What is inner freedom?

—A Devotee

Inner freedom is the ability to do all things guided by wisdom. Most people are bound by their desires, which is not freedom at all.

You must never forget that you are a free agent. You can change your karma if you use your will power, and are guided by wisdom as you do so. If you guide your actions by will power and wisdom, the power of your wrong habits will grow weaker and the power of your good actions will grow stronger. You must not cease activity; instead, you must increase the power of your activity, so that in spite of bad influences, your will power will speed things up and begin to change your karma.

Most people never live in true freedom. They become attached to non-essentials, and are always seeking something they do not already possess. Established customs enslave them. But as soon as we become a slave to anything, we have lost our will power and freedom — at least to that extent. Just as Orientals are slaves to old customs, so the American people are slaves to new customs. We chalk out or destiny in the past and to that destiny we make ourselves slaves.

Why is it that one person is born into an evil family and another person is born into a good family? It is because each person used his freedom a certain way in past lives and thus attracted to himself those conditions in this life.

There is no real life, no real freedom without God. Whatever you are doing or thinking, God must always be uppermost in your mind. When you are in tune with God, you can accomplish all of your goals. You must always remember this. God’s methods are not those of an Almighty Being always seeking to punish us. He has created us out of His love, and He has given us the freedom to seek Him or not. We must work out our own destiny with His help.

From Inner Culture, April 1941.