Freedom is the Ability to Compel Oneself to Work

What do we mean by freedom in Logopraxis work?

Freedom is understood by most people to be a state of being under no constraints and so free to do whatever it is they want to do. The common understanding of freedom in this respect would equate it to a feeling of bliss, of living with no pressure in a kind of abandonment of spirit in the absence of anything that would bring disruption or feelings of discord into our experience of life. This understanding of freedom is often associated with a desire for a permanent state that involves the kind of intense feelings of release we might have experienced in the rush of relief that comes when conditions we desperately want free from suddenly change. The freedom promoted in the world is often nothing more than being “freed” from the responsibilities we feel are “forced” upon us due to finding ourselves in conditions or circumstances that we regard as not of our making or choosing. This concept of freedom, however, is purely an external one, it is wanting to be free of external constraints that we mistakenly see as the cause of our feeling inwardly out-of-sorts. The mistaken belief is that if conditions change more to my liking – i.e. are more agreeable so that they fit with what I want, then I will be free with no demands made on me and so will be happy. This may be a little simplistic but it kind of captures the key element in a much more complex picture.

This natural concept of freedom is not what is meant by freedom in regard to living a spiritual life for it’s a concept that equates freedom with a “life of ease” (see AC 454) which is not the life of heaven or a life that can foster true happiness, fulfilment, and meaning as its by-product. We are all familiar with the statement, “If you should be remaining in My Word, you are truly My disciples, and you will know the truth and the truth will be making you free.” (Jn 8:32-33) Now if by being made free, we understand having what we find disagreeable removed then the result will be confusion – “I love the Lord and my neighbour, I read the Word, go to church, act charitably yet I find myself beset with problems, my life seems to be filled with conflicts, and things aren’t going to plan.” Or “Since doing Logopraxis things seem to be getting worse, I just don’t feel free.” This kind of thinking and its infinite number of variants all flow from a misunderstanding of the kind of freedom truth offers.

The freedom we receive from truths is the freedom to work spiritually. All work involves effort. It is the freedom to bring a different state of mind to the conditions of life we have to deal with. Far from being released from difficulties we are empowered by the Lord/Word to engage with them differently. Freedom spiritually understood is the experience of compelling oneself to hold to what the Word teaches in the face of what appearances presented to our senses would have us believe. This is why it is said that in times of temptation a person is in greater freedom than in times when they are not in temptations – by which is meant that they are having to exercise a greater degree of self-compulsion or effort to resist whatever it is they are having to deal with. The ability to compel oneself is……the exercise of freedom. This is only possible due to the presence of truths from the Word taken into the life. When we act from truths, it is the Lord acting through us, for He is those truths. The principle is that all spiritual effort is a product of acting as if of ourselves but acknowledging that this ability is from the Lord alone.

In LP work we work with tasks drawn from the text. What are we doing when we do this? We are creating conditions that form the basis for opportunities towards exercising freedom through self-compulsion. You no doubt have noticed that when you look to implement a task all kinds of difficulties arise that seem to stand in opposition to doing it. The presence of these difficulties and resistances gives us something to work against and if we do that work from the text then we are in the experience of the Lord building a new will within our growing understanding of truths. Without resistance, there is no opportunity provided for self-compulsion and the building of will in spiritual matters. So in summary from a Logopraxis perspective;

Freedom is the ability to compel oneself to work….

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