Today is the United States of America’s premier celebration of liberty and freedom.
Had a discussion in my neighborhood coffee shop today about how America is binding it’s citizens into materialistic and corporate and short-sighted captivities—just imagine the poor folk “chained” to their televisions and believing what they see…
Of course, “freedom” and “liberty” can be perceived from the material plane or the spiritual plane.
First, just today, from a New Zealand news source, there’s a story of the joyous liberation of French-Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt—six years in captivity:
“She bathed fully dressed to shield herself from her watchful male captors.
“Asked if they raped her, she said: ‘I have had painful experiences . . . but I don’t want to talk about this here, now at this time of happiness.'”
“Her attempts to escape captivity brought punishments – being chained at the neck, deprived of food and made to trek between camps barefoot.
“In the letter to her mother released last year, she wrote: ‘I’ve tried to keep my head above water, but Mom, I have given up. . . Your daily suffering, and the suffering of everyone, makes death seems like a sweet option.'”
And, on this Western holiday of liberty and freedom, I give you the words of an Eastern man, held captive for 40 years:
“Materially, man is the prisoner of nature; the least wind disturbs him, the cold hurts him, the heat incommodes him, a mosquito irritates him; but when we consider the intelligence of man, an elephant is powerless before him, a lion is his prisoner, and a boy of twelve can lead twelve hundred animals. Man dries up the sea, inundates the desert, circumnavigates the globe, discovers what is under the earth, rides upon the air and creates new sciences. These are the signs of the crowning spiritual power of man—that power which can make nature his prisoner.
“Reflect on the divine forces. What has assembled us together? It is not a material but a spiritual force which has created this bond between our hearts, this attraction and affection for one another—a power stronger than reason, a power which founds nations, creates human unity and makes us renounce the world to discover sciences and organize laws which work through all creatures. Man, the victim of a mosquito, by his spiritual intelligence is conqueror, for by spirit he is completed; he stands upright and gives well-being to humanity.”
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Divine Philosophy, p. 95
~ Unleash The Life Within ~