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.
Jack had a Mom with a strong personality. She was the “boss” in the house.
Jack developed a shy personality as a defense mechanism to deal with his mother.
On the other hand Jack’s sister; Melissa had decided early on, not to put up with her mother. There was a continuous struggle to be in good terms with her.
As Jack and Melissa grew up, they used those personality traits to relate with others and to perceive the world.
Jack’s shyness developed into insecurity. Melissa’s fighting attitude, developed into trouble for her and her close relations.
That is the everyday situation for most of us: Something that we have learned unconsciously, will remain in our behavior no matter what.
People around us work as giant mirrors. The consequence of behaving with some sort of neurosis, could be observed in our relation with others.
Melissa will behave with bossiness whenever possible. Nevertheless, Melissa may not like to deal with Claire because “she is too bossy.” Melissa may not be able to recognize her own bossiness because she will feel that she is “normal.”
Let us say that Jack ended up having a good job. Jack had to deal with many individuals under his supervision. Jack may still have that shyness when dealing particularly with women. Jack may not be able to pinpoint the “reason” for that unless, Jack looks back into his relationship with his mother.
The “reflection” that other individuals bring to our lives is meant to show us something about ourselves.
The above description is not psychology. It is self observation. The above is not a religious story to “believe in” and to feel “peaceful” about being “a good person.”
The above is spirituality.
That is why a religious person may not be spiritual. That is why, a spiritual person may not be religious. It is not a matter of belief. It is matter of observing and being aware of ourselves at every moment.
Life is offering us the means to observe and to live fully, but for many it is easier to practice a devotional activity or to pay the psychologist so they could figure out our own issues.
That is the proof on how little we know ourselves… or how much willingness we have in deeply looking “inside.”
It easier to pray to God to change someone else. To send that “other” person good wishes so “she can change,” but we do not realize on how what we perceive in others is a reflection of ourselves in different degrees.
The game of being “aware,” “conscious,” is an interesting game. We are not awake because our eyes are wide open and because we can move around.
We are aware when we are continuously conscious that “we” are not, because then paradoxically; we could observe. Just as when we observe our neighbor without difficulty, because they are not “us.”