Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Freedom

In order to really grow and understand fulfillment, we must occasionally (at least) expose ourselves to the mind-blowing extent of our true freedom. It's a way to keep a healthy mental balance, if nothing else.

Consider the fact that a person is free to abandon anything and anyone in life...even life! My name, circumstances, job titles, relationships, belief systems, habits, responsibilities...I am just as much none of these things as I consider myself to be all of them. It's the hidden and sometimes terrifying truth.

What this does on a practical level is to remind me of the things I am secretly wanting or am unwilling to change. Everyone gripes about their chop-wood-carry-water responsibilities, but most of us have them because we want them. If we really don't, best to get to a place where one can be honest with oneself and the world. Less suffering, that way.

That place, of course, is where you and I admit our freedom...from time, concept, all that apparently is. That place is the barest and most transparent of shelters, and all things share it. It's called "I Am". That's it. That's all we really know.

From here, I can look out on the vast space of being, and understand that all things are added or subtracted by me. Not the "me" that I use in the world, but the Me that is All. From that view, all action is pure and equal. Clarity is all there is.

What it feels like...your house was just effortlessly cleaned, top to bottom, in a flash. Your boss just walked in and grated you permanent paid vacation. Your dreams turned out to be real and your nightmares just became food for your dreams. There is no deadline in life. Grief is not The End. The biological necessities are manageable, and if not, oh well. Delight is as good a reason as any. Standing in the current, feeling it both come and go, is where it's at.

In other words, a tremendous space for joy and love opens up. Creativity lifts its beautiful head and opens a new set of eyes.

Freedom is an agonizing choice only because being free automatically takes away the system of evasion, denial and blame, and puts a responsibility of a different order exactly where it belongs--here, now. What do I value here, now? What am I doing here, now? Do my actions support my values? If so, that nagging sense of inauthenticity goes away. Life in the consensus world becomes much easier.

Most of all, admitting freedom is admitting the unknown, the as-yet-unmet, the potential I can't even name. It's where old patterns die and creative being begins. It takes heart to stand there and let go of oneself, but it grants a new security, an endless one. It's "the wisdom of insecurity", as Alan Watts and countless sages have pointed out forever.

Staring at endless potential and feeling it as oneself is not as intimidating as it may seem. The point isn't in what we put on the eternally disappearing surface of life...the pictures and stories we paint there dissolve like ripples in a pond. The point, the joy, lies in the fact that we can, and do! We are forgiven our "mistakes", which are nothing more than opportunities to uncover the real depth and breadth of ourselves. This original compassion grants us an eternal blank canvas, clean page, clear stage in which to become more and more true to ourselves, each other and the art of living fully.

Yes, we are all artists. :)

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