What is freedom, really?
According to the Oxford dictionary, freedom is “the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint”. Words associated with freedom include – independence, self governance, self determination and sovereignty. The dictionary also defines freedom by what it is not - as in to not be imprisoned or enslaved.
But what is the real prison that enslaves us? I believe that our real prison is our own mind’s limiting programed beliefs.
After a life time of conditioning, we are much like the elephant who was chained in place since youth and continues to stay confined to the same area even when its chains are removed as an adult. Our beliefs and projections continue to hold us to a limited view of life and our bounds. The limits of our minds form the walls we live within. Ever wonder why they call it “TV programing”?
So how do we break free? For many of us we see the prison outside of us, at least at first. We see the prison in the form of financial limitations, governmental and legal restrictions and cultural, religious and societal rules and restrictions. With this outward looking perspective, we see ourselves as the victim of outside forces.
This early level of “awakening” to issues outside of us often begins with being angry at our victimization by these outside “realities”. But by giving our attention and energy to what we oppose we are also giving it power, as in "energy flows where attention goes". It’s a bit like getting caught in quicksand in which the harder we struggle the more stuck and entangled we become. As the saying goes, “what we resist persists”.
This early stage of awakening to freedom can be disturbing. But the disillusionment with illusion is a necessary prerequisite step on the path to knowing truth and freedom from ignorance.
To move beyond merely seeing the “problems” we need to realize our own individual and collective responsibility for these problems and challenges.
We need to realize that our power and sovereignty is not taken from us as much as we trade it away for comfort, the perception of “safety” and social acceptance. In the Bible, the devil can’t just claim your sovereign soul against your will. Instead he must tempt and seduce you into giving it up. It is ultimately a “free will Universe” after all.
Look around at all the seductions of society and the coercions of our governments, corporations and institutions. Are they not lobbying, cajoling and persuading us “for our own good” to give up our sovereign souls? And how many of us are willing to go against all of this rather than simply “going along to get along”? Judging from the past few years, it’s a minority of Americans who are willing to stand against the crowd and say no.
Those few who can stand alone in a crowd, do so because they trust their own inner guidance more than the outside pressure and coercion. They trust their divine intuition that speaks through their bodies intelligence that is also deeply rooted in their “gut knowing”. Thus the outside indoctrination and propaganda does not sway them. While those who live in their heads and mental constructs are easily misdirected by manipulation.
Those who remain stuck in their heads and attached to their unhealthy programed beliefs, typically project their own unrecognized and unresolved issues on to the people and world around them. Essentially they blame and shame those around them to displace their own sense of shame and guilt. And they reinforce their beliefs by only subscribing to information that confirms their “confirmation bias” by hanging out in echo chambers online.
It takes real courage to face one’s own shadows and make peace within so that this peace can then be realized in one’s outer experiences. The price of this deep freedom is going through the process of disillusionment with comfortable illusions. This is the great shadow work that we each need to face to free ourselves and the collective from the spell of madness and separation consciousness.
As challenging as this process is, it is a great blessing. Without discomfort most will not grow beyond their comfort zone. So the great shake up is necessary for the great wake up. It is the necessary process of becoming disillusioned with illusion. As more illumination comes in more darkness is revealed and dissolved.
Such discomfort and disillusionment is a necessary perquisite to know real truth. And as we all know “the Truth will set you free”. Are you willing to pay the price to be truly free?
So the definition of freedom as “the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint” requires our confidence to trust our deeper knowing and the courage to act and express it. Once again, all too rare these days.
Beyond seeing the shackles there are those even more rare humans who understand freedom at a more profound level by understanding that the matrix of perceived reality is simply an energetic construct of consciousness. Thus it’s our individual and collective thoughts, empowered by our emotions and the conviction of our beliefs, that create our reality.
New York City was created by the cumulative choices of generations of people. So was Black Rock City that each year appears and disappears on the blank canvas of a desert playa in Nevada in order to host the annual Burning Man Gathering. Each of these cities represent a radically different manifestation based on different values and purposes. Yet they are both created out of the imagination of people. While NYC may appear to be “set in stone” and existing by default, it’s really only a reflection of our consciousness over time.
So an even deeper level of freedom comes when we realize our power to manifest the world around us and take responsibility for our thoughts and (in)actions. But with this comes responsibility. Will we manifest yet more egoic madness at the cost of exploiting nature or will we choose to manifest in cooperation and harmony with God and the natural order?
Even deeper yet level is the level of freedom that comes when we surrender control to the cosmic intelligence that orbits the galaxies and blooms the flowers seemingly effortlessly. Those who are able to fully relinquish “my will for thy will” become channels for the divine manifestation of God’s will.
In this surrendered state, Heaven on earth can be here now. It is in this profound state of alignment with the divine that the ultimate state of freedom – spiritual liberation – becomes a living reality.
So what are you willing to give up and let go of to experience a profound spiritual liberation?
Are you willing to give up blaming, shaming, separation, hate, animosity, jealousy and righteousness? Are you willing to "love your enemies as oneself"? Are you willing to look beyond all the divisions and differences to see and cultivate lasting unity and peace?
Are you willing to do as Rumi the poet suggested when he wrote - “Out beyond ideas of wrong doing and right doing, there is a field. I'll meet you there.”
Are you willing to meet there during the 2nd annual Purple Nation Sovereign Camp Out? If so, we’ll meet you there in that field to explore the common ground and truth of purple. To see the schedule of offerings that invite us to all take the high road to freedom visit Purple Nation Sovereign Camp Out
On Sunday around noon, following ecstatic dance, the LOVEvolution Fellowship will be sponsoring a discussion about what real freedom means to you. Come join us.