Glen T. Martin
All the traditional religions have been about salvation in one form or another, whether this was called the kingdom of heaven, or nirvana, or moksa, or the straight path. Salvation always meant both ‘freedom from’ and ‘freedom for’. We need freedom from sin, error, ignorance, selfishness, samsara, or an endless round of rebirths. We need freedom for self-realization, grace, redemptive action, right relation with God, or right living through the middle way.
Each traditional religion flourished within a cultural context that provided its framework and intelligibility and gave its way of being religious great credibility with the people. Yet today we have emerged onto a planetary scale in which we can compare the great traditional religious and understand that each is a particular cultural phenomenon directing humans toward their ultimate goal of freedom. Each provided a credible way of doing this. None gave us the exclusively correct way.
In our pluralistic world of today, more and more people are becoming “secular.” They are thinking that this plurality of religious paths to the goal indicates that none of them had the validity that they traditionally claimed for their own path. Many people are not following one or the other of these traditional paths to freedom—to ‘freedom from’ and ‘freedom for’ our highest self-realization. However, the need for such freedom has not abated. Human beings today are trapped in a technological spiderweb of their own making that once held the promise of freeing us from drudgery and disease but somehow has instead led us to the brink of self-extinction through nuclear war or climate collapse.
The need to realize the goal of life will not go away. This is because human life has emerged from the womb of the cosmos with this goal embedded within the very framework of our freedom, self-awareness, and rationality. We long for liberation but find around us nothing but empty distractions or self-defeating means. We have realized—at least since the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights appeared—that our dignity is directly connected with human freedom. To destroy freedom is to destroy dignity. To enhance freedom is to recognize and increase our dignity.
The Constitution for the Federation of Earth appeared in its final form in 1991. It provides a way out of the technological spider web that has entrapped humanity in pending omnicide. It is designed to eliminate all weapons of mass destruction from the Earth and to unite the Earth behind protecting and restoring our disintegrating planetary climate. It is designed to overcome the chaos of some 200 militarized sovereign nations refusing to recognize any coherent legal framework beyond themselves, a chaos that forces citizens in these nations to pay military and war taxes, and to fight wars on behalf of their ruling-classes’ misguided imperatives.
By freeing us from the technological spider web of pending omnicide, the Earth Constitution also frees us for rediscovering the meaning and goal of life that was embedded in all the great traditional religions from the start. By uniting humanity in the quest for a harmonious and coherent planetary civilization the Constitution brings us to a place where we can again address the question of “freedom for”? How should we be living? What is the purpose of life? What is liberation, salvation, or nirvana?
Once we have replaced the world’s war system with a peace system and a freedom system, we must ask the question again: “freedom for what?” My contention is that the very fact of realizing the freedom system offered by the Earth Constitution will bring us closer to the answer. Article 12 of the Constitution says that everyone has the right to political beliefs or no political beliefs and the right to religious beliefs or no religious beliefs. This great freedom constitutes the very foundation of the religious and/or philosophical quest for human liberation. The quest was never exclusively about “beliefs.” It was always about the realization of “freedom from” and “freedom for.”
The universe has produced a creature characterized by its freedom. Freedom means that we do not have any predetermined essence, no inevitable character flaws that cannot be transcended. Freedom, to be sure, is a universal human phenomena and can only emerge as a common cooperative enterprise of people working together, whether in economics, in politics, or in everyday interactions. If we are not in harmony with one another, if we are in constant conflict, danger, and fear, then our freedom is drastically diminished, and the possible fulness of life drastically reduced.
By achieving a coherent planetary civilization under the Earth Constitution, we will be reclaiming our freedom and transcending the threats to existence posed by the reigning chaos of militarized nation-states and competitive economics. Once we achieve this cooperative planetary freedom, then what? How do we live our lives? What is the meaning and goal of life? My contention is that the meaning and goal will appear to us so much more readily once we have transcended the hate and fear and chaos of the present world disorder.
A world premised on peace and sustainability will enhance human freedom and dignity immeasurably. It will confront us ever more clearly with the question of “freedom for”—asking the questions concerning what is salvation, redemption, fulfillment, the straight path, or nirvana? We will be able to answer these questions in a new and unique way once we have created a freedom system for planet Earth.
That is why we must ratify the Constitution for the Federation of Earth, for it alone is based on establishing the fulness of freedom and dignity as much as this is possible politically, economically, and institutionally. It is in this powerful sense, that the way to human salvation and liberation is truly through ratification of the Earth Constitution.