The Liberty Torch

1.

The Liberty Torch is a human aspiration, a divine realisation and supreme perfection.

2.

Birthless are the flames of the Liberty Torch, deathless is the light of the Liberty Torch.

3.

To the soulless life, the Liberty Torch grants a soulful life. To the goalless reality, the Liberty Torch grants an ever-illumining and ever-transcending goal.

4.

Liberty was America's dream-fulfilled reality. Equality is America's reality-fulfilling dream.

5.

America's liberty was America's outer success. America's equality is America's inner progress.

6.

Yesterday America enjoyed the sacred flame of liberty. Today America enjoys the sacred light of equality. Tomorrow America shall enjoy the sacred sun of divinity.

7.

America's past was God's meaningful promise. America's present is God's soulful cry. America's future will be God's fruitful smile.

8.

Columbus discovered America. America discovered fastest speed and surest success.

9.

Paul Revere rode. America is still riding. The world is openly watching and secretly admiring.

10.

George Washington was the father of the American nation. He was the son of peace and the brother of self-giving.

11.

America's independence, humanity's self-awareness and Divinity's self-transcendence were one, inseparably one.

12.

The human in some American souls touched and rang the Liberty Bell. The divine in some American souls heard the Bell ringing and valued the soul and the goal of the Bell.

13.

Philadelphia enjoyed a ceaseless struggle for American freedom. Washington, D.C. enjoys an untiring struggle for world-acceptance and world-understanding.

14.

Spirituality wanted the heart of the Declaration of Independence. Divinity wanted the soul of the Declaration of Independence.

God said to spirituality, "Take it and live for it." God said to divinity, "Take it and live with it."

15.

Two hundred years ago America was soulfully hungry. Therefore America unreservedly devoured England's tribulation.

America is now supremely thirsty. Therefore America is trying to drink breathlessly the world's Union-Illumination.

16.

Believe it or not, once upon a time England was taller than America.

Believe it or not, once upon a time England was stronger than America.

Believe it or not, England was once upon a time faster than America.

Now, America's head is too tall for the world, not to speak of England, to measure.

America's arms are too strong for the world, not to speak of England, to bind.

America's legs are too fast for the world, not to speak of England, to watch.

17.

England said to America, "Yours is not revolution but mental confusion." America said to England, "Thank you for your self-styled wisdom."

The world said to America, "America, yours is not revolution but evolution — not only your evolution but the evolution of the world, too." America said to the world, "I love you for your God-ordained encouragement and inspiration."

18.

America needed self-government. America acquired it. America needs self-mastery. America will, before long, acquire it.

19.

Fortune-hunting people came to America. Fortune they amassed. Inside fortune they wanted to see the face of happiness. Alas, the face of happiness was not to be found there. Where is happiness? Happiness is in the relinquishment of expectation.

20.

America does not like Communism. It does not like individualism either. America not only likes but loves the oneness of collectivism.

21.

Watergate is America's justice-height and the world's admiration-flight.

Watergate has told us that sincerity-heart ultimately triumphs, insincerity-mind eventually, plus helplessly, fails.

What is sincerity? Oneness-satisfaction. What is insincerity? Division-glorification.

22.

"My country is the world, and my religion is to do good."

— Thomas Paine

Behold, a universal heart is crying and a transcendental soul is smiling.

23.

"He that would make has own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression."

— Thomas Paine

A sublime experience of the illumining heart! Who is man's enemy? How many enemies are there? Only one, and that enemy is man's own unlit lower self.

24.

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

— Benjamin Franklin

Insecurity is the immediate neighbour of safety. Bondage is the immediate neighbour of liberty. Perfection is the immediate neighbour of deathless satisfaction.

25.

"The God who gave us life gave us liberty at the same time."

— Thomas Jefferson

Who is that God? That God is man's forgotten Reality, his only real Reality.

26.

"America means opportunity, freedom, power."

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

God gave opportunity to America. America gave freedom to America. Heaven's smile and earth's cry gave power to America.

27.

"Our whole duty, for the present at any rate, is summed up in the motto: America first."

— Woodrow Wilson

Why? Because somebody wants it. Who is that somebody? God the ever-transcending dream, God the ever-increasing speed.

28.

"The heart of the question is whether all Americans are to be afforded equal rights and equal opportunities."

— John F. Kennedy

First of all, let us try to be sure what equal rights and equal opportunities mean. According to my inner feeling, equal rights means freedom from outer helplessness and equal opportunities means freedom from self-imposed physical, vital and mental obscurities.

29.

"When indeed shall we learn that we are related one to the other, that we are all members of one body?"

— Helen Keller

We shall learn that we are related to one another, that we are all members of one body, only when we take constant advice from the family's eldest and wisest member, the soul.

30.

What is the American spirit? The American spirit is America's eagerness to know what the world needs.

31.

America aspired. America's aspiration was really soulful.

America inspires. America's inspiration is really fruitful.

32.

America's vision was to become transcendentally great. America's mission is to become universally good.

33.

America succeeded because America became successful in unlearning the teachings of the doubtful mind. America proceeds because America has a new teacher, the heart.

34.

America succeeds because America likes to proceed. America proceeds because America consciously and devotedly invokes God's Compassion-Eye to precede.

35.

Surrender: this is America's promise to God in the inner world. Endeavour: this is America's promise to God in the outer world.

36.

America wants to play with the world because America has two big arms. America likes to eat with the world because America has a big heart.

37.

The rest of the world needs America, not because America is great but because America is willing — at times conditionally, but always unreservedly.

38.

America is not afraid of the world's bullet and bomb-power. But America is afraid of the world's tear-power.

America's heart has challenged and put up a brave fight against America's arms.

39.

America says to the United Nations, "Please be careful before you speak." The United Nations says to America, "Please be soulful before you offer."

40.

The United Nations needs America because America is most progressive. America needs the United Nations because the United Nations is a perfect stranger to aggression and submission.

41.

The United Nations says, "Today's theory is tomorrow's practice." The United States says, "Today's practice is tomorrow's reality." God says, "My children, reality is at once a theory-seed and a practice-fruit. No inner seed, no outer fruit; no outer fruit, no inner seed."

42.

As America's sulking face and angry eyes are not foreign to the United Nations, even so the United Nations' needful existence-life and thoughtful preparation are not foreign to America.

43.

The United Nations says to a seeker, "Do you have patience? If so, then everything will eventually and effectively be all right."

The United States says to a seeker, "Do you have faith in justice? If so, everything will momentarily and surprisingly be all right."

44.

America is prominence in the outer world. That is good. America is confidence in the inner world. That is even better. America is self-transcendence in God's special Vision-Reality-World. That is, indeed, by far the best.

45.

They say that America enjoys sentiment. I say that America enjoys commitment.

They say that America is apt to boast. I say that there is nothing wrong in it since America's boat plies most speedily between the cosmic Dream-coast and the cosmic Reality-coast.

46.

America does not claim perfection, as far as I can see. America does not claim illumination, as far as I know. Now, does America claim anything? Yes, America does. What does America claim? A colossal preparation: not only for its own illumination and perfection but for the illumination and perfection of the entire world.

47.

America's mind believes in the theory of give and take; therefore America is great. America's heart believes in the theory of give, just give; therefore America is good.

48.

The difference between America's greatness and America's goodness is this: America's greatness silences the world and then beckons the world; America's goodness accelerates the world and then elevates the world.

49.

What is the difference between America's leadership and America's friendship? America's leadership tells the world: work first and then eat. This is quite natural. America's friendship tells the world: eat first and then work; and if you have nothing to eat, I am coming immediately with a large supply of food for you. This is quite unusual.

50.

America runs because America wants to do something more than mere walking. America flies because America wants to do something more than mere climbing. America dives because America wants to do something more than mere swimming.

Editor's introduction to the first edition

The Liberty Torch is Sri Chinmoy's name for the American spirit. Birthless are its flames, he writes; deathless is its light. Today the Liberty Torch is human aspiration, tomorrow it shall be divine realisation and the day after tomorrow it shall be supreme perfection. In this unusual book, Sri Chinmoy offers his reflections on the real meaning of the Liberty Torch, portraying its various moods, various shapes, various colours. This book, then, stands as a portrait of America as seen through the illumining vision of a great spiritual Master.

Inspired by this vision, 27 young Americans formed a Bicentennial Group called Liberty Torch and decided to embark on an 8,800-mile, non-stop relay run through each of the 50 states. During the run, a flaming torch is to be passed from runner to runner symbolising the rekindling of the deeper spiritual values and human ideals upon which this nation was founded. The run is to begin at the Statue of Liberty on June 26, 1976 and end 46 days later at the White House.

From: Sri Chinmoy, The Liberty Torch - , Agni Press, 1976
Sourced from http://www.srichinmoylibrary.com/lt