Sunday, 21 June 2020


If the current protests have anything real at their foundation (and are not just the product of virtue signalling and mob frenzy) it would be the idea of freedom which makes it ironic that most people involved in them are slaves. Slaves of anger or ideology or prejudice or fear or hatred or resentment or a sense of entitlement and sometimes all of these. What is more, the protesters seek to enforce through their  intellectual bigotry a slavery every bit as pernicious as physical slavery by denying freedom of thought to those who disagree with them.

Freedom is what defines a human being. Nothing else that we know of in the world is free, but a human being is. That does not mean we are totally free. We are conditioned and determined by many things, hereditary things, environmental things, our biology, our experiences and so on. Nonetheless, at the core of our being there is a freedom that is recognised by all sensible people, known instinctively to be there at a level beyond the purely phenomenal one. This is the basis of our individuality. It is what makes us who we are. It potentially makes us free of nature or matter which are determined things and offers us a way into the true and unlimited creative freedom of the spirit.

Where does this freedom come from? It cannot come from matter because everything material is conditioned by what it is made of. It's a product of other things which define it. There is no freedom in matter. No one really knows what goes on at the sub-atomic level  but it is not freedom. So our freedom must be non-material or spiritual which means it comes from God or else it is innate in spirit itself. Spirit is freedom before it is even being which is another way of saying that it is "I" not "it", personal not impersonal.

The personal nature of God or spirit (I don't really differentiate except that you could say the one is transcendent and the other immanent) has important implications for what this world is for. It is a place in which we may exercise our freedom. That is why it is a place in which suffering and evil exist. Our life is a series of choices leading up to the all-important choice of God or not God. If we choose God we choose the creative freedom of spirit, light, love and truth. If we choose not God we choose matter. Effectively, we choose prison and darkness but so that the choice may really be free these can be seen by the mind rebelling against God as freedom and light. However, it is freedom for the ego which is the product of the spiritual self identifying with matter. This unrepentant ego then goes to what we can call hell but hell is only seen as hell by the soul that has chosen God and spiritual freedom. To the soul that goes there it may well be just a place of experience like any other. The eternal privation would only be felt as such, to the fullest degree anyway, by the soul that has given itself back to God in love. For the soul that has denied God, the loss of God is not so keenly felt even though it will certainly be known on some level.

It may be that, spiritually speaking, freedom is more fundamental even than love because love is only possible as a result of freedom. It is also the case that the freer you are, the more you love but this refers to true spiritual freedom not mere self-will. The devil has self-will but he lost his real freedom when he rejected God. Complete freedom is only possible in God because God is the father of freedom. It is what he is.

I said that suffering and evil come about because of freedom which raises the question as to how we may overcome the one but keep the other. The only way is through Christ. That wonderful statement in the Book of Common Prayer that 'in his service is perfect freedom' sums up the truth that material bondage can only be broken when we freely align ourselves with the spiritual reality of Christ. At the moment, we have freedom but we are still largely bound. In Christ that limited freedom becomes full and complete. At the beginning we were one with God but not consciously so. Through being born in a place in which the ability to exercise freedom is possible, a place of duality where inside and outside are fully separate, we can consciously choose God but this choice is not just an intellectual thing. It must be a redirection of our whole being from material to spiritual. This is why the path back to God is a hard one. It requires complete reorientation of the will.

Freedom is why God made both us and the world. It is what lies behind creativity and gives the universe its dynamic quality. Correctly used, it is our passport to becoming a god but at the moment many of us are giving it up by surrendering to evil, the very reverse of what should be. We must break the chains of material bondage and claim our freedom in the world of spirit. 


JMSmith said...

As an interesting coincidence, my son's girlfriend asked me just the other day what she was to make of the story of Adam and Eve. I told her that I understand it as a story of the creation of our humanity, and that by this I meant our freedom. God made freedom when he placed the tree of knowledge in the garden and prohibited Adam and Eve eating from it. Thus was born the distinction between can and may, with all the glorious and terrible consequences that follow from it. If God had not wished to make freedom, he was (I presume) free to place the tree of knowledge outside the Garden where Adam and Eve could not reach it. Of course there would be no merit in abstaining from the fruit if God had done this.

William Wildblood said...

As I understand the story, Adam and Eve were born with freedom or else they would not have had the choice to eat or not to eat. This freedom was because they were made in God's image It is through misusing their freedom that they brought suffering into the world.

JMSmith said...

O.K., but the presence of forbidden fruit in the garden gave them opportunity for meaningful exercise of that freedom.

William Wildblood said...

Absolutely. If that hadn't been there their freedom would have been unexerciseable (if that's a word!).

Bruce Charlton said...

@William - It became clear to me through the earlier noughties, that socio-political 'freedom' had no positive value for most people nowadays.

Or rather, the appeal to 'freedom' is only 'effective' when used unilaterailly to demand a Leftist (atheist) agenda - in other words people are simply trying to implement a pre-decided ideology and use 'freedom' expediently to do so.

eg. The 'freedom' of a boy irreversibly to be castrated and take powerful mind-warping drugs, to facilitate pretending to change sex. But there is zero 'freedom' (in public discourse) to critique and argue against such things; or to defend the 'freedom' of children Not to be thus mutilated and violated.

Also, libertarians, who supposedly value socio-political freedom as their ideal, are very lacking in motivation and principle; such that (as far as I can tell) they Always sell-out when they gain a whiff of power.

Boris Johnson is a good example; as you know I met him for a morning soon after he became a minister, and he was known to me as a libertarian journalist for The Spectator. Yet the same man implemented probably the most extreme curtailment of liberty in the history of England; and was 'in charge' when the totalitarian coup was successful - and no objections!.

But this spiritual freedom is clearly of the essence for Christians - and one of the major things (the other being a personal God of love) that distinguishes Christians from the other monotheisms.

I think the Mormons devised a better word for this spiritual freedom, this capacity to operate from our own nature and motivations: agency.

William Wildblood said...

It is quite true that freedom is not really a primary factor in other religions any more than love is. This tells us that the two are linked. Love is only possible where freedom exists.

As for BJ, surely he just goes where the wind blows or where he thinks it is going to blow. So real freedom is clearly not important for him.

Sean Fowler said...

“This capacity to operate from our own nature and motivations: agency”. For me, one of the great lessons to be learned from life on this earth is to strive to and learn to operate in accordance with divine nature and the divine plan, as it exists, both within the world and within ourselves. Of course in order to make this choice we must be free to choose not to.
The leftist atheist agenda first denies the existence of nature,( everything being socially constructed), ridicules the idea of the divine and then seeks to destroy it. The freedom they seek begins as freedom to sin and culminates in compulsion to sin. God, nature, the divine, the good is cast as oppressive, freedom from oppression then becomes freedom/compulsion to choose evil.
“The freedom of the boy to choose castration, powerful mind binding drugs...................” Is A mind numbingly evil rebellion against divine nature, but is portrayed as an act of liberation.
Political Correctness castigates, portrays as evil, anyone who questions such things. Political correctness removes from public discourse our freedom to defend ourselves and others against transgression and evil. It’s a diabolically clever rhetorical checkmate. Rocks and hard places strewn about all over the battle field. Astoundingly brilliant in conception and even more astounding when one considerers the all encompassing totality of its execution. It doesn’t matter where you look it is everywhere.The only defense I can find is to fearlessly and openly state the truth, with no regard for the consequences.
It’s staggering how this was achieved. A whole civilization in rebellion against God the oppressor, having been compelled to choose evil In the name of freedom, with those who question evil cast as evil dissidents. That was always the true goal of communism/ leftism. “ The putrefaction of the soul.” It was always primarily spiritual not political.
Yet still we must defend our bodies and we must defend our minds. Unless we want to be added to the 200 000 000 who died as a result of it in the previous century. I see no virtue in acquiescence. I shall defend myself, my home, family and people as every other living thing on this earth is intended to do, or perish. Although I fear having to resort to evil if the battle gets physical. Hopefully we will know what to do when the time comes. And I shall be keeping an eye on you guys for guidance.

William Wildblood said...

Sean, you rightly say "It’s staggering how this was achieved. ". Yes it was and this points inexorably beyond the merely human. It has been demonic in construction. They can build up over centuries which men just cannot do.

Sean Fowler said...

That’s exactly it William. The longevity of the plan. That’s what got me convinced. New generations of men change plans. This was constant, unchanging.

Anonymous said...

This morning, during my read of you, Bruce and Francis, an epiphany came with a wallop. I had been carrying a rumbling fear of dying, my dying, not post dying but the process of dying surrounded by fear. The epiphany manifested as physical in a fine wake-up way. My mind realized if this is the endtimes, or even prior to those endtimes the SJ warriors, even here in Utah, hating whitey me with pikes and swords so to speak to impale us, well so what! I thought, well sister, not a damned thing I can do about it so give it up. Am going to die one way or another sooner or later. So get on with the enjoyment I receive from doing life valuing life and knocking the rough edges off my soul as I continually become a better person. As soon as I realized that endtimes or the new action French Revolution, or the “whatever” as only a woman can sniff dismissively, there is Nothing I can do to alter the trajectory. Time to step out of my own way. My whole chest lightened up right in the center. That’s when I know spirit said Good Girl....I’m here...profoundly! The fear evaporated. Being human, fear will rumble through again. But now I learned a tool. Let go, let God, move along nothing to see. And to remember. I have Agency.

(I spent decades living virtually on top of the Hayward Fault that is tightened and primed as I write. Plus I have a geology background so I’m well versed what earthquakes can do. I did some preparedness at home and a bugout bag in the car for earthquakes, not obsessive, then stopped and got on with life. Never lost any sleep about living through an earthquake. I made it just fine through Loma Prieta 1989 without a hair out of place. Today I ratcheted up a notch by looking at the death of my body, saying bye-bye to fussing at death, letting it go and moving on. This will keep circling around nibbling at me, so will have to let go of my fussing many times. Ha! I have a new tool in my carpenter belt. Now I get practice makes perfect. So be it.)

Gratefully Yours. Thank you so very much for your time and effort. To take the time to think your big thoughts takes time away from something else. Thank you for those big thoughts!
Range Front Fault
Southern Utah

William Wildblood said...

Thanks for your comment and kind words . I think you have it just right. All we have to do in these chaotic times is trust in God and turn ourselves over to him. I say all we have to do. It's not that easy because it goes against many of our natural inclinations but still it is a fundamentally simple thing.