Freedom is traditionally defined as the independence from an outside power. This definition empowers the word freedom and suggests a stronger concept: liberation. The idea that an entity might be free from suffering is the ultimate homecoming. To return to ourselves after a long journey of toil and to feel completely happy, fully loved and deeply blessed is the ultimate goal of every human life. Why then, do we still live in bondage and how do we achieve liberation?
Bondage or codependency presupposes that we do not believe that we are fully sustained by our very own life. To be bound is to claim that happiness and love do not come from within, but are rather reliant on a structure, situation or experience. In a time where power, money and glory drive many value systems, this is an excellent time to be reminded of our homecoming, of our return to the ONE True life. To be sustained by one's own life is to understand the interconnectedness of all things, of all beings. Through grace, we are able to come to a full understanding of the meaning of life: Love. Love comes from happiness and happiness comes from Love. Liberation is the result of a permanent state of joy. The human must become aware of and realize, through their relationships to themselves, others and the world around them, that there is a purpose to their life and this purpose is joy. This realization and then the working towards its actualization, brings the human into complete alignment with the intimacy of all of life, the joy behind, within and through all things.
Many of the great mystic traditions, and most notably the Sufi poets like Rumi, speak of this liberation as a living through the heart. Living through the heart is the ultimate form of self-love. When one develops a great capacity for love, forgiveness, compassion, service and kindness he unifies with an almighty power - the power of the universe. This power has only one intention and that's to sustain and care for its own dear creation: all of life. As we open ourselves up to live gentler, kinder and more loving lives we transform our inner worlds into those of complete and total liberation. The lover, through this path, will realize his ultimate goal is service to all of creation. In this realization he meets the law of happiness.
The law of happiness states that happiness can only exist when one becomes an inspiration of happiness for others. To do this, one must develop compassion for the convictions of others, tolerance towards foreign ideas and disagreeable concepts. We must learn to overlook the faults of others, avoid judging them and overlook their shortcomings when they are in discord. The ultimate practice here is complete and total care of the feelings of others and ultimately an expanding of that care to those we do not know and will never meet. In this practice one learns to see beauty in everything. One becomes free.