When most of us think of freedom we think of being able to do what ever it is that we want.
This is the kind of freedom that the ego wants. If left unchecked, the ego wants to be able to do whatever it wants, whenever it wants to. But spiritual freedom is vastly different.
Spiritual freedom is about giving up ego, (our wants, desires, opinions, beliefs) and being in total alignment with who and what we are, which in our deepest sense, means being in alignment with the will of the Divine. Spiritual freedom, ironically, is the giving up of all our egoic wants, desires and agendas.
Our egos actually get nothing out of the deal, except their own disillusionment, and when we allow ourselves to be disillusioned, we begin to see clearly for the first time. We begin to see the true nature of reality, and we wake up and see that we are one with all of life. We experience this beautiful oneness, when we stop believing in the dividing nature of ego.
When we allow the walls of ego to drop or put a different way, when we stop believing in any thought or feeling as the truth of our direct experience, and simply begin to directly experience life outside the lens of egoic division, we discover that we are one with all of life.
To allow for the great disillusionment of our self created reality of our minds, we must be willing to let go of everything we hold onto and believe in. We must be willing to let go of our cherished ideas and opinions, our likes and dislikes, and our self image. Most of us though, are unwilling to give up all of this.
For most of us our thoughts and ideas and self image are what we think we are, but this is not the truth of what we are. When we hold on to these things, what we get in return is a limited self created by the mind and a limited experience. This is what our mind does. It creates itself again and again through building a world—a self—out of thoughts and ideas.
When we believe this image or movement of thoughts to be ourselves, we suffer. We suffer because we go from being big, open spaciousness to being a conditioned movement of mind, a limited image, a me who doesn’t like this person or that person. We go from silent and free awareness to “Look at me. Look how successful I am. Don’t I look good in this new car?” When the new car doesn’t drive in the snow, or rusts, we suffer.
As long as we identify with the contents of our minds as reality we will experience pain. If we are willing to live and be more than the contents of our minds, we can be free. We become free when we identify with the hugeness of reality instead of the coming and goings of our mind.
When we identify with our sky-like perspective, it is much more difficult to identify with having a problem or with wanting this or that. The sky is open to everything and does not complain if this comes or that goes.
Our minds, on the other hand, are made up of dualistic right and wrong, good and bad thinking. As we step into our true nature, we step into an all embracing unity. As we step into our minds, we step into divisiveness and as a result we suffer. In a sense the more me-ness we have, or the more self we have, the more we suffer.
We have all seen individuals with big egos. They tend to suffer more. And the opposite is true: the less ego or self or meness we have, the less we suffer. Ironically the less self we have, the vaster we become. It is actually that we are already vast, yet our vast or sky like nature is covered up, by our egoic sense of self.
The good news is that we are already this, and as we let go of ego, our hugeness is what is already here, and has always been here. Our freedom comes from stepping out of our self created illusion of mind and into who and what we are.
Editor: Kate Bartolotta