1961 Hawaiian Village Open Class Photo: Inez Marques
Joel S. Goldsmith
438B – Freedom Spiritually Discerned 1/4
Good morning. Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth from God. Words are important because of the ideas that they represent and convey to us. And probably one of the most important words in the entire dictionary is the word “freedom” because of the idea that the word “freedom” conveys to us or should convey to us. You can understand the importance of freedom itself when you stop to think that for many, many, many centuries B.C. we have the recorded history of peoples seeking freedom—the Hebrews seeking freedom from Pharaoh, the Hebrews seeking freedom from Caesar, the Hebrews seeking freedom from Russia and Poland, and later from Hitler. But Hebrews haven’t been the only ones seeking freedom. One of the first of the great free nations of the world was Greece where the idea of freedom thrived, where people embraced within themselves an idea and an ideal of freedom and then struggled to attain it.
In our present day, freedom has been one of the most used words in all languages because the people of Africa and of India, of Asia, of Europe all have been seeking freedom. You realize, of course, that no one ever attains it. And if they seem to attain it for a short time, they lose it again. Probably if the word “freedom” were better understood, we would have a greater opportunity of attaining it and retaining it because evidently those who have sought freedom, and even those who for a while thought they attained it, must have been mistaken in their concept of freedom, in the meaning of freedom. And if freedom is ever to be attained, it will have to be on some other basis than that which we have heretofore known.
One thing is certain: all attempts to attain freedom by force must fail, because freedom, like the kingdom of God, cannot be taken by storm. It cannot be taken by might or by power. The reason is that freedom is a spiritual quality. It isn’t a physical condition. That has been the mistake of the ages—believing that freedom is a physical condition and that you can become free from somebody or free from some thing. And in this false concept of freedom lies the tragedy of all of the ages.
Freedom is a spiritual quality, and freedom must be spiritually obtained, spiritually realized, spiritually demonstrated. Freedom is never from something or from somebody. Freedom is a condition within ourselves, within the consciousness of individual or collective man. Freedom may be obtained by an individual while all others are in slavery.
An outstanding example of this is Moses who at no time was a slave under Pharaoh, Jesus who was at no time a slave under either Caesar or the Sanhedrin. Freedom is attained within the consciousness of an individual or within the consciousness of the race. But it is never a freedom from anything or from anyone. It is really, if you can use the word “from,” it is really a freedom from ignorance and primarily from spiritual ignorance, because where there is spiritual enlightenment, there is no bondage; there is no slavery.
Do not think for a moment that I am speaking at this moment merely of the type of slavery that may be experienced under some government or form of government. I’m speaking of freedom as a word representing an idea because mankind, even in the free countries, is in bondage. They’re in bondage to beliefs, concepts, theories which hold them in a vise and from which they never can be released until they understand the nature of freedom.
One thing that in this present age that is enslaving everybody is the subject of money. Everyone is in slavery to that belief that money is power, and with a sufficiency of it there would be a release from bondage. How foolish this idea is when you stop to think of the amount of gold and the amount of silver and the amount of currency there is in the world, and those who possess it and who are finding no freedom with it.
It was in the paper just the other day that the freest and greatest currencies of today are those of Germany and of Japan. You’d hardly call these free countries or that the people are free just because of this great abundance of wealth. In some ways, this country of ours, the United States, is one of the richest, and certainly our people have by far the greatest incomes, individually and collectively, of any nation on the earth. And reading our papers, you will agree that we are not free. We are in bondage right now to the fear of extermination. We are in bondage to the fear of inflation. We are in bondage to the fear of the next depression. We are in bondage to the fear of labor troubles. We are in bondage to so many different things that it is laughable to think of ourselves as actually being free. In most communities we are afraid to drive a car on the road.
Now, freedom cannot be attained by an abundance of money. Freedom cannot be obtained by a constitution that guarantees you freedom. We have such a constitution. Do I have to tell you on how many different subjects we are not free? Freedom cannot be obtained externally, and freedom cannot be obtained from anything. Freedom will be attained individually, and collectively, as we understand the spiritual nature of our being. Do you know that in any moment in which you can realize that I and my Father are one, at any moment that you can bring to recollection Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine, you begin to be free of economic lack? Because the only bondage there is, is the belief that we are bound by the limitations of sums of money or sums of property.
No one is free by the amount of their possessions, but by the freedom that comes to them through the realization of their identity. If you are children of God, you are heirs of God, and joint-heir to all. Therefore, the only freedom that can be obtained—freedom from lack or limitation—would be in the freedom that is attained by virtue of your understanding of your relationship to your source. I and my source are one. I and my Father are one and I am heir to my Father’s estate—allness.
The human side of that freedom soon begins to make itself apparent when we release ourselves from bondage to the belief that money, securities or property would set us free. In the same way in our human relationships, we can never get free from each other. Wives will never get free from husbands, and husbands will never get free from wives, not even with all the divorce laws in the country. This doesn’t bring freedom. We still have that wife and we still have that husband in consciousness and sometimes on the payroll.
There is no external freedom. The freedom in marital relationships comes when we set our partner free, not when we attain freedom from them, but when they obtain freedom from us. When we realize that as I and my Father are one and that this is my eternal relationship, that our mate also is one with God and free in God—not bound to manmade laws, rules and restrictions, but free to live under God’s rule, God’s grace, God’s law, not man’s, God’s.
We have this in the business world where if you speak to the industrialist he can prove to you that he is in slavery to his workers, and equally you can be convinced by the workers that they are in slavery to the industrialists. But really and truly that slavery only exists as a mental concept, only because of this bondage to the belief that man, whose breath is in his nostril is a power, only because we do not realize our relationship to our source. The workers will never be free of the industrialists or the industrialists from the worker until they set each other free.