Journey To Sinai
Freedom is among the most precious gifts promised by divine life. From the most ancient times, human freedom has been considered at the core of our being. And today it continues a rallying cry – and a battle cry – in a hundred languages across the globe.
We should expect striving for freedom to endure through the millennia. How can it be otherwise with what God surely sees as his pinnacle of creation? All of nature, from the rocks that appear motionless only in our crude eyesight, to the finest substances of our brains that follow the incomprehensible laws of quantum mechanics, vibrates with the effort of divine life to find free expression, expansion and replication. All of spirit, from the lowest urges of instinct to the noblest inspirations of altruism, is driven by the outflow of divine life through the human being to find free expression in love, wisdom and usefulness.
God cares about our freedom because his goal is the free expression of love that completes the circle of his life. Therefore, from his infinite love, he works to maintain the possibility of humans choosing to love him in return through their freely chosen loving action. It must be, therefore, that infinite power steadies the flow of life, assuring that there is always a choice. On the lowest level it is between up and down, in and out, left and right. On the deepest level it is between materialism and spirituality, evil and good, selfishness and God. Surely among the deepest concerns of thoughtful people across the planet therefore is this: how do we realize this beautiful state of life individually and as a culture of selfless, good, spirituality
Every human being on the planet has an opportunity to find his or her unique path to realizing the freedom that is being maintained by divine power. Clearly, many people do not understand how to manage their freedom. There are countless sad stories of people who are wounded by mistaking license for freedom. In striving for power, people evilly manipulate others with false promises of freedom. It is perhaps my deepest frustration that there is no enticement that will overcome a dictator’s desire for power. Too many believe they know quite clearly the order that establishes freedom (which is only part of the process of establishing freedom), and seek to impose it on the rest of us.
It is important that we all contribute to the realization of natural freedom, of civil, political freedom. We do this in arenas from town councils to international organizations. Every good citizen of a country works to preserve the freedom of action, speech and association in an orderly way. This work, however, is limited if we are not at the same time striving to realize our own spiritual freedom. That foundation is necessary to see clearly the nature of lower levels of freedom, protecting society from immature notions of freedom.
If you are on the journey and are getting glimpses of genuine spiritual freedom, you will be able to look back and see the ignorant, wounded person, the power hungry despot, and the self-righteous leader you have been at times! At some point you recognize the slavery you have endured. For you it might be a substance that enslaves you. It might be the need to be loved. It might be the need to “feel” free. The glimpses of true freedom have given you hope, a promise of divine healing of love and truth, which will set you free at last.
Ancient literature is full of powerful images of the awakening to slavery and the process of realizing spiritual freedom. The Buddah saw that desire enslaves. Jesus saw that selfish materialism enslaves. And the powerful Old Testament story of the Israelites escape from slavery in Egypt reveals the whole process in the spiritual meaning of the text.
This last story is the basis of an eight week experiential seminar, “Realizing Spiritual Freedom,” that promises to take the participant through the major stages from slavery to freedom in any area of their life. The seminar utilizes large and small group experiences and “tasks” to do between sessions. The individual inner work is thus profitably linked to education in large group settings and mutual support in small group settings. The Glendale New Church is producing the seminar and hosting several large group events, and the small groups – where most of the action occurs! – will meet at locations convenient to the participants.
Promise September 2007