“Spiritual Freedom” by Rev. Dr. Christine 7/5/2020
July 4, 1776, we declared our independence from oppression. We often think of independence synonymous with freedom. As in having the freedom of speech, freedom of worship, and the freedom to pursue happiness. Today I am speaking on being spiritually free; mind, body and soul.
The Webster Dictionary defines independent as “Free from the influence, control, or determination of another or others as in being self-governing, and not depending on another for financial support.” As young adults we are told to go out in the world and be independent. That usually means following graduation to getting a job, and move out of the family home or at least pay some rent. Being financially responsible is one kind of freedom.
The more I think of freedom, I realize that being free is a state of mind. Some think in terms of being free from conditions and circumstances. Such as, being free from illness, pain, sorrow, debt, worry, guilt, anger, judgement, labor, or burdens.
As we look at this we can begin to see that being free is really more of a state of mind, it is an attitude towards life. Such as, do we believe this world is a friendly world or an unfriendly world, is the cup ½ full or ½ empty, or do we see the world through the eyes of being a victim? These are attitudes taken on very young in life, and determines a whole lot about how we will experience life unless we change our belief system.
The limitations we set are based upon our own beliefs. We create our set of rules to live by consciously, or unconsciously as in our early years of being a child.
Jesus said in John 8:31-32, “If you abide by my word, you are truly my disciples. And you will know the truth, and that very truth will make you free.” And what was that truth? That God is our very life, living in through and as our very being - our very breath. God is our unlimited source for all of our individual life. And, then the great promise, “You too shall do these works, and even greater works than these shall you do.” Meaning that we are powerful, that all that we need is available to us as co-creators of God.
A person having peace of mind, can feel free regardless of their living conditions and pressures in life. They can even be in a prison cell for they have what we call spiritual dominion within themselves. They have an inner peace that spreads out in their world of effect. They don’t look to the outside world to make them happy; its not the power to control, or having material things that brings a sense of security and freedom. In fact, the more we think we need to control our environment or have material goods shows how dependent on the outer world we are for our sense of happiness or security - which is temporary at best.
In this country, the average person has so much stuff, and yet there is an ever increasing number of people on drugs to handle pain, anxiety and depression. The more we focus on the material outer world, there becomes a greater sense of fear, anger, and disconnection. Disconnection from what? Our Spirit – Our Soul! Our spirit that connects us with everyone else on this planet, and the planet itself. Our true sense of self. We are more than workers and consumers. Finding who we are, and our purpose for being is the first step in becoming free.
What then is keeping us from being free? Looking at attitudes, I think of the poor me or victim in which a person blames the world or conditions for their unhappiness, they have little or no control, and are needy, very dependent on others. Then you have the controlling and aggressive attitudes, which again is basing happiness and freedom on their environment. It appears to be the opposite spectrum in behavior – but both kinds are really coming from the same need to control others either passively or aggressively.
Then we have the very self absorbed kinds of attitudes. Thinking in terms of what is in it for me, and without taking responsibility for the affects of their actions. This is an extreme disconnection from their Spirit. They think they need no one, but are totally using others for their benefit.
To me this is a kind of slavery – for they are never free. One is bound to the other for they know not what they do. This is what we call co-dependence. It takes both to agree to serve those roles – even if it is an unrecognized or unconscious agreement. They may think this is good, feel safe, but deep down they know it is not going to last, and are in a constant level of fear.
Spiritual freedom is an inside job. We have our housekeeping to do to clear out the subconscious mind of layers upon layers of beliefs based upon fear, superstition, observation, and the opinions of others. The old physical sciences no longer hold true in a world based upon Spirit as substance - God as both visible and invisible.
A term that has become quite popular is “interdependence.” We are dependent on an inner level within ourselves – an inner source, and inter connected with others. There is a greater realization of our effects upon our world and with each other. There is a greater sense of responsibility for our actions, and thus working together to resolve the problems of the world. There are solutions, but this will take cooperation from everyone. A realizing of our interconnectedness.
All true freedom comes from our knowing our connection with our source. For us we call this source, God, or Infinite Spirit, Divine Presence, Great Spirit to name a few. There is the same Divinity and life within all of us, in all life everywhere. It is this Divine Presence that connects us all – that is calling us forth, urging us to a greater level of understanding of our environment and of our inner divine self – the Christ. This very life of God is living each and everyone one of its creations. There is no separation in God, there is no good and evil, duality, there is just love, peace, creativity, intelligence and harmony which is our freedom.
Being free is then knowing who we are, the very life that we are. As Jesus said, I didn’t come here to destroy the law, but to bring more life, eternal life -- spiritual freedom. Jesus the Christ was a master teacher, a prophet, an Avatar, a fully Self realized person, in that he mastered the appearance world of suffering, limitation, and nature itself through healing, multiplying substance, walking on water, calming the storms, and even death itself.
Jesus said, that we cannot serve two masters; that of Spirit and the material world. Serving Spirit is really being in surrender of our belief in a world of matter and separation for a world of Spirit, Oneness and Love, and having Faith in the invisible Divine Spirit. The laws of Infinite Spirit are “Love God with all your heart, mind, and soul”, “Love one another as I have loved you.” We can also add, “What you do to another you are doing to yourself” and “Where you put your Faith you create.”
Believing in the physical world of matter as cause, is really servitude or slavery of your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual life. It is a belief in death, limitation and suffering of all kinds. The law of matter is “Survival of the fittest”, “Matter is limited”, and “Death.”
Through the Christ consciousness within us we have dominion of our thoughts, attitudes, beliefs and feelings, which gives us mastery of our life. We understand cause coming from within us, that we are cause. Thus this is the freedom to change our thoughts, to change our attitudes, to change our beliefs, to change our actions. Then to forgive, and choose again based on the law of love and our oneness with all life everywhere. The more self-responsible we are for our thoughts and actions, the freer we are to express our true Divine Self.
This 4th of July weekend, during this time of COVID-19 stay-in-shelter order, we get to practice an inner freedom. Regardless of whether we are in the company of another human being, we are never alone. That was one of my lessons learned many years ago when married. I never felt so alone in my life. Then I discovered a God that is Omnipresent, both all around me and within me. I have never felt alone since this realization. I could always find comfort with this presence of God.
During this pandemic, there are times when we may feel stress, sadness and moments of fear, but then we know where to go and what to do to counteract, and bring forth our faith in God. We feed our soul through prayer, meditation, and study, which strengthens our connection to a living spiritual world that is everywhere present.
Let us take a few moments right now to feel this connection with God that lives within us. Always our friend, our guidance, our inspiration, our very life... And so it is.
We’ll close with this affirmation: “A greater good is coming forth right here and now. Thank you God.”