In the recent past, some experts have said that international law is concerned only with nations and their self-interest, as opposed to the individual and to moral principles.
But today, individual rights have become a growing subject in international law, and this statement is no longer accurate. The Human Rights Declaration and Covenant, the Refugee Convention and Protocol, the Red Cross Conventions - all are examples of current international provisions for the protection of people internationally, on a basis of moral principles. These principles are intimately related to the freedom of the individual, rather than to national agendas.
What is real freedom? You could say it is the complete deliverance from any kind of limitation - from confusion or complication. Can it be true, for example, that any individual who is harboring jealousy or envy is really free? Is he or she free when involved with greed, hatred, or revenge? How about hypocrisy, pride, or self-importance? Each one of these negative characteristics involves slavery, either to a person or to a thing. If we believe that our health and happiness are at the mercy of anything material, then we can be captured by anxiety, agitation, depression, worry, or whatever. And we are not truly free.
Why are complication and confusion so evident in our lives? Perhaps because we believe that daily living doesn't take place under the flag of a universal order. For us to reside legally and peacefully in any country or territory, the laws of that country must be observed; we must live under the flag of that country. Similarly, we can live in a more absolute freedom by coming to know that there are spiritual and universal laws of freedom and order. They are none other than God's laws. If God is universal, then we are already residing in that freedom and order, although we may be unaware of it or indifferent toward it.
The United Nations has promulgated Universal Declarations, but not one of these has yet been adopted. Perhaps the world needs to gain a clearer sense of what actually constitutes universal order, the basis of true freedom. One of the clearest statements of the way to this order and freedom is Moses' directive from God known as the First Commandment: "Thou shalt have no other gods before me" (Ex. 20:3).
"Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," by Mary Baker Eddy, describes this basis of universal order in these words: "To grasp the reality and order of being in its Science, you must begin by reckoning God as the divine Principle of all that really is. Spirit, Life, Truth, Love, combine as one, - and are the Scriptural names for God. All substance, intelligence, wisdom, being, immortality, cause, and effect belong to God" (pg. 275).
Freedom naturally occurs for every individual who recognizes God and His absolute power to delete material limitation and complication from human life. Freedom is ours when we become more aware of the universal order of God, of divine Principle, of good. It becomes more apparent as the order in which we are already living.
I discovered my own personal freedom when I came to know God in this way. Before this, I did not really know Him at all. The growing awareness of Him as being divine, ever-present Love, and as ever-available law and Principle, has led me into a feeling of freedom that I never knew before. I am convinced that this is the basis of true freedom of expression, freedom of writing, freedom of the press - the freedom of every individual. It is the basis of all freedom, and of truly united nations.
Freedom is God's blessing. This means that when I submit myself wholeheartedly to God, He gives me everything I ask. I have less limitation, confusion, and complication in my life.
*The writer is a resident of Iran.
Citizens of the world, accept the 'glorious liberty of the children of God,' and be free! This is your divine right. Mary Baker Eddy