June 15, 2005

Spiritual Freedom

Over the course of what seems a brief life on this blessed earth we experience moments of freedom, moments of genuine bliss. Not conditioned or conditional, these moments do not seem to be caused by anything in particular. They do not seem dependent on or requiring any particular condition or circumstance. They seemed to come out of the blue. I love that expression "out of the blue." Out of blue sky, out of the vast beyond, the great wide open. When we were children we had many such moments. Serendipitous moments of pure joy, a joy that came from within. Perhaps running on a grassy hill in the morning sunlight, hearing the song of birds; feeling a cold wind on our face or freezing air in our nostrils; seeing those tiny golden flecks glittering in the sand at river's edge, reflecting the gold of the sun; the soft moving branches of a willow in a summer's breeze; the tone of a lover's voice -- so many things, endless sources of nature's overflowing bliss, all around us, all the time. These moments are available if we just tune our eyes to see and our ears to hear. These serendipitous moments of freedom reflect a vast freedom that abides in the background rather than a situation where we have brief snatches of freedom inside an overall life of imprisonment. As we grow older much of our natural openness gets covered over with preoccupations of all kinds, and we lose touch with our freedom. Freedom is our birthright. Freedom is synonymous with authentic presence. They are one and the same. The mind divides. The totality of your being is undivided, whole. It is freedom to realize this wholeness. Freedom in this sense is not a noun. It is in energetic verb, more like freedomness or freedoming.

About love, divine love, whole love: Freedom, in a way, is higher than love. Love gives way to freedom. Love realizes the ascendancy of freedom. Love realizes the peak that freedom is. When you realize your original face, that authentic presence that flows from the vastness of your inner space in one continuous stream to the vastness of your outer space; when you realize the wholeness and aloneness of this space; when you realize the sheer bliss of this undivided consciousness -- you realize freedom. You realize you are already free. You realize that freedom is inherent in your very being. Without fixation on ego, without identification with a separate self, without the projection of time, without past or future, what are you? Realizing this luminous emptiness of your original face, you realize you are free; you realize you cannot be confined by anything. You are freedom itself, your consciousness is inherently free and unbounded.

Or we can look at it from the other direction. What is it that binds you, imprisons you, restricts, restrains, limits, confines and defines? You are gradually becoming very, very clear about what imprisons you; that which creates your prison walls; that which keeps you from your treasure house within, keeps you from your heart's deepest desire, keeps you separate, alienated, suffering. Ego fixation, with its want and fear, its preoccupation with thinking, the mind identified self with its allegiance to time, takes you out of the now, has you live an inauthentic, neurotic, stale life of suffering. Our deep allegiance to this ego structure keeps us from the freedom of our original nature. We know it is possible to return to the freshness and freedom of our true nature. Slowly, slowly we draw distinctions which help us differentiate the real from the unreal.

Freedom is synonymous with realization. Since we are already free, when we realize our true nature, we realize complete freedom. This is why meditative awareness is so crucial; why a combination of meditative awareness and loving kindness is so important. It contributes to the realization of the freedom at the foundation of our being. With my questions I have tried to point you toward that freedom within. I have tried to support and point out that which leads to increasing freedom and bliss. So much of our enculturation and consensus reality leads us in the exact opposite direction. That's why I call myself a madman. I'm on a trajectory 180° from the direction the overall culture is moving in, subscribing to and glorifying. Looking close at conventional thinking, stepping outside one's cultural and psychosocial conditioning, "normal" appears insane. The end result is simply death. The path of returning, the path of realization, is a lonely path, a path of simplicity, of reducing extraneous, frivolous baggage, a path of letting go, of not holding on, a path of willing relinquishment of all the accumulated baggage of a lifetime, a path of challenge and courage and freedom. Going against the grain of our conditioning and enculturation can have one appear misguided at best, insane at worst. But to taste the freedom within, the undeniable primordial goodness and basic wholesomeness of naked, authentic being, is its own beacon and bellwether. It this way you are less susceptible to charlatans, less willing to be led by the blind. Instead you use your own inner source as your guide. Everyone has a lamp within that can guide them home. Everything should be tested against the truth of this inner lamp. If a teaching, or scripture comes your way, it should be brought into the light of this inner lamp, and tested, scrutinized. This is especially important as you extend your spiritual friendship to others. Have them ask themselves, "Does it fit, is this useful on my path?" This is where John Tarrant says that he can have nothing to say about your path other than to share what's worked for him and to love and encourage you wherever you are on your path. We can share what we've found. We can do this freely, unselfconsciously. We can allow others to be responsible for checking it out, seeing if it fits, if it resonates with them, if it's useful to them. If not, no harm done, they can just discard it. Just like we do, they can test it against their own lamp, against their own light and see if it has any worth to them. Each person is unique and will come to their own unique conclusions. They may or may not be similar to the conclusions you or I have come to. Whatever we share, it is our own, it is particular to the unique expression of one's own being. Each will come to his or her own conclusions, through the living of their lives, the walking of their path.

Post by Akilesh

1 comment:

Boltono said...

Spirit, spirit, spirit. Live there!
Not sentiment.
Although I like the wind in my hair too!