The Forms
The Forms
The Forms

    As we saw in a previous essay, capitalism has from its inception destroyed--and continues to destroy--all civilized human values and principles--including freedom. It's necessary for us, therefore, to examine the Forms 1 (the essence) of human civilization in order to understand how to reinstitute these values and principles that are essential to human well-being and development.

   In this essay, one of a series of studies of Platonic Forms, we're examining the Form Freedom. Study of all known civilizations reveals that political, economic, and physical freedom have usually been limited to those people at the top of the social pyramid:
  • People with financial, political, or military power enough to buy or control others

  • Political-economic rulers, with knowledge of how to manipulate others
   In gaining an understanding of the essence of terrestrial human freedom, we begin with Herbert J. Muller's definition of freedom.

"I am adhering to the broad but relatively neutral definition of freedom as 'the condition of being able to choose and carry out purposes.' This includes the most common meaning of the absence of external constraints, or freedom from coercion; the idea of actual ability with available means, or effective freedom to do what one wishes; and the assumption of a power of deliberate choice between known alternatives, involving freedom of mind and spirit, which is hardest to specify but still distinguishes human freedom from the ability of other animals to carry out their instinctive purposes. . .

"So defined, I repeat, freedom means concretely freedoms of various kinds, which may be at least roughly specified. Among the most fundamental is political freedom, involving some means of control of rulers by the ruled, some protection of the individual against government by legal rights or civil liberties."

Herbert J. Muller, Freedom in the Western World:
From the Dark Ages to the Rise of Democracy
, 1964

   In this definition of terrestrial human freedom as the condition of being able to choose and carry out purposes, we can delineate specific kinds of freedom and encroachments on our liberty:

Political Freedom Encroachments
Some means of control of rulers by the ruled Political leaders are being put into power by economic rulers (plutocrats)
Some protection of the individual against government by legal rights and civil liberties Legal rulings are influenced by money and power; criminal justice officers are allowed to search and seize without a warrant
Economic Freedom Encroachments
Access to a livelihood American jobs are being taken by so-called American corporations to countries with the lowest labor costs
Equality of economic opportunity The stock market is rigged by insiders (bankers and specialists)
Freedom from unjust taxation The common citizen pays exorbitant taxes while the wealthy escape taxation through loopholes
Freedom from financial theft or fraud Our tax monies are being used to bail out bankers' bad investments
Ability to own personal property Criminal justice officers can seize personal property without a warrant or court ruling
Mental Freedom Encroachments
Self-awareness The educational system creates egomaniacal people with no interest in self-awareness
Absence of conditioning or obsession The entertainment industry conditions people to follow infantile, mindless patterns of behavior
Ability to think critically - think for oneself The educational system creates people who have no interest in thinking for themselves
Access to authentic information The media are owned by the plutocrats; only disinformation or irrelevance is provided
Physical Freedom Encroachments
Ability to protect oneself from illegal coercion or domination The plutocrats control jobs and set military and economic policy by putting their puppets into political power
Ability to select one's place of residence With the job market decimated by globalism, a worker must go wherever the job is
Spiritual Freedom Encroachments
Ability to select and practice one's beliefs Organized religions control their adherents' beliefs and behaviors
Ability to distinguish between the religious and the spiritual Religious organizations and schools do not teach this distinction

"The human being, considered solely as an awareness-mechanism of the All-Conscious is a delicate instrument of constantly increasing capability, and for an inscrutable reason of its own, the All-Conscious has chosen to become aware of itself as to its power of free will through that mechanism.

"Why inscrutable Wisdom so offers resistance by which free will becomes so thoroughly self-aware is beyond our comprehension; except that we can say that, just as any awareness-mechanism requires an object for its functioning, so this awareness-mechanism of free will requires the alternative of harmony or disharmony for the object of its development of self-awareness.

"In this aspect, and at this stage of earth-embodied man's development, it is not a pretty sight, but it is working out according to the intention of the method and in the only way by which the All-Consciousness could become self-aware on the side of free will. For free will must choose; that is its very essence; and to choose, it must know. Otherwise it but grasps blindly in the dark that which first touches its hand, and knowledge can come only by actual experience."

Betty White, Gaelic Manuscripts, 1928

   It's essential that we understand just how elemental freedom is in Reality, how the Divine has instituted human freedom as an essential of humankind's evolution, even to the point of allowing for evil in the terrestrial realm. Some persons, such as Epicurus, have thought that God could have and therefore should have created a mortal realm free from evil. They do not understand that the evolution of humankind into intelligent, free individuals who have the potential to gain full understanding of themselves and the mortal and supersensible realms, requires human freedom to the point of allowing humans to perpetrate evil.

   Yes, God could have created beings who could carry out only good acts, never experiencing immorality and evil. But these beings would have been moral and intellectual automatons, not free, true humans. To be able to evolve and develop into moral beings who understand why evil is to be eschewed and why the good is to be chosen, requires beings who have the potential to perpetrate immoral, evil acts but choose not to and understand why they choose not to and choose good instead.

   It is overwhelming when we first realize just how important it is in God's plan that humans have the opportunity to develop into beings who understand what they do and why. It is so important that humans are given the potential to develop into autonomous beings that it requires the potential--and actuality--of evil in the mortal world.

   Humans cannot understand or achieve Goodness, one of the primary essences of God, unless they are given freedom to make mistakes and commit immoral acts. Achieving Goodness requires that you freely choose what you have determined through reason is the correct action and understand why the incorrect act is wrong. You cannot become a good person by following a pre-determined moral code--as the Puritans and other religious groups have illustrated.

   Freedom involves both freedom from certain kinds of restraint and freedom to carry out acts chosen by the individual. A human is not free if he is controlled by obsessions of any kind: physical (e.g. addiction), emotional or intellectual. One of the most insidious and destructive of contemporary obsessions is the element of allowing oneself to be dominated by the desire to remain unaware of what is happening in the world-- ignorant.

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be."
Thomas Jefferson

"Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity."

Martin Luther King, Jr.

   The Form Freedom is, like all Forms, an archetype that has its being in the supersensible realm, independently of its embodiment in the terrestrial domain. Human reason has, over the centuries--beginning with Plato--gained understanding of the essence of human freedom:
  • The individual does not receive government and authority from a deity who gives his secular sword to princes and magistrates to rule by His divine right.

  • The individual does not have a subordinate place in a divinely inspired hierarchy, in which kings, noblemen, political leaders, and corporate executives are placed above him as 'your highness.'

  • Governments should be voluntarily established by free individuals through a willful act of contract, individuals rationally consenting to limit their own freedom and to obey civil authority in order to have public protection of their natural rights.

  • Government's purpose is to serve the interests of the people, to enable individuals to enjoy peacefully their rights to life, liberty, and property.

     "The rational faculty of man was conceived as producing a common conception of law and order which possessed a universal validity. . . This common conception included, as its three great notes, the three values of Liberty, Equality and the brotherhood or Fraternity of all mankind. This common conception, and its three great notes, have formed a European set of ideas for over two thousand years. It was a set of ideas . . . of a sovereign law of nature imprinted in the heart and nature of man, to which kings and legislators must everywhere bow. It was a set of ideas which lived and acted with an even greater animation from the days of the Reformation to those of the French Revolution . . . spoken through the mouth of Locke, [they had justified] the English Revolution of 1688, and had recently served to inspire the American Revolution of 1776 . . . They were ideas of the proper conduct of states and governments in the area of internal affairs. They were ideas of the natural rights of man--of liberty, political and civic, with sovereignty residing essentially in the nation, and with free communication of thoughts and opinions; of equality before the law, and the equal repartition of public expenses among all the members of the public; of a general fraternity which tended in practice to be sadly restricted within the nation, but which could, on occasion, be extended by decree to protect all nations struggling for freedom."

Ernest Baker, Traditions of Civility, 1948

    Those persons in the modern world who recognize that human freedom is an elemental force of nature given by God must realize that contemporary capitalist, fascist thugs have seized all financial, political, and military structures of power and are now murdering members of the working class on a daily basis.

   We recognize that the partial awakening of some Americans and Europeans in their outrage at banksters looting taxpayer money are merely momentary outbursts of popular outrage and will produce no effective change in the dire situation that faces us. We must act immediately to replace capitalism with commonwealth.

"A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death."

Martin Luther King Jr., speech at NYC Riverside Church , April 4, 1967

Supersensible Freedom

  Plato viewed the unchanging world of Forms as constituting a system of eternal principles emanating from Absolute Good which the present world merely shadows. Hence, Plato's Commonwealth, his discussion of the Forms Justice and Freedom, delineates the need for a society to be lead by Philosopher-Guardians who through their attaining understanding are prepared "to know the Good through rational insight and embody its ideals by ruling directly over the social order."

   As with all Forms, we gain an awareness of their nature by contemplating the Divine Order or Law of the supersensible realm. Terrestrial freedom is merely a most imperfect embodiment of supersensible freedom. The supersensible realm is governed by the Divine Creator according to the Law of Goodness and Love. Law is a body of rules and principles governing the affairs of a community and enforced by authority, custom, or agreement; a legal system.

  Jesus explained to his disciples that the Law of Goodness and Love is: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. And you shall love your neighbour as yourself."

  We have our being in a supersensible realm in which the Divine Creator rules through the Law of Goodness and Love. When we die and leave this terrestrial realm, we continue our being in the supersensible realm where the very essence, the basic principle, of life is love of God with all our heart and soul and love of our neighbors as ourselves.

  When we continue our eternal being in the supersensible realm, after death, we will realize--if we have not come to the realization while in terrestrial existence--that the prevailing anarchy (lack of law) which prevails in the terrestrial realm is a repudiation (rejecting or disowning or disclaiming as invalid; refusal to acknowledge or honor) of the Divine Law of Goodness and Love. Capitalism as the "law" of "dog-eat-dog" has become the prevailing state of lawlessness, disorder, and malevolence in the terrestrial realm.

  In the supersensible realm (as in the terrestrial realm), all persons are evolving toward ultimate Unity with the Divine. Let us take as an example the being of a person whose terrestrial life was filled with evil and malevolence. After death, he or she arrives in the supersensible realm essentially the vile, corrupt, malevolent person that they proved themselves to be during their terrestrial existence. But now they have their being and awareness in the transcendent domain where the Divine rules through Goodness and the essence of the individual's being has now become that of an evolving person. It is still possible, for a limited time, for this person to "phantasize" (to create in one's fancy or daydreams, to imagine) about doing harm to other beings, as this person not only phantasized but also carried out in their earthly existence. As Jesus explained (Matthew 5:27-28), one kind of "doing" is phantasizing about evil or incorrect behavior, a different kind of "doing" from actually performing a physical act.

  Persons in the supersensible realm still possess options as to what they will think and do. In the Divine realm of Goodness it is still possible for a person to perform a physical act of evil (ungood), but the very essence and structure of this realm makes that progressively unlikely. Individuals also have the freedom to choose how rapidly or slowly their evolution proceeds. As persons evolve, they gain understanding of how different options embody various degrees of goodness and efficacy. All persons in the supersensible realm ultimately come to understand and accept the Law of Goodness and Love, recognizing that the basic principle of being is love of the Divine Creator and acting in such a manner as to express love of neighbor as oneself. The very essence of this realm is that all persons evolve to the point of continually acting in such a manner as to advance the wellbeing of all others. With each evolving person, there ultimately is formed a pattern of the free choice of not thinking or acting in the manner of "dog-eat-dog" selfishness or malice and acting altruistically.

  It ultimately becomes increasingly unlikely for the evolving person to perform an act of physical or mental harm to another person because, first, the person being acted upon would be intelligent enough to realize that this is not in harmony with the law of Goodness and Love and wouldn't allow the act to be perpetrated against him or her. Secondly, other persons would not allow it because they recognize the law of love of God and acting in accordance with complete altruism is the Law of being and thus would not allow the evil act to be perpetrated against another. And, finally, the evolving person would, by exercising the freedom of choice, develop an altruistic nature which would increasingly act in a manner to treat one's neighbor as oneself.

  In the supersensible realm there is no "killing"--depriving a terrestrial being of his or her existence. In this realm we possess eternal being which cannot be taken from us by another.

  In the terrestrial realm, all persons' moral and intellectual evolution consists in coming to an increasing awareness of the law of Goodness and Love--recognizing the value of his being as bestowed by a loving Divine Creator and the value of living in complete altruistic harmony with other beings.


1 Previous studies of Platonic forms: