WHATEVER OUR BACKGROUND, WE HAVE ALL BEEN
blunted and shrunk by society into small, limited, perishable things
called human beings—separate, lonely, full of fear, locked
up in the prison of our conditioning.
Various escape routes seem to lie ahead of us, such as hard
work, TV, shopping, sex, drugs, spirituality. We imagine there's
no simple and straightforward release from our prison, but in
fact it offers no fewer than eleven wide-open doors to freedom.
As we are about to see.
What I need is liberation from guilt and every kind
of selfishness and delinquency.
The overriding aim and passion of my adult life has been
conscious union with its Source. Yet I seem to get worse all the
time instead of better! (Probably what's happening is that I'm
becoming more aware of the ingenious tricks the ego's playing in
order secretly to survive and flourish.) Anyway I'm increasingly
appalled at Harding's nastiness. He'll take some saving! No
ordinary rescue bid will do.
What I get is eleven lifelines,
eleven distinct liberations, any one of
which would be
sufficient to haul me to safety.
Such is the lovingkindness, the overflowing generosity,
the sense of humor, the thoroughness, the sheer prowess of my
Source and Center. It's impossible to exaggerate the combined
force of the Eleven, as I find, to my utter astonishment, that
1. I'M BOUNDLESS
When I point to what I'm looking out of, I find that it goes
on endlessly in all directions—up and down, left and
right, in front and behind—with undiminishing energy.
Almost as astonishing is that I can be this big, this
burst-asunder, without noticing it, let alone valuing it.
Look now at what your finger's REALLY pointing at when it
points to what's above your shoulders and you'll see exactly
what I mean.
To be the superbenevolent, subnuclear Explosion that's
forever would have been liberation enough and to spare. But for
good measure there are ten more in the pipeline, each eagerly
awaiting its turn to pop up!
2. I'M PURE
“Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white
as snow. Though they be red like crimson, they shall be as
wool.” So sings the prophet Isaiah in the Old
The forgiveness of sins is, of course, one of the chief
themes of the New Testament. What it's all about, you could say.
In his book Intuitive Awareness, Ajahn Sumedho, who
heads Theravada Buddhism in the UK, writes: “Consciousness
is already pure. You don't have to purify it, you don't have to
. . . . When we begin to realize and fully trust and
appreciate this, we see that this is real. It's not theoretical,
abstract or an idea—it's reality. . . . You've always been
As for myself, I have only to turn my attention around 180
degrees, and look in at What's looking out, to see that it's
absolutely uncontaminated and uncontaminatable.
3. I'M FREE
Spontaneous, unpredictable, at liberty. I don't know—no
one knows—what I'll get up to next. Furthermore, there are
clear signs that creatures of all kinds are as free-range as I
I watch the zigzagging flight of the butterfly as it flits
from flower to flower, the erratic behavior of the housefly as
it darts back and forth on the windowpane or the tabletop, the
random gestures of this hand as it waves you welcome or goodbye.
God knows what sense or nonsense this pen of mine is about to
divulge. Correction: He doesn't know! If He did know,
He would have shackled me hand and foot and turned the free
spirit that I am into a robot, a cybernetic automaton vastly
inferior to a housefly.
“You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you
free,” says Jesus of Nazareth. And the Tao Te
Ching—that ancient Chinese classic—attributes
to the enlightened sage the spontaneity of a newborn babe.
But apart from such clarion calls to freedom, all the great
religions teach that true piety is submission to the
all-powerful will of God. If slaves and slave-drivers have a
religion, it is this, it is this. No wonder our churches are
To put the matter crudely, God has changed His mind. And instead of surrounding Himself with servants, He's looking for friends—dear friends who have freely chosen that superb relationship.
4. I'M ONE
Not fragmented, all-of-a-piece, whole.
“Tell the mind there is but One,” says the Katha
Upanishad.” He who divides the One wanders from death to
death.” And the message of all the great
Upanishads—those ancient scriptures of India—is that
you and I are none other than that strictly indivisible One, the
One who heals and wholes us. How can I make quite sure of
Well, I have a wonderful teacher who confirms it absolutely
Twenty, fifty, a hundred times a day I hear myself saying
“I AM.” I AM tired, I AM lonely, I AM very well
thank you very much, I AM rather busy, I AM anxious, I AM all
right today”—and so on endlessly. And as Meister
Eckhart says, only God has the right to say I AM. Which means
that essentially and at root I am Him, QED.
The awesome truth is that I can't be without being BEING ITSELF, without being the Only One Who IS.