A big theme in America and for many Americans is freedom. Unfortunately, many Americans have not developed a higher perspective on freedom. And therefore, they are not free. They are not as free as they could be. They are not as free as they would have been had they not been manipulated by the power elite into giving away their freedom.
Too many Americans are focused on freedom as an outer thing. You have political freedom, you have economic freedom, you have freedom of speech, you have freedom to do this, freedom to do that. Some even think you have freedom to do whatever you want, regardless of how it affects other people. This, of course, is not the case, as the Buddha promoted the concept of the sangha, the community.
Now, it is, of course, important to have these outer freedoms: freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom to assemble. But many Americans, because they have become polarized into this Christian conservative faction, actually do not respect freedom of religion. Many Americans from both of the two factions that dominate the public discourse do not respect freedom of speech. Well, they respect freedom of speech for themselves but not for others. They feel that they should be allowed to say anything they want, but others should not be given the same freedom. Those who disagree with them should not be allowed to say what they want to say. Many people feel that they should have freedom to practice their religion but other people should not have the freedom to practice a different religion, especially one that they consider as an inferior or even a false religion.
Ask yourself this simple question: given that all religions in the world contain the ethos do unto others what you want them to do to you, how can you expect to be free if you are not willing to give the freedoms you want to other people? How can you have freedom of religion if you are not willing to give other people the freedom to have a different religion than yours? How can you have freedom of speech if you are not willing to give other people the freedom to say something that you disagree with? Sooner or later someone will disagree with what you are saying. And they will want to limit what you can say. Sooner or later someone will not like your religion and they will want to prevent you from practicing your religion. Your religion may have a certain status of superiority right now, but it will not always have this or you will not always in future lifetimes belong to the same religion. It is a simple principle that, quite frankly, all Americans are able to grasp if they are willing to just consider it, that if you want to preserve your freedoms you must give the same freedom to others. If you want the right to be who you are, you must give other people the right to be different than you are. Otherwise you will not, in the long run, preserve your own freedom.
Now, there is, of course, another aspect of freedom that many Americans have not considered. And it is the fact that you may have outer freedom, you may have political freedom, but can you exercise that freedom? Can you do whatever you want? What does it take to exercise freedom? What does it take to exercise outer freedom? Well, you must have inner freedom, you must have some psychological freedom, some mental freedom. Because it does you no good to have a certain outer freedom if you are so wounded, so crippled in your psychology that all of your energy and attention is fed into dealing with these psychological wounds, trying to avoid that you are hurt again as you have been hurt before. Or if you are going into these reactionary patterns that actually take away your freedom, because you are always trapped in this reactionary pattern.
Some people are so disturbed mentally that perhaps they are always talking, they are always saying something that makes no sense. Perhaps they are moving in certain ways, they cannot sit still. But many Americans are not willing to consider that they also are crippled psychologically, even though it may not have a visible effect. Many are not willing to consider that they could be crippled psychologically, but it is so common that it is considered normal in their society, at least in their local area.
This is what higher awareness can add to the discussion of freedom in America. You are not truly free by having outer freedom, political freedom. You are only truly free when you have psychological freedom, mental freedom. How do you attain this? Well, there are many teachings about how to heal your psychology and overcome the things in your psychology that take away your freedom. But to reach back to what the Buddha said 2500 years ago: What gives you freedom? Well, you must overcome the pairs, which is the dualistic extremes. You must strive to attain non-attachment. Because it is only by attaining non-attachment that the demons of Mara, the prince of this world, will come to you, and they have nothing in you whereby they can pull you into a reactionary pattern that takes away your freedom.
Consider the culture war. You have two factions that are fighting for dominance in American society. Look at either of these two factions. Look at the people who are pulled into the mindset that dominates these factions. Are these people free? Some of them will say that they are. Some of them will think that they are because they have the superior idea, the superior worldview. But if you look at it from a purely psychological perspective, are these people psychologically free? Most of them have their entire intention, their entire energies, their entire thoughts pulled into thinking about these issues. They have their feelings pulled into responding with certain feelings towards other people.
If you look at the people who are pulled into these culture wars, who have a strong reaction to it, you will see that their emotions are in constant uproar. Many of them are completely overwhelmed by this anger energy. Well, can you be truly free when you are angry? The reality is that you cannot. And most people will be able to see this if they will just put their minds on it and think about this logically, rationally, neutrally. An angry person is not free, cannot be free. Why? Because anger draws your attention into focusing on certain thoughts, certain feelings, and repeating them over and over again. Many people who are angry have a scenario they are playing out in their heads over and over again, and it consumes their attention. They are not free to think about whatever they want. They are not free to feel whatever they want. They could not choose to say: “I don’t want to be angry anymore. I want to be at peace,” because the anger is so strong that it has taken over their feelings and their thoughts. Is it just anger that has taken over their thoughts? Or is it what could be called collective matrices?
Each side in this culture war, they have built a number of very powerful collective matrices. And those people who really go into one of these positions and accept it, and really open their minds to the rhetoric, they also open their minds to these collective matrices who come in, take over their minds, and suddenly the people are not free. Most of their attention is pulled into these repetitive patterns that take away their freedom to choose what they want to feel, what they want to think. Now, many of these people have been wounded from childhood, many of them were wounded from past lives. They have come into this lifetime with these wounds, these reactionary patterns that have taken away their freedom.
For many of them it is not really that taking this Republican or liberal position is what has taken away their freedom. Taking this position was simply a consequence of the fact that their freedom was already taken away. It just gave them a certain outlet whereby they could direct their anger at another group of people and feel that they were among the righteous who were taking America in the right direction.
You can always debate which came first, the chicken or the egg, which came first the individual psychology, or the collective psychology created by one of these factions. But nevertheless, the net result is that the people are not free. They are not free to choose what they do with their minds.
This is, of course, when you look back, the entire purpose of the Buddha’s teaching. It was never the goal to create a religion, not even what has been defined today as the various branches of Buddhism. It was the goal to create a universal movement that would give people psychological freedom. This, of course, was also the goal of Jesus, who did not come to start the Christian religion as you know it today or have known it in the past. He came to start a universal spiritual movement that would give people psychological freedom, spiritual freedom.
Now, what is it that takes away your mental freedom? It is that your mind is polarized. It is pulled into accepting one side, one polarity, as true and another as false. You are, therefore, affirming, validating the one side and you are fighting the other. You are engaged, then, in a dualistic struggle. And you are seeking to defeat the opposite polarity to your own, which means you are struggling against other people, seeking to either defeat them, convert them or possibly kill them. And how can you be free when you are engaged in such a struggle? It cannot be. What is the only way out? Well, it is what the Buddha defined as the Eightfold Path, which Jesus defined another way, which can be defined in many other ways.
There are many mystical paths that can take you out of the dualistic struggle, but they all work the same way. They work by helping you come to a point where you see the beliefs that you have adopted, that are pulling you into the dualistic reactionary pattern and, therefore, taking your freedom. And when you consciously see it and resolve it, you can choose to leave the dualistic struggle, to leave the path of the dualistic struggle. And you can step onto what the Buddha called the Middle Way, what Jesus called The Way, and which has been called many other things throughout history. You can choose to step onto the path where you are working your way towards greater and greater freedom from these dualistic reactionary patterns.
There are some who believe that the Republicans are the only ones who can guarantee the freedoms of America. There are those who believe that the liberals are the only ones who can give greater freedom to Americans. The reality is that neither side can guarantee or give greater freedoms. They can only limit people’s freedom by pulling them into this dualistic struggle.
Higher awareness is permanently beyond this struggle, and therefore has no need to force people’s free will. Higher awareness has no need to force people to transcend the dualistic struggle. If a majority of the American people have not had enough of the dualistic struggle and want to continue in that struggle, then higher awareness will naturally bow to the free will of a majority of the people. But all choices have consequences. If you choose to stay in a dualistic struggle, you are choosing a confrontational future for America. You are choosing that America will continue to be a confrontational society. But you are not simply choosing that it will continue to have the level of conflict and tension and confrontation that it has now. Because the conflict must accelerate. The struggle must intensify. Because this is essentially what you are saying you want. It is also the only way that you can come to a point where you have had enough of it. If you have not had enough of struggle at the present level, then you must experience a greater intensity of struggle, so that you more quickly move to the point where you will have had enough and can, therefore, be free of it.
This is mandated by the law of free will, because not all people in America want to continue to struggle. Not all people in the world want to continue to struggle, and America is part of the world, America is not an island. No nation is an island. You may think that you are the biggest and most powerful nation on earth, you have the biggest military, you can defend yourself against any foe. You may think that you have a right to do whatever you want in your country. Well, from a certain outer perspective you do. But from a higher perspective you do not because America is part of the world. And Americans live within the collective consciousness of humankind. And humankind lives within the collective consciousness of all of the self-aware beings in your sphere. And the vast majority of the self-aware beings who are not on earth have chosen the path that leads beyond duality, confrontation and struggle. They have chosen the compassionate path, the path towards oneness, unity. Americans cannot simply choose to go against this upward movement of the universe.
Americans can make a choice that they want more confrontation. But if a larger and larger percentage of the people on earth choose that they want to transcend confrontation, then these people will create a pull on the collective consciousness. This means that if Americans choose confrontation, the confrontation must increase. The struggle must intensify. This is simply a part of the law of free will. You do not have free will in a vacuum, as an individual. You have free will within the context of the unit where you live, meaning, in your case, planet Earth. There are certain freedoms you can exercise within the unit of America. But there are certain freedoms you cannot exercise as an island because you are also in the larger unit of the planet. What you see in the modern democracies is that more and more people, more and more nations, are making decisive steps to go beyond the confrontational past, and manifest a more compassionate and less confrontational and, therefore, a more free society. There are countries in the world where most of the people are far more free psychologically than most Americans. From an outer level, you can say that these countries have the same political freedoms as America has. But when you look at the psychological aspect, you see that the people in these nations are far more free than most Americans are.
There are people in America who have also transcended or started to transcend that dualistic struggle and therefore they are more free than the majority of Americans. The people who have become more free in other nations, they exert a pull on the collective consciousness of America and the people within America who have transcended the struggle, also exert a pull on the collective consciousness.
This is essentially why you see that the public discourse has taken a turn, it has become more confrontational, more angry, more hateful. It is why you see a greater and greater contrast, animosity, anger between the two factions in the culture war. You see the accusations becoming more and more intense, more and more hateful. This is simply an outcome of the fact that many people have chosen to start to transcend the dualistic struggle, but some Americans are holding on to it and that means that they become increasingly burdened. They have to struggle harder and harder to resist that upward movement towards greater freedom.
As a result of that, their inner experience of life becomes more intense. They become more and more burdened. They become more and more frustrated. They feel actually less and less free, more and more limited. But instead of recognizing that it is their own psychology that makes them feel limited, they cling to the idea that it is some external force that is limiting their freedom. Therefore, they now feel justified to direct their anger against that external force, be it the government, be it another group of people, as the scapegoat. They become more and more overpowered by these collective anger entities and this takes away their freedom. They have less and less mental and emotional freedom. They even have less freedom at the physical level because they are so trapped in thinking that even on the outer level, they have to live up to these ideas in their worldview. Therefore they have to act a certain way and there are certain things they are not allowed to do. You see that these people have lost their freedoms at the physical level, the emotional level, the mental level, and they have even lost their freedom at the identity level because some of these people define themselves based on these worldviews. They define themselves as conservatives, as Christians, as Republicans, or they define themselves as Democrats or liberals. They are so invested in this that it pulls them at the identity level into thinking that they are this way. They are defined by these outer confrontational things and therefore they forget, they overlook, that they are human beings and even beyond this that they are non-material beings.
Consider the Declaration of Independence and what it really means. What does the Declaration of Independence say? All human beings are created equal—a very, very profound statement. All human beings have been given inalienable rights by their Creator. The Declaration of Independence does not define any divisions in the human race. It does not say Christians have inalienable rights, Republicans have inalienable rights, conservatives have inalienable rights, white people have inalienable rights. It says, ALL human beings have inalienable rights. So how, in the democratic system of America, can you be truly free? Can you be truly free if you identify yourself as a Christian, as a Buddhist, as a Republican, as a Democrat, as a liberal as a conservative as white, black, this or that? Can you be free, if you identify yourself based on these divisions that are not specified in the Declaration of Independence?
No, if you use the language used in the Declaration of Independence, you can be free only if you identify yourself as a human being first. You may see that you have certain characteristics as a human being, but you see that beyond these outer divisions and characteristics, there is a certain basic, certain common, humanity. When you are aware that you have this humanity in yourself, and that all other people who live in America have the same humanity, and that is why you are all guaranteed certain rights by the Declaration of Independence and the constitution, then you can have the freedom that the American system is meant to give you. But you can have that freedom only when you are willing to give that same freedom to others, and how can you give that freedom to others? Not if you identify them as Republicans or Democrats or black or whites, meaning they are different from you. You can give the same freedom to others that you want, only if you identify them as human beings first. You see the basic humanity in them, as you see it in yourself.
Now, from the perspective of higher awareness, can you be truly free as a human being? No, you cannot, because a human being is defined by so many conditions here on earth and many of these conditions take away your freedom, some are even deliberately defined to take away your freedom. You can only be truly free if you identify yourself as a non-material being, who is having a human experience, who is living in a human body expressing itself through a human body, but you are more than that body. You are even more than the outer mind, even more than the humanist sense of identity defined by your society based on how it has been defined, going many thousands of years back into the past. This is the only way to really attain freedom. But of course, even at an interim level, it is not beyond the capability of most Americans to come to this realization: “Wait a minute, the Declaration of Independence does not talk about Republicans and Democrats, blacks or whites. It talks about men, meaning not just male, but all human beings. All human beings were created equal. All human beings were endowed with rights and the only way that I can preserve my rights is if I give the same rights to others. Because if I am not willing to give the same rights to others, then it is inevitable that some faction will form within the American society and they will seek to set themselves up in a position of having more power and more privilege by taking away or limiting the rights of other groups of people, potentially even the majority of the population.”
This is, of course, exactly what you see with the formation of this power elite that has no respect for the constitution or the Declaration of Independence. They have no respect for the population of America. They have no respect for human beings because they do not see themselves as human beings. They do not see themselves as spiritual beings either. But they see themselves as being superior to human beings. Some of them have no clear idea what that means, others have more of a clear sense of what kind of beings they think they are. But they clearly do not identify themselves as human beings because they think they are inherently superior to most human beings in America or on the planet. This is something that most Americans have not realized. The more aware people can help more people realize it because it is one of the absolute, foundational realizations that the American people must come to, for the Age of Higher Awareness to be manifest in America.
How can higher awareness release new ideas and new technology, if they are used to cement the position of the power elite? Why would higher awareness want to release a technology that has the potential to set people free from certain burdens, if a power elite managed to monopolize it and therefore enslave the people even more. You can argue that with today’s forms of energy, people are less free than when they lived on individual farms around the country and they could supply most of their needs through their own farming and their own work. Today, all people are so dependent on, for example, electricity, or gasoline for their cars that they are far less free than they were 200 years ago. Nevertheless, people have then other freedoms because of technology. So they, for example, can move around more, they can more easily have access to knowledge and so on. So there are other freedoms that people have gained that the power elite have not been able to take away. But the American people need to recognize that it is a complete illusion to believe that because you have established a democracy in America, America is automatically a free society and will remain a free society for the indefinite future. It is absolutely essential to recognize that there is a power elite, who never agreed with democracy never wanted democracy because they want a society where they can attain a privileged position.
Ever since democracy was created in America, they have attempted to do everything they could, using both democratic and non-democratic, deceptive and dishonest means to undermine democracy, in order to give themselves that privileged position. As you can clearly see from this RAND study, they have been remarkably successful in giving themselves a privileged position through the economy, especially through the financial industry. But they, of course, use the government to do this by undercutting, sabotaging the democratic process. And this means what? It means they have taken away the freedoms that the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence actually guarantee to the people of America. In other words, the power elite has used the government that should guarantee the people’s freedom to undermine those constitutional freedoms. This is a simple fact of life. It is not rocket science. It is not something that the average American could grasp, if people were willing to look at it in a neutral way, and simply make the logical, rational conclusion.
As long as a group of people in America think that their foremost task is to fight another group of people, as long as that is the case, then the power elite are secure in their privileged position. Higher awareness is not encouraging people to fight the power elite, but to stop fighting each other and realize that it is not that other group of people that are a threat to your freedom, it is the power elite. Therefore, it is not a matter of fighting the power elite, but it is a matter of going back to the values, the principles that defined American democracy, and demanding that the current government, the entire political apparatus, and the economy, be brought back into alignment with those principles, so that all people are guaranteed these inalienable rights. The government must serve to guarantee these rights for all people, instead of taking them away from most people and giving extraordinary rights to a small power elite. This is not what America was meant to be. This is something that most Americans can come to see by just putting their minds on it.
Therefore, they can see that it does not matter whether the Republicans or the Democrats win the presidency, or win a majority in the House or in the Senate, or in the Supreme Court. It does not matter. This will not fundamentally change the equation. If the liberals won an absolute majority that would not change it either. Nothing will really change the gridlock, change the equation, until you expose the influence of the power elite. Until the people see this and decide, “This is enough, we will not tolerate this anymore!”
What can bring about this shift? Well, it is actually closer than you might think. That is why you, who are the more aware people, can play a decisive role in turning the rudder of this ship that critical degree that sets America on the new course. There are not enough aware people to create this dramatic change in the short term, but you can still turn the rudder of the ship that critical degree, so that America is set on a course that over time will bring it towards the golden age, will bring it away from confrontation and towards compassion.
What is the Declaration of Independence? Is it a confrontational document or is it a compassionate one? Try to reread the Declaration of Independence with this in mind and you might find more examples, more expressions of compassion, than you, at first glance, would think are there. Although, you could say that the War of Independence was confrontational and you could say that the Declaration of Independence was confrontational (it was certainly seen that way by the British), there are actually many elements of compassion in it because how can it not be compassionate to acknowledge that all human beings have rights that no power elite should be able to take away from them? Is not that an expression of compassion for the people?
You see here that America, despite the confrontational beginnings, was actually set on a course from the beginning towards becoming a more and more compassionate society. American democracy has the potential to develop into a truly compassionate society, where there is that sense of unity among the people, that sense of community that is based on all people having compassion for each other because they realize that what truly benefits me as an individual is what benefits other people and what benefits the whole. This is compassion. When you have this compassionate mindset, you have a frame of reference. It is as if you have a moral compass that always points to true north. True north is what? It is unity among people rather than division and conflict. Unity must be based on compassion, not on confrontation.