Every year on Independence Day, I wonder about our founding fathers, the people who gave so much to ensure our freedom today. I don’t think I could ever know what they went through – the long drawn out messy battle to gain freedom – so much death, poverty and destruction.
But as I sat with the idea of freedom this morning, I wondered what it meant in my life today. So I did what I usually do, I went to the dictionary to see what Merriam-Webster had to say: A) the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action; B) liberation from slavery or restraint or from the power of another; and my favorite, C) the quality of being frank, open, or outspoken.
For so long I have thought of freedom as releasing, unburdening myself or letting go. Especially in Unity, we talk about lightening our load, releasing error thoughts or limiting thoughts – that this is the process of freedom. And it’s true, I do let go of things that are burdensome, or what doesn’t serve me. In part, I do this by choosing to claim my good, by choosing to affirm my good, by affirming God is everywhere present in and through and as me. I choose what I want to think, I choose how I want to act, I have unlimited freedom in what I choose to attract into my life.
And even though I know this, I have moments when I think, “Did I really attract that?” “Is this really what I was thinking?” Or when I find myself repeating a lesson, and thinking, “Didn’t I already learn this?” I knew freedom was everything I had just been thinking, and something more.
One of my favorite mystics and writers, Cynthia Bourgeault says, “Freedom is not a flash of mystical vision, but clarity of unitive seeing.” When I first read that it resonated for me, my heart knew there was truth because the heart recognizes truth, even if I am not grasping the intellectual understanding – that’s wisdom.
So what is unitive seeing? Unitive is one, oneness, wholeness. How do I, as a human, practice “wholeness” seeing? Well, I am a human, so I am MIXTUS ORBIS, which literally means “mixed realms.” I have this human, physical world that I live in, my body, my basic cellular and genetic makeup, my animal instincts, my day-to-day life and the world I experience through my five senses.
Then there’s the other world, the divine realm, the angelic world, the intangible that at times can be difficult to put into words. As a human I am made of both worlds, both realms. I needed to recognize this, and claim this as good, to engage unitive seeing.
Frequently in religious or spiritual traditions we are taught to release or transcend the physical realm, to move to a place of pure divinity as though it were a destination or something to aspire to. Not for me. I think what our job is, what our calling is as humans, is to know that where we are right now, in this now moment is exactly where we belong.
It’s not about freeing ourselves from one realm, but rather how we move from one world to another in each and every moment. It’s in the dancing between those realms where the expression of God is made visible through our words and gestures, through love, compassion, and understanding.
The Sufi tradition says, “Where the two seas meet is where the true secret of our existence is revealed.” Where the oceans meet, where those two worlds are joined, that’s where our true existence lies, that’s where our true purpose, our true calling is expressed, where we see God made manifest. I am that avenue for seeing both worlds. I am the avenue for bringing the angelic realm here into physical form – to bring forth the universe from within to without. And how well I connect with the divine realm and how I express it in physical form has everything to do with my ability to freely play and create my world here on earth. Herein lies my true freedom.
Yet sometimes I get stuck in my experiences of pain, sadness, despair, loneliness or anger. As though the physical appearance seems to be a paradox, or might not fall into my traditional notion of good or right, and inside I am screaming, “Let me out!” It’s like I am standing knee-deep in a river looking for water. I can’t see wholeness, even though I am fully immersed in it. I have forgotten that my call is to be in the now moment, where my outer eyes can close, the veil can be lifted and unitive seeing can emerge.
My freedom lies in choosing to follow that thread of my human experience all the way through to the other side, and respond to the aliveness that lies beyond, which is the divine. Life is always this tension between being and becoming. Becoming is the uncovering, following the trail long enough through twists and turns to come to the light, the origin of my soul. Being is making God visible through my own humanity, living from that spot of grace once uncovered.
Through my innocence and courage I close my eyes, and I begin to move between worlds… I begin that divine dance where the two seas meet. It’s the place for polishing the mirror of my awareness remembering that where I am is exactly where I belong, that the purest of all moments, which is right here, right now, is the doorway to freedom.