DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FREEDOM AND LIBERTY
When we say “I want freedom to anything that I want” what we’re really asking for is anarchy, and that’s not particularly a good thing. Anarchy is disorder, chaos, and mayhem. What we’re really desiring is LIBERTY. Liberty grants us “freedom” but with certain necessary guidelines. Not just for one person, but for all people.
“Give me liberty, or give me death”
~Patrick Henry – 1775
So, do I have the freedom to go to the shopping mall and walk around? Yes … but with certain guidelines. I can only go during business hours when they are open. I can’t walk around in my underwear. I can’t brandish a weapon, etc. You get what I’m saying. This “freedom” that I have, to go to the mall, is essentially liberty … which is freedom within conforming guidelines. This keeps order for not only me but for the general public at large … for the better good of all.
Now let’s take this into another arena. When I walk my dog, I walk him on a leash. The main reason I do this is for his own good. To protect him from harm or injury. By having him on a leash, he is able to walk around freely (within certain parameters and guidelines) and he remains safe from getting hit by a car or anything else that might be harmful. He has liberty on his walk. If I just turned him loose … gave him his “freedom” to do whatever he wanted, chaos would ensue correct? So the leash is for his own good and for the good of others, both animal and human.
Now … one more step into yet another arena. Let’s look at ego and Spirit. The two central powers within us that bring either chaos, or order. The ego wants freedom to do anything that it wishes without any concern for the consequences. On the other hand, we have Spirit. Spirit defaults at what is best for all. When we let Spirit lead, and ego follow, we have peace and harmony for everyone. Mutual benefit. But when we let ego lead … anything can happen and usually does.
If you are familiar with the Biblical text from Matthew 16:23 it says:
“Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan (adversary)! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God (Divine Source), but merely human concerns (egocentric man).”
The deeper teaching contained in this verse is much more powerful than the literal and historical translation. What is being said allegorically and in an esoteric content is:
“Get behind me ego, you’re ill-equipped to lead my path. You have an egocentric agenda that benefits only self. With you behind me, Spirit can now lead with insight, Wisdom, and goodness for all.”
So you see … as a dog is on a leash for it’s own safety and protection and is being led by it’s Master (the one who knows better), so should we be on a spiritual leash with the power within us that knows best. If we leave things up to our ego to make decisions, we will more than likely have to face consequences. If we set aside the ego, and let Spirit lead us … there will be only benefit not only for us, but for everyone. Ego wants freedom (chaos). Spirit understands liberty (order).
Just a thought …
Justin Taylor, ORDM.
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