The Constitution and the Liberal Mind—Part 3

Who Are the Destroyers of the Constitution?

Liberal used to mean “freeing” or “liberating,” as when the liberal arts freed a person’s mind from ignorance, superstition and subservience to those who would command him to surrender freedom of thought and conscience.  It denoted in its original meaning a great intellectual tradition which supports the liberty of the individual against the slavery of serfdom and dependence. 

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The Constitution and the Liberal Mind—Part 2

The Constitution was not intended to govern the people; it was intended to govern the government.  As Patrick Henry put it, “The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people; it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government—lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.”  So after the Founders wisely limited the powers of the federal government to those enumerated in the Constitution, they amended the Constitution with the Bill of Rights, which specifies the inalienable rights of each citizen, no matter what the government or a majority of the population might otherwise want. 

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What Is Freedom?—Part 3

This brings us to the highest aspect of freedom:  spiritual freedom.  In the entire spectrum of human knowledge, exploration and aspiration to unlock the mystery of existence and find enduring happiness, there is only one key, one answer:  spiritual freedom.  It was stated clearly by Jesus when he said to his disciples, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32).  .  

In other religions and sacred traditions, there is a similar understanding of spiritual freedom as freedom from self-ignorance and self-delusion, from vices and character flaws, from negative emotions, destructive compulsions and anything else which generates human unhappiness and prevents us from living God-centered or Spirit-centered lives of love and service to humanity.  That perspective, which is the collective highest wisdom known to humanity, is called the Perennial Philosophy.
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What Is Freedom?—Part 2

Freedom is indivisible.  It embraces every aspect of our humanity—both outer and inner, external and internal.  It applies to our physical, mental, social and spiritual dimensions because we have the capacity—the free will—to choose what we do and how we behave in all those dimensions of life.  If freedom is reduced in one aspect, that bears on all others.   To quote President Reagan again, “Freedom is indivisible—there is no ‘s’ on the end of it. You can erode freedom, diminish it, but you cannot divide it and choose to keep ‘some freedoms’ while giving up others.”

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