The Evangelical Universalist Forum

A free mind


I’m re-posting this from a couple of years ago, just because I think you will enjoy it. It’s from Wm. Ellery Channing:

"It has pleased the All-wise Disposer (dispose: determine the course of events. db) to encompass us from our birth by difficulty and allurement, to place us in a world where wrong-doing is often gainful, and duty rough and perilous, where many vices oppose the dictates of the inward monitor, where the body presses as a weight upon the mind, and matter, by its perpetual agency on the senses, becomes a barrier between us and the spiritual world. We are in the midst of influences, which menace the intellect and heart; and to be free, is to withstand and conquer these.

I call that mind free, which jealously guards its intellectual rights and powers, which calls no man master, which does not content itself with a passive or hereditary faith, which opens itself to light whencesoever it may come, which receives new truth as an angel from heaven, which, whilst consulting others, inquires still more of the oracle within itself, and uses instructions from abroad, not to supersede but to quicken and exhalt its own energies.

I call that mind free, which sets no bounds to its love, which is not imprisoned in itself or in a sect, which recognises in all human beings the image of God and the rights of his children, which delights in virtue and sympathizes with suffering wherever they are seen, which conquers pride, anger, and sloth, and offers itself up a willing victim to the cause of mankind.

I call that mind free, which is not passively framed by outward circumstance, which is not swept away by the torrent of events, which is not the creature of accidental impulse, but which bends events to its own improvement, and acts from an inward spring, from immutable principles which it has deliberately espoused.

I call that mind free, which, through confidence in God and in the power of virtue, has cast off all fear but that of wrong- doing, which no menace or peril can enthrall, which is calm in the midst of tumults, and possesses itself though all else be lost.

I call that mind free, which resists the bondage of habit, which does not mechanically repeat itself and copy the past, which does not live on old virtue, which does not enslave itself to precise rules, but forgets what is behind, listens for new and higher monitions of conscience, and rejoices to pour in fresh and higher exertions.

I call that mind free, which is jealous of its own freedom, which guards itself from being merged with others, which guards its empire over itself as nobler than the empire of the world.

In fine, I call that mind free, which, conscious of its affinity with God, and confiding in his promises by Jesus Christ, devotes itself faithfully to the unfolding of all its powers, which ever passes the bounds of time and death, which hopes to advance for ever, and which finds inexhaustible power, both in action and in suffering, in the prospect for immortality.

Such is the spiritual freedom which Christ came to give. It insists in moral force, in self-control, in the enlargement of thought and affection, and in the unrestrained action of our best powers. This is the great good of Christianity, nor can we conceive a greater within the gift of God. I know that to many, this will seem too refined a good to be proposed as the great end of society and government. But our skepticism cannot change the nature of things. I know how little this freedom is understood and enjoyed, how enslaved men are to sense, and passion, and the world; and I know, too, that through this slavery they are wretched, and that while it lasts no social institution can give them happiness."

Jesus' divinity from 3 synoptic texts



Good points Dave. I’ve been off my meds for 8 months now and doing good so far. A you know I was diagnosed schizoaffective (bipolar type). Here’s how I see a free mind.

A free mind isn’t shackled by the determinism of logic. Only a madman sees no break in the chain. Only by breaking the polarity of black or white thinking is one freed. For with no duality opposites come together. It’s no longer us or them but a coming together in unity as we learn to love even our enemies. A free mind arises beyond rationalism the says either/or and enters into a new level of awareness. A stillness that says be still and know I’m God. A stillness that is taken out into the world that has peace amidst the storm. In other words when the mind is free ego is cast out. There’s no need to prove defend or protect the ego. Behind the world off appearances is the real world. A world of information guiding the universe along it’s pathways of evolution. What’s real is eternal. The illusion of the mind separates. Only love can unite. Analysis is paralysis. It’s in letting go and surrendering the self in complete abandonment that one is freed. As the mystical Doctor of the Roman Catholic church (St. John of the Cross) has stated:

In order to reach union with the Divine
it is necessary to leave the intellect behind.
One must let go of things and empty oneself
of everything in order to make room for
the flood of Divine illumination.

I guess we have been down different pathways because I find that stilling and calming the mind in surrender is what frees one from it’s craziness.


O (name of voyager)

The time has come for you to seek new levels of reality.
Your ego and the (name) game are about to cease.
You are about to be set face to face with the Clear Light
You are about to experience it in its reality.
In the ego−free state, wherein all things are like the void and cloudless sky,
And the naked spotless intellect is like a transparent vacuum;
At this moment, know yourself and abide in that state.
O (name of voyager),
That which is called ego−death is coming to you.
This is now the hour of death and rebirth;
Take advantage of this temporary death to obtain the perfect state −


Some good advice, imo, concerning the journey:

"Both Pyrrhonists and dogmatists aim at and achieve a sort of psychological security: the former by ceasing to inquire and by living more or less adoxastos, without beliefs; the latter by the rigid and unquestioning holding of contentious beliefs. The dogmatists hold on, the skeptics let go. The former live tenaciously, clinging to their tenets; the skeptics live or try to live without beliefs and tenets. (The Latin tenere means to hold.)

What the two opposing groups have in common is that they cease inquiry. The dogmatist, secure in his dogmas, feels no need to inquire. “We don’t seek the truth; we have the truth.” The Pyrrhonian skeptic, despairing of finding truth, and sick of the agitation consequent upon discussion and debate, gives up inquiry. “We don’t seek the truth; the truth is not to be had.”

Neither form of doxastic security is to be recommended.

In this world we are ever in statu viae, on the road, coming from we know not where, headed for we know not where. The Whither and Whence remain shrouded in darkness, and the light that guides us is but a half-light. On this road there is no rest from inquiry. Rest, if rest there be, lies at the end of the road." quote from Bill Vallicella emphasis mine


Yes… that moment of reality when it dawns on you that light at the end of the tunnel is actually an oncoming train. :mrgreen:


Why keep an open mind?