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.

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”

free will, discrimination

Degrees of Freedom and Free Will

“There is freedom; nor indeed can any creature be rational, unless he be endowed with free will. For that which has the natural use of reason has the faculty of discriminative judgment, and of itself distinguishes what is to be shunned or desired. Now, everyone seek what he judges desirable, and avoids what he thinks should be shunned. Wherefore, beings endowed with reason possess also the faculty of free choice and refusal. But I suppose this faculty not equal alike in all. The higher divine essences possess a clear-sighted judgment, an uncorrupt will, and an effective power of accomplishing their wishes. Human souls must needs be comparatively free while they abide in the contemplation of the Divine Mind, less free when they pass into bodily form, and still less again when they are en-wrapped in earthly members.” ~Boethius

Freedom and Free Will

It is impossible to do either good or evil if you don’t have any free will. A good deed is good only if you choose to do it. Therefore, we have to be able to choose. That doesn’t mean, however that we have free choice in everything. We can’t choose to stop breathing for hours at a time. We can’t choose completely stop eating. But we can choose, within legal restriction, what we eat.

Boethius says different beings have different degrees of free will. That makes perfect sense to me. Continue reading “Degrees of Freedom and Free Will”

freedom, free-will or fate

Freedom, Fate, Reason and the Soul

“’I am following needfully,’ said I, ‘and I agree that it is as thou sayest. But in this series of linked causes is there any freedom left to our will, or does the chain of fate bind also the very motions of our souls?’

“’There is freedom,’ said she, ‘nor indeed can any creature be rational, unless he be endowed with free will. For that which hath the natural use of reason has the faculty of discriminative judgment, and of itself distinguishes what is to be shunned or desired. Now everyone seeks what he judges desirable, and avoids what he thinks should be shunned. Wherefore, beings endowed with reason possess also the faculty of free choice and refusal. But I suppose this faculty not equal in all. The higher divine essences possess a clear-sighted judgment. … Human souls must needs be comparatively free.’” ~Boethus

Cause and Effect

In his fictional dialog that Boethus is having with Philosophy, he has been told that life is a string of one cause creating an effect that creates another effect, and so on. In short, that Karma is real and fate is real. That when you jump off a cliff, you will fall to the ground. Action determines reaction.

This seems to deny the possibility of any kind of free will. Philosophy, however denies that. She says free will does exist.

Freedom and Fate

Hot and cold, male and female, free-will and fate. Just another manifestation of the Yin-Yang power. In the realm of matter, everything has its opposite. All movement, all change, takes place when the two opposites interact. So in order for much of anything to happen, both fate and freedom must exist. In one case, freedom may win out. In another, it will be fates turn to get the upper hand. But in many cases, it is more of a compromise. So for a given cause, there may actually be several possible results. Fate requires that one of them happen. Free-will give us the ability to choose which.

Lets look at a hypothetical example. Suppose I steal something valuable that I have not earned. Fate (or Karma) says I have to pay for it eventually. I could be given a severe illness as punishment. I could have something of even greater value stolen from me. Or I could see the light, and return the thing to the person I took it from. I can make the last choice using my free will. If I don’t make a choice, fate will do it and it will probably be some less easy to bear. So both fate and free will can exist and play a part in the same total event.

Reason and Freedom

I’m not sure how anyone can say that man has a reasoning mind, yet has no free will at all. If everything is determined by fate, what would be the point of having a reasoning mind? Reason is all about making choices. If all choices are actually predetermined by fate and karma, a reasoning mind would be a joke. That is not the case, however. We do have a certain degree of freedom, so we need a reasoning mind. We even have some freedom in making big decisions, not just selecting what socks to wear today. Where fate and karma come into it is that although we have free will, there are still consequences for making bad choices.

Freedom and the Soul

Unfortunately, no matter how smart you are, your reasoning mind sometimes makes bad choices. That is especially true when it comes to the development of your spiritual side or higher Self. But if we make the effort to awaken our soul, the soul can advise the reasoning mind. Since the soul has access to all knowledge and truth, it makes much better decisions than the mind. So exercise your limited free will, but awaken your soul to help use it wisely.