Monday, April 14, 2008

Defending Spiritual Sovereignty

"When you arise in the morning give thanks for the food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself. ." -Tecumseh

All attempts at political liberty throughout history have proven unsustainable. Political freedom is squandered as the people relinquish personal freedoms to those whom they have entrusted as their leaders. Few leaders resist the intoxication of power that is offered up freely, and it is not long before the masses become complacent as their spirits were further enslaved. This is fundamentally a spiritual not political inadequacy of the masses. People whose spirits are not inherently free, cannot sustain a free political structure. Our lack of spiritual sovereignty and resulting lack of liberty are evidenced by the spiritual paths we choose to adopt.

Religious hierarchies demand the trust and unquestioned obedience of its followers in order to sustain the religious legacy established by the religion's founder. Such hierarchies, which generally start as benevolent, evolve to tyranny in short order.

Spiritual seekers confuse the guidance offered by gurus and teachers as an invitation to forego the responsibility of spiritual sovereignty. Deceptive spiritual hucksters demand unquestioned obedience of their disciples, making them spiritual slaves. Some blatantly demand the enslavement of their disciples in exchange for spiritual freedom that will be awarded to them at some point in the future. This dangerous twisting of the truth is every bit as insidious as a democratically elected leader insisting that fascism will set the population free.

With few exceptions spiritual sovereignty seems reserved to spiritual leaders and is not presented as a possibility for the masses. The same reality is manifested in our political and cultural realms. These leaders, whether political, religious or spiritual, dangle the concept of liberation or freedom as the reward for compliance. The reality is that spiritual and political liberty is a birth right and responsibility, not an achievement or goal. This is a fundamental truth in all levels of existence.

Politicians promise liberty as the reward for giving up our liberties and fighting wars. Religious leaders promise the liberty of heaven as a reward for compliance and blind faith. Spiritual leaders promise liberation as a spiritual achievement in exchange for giving up ones spiritual sovereignty to the leader.

The absurd and deceitful hawking of liberty as a commodity and reward has successfully convinced the masses in all cultures that they can achieve this trinket by essentially giving up ones personal sovereignty and relinquishing their personal responsibility for their existence to more qualified individuals.

I believe that liberty is not an achievement at all, but something that one maintains by preserving ones own inner sovereignty. Liberation in the spiritual sense is in fact only a sign post on an infinite journey. My personal experience has shown that spiritual liberation is a recurring theme throughout ones journey and not an actual achievement in and of itself.

Sustaining a sovereign spirit is not trivial. One must be willing to suffer casualties and bloodshed to maintain spiritual sovereignty. True worldly freedom and liberty is only possible if we strive to upkeep our sovereignty as individuals in all manners, both spiritual, cultural, and political. Giving our spiritual sovereignty up to a guru, politician or religious leader only perpetuates spiritual slavery, and hence material slavery proliferates. Accepting guidance and help is very different from giving up ones sovereignty, but far too many are willing to give a helping hand if only we relinquish our responsibility for our own sovereignty. We as political and spiritual beings seem all to willing to take this apparently easy path.

It is our duty to help others. It is also clear that those being helped who yearn to be free must be willing to bear the burden of maintaining their own sovereignty. They must be willing to defend it in the spiritual and worldly realms. This path is narrow and not for the faint of heart.

The USA was founded on principles of personal sovereignty and liberty. Hidden in plain sight was our Native American brothers and sisters, who had lived as a sovereign people for centuries before the western Europeans arrived. Our experiment in liberty failed because we did not bear the burden of responsibility as sovereign people or respect the sovereignty of others. We enslaved Africans and stole the land and freedoms from the Native Americans and ignored their wisdom. This is not the behavior of a true sovereign people who honor and love liberty, but of a spiritually enslaved people intoxicated with the lust for power and the property of others.

Two thousand years ago, Jesus of Nazareth taught a message of spiritual sovereignty and the personal responsibility required to sustain it. His principles of compassion, charity and brotherly love, are the cornerstones for respecting the sovereignty of others. He challenged the religious and political hierarchies without a sword or threats of revolution, but with words that proclaimed that the souls of the masses to be free. He shed his own blood defending the sovereignty of all humans in the eyes of God. This fact has been twisted by the Christian hierarchy and transformed into a guilt ridden belief that Jesus died for our sins, when in fact he sacrificed himself for an even greater cause, the individual sovereignty of all humanity. His efforts were indeed for the purpose of setting all humanity free, but not, I believe in the way it has been twisted by a self serving religious hierarchy. He also taught that with our new freedom, comes the responsibility to honor the freedom and sovereignty of others. This is the guiding principle for liberty to persist in a culture of diverse but sovereign individuals.

These concepts of spiritual liberty and sovereignty are not only lost in Christianity, but are scarce in any religious or spiritual texts and belief systems made available to the masses. Native American culture and spirituality seems to be one of the few other examples where individual sovereignty is honored and fostered. Sadly many Native Americans became complacent to the encroaching western culture and as a result, their spiritual and cultural sovereignty was overwhelmed by the deceptive and self serving European invaders.

The USA was intended to be a nation of sovereign people. True sovereignty, however, must begin with the spirit. Liberty or liberation is not a goal, but a right that must be vigorously maintained and defended through personal responsibility for ones own sovereignty and the respect of the sovereignty of others. With so many spiritual paths leading to enslavement and submission, guidance to achieve this in worldly matters seems unlikely unless we adopt and enforce the concepts of sovereignty in spiritual matters. While Jesus took the bold initiative to make these principles known to the masses and provide a template for it to be sustained, true spiritual sovereignty can only be achieved one heart at a time.