Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Freedom, Independence, Equality

America is the fact, the symbol and the promise of a new beginning. And in human life, in our lives as they are, this possiblility is among the most sacred aspects of existence. All that is old and already formed can continue to live only if it allows within itself the conditions for a new beginning. Life itself is the mysterious, incomprehensible blending of the new and the old, of what already is and what is coming into being. The question of America is there: if America loses the meaning of its existence and if, in fact, America is now the dominant cultural influence in the world, then what will become of the world? The question of America leads all of us directly into the question of the purpose and destiny of human life itself in this era.

Our task, our place in the scheme of creation, is to become conscious instruments of action on earth under the aegis of divine law and love. But, in order to fulfill this role, we must work to trascend the sense of self-identity that society thrusts upon us and that prevents us from recognizing our own inner self and its power to serve the good. In this ancient teaching, freedom is understood not as the license to obey one's desires but as obedient submission to a deep inner law; independence is understood as the discovery of one's own authentic self, which--although it may seem paradoxical--is also a mirror of the common cosmic Selfhood; equality is understood as every human being's right to seek the truth and to be allowed to give his or her light to the common welfare.

From: The American Soul, Rediscovering The Wisdom Of The Founders, by Jacob Needleman


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