Self-actualizing in the age of crisis serves two primary purposes for humanity. First and foremost, it is a shared journey toward transcending the age of crisis. If we cannot overcome the crisis, an even greater majority will be cast into circumstances that make individual actualization extremely difficult, if not impossible. Second, our efforts serve to free humanity from the limitations the past projects onto the present. Deep freedom is the alignment of the individual and system within the moment of symbiotic evolution. In this global society, individuals and groups have an unimpeded and unalienable opportunity to change our systems of organization as our definitions of being free evolve. We must develop a vision of progress in alignment with the single truth and the relational universe so that we might glimpse our latent power that wants to break free. Like everything else in a universe guided by the single truth, deep freedom is choice within the moment.
There is no single element or action that provides humanity a deep freedom. Instead, it is the culmination of a wide range of efforts in diverse directions. What matters most is embedding new systems of value and meaning inspired by the single truth into the constructs we surround ourselves with. This empowers a more widespread and rapid individual actualization and is rooted in flexibility so as not to resist the future revisions that will most certainly come. Our struggle with being free will always exist in relation to our circumstances; what is freedom in one moment may seem suffocating in another. We also recognize that within the immediate present, each of us inhabits varying stages of freedom that are extensions of our birth lottery.
The poet Emma Lazarus is credited as saying, “Until we are all free, we are none of us free.” This is especially true in relation to self-actualization in the age of crisis. To embrace deep freedom for any single individual is to apply it for all, so it must be in a relational universe. For the individual, this requires recognizing that while each of us inhabits struggles brought on by the systems surrounding us, some have a long history of disadvantages that must be addressed first. Contrary to popular belief and propaganda, this doesn’t require the vast majority of people to lose anything except the belief that there should be a favored group in society or nature. Deep freedom isn’t about swapping one form of government for another slightly better one in the hopes that it works. Today’s institutions are rigid in design and resistant to change. Deep freedom is the alignment of the internal and external infinities, a global society where imagination possesses absolute power over our creations, as opposed to our present moment where our creations dominate us.
Deep freedom is not freedom from struggle nor freedom from consequence. These two experiences are completely unavoidable in a universe governed by the single truth and the relational universe. The individual should not waste focus and energy on desiring their elimination; it is an unobtainable objective. Struggle and consequence are expressed in many degrees throughout our time experience, many of which are out of our control and interwoven into the fabric of being. There is no progress without struggle, no learning without the consequence of choice in a specific direction. While every individual has a right to define freedom for themselves, we cannot tolerate definitions that threaten others’ access and agency within the world. Freedom is equality of opportunity and dignity, which can only be realized within an inclusive idea of it. Consider the eight dignities. They provide humanity a foundation for expansive individual freedom while expressing the spiritual values of the self-actualizer. The values and meaning we project onto the universe are the seeds from which all our systems grow. Our alignment with the single truth and the relational universe will do more good for humanity than redistributing all of Earth’s wealth. Transcendent humanity is our chance for a greater life and the standard for how we judge what is and is not an acceptable form of inequality. Therefore, deep freedom is not a one-time change to a vertical of society we deem unacceptable but rather the perpetual practice of systemic reformation in alignment with the single truth.
Our vision of deep freedom conflicts with our present apathetic embrace of the shallow freedom and equality available to us within our present arrangements. The individual who prioritizes equality over freedom unknowingly embraces what is instead of what can be. They will be drawn to the allure of incremental reforms of a broken system designed to appease rather than address the root causes of our descent into crisis. Consider how frequently we celebrate minor progressions in the recognition of humanity within the other. Women, children, LGBTQ+ community members, Black, Indigenous, and people of color are locked in an eternal struggle to be recognized for their full humanity, as if their lack of freedoms were some sort of natural or necessary arrangement instead of a direct result of our present arrangements and the hierarchical systems of meaning and value that guide them. Any form of progress in enhancing equity seems like a major victory, but only because our vision of what is possible is constrained by the systems surrounding us within the immediate present. Our spiritual journey toward systemic actualization lifts the veil of ignorance of the possible from our eyes, enabling us to envision a deep freedom available to all that could never take form within the institutions we presently inhabit.