If we slow down and notice the thoughts in our mind, we start to see that they are nothing but accumulated information we have acquired over time. The way we think, the way we perceive the world and even the way we solve problems are all influenced by the experiences which have shaped our mind. So we could go so far and say that our mind is nothing but our thoughts.
What is freedom?
Every human would answer this question differently. If we answer the question materialistically then the answer would be based on the needs of every individual. An incarcerated person in prison would say freedom is the ability to be able to move about freely. A woman in an abusive relationship would say that freedom is to be independent, to be able to make choices.
But even when all of our material desires are satisfied, we still long for more. This is what makes humans so special. It is our ability to want more, to dream and to strive to make our dreams a reality. But it so happens that our dreams don’t always come true. I’m not suggesting not to have dreams, it is a gift to be able to dream, but we sometimes conflate our happiness with the successful outcomes of desires.
Wouldn’t it be great that we could have dreams, and even strive for our dreams, and even if they don’t come true, still have our peace of mind? I think this is what freedom is. To be able to accept life on life’s terms. The great cosmic joke is that this IS our real nature. We only have to notice it.
What gets in the way?
Our minds. Period. Want proof? Take a look at a child. Their minds are almost non-existent. When their basic needs are met, they are the most joyful, inquisitive and full of energy. It is only over time, when they absorb ideas from their environment, that they start to develop complex ideas/emotions that causes them to suffer. How did we lose our child like nature? When did we start to suffer? We suffer because we started getting attached to our complex thought structures. And these thought structures prevent us from being able to notice our true nature, which is ever content and peaceful. Have you ever had an experience where you felt something had to be the way you wanted. Your entire happiness depended on it. How did you feel? I can tell you how I felt. I felt angry, suffocated, fearful and contracted. Only because I allowed an idea to have so much power over me.
How can I be free?
So the process of waking up, is only this. See all thoughts for what they are. Complex thought structures that we’ve absorbed over time. If we can see that they are not “our” own, then we can slowly start letting go of them one by one. If you start getting the feeling that your way of looking at the world isn’t the ONLY way to look, you’re right on track. The path to freedom is the complete and utter abandonment of all ideas that you are attached to. That includes all ideas of your own self as well. Ideas like – I am rich, I am poor, I am smart, I’m stupid, I am successful, I am a loser, every single idea HAS to be abandoned. This is the only way to freedom. Our minds are the only barriers to seeing that we are the Infinite. It is only the mind that has a problem, we are ever free. Effort has to be made only in quietening the mind enough to be able to clearly experience our true nature – which is ever blissful, peaceful and full of energy.
Om. Tat Sat.