Sunday, January 22, 2006

On Runaway Sam and Freedom

It’s sad that our world has become so constrained. I remember when it wasn’t so, and kids could have their own play life – in the woods or fields away from home. When a parent said, “Go outside and play!”, there were wide parameters implied. Of course be wary of strangers… don’t go out on the ice … don’t play in traffic… don’t damage others property, etc. Those things were understood. Our culture has become so fearful by comparison, as though there might be a terrorist, kidnapper, or sex fiend behind every bush. Or a lawsuit just waiting for one false step.

I think of my daughter getting gas at a pump where she can use her credit card so she won’t be accused of leaving kids in the car unsupervised while she runs into the store and pays. If the actual accusations aren’t happening there’s always the fear of them to keep us in line.

So we leash our dog and strap in ourselves and our kids. We get used to it, expect it even. Resent those who don’t, when we so faithfully do. We are behaving, but are we safer? Isn’t there a way to be safe in the world and still be free?

Here we enter the realm of spirit, of consciousness itself, and find a vast, barely charted world of choices. We find we are endlessly creative creatures, constantly shaping the unfolding experience within and around us. Are we safe there? In the eternal sense, of course. In the momentary creations? If we trust, if we learn to listen to our inner guidance we could hear that inner voice that says, “Don’t step there”, as our foot breaks the branch and down we fall.

And yet we live, grow through these experiences, and become even more. It is a mystery. I grow more trusting of that spiritual safety as I go on. Not willfulness to have it my way, but trust that I can feel my way to what is true and good for me, and leaves no one out. There is a wholeness to answered prayer, and that is what to aim for.

gg murray