Galations 4:4–7, Freedom from Slavery

Verse 7: “You are therefore no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then also by God’s own act an heir.”

The words “no longer a slave but a son” evoke feelings of freedom, elevation, and elation. The slave has lost control of himself and is dominated by another. The other may be a person or thing (such as a mood altering substance, an obsessive thought, or a person’s character structure). A son and an heir have the resources of the parent available. S/He has the capacity to direct and control her/himself. What a move! Psychologically, what does it mean that we are sons and heirs of God?

From the perspective of Jungian Psychology and the Western Mystery Tradition of Kabbalah, the ego/personality moves from being a slave to unconscious (or unknown) affects, impulses, and reflexive patterns to living in conscious relationship to the unconscious and the Self/God Within. When we are a slave to the impulses and emotions that arise in us, we have lost connection to the freedom and power of choice. With consciousness, we have the needed access to our inner resources to be in charge of ourselves, to choose how to respond and what to do or say.

Consciousness is more than self-awareness or insight. It is an embodied state of energy that changes our sense of self and relationship to self and Self. Awareness or insight is connected to images (including thoughts) that stir sensations and feelings that lead to a different experience in our body and mind. When consciousness comes, we feel as if we have been freed from the domination of something other than ourselves.

Responsibility is a by-product of consciousness. Sons and heirs have access to resources, and they have the freedom to decide how to use them. We all make choices every day about how to use our inner resources—the resources of thought, feeling, sensation, intuition, and their various manifestations.

In our “slave” mentality, we make choices unconsciously and unwittingly, and we often serve the desires and wants of others. We stay stuck in ruts, do things out of (lifeless) habits, and continue with the status quo. When we experience the freedom of being “God’s son and heir,” which comes from living in conscious relationship to the Self, we knowingly create with our responses. We meet our inner and outer experiences with the knowledge of our self/ego related to the Self/God Within.

Inner Reflection
I invite you to consider where you feel enslaved. What variables (thoughts, images, fantasies, beliefs, past experiences, fears, etc.) are at work in the situation? Center yourself by focusing on your breath and ask the Self/God Within to give you consciousness about the situation. Open to receive a felt experience of your inner strength and resources that will let you act as the heir of the Self/God Within.