being free

Being Free from Programming and Domestication

“Who stops us from being free? We blame the government. We blame our parents. … Who really stops us from being free? We stop ourselves. What does it really mean to be free? Sometimes we get married and we say that we lose our freedom, then we get divorced and we are still not free. What stops us? Why can’t we be ourselves?

“We have memories of long ago, when we used to be free and we loved being free, but we have forgotten what freedom really means.

“If we see a child who is two or three, perhaps four years old, we find a free human. Why is this human free? Because this human does whatever he or she wants to do. This human is completely wild. Just like a flower, a tree, or an animal that has not been domesticated. And if we observe humans who are two years old, we find that most of the time these humans have a big smile on their face and they’re having fun. They are exploring the world. They are not afraid to play. They are afraid when they are hurt,when they are hungry, when some of their needs are not mt, but they don’t worry about the past, don’t care about the future, and only live in the present moment.” ~Don Miguel Ruiz

Being Free

While I generally agree with what Ruiz has to say, I think in this case, there is some exaggeration involved. Of course, teachers often use exaggeration to get a point across, but in this case, it may be used a little too much.

First off, what exactly does it mean to be free? If we mean total freedom, then none of us has it or ever will. We are not free to stop eating for four or five months. We cannot stop breathing for two hours. Either of those things would make us dead. We are, and always will be, subject to the laws of God and Nature. So the freedom Ruiz is talking about is relative. And it is just as relative for plants, animals, and small children. The monkey isn’t free to fly like a bird. The swamp weed isn’t free to grow in the desert.

Freedom of the Young

It is true that being free, relatively, is more true in the very young. They haven’t been “domesticated” yet, as Ruiz says. But small children have a brain. They have a capacity to learn. In fact experts on the brain and the mind say that a small child learns new things easier than an adult. This is a good indication that such learning is natural.

When the free, wild, child that Ruiz describes falls and gets hurt, he learns from that. When she sticks her hand in a fire and gets burned, she learns from that. When he eats something that isn’t food, he gets sick. It may take a bit longer, but he will even learn from that. This is a good thing. We need to learn. We have a capacity to learn and we should learn.

Where the problem comes in is when we learn false things. We learn certain acceptable ways to behave from our parents, teachers, and friends. We are supposed to dress a certain way. We are supposed to talk a certain way. The beliefs and rules that others live by are passed on to us as we grow. And now we are far less tree than before.

Back to Being Free

The good news is that we can get back most of that lost freedom, while still knowing that fire burns. We can become open-minded again and learn that just because it is part of our social structure doesn’t men it is the best way to do things, or even the right way.

Several things cause me to believe that I may have been dropped as an infant. For one, I have an eye injury in one eye that the doctor says looks like it happened when I was very young. My optic nerve became partially detached from my right eye, It reattached itself, and grew larger than normal for protection. The other reason is that I had an irrational fear of high places. Fortunately, I heard of a program called Psych-K that helped people get over phobias or bad habits. In most cases, this could be done with one weekend workshop. I took the workshop and it cured me of my fear of heights. So in that one area, I got my freedom back.

Other methods work or getting back other kinds of freedom. Suppose you have been taught to have a distrust of people from different places. Visiting other countries can help you learn that there is no need to fear foreigners. Maybe our religious leaders have filled you with the belief that people of certain other faiths are evil. Visiting a place of worship for that faith might awaken you to the truth.

In most cases, it may simply take time and work. Just repeat to yourself regularly that if you don’t have proof of something, you don’t know that it is true. Be open to other beliefs. Be open to other ideas. Each night before going to bed, ask yourself, “Did I let my beliefs and prejudices control me at all today?” If the honest answer is “Yes,” think of how you can do better the next time. Being free again won’t happen overnight, but it can happen.

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ascending soul

Ascending Soul in the Vision of Mary

“Desire said, ‘I did not see you descending, but now I see you ascending. Why are you lying, since you belong to me?’

“The soul answered and said, ‘I saw you, but you did not see me or know me. You perceived the garment I was wearing, but you did not recognize me.’ After the soul said this, she left, rejoicing greatly. The soul approached the third power, called ignorance.

“The power questioned the soul, saying, ‘Where are you going? You are bound by wickedness, you are bound, so do not pass judgment.’

“The soul said, ‘Why do you pass judgment on me, though I have not passed judgment? I was bound, but I have not bound. I was not recognized, but I have recognized that all is to be dissolved, both what is earthly and what is heavenly.’

“When the soul overcame the third power, she ascended and saw the fourth power. It took seven forms: The first form is darkness, the second, desire, the third, ignorance, the fourth, death wish, the fifth, fleshly kingdom, the sixth, foolish fleshly wisdom, the seventh, angry person’s wisdom. These are the seven powers of wrath.

“The powers asked the soul, ‘Where are you coming from, slayer of humans, and where are you going, conqueror of space?’

“The soul answered and said, ‘What binds me is slain, what surrounds me is destroyed, my desire is gone, ignorance is dead. In a world I was freed through another world, and in an image I was freed through a heavenly image. This is the fetter of forgetfulness that exists in the world of time. From now on I shall rest, through time, age, and aeon, in silence.’” ~Gospel of Mary

Ascending Soul

Desire, which in the quote is the name of some dark entity or demon, says it did not see the soul descending, but now it sees it ascending. It then accuses the soul of lying because, it claims, the soul belongs to the dark ones.

Desire did not see the soul descending, yet it knows that it happened. So like most things said by dark beings, this is a kind of lie. It may not have witnessed the soul’s descent, but it knows that it happened. Otherwise, the soul would not be in the fallen realm of matter.

But desire does see the ascending soul and makes note of it. Why? Because as far as the dark ones are concerned, it is seeing a prisoner attempting to escape. And they don’t like us to escape. They like to keep us trapped here because they survive by sucking energy out of us.

Garment of the Soul

The soul replies to Desire that it didn’t see him, because it could only see the garment it was wearing and didn’t recognize the soul for what it was. The “garment” is the physical body.

It is hard to believe that a demonic being would not recognize a soul when it is inside a physical body. Yet this statement gives us two important pieces of information. First, we know the the soul is not a part of the physical body. Nor is it a creation of the body. And it certainly isn’t the brain-mind which is attached to the body. Second, it tells us that the soul is independent from the body. The soul exists quite nicely without a physical body. It is not dependent on the physical body. Continue reading “Ascending Soul in the Vision of Mary”

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Divine foreknowledge

Divine Foreknowledge Doesn’t Prevent Free-Will

“Why does a strange discordance break
The ordered scheme’s fair harmony?
Hath god decreed ‘twixt truth and truth
There may such lasting warfare be,
That truths, each severally plain,
We strive to reconcile in vain? …

“Ah! Then why burns man’s restless mind
Truth’s hidden portals to unclose?
Knows he already what he seeks?
Why toil to seek it, if he knows?
Yet, haply if he knoweth not,
Why blindly seek he knows not what? …

“For neither does he know in full,
Nor is he reft of knowledge quite;
But, holding till to what is left,
He gropes in the uncertain light,
And by the part that still survives
To win back all he bravely strives. …

“The movement of human reasoning cannot cope with the simplicity of the Divine foreknowledge; for it is a conception of its nature in any wise be framed, no shadow of uncertainty would remain. … First, I inquire into the reasons why thou are dissatisfied with the solution proposed, which is to the effect that, seeing the fact of foreknowledge is not thought the cause of the necessity of future events, foreknowledge is not to be deemed any hindrance to the freedom of the will.” ~Boethius

Divine Foreknowledge

The concept of Divine Foreknowledge is a simple one. It basically means that God not only knows everything that has happened, and everything that is happening, but also everything that will happen. Most agree that this must be true, or God would not be God, he would not be all-knowing, if He didn’t know the future.

The truth of it is, that much like divinely inspired prophets, God doesn’t see what will happen, but what might happen. The future is full of possibilities. Some of those possibilities are more likely to occur than others. God can see which ones will most likely happen. If it isn’t what He wants to happen, and if it is something important enough, He may intervene to get things back on the right path. Yet, that does not block free will, such as it is.

Hidden Truth

Why should any truth be hidden from man? For the most part, the answer is that we have hidden it from ourselves. Not directly, of course. We would have to have knowledge of the thing before we could hide it, and that would create a paradox. Yet psychologists know that it happens. For example, a person who may have been raped or otherwise harmed as a child may suppress that knowledge. Some hide it so well, that it takes many sessions of treatment to bring it to the surface again.

But in this case, the hidden knowledge Boethius refers to is knowledge that was hidden by our ancestors. When they “fell” from the realms of spirit into the realm of matter, it was difficult on them to remember their origin. It would be like a homeless beggar remembering that he was one the son of a king after that kind was killed and replaced. So they pushed it to the back of their minds and, over time, completely forgot.

Foreknowledge and Free-Will

Most believe that if Divine foreknowledge exists, than free-will cannot exist. While that is somewhat true, it isn’t entirely true. As I already mentioned, with Divine Foreknowledge, God sees possibilities, not exactly what will happen in detail. He may know, for example, that some act needs to be done, and one of five people will do it. He doesn’t know exactly which one until it happens. So that means that those five people still have some free will.

On many unimportant things, God simply pays no attention to them. He doesn’t care which shirt you wear today or what you have or breakfast. Therefore, he has no used forethought to see such things. So you remain free to choose your shirt and breakfast using your own free will. On the other hand, you can’t use free will to stop breathing for two hours. You would die if you did. But if you try, you will likely find that your body won’t let you do it. So free-will does exist despite the existence of Divine Foreknowledge. But free will is limited.

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fantasy

Fantasies and Speculations Don’t Bring Enlightenment

“Whereas the enlightened man, by virtue of the Divine Light, is simple and stable and free from curious considerations, these others are manifold and restless and full of subtle reasonings and reflections, and they do not taste inward unity, nor the satisfaction which is without images. …

:Whereas the enlightened man possesses a wisdom impoured by God, wherein he knows and distinguishes the truth without effort, these [other] men have shrewd and sudden notions, with which they work their imagination, and which they display and develop with much cunning. But their ground is barren and they cannot bring forth fruitful doctrine. … And thereby inward men are troubled and led astray. They neither lead nor point to unity; but they teach subtle observations in multiplicity.” ~John of Ruysbroeck

Simple and Stable

Humility is the crown worn by the awakened person. We shouldn’t say “enlightened”, because enlightenment is not something that happens suddenly like turning on a light switch. It is a process that continues for many years. It even continue after physical death, if we are already on that path when we die.

Spiritual people are simple because they understand that the world of matter is illusion. Therefore, the collection of material wealth doesn’t appeal to them. It would be like a child collecting comic books. Most of us grow up and lose interest in such things. We don’t get stuck in fantasy.

Spiritual people are also stable people. Not just in the sense of being mentally stable, but also emotionally. They rarely get angry, jealous, or envious. At least not to the point of being overwhelmed by it. We may feel sadness, or even some anger, when we see animals being abused, but we rarely get overwhelmed by it. Most of us know the story of Jesus getting angry at the temple and throwing over the tables of the money changers and animal vendors. Few understand that he was angry about all those innocent animals being killed in a mockery of true religion. Even fewer understand that when it was over, Jesus was shocked with himself for becoming so emotional, and went off into the wilderness to be alone and recover. Continue reading “Fantasies and Speculations Don’t Bring Enlightenment”

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