“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” This second sentence of the Declaration of Independence has been called “one of the best-known sentences in the English language.”
Now, more than ever, it is important to remember the principles upon which America was founded, and to uphold the vision for a new kind of nation set forth by the enlightened men who created it. Never before in recorded history had a statement like this been made: that all people are equal; that they have a divine right to live in freedom from oppression, and to seek their own happiness. With exquisite simplicity the authors of the Declaration of Independence set into motion a wave of thought that changed the world.
For those of us seeking higher consciousness, we can take these words to an even higher octave. Life is more than just finishing out the days of our mortal existence, which inevitably must end. On a deeper level, it means to experience the divine spark of God within us, and to know that our soul is immortal.
True Liberty is not merely throwing off tyranny, but is a freedom of consciousness not bound by self-limiting thoughts. It means the freedom to follow the highest course of action in any situation; to choose to be happy in spite of adverse circumstances; to cast off any limiting self-definitions; and to know your true self as a child of God.
The pursuit of Happiness doesn’t mean only to seek fulfillment on a human level, but to seek the joy of God within us. Swami Kriyananda expressed this beautifully in The Vow of Complete Renunciation: “I am free in Thy joy, and will rejoice forever in Thy blissful presence.”
And this leads us to the highest perspective from which to consider the words of the Declaration of Independence. In the teachings of India, God is described as Satchidananda, or “ever-existing, ever-conscious, ever-new bliss.” God endowed each of us, His children, with His own divine qualities: eternal life, unlimited freedom of awareness, and inexhaustible joy.
God’s consciousness is reflected in all creation: in the farthest galaxy, in nature, in nations, and in each one of us. We need but strive to see this, and to claim as our own the unalienable rights with which we are endowed.
Joined with you in God,