The more I think about what’s required for us to evolve spiritually, the more I have ended up thinking about freedom. In Diner Mystic, I included a Zen quote by Lin-Chi, that says:
“O you followers of Truth! If you wish to obtain an orthodox understanding of Zen, do not be deceived by others. Inwardly or outwardly, if you encounter any obstacles kill them right away. If you encounter the Buddha, kill him; if you encounter the Patriarch, kill him; … kill them all without hesitation, for this is the only way to deliverance. Do not get yourselves entangled with any object, but stand alone, pass on, and be free!”
At the time, I thought he was right, but hadn’t yet thought all the way through just why he’s right. Ultimately, I have come to the conclusion that the essential nature of God is freedom – that it’s impossible for God to exist without absolute freedom. Any ideas that we have of God that are less than this, or that restrict God’s freedom in any way, are just plain wrong. It’s difficult, however, for human beings to think clearly about a God who has this kind of absolute freedom – because it’s difficult to think about what possessing that kind of freedom would mean for human beings themselves. Without this freedom, God is not God and, equally so, without it, it would never be possible for human beings to discover their true selves. It’s that important!
I intend to address this issue of spiritual freedom more fully in my next post.