Man is born free …

“Man is born free but everywhere is in chains.”

We forged those chains
Link by link
Desire on top of desire
Thought following thought
Attachment to the lofty
Attachment to the mundane
It is all the same.

Why do we search?
Can we seek what we do not know?
What is the thing sought for?
What is our heart’s desire?

Do we not perceive it?
Is it not known?
And being known, is it not limited?

Oh give me, oh God, the chance to see
The infinite being I was meant to be!
Release me from desire
That burning fire
That does not inspire
But does conspire
To limit me!

Do I desire to be free?
That desire too limits me!

Let me just be ...
Let me sit ...
Let the stillness come ...
Let all thought go ...
Let me wait ...
For what I do not know.

What I do not know
	... is new!
Do you now see?
You can be free!

The quotation in the title is from the Geneva born political philosopher, Jean-Jacques Rousseau. An interesting article was posted by the UNHCR on June 28, 2012, “The relevance of Jean-Jacques Rousseau 300 years after his birth.” I wrote the poem in the 1980s during a period when I was reading a lot of Krishnamurti. What prompted me to post the poem was thinking about the phrase “The infinite being I was meant to be!” And that in turn makes me think of a another quotation, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Marianne Williamson
A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles”

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