What's Freedom all About?
Yes, to be self-governing is supreme -- for both a nation and the individual. We citizens of the United States cherish our freedom as a nation; even more do we place the highest regard for individual freedom.
However, is it not true that, as individuals, we are almost totally dependent upon other individuals for our various needs; and that, as a country, we are becoming more and more dependent upon other countries to supply those needs? Over the past century, we have changed from a self-contained, agricultural lifestyle to a global, industrial and technological economy. How do we reconcile the paradox of independency, while engulfed by so many dependencies? The shift from "living-off-the-land" to "business-as-usual" from around the globe calls for a new understanding of self-reliance.
The word independence no longer describes our status. Maybe a more appropriate word would be inter-dependency. Rather than thinking dependent or independent, let us consider what it means to be inter-dependent. It is to be mutually dependent upon each other. It's not a disgrace to be dependent upon others, but a grace provided by the creative life principle operating within us all. Since no one is ever totally dependent or independent, but a conglomerate mixture of both, let us acknowledge the inter-dependency we share with all people upon our planet.
Yet with these changes, our freedoms are being dissolved before our very eyes. How are we to under-stand freedom in the context of inter-dependency?
As we desire to maintain our freedom, remember that our autonomy is not to control the world around us, but within us -- the choices we make, the beliefs we hold, the attitudes we carry. Herein lies our true freedom; and these choices affect our lives and the lives of others. So rather than our insistence upon being independent of external rule, let us strive to be inner-dependent; that is, dependent upon the inner guidance that dwells deep within the heart of us.
Jesus has taught us to "have faith in God" and that "all things are possible with God". In spite of our past freedoms, we have oft times made unwise choices. Truly, freedom is the ability to see clearly and respond fully to the inner nudges from Spirit. When we know this truth ... that we are inter-dependent with our planetary community and inner-dependent with our decision-making process ... then indeed this "truth shall set us free".
Authored by Reverend Virgil Brewer at Unity Chapel
July 1, 2008