Thursday, June 24, 2010

What Does it Mean to be a "Free Spirit"?

The human challenge is to learn to be a free spirit, to cope with and to rise above what we experience in the physical world.”  (JOH, K. Oddenino, 381)

“All addictions are the result of the belief system that we have been involved with from the beginning of our life.” (JOH,326)

As I think about what it means to live and to learn as a human being, I’m grateful to my parents, to all mentors, for their motivation to teach, to share their lives and knowledge and wisdom gained through living.  The phrase “free spirit” has been familiar to me as long as I can remember. When I think about it and try to pinpoint how I’ve interpreted it from others’ descriptions, and what it symbolizes to me now, I’m amazed at the way we snag little bits of truth (energy units) which make sense to us long before our minds can truly articulate an expansive understanding of them. This tells me something about how our energy system is designed as sensory beings, and how our minds work too, as we’re stimulated by and through the experiences we create.

Recently I’ve been reading about the Ten Commandments, as represented by the ocean of Internet sources, and thinking about how they relate to the Ethical Values as Kathy Oddenino teaches through Spiritual Philosophy. As stated, the first four commandments relate to the relationship of the human being with God and the rest to the relationships between people. In the New Testament, Jesus is said to have repeated some of the commandments to one of the disciples and condensed them elsewhere into two general laws: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” Matt. 22:34-40. Looking back at the list of commandments from the Old Testament, then, I see a rule book of behaviors, the last six of which are what NOT to do. That tells me that we have the rules only because we do not know how to behave ethically. Ethically means we treat each other with love, truth, and equally as human beings, because we are created with the same energy sensory design and purpose.

I think about what freedom means to me. I know the energy fluctuations I have felt as I’ve lived my daily experiences, making choices, doing physical things. I know which feel good, when I’ve felt sad, which rile me up (as some of us say in the South), which bring deep joy within me, from the Universe that I am and that I share. Until I was taught to think of these fluctuations as Energy, I was often confused by the flux of feelings and sometimes did not know how to interpret them in a way that was inspiring, truthful, and therefore productive. I understand, too, how we can think we understand what it means to be “loving,” truthful, and equal, as an intellect, or as a person who believes we live our emotions on our sleeve, and not truly know what it means to be a free spirit. That’s why we evolve as a consciousness! The Ten Commandments, as written in history as this rule-book of behavior, are just that- a strict guide for wayward souls that needed a light to stay on the “straight and narrow.” The Ethical Values explain another level of what it means to “be good.” The trinities of Ethical Values open a searching mind to the harmony and rhythm of joy, of happiness, of sharing as the stabilizing energy which increases our power of learning as we continue to create and share our experiences.

As a teenager and as a young adult I floundered among rules and rebelled against many. Not because I wanted to “be a rebel without a cause,” but because rules as physical rules did not help me to know myself as an evolving energy being and therefore to know that I carried these beliefs with me as energy through lifetimes to learn, change, and grow as I recognized beliefs that no longer served me in living as a free spirit. Rulebooks that related only to what-not-to-do only went so far as physical guidelines. The “why” which created the need for such a rulebook is what my mind was looking for. That “why” was the energy I’ve lived throughout my lifetimes as a human being, on Earth, interacting and sharing with all other energy.  I’ve learned from Spiritual Philosophy, and the opening of my mind, that our greatest addiction is fear. I know this is true, because I can map my mind’s “eye” and the legend of my experiences as I remember them.  Metaphysical teachings explain the seven levels of energy as: Being; God; Truth; Knowledge; Energy; Creation; Human and Divine Relationships. As I think on these explanations I recognize how fears grow into phobias, how habits can reinforce superstitions and therefore beliefs whose origins become lost in the forest of our busy lives, how we can resist the joy and adventure of consciously learning to know ourselves simply because we have not been taught to think of ourselves as evolving sensory energy beings.

Reading Rebecca Skloot's book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks fits in here, too. I'm amazed and fascinated by how she relates, for example, the superstitions so strongly held about hospital care in the first half of this century, particularly in the Baltimore area, i.e., Johns Hopkins. Hopkins himself founded the hospital as a place that would offer care for those could not pay for care, of any race, creed, religion, and including children, especially orphans. Scary stories of "colored children being snatched in the night," in the dark, dangerous streets of the hospital area, gathered many beliefs together and enhanced the ignorance of such fear into an incredible example of why knowledge (communication) is a gift of power. Images persist and grow through ignorance, and the communication of knowledge, through compassion of sharing and learning (love), goes a long way to eradicating fear and inviting love. This affects each mind, each following generation. I remember dreams and visions I had as a child, of caravans of tribes rumbling down our small hallway in the dark towards our bedroom. To begin to know the origins of these fears as ancient beliefs, which can be changed once we know how, is truly a gift that affects all generations.

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