How many of us are truly free?
Not free = not happy.
Freedom has been the guiding light, the catch-cry, the struggle of humanity for aeons. “Give me liberty or give me death!” cried American revolutionary, Patrick Henry.
History is the continuing re-telling of the same struggle in various forms and guises: freedom from tyranny, freedom from slavery, from economic oppression, from injustice, from prejudice, from inequality, from censorship, freedom of religion, freedom from religion, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of the press, artistic freedom.
In all – or most – of these areas, we have made tremendous progress. By any reckoning, we live in one of the freest societies ever.
As history has evolved, so the struggle for freedom has found different voices, causes and expressions. Why does this struggle, despite countless impressive victories, never go away? Are we just never satisfied?
The struggle for freedom is the cry of the soul.
The soul is eternally free. Intuitively we know this: we know we ARE the soul and we ARE pure and free. Whatever outer circumstances stand in the way of that inner condition, we will always fight against and ultimately, overcome. The whole history of human thought, warfare, philosophy, science, politics, art, religion and spirituality – all forms of human aspiration – are expressions of this deep yearning, this cry for freedom. And so it will remain.
So after all the progress: how many of us are truly free? Very few indeed, for we remain subject to two seemingly invincible tyrants: our own thoughts and desires. Until we can silence our thoughts and desires at will, we are not free. We remain slaves.
The next frontier of the battle for freedom beckons within each of our hearts and minds. Today’s freedom fighters meditate, to confront these inner challenges that beset us all.