Your Freedom is Yours

Nobody can give it to you or take it away.

Nobody can give it to you or take it away. They can suppress it, they can obstruct it, they can restrain it, but they cannot take it away. Only you can give it away, surrender it, renounce it.

You give away your freedom by suppressing yourself, by doing what deep inside you feel is not right, something you do not want to do, you will sense it.

As such, nobody can give it back to you. It does not belong to you.

I remember reading a letter of an American marine that he wrote from prison after refusing to go back to Iraq for the 3rd time. After coming back for the first time, he no longer believed it was the right thing to do and did not want to go back there, but he gave in to the pressure, to the fear of going to prison, being judged as a coward and so on. 

I remember reading a letter of an American marine that he wrote from prison after refusing to go back to Iraq for the 3rd time. After coming back for the first time, he no longer believed it was the right thing to do and did not want to go back there, but he gave in to the pressure, to the fear of going to prison, being judged as a coward and so on. The next time he was told to go, he stayed true to himself; he refused to go back and ended up in prison. I never forget the last words in his letter. “It is strange, I am sitting here, writing a letter from a prison cell, but never in my life I have felt so free.

Freedom is a sense of internal peace. It is a mindset, listening to your conscience, to your most inner voice. Even if you are physically constrained like the marine, you can still be free.

We need to honour our inner, emotional, spiritual selves. We cannot deny its existence. We all feel it, especially in the time we feel fully alive.

Such moments can be expressed as being one with God.

Talking about God, we say she is omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscience. If this is true, then God is within everyone and everything; it is within you. Listen to your inner voice expressed by emotions, sensations, and feelings. This is how your God is communicating with you.

Let’s think about the first commandment: “Thou shalt have no other gods before me”.

If God is everywhere, so within you as well, following orders against your conscience (your inner voice of God)  is putting the ones giving orders before God.

By surrendering our freedom, our free will, giving someone authority over ourselves (and the God within us), we are putting them before God.

Old recorded wisdom included in Judaism, Christianity, Islam warns us about such behaviours.

Our Civilisation v 7 Deadly Sins

I keep on hearing that our civilisation and its social/political/economic system is built on Christian values, but what does it mean? what values?  They are not mentioned.

What I remember from my religious educations was that it is about loving each other and caring for each other, love your neighbour, do not judge, forgive.

I checked some quotes:

“For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’ Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? And the King will tell them, ‘I assure you, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’”
Matthew 25:31-40 NLT

“You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against any of your people, but you shall love your neighbour as yourself: I am the Lord.”
Leviticus 19:18

I could not see these behaviours being prominent or promoted by our current systems.

So, I thought of the 7 virtues, how is this civilisation and systems tracking against them.

I got on a site that listed 7 deadly sins and corresponding 7 virtues. Here they are:

  1. Pride                                                                Humility
  2. Greed                                                              Charity
  3. Lust                                                                 Chasity
  4. Envy                                                                Gratitude
  5. Gluttony                                                          Temperance
  6. Anger                                                              Patience
  7. Sloth                                                                Diligence

This was scary, let’s look at it

Seven deadly sins and our current system:

  1. Pride – Competition is the base of our economy. And what is competition, other than a way to show “I am better than you”. Isn’t this a form of Pride.  Our political system is the same; elections are all about look at me, look how good I am. Winning is everything. We need to show we are better than others. And right now it is actually showing that they are worse than me.
  2. Greed – there is even a saying “Greed is good”? In a Christian country greed is good? One of the seven deadly sins is considered good? The whole system is built on greed. We want more, more, more for me. In do not want to share, I do not want to support less fortunate. We destroy the environment on which we depend so we can have more.
  3. Lust – strong craving and desire extensively used in marketing which playing on our emotions is persuading us we need this or that often using sexual images. Again this is to support economy which needs to grow continuously by its design.
  4. Envy – again popular saying “keep up with Jones”, we compare ourselves with others, are they more successful? Envy is used to do more so we can have at least what others have.
  5. Gluttony – we produce enough food to feed everyone on the Earth and yet over 6 million die from hunger and it is the Christian part of the world that wastes the food allowing poorer nation (or now even people in our own country in case of Australia) to go hungry while food is being thrown away. I would also extend this into overconsumption in general.
  6. Anger – divide and rule, blame and hate the “other” refugee, old, sick, unemployed colour, gay, Muslim, Jew, black, Chinese, viruses, travellers, the list is endless as long as we have someone or something to hate.
  7. Sloth – (comes from without care) do we care about others or environment? Wouldn’t we all like to live of investments, so we do not have to do anything and pay someone to do it for us.


I learned so much from talking with Aboriginal Elders. Many of my insights were inspired by such conversation.

When talking about stories, how were they used to convey the message, the laws, the history, I said that were I come from stories are something you say to entertain people and if you wanted to learn something you took a textbook. I still remember is surprised and sadden face of the Elder. I also asked why did the Aboriginal stories change, as some people say that they heard different stories or different versions of the stories.

The response I got was: No, the stories are the same; we only add more details depending on initiation of the listener.

I contemplated this answer, and the story of Adam and Eve came to mind. I used to get upset why did the story change, why was I not told the full story from the beginning.

First time I heard it I was about 7 years old. And in summary it went like this:

“God created Adam and Eve and this beautiful place for them called Eden.  They could live there forever in happiness and fulfilment; it provided them with what they needed, they could do whatever they wanted, except for eating a fruit from the forbidden tree.  However, they did not listen and ate one fruit.  God got very angry and threw them out of Eden.

I must admit when I heard this story, I felt so reliefed that my parents were not like God.  I just ate a cookie before dinner (and they told me not to do it). The thought that if they were like God they would threw me out of the house was terrifying.   I could not understand why God that was supposed to be all loving and all mighty, could be so cruel.  If he did not want Adam and Eve to eat that fruit, why did he put it in Eden?

I understood the message as:  You should listen to you parents, as the consequences could be terrifying.

Next time I heard this story a detail was added. This was the tree of knowledge.  Again, I could not understand why God did not want people to be knowledgeable. It came clearer when I heard the song Epitaph by King Crimson with the words: “Knowledge is a deadly friend when no one sets the rules”. That was my new understanding of the same story.

The third version of the story of Adam and Eve added the final detail, it was the tree of knowledge of good and evil and thought that God just did not want them to know it, he wanted to be superior.

It is after the conversation with Aboriginal Elders, I got it, like a breakthrough, I reconciled the story with the concept of a loving, forgiving God.

Eating the fruit from the tree of Good and Evil made Adam and Eve started to pass judgements on themselves and everything around the.  Separating everything into good and bad, right and wrong, unable to see the wholeness. At that moment they could not stay in a place of happiness and fulfilment. 

God did not throw them out, they just could not stay.  Once you separate things and pass judgments you create suffering and you destroy your Eden. 

This story warns people that by passing judgment they are destroying their Eden their place of happiness.

And it is not the only place in the bible that tells us not to judge.

Let me just quote one. Form Luke 6:37

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”

Just imagine what a beautiful world we would live in if most people would follow the teaching from the Bible.  Why with so many Christians and most powerful governments claiming they are based on Christian values these values are not upheld. On the contrary judgement, condemnation and no forgiveness is the common position.

So Sad

Why I was so grateful my parents were not like God

My parents were not that religious and did not see a need to teach me what bible says. My grandma did.  

I remember when she told me the story about Adam and Eve.  This is how it went: 

Adam and Eve lived in Eden, a beautiful place where they had everything they wanted. It was provided by God, who told them they can enjoy this place and live in eternal happiness under one condition; they could not eat an apple from the special tree.  But they did not listen, did not comply and ate one apple. God got very angry with them and threw them out of Eden.   

I was horrified and thought I was so lucky my parents were not like God.  Just yesterday, I ate a cookie that my parent told me I should not eat before dinner , but I did.  If they were like God they would throw me out of the house and were would I go? What would I do? I was just 7 years old.

Another time I heard about Abraham and how God asked him to kill his child. That was really scary to me: what if my parents where like God and decided that killing children is a good idea?

Next time I heard that God was so loving that he decided to torture his own son to death to show his great love. Again I was so grateful that my parents were not like God. What if they decided to show their love by torturing their own child?