For me, the spiritual path has always been about freedom beyond our habitual and unconscious way of being.
But too often in the spiritual marketplace we are sold an idea of freedom, that freedom is somehow an emotional state or a spiritual experience. But all experiences and states come and go, and true freedom, if it is going to be deep and real, must be greater than something that can come and go. True freedom is beyond all movements of mind, thoughts and emotional or spiritual experiences; it allows for everything and rejects nothing.
To be free means we are not in opposition to the movement of life; we simply see whatever is here in front of us without arguing with or wanting what’s here to be different. Yet, this perspective of freedom does not have to happen within our ego. In fact, our ego’s job is to constantly be on the lookout for that which may endanger us in some form or another. So we give up the expectation that our mind will stop arguing or defending itself against life. And as we give up the expectation that our mind will stop doing its job, we can then relax and simply allow everything to be as it is.
As we realize this, we may laugh, because we know we no longer have to listen to our minds. We can relax and simply be. As we begin to rest in this, we may further inquire into our Beingness (the witness that simply sees life) and discover if we look, we see that there is an ego and a mind—and there is also one here who simply can notice our mind and ego. There is one here who is simply seeing all the time. Who is this one we may ask?
When we look within at the one who sees, we find that there is a presence within that has been with us our entire life, a presence that is in no way separate from us. This one within us is the one who simply sees and is already totally free. This freedom has been here when we were a little baby and just noticed the world, and sometimes the world would come forward and feed us when we would cry. Then when we were older, the one who sees would notice someone take our toy truck or doll baby, and then our ego came forward and argued, and we simply saw this. Later, when we were in the sixth grade, the one who sees stood on the side of the dance floor and noticed a body and a mind that was scared to ask someone to dance. And when we reflect we find, this open aware seeing has been here all the time; it is the one who is reading this right now. Does the one reading simply see the words on the page, without any need for it to be different? The seeing does not judge, reject, criticize or grasp. The seeing just sees.
The reason this is confusing for us is that we have a loud and sometimes obnoxious mind on top of this seeing, that comments and analyzes and argues with what we see. This is what minds do. If we identify with what the mind says we become divided, separated and suffer. Yet if we just see, without identifying with or believing in the movement of mind we are free, we are one with all of life. This is our invitation to just see and be that which we already are, free.
Ed: Brianna Bemel