Growing up my “keyword” was freedom.
Freedom from the enemies. Freedom to Do what I want. Freedom to HAVE whatever I could get. Freedom to BE what I wanted to BE…
All of those “freedoms” are only circumstantial. They depend on the conditions, the settings. Whatever I DO, whatever I HAVE, whatever I want to BE is only another cage to fight for, to be attached to, to become fearful of losing… The cage is there and whenever there is a cage, freedom slips out of our hands…
Aware of these things, some religions paradoxically have misunderstood the meaning of freedom. For them to “attain” that is a matter of renouncing the world.
In DOING that, their cage becomes their own little world.
Freedom is not a matter of escaping from something and labeling that “ renunciation.”
To DO, to HAVE, to BE … are mental cages. Mind made definitions with borders which we will not trespass for safety, for comfort, for security.
True Freedom is in BEING, but this is not the mind BEING such as BEING a professional, BEING a father, BEING a guru… or BEING God. This BEING that I am talking about is without mind.
A child is that BEING and so a wild animal. FREE from traumas, FREE from hang ups, FREE from neurosis, FREE from the “future.”
A conditioned human being is always looking for security. If a man is in a relationship with someone, he may need a way to possess a woman so she doesn’t run away. That insecurity, that pettiness is called “love” by most. The “proof” is in the emotion of jealousy felt. However, it is certain that this man has built his own cage of attachment and neediness.
Then, his mind always going into extremes; will decide to go to the other extreme: “I will never be in love with anyone. I want to be Free.”
That decision is unbearably naïve. That man has built yet another cage for himself. He cannot be free.
Because it doesn’t matter whether he is in a relationship or not. Both states are cages when we move in the duality of the mind.
That is why it has been said: “Know thyself,” but I‘d like to clarify: “Know thy mind to be FREE from it.”
That is where freedom resides: Away from the duality created by the mind.
Our search for security will kill our freedom to BE. The need for security will create a cage and the fear to abandon it.
A mental “cage” could be like a hotel: A place to be for a short while before continuing in our journey. But, the one who feels secure, safe, at ease and would like by all means to maintain that state; that person will suffer when the time to change arrives.
Don’t we know that Life is change? Don’t we know that Life is completely uncertain?
Do we want to live in our own “little world” for the sake of being safe?
That will kill our growth as humans. Our development will be hindered.
Nothing is secure in life. That is the extraordinary thing about Life. It can turn around at any time and there is no one who could stop it… but yet, some want to fight against it even though “losing” every single battle against Life… While others would like to “hide” and control their environment to feel safe, even though there is no Life in their lives…. They are already death.
In both cases there is no Freedom.
Freedom is not in the extremes. It is neither in hiding nor in fighting, rejecting, conquering… to know Freedom we need to become AWARE of the works of our mind.
A seeker who does not understand his own mind, is only playing the game of self-deception: It is a game with plenty of beliefs and promises for great things in the “future,” but the price is not to enjoy the freedom of living fully in the “now.”
The “golden cage” may be a pretty cage for our minds. But … the best things in Life are always FREE…. Of charge?
No… FREE of mind.
“I have too many things to be thankful about.”
“I am doing the best I can.”
“ I am someone.”
The “I” world is in town again…
Do we want to “transform” that “I” into a “better” “I”?
Obviously that would be a trip to “Ego-land.”
All expenses paid.
“Having” comes from “Doing” and doing comes from “Being.”
That has been the repetitive mantra for “self-transformation.”
In fact, “Being” what?
That is a hard question to answer, unless we would like to add pretty words to that answer, such as: “good, kind, friendly, loving, etc, etc.”
If we are “something,” we will act according to what we are.
There is a subtle depth in the above phrase.
If we are “something,” we cannot think about “changing the world” for what we are will compel us to act in a certain way under all circumstances and perceive the world with the glasses of who we think we are.
We are framed, stuck by what we think we are.
Nevertheless, Life is change.
Johnny found 20 dollars down the street.
Johnny wanted to be “good.”
He was the typical “Johnny be good.”
Johnny asked to all of his “spiritual” gurus what he should do with that money. He was expecting the “right” answer to be the same from everyone. After all, there must be only one right answer. That is logical. 🙂
Master A: Why did you pick up that $20 bill? You should have left it alone there. There is karma associated with picking up something, which is not yours.
Master B: We have a box for donations, so we could do “good” to others who need it. Place the bill there. That is a good “deed.”
Master C: You don’t know what to do with it? Give it to me then.
Johnny was confused. Johnny thought that there was a “right” action to do under every circumstance.
Johnny HAS a $20 bill. Johnny did not know what to DO with it… because Johnny wanted to BE good.. Obviously… he wasn’t “good” enough, for otherwise he should know what to do. 🙂
Johnny is completely framed by thoughts and philosophies from others of what “being good” is.
That is the problem with trying to “be” someone when you are not “being.”
It is in that insincerity or lack of honesty with the self, when “morality” appears.
Here “Johnny be good,” these are your commandments, the codes, the laws for you to follow so you are “good.”
That is the issue with the “I” trying to be someone who is not.
Fortunately, there is non-being. It is in that state of consciousness when “help to others” and being “good” automatically is “done” without thinking about it. In non-being, there is only Totality, the common good.
Being “good” is not dependent on actions as in the example of the $20 bill.
It is dependent on how egoless, that is “non-being” we could “be.”
That is why we need to be honest with our intentions when residing in the consciousness of “I” and “being.”
If our consciousness is located in non-being, there is a different “law” for that, which could be easily misunderstood by those who haven’t experienced it.
It cannot be written, it cannot be spoken about, it cannot be framed into a philosophy.
Being comes from Non-being. 🙂
Everything is change. The one “I” was a second ago is no longer “me.” It is someone different. That difference changes in a subtle manner just as when day changes into night.
We may not realize it, but our consciousness changes as well. It will go one step at the time into greater opening or one step into closing itself. I could use the cliché: “The choice is ours” but there is no choosing once there is awareness.
If there is a storm going in the right side and calmness on the left, do we choose where do we want to go?
Look into yourself. That choosing is automatically aligned with who we are at a particular moment in time.
Being before doing. Being before choosing.
If “I cannot swim in the same river twice,” if I cannot be the same as before, how is it possible to “improve myself”?
There is only change. To live in the duality of “improvement and deterioration” is a perception of framing the “I” as being something static.
It is in that static perception of the world how dogmas thrive and that is how our consciousness gets stuck in the past.
Paul: “But you can be someone else, you can obtain things in life to improve your life style…”
Yes… we agree Paul. We could be someone else… That is granted, but we cannot be that change if our minds are framed in the past, if our minds cling to beliefs as if they were “reality” rather than another perception of it.
Since everything changes, what is “the reality”?
Paul: “So… you are saying that change is reality?”
Yes and No.
Change as a word has an opposite. We could play with antonyms and synonyms, logic and so forth.
Change in life does not have an opposite. It is what it is.
Why is there attachment?
Because we cannot accept change.
Why is there a need to improve?
Because we are caught up in duality and we cannot acknowledge spontaneous change. We have to manipulate things.
To obtain things in life is great. That may be the definition of improvement at the “office” in the “business world” etc. In life, there is openness in consciousness, that is regardless if someone has things or not.
In life “being” is first then doing and then having.
At the “office” and the “business world” having is first, doing is second and being is third.
You are what you have.
You do according to what you have.
Do we see the game? 🙂
Do we reject the “office” mentality then?
We embrace it. We integrate it. In this way we could flow with change.
Acceptance of everything may be the single most important teaching in life. To accept without the “thought” of accepting, could be the most sublime.
Usually we think that everything which we want to have, we can obtain by adding some “effort,” by really “wanting it,” by using all of our resources to obtain a goal.
This is a teaching that goes along with egotistical needs to achieve something. This is Ego pampering 101.
If you want to run a marathon, do some training. Run every day 10 miles and you will be able to finish a marathon. Of course not everyone can do that, but then we have a reason to say “you cannot make it because you don’t make enough effort.”
If you want to become a doctor, just go through a university, pass the exams and you got it! Simple.
We become so used to this way of achievement that automatically we think that spirituality is like that.
We “want” something and we think that we know how to achieve it. We practice many things and we think that we are much “better than before.”
We are always comparing, determining, judging, manipulating, obtaining, etc.
Then the question arises: How do I become soul conscious? 🙂
At that point we don’t know the method. This is something that we cannot achieve by following an established “rule of thumb.” So, we pretend; but still we use the “key word:” Remembrance.
If soul consciousness is so “natural,” why is not coming naturally to us? Because we are trying things which we think will give us the result. We are not just being but rather, we are doing things all the time. That is a mirage. We want a ‘recipe’ for soul consciousness ignoring that the meal is already prepared.
If you sit down and just let yourself be and experience the self, a sense of peace will come. As long as thoughts and thinking are away, “being” will be experienced as a refreshing moment. There is no need to do anything. Being allows remembrance to happen as well. Being is “natural” soul consciousness without thoughts of desires.
Perhaps we need to stop “doing” things and stop trying things and “making effort” to “be” something which is already in us, but just requires the space to manifest. Give it space. Open the door of being without “doing” or “having.”
Therefore, there is no ‘effort’ in doing things. Effort is in allowing the self to be, to express, to come out. Paradoxically, there is nothing that we have to do, but just let it be. Effort is effortless in spirituality.
Practice “being” aware, being peaceful, being loving, being in the moment. That is effort when we are used to “doing.”