There’s a spiritual concept that seems to create a good deal of confusion. It goes by the name of freedom or liberation, both terms referring not to political freedom but inner freedom. The reason that “freedom” has a spiritual meaning is that a state of total freedom is possible. The confusion arises because at first glance we already feel free inside, most of the time, at least. Our thoughts and feelings are our own. We can be persuaded or coerced to change our minds, but in the end, we decide for ourselves.
Inner freedom is the ability to do all things guided by wisdom. Most people are bound by their desires, which is not freedom at all.
We must never forget that we are all free agents. We can change our karma if we use our will power, and are guided by wisdom as we do so. If we guide our actions by will power and wisdom, the power of our wrong habits will grow weaker and the power of our good actions will grow stronger. We must not cease activity; instead, we must increase the power of our activity, so that despite bad influences, our will power will speed things up and begin to change our karma.
Most people never live in true freedom. They become attached to non-essentials, and are always seeking something they do not already possess. Established customs enslave them. But as soon as we become a slave to anything, we have lost our will power and freedom — at least to that extent. Just as Asians are slaves to old customs, so the Western people are slaves to new customs. We chalk out our destiny in the past and to that destiny we make ourselves slaves.
Why is it that one person is born into an evil family and another person is born into a good family? It is because each person used his freedom in a certain way in past lives and thus attracted to himself those conditions in this life.
There is no real life, no real freedom without God. Whatever we are doing or thinking, God must always be uppermost in our mind. When we are in tune with God, we can accomplish all our goals.
We must always remember this. God’s methods are not those of an Almighty Being always seeking to punish us. He has created us out of His love, and He has given us the freedom to seek Him or not. We must work out our own destiny with His help.