FREEDOM IN THE AGE OF AQUARIUS

Scorpio Meeting, November 8, 2003

FREEDOM IN THE AGE OF AQUARIUS[1]

Introduction

"Free will promotes numerous contradictions. One turns it into license; another into irresponsibility; a third into the madness of conceit. Only he who has gone through the discipline of spirit can realize how stern the reality of freedom can be. The downfall of freedom can be called the festival of ignorance."
Agni Yoga, #222

What is freedom? The concept of freedom can be difficult to understand because it is used both in the context of restraint, such as freedom from something—freedom from fear, freedom from want—and, the freedom to take action—often seen as the license to do whatever we want. Though the thought occurs: If we never had anything to become free of, or to challenge us, we'd never have a need to be free. All of a sudden, it seems we've got plenty to become free of as a nation and individually—misuse of power, greed, deceptions, glamour, etc. In addition, the recently introduced Patriot Act holds great concern for many in this country who feel it jeopardizes their civil liberties.

Freedom is a state of mind, and not a condition of being, as would seem the case. Spiritual freedom, works from within out; it cannot be imposed from the outside. Nelson Mandela was not waiting to get out of jail to be free, nor was Martin Luther King, Jr. marching to be free. In their minds they were free! We are all free to think what we like. Despite this fact, we imprison ourselves by our thinking.

It is only when our thoughts enter the realm of action that social constraints appear and the need to consider those around us becomes an issue. Essentially, freedom is about making choices, and therefore about values. Freedom of action must be exercised with responsibility, since every choice we make, every value we uphold, affects those around us, and continues outwards like a pebble dropped into water creates rings of influence within its environment.

The instinctual striving toward freedom may be inherent in all human beings, but motives are mixed. Freedom is often misrepresented and misused. In many, its philosophical purity becomes tainted by the dynamics of power and profit, and its ideal is distorted by violent, and often criminal methods.

It's not hard to see from the many examples in the world today that a claimed freedom, if selfishly or materialistically exploited, produces anarchy, disruption, and untold suffering for innumerable people, many of them innocent victims based solely on circumstances of their birth. As Queen Juliana of the Netherlands said many years ago, "Freedom brings its own responsibilities."

Franklin D. Roosevelt identified the key principle of freedom as pivotal when he presented The Four Freedoms to the world in 1941: freedom of speech/expression; freedom of worship/conscience; freedom from want; and freedom from fear. Over fifty years later, the UN Development Program in its Human Development Report 2000 described this principle of freedom as, "the common purpose and common motivation of human rights and human development".

Truly one of the greatest documents of human history adopted by the UN in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in Article One sums it up, "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood."

The 30 articles of the Universal Declaration set out the rights we now call human rights. The Declaration's 28th and 29th articles then place the individual in the community, recognizing that "everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of… [one's] personality is possible". The 29th article clearly, and explicitly recognizes that rights and freedoms shall sometimes be limited by laws solely to guarantee the rights and freedoms of others, and the requirements of the general welfare in democratic society.

The real "freedom fighters" of this world, therefore, are those in whom an established and active sense of responsibility is at work—those who have successfully internalized the restraining influence of an ethical code—those who have achieved a personal freedom within themselves from restrictive attitudes of mind and heart, which limit thought and blind vision. In other words, they become their own authority. This shift in authority, from that which was externally enforced, to the ability to assume responsible authority over one's own actions is an indication of the shift from the Piscean Age to the Aquarian Age, which is an ongoing process in progress at this time.

Although freedom is the birthright of mankind, and free will is the highest of the divine characteristics, achieving it is another matter. True freedom exists only in the realm of the Soul. To achieve personal freedom and liberation from the 'tomb of matter' requires a recognition of life beyond form. Concentration on the form imprisons the life essence—whether by an undue attachment to the material objects of life, or by way of medical science straining to retain life in forms that are diseased and inadequate, which Nature if left to herself would have long ago discarded.

As we struggle to integrate our personality with the soul, so do nations. The 6th Ray of Idealism governs the United States' personality, and the 2nd Ray of Love-Wisdom governs its soul. Therefore, the conflict in our country can be seen as being between a love of freedom, which borders on irresponsibility and license, and a growing humanitarian ideology that will result in world service and non-separateness.

Every separation is a prison. We limit our freedom to the extent we try to separate ourselves from something else. Our freedom is measured by our ability to develop a sense of universality—knowledge of human unity, the Oneness of all life, and respect for its preservation and integrity.

It's been said that, freedom is the ultimate goal of humanity to get to know itself. We have to know ourselves to achieve that freedom; and the better we know ourselves, the closer we arrive at being free. We acquire it by examining everything we say and do in the light of whether it comes from our inner truth, or from our reaction to outer things, then, by applying our findings to how we act; in other words, living in Love.

This state of inner freedom, to explore ideas and feelings responsibly, is a difficult skill to learn and thus, all the more reason why it should be encouraged and emphasized at an early age in an individual's life. It is, therefore, no surprise that the principal method of attaining this state of inner freedom is meditation. This process takes place at differing stages in different individuals, and is attained only through continuous, disciplined effort. Creating free individuals in this way should be the goal of all our educational processes; for it is only through the freeing of individuals that the world itself can progress in freedom.

This was underscored by Ambassador Anwarul E. Chowdhury's comments on freedom at one of our meetings last spring. He made comments with which many agree. If I might paraphrase, he said:

Peace is not just disturbed by two countries fighting. It's disturbed in so many ways, by the actions of each of us. There must be peace within to have 'peace without'. The eternal desire of every individual is to feel free. Perhaps, one of the ways in which we feel most free is in the love of others. Freedom is the ability to do something good for humanity.... Freedom's connection to a culture of peace is through the Four Freedoms.... Peace will only come when humanity lives up to its highest potential. This comes when we think of peace [and freedom] in a concrete way—how it relates to our daily life—and not think of it too abstractly [and therefore not as out of our realm of influence].

To begin, I'd like to make a plug for the word sustainability-a somewhat awkward sounding word that comes from the Latin "sustenare"= "to hold up". Sustainable means "to continue indefinitely". Current definitions of sustainability are numerous but for the purposes of this talk, I'll stick to simple core definitions that are not perversions or abuses of the term.

"I light the Way" is the unrealized esoteric motto of America, as symbolized by Lady Liberty with torch in hand pointed to the sky. In fact, some have suggested that the official symbol of the US should be changed from the bald eagle—representing power and force—to the Statue of Liberty, which represents peace & freedom.

Last January, the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) aired a television special entitled, "Freedom: A History of Us". It was based on the premise that our nation's history arises from what one historian calls "the uniquely American idea of universal freedom". America has always been the symbol of freedom to the world. It has held out, for example, the promise of the open road, cultural mobility and freedom from the constraints of upbringing.

It's doubtful that any such thing as absolute freedom exists in the human kingdom, since few have learned to completely control their lives and activities in line with the Plan for humanity—that great design for living, which brings us into conformity with the divine Will with which we consciously seek to cooperate.

As a prerequisite, we are to let go of non-essentials and the past, which should have been left behind. 'Letting go' is the freedom to acknowledge that there's something greater than the individual who is "running the show." Whether we like it or not, there is a Plan and there is Purpose to the Universe, and we are free to go with it, or against it. It's ours to choose, or not to choose. We all have free will.

But it's so hard to align with the Plan of Love and Light, we say.—Why is it so hard? Actually, it's much harder to hold out against it. The key is to listen to our heart. As they say, "Our heart will set us free."

In the Agni Yoga book Heart, #84, it says: "People dream of freedom, but in what a dungeon they keep their hearts." And, Heart, #29: "For the approach to Us [Hierarchy], the understanding of full freedom is necessary. How terrible is the consequence of fear or the seeking of profits! Unclouded striving, freed from all burdens, manifests a true path. Only that heart from which no corruption can be concealed can judge where such freedom begins."

For some years now, the spiritual Hierarchy—our Elder Brothers Who have triumphed over matter, and Who have achieved this goal by the very self-same steps that we tread today—have been drawing nearer to us. This major approach is responsible for the great concepts of freedom, which are so close to the hearts all of us today, and for the struggle at this time in which we are all participating. The Aquarian Age goal of brotherhood, of unity, of world cooperation and of a peace based on right human relations becomes clearer in our minds, as the Members of the Hierarchy approach closer to us.

Based on occult law, the spiritual Hierarchy and the Christ, the Head of Hierarchy, will never infringe upon our divine right to make our own decisions, to exert our own free will and to achieve freedom by fighting for freedom—individually, nationally and internationally. As a result, we're told that Divinity awaits the expression of man's free will. This same divine right to make one's own decisions and exert one's own free will is important to keep in mind, for ourselves and to respect and apply to our relationships with each other as well.

In summary, freedom is a basic "intention" lying within the Plan and Purpose for life on Earth. It is a fundamental principle and a spiritual attribute, which relates to the working out of divine Will, dependent upon the manifestation of pure and selfless love; and which must be expressed through wise and intelligent action.

In our meditation today, we will be working with the energies of Scorpio, whose keynote is: "Warrior I am and from the battle I emerge triumphant." Scorpio is one of nine signs, beginning with Cancer, which carries a human being from the stage of imprisonment in form to the freedom of the Kingdom of God. The spiritual goal for humanity is Hierarchy, and establishing the Kingdom of God on Earth. In Scorpio we begin to feel the influence of Hierarchy. It is here that our essential duality is put to the test, thus preparing us for a new and higher unity. Miserable at being neither the soul, nor the form—this is the stage of transition and the path of the disciple. It is only in desperation, and when completely at the end of our rope that we are ready to relinquish old ways and find our way into that Kingdom. The goal of all tests in Scorpio are the establishing of right relations with the Soul and also with the environment, through a sensitive recognition of the Divine Plan working out on Earth.

The Tibetan Master, Djwhal Khul has said in the book, The Reappearance of the Christ, "When true freedom covers the earth, we shall see the end of tyranny-politically, religiously and economically... When the people are told the truth and when they can freely judge and decide for themselves, we shall then see a much better world... I refer to that period which will surely come in which an 'enlightened people' will rule." (p. 164) At such time, he said, Humanity will emerge into the light of freedom with a revealed beauty and a spiritual purpose hitherto unknown.

NOW is a propitious time…. Shall we make the most of it?

Success comes in realizing that we are only a channel, and that we are all connected. It is a time to remember our Oneness. Let us use this momentous opportunity during our meditation to embody this light of freedom and, acting as a conduit, give it expression by directing and pouring out the energies of Light and Love and the Will-to-Good for the well-being of humanity and the planet.



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[1] The text of a talk given by Iris Spellings at the meditation meeting, "The Spiritual Work of the United Nations and the Liberation of Humanity.")


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