Liberty and Freedom
Liberty is the right to choose. Freedom is the result of the right choice.— Jules Renard
What binds us together as Americans? As citizens of the United States of America?
In a domestic landscape surrounded by consumerism for disposable products, sensationalism for the next entertainment release, terrorism for subversive gains within the political cacophony of the Far Left or the Far Right, the modern American is hard-pressed to find any respite from the quagmire of fear-based, divisive ideas meant to keep us attacking one another rather than helping one another. In my desperation to find a way to cope with the onslaught of all of this hateful energy, to find a way to empower myself amidst a disempowering environment, I remembered a quote from Albert Einstein, “We can not solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”
This would suggest that we can not solve the problems that America faces today from a place of division. Rather, we require to reexamine what UNITES us as Americans, and it is from this place that we will find the common solutions that honor what we ALL hold dear as Americans – Liberty and Freedom.
But what is Liberty? What is Freedom? Let’s examine Liberty first, as She is the prerequisite for Freedom.
Liberty! Liberty is that vital force, that shear determination, that breaks the limitations of bondage of any kind. Liberty is that impetus that causes the chain reaction of evolution. Liberty is that force that breaks free from the shell of containment, from seedling to hatchling. Liberty is the spark that ignites the flame of the alchemical fire that catalyzes the changes one requires for evolution, from the caterpillar to the cosmos. It is the inherent condition for all LIFE. Liberty exists despite our ignorance of Her. Liberty, how powerful! How sublime!
Yet how unrepresented in the world of politics today. When Patrick Henry decried, “Give me Liberty, or give me death,” he truly , knowingly or not, testified to our natural state at the most existential level. But how can we ensure that Liberty has an expression in the political landscape of our modern government?
By returning to The Constitution.
The Constitution of the Republic of the United States of America. It is here we find the platform for Liberty to express . It is here we find the guidelines to safeguard and nurture the Flames of Liberty that birth our Freedoms. So you see, if we can not provide an instrument for which to hold the flame of Liberty, we can have no Freedoms.
That leads us to Freedom. What is Freedom? Brothers and Sisters, let us not simply limit our understanding of Freedom to the various freedoms we take for granted, like the freedom of speech, religion, etc. Freedom is the bliss that Liberty has birthed. Freedom is the chemical rush one feels after the dormant potential of ones purpose has been alit by the Flames of Liberty. Politically, Freedom is the state in which we choose to live because Liberty provided the conditions – the impetus- to express that choice. Freedom is the result of Liberty. Freedom is the gift of Liberty. Without Liberty, there can be no Freedom for America.
America is not the government. America is not the special interest groups. America is not foreign policy of elected officials. America is not the national or state borders. America is the people, the citizens of the United States. America is the the body of patriots who offer their lives in defense of these paramount principles. America has always been the We the People.
AMERICANS are those who champion Liberty and Freedom and who defend AMERICA – the body of individual American citizens – against any individual or entity, foreign or domestic, who give cause to erode the safeguard to these most precious principles – the Constitution of the United States of America.
Liberty and Freedom. These essential ideals do not belong to Americans alone. Every individual on the planet is born with these inherent rights. However, it is we Americans who are the torchbearers – the stewards – the guardians – of such paramount ideals , not only for ourselves, but also for the world at large. Because the corporeal sinews of America are so deliciously varied, America has the exquisite ability -the duty– to express Freedom for the world, not by dictate, but by example. This American obligation is so crucial, that without it, the rest of the world’s nations can’t have the opportunity to discover their own exquisite roles in the new world that awaits us. For, if these two intangible paragons dissolve in the government of OUR country, they dissolve for the governments of every country.
“Freedom is not a gift bestowed on us by other men, but a right that belongs to us by the laws of God and Nature.” Ben Franklin
Though Liberty and Freedom exist in the natural world around and within us, they have yet to express fully in any national governing body, not because we don’t have the ability to express them, but because we no longer have the political conditions for which they can express. This brings us back to unity.
Americans today must come together and focus what unites us and stop focusing on what divides us. When we do this, we further the divide among our communities and within ourselves. However, when we come together to honor Liberty and Freedom, to honor those rights we hold dear, we make space for them to strengthen and express. Furthermore, when we come together we must not forget another paragon of our American constitution – Equality.
Making a practice to honor these principles in our daily lives creates an active force that builds within us; it strengthens our system of values to create a culture that ensures these principles can express in our modern government policies. How, you ask? How can we measly individuals to take action to honor Liberty and Freedom and Equality in a culture that seems to be stripping them away?
You take it to Heart.
If enough people begin to visualize and focus on the Flame of Liberty that inherently lives within them, because we are all energetically interconnected, we can build a critical mass that reignites, builds, and eventually releases that force into the hearts of those directly connected to the state and national branches of our government.
I know this sounds all so esoteric, but remember what Einstein said about problem solving? At this juncture, we can’t keep verbally slicing and dicing one another in divisive debate, endorsing violent acts against one another, or silently employing a laissez-faire attitude toward the chaotic conditions in which the modern American lives. I know these turbulent blows of the extreme Left and the extreme Right all feel all so overwhelming, and , honestly, it is in my own desperate need to navigate these times that I finally found a way to feel empowered to contribute a solution for our beloved country. Perhaps now is exactly the perfect time to employ those “airy-fairy” ideas of spirituality and metaphysics and see if they can really make a difference in all our daily lives.
We can take action before its to late, before the basic freedoms we enjoy are totally lost. We can feel empowered to make a difference if we come together with a common goal of igniting that forgotten Flame of Liberty so that She can release our freedoms equally among all our citizens. It is only through a revolution of the heart that the vital changes our country requires can come to fruition. For, the intelligence in the healthy, balanced heart offers us solutions beyond what we can cerebrally surmise. It offers us Conscience.
Henry David Thorough is famous for his quote, “The best government is no government at all.” But he qualified this statement further in his essay, Civil Disobedience, to explain the nature of a better government.
Let every man make known what kind of government would command his respect, and that will be one step toward obtaining it…The only obligation which I have a right to assume is to do at any time what I think right. It is truly enough said, that a corporation has no conscience; but a corporation of conscientious men is a corporation with a conscience…Most office-holders serve the state chiefly with their heads; and as they rarely make any moral distinctions, they are as likely to serve the Devil ,without intending it, as God. A very few as …patriots…[and] reformers in the great sense, and men, [general public] serve the state with their consciences also and so necessarily resist it [serving chiefly with their heads] for the most part ; and they are commonly treated as enemies [for] it.
Being a “man” with a conscience is simply being an individual who utilizes his/her heart-mind construct in unison to guide his/her decisions and actions. Being a corporation of conscience individuals gives that corporation – that government- the consciousness it requires to employ the civil liberties it promises.
So, like Thorough, I choose to be civilly disobedient for the sake of my civil liberties. I choose to be civilly disobedient by living a life of conscience awareness, by encouraging others to be conscientious in a way that offers solutions from a place of unity rather than division. I choose to be civilly disobedient by offering my LOVE for America.
So, will you, dear reader, join me in being civilly disobedient through a Revolution of the Heart? Will you join me in fanning the Flame of Liberty in your heart? In the collective American heart?
Together, we CAN set this country ablaze with our ignited hearts!