True Freedom

July 4, 2020

As Americans celebrate Independence Day, it’s a good time to pause and reflect on what it means to be free. In this country, freedom generally refers to our ability to live free from oppression and tyranny, to be treated equally, to be able to speak as we choose, to come and go as we please, to bear arms, to vote for whom we choose, to love who we want, to worship whatever god (or lack thereof) we like.

This concept of conventional freedom has been a powerful ideal that has and continues to make this country an amazing place to live. These freedoms cannot and should not be taken for granted. Countless lives and enormous sacrifices have allowed us to enjoy the freedoms many of have come to accept as the givens of our daily existence.

However, freedom goes far deeper than these things. To truly be free we have to be free from the past, free from conditioned thinking, outdated beliefs, and the bondage of karma. Whether we realize it or not, many of us are prisoners of our habits, perceptual cycles, and the grooves we’ve dug into our nervous system through repeated use for years and lifetimes.

In truth, we’re not free. Not as long as we keep doing things the way we always have. Rather than being awake, creative, aware, and adaptive to the changes of life, we’re in a prison of our own making; we’ve built our cell, locked ourselves inside, and the prison warden is ourself left over from yesterday.

True freedom means digging a tunnel out of your cell by seeing beyond old habits, emotional addictions and ways of thinking, questioning your personal status quo and discovering the tiger snares you have set to trap yourself as you hack your way through the jungle of your own mind.

“To see a thing uncolored by one’s own personal preferences and desires is to see it in its own pristine simplicity.”

⁃ Bruce Lee

To really be free, we have to question the authority of our beliefs, the cultural programming we have inherited, and our ideologies that hold us back in a limited understanding of who we are, why we’re here, and what it all means. We have to ask ourselves “Does this thought, this idea, this concept or philosophy truly serve me? Is it and evolutionary choice for me? (and everyone impacted by it (and if you understand the interconnectedness of the universe, that means everyone)).

Will we hang on to our old broken worldviews of exclusion, separation, rampant nationalism, racism, hostility, distrust of knowledge and wisdom, or will we liberate ourselves to experience unity, wholeness, inclusivity, peace, truth, and understanding? Now more than perhaps any time in the past, we stand at an evolutionary crossroads – one path pulls us back into primitive, reactive, unconscious tribalism; the other path leads to a an evolved global community of compassion and understanding informed by knowledge and expanded awareness.

In Sanskrit, the word for liberation is Moksha. Moksha is emotional, intellectual, and spiritual freedom. It invokes the image of the peeling away of the layers of conditioning we have built up around ourselves like the skin of an onion. As each layer is removed, we become a little more of ourselves; pure unbounded beings of unlimited potential. Moksha is the freedom the world needs now. Only when we free ourselves from the past, the fear, and reactivity, will we move forward as a society.

On this Independence Day, may all being be free. Free from suffering, free from pain, free from the prison of conditioning that holds us in the ruts of the past.

Moksha 🙏🏻

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