is the seventh lesson.
"Before the light of freedom dawned
on the world, a puissant chaos of purposes and forces fought for control
of the liberties of men. A short space of time brought liberty of body,
after the perception of the people had been clarified by the gradual
development of the ideal of liberty. They moved rapidly toward it, when
they began to understand it, with halts and hesitations and blunders,
but forcefully and inevitably still. They overthrew kings and barons,
and took into their own bands the physical and material government of
their kind. But their minds and forces are still enslaved and shackled
by outworn tradition. 'Onward Christian soldiers,' is a plea for
progress; but it has become a recessional, not a marching song. Men have
made their justice vassal to
tradition, and their brotherhood fief to gain.
"Men have learned the value of free
THE SEVEN PURPOSES
but free force, mental or spiritual,
terrifies and puzzles them still. They have learned to discipline their
bodies, to keep them strong and clean. But they fear to trust the
purposes and forces, without chains and prison bars to hold them, lest
they make chaos of civilization. Church, state, profession, trade,
guild, or society commands: Thou shalt not think. Follow, yield, accept,
and endure, but let not thought be found among, ye, lest the bars be
broken and destruction loosed.
"Many men follow; a few men think.
These are the overlords, the kings and barons of forces that might be
free. But freedom demands
free purpose, and free purpose demands justice
"No man is free who commands not
himself. No man is free who forgets his brother. No man is free who
fears to follow his own purpose with all his force. No man is free who
fails to carry his share of
the common load. He may have wealth and luxury; yet is he slave. He may
be tempted by beauty; yet is he slave. He may be frightened by calamity; yet is he slave. He may be beaten by
strangers; yet is he slave. No man is free who commands not himself in
any emergency. He may lose wealth and luxury, and still be free. He may dwell with squalor, who loves beauty, and
THE SEVEN PURPOSES
still be free. He may be defrauded by
his brother, and still be free. He may be shackled by strangers, beaten
and imprisoned, and still be free.
"Freedom lieth not in a man's estate,
but in the man himself. "This is
the seventh lesson."