How Can We Choose To Be Free?
Updated: Jan 20, 2020
David Johnson* in a recent discussion reflected on the many ways we sometime choose not to be free, for example, as some of the Congressmen who now follow Trump blindly. Which leads me to wonder what choice I would make in a similar or even more dire situation. So I asked Richard.
Ann: Richard, will you talk to me about why we don’t stand up to evil? Is it simply the fear of physical or monetary loss or is there something else going on?
Richard Burton: I will give it a go, but there are no simple answers.
Let’s start with the fact that we are animals. Our primary instinct is for survival. There has to be a more powerful force in order for us to challenge that instinct. And we have developed many rationalizations to excuse or even condone our behaviour. Really, the human animal has an infinite buffet of excuses:
It’s just one vote.
Nothing I can do would make a difference.
You have to give in when there is no hope of victory.
It's’ not that important.
Someone else will do it.
I have a family, a job, a grandmother, etc., etc., etc.
We think we have no power, that the game is not worth the candle. So we go along to get along because, even if we were to stand up to power, nothing would change.
But under that is the most real and powerful emotion save one in the human animal and that is fear. We are not talking a little night terror or a momentary fright. We are talking bowel loosening, soul obliterating fear. That is the root in which all the above rationalizations and resulting inaction is anchored.
Be honest. How many of us would stand up and lose the livelihood that supports us, our families, that which makes us “important” in our own little worlds? We know those who have, yes, of course. Jesus, Harriet, Martin, St. Francis, John McCain, among others. And perhaps we take note that many of them came to grief or even lost their lives or their love ones, and that too deters us.
So what propelled them to step up?
Jesus could not deny his own intrinsic self, his origins, and his purpose in coming to the planet. His God was his life and could not be denied without mortal injury to his relationship with his Creator and thereby his own existence.
Harriet saw correctly that there was no other endurable choice. She had nothing to lose the first time she make that fearsome trek to freedom. But what about all the other times? What drove her back again and again to bring others out of the hell of slavery?
Martin. My god Martin. His was a lifetime and heritage of being beaten down by the indefensible. He saw the means at hand to make it stop, saw it had worked before with Gandhi, knew the likely price, but could not have looked his children in the eye if he did not give action to the propulsion within his soul, a soul that carried in its core the suffering of the many down trodden, past, present, and future.
St. Francis walked away from all he had, his family, his wealth, his means of support and prominence because he felt God’s love with him himself as a reality more compelling that any or these.
John McCain could not abandon his fellow prisoners.
A: So why aren’t our leaders and many of us standing up to Trump and the cruelty he is turning into American policy? Why are so many of us looking away?
RB: Because we can stand back. Because it’s not our child, our job, our loved one. Or maybe because it is our job and our bank balance that might be forfeit.
What is necessary, what is present in the above examples is, as Christ said, greater love.
"Greater love hath no man than this,
that a man lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13.
Look at the posts on this blog by those who have lived through hell and come out whole. Each and every one of them has asked us to step out of ourselves, even in some very small way. A gesture of kindness to a friend, a hand to a neighbor, or a smile for a child. It is these connections that birth the “greater love.” Isolation is the tool of the devil, for when injustice is done to the other, why should I risk my neck, my treasure, my family, or my life for someone I don’t know and in whom I have yet to see a soul like mine?
We must reach out in order to stand up, in order to have something we can love as much or more than ourselves, enough to go against the instinct instilled at the foundation of every human animal. When we find that love, we have done what we came here to do, and that is to become Jesus in our own lives.
January 15, 2020
*David Johnson. See "Recommended Channelers" under "Resources" tab.