As a way to celebrate this sacred moment in our history, we present
Father A.A. Taliaferro, D.D. in a document which contains his best thoughts on what this day means.

The Fourth of July: Celebration of Freedom
By A. A. Taliaferro, D.D.

In the great annals of the history of man certain occasions have arisen that have been directly under the influence of the Most High, working through the mind and Soul of humanity. A great truth about life has been communicated to the Soul of man in various ways, through the Magna Charta, the Constitution and Bill of Rights, the Emancipation Proclamation, the Four Freedoms, the Atlantic Charter, the philosophers and the great thinkers of France and England, as well as those from the Orient. This great idea of the freedom of man has been preserved for Americans in the celebration of the Fourth of July.

This celebration has a spiritual nature, as the concept of Freedom and Liberty , Equality and Fraternity for all humanity has a spiritual basis. America was created for a definite purpose. The whole purpose of this country is to project all these great ideas throughout the world, not to just America, and to do whatever is necessary, even at the sacrifice of financial resources and time, to make it possible for human beings to know these truths. Humanity must be freed from the shackles of materiality. Humanity must also be freed from despotism and dictatorship, and from those individuals whose power and ego makes it possible for them to use humanity for their own self-gain.

The heritage of our country, in historical terms, is a synthesis of the great contributions that have been made in the past through the labours of all humanity, by ancient China and India, Persia, Babylonia, Egypt, Greece, Europe, Britain, and of course America. The early struggles of man were material, and to a certain degree this is still true. But as man won through the power of his will and the steady accumulation in his mind the ability to conquer the earth, to master the techniques by which he can distribute those things that are created by his ingeniousness, he is becoming able to understand the meaning of leisure and the freedom that comes with the availability of time. Man is able to improve himself spiritually as he conquers the material world. The evolution of the material side of our nature, the physical, the emotional/desire, and mental, has enabled us to create material forms, then using the created forms for the betterment of humanity.

The principle of mass production is a very recent thing. The disciple Henry Ford conceived it, and his real contribution to America and to the world was not the automobile or any mechanical device, but the spiritual idea of groups of human beings working together for the betterment of the whole race. When this first began, it was a revolutionary concept. It was successful and effective in the real world, and was made available to the whole of humanity. It transformed the economic life of the planet.

To understand the meaning of the Fourth of July we must understand the spiritual meaning contained within the great historic past of humanity. Almost all of it is represented in the symbolism of the Great Seal of the United States . It took a long time to create the Great Seal. It took a lot of political maneuvering, because there were a great many people who worked on it who actually did not understand it. In 1935, the Great Seal was placed on the one-dollar bill, which is the single most used piece of paper in the United States . Those who look at it are reminded by symbols of the great spiritual heritage of our country.

The Great Seal has symbols with tremendous power. First, there is the eagle, which in ancient times was the symbol of human freedom, the spiritual freedom of the soul as it soared above the material world. The eagle flies higher than any other bird. This has come down as the great symbol of our country. Above the eagle’s head there is an interlaced triangle. This is the Star of David, ancient symbol of the initiates and of the entire process of involution and evolution. It is made up of thirteen stars that symbolize the twelve apostles, who represent the perfection of the different aspects of human nature, plus Christ, who makes the thirteen.

This great energy is creating a new heaven and a new earth, a new kind of political and social system that guarantees freedom for all mankind, without any exceptions. This freedom is the freedom to think as we choose, the freedom to worship God in our own way, the freedom from fear, the freedom to be what we want to be and can be in creating our life in a particular incarnation. This will ultimately be the guaranteed freedom for all humanity. It is the purpose for the establishment of America , not only to provide freedom for the people who live here, but for all humanity. The energy of love and wisdom makes this possible. Immediately surrounding the thirteen stars is fire, the great fire of creation. Surrounding this fire is the light that is the wisdom of the Soul. Just as the rose is the symbol of the Soul and of the perfected mind, so the human mind itself is the symbol of God’s final creative achievement. As human beings develop their abstract mind, they will become increasingly conscious of themselves as Souls.

Political power is the use of power that comes from on high that is radiated out into society through the Soul and mind by the persons who are placed symbolically in a position of power. They are only there temporarily for the purpose of dispensing power, which should be used as a blessing for all mankind, not just a few or a small group. If an individual in power would dedicate himself to this principle, he would be shown by illumination and the intuition the means of how this could be done. However, most people who are in positions of power do not want to do anything except for themselves or those who are around them, those who keep them in power. Today the arrogance and lack of humility of many political leaders, combined with the limitations of the concrete mind, block their registering impressions from higher realms.

Below the eagle’s body, the right talon holds the olive branches, and the left talon holds the arrows. In ancient biblical symbology, arrows stand for thought power, the power of the mind on the material plane. The olive branch stands for peace, the power of the soul’s energy, of “peace on earth, good will to men.” This is the very nature of love, and it is the revelation of grace in Christ at Christmas. These concepts can be brought into the rest of the world by America . Held in the eagle’s beak and rising above his wings is a ribbon or scroll with the Latin phrase, E. Pluribus Unum. This means that the great power of America comes from the realization of the union among individuals on a spiritual level, “Out of the many comes the one.” The tremendous power of this phrase is in the spiritual realization that eventually all humanity will be one. Just as man is one on the Soul level, some day he will also be one on the material side. The eagle is facing to his right, which means that the Soul is dedicated to the spiritual goals of manifestation and of creativity. The soul in humanity is unerringly leading man to the goal of his evolution and existence.

On the other side of the Great Seal, and at the other end of the one-dollar bill, there is the great symbol of the pyramid. This and the eagle, the symbol of the freedom of the Soul, are obviously related. It is impossible for us to be free until we conform to the laws building the symbolic pyramid. The pyramid is a very ancient symbol. Long before the pyramids were built in Egypt or Mexico or South America, the pyramid was the symbol of the building of the temple, just as Solomon’s Temple or the Temple of the Lord is the great symbol in Masonry. The power to build this pyramid is in the human consciousness, in terms of ideas. When we begin to live by these great truths, and incorporate them as stones in the pyramid, with Christ as the chief cornerstone, we begin to build a new culture, the future spiritual culture. The long history of the human race is the process by which this has is being done. It is being accomplished through trial and error, pain and suffering, through tremendous struggle, and the expenditure of great physical, emotional and mental energy.

The pyramid on the Great Seal is not completed because humanity itself is incomplete. Humanity itself must build the capstone that will complete the pyramid. This capstone is the Christ consciousness, the consciousness of the Soul that will transform and regenerate the material world. Christ is often referred to as “the Divine Redeemer.” Then there will be the universal recognition of the brotherhood of man, based on the Fatherhood of God. Above the pyramid is the capstone, which is surrounded by rays of light, symbolic of the Great Architect of the Universe. The capstone contains within it the all-seeing eye, standing for the divinity of the Most High. The meaning of the all-seeing eye is that there is a divine mind present in the material world, and in the human consciousness. It is looking out upon everything that we do. It is conscious of us, not only as individuals but also in group formations such as our family, the community in which we live, the groups with whom we work, and others with whom we are associated. This all-seeing eye is the ever watchful divinity that looks over everything and protects us from all harm, provided that we are doing the work and actually projecting into the material world the great Wisdom and Love and Will and Purpose of the Most High. As result of the fulfillment of the Lord’s Prayer, man will eventually express on earth the consciousness of the kingdom of heaven

Below the pyramid is the Latin phrase, Novus Ordo Seclorum, which means “A New Secular Order.” This new secular order is now being created. It is a brand new form of human political, economic, and social organization. It comes right out of the soul of humanity. It was not by accident or happenstance that America was started. It was started under the divine Will, the energies impressed into great illumined and powerfully oriented personalities through the Souls of these personalities, the main one being Thomas Jefferson. His great companion in this work was John Adams. They worked together for over 50 years, and they died within a few minute of each other, ironically on a Fourth of July. They were aged and Thomas Jefferson was in terrible debt when he died. He made little money during his lifetime. He gave himself completely and his friends recognized that his work was so great and important that he deserved what they could do to help him continue on the material plane. He created unbelievably wonderful things for the benefit of humanity and this country. Of course, he had the help of George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Paine, and the many others who were working around him.

The government of America is unique among the governments of the world in that its three branches are separate but equal, and correspond to the Holy Trinity or the three aspects of divinity, expressed in Christian phraseology as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Executive Branch corresponds to the Father, the first aspect of divinity and the Will of the Most High. The Legislative Branch is closest to the people and corresponds to the Son, the second aspect of divinity, the Love of the Most High. The Judicial Branch corresponds to the third aspect of divinity, as it interprets and adjudicates the law of the land, and represents the Intelligent Activity of the Most High. By these three branches being separate but equal, they serve as a check and balance on each other. Other governments, even some totalitarian governments, have Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches, but none of them have branches that are separate but equal.

Philosophers founded America , people who spoke, thought, and acted on the truth. They did not found this country for the selfish purposes of the people who would come after them. They lived in the selflessness of their philosophy. They gave themselves so that those who would come after them could benefit from their experience and their sacrifice. They were not religious in the generally understood sense of that word. Nevertheless, they were true philosophers. If ever there was a group in the history of humanity that had the consciousness of the soul working within them, it was the group of Founding Fathers that led this country to its formation, literally carving out of human experience a brand new nation, a brand new philosophy, and a brand new unselfish way of looking at things. They spoke the truth that it is possible for human beings to be free, to worship God in their own way, and to seek the truth, and to serve their fellowmen, and to make it possible for all of humanity in the future to do the same thing.

The word philosophy means the love of wisdom or the wisdom of love. It was originally intended to convey that ideal in the ancient oriental civilizations, as well as in the civilizations of Egypt , Greece and Rome . The philosophers were concerned with seeking the truth and devising techniques by which that truth could be lived by the people, for the benefit and well being of society as a whole.

The last President who was a leader in terms of philosophic principles was Abraham Lincoln, evoked by the genius and destiny of the race, coming forth from the very soul of the people. He was one of the most powerful Avatars which humanity itself has produced, and was very sensitive to Shamballa force. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Thomas Paine and others lived the philosophy in their daily life. They were willing to take the personal consequences in their life for their love of wisdom. They sacrificed their whole life for the sake of this country. They witnessed the selfish intrigue and shameless and embarrassing infighting among the delegates of the various states as they hammered out the Declaration of Independence and later the Constitution. These documents would make it possible for this country to be one nation, indivisible, and made up of the various states. The different groups of people came together, trying to understand that they must cooperate with each other or perish.

Today we have changed the philosophic system of thinking that our early forefathers used in establishing a philosophic democracy. We have changed the system of freedom that came from the philosophic principle of wisdom, to the use of that freedom for our selfish ends. The purpose of life today is to become as powerful and as rich as possible, with a minimum expenditure of energy, and to use our power and our riches for ourselves. We do not know how to think and feel or act out a change in our life because we are literally afraid to be unselfish. We do not know that there is a great power which communicates by the intuition to the individual who is willing to become unselfish, to give himself for his fellow man, that he will be given everything he needs to do this. It is a test of faith. He cannot ask for proof and then decide to do it. He must do it with the assurance from within himself that every step of the way he will be guided and protected and he will be aided and helped.

When President Kennedy said in his inaugural address, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country,” there was a very great truth in what he said. The personality grasps for itself and holds with clinging hands, whereas the nature of the soul is to serve unconditionally, without expectation of recognition or reward. He was really saying we should get up every day and ask what we can do for the world and for our fellow men, instead of instinctively recoiling and wondering how we can finesse someone into doing something for us or manipulate events in the daily world for our personal gain. We should simply know that if we make the connection with the consciousness of the Soul and become a Soul infused personality, then the Soul will work through us in mysterious ways its wonders to perform. We should live by the wisdom, truth and love of the Soul.

America was and still is today the great divine experiment in human freedom, making it possible for the Spiritual Hierarchy and the Most High to work out on this planet a new kind of life in which we are conscious of the power of the Soul. We can be conscious of the truth. We can be conscious of the fact that we are truly our brother’s keeper, and that we are one with each other regardless of race, color, or creed. We are truly one because we use the same energy of matter to build our physical bodies, and we use the same energy of the soul to become conscious of ourselves, and of the Will and Purpose and Love of the Most High.