​Core Circle WSL - Freedom

Opening Words:

"Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can't ride you unless your back is bent."

- Martin Luther King, Jr 

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Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, political, economic, physical, and spiritual freedom are all deeply entwined realities that inspire great passion. In the Unitarian Universalist tradition, we hold special esteem for freedom of religion and freedom of belief. And, typically when we speak of these, we are referring to social and political achievements that are both noble and necessary.

However, there are deeper human aspirations that we might refer to as the longing for spiritual freedom. Consider this quote from Osho, “True freedom is always spiritual. It has something to do with your innermost being, which cannot be chained, handcuffed, or put into a jail.”

This thought is echoed by many great spiritual teachers and traditions. The idea is that there is a place within each of us that can be entirely free no matter what is happening to us on the outside, this state of being variously known as enlightenment, nirvana, grace, inner peace, etc.

Another way to approach the idea of freedom is through the making of choices. In a spiritual sense, the idea here is that it is not only our big life choices that determines who we are, i.e. who we partner with, what we do for a living, what city we choose to live in, what church we join, etc., but rather the sum of all the tiny and myriad choices we make every day; how we choose to treat ourselves, our spouse, our neighbors, our world.

Victor Frankl wrote, "Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space lies our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and freedom.” 

Focus Questions:

What are your pathways to the spiritual freedom Osho refers to?

Can there be an inner (spiritual) freedom independent of outer (political) freedom?

Victor Frankl links freedom with growth. Is this true to your deepest experience? Write about a personal example of this in your journal. Better yet, tell the story to someone close to you.

Jesus (and Martin Luther King) said, “The Truth shall set you free.” What Truth is being spoken of?

What personal experience have you had with this kind of Truth? 

Likes and Wishes 

Closing Words:

"Inside the Great Mystery that is,
we don't really own anything.
What is this competition we feel then,
before we go, one at a time,
through the same gate?"

- Rumi

About the Author

Glenn grew up in the church and has been a member for over 20 years. You can find Glenn enjoying the nature trails around the Denver area. For any questions or information, you can email Glenn at admin@fusden.org.