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Posted on 06-03-2018
The Gift of Spiritual Freedom
By Milton Mayr
Over the years, I have come to appreciate the gift of spiritual freedom granted to us by God. Harold Klemp, the spiritual leader of Eckankar, the Path of Spiritual Freedom, has stated that “spiritual freedom underlies all freedom.”[i]
What does it mean to be spiritually free?
For the most part, we are taught from an early age that this is our only life. At the end of this life, we either go to some promised afterlife or we simply cease to exist. There are many people, however, who do not see our existence in such simple terms. They consider their lives to be an exquisite tapestry—a symphony of complex rhythms and harmonies supported by a deep undercurrent that connects all things, all beings, all experiences, and all events.
When I was a boy growing up in Alaska, I would often spend time in the cold arctic air, gazing up at the seemingly infinite blanket of stars. I marveled at the stunning display—God’s canopy upon which was painted millions of brilliant points of light; the wispy, gentle glow of the Milky Way; and, on certain nights, the effervescent dance of the northern lights. All enticed me to ask the age-old questions, What am I? Who am I? Why am I?
My journey for true answers eventually led me to Eckankar, a body of spiritual teachings different and unique, yet at once familiar. I learned that all religions and spiritual paths are valid and important. The Eckankar teachings stress that God is divine love and that all creation springs from that fountain of love. Simply put, God loves all life equally without favoring one person, one nation, one race, or one way of belief over another. This is not what I had been taught to believe as a child.
One of the fundamental Eckankar teachings is that my true identity is Soul and that I have a mind and physical body that I use for experience. This is contrary to the common belief that “I” am made up of a mind, body, and personality that possess some undefinable thing called a soul. I discovered that, as Soul, I am on a journey of Self-Realization and God-Realization—a journey that transcends lifetimes. As the body and mind wear out, Soul comes back to a new body and mind, continuing its journey, living one lifetime as a woman, another as a man; a lifetime in Asia, another in Europe; a life of privilege and riches, another of despair and poverty. Soul adopts whatever roles it needs to learn more about itself and God.
The spiritual freedom that God has granted Soul is the freedom to explore all facets of life, unbound by a single lifetime or a need to fear eternal judgement following this one. However, before the fruits of spiritual freedom can be enjoyed, that freedom must first be realized. Spiritual freedom begins with accepting total self-responsibility for all our thoughts, words, actions, and emotions. We are the creators of our world, a world where we can neither blame nor credit others for our life situations.
Realizing spiritual freedom and accepting total responsibility for our lives requires understanding the spiritual laws of life. These laws are as changeless as are the laws of nature ... like gravity. You cannot challenge a spiritual law in court. Nor can you hide from it. One such law is the Law of Karma, which governs cause and effect (for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction, even at the emotional and mental levels). Karma assures that you reap what you sow. Another law, the Law of Facsimiles, governs the principle that “all effects in life are brought about by the thoughts and pictures in the mind of the individual.”[ii]
I’ve only scratched the surface. Many more spiritual laws govern how we experience life in ways that benefit us. Understanding those laws and living in harmony with them is paramount to Soul expanding in consciousness and grace.
The gift of spiritual freedom given by God to Soul is a gift beyond measure. It is a gift of choice. Soul is given complete freedom to choose how it wishes to live and what it wishes to experience and learn. The spiritual laws of life serve as guideposts to aid Soul in its journey to Self- and God-Realization. Soul becomes the conscious, active participant in the spiritual creation and not simply an unconscious effect of life.
For more information about Eckankar, or about a spiritual freedom seminar in August, please see the ad on page xx.
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