People will go to extraordinary lengths to avoid facing their inner darkness and demons, and why shouldn’t they? Who would want to wage such a watchful and unfailing war against the false self in the name of attainment? Why should we aim for something when we have no evidence at all that it exists? Perhaps, us would be soldiers in the cause of truth, have no other choice. Our lifelong search is not something that can be explained, only something that can be lived. When we have witnessed the sweet taste of truth, there is no way back but foreword.
There is no greater challenge facing us than for us to look inside and allow our spiritual freedom to take flight. After all, all else is an illusion. Inner freedom cannot be attained externally, it is already within us, and lies dormant until we release it. This reminds me of a Rastafarian friend of mine who once said to me “you can’t learn to love yourself, just love yourself”. love is already inside we just have to release it. So what gets in the way of our spiritual freedom, what challenges our inner peace and harmony? Our dis-harmony is down to where we are, and where we think we want to be. If these two places were the same, we would be in harmony. Unfortunately it is more complicated than this, as although we may know in our hearts where we want to be, we may not be fully conscious of where we truly are to start with.
Take relationships for instance. A friend of mine teaches Thai Chi and over the last 6 months he has found himself increasingly attracted to one of his students. As in all matters of the heart, he watches her carefully, and has come up with all kinds of stories about who this woman is, without truly knowing. He imagines that his student will be able to fill the void inside of him and make him whole. He has created these stories in his head because his head likes to create elaborate fantasies and attachments. Therefore, from the very start, he was not fully aware of who he was, so how could he expect this woman to provide the spiritual harmony and freedom that he so desired. Interestingly, when he found out that his desire for her was not reciprocated, even more internal stories were created about how he may have handled the situation better to win her affections. So why did his mind create this diversion? Because it knows that the true self does exist, and it does not want to set the true self free, as the mind or ego would loose its power. This is the war we are waging. But by being conscious and aware of where the mind likes to go, we can watch it grasp things, something the mind will always do, and we can then let them go.
In as much as my friend may have grasped mentally for love we also cannot grasp mentally for spiritual freedom. Paradoxically when we let the idea of freedom go it is then allowed to be our friend. Space is allowed to be space when we do not fill it with internal chatter and projections about the future. If we can cleanse our hearts of selfishness, hate, and greed and serve others, this will help our true selves to unfold. By helping others we help ourselves. Much of the time we fear this letting go as we believe we may fall, or not attain what we think we need. We may also believe that if we give our time to others we will not have enough left for ourselves. The path to spiritual freedom is very individual and personal and we have to make our own way through the forest. If we follow another’s path it may lead us in their direction, not ours. If we lead with our hearts on the long journey, we can be sure we are going in the right direction, and we will never tire of the search as our hearts never grow old.
I am so small I can barely be seen. How can this great love be inside me? ~ Rumi
14 responses to “Spiritual Freedom”
An articulate account of what goes on inside all of us…if we care to be aware. This underscores what I and others feel but cannot express as well. Thank you!
Thanks Fu! I just love your line ‘if we care to be aware’! I love your writing and would love to see you write something similar one day : )
Super write, Will, that resonated strongly deep inside my self. And I can certainly connect with Rumi’s wonderful quote x
Thanks kindly Peter, When writing this kind of thing I would like to point out that it is written from a point of view of what I would like to personally achieve. It is very difficult to explain in theory these processes but it helps to put pen to paper. : )
We seek truth, painful though it can be, because truth really does set us free. My road to authenticity has been through dreams and creative work. As you say, everyone has to find their own road. Nice post!
Thanks for the comment Jenny. Interesting path, looking at your dreams and creativity, perhaps you would like to post an experience that has helped you on this site at some stage that would be very interesting!
I’d love to, Will 🙂 What’s the procedure?
Hi Jenny, you could email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your experience, that would be fantastic. Many thanks, Will : )
Why? That eternal question that begins when one turns two and never leaves us alone up to the moment of death. I have listened to my children and grandchildren use this word and I was taught that Jesus’ last words included “Why”.
“Why should we aim for something when we have no evidence at all that it exists?”
Thanks, Will, for such a great post.
Thanks Robert, ‘Why’ indeed… it is a question that we all continue to ask right through our lives. Thanks kindly for your comments as always.
Wow, I have a ripple sensation reading this now, today. I am glad I had not read it previously. I connect with what you are saying so much at the moment, sometimes you have to just ‘let go and fall’ then find yourself in a way you never knew before, yet have always been.
As your your wonderful friend, Rumi… what can I say.. I would like this on my headstone one day 🙂
“I am so small I can barely be seen. How can this great love be inside me? ~ Rumi”
Thanks so much Abi. There seems to be a time when we are ready to accept and absorb issues that touch us and I am so pleased you enjoyed this piece!
Enough said Sue, thank you : )