Dear sisters and brothers, we are all seekers seated in the same dream-boat. This dream-boat of ours shall take us to the Golden Shore. I wish to give a talk on freedom, from the spiritual point of view.

There is nobody who does not need freedom. At the same time, there is not a single person who has freedom in abundant measure. We are all seekers. We need freedom from ignorance, bondage and death. Now, our freedom is our conscious, constant and unconditional acceptance of the Will of our Inner Pilot. Our freedom is God's Heart of Compassion. Our freedom is the manifestation of His Will here on earth. Our freedom lies in our service and in our dedicated life.

We love; therefore we are free. How do we love? We love through our self-offering. Why do we love? We love because God, our Source, is all Love.

We serve; therefore we are free. How do we serve? We serve devotedly and unreservedly. Why do we serve? We serve precisely because we wish to expand our heart and heighten our life.

We are detached; therefore we are free. We are detached because of our awareness of the fact that we are not indispensable in anybody's life. We tried being attached to others, but we found that this attachment in no way relieved them from their sufferings; on the contrary, it only added to their ignorance-night.

But we do feel that there is someone who is indispensable, and that someone is the Inner Pilot. Our devotion to the supreme Inner Pilot is the thing of paramount importance in our life. On the physical plane some may see this as attachment, but on the spiritual plane all will know that it is devotion to the supreme Cause. When we pay all attention to the ignorance of the world, we call it attachment. But when we pay all attention to the Light within and above, we call it devotion. Since we are devoted to the Supreme, it is our bounden duty to inspire others to devote themselves to the same Inner Pilot if so He wills.

Here we are all seekers; we are all seekers of freedom-light. Once we become freedom-seekers, we know freedom represents our conscious satisfaction in a life of constant frustration. Although we are wedded to ignorance-night and constantly suffer from excruciating inner pangs, still we feel there is a streak of light in our life, and this light is our ever-growing, ever-expanding inner freedom.

Ignorance-night tells us that we are building castles in the air, that there is no abiding truth in our conception of Light, no reality in our feelings. Ignorance says that we are of night and we should be all the time for night. But our inner freedom tells us that today we are of God and for God, and that tomorrow God will make us future Gods. It tells us that God wants us to be equal to Him in every possible way. He feels that if we are an inch below Him, then He cannot manifest His Divinity, Eternity and Immortality to the fullest extent. Only when we are on the same footing as God can His divine Enjoyment reach the acme of perfection.

Freedom is the beauty of our aspiring heart.
Freedom is the duty of our devoted life.

Our aspiring heart is the Dream-sky of God.
Our devoted life is the Reality-sun of God.

With the Dream-sky of God, we pave an eternal road for our eternal journey to the ever-transcending Beyond.

With the Reality-sun of God, we grow into the very image of the Absolute Supreme.

Freedom is peace. Peace is an inner experience of our totality. Totality is the silence-sound and the sound-silence of Reality. When the sound-silence ascends, we realise our true Self. When the silence-sound descends, it is time for God-manifestation. We ascend with sound-silence, and that is our God-realisation. We descend with silence-sound, and that is our God-manifestation. Freedom is simplicity. Simplicity does not mean the absence of complexity; it in no way stands against complexity. Simplicity is our conscious acceptance of our own integrality. Freedom includes and it excludes. It excludes hunger from our human existence. It includes the divine feast that we constantly enjoy with the Lord Supreme in our divine existence.

Freedom is purity. Purity expedites our divine journey toward the transcendental Goal. It constantly, consciously and devotedly makes us feel what we are and what we are not. What we are is God's chosen children, seeking to manifest Him unconditionally in His own Way here on earth. What we are not is the chosen children of ignorance.

Freedom constantly reminds us that our Source is Light, and that our existence can therefore be nothing but a flood of Light. We realise the authenticity of this statement only when we dive deep within and feel the necessity of listening to the dictates of our inner being. Freedom reminds us of the supreme fact that our divine Source is eternal and our existence here on earth is going to be supremely divine. It is a matter of time. At God's choice Hour, today's imperfection is bound to blossom into tomorrow's perfect Perfection. The human in us feels that freedom is the fulfilment of our individuality. But when the human in us aspires, it comes to realise that this kind of freedom is nothing but earthbound individuality. The divine in us sees and feels that real freedom is the experience of universal reality or universality itself. As the ordinary person feels that his freedom is his individuality, the aspiring person feels that his freedom is his universality. And the Supreme in us feels that the real freedom lies in our all-embracing, all-illumining and all-fulfilling love for the world which is within us, which is without us, which is all-where.

We are all human beings. Most of the time we dwell in the world of hope. Hope is right now by far our best friend. When we hope for freedom, we know that it is our human friend, our human realisation, that is speaking within us. Hope for freedom is our human realisation. Promise for freedom is our divine realisation. Finally, our will for freedom, our adamantine will-power, is our supreme realisation.

Freedom we need, precisely because the Inner Pilot within us wants us to be free, totally free from the meshes of ignorance. Only then can we sing, dance and play with Him in His garden of ever-blossoming, ever-illumining and ever-fulfilling Dream and Reality.

Sri Chinmoy, My Maple Tree, Bhakti Press, 1974