Thoughts on the 4th of July: A Growing Independence

On July 4th, 1776 the United States declared their independence from England and established a society based on principles such as religious freedom and self- government – principles ultimately rooted in the fundamental conviction that all human beings possess an as yet more or less unrealized sacred inner potential.

Since that time, driven by a growing consciousness of this potential, human society has continued to evolve: Since the 60s of the last century, for example, the civil rights movement has made great strides in achieving equal rights for all.

This ongoing evolution of human consciousness poses ever new challenges: If the inner potential of each human being is to develop out of its own impulses, education needs to be liberated from governmental control and from the influence of commercial interests and placed in the hands of parents and teachers – of those who know and understand children best. When all children, regardless of their family’s socio-economic status, have the right to the education of their parents’ choice and teachers are free to exercise their creative initiative, fresh forces of renewal springing from the awakened potential of each child will be released into all aspects of society.

An equally urgent challenge is the transformation of our exploitative, chaotic economy into one that is driven by the will to serve and to act as stewards of our natural resources. This transformation will require the active participation of all stakeholders – of consumers as well as producers and distributors. The anonymous forces of the wasteful market economy will gradually be replaced by conscious human intentions carried out through the cooperation and teamwork of all involved.

When these two goals have been achieved, cultural life and economic activity will become independent, self-organizing spheres of society, and democratic government will be able to devote itself to its true calling: securing the rights of its citizens.

We will then have gained the freedom – and assumed the responsibility – to shape our own cultural, political, and economic lives. We will be able to celebrate our independence on a new level. After centuries of struggle and strife, our innermost human potential will have penetrated each of the three realms of social life and transformed them into healthy, harmonious expressions of our human relationship to ourselves, to our brothers and sisters, and to the earth.

JB