Sovereignty and the Capacity for Freedom

Events now unfolding in Ukraine are highlighting the need for a deeper understanding of sovereignty and freedom, two concepts which are sometimes mistaken to be mutually exclusive. In the study of political science, particularly as it relates to democracies, the sovereign or authoritative role of government can seem to be in conflict with the drive of citizens for independence and the expression of free will. In spiritual terms, however, the two concepts can be viewed as mutual reinforcements of each other. Understanding this can shed light on the significance of what is happening in the invasion of Ukraine by Russia.

The United Nations throughout its seventy-plus years in existence has struggled to accommodate the compelling factor of national sovereignty within the context of the global community of nations. National sovereignty—the sense each nation holds that it possesses an innate integrity which must not be compromised by the sacrifice of its right to protect its own interests—must be juxtaposed alongside the demands posed by the increasingly interconnected world in which we live—a world which demands that each constituent part exercise its will by making choices in consideration of their effect on the larger world community. The efforts of the United Nations are demonstrating that the “new world order”, which this growing need for a unified approach to global problems is sometimes called, will not nor could it impose a uniform system of government upon the wide diversity of the world’s nations.

Nations, like individuals, are an expression of the soul—of consciousness. They are the reflection of the state of mind of a people as it has developed through its history, traditions, and relationships both of its own people as well as with fellow nations. Esoteric teaching tells us that the intent of the spiritual Hierarchy, the Masters of the Wisdom, is to increase humanity’s capacity for freedom in order to bear the powerful inpouring energies of the New Age which are now becoming increasingly visible.

One effect the new Aquarian energies are having as they pour into the world is the stimulation of the integrity and inviolable free will, both of individuals and of nations. Self-determination, whether of a nation or an individual human being, is an undeniable need of profound spiritual significance. Thousands of years ago, the yoga sutras of the great teacher Patanjali linked sovereignty to “irresistible will” (prakamya in Sanskrit), a power attained by an adept and therefore far ahead of most human beings. However, perhaps its earliest indications can be seen in the results due to the achievement of nearly global literacy over the past 500 years. The mental development of human beings has fostered the growing demand for freedom and the right of all peoples to self-determination. That this demand sometimes gets ahead of readiness to bear the inevitable consequences might be an indication that what Alice Bailey called the capacity for freedom still lies ahead.Alexis de Tocquevile, whose early observations of the fledgling American nation remain remarkably insightful, wrote that “Nothing is more wonderful than being free, but nothing is harder to learn than how to use that freedom.”

The deeply spiritual right to self-determination, which is the foundation of freedom, lies at the heart of the true meaning of sovereignty. One clear sign that the world is beginning to realize the innate and mutual nature of these two concepts can be seen in the global opposition to the current attempt of one nation to force another nation to submit to its domination. One of the major responsibilities of wise governance is the protection of the most vulnerable members, not only within a nation but in the global community of nations. We can hope that this recognition is taking hold in human consciousness as we see the response of many nations who are demonstrating shared responsibility for the fate of beleaguered Ukraine. It’s being demonstrated in the wide variety of steps being taken to halt the attempted takeover through the imposition of economic sanctions, in the united response of world opinion in condemnation of the infringement of the Ukrainian people’s freedom to determine their sovereign destiny, and in the clarity of the world’s refusal to accept the violation of international principles.

Every individual can help to sustain these efforts by directing the energies of Light, Love-Wisdom, and the Will-to-Good through meditation.



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