A Perspective on Freedom
Updated: Apr 15, 2022
Before I share my thoughts, I would like to define one word I’m going to use:
EGO – According to A Course in Miracles, it is the thoughts, ideas, beliefs I have that arise from the central idea that I am an autonomous separate entity, in a body, with my own thoughts in a mind that’s in my brain. I am separated from every other person who is also in a body, each with their own ideas and beliefs in their own brains. There are “right” and “wrong” people, “good” and “bad” groups, and infinite forms in which we carve out and divide ourselves from others. All these ideas engender fear, anxiety, suffering, pain, anger, etc. Not only am I separate from others, this thought system postulates, but we are all also separate from Source (God, Universe, etc.). So entrenched are these beliefs that I don’t even stop to question if they are correct or even true.
This is the thought system of the ego. It is based on SEPARATION.
And ego is very clever in its interpretations of ideas we hold sacred. Freedom is one of them.
On the one extreme, there’s the idea that freedom has to do with what’s good for me, what works for me, what brings me happiness. Of course, whoever tries to make me do anything that I don’t consider good for me, I resist. I attack. I protest. I feel justified in my attacks and defense because my freedom is being threatened. This all makes sense, of course, since the very foundation of the ego’s thought system is separation.
On the other extreme, there’s the idea that freedom is about sacrifice, about doing what’s good for all, that what I do for others I do for myself, and if I am asked to give up some “rights” or comforts in order that the whole may benefit, then I will do my part because that’s what a responsible, caring human being would do for another. I, too, feel justified in my attacks and defense because the freedom of all is being threatened. Once again, we see the idea that I am separate at play.
Who’s right? Who’s wrong?
Into this terrain steps Spirit with the thought system based on our oneness with all life, and with the Creator of all life, as the only Truth. Indisputable. Unchangeable. Unchanging. Unchanged by whatever ego wants us to think. Spirit says:
“You are mistaken about who you are. You have believed an IDEA of who you and your brothers are that is 100% false…but accepted as truth.
You have so divided and sub-divided what is One that you no longer recognize Oneness.
You think you can be separate from God and what God created, an absurd impossibility in the realms of Truth that should be laughed at and dismissed…but that you take as fact.
You look upon the world as if it were “real” when it is nothing but shadows upon shadows that you have cast upon what is Holy, Sacred, Pure, Perfect, Innocent. You have taken the pure gift of creation that God has given you and given it to the ego, believing all it was telling you about yourself and others, and accepting what it is showing you as truth.”
NONE of it is real because NONE of it is true.
ALL of it is based on a false idea that we have accepted as truth.
The ego’s ideas of freedom feed the separation of one brother from another, keeping us all attacking and defending, distracted from looking beyond it to the Truth of Who we all are and to contemplate whether perhaps there is another way.
No one is free who imprisons his brother with any thought that is not born of love.
No one is free who thinks he is separate from his brother.
No one is free who believes his brother is anything other than the Holy, Innocent Child of the Divine.
Until I accept this as the truth of who I AM, I will never accept it as the truth of who my brother is. And thus do we both remain imprisoned.
This is the inner work both Alberto and I have been doing. It’s frankly the only practice we have. As imperfectly as we do it, we will not stop seeing our brother as the Holy Child of God. I (and he) refuse to accept as real what the world is showing me. I refuse to accept as truth the ideas of my ego. I am willing to let them go. I give them to the One who can correct them all, leaving nothing but Love in their place.
These are words from A Course in Miracles that I find especially helpful at times like this when I want to liberate not only myself, but my brother along with me. I want to liberate us both from the ideas I have and that I am casting upon him as a veil shrouding my awareness of his Magnificence from me… and shrouding my awareness of my Magnificence from me too. May they serve you in your practice as well:
“⁵(Brother), I give you to the Holy Spirit (God, Source, Jesus…) as part of myself.
⁶I know that you will be released, unless I want to use you to imprison myself.
⁷In the name of my freedom I choose your release, because I recognize that we will (only) be released together.
https://acim.org/acim/en/s/200#10:5-7 | T-15.XI.10:5-7