What is Spiritual Freedom?

By Keith Sherwood

When asked about spiritual freedom, Meher Baba, one of India’s most acclaimed spiritual teachers, said: “All life is an effort to attain freedom from self-created entanglement; it is a desperate struggle to undo what has been done under ignorance – to throw away the accumulated burden of the past – to find rescue from the debris left by a series of temporary achievements and failures.

It may come as a surprise to learn that freedom of this sort isn’t reserved for Eastern adepts and spiritual masters. The truth is that spiritual freedom is available to everyone who has the yearning for it and who sincerely seeks it. That’s because every human is an interdimensional being who has access to all the consciousness and life-affirming energy they need to be spiritually free during all the progressive stages of life. Spiritual freedom, therefore, is everyone’s natural condition. And nothing you or anyone else can do will change that.

Unfortunately, it’s possible for spiritual freedom to be blocked by attachments created by karmic baggage and the acculturation process.

How spiritual freedom can be blocked and how you can begin to restore it will become clearer once you know how karmic baggage and the acculturation process has effected your subtle field of consciousness and energy.

Karmic Baggage

According to the Yogic sutras, karmic baggage includes all forms of consciousness and energy – with individual qualities – that have become trapped in your subtle field, the non-physical field of consciousness and energy that interpenetrates your physical-material body.

Yogic adepts classified fields of karmic baggage as either tamasic, sattvic or ragistic. Tamasic fields are the most dense and distorted. When there is an inordinate amount of tamasic consciousness and energy trapped in your subtle field, it will cause the most distress and will have the most disruptive effect on your health and well-being.

Ragistic fields are less dense than tamasic fields. In most cases, ragistic fields will have less impact on your health and well-being. But the presence of an inordinate amount of ragistic consciousness and energy in your subtle field will push you out of the ever-present Now and make it difficult for you to embrace subtle fields of consciousness and energy with universal qualities.

Sattvic fields are the least dense and active. This makes them less disruptive to your health and well-being. However, they can still interfere with your ability to be yourself and express yourself freely.

Everyone has come into this life with karmic baggage trapped in their subtle field. And virtually everyone has added additional layers, in this life, by integrating attachments into their subtle field.

Swami Sivananda, a Yogic master who wrote extensively about the self-limiting aspects of karmic baggage, explained that “Every thought” (that springs from karmic baggage) “has got a weight, shape, size, form, color, quality and power. Thoughts are like things... bitterness and sweetness... are in the mind. They are created by thought.

An important feature of karmic baggage is the ease in which it can be projected from one person to another. In male-dominant cultures, karmic baggage in the form of distorted waves, cords and fields, etc. are regularly projected by people in authority to those dependent on them. This is one reason why the values of patriarchal cultures can be so difficult to overcome.

The Core Values of Patriarchy

The core values of patriarchal cultures are remarkably similar. They include male domination, the establishment of hierarchies, romanticizing the culture of ego, victimizing the innocent and vulnerable – and blaming the victim. The more male dominant the culture, the more challenging it will be for people to trust themselves and embrace life-affirming values such as compassion, empathy and generosity, all of which support spiritual freedom.

Some people have suggested that progress has been made in the last few decades – and a healthier balance has been achieved. But if you look behind the curtain, the effects of patriarchal programming and conditioning can be seen clearly in government policy, cultural institutions and in religious doctrine and tradition. All this programming is the result of a patriarchal belief system that seeks to dictate what kind of energy and consciousness a virtuous person should embrace and share with other people.

The projection of karmic baggage that is tamasic and that continues to be encouraged by patriarchal societies can be particularly destructive for a number of reasons. Tamasic projections disrupt the flow of life-affirming consciousness and energy through the subtle field. This makes it extremely difficult for people who’ve been victimized by these projections to form a life-affirming identity, experience pleasure, love, intimacy and joy or trust themselves.

Although most people think that social conditioning is necessary, the projection of tamasic consciousness and energy is not. In fact, the projection of these distorted fields, by people in authority, is the principle reason why so many people continue to adhere to self-limiting patriarchal values that devalue spiritual freedom.

A New Paradigm

The domination of patriarchal values will be replaced by a new paradigm when enough people have overcome the effects of their karmic baggage and patriarchal conditioning. That’s when a new culture based on cooperation, shared responsibility and Self-awareness will emerge. It will replace a world order that still supports religious, cultural and political institutions that are antagonistic to spiritual freedom.

As an individual, you can do your share to speed up that process by embracing life-affirming core values such a patience, generosity, perseverance, empathy and non-harming and by performing the Spiritual Freedom Mudra.

A mudra is a symbolic gesture that can be made with the hands and fingers or in combination with the tongue and feet. Each mudra has a specific effect on the subtle field and the consciousness and energy flowing through it.

By performing the Spiritual Freedom Mudra every day for two weeks, you will increase the amount of life-affirming consciousness and energy radiating through your subtle field. That in turn will enhance your experience of spiritual freedom.

The Spiritual Freedom Mudra

To perform the spiritual freedom mudra, sit in a comfortable position with your back straight. Then close your eyes and breathe deeply through your nose for two to three minutes. When you’re ready to continue, open your eyes and place your left thumb on the acupuncture point on the inside edge of your right thumb just below the nail. Place the inside tips of your index fingers together. Your middle fingers are curved inward and touching from the first to second joint. The pads of your ring fingers are touching up to the first joint. And your left pinkie is placed over the nail of your right pinkie from the tip to the first joint.

Hold the mudra with your eyes closed for ten minutes and enjoy the shift you experience. Then count from one to five. When you reach the number five, release the mudra and open your eyes. You will feel wide awake, perfectly relaxed and better than you did before.

The End