials and government on all levels as well as the private sector represent no one but their own interests, bleeding us for the little money we have left. And yet, dissent is rare. What happened to the “Occupy Wall Street” movement? Corporations, banks, lobbies, elected officials sail along, taking much and giving nothing in return. These individuals and groups are using their free will to choose to take without regard for the health and well-being of the American people. They employ elaborate strategies to manipulate the minds of the average American, to distract by using entertainment, vain hopes to gain wealth such as lotteries or illusory class separations and discrimination. We are supplied with unhealthy food which is detrimental to our health, then we are manipulated into believing that we need expensive medications, tests, operations, or hospital stays that could in fact be avoided if we drank a lot of water, exercised adequately and ate simple, organic, homegrown foods. We cannot expect the system to love and protect us. By dividing the people against themselves, they cleverly maintain their power.
All of the institutions in power are working for their own good. Not for ours. It is my freedom to inform myself and to learn how to take care of my own health, how to create a simpler life style that is healthy for people, animals, and the planet. If enough people begin to think and act for themself and to require change, it will happen.
Throughout history, the same dilemma repeats itself, seemingly endlessly. Why do the majority submit to the terror of a greedy, selfish few, inclined of course to preserve their own privileges? Why do people throughout history blame designated scapegoats for their problems? We know the answer to this question: because this is the way that the minority in power keeps the focus away from their own oppressive nature, deflecting attention onto an innocent group unable to defend itself. In this way, the uneducated and educated alike often lose focus and tension de-escalates. Only when the oppression becomes too much to tolerate do the masses unite to rebel against their oppressors, whether those despots be czars, emperors, corporate lobbies, bankers, kings, employers, landowners… We have supposedly copied the democratic system inspired by the ancient Greeks, yet our political system is hardly democratic at all. As the middle classes disappear for good, perhaps the people will once again reflect and decide to use the power of the majority to express the desire for social justice and the need for a more compassionate and more egalitarian society.
And how does democracy intend to guarantee the freedoms we wish to enjoy and to which we feel entitled? Democracy can only work when each individual person is informed, active, and aware of his or her needs, surroundings, and social environment. Those in power are always tempted to take more than is necessary for their personal well-being. Unless those individuals are incorruptible and incredibly awakened and aware, which is rare, the people must guarantee the safeguard of the most basic principles of democracy. This means that every time that government tries to protect the interests of the wealthy over those representing the greatest good of all, the people must demonstrate and not relent until the greatest good is obtained. We all are responsible for the state of our country today.
We have allowed ourselves to be brainwashed by the illusory threats of terrorism and terrorist nations. Wars have been fought to enrich certain people and not for the greatest good of America. Our enemy is not other peoples, other countries, or other systems of thinking. Our enemy is the illusion that we are all separate from one another. Once we truly learn that truth about reality, a great breakthrough will occur. For then and only then can we all work together for the benefit of all that exists. Not because of political conviction, not because we are right and someone else is wrong. Because eradicating poverty, disease, creating educational systems that allow each person to develop and share personal skills and talents , cities, and agriculture that are environmentally friendly benefits absolutely everyone. The only way we can get away from the dualistic systems of the past is to eradicate duality from our own hearts, by letting it go.
From what I have observed in my work place and at large, most Americans are incredibly passive and easily manipulated. People think they are strong, for example, when they defend gun ownership. What they are really doing is guaranteeing isolation from fellow humans rather than opening up to the connection that allows us all to benefit from being human together.
Perhaps true freedom is the freedom to love openly, to give without restriction or fear of want, to know that all that we do give of ourselves benefits everyone…including our selves!