What is the foundational spiritual quality? I would say it must be freedom. Others might point to love but freedom must exist first for love to be. Esotericists speak of a state beyond being. This is the primordial state of freedom.
If freedom is fundamental to spirit then that which opposes freedom is anti-spiritual. We live at a time when freedom is being increasingly curtailed though this is not always as obvious as it might be. A more evolved consciousness, such as exists in modern human beings in the sense of their greater self-awareness, requires a subtler level of control. Even so, the events of 2020 should have been obvious to anyone but, amazingly, they weren't to the majority, and even now when more and more evidence is emerging that the response to the problem was way over the top most people still won't accept it. I suppose no one likes to think they have been had.
Then there is the matter of the weather. Its changeability is being used as an excuse to bring in ever greater controls. Cost of living increases, with many foodstuffs doubling in price in the UK over the last year, serve the same purpose as does the move to replace cash with digital currency. All these thing point in the same direction. Loss of freedom.
But there is more. Almost everyone nowadays uses computers in some form throughout the greater part of their waking existence. Computers are based on a technology in which measurement, control and quantification are fundamental. Control and regulation. Despite claims to the contrary there is no real freedom in a computer and this is affecting our consciousness and the way we think. I have often written that technology is not neutral. It frames the way we view life. Our minds adapt to the technology we use. The use of computers makes us think and even perceive more like computers. This is leading to a loss of spiritual freedom and that is over and above the fact that our dependence on computers reduces our own inner powers of perception which are being replaced by external substitutes that give us more breadth but less depth. Just like the 2020 events you will either see this or you won't and if you won't might it be that you don't want to?
The greatest achievement of the rapidly dying Western civilisation was the development of human freedom. Undoubtedly, this had its negative side especially when it tipped over into self-indulgence, decadence, chaos and all the rest that we know so well. Even freedom, the greatest good, must be balanced and directed into proper channels which truth is expressed so well in the saying from the Book of Common Prayer that 'in his service is perfect freedom'. The highest freedom is to be found in Christ because that is the flowering of spiritual freedom but even this springs from the seeds of individual freedom. Without that there could be no spiritual freedom.
This, then, is what we should be watching out for. The reduction of freedom in every area of life. But remember that freedom has a purpose and that is to enable us to know God. If freedom is not directed to that end it will turn bad so our task now is, first, to resist the loss of freedom and, second, to use our freedom wisely which means to aim it towards God. For only in God is true and lasting freedom to be found.
As far as I'm concerned, this post nails it. In fact, it well encapsulates a great deal of what I have clumsily attempted to communicate over the past three years or so.
Your observation that the highest freedom is to be found in Christ is spot on. Berdyaev once described Jesus as "the freest of the sons of men"; freest because He was able to align His freedom with God's freedom. Berdyaev notes that Jesus was "free from the world" and was bound to it only through love". I think this echoes much of what you have expressed here; it also illuminates the nature of the freedom we must strive for.
Some regard freedom as purely positive; others as purely negative. Raw primordial freedom is neither. It is the source of both good and evil, which helps explain why rallying cries for freedom alone are not enough. Moreover, an individual has to be free for something. He also must be motivated by the hope that this "freedom for" can lead to a state of "freedom with", and I cannot think of a higher aim than with being free with Christ.
Once again, great post. It resonated deeply.
Thanks Frank, and a great comment from you. We must be thinking along the same lines. I almost used the phrase raw primordial freedom. As you say, this can go either way. I believe one of the reasons for physical incarnation is that its innate qualities can be brought out.
We are the beings in which the cosmic battle plays out.
Tomberg once wrote that the gods choose between good and better. To accept ones rightful reward - or to sacrifice it.
We are faced with the starker choice - good or evil. Sublime hierarchical beings look down in awe. Our freedom is precious indeed.
A truly great post William.
@William - I was very struck by your point that there must be a sense in which freedom precedes love. Love is, after all, the *Christian* value, and not everybody or everything is Christian - because some choose (from freedom) Not to have love as their highest value.
I think one of the ways that freedom is curtailed is by getting people to believe that the 'bottom line' is personal expediency in this mortal life: so that freedom becomes just one among many possible routes to feeling as pleasant as possible here and now. And then the powers of evil can arrange this world such that - in order to avoid pain and get pleasure - we will reject God and Christ and deny the reality (or negatively value) spiritual values.
This is the attitude of "What's the point of freedom? I just want a good life."
So many people deny even the possibility of freedom - because the world-descriptions of scientistic-materialism lack any place for freedom.
People continue to make choices, because they cannot avoid them; but deny that they are actually doing so - and claim that their choices were merely the result of preceding causes, and they are not responsible ("I had no alternative").
Anyway - excellent post, very thought provoking.
"We are the beings in which the cosmic battle plays out'. I think you make a very important point, Moonsphere. In that sense the Earth is still at the centre of the universe.
Bruce, the primacy of freedom is something that has become clearer to me and that is probably because of the ever more apparent battle between good and evil in our world and the fact that we are increasingly being called to make real choices.
"True liberty is not the freedom to choose what is good , rather, it is to choose the Good freely."
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