Liberty cannot be pulled out of the air, and it cannot be handed to us by those who assume political or religious authority.
Our freedom is constrained by many forces and circumstances in life. These can be inflicted upon us socially, economically, or by physical nature; but every limitation can be addressed with a positive attitude, with creativity and wisdom.
It is through a commitment to responsibility that we find the substance of personal freedom. Indeed, it has been said that there can be no liberty without responsibility.
This is important to understand when the world around us seems to be coming apart.
If we are to keep our balance when the ground is shifting under our feet, how can we best prepare ourselves? We must do more than simply prepare materially for hard times, although that is important, too. How can we find the moral and mental strength to persevere?
How can we take a long view in the midst of chaos – to gain a sense of ultimate purpose, and a vision of the future we can believe in?
In my view, there is a clear and dependable reason to believe that justice is indestructible and will prevail in the end. Please bear with me!
It is my firm conviction that there is an integral foundation underlying all things, which has the character of justice. This is the ultimate ground of being.
The reality we live in, both physically and metaphysically, has a dynamic and perfectly balanced “functional structure” that we can each learn to see with our own eyes (and not through the eyes of others), and understand for ourselves without being swayed by others.
Justice is the governing principle and inherent character of this truth. It is the basis of religious law, the purpose of which is our protection, and it allows us to keep our balance in a disturbed world.
Whether this idea is viewed through religious or philosophical eyes, all of us can benefit by gaining confidence in the ground we stand on. It is reasonable, it is dependable, and it offers a stable basis for constructive action.
Everyone sees things differently and none of us can comprehend ultimate truth. Yet, the concept proposed here can be helpful in maintaining our composure, and in determining the right course of action in difficult circumstances.
Stated briefly, justice is the ultimate balance manifested in the self-sustaining structure of the whole of being. Or, to put it in another way, justice is a dynamic framework upon which all things depend, and which remains unified and transcendent despite the disruptions caused by human activity.
When things get crazy it helps to understand that a firm, inviolable structure supports the reality of things. And, when we endeavor to align ourselves with it, things go well for us with far greater consistency.
Such an understanding can be the starting point for both thinking and action.
If we are to rebuild our communities and nation in a constructive and principled manner, it will be necessary to adjust with flexibility to the unexpected changes that comes with crises.
Life is always going to be a challenge, living as we do in a world dominated by materialism, egotism, and conflict. It is not possible to fully comprehend the dynamic in which we find ourselves. Yet, I submit to you that an ultimate and indestructible balance does, in fact, exist at the foundation of things.
The ground of justice allows us a steady hand in exercising responsibility, building trustworthy relationships, and conducting our lives with integrity.
Justice furnishes the ordered condition in which we have the opportunity to bring ourselves into balance with the world of existence as it truly is – and as I believe it is meant to be.
Next week: The freedom to see for ourselves.
Dear readers, I am depending on your comments and constructive feedback.