We think of freedom as freedom from control, but in fact the soul does control us if we are at all evolving spiritually. We as souls submit to the control of divine will. We are not entirely free. In fact, there’s a saying from the writings of Alice Bailey that “obedience for the soul lies ahead with freedom in its hand.” Obedience and freedom go together for the soul.

Robert: Welcome to Inner Sight. Today our topic is freedom and throughout the show we’re going to follow the theme that freedom is a state of mind. Consider the following statement, “If you think you can, you can, and if you think you can’t, you’re probably right!” Freedom then, is a state of mind. I also like this thought from Alice Bailey, the founder of the Lucis Trust organization. “This goal of freedom is in reality the main incentive to tread the path of return. One of the most spiritually exciting things taking place in the world today is the use, in every country, of the word FREEDOM. It was that great disciple Franklin D Roosevelt who ‘anchored’ the word in a new and more universal sense. It now has a fuller and deeper meaning to humanity.” Why was the Declaration of The Four Freedoms by President Roosevelt so important?

Sarah: I think it was the time period in which he issued that declaration. It came during World War II, I believe, when virtually the whole of our planet was engaged in a struggle for freedom and the forces of light and the forces of darkness were truly lined up against each other. He was also able to identify perhaps one of humanity’s deepest needs. The writings of Alice Bailey say that liberty is in fact the easiest aspect of the Divine Will that humanity can grasp, so it’s a deeply spiritual urge, this desire for freedom, and Franklin Roosevelt touched on it. Dale, do you remember what those freedoms are?

Dale: Yes, The Four Freedoms were part of an address that FDR gave to Congress on January 6, 1941. They were part of a longer message but essentially the four freedoms were, freedom of speech and expression everywhere in the world, freedom of every person to worship God in his own way everywhere in the world, freedom from want, which translated into world terms means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants everywhere in the world, and freedom from fear which translated into world terms means a worldwide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of aggression against any neighbor anywhere in the world.

Robert: That was well said. The United States values freedom so highly but have we really perfected it yet?

Sarah: No, I don’t think so. I think it’s one of those national conditioning glamours, to use a word we’ve discussed on this program before. Glamour meaning that kind of emotional miasma of desire and want and longing that so many people are very familiar with. Groups and nations can have certain glamours too and I think freedom is a kind of a glamour that the American people have. The reason I say this is because our country was founded on the ideal of freedom. There have been great sacrifices made for freedom by our predecessors and we are grateful to them, but I think at the present time freedom is seen as almost a kind of individual license, a kind of privilege that people think they are owed by society to do whatever they want, to indulge their longings and their material desires at the expense sometimes of others. Was it Abraham Lincoln who said that one man’s freedom stops where another man’s freedom begins? We have to remember that, as part of a society, as a member of a group, our freedoms naturally bump up against the needs and expectations of others and I think that’s overlooked in our culture.

Dale: Yes, and our freedoms have been of a material focus, like the demand for human rights and voting rights, freedom of religion, freedom of speech and things like that. Our interest is in acquiring these rights which is all right and necessary in the great evolution of consciousness. It’s a stage, but I think we have to realize that this is not where freedom stops. As you mentioned, back two hundred or so years ago with the Declaration of Independence, that was kind of the first awakening in the American consciousness of the need for freedom. It was a great awakening and actually it was a great spiritual event in the history of this country and in the history of humanity, I think, because it was the first time, along with the French Revolution, that the idea of freedom, that human beings have freedoms, really came to light and it’s been growing ever since.

Sarah: I don’t think we want to give the impression that we downplay or devalue the concept of freedom. It’s not that. What bothers me is this interpretation of freedom as license, as a kind of carte blanche to do what one will and that just does not mesh itself with the fact that the world is shrinking, that we live in societies where we have to find ways to establish right relationships with others. The world is becoming an increasingly smaller place and people of very different cultures, backgrounds and traditions have to find ways to live peacefully with each other. Freedom has to be understood in terms of a universal quest and not just an individual urge. I think we see this difference of view over what freedom is, in the clash that we see in Eastern and Western ideas of civil rights. There have been conferences held by the United Nations and other organizations for human rights where people from Asian nations have been accused of not honoring the concept of freedom and human rights by the West. Yet they’ve turned around and said yes, but you leave your people free to starve in the streets if they don’t have a job or a home. So, you see, they look at freedom as a neglect of the neediest members of society. They have a point.

Robert: They really do and I think it’s very hard to perfect freedom because freedom is like so many other qualities in life; if we attain one freedom, we can always go deeper to other freedoms as well. For example, I don’t know anyone who is free from fear and when you really look at fear and how fear affects us, how many decisions in life, on the part of certain individuals, are made based out of fear? we tend to want a secure life and so often we don’t actualize our true self, who we really are because every move that we make is based on, is this safe? I have a fear if I do this another thing may happen that I might not like the consequences of, and so fear really is one of the greatest freedoms that we can obtain in order to become who we are. I think that needs to be worked on by all of us, freedom from fear. Alice Bailey said “today there are two qualities colouring the coming civilization. Those two qualities are freedom and spiritual security.” I like that phrase spiritual security. What does she mean by that?

Sarah: I’ve puzzled over this statement because, like you have just said, freedom from fear is probably the most liberating psychological state we can attain. I think spiritual security is the kind of psychological view of the world that liberates one from fear and assures one. Was it Einstein who said that the universe is basically a friendly place? That’s an expression of spiritual security, that we live in a world where things progress according to spiritual and divine law, that justice reigns, that peace will prevail. This is a great aspiration for humanity and that’s I think what Alice Bailey meant by spiritual security. That, and the urge to freedom, liberate the soul to achieve its highest level.

Dale: Yes, we tend to look at security in terms of material security and that really doesn’t always bring us security. As you say, it is this true sense of security that comes by way of the soul and when that soul impulse begins to tincture and colour the human consciousness then we find that we are much more secure within ourselves and in turn that works out in our lifetimes. So, it must come from within first.

Sarah: It comes from within and I think it has to evolve to a concern for the needs of others. We begin with a concern for our own well-being and then we extend it to our loved ones in our family and our neighbors and the people who resemble us, but it eventually has to extend to the whole of humanity and I think that’s a point we are reaching now. Speaking of humanity, we understand now that human rights, the aspiration for rights and freedoms,is a universal urge. This has been one of the great accomplishments of the United Nations, I think, that we now can comprehend and respect the fact that people who on an outer level are widely different from ourselves have certain instinctual needs and urges, psychological urges that we all share. Those include the need to live lives with certain freedoms as Roosevelt said, to speak, to worship freely, freedom from economic hardship. This growth of concern is what’s leading to so many wonderful organizations that work for human rights and there are so many of them, one being Freedom House. They track the state of freedom throughout the world on an annual basis. Their report is on the website at and it’s very interesting to read. For example, Mexico took an enormous advance in freedom last year with the election of Fox and the rejection of the party that had been in power for over 50 years. There are other nations that have taken a step backwards but throughout the world we realize people are sharing this urge and it is honored more and more by nations.

Robert: Alice Bailey has also written that freedom is a state of mind and not a condition of being. Can you explain that?

Sarah: I think that she is referring to the phenomenon that explains why people even those who are imprisoned can achieve a state of liberation. For example, Nelson Mandela was imprisoned on Robben Island in South Africa for I think 28 years and yet throughout that period he remained psychologically and spiritually free. From all that I’ve read about him his spirit, his inner being, was never conquered by his imprisoners and in fact he became a kind of an example of the liberated spirit to them. They had great respect for him. Another example is Malcolm X who, as controversial as he is, if you read his autobiography, it was in prison that he really attained his liberation because it was there that he taught himself to read and write using the dictionary and he became exposed to people of different religious paths and he had had none himself. He converted to Islam and he really transformed his life in prison. Other examples are people who are very ill. I’ve even read of people who are quadriplegic or in iron lungs from having had polio, but their spirit, their psychological life is free and they become educated and creative contributors. The elderly often attain a state of freedom in their last years; they reach a liberation. So, it is a state of being.

Dale: Yes, and as I said before, we are discussing different kinds of freedoms. Freedom of something, like freedom of rights, freedom to vote or speak and then freedom from something, like freedom from the illusions that we carry around with us. So, where the mind aspect comes in, it’s the freedom from illusions, from the glamours that bottled us up and keep our minds imprisoned in a sense. I think if we are able to look at the freedom from aspect of freedom, then we begin to develop a greater capacity for freedom and that’s a very important thing when it comes to the true sense of freedom in the spiritual sense because then we are bringing in the qualities of the soul and those are the qualities that by which we acquire a greater capacity for freedom, so it’s worth thinking about.

Robert: Blake, the famous romantic poet wrote a lot about manacles of the mind and what you just said reminded me of that, that we have certain handcuffs that we put on our own self, on our own individuality. At times even the ability to act as an individual, to express our different unique thoughts in a way that we want to, so many of us are afraid of what other people think all the time and we go through life not making a move because of fear of other people’s opinion. That’s also a limitation as well. Can we be imprisoned by freedom and what keeps one from being truly free?

Sarah: I think that freedom can become imprisoning if it keeps one locked in on oneself and one’s own wants and desires. The concept of wanting to be absolutely free of any restraint or of any commitment or responsibility is spiritually a severe limitation because we don’t live as islands in an ocean. We have relationships whether we want them or not throughout our lives. We are members of groups. We begin with being born into a family, we as adults belong to a workplace, we have coworkers, we have neighbors, we have friends and partners. So, the idea that we should live for ourselves alone, if we do hold that idea, that to me is a tremendous limitation to the spirit.

Dale: I think freedom can become very limiting if it’s adhered to in a fanatical sense, if we become englamoured by the idea of freedom, that it becomes a fanatical cause towards which we must sacrifice everything for one’s narrow point of view. For example, I think that happened back in the McCarthy hearings. We had this fanatical sense of communism taking over the country and it was a real difficult time, almost an evil time and we really got caught up in the glamour at that time. So, it can become a very imprisoning idea too.

Sarah: I imagine if people could see freedom from the angle of the soul, they might realize that it’s a very different issue to the soul. The personality, the outer person, thinks it wants its independence, a license to do what it will, but the soul has commitments and responsibilities that it wants to fulfill. I imagine for the soul, freedom is the capacity to fulfill its intended commitments, its goals which always contribute to the group good and never pertain to the individual selfish interests. That simply doesn’t figure to the soul. We think of freedom as freedom from control, but in fact the soul does control us if we are at all evolving spiritually. We as souls submit to the control of divine will. We are not entirely free. In fact, there’s a saying from the writings of Alice Bailey that “obedience for the soul lies ahead with freedom in its hand.” Obedience and freedom go together for the soul. Obedience to the Plan which it seeks to serve, and the freedom to fulfill that intention on behalf of the Plan, are two sides of the same coin.

Dale: Yes, I think it’s that lack of soul response that keeps us from being truly free and that was the other part of the question then, what keeps one from being truly free. I think as long as we are locked into this material sense of freedom than we won’t be truly free but it’s when that energy of the soul, that impact in the qualities of the soul, begin to come through then you begin to really truly understand what freedom is all about.

Robert: I want to go back a moment because you’re mentioning the word soul and the way I view soul and the way I read it in the Alice Bailey books, soul is the best within us, the divinity within us. I’m not sure, but I think what you’re saying is that when we evolve spiritually and we reach a point where we’re going to never betray the best within us, never betray the divinity within us, then what’s happening is that the soul is then controlling us, which is good and if it we are spiritually evolved that should be a plus. Am I correct in assuming that when we talk about the soul, we’re talking about the highest within us, the best within us, the divinity within us?

Sarah: Yes, the divine spark within the human being is the soul. I think you’ve defined it quite well. It’s our higher self.

Robert: Okay, that was important for me because I wasn’t really understanding what you were saying but that really clears it up for me.

Sarah: I’d like to come back to another point that you mentioned before,Robert, about this thought about what keeps one from being truly free. I think we can’t overemphasize the limitation of fear as you have mentioned. I have found in my own life that the exercise of trying to overcome something that one is afraid to do is enormously liberating to one’s sense of self-confidence. If you allow your fears to keep you from doing what you really feel compelled to do, whether it’s traveling to a distant place or trying a new form of work or expanding your education or whatever, if you allow your fears to keep you from doing that, you’re really inhibiting your chance to live life fully. The only way I know to work through those fears is to just bulldoze through them one at a time and you find that they’re not as bad as you thought they would be.

Robert: Or what Alice Bailey writes about in her book, the “as if” theory, that might help also. If we sit in meditation and visualize doing the actual thing that we fear as if we were doing it, I think that that might be a plus, that might help us to work out fears. So much of what she goes into is really daily help for living, how to go through our everyday life and to be more courageous people. Is there a relationship between freedom and liberation?

Sarah: I think so. Perhaps it would be in the matter of perspective. Freedom is usually regarded as something that you earn and that society gives to you whereas liberation is a personal achievement. We liberate ourselves. No one else can do that for us. There’s that wonderful poem by Robert Browning “Paracelsus” that touches on this. He said that “to know consists in opening out away whence the imprisoned splendor may escape rather than effecting entry for a light supposed to be without.” There’s the imprisoned splendor within all of us that seeks release. That’s liberation! It’s a spiritual event, not something bestowed by society.

Dale: We might put it this way, that freedom is the main incentive to tread the path of return and at the end of the path of return is when we gain liberation.

Robert: We invite you to ponder on this thought, goodwill is the touchstone that will transform the world. Goodwill is love in action. It is the energy that draws us together in right relationship. There is a world prayer called the Great Invocation. It is a call for light, love, and goodwill to flow into the world and into our hearts. Let’s listen for a moment to these powerful words.

(Transcribed and edited by Carla McLeod)




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