July 4, 2019
Freedom and Freedom
Waking up to our real freedom
Fourth of July is either a big deal or not, AND it could be a reminder that freedom, real freedom, is our birthright.
First level freedom - - you know, freedom from illegal search, freedom of speech and press, freedom to drive down the street and not be stopped because of your skin color, freedom to live where you want, freedom from being thrown in the clinker without being told why - - these and more and a wonderful baseline to good life.
And not everyone has them.
And for most white Americans, they exist, of course with greater and greater reliability to more money you have.
leaving aside my not so subtle political ranting, let’s look at a deeper level of freedom, the freedom of our own soul, the freedom to be at peace inside, the freedom of your own inner weather.
This is our birthright. This freedom is a buddy of our birthrights: happiness, awareness, love, learning.
And the easiest way to talk about and explore this inner weather, inner freedom is to lay out what causes the central slavery of most of humanity:
fear of dis-approval from others
fear of dis-approval from our own inner judgment machine ( and machine is exactly the right word: this inner attack robot is totally automatic)
believing any of our hard-luck, poor-me, victim, should/shouldn’t, life-is-unfair thinking.
Disconnect from these three and we are in the land of freedom and happiness and learning and love.
So let’s check them out, briefly, one at a time.
And you, gentle and becoming more wise everyday, reader, keep checking them out every time you are unhappy. Chances are one of these slaveries is grasping you by the soul, heart and balls.
Fear of outer disapproval.
Just notice how often this colors, or guides or constrains what we are willing to do, or not to do.
And notice this reality: they can dis-approve until they are blue in the face and we don’t have to believe it.
Or, if it’s true to some extent, we don’t have to think we are unfit as a human. We are just human. We can change.
There is judging: we could have gotten up earlier and gotten a run/ walk/ meditation in.
And that might be true.
And there could be an intonation to the judgment: you are yuk because you didn’t get up earlier.
Nah, we can consider that benefits and disadvantages of getting up earlier to run/ walk/ meditate.
We can chose freedom from yuk and not agree with, or buy into the intonation.
Watch this in all arguing.
It’s vastly more crippling than we realize, not the least of which is fear of improvement because when we hear the yuk intonation we knee jerk reject the possibly useful feedback.
Fear of inner disapproval. That sticky voice of : you are wrong, bad, little, terrible, etc.
Listen for something like that any time unhappiness sneaks in to know you our of a full and delightful life.
And this inner disapproval is actually a subset of believing our own thinking.
Big chunks of this book we be about shift we can make when we get lost in should and shouldn’t about the world, and ourselves and other people.
We will dive deeply into the work of Byron Katie, which to my experience is the quickest way out of first world suffering. (The suffering of people being mean, inconsiderate, or the job not working out, or sickness / death coming at the “wrong” time, vs third world suffering of being bombed, shot, rapped, stabbed.)
This way offers one main thing: freedom.
It offers this by learning, learning the difference between when we believe our poor-me thinking and when we either don’t believe it, or just hop out of thinking into real time, now time present reality.
Let’s talk about this tomorrow.
For today, though, let’s stick with the real freedom of what it would be like to not believe our thinking about how the world “should” or “shouldn’t” be as it is.
This is enlightenment by the way: giving up our struggle to demand that reality be different than it is.
An elephant comes down the road.
We want it to be a giraffe.
The more we think life is cruel and unfair because it isn’t a giraffe, the more we suffer.
This is slavery.
The more we love it being an elephant the happier we can be.
A simple example to be sure.
A friend dies at 52.
The friend should have lived longer.
No matter how much we want that to have been different, the friend is still dead.
Which way is freedom?
Which way is slavery?
Slavery: wanting to control what we can’t.
Freedom: being present to the reality of our life in the moment.
This is big work.
This is enlightenment not “just” to achieve some fancy high grade word. This is enlightenment to return to our birthright: freedom, happiness, presence, delight and love. (And more, and more: great sex - - LUST - - being one. Being able NOT to be trapped in arguments - - LOVE - - is another.)
Consider your life and inner weather in any and all moments: are you free and happy?
If so, good.
If not, who is causing this slavery?
Could be you.