The angel is free because of his knowledge,
the beast because of his ignorance.
Between the two remains the son of man to struggle.
Rumi, Fihi Ma Fihi #17, quoted in: Helminski, Kabir (2000). The Rumi Collection. P.16.
One single moment of the madness of extreme love of God brings us eternal freedom. Vivekananda, quoted in: Nikhilananda, Vivekananda, A Biography, P.193.
"Freedom from dominion, freedom to live one's own spiritual life, freedom to seek the highest truth, unabashed by any human pressure or any collective demand, the ability to say one's own "yes" and one's own "no" and not merely to echo the "yes" and "no" of state, party, corporation, army, or system. This is inseparable from authentic religion. It is one of the deepest and most fundamental needs of man, perhaps the deepest and most crucial need of the human person as such: for without recognizing the challenge of this need no man can truly be a person, and therefore without it he cannot fully be a man either." Merton, Thomas, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander, P. 77 Submitted to Center-L Discussion Group by Gary Horn <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To properly understand prayer, we have to see it in this encounter of
our freedom emerging from the depths of nothingness and undevelopment,
at the call of God. Prayer is freedom and affirmation growing out
of nothingness into love. Prayer is the flowering of our inmost freedom,
in response to the Word of God. Prayer is not only dialogue with
God: it is the communion
of our freedom with his ultimate freedom, his infinite spirit. It is the elevation of our limited freedom into the infinite freedom of the divine spirit, and of divine love. Prayer is the encounter of our freedom with the all-embracing charity which knows no limit and knows no obstacle. Prayer is an emergence into this area of infinite freedom. Merton, Thomas. Contemplation in a World of Action. P. 217. Submitted to L-Center Discussion Group by Gary Horn email@example.com
(…) Dear children, you know that I love you immeasurably and that I desire each of you for myself, but God has given to all a freedom, which I lovingly respect and humbly submit to. (…) Our Lady of Medjugorie, November 25, 1987. Words from Heaven, P. 247.
(…) God gives Himself to you, but He wants you to answer in your freedom to His invitation. That is why, little children, during the day find yourselves a special time when you can pray in peace and humility and have this meeting with God, your Creator. (…) Our Lady of Medjugorie, November 25, 1988. Words from Heaven, P.252.
(…) When God is with you, you have everything. But when you do not want Him, then you are miserable and lost (…) Our Lady of Medjugorie, December 25, 1991. Words from Heaven, P.265.
God is the only living presence within us, our only true bliss and freedom. Ramakrishna, quoted after: Novak Philip, The World's Wisdom, P.42.
When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!" Fragments of the famous "I have a dream" speech by Martin Luther King, quoted after: Novak Philip, The World's Wisdom, P.226.
You are limited now, but when by deep, daily meditation you become able to transfer your consciousness from the finite to the Infinite, you will be free. You are not meant to be a prisoner of the body. You are a child of God. You must live up to that divine birthright. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.28.
When you resign yourself completely to God, when you are never tempted to pray for selfish ends, and when you are sure God is your spirit, that He is your soul and everything else - then you are free. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.135.
He who is playing hide-and-seek in the beauty of flowers, in souls, in noble passions, in dreams, shall come forth and say: "You and I have been apart for a long time, because I desired that you give me your love willingly. You are made in My image, and I wanted to see if you would use your freedom to give Me your love." Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.182.
More confining than stone walls are the prison bars of habit. You carry this invisible prison with you wherever you go. But you can be free! Determine now to break out of the jail of habits and race for freedom. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.185.
(...) the highest way to freedom is to be so merged in the inexhaustible joy of God that you are able to relinquish all wordly pleasures in an instant. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.195.
The soul is bound to the body by a chain of desires, temptations, troubles, and worries, and it is trying to free itself. If you keep tugging at that chain which is holding you to mortal consciousness, someday an invisible Divine Hand will intervene and snap it apart, and you will be free. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.197.
It is not necessary to die in order to claim freedom from attachment to the body. If you commune with God you will see that you are already free. You are not the body. You are eternal spirit. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.220.
One of the most fundamental ideas of Christianity is that the free decision of men to love one another in Christ enables them to cooperate positively and creatively in the definitive manifestation of God on earth (John 17:3-23). (...) This is precisely the "new commandment" which is at the heart of the "new covenant" or "New Testament," that is to say, the new relationship between man and God, the very essence of the teaching of Christianity. The teaching of the Gospel is that men are no longer servants of God, no longer bound merely to complex ritual observances and obscure legal systems known only to experts. Men are free from the domination of abstract religious systems that can only be understood by specialists. They are sons of God and brothers of one another, unified in a community of freedom and love in which their law is love and in which they are guided by the Spirit of God dwelling in the Church and in each of its members - the Spirit of sonship, of freedom and of love. Thomas Merton, Love and Living. Submitted by Gary Horn.
The best way to find true freedom is to meditate deeply. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.244.
The greatest thing I can obtain is myself. I am free - therefore, I require none else for my happiness. Alone through eternity - because I was free, am free, and will remain free for ever. (...) Yes, I am. I am free - Alone - Alone. I am the One without a second. Vivekananda, quoted in: Nikhilananda, Vivekananda, A Biography, P.158.
Each wave in the mind that says "I" and "mine" immediately puts a chain round us and makes us slaves; and the more we say "I" and "mine" the more our slavery grows, the more our misery increases. (...) Vivekananda, quoted in: Nikhilananda, Vivekananda, A Biography, P.192.
Vedanta says that you are free and not free at the same time: never free on the earthly plane, but ever free on the spiritual. Vivekananda, quoted in: Nikhilananda, Vivekananda, A Biography, P.210.
All desires are bad, but some are worse than others. Pursue any desire,
it will always give you trouble. Why desire at all? Desiring a state
of freedom from desire will not set you free. Nothing can set you
free, because you are free. See yourself with
desireless clarity, that is all. Nisargadatta Maharaj, "I Am That."
I am an American jew who proudly recalls that on the Independence Bell is inscribed the words from the Hebrew Bible, "And you shall proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants..." So I shall live and labor to the end that all be set free, and that this spirit rule over all sons and daughters of humanity. Stephen Wise (1874-1949, USA), As I See It, quoted in: Michael Shire, The Jewish Prophet, P.105.
Come and be Love's willing slave,
for Love's slavery will save you.
Forsake the slavery of this world
and take up Love's sweet service.
The free, the world enslaves,
but to slaves Love grants freedom.
I crave release from this world
like a bird from its egg; (...)
Rumi, quoted in: Helminski, Kabir (2000). The Rumi Collection. P.152.
Take someone who doesn't keep score,
who's not looking to be richer, or afraid of losing,
who has not slightest interest even
in his own personality: he's free.
Rumi, Furuzanfar #116, quoted in: Helminski, Kabir (2000). The Rumi Collection. P.181.
To remove everything into this area of total indetermination is not to "liberate" the person but to reduce him to passivity and inertia. "Freedom" then becomes merely another name for infantile regression. Then there is no other truth and reality than the arbitrariness of feeling. Feeling itself, without discipline or culture, loses all its tone. Fidelity is impossible. The logical end of this deterioration comes when conscious fidelity is replaced by an addiction - drugs, alcohol, sex, or just plain business. Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander, P.197.
Made free, in the image of God, man's freedom contains in itself a demand for infinite freedom of God, not only as an external norm, but as the source of our own love. Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander, P.329.
Christ was not condemned to death by the divine justice. He came into the world, was made man in order to live perfectly as man, in the freedom and truth of man, to do what was fitting for man, and thus to save other men. (...) He could justly have used his power to save man in some other way, but He preferred explicitly to save man by a renunciation of power. Therefore He willingly and freely underwent death. The Father willed the salvation of man but left Christ entirely free to choose His own means. Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander, P.341.
Christ as man chose the way of total poverty, humiliation, self-emptying, since in this way He was most completely identified with man, and also most freely witnessed to the nature of love as supreme freedom - a freedom that is not limited or stayed even by death. Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander, P.342.
Balthazar: (...) He (the Christ - P.R.) has come to tell you, let this child be born. He will suffer, it's true. But that isn't any of your business. Don't pity his suffering; you have no right to. It will be his business alone, and he'll make exactly what he wants of it, because he will be free. Even if he is lame, even if he has to go to war and lose his arms or legs there, even if the woman he loves betrays him seven times, he is free, free to rejoice eternally in his existence. (...) Bariona, or the Son of Thunder. [In]: The Writings of Jean-Paul Sartre. Vol.2. P.130.
(Man)(...) is free because he can always choose to accept his lot with resignation or rebel against it. The Writings of Jean-Paul Sartre. Vol.2. P.159.
(...) the philosopher must be above all a free man, and not a slave of the passions who can be bought or sold. A man of upright life can be the slave of others and yet suffer no harm; but to be enslaved to the passions and pleasures brings a man into disgrace and great ridicule. St. Neilos the Ascetic (died around the year 430 CE), quoted in: The Philokalia, Vol. I., P.200.
Similarly, when a slave has come to love his master and his own wife and children, he may reject true freedom because of his bonds of physical kinship; and so he becomes a slave for ever, allowing his ear to be pierced through with an awl (cf. Exod. 21:6). He will never hear the word that can set him free, but will remain perpetually a slave in his love for present things. St. Neilos the Ascetic (died around the year 430 CE), quoted in: The Philokalia, Vol. I., P.236.
All men are made in God's image; but to be in His likeness is granted only to those who through great love have brought their own freedom into subjection to God. St. Diadochos of Photiki (circa 400-486 CE), quoted in Philokalia, Vol. I., P.253.
I have found here at Simonos Petras the kind of community I have always idealized - a community that really runs on love. There are no strict rules or expectations. The men come to the Service because they want to, they do their work because they want to, they keep silence and prayer because they want to. Pennington, Basil. (1978). O Holy Mountain! Journal of a Retreat on Mount Athos. P.20.
I asked the Elder to say more about (…) how he helped a man to come into his freedom. First, the Gerontas replied, he tries to help him to realize in his mind and sense in his heart that God the Father loves him and that Christ has redeemed him from his sin and bondage. He must come to accept himself (…), as a human being. Then he must be freed from all his doings and achieving, realizing nothing is gained by these but that it is all God’s doing. Then he is guided into self-denial (…). He is thus cleansed and open to receive the Holy Spirit, who will continue to guide him into the mystic experience of the light from Christ’s Face. (…) At this point the Spiritual Father steps to the corner and rejoices and worships what the Lord is doing in his son. Pennington, Basil. (1978). O Holy Mountain! Journal of a Retreat on Mount Athos. P.182-3.
The Gerontas stressed that the prayer of the Spiritual father is the most important part of spiritual paternity and of helping his sons to freedom. Sons have to be left to exercise their freedom, even to do what the Spiritual Father thinks is not good – to make mistakes and to sin. Through all this they will grow and come back to God. Pennington, Basil. (1978). O Holy Mountain! Journal of a Retreat on Mount Athos. P.183-4.
All this makes me appreciate more and more, on a very existential level, the value of that freedom of passionlessness, freedom from curiosity, from possessiveness, the freedom of the true adorer who can see each thing in its God Presence and go on adoring without distraction. With such God consciousness, unity consciousness, all is peaceful, unending, deepening prayer. Pennington, Basil. (1978). O Holy Mountain! Journal of a Retreat on Mount Athos. P.187-8.
There is a dog I sometimes take for a walk and turn loose in a field, when I can’t give her that freedom I feel in debt. I hope God thinks like that and is keeping track of all the bliss He owes me. Rabia (c.717-801), quoted in: Ladinsky Daniel (2002). Love Poems from God. Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West. P.20.
Last updated: 2008/10/28
See the related subjects: Detachment, Discipline, Duty, Materialism, Maya, Renunciation, Transcendence