Events in Hong Kong recently, where millions of people are pushing against authoritarian meddling and encroachment, got me thinking about what it means to be free and why we feel so troubled when forces beyond our immediate control impinge on us.
Freedom and spirituality go hand in hand. Spirituality is pretty much at the centre of everything I do (or be). Feeling spiritual is not one epiphanous moment after another interrupted by driving to the supermarket. It’s simply a quiet settled understanding of the grace of god in all things. Like some barely audible, even subliminal music that drifts around one’s being, leaving one safe in the knowledge that one can use that feeling to centre oneself. To feel a strength, a connectedness to all things.
That connectedness relates to freedom of thought, expression and movement.
When we are shunted and shifted around against our will by outside forces we have a feeling of less freedom, less control over our destiny. Our natural connectedness then becomes fragile or is severed.
In our hearts we have a deep feeling of the natural grace in all things but our actions and thinking tell us otherwise and we go to war with ourselves. We become what Hegel would call “estranged from spirit”. A divided consciousness.
We act out this estrangement or divided self. The result is anger, anxiousness, depression, or just generally feeling perpetually uneasy with the world.
People right across the globe are reacting to this loss of natural freedom, this loss of connectedness. As a result they choose to see things in black and white rather than the nuances that permeate their lives; they put up walls in an overly assertive attempt at control.
But what about a country? What happens when a state actively suppresses people’s freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of association? For a society this is a most dangerous thing. And it’s what Hong Kong is now confronted with. An attack on freedom is an attack on the true spirit of humanity. That we all should be free.
I feel sorry for any peoples that are oppressively controlled by a countries leaders. For fringe dwellers, freedom from authoritarian rule is vital as they are likely to be the first to get shuffled off to the gulag for re-education. The subversives, the unusual thinkers, the booksellers, the people who have “dangerous” ideas.
Let freedom reign. Let the spirit be free! How? I will give it a shot soon – have run out of time today….