As with love and beauty, defining freedom can be a little challenging. We Americans love to throw that word around – especially at this time of year – but I wonder what would happen were we to ask ten or twenty people to define freedom. Some may say it is the ability to do what we want when we want to do it, while others might argue that freedom is the result of a declaration of independence toward something which was previously in control of one’s destiny.
To me freedom is much more than license. To my mind, freedom does not derive from license, but from the assumption of responsibility in relation to truth. When one is true to the truth, one is free. Being true to the truth is much more than simply not telling lies. Being true to the truth implies fidelity to the laws and principles which govern all things. It implies the state of oneness with the stars, the soil, the seas. It is the state of being unified with what has been called “universal mind” or “logos.”
Action outside of this pattern is chaotic, disjointed, and tiring. Action in it is efficient, coherent, and invigorating. Expressing le mot juste, that is, exactly the right word or expression spoken at the right time, is but one example of this in action. When freedom is experienced in this way, there is a sense of connection with everything else that is ordered according to truth.
To let freedom ring one must join forces with truth. Freedom in this sense is not the elimination of an enemy, but the courageous act of allying oneself with truth, no matter ho unpopular it might be.