As Americans, we do not question whether we are free or not. We assume that we are free, by virtue of where we live. And yet, we favor policies that will restrict our freedoms. Paradox? Or self-delusion?
In essence, most people believe in the freedom of all—as long as everyone agrees with their point of view. If you are a religious conservative, you are fine with freedom—unless you are gay and want to marry, or you want universal access to birth control. If you are an atheist, you are fine with freedom—as long as no one ever mentions God. If you are a liberal, you are fine with freedom—unless you want to own a gun. The list of “exceptions” is endless.
In a truly free society, every opinion, every choice, every way of living or being is welcome. There are no boundaries, no exceptions, and no box for true freedom. And this scares the heck out of people.
It’s a given that there is always someone in the world who will challenge your beliefs and your way of thinking. If everyone is truly free to express themselves in their truth, you will readily find someone who will challenge the borders of your box. And that can be truly frightening. We use our boxes to feel safe and secure. We seek out those who will agree with how the box should look to validate our own beliefs. So when someone comes across our path who is living out loud outside of our box, we react with fear.
Fear is the tool of the Ego, and we can probably attribute the source of every problem in the world to this little god. Fear keeps us trapped in our boxes, from where we can judge an “us” and a “them.” Fear encourages us to give our power to those who care about their own interests, rather than the highest good. Fear makes slaves of us all.
Fear is also the author of the great counter-argument to Freedom: what about those who would kill us? What about murderers, thieves, and abusers? Surely they do not deserve the freedom to do as they please. This is a complex question, and the issue is largely one of context. Should you be free to kill? Most of us agree we should not; however, under certain circumstances, we are currently free to do so. If you are in the military, you are free to kill the enemy. If you are defending your life from another, you are free to kill your assailant. The state is free to kill convicted murderers or those convicted of treason.
Really, this question is about the age-old struggle of the rights of the individual vs. the rights of society. But is it really an issue? The answer is probably best answered by the Wiccan rede: “An it do no harm, do what thou will.” In a truly free society, the individuals are free to be who they are and how they are, but they must also respect the choices and the existence of others.
In other words, people have the right to exist, whether you agree with them or not. Fear makes people believe that those in opposition should not exist; if the “enemy” no longer exists, frightened people don’t have to be challenged by their beliefs. This is the path of terrorism, genocide, and fascism. “If I can kill it or make it go away, then I won’t have to examine my own beliefs.”
Everyone feels that their beliefs are “right.” If they didn’t, they wouldn’t think them. No one wakes up and decides that they are going to make “wrong” or “bad” decisions all day. Each person operates from their own sense of “rightness,” which may be completely in opposition to someone else’s views. Does that make the other person “wrong?” No, it means that they are both right. And, they are both wrong.
Right and wrong is a matter of perspective. For the farmer, if a thief steals his produce, the farmer may feel anxious that he will not have enough of his crop to feed his own family, store food for the winter, and provide seed for the following season. From the farmer’s perspective, the thief is wrong to benefit from the farmer’s labor and threaten the farmer’s security. The thief, on the other hand, may not have land of his own and may simply be trying to survive and feed his family. From the thief’s perspective, the farmer is wealthy and can afford to share his crop with someone in dire need. In this scenario, there is no right or wrong. In any scenario, there is no right or wrong.
Freedoms are often curtailed because they are considered to be “wrong” (morally, religiously, empirically), while the restriction on these freedoms is hailed as “right.” It is another way of saying, “You are wrong to do this, so we want to stop you from doing it.” This is, quite simply, tyranny. It is also an attempt to control that which cannot be controlled: the choices of others.
This back and forth, the ritual of “right and wrong,” is as old as duality. The thing is, duality is ending. And with its end comes the birth of True Freedom. Are you ready for that? Are you ready for what that’s going to look like? Are you ready to allow other points of view, other boxes, or even no boxes at all? Are you ready for the infinite possibilities that each of us embodies and can manifest, right here on this earth?
For those of us who thought we believed in “freedom,” the task may be hardest. We haven’t really believed in freedom—there were too many exceptions, which isn’t freedom at all. But freedom is coming. We are each a divine co-creator. We can create whatever we want, be however we want. But we also have a responsibility to the whole, to the highest good of all. This will require us to choose our thoughts carefully. The vibrational shift we are experiencing, the great change that is upon us, right now, is causing our thoughts and choices to manifest at an accelerated rate. Yes, we are free to make choices that do not serve us, or that do not serve the highest good, but we will be held accountable for what we choose, because we will experience the results ourselves.
In the past, many have defied convention to speak their truth and to live their truth. Many of these visionaries were silenced by those who feared their words and their vision. The list is long: Christ; Joan of Arc; Galileo; Martin Luther King, Jr.; and the many nameless victims, including those accused of witchcraft, heretics, and the politically “inconvenient.” Those days are ending. If you are still trapped in fear, you will suffer, because you believe that you must. But if you can overcome your fear, you will find your freedom, and you will contribute to the freedom of others. As always, it is a choice.