Writing is my form of Alchemy.
The excruciating events that have happened in my life have been transformed into medicine through prose and verse. I found my way out of the depths of despair after my mother died by writing about her life. I returned the blows ex-lovers delivered by transcribing the pain. If not for writing, if not for art and if not for creative expression freedom would be lost to me. I’d life a dull and mechanical life.
It is with this conviction that I write for you—dear reader.
Paths to freedom begin by taking up arms. For some this means rebelling against family tradition and for others it means climbing the corporate ladder.
Every fight begins with resistance.
The initial instinct is to tame the wild beast inside our chest; to quell the discomfort. But, we—every living being—has an intrinsic ability to adapt and create. Necessity is indeed the mother of all invention. There have been times I’ve tempered my words for fear of offending others only to endure my own wrath.
It was once said to me that resistance is True North. Where there is the most discomfort there is the most treasure to be gained. The heart that labors to hold onto lost love until it is so fragile it can hardly beat is best served by letting-go. The fearful entrepreneur that would give up on his profitless business within the first few years is better served to hold on.
Resistance is often marked by the thing that is the most frightening. We all live with fear. It is a guiding force and most times a terrible guide. The disappointments the might occur; the loss of something that could happen are all underpin by fear. Fear has an endless breadth and reach into the past and the future.
And fear will never set you free.
Your own admonishment of a fixed identity is the next step in the path towards freedom. Now is the moment to remember that beyond utility and effort we all are the great I Am. The definition of our lives lay not in the knowing who we are but in the understanding what we are.
We are creators. The further we move from this truth the more identity devolves into rigidity.
Understanding is precluded by evaluation. Before one can know what they do not know a period of evaluation or introspection must be embarked upon. The famous dictum, “An unexamined life is not worth living” may as well be a mile marker on the path to freedom. Mind you, a life under perpetual scrutiny is encased in the chamber of neurosis. This too is not worth living. So, introspection has its limitations and once they are reached surrender is the next step on the path.
In my life I have had the tendency to live in denial of impermanence. In fact I war against it by telling long stories about the future otherwise known as goal setting. A goal can be an extension of the imagination but it can also be a petulant aspiration. When facing the great void my perspective becomes black or white. I am subject to duality.
Surrender is the reconciliation of duality. It is, but for a moment, resting in the notion all things are simultaneously true and valid and nothing is true nor valid. The mind cannot stay here for long and the heart can live here forever.
Emotions are infinite. They extend beyond the reaches of time and space. Therefore feeling your feelings without borders is unconditional love. This is the path of freedom.
Love passes through our bodies and in and out of our lives to the extent we can feel it. A broken heart is an open heart. Love is never absent; it just presents as different energies. The version we prize the most is only a construct of the mind and born out of survival instincts.
I have experience both the death of my mother and father. This caused me to first question the meaning of life and then to arrive at the realization; there is no meaning but the one we give it. There is no sense in institution nor gravity to things that our hearts are not in alignment with.
I despise loss and see it as no more than frivolous tragedy. None the less, loss has plagued my life. It is the shadow of death that accompanies me through the valley of life.
I’ve no more eagerness in my heart to become something because I know that I am all I can ever be. I just have to remember what that is.
So, the last exercise in walking the path of freedom is to remember. First, there is the fight. Then there is the acknowledgment of fear. Then there is reconciling ourselves through introspection followed by surrender. Radically letting go and feeling feelings allows for unconditional love. This love is the connective force to all that was and will be.
We have to endure all of this to finally come to the gateway of freedom—we must remember. Seekers of freedom must ascribe to realities beyond perception. They must bask in imagination and be assured than the great nothing lasts forever.
We are all living the never ending story which begins and ends on the path to freedom.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Renée Picard
Photos: elephant archives