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Are there limits to freedom of expression? 

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« When a man trespasses on private property, fails to pay his bills, punches or insults someone, the law is there to condemn and punish him.

But if, by his writings, speeches or example, he destroys the faith, hope and love of thousands, or incites them to vice and violence, the law has nothing to say about it. Everyone is free to express his thoughts and desires, however depraved they may be, without a thought for the effect they might have on the fate of those who are weaker and more easily influenced. When some jewellery is stolen or some windows are broken it is a serious matter and must be stopped,... but when the souls and spirits of men are plunged into doubt, revolt or anguish it is not important?... And so the most dangerous criminals go about their business in complete freedom; in fact, if they happen to be artists, writers or film producers, they are awarded prizes! The spiritual health of society does not count; no one will raise a finger to prevent it from being damaged or destroyed, but the full force of the law, the police, courts, prisons and magistrates, are always on the alert to protect physical, material property.

You will say, "But good heavens! People must be able to express their ideas freely. In the days when thinkers philosophers and artists were persecuted it was no better."

That is true, I know. Until human beings are in possession of the criteria that will enable them to judge what is truly good or evil, it is certainly better to allow everybody to express themselves. But I want to draw the attention of all creators to their responsibility in this respect. I say to them: take care, you have the good fortune to be free, but freedom is not a goal in itself and it is your duty to think about the effect your works will have on others. You must realize that although the law of the land may leave you alone, divine law will hold you responsible.

When you get to the next world and are made to see all the damage you have done to others, it will be useless for you to protest that it was not your fault if those people suffered. You will be told: "Yes it was; they suffered because of you. It was you who created chaos in their hearts and minds; it was you who egged them on to try all kinds of experiences and failed to warn them of the dangers involved. You are guilty and will be punished."

You must use your gifts to enlighten others, to spark their love and trust and a desire to be better. Otherwise, not only will you be punished but in a future incarnation you will be deprived of those gifts.»

Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov

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