Saturday, January 17, 2009

Freedom

Near Russell, Bay of Islands, New Zealand

Freedom does not come from being financially independent. Plenty of people who are wealthy do not feel free. Sometimes, people who have nothing or are in prison are free. Living in a democracy does not necessarily make us free.

Freedom does not depend on external circumstances. Freedom comes from within.

Donald Trump has all the material possessions a person could want. He lives in the United States, one of the freest countries in the world. However, he is not free. He puts his name on his properties and has a constant need to show off because he does not feel free inside. If he did not feel inadequate and unworthy, he would have no need to prove that he was better than everyone else because he has more things than they do. If you have something to prove, you are trying to prove to yourself that your life has value.
Mahatma Gandhi gave away his possessions and lived an extremely simple life. He was free. Jesus was imprisoned and ultimately tortured and killed. He was free.
The bars of our prison do not come from outside ourselves. The bars of our prison are made from compulsive thinking. We are stuck remembering the past and imagining the future. Our thoughts are the product of relentless programming from the moment we were born to the present moment. We are a prisoner of our thoughts.
We can dissolve the bars of compulsive thinking by bringing our attention to them. By bringing the light of awareness (i.e., attention without judgment) to the present, our thoughts fade into the background and eventually disappear.
Let's choose freedom.

2 comments:

Small Biz Startup: said...

dear Phillip-
you are as soulful as i remember.
i'm bookmarking your blog.
your vassar pal,
susie rakowski

PHOEBE LEGERE said...

Thank you for this superb riff on freedom!
Yes!
Observe, Breathe, surrender...
release!

Peace and Hugs
from your other Vassar pal,
Phoebe