LIBERTY

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LIBERTY

 

Stone: Star Sapphire

The Mantra: Om Namah Shivaya

Note: While freedom includes dissolving all psychological conditionings in our mind, the term Liberty applies more to not to be subject to external limitations and repressive laws.

 

The Key:

 

Liberty is only about external restrictions: concentrate instead

in achieving your inner freedom.

 

– Bakunin introduces the issue with the main point:

 

The liberty of man consists solely in this: that he obeys natural laws

because he has himself recognized them as such,

 

and not because they have been externally imposed upon him by any extrinsic will whatever, divine or human, collective or individual.

 

What are really these “natural laws”?

Lord Acton agrees:

 

By liberty I mean the assurance that every man shall be protected in doing

what he believes his duty against the influence of authority

and majorities, custom and opinion.

 

Ingersoll points out that:

 

The most important thing in this world is liberty. More important

than food or clothes –

 

more important than gold or houses or lands – more important than art

or science – more important than all religions, is the liberty of man.

 

He meant freedom, which is so much more important than liberty, which is mostly concerned about the external world.

As Sri Aurobindo noted,

 

The apparent liberty of this personal being to whom we are so deeply attached hide the pitiful subjection to thousands of suggestions, impulses and forces that we have believed extraneous to our small person.

 

Our ego who boasts of being free is every instant the slave, the plaything

and the puppet of countless beings, powers and influences

from the universal Nature.

 

Gandhi adds that:

 

To deprive a man of his natural liberty…is worse than starving the body;

it is starvation of the soul, the dweller in the body.

Benjamin Franklin has a warning:

 

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety

deserve neither liberty nor safety.

 

G.B. Shaw noted that:

 

Liberty means responsibility. That is why

most men dread it.

 

What about you?

As Clarence Darrow said,

 

You can only protect your liberties in this world by protecting

the other man’s freedom. You can only be free

if I am free.

 

Why?

Auberon Herbert makes an essential point:

 

To live in a state of liberty is not to live apart from law.

 

It is, on the contrary, to live under the highest law,

 

the only law that can really profit a man, the law which is consciously

and deliberately imposed by himself on himself.

R. Williams makes a joke about Liberty in the present times:

 

The Statue of Liberty is no longer saying, “Give me your poor, your tired,

your huddled masses.” She’s got a baseball bat and yelling,

“You want a piece of me?”

 

Words of Power:

 

Concentrate in achieving your inner freedom, and the Divine

will give you the liberty you need as well.

 

“The liberty of the individual is a necessary postulate

of human progress.” Ernest Renan

 

”Liberty is not a cruise ship full of pampered passengers. Liberty

is aman-of-war, and we are allcrew.” K. W. Royce

 

“Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty.

The obedient must be slaves.”

Thoreau

 

Question/ko’han 1 and 2:

What does liberty means to you personally?

Why?

Question/ko’han 3:

According to Fernando Passoa, liberty is the possibility of isolation.

 

How so?

Question/ko’han 4 and 5:

E. B. Du Bois said that

 

The cost of liberty is less than the price of repression.

 

What is the price of repression for you personally?

Why?

Question/ko’han 6 and 7:

According to Ramesh Balsekar,

 

Liberty is the liberty from the idea that we have of ourselves, because

the only slavery is the idea of a “me”.

 

Which idea do you have of yourself?

How will you become free of the idea of “me”?

 

Sri Aurobindo has the last word and sums it all up thus:

 

The apparent liberty of this personal being to whom we are

so deeply attached hide the pitiful subjection

to thousands of suggestions,

 

impulses and forces that we have believed extraneous to our small person.

 

Our ego who boasts of being free is every instant the slave, the plaything

and the puppet of countless beings, powers and influences

from the universal Nature.

Practice:

 

1) Consider this passage of Montesquieu

 

There is no word that has admitted of more various significations,

and made more different impressions on human minds,

than that of Liberty.

 

Some have taken it for a facility of deposing a person on whom they had conferred a tyrannical authority; others for the power of choosing a person whom they are obliged to obey; others for the right of bearing arms, and of being thereby enabled to use violence, others in fine for the privilege of being governed by a native of their own country or by their own laws.
Some have annexed this name to one form of government, in exclusion of others…

 

Thus they all have applied the name of liberty to the government

most conformable to their own customs and inclinations.

 

2) Follow the Maitrayana Brahmana Upanishad’s advice:

 

Let a man stand free from will, imagination, and belief – this is the sign of liberty,

the path that leads to Brahman, the opening of the door, and through it

he will go to the other shore of the darkness.

 

All desires are there fulfilled.

 

However, this applies more to inner freedom than liberty.

 

3) Meditate on these words of Sri Aurobindo:

 

The apparent liberty of this personal being to whom we are so deeply attached hide the pitiful subjection to thousands of suggestions, impulses and forces that we have believed extraneous to our small person.

 

Our ego who boasts of being free is every instant the slave, the plaything

and the puppet of countless beings, powers and influences

from the universal Nature.

 

 

 

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