Saturday, August 31, 2013

Internal Freedom

Leonard Read in this chapter talks about inward freedom particularly in relation to looking down on someone. This is a difficult temptation to resist especially these days where discussions in social network are widespread. Most people are in the habit of name calling when they observe that someone does not see what they see or people are saying things they don't approve (p.11). 

Perhaps the way Read labels the ability to overcome the above temptation as inner freedom is something unpopular to many, but the essence of it is not new. Read claims that he based his concept from the New Testament referring in particular to the warning of the Lord in the Gospels, "...whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire." 

Read has a high regard for the New Testament especially the Sermon on the Mount. Two psychiarists served as his guides in this kind of perception. They are Dr. Fritz Kunkel and Dr. James T. Fisher (p. 12). He shared with Dr. Kunkel's belief about the New Testament:

"But we have only one book which gives us the full description of the human situation, and of the way leading through all troubles and frustrations, and finally into utmost light. It is the great textbook of depth-psychology: The New Testament" (ibid.)

I just wonder why the Old Testament is not included. Anyway, to continue in despising others, says Read, will actually harm you more than the person whom you despised. You will have a new enemy. His mind will be closed to you no matter how insightful your words are. He will no longer listen to you. Read equates this in sinking your own ship (p. 15). 

And then Read mentioned about four prayer concerns. I find the first prayer concern very personal, the noble desire to straighten out someone's thought (p. 16). Inner freedom can never be achieved unless we learn to let go of that desire to manage someone's life. A "know-it-all person" will always remain a stranger to this kind of freedom. And so I made this prayer: " I am an angry man. I am a know-it-all person. I ask for forgiveness Lord. Make me a loving person instead. Grant me the grace of humility to see my mistake." 

Indeed, "The better world begins with that man who attends to his inner freedom" (p. 17). Amen! 


Reference:

Read, Leonard E. (1973). Who's Listening? New York: The Foundation for Economic Education, Inc.