Spiritual Freedom—How Acquired, How Practiced, and How Defended

[Substantially as published in The Christian Science Monitor, April 14,

How strangely stirring is the conversation which grows out of the visit of Nicodemus to Jesus on the slope of Olivet in the silent hours of night! Nicodemus has heard of the sayings and doings of the renowned Teacher in and about Jerusalem. Now he has come to ask, How can these things be? "Ye must be born again," urges Jesus, "born of water and of the Spirit." Then, possibly pointing to the swaying olive branch overhead, he symbolizes: "the wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit."

A person whose outlook is material can entertain no more than a limited, inaccurate concept of himself and of his environment. He is bound to view life as suppressed and wearisome. He is submissive to all forms of servitude. Whereas he who rouses himself to the recognition that he is born of the Spirit beholds the unobstructed realm in which he is a free and unrestricted inhabitant.

Are there then two universes and two types of men? Not at all. The unillumined mentality fancies that man is material and mortal, and that the world he lives in is of like quality. Whereas the illumined mentality sees man as a spiritual immortal, unfettered and unafraid. Not two men, not two universes, but two views of man and of the universe—the one true, the other false.

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