She had lost herself in this old work, her personality dissolving into it, so that she had been set free. The immortality of the soul lies in its dissolution; this was the cryptic comment that so frustrated Olivier and which Julien had only ever grasped as evidence for the history of a particular school of thought. He had known all about its history, but Julia knew what it meant. He found the realization strangely reassuring.
God is ever busy in freeing you from the tangle of worldly friendship and attachments which are in their very nature unstable and unreliable, and, therefore, bring you nothing but sorrows and anxieties. Let this experience teach you that if there is one whom you can entirely trust and for whom you should offer the love of an undivided heart, it should be the supreme Lord Himself who has His eternal seat in your heart. God is all merciful. Pray to Him. '0 God, lead me from the unreal to the Real; from darkness to Light; from death to Immortality.' When He makes you pass through many a painful ordeal of life, it is only to awaken you to the ultimate Reality.
There are two Sanskrit words that are used for 'path': marga, which also carries the sense of 'way, method or means' and upaya, that by which one reaches one's aim. In reality, it must be the case that we are already who we really are. Who else could we be? It is the illusory ego that believes that we are in some way limited and that wants to become eternally happy. Whilst this state of affairs continues, the search is doomed to failure. Paths and practices are therefore needed not in order that we may find something new but in order that we may uncover what is already here now. The reason why different paths are needed is that minds, bodies and egos function differently. All paths aim effectively to remove the obscuring effect of this ego. This can be done through the practices of devotion and surrender to a God, for example, in the case of bhakti yoga. It can also be achieved in simple day to day life of working, at whatever may be our particular job, by doing the work for its own sake and giving up any claim to the results, in the case of karma yoga. And it can be achieved by enquiry and reason, using the mind and intellect to appreciate the truth of the non-existence of the ego, in the case of jnana yoga.
It’s not the world that enslaves me. Rather, it’s my attitude about the world as positioned against the rather faltering belief that I can change it. And when that belief is firmly rooted in a relentless thankfulness that I have both the privilege and the gifting to do exactly that, I can know that I will never be a slave to my attitude, which is one of the greatest acts of liberation that I will ever experience.
Though he never actually joined it, he was close to some civilian elements of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which was the most Communist (and in the rather orthodox sense) of the Palestinian formations. I remember Edward once surprising me by saying, and apropos of nothing: 'Do you know something I have never done in my political career? I have never publicly criticized the Soviet Union. It’s not that I terribly sympathize with them or anything—it's just that the Soviets have never done anything to harm me, or us.' At the time I thought this a rather naïve statement, even perhaps a slightly contemptible one, but by then I had been in parts of the Middle East where it could come as a blessed relief to meet a consecrated Moscow-line atheist-dogmatist, if only for the comparatively rational humanism that he evinced amid so much religious barking and mania. It was only later to occur to me that Edward's pronounced dislike of George Orwell was something to which I ought to have paid more attention.
Liberty is too precious a thing to be buried in books. Humans should hold it up in their hands every single day of their lives and say from the deepest fathoms of their soul – “I am free – to think – to speak – to act – the way a real, novel, civilized being should – my ancestors couldn’t, but I can, and my children will”.