Happy Independence Day! Today, I don’t narrowly celebrate the liberation of the US colonies from Britain; I celebrate freedom itself.
I celebrate you who manage to find education in school, and God in the Church or the Temple, despite those preaching conformity, literalism, learned dependence, and xenophobia. I celebrate those who, with humility, wisdom, and courage, strive to connect others to their own best ways of seeing and their own joy.
Freedom and tyranny are all around us, and can be found through the same doors. Let’s not stake our quest for facts on our aesthetics. Let’s not mistake what is for what ought to be, or for what exists in the world for what exists in a realm of perfected truth. Let’s help each other find his or her unique freedom, or get out of each other’s way.
The popular quote from Corinthians is meaningless to me without the qualification from Ursula Le Guin.
“When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” –1 Corinthians 13:11
“The creative adult is the child who survived…. An adult is not a dead child, but a child who survived.” –Ursula Le Guin
Many adults are not children who survived intact. They are beaten, scared, and submissive to a task master installed in their minds.
Tolkien put it better than I could: “Fantasy is escapist, and that is its glory. If a soldier is imprisoned by the enemy, don’t we consider it his duty to escape?. . . If we value the freedom of mind and soul, if we’re partisans of liberty, then it’s our plain duty to escape, and to take as many people with us as we can!”
Lord, let me learn something new today about freedom. Let me better connect with other people while strengthening my connection with myself. Again: Happy Independence Day!