Spiritual Freedom

The desire of mankind, ever since it began to take stock of itself and to notice how far short it came of perfection, has been for spiritual freedom. Believing itself to be material in origin and that matter is necessary to life, mankind throughout the ages has been enthralled by its own material concepts, the victim of its own fallacious beliefs. And yet, it has ever seemed to it that something was radically wrong somewhere; and so, the continual struggle to be free. The warfare has not been in vain, for history plainly shows the upward trend of the human race, its gradual emancipation from the degrading tendencies of materiality, its progressive attainment of spiritual freedom.

But although mankind as a whole has progressed considerably beyond what may be termed the merely animalistic stage of existence, in many ways it is still in its infancy. To take but a single line: how far has the understanding of spiritual truth, the understanding upon which spiritual freedom is based, freed the human race from the domination of the material senses? We may refer with just appreciation to the advance the more enlightened nations of the earth have made in establishing the right of individuals to freedom of conscience, freedom of speech, and freedom of action, under the moral law and having just regard for the rights of others; but can it be said that men have as yet attained to an undoubted victory over the material senses?

Now it is reasonable to think that freedom should not be circumscribed or limited. Christian Science upholds this view of the question, maintaining that nothing but complete emancipation from every form of evil, from every sensuous or material belief, should satisfy mankind. In this it is in entire agreement with Christ Jesus, who uttered these heart-searching words in his Sermon on the Mount: "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." And to be perfect surely indicates perfect spiritual freedom. We are forced by the Master's words to consider where we stand; for he never uttered a command impossible of obedience.

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April 20, 1929

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