There is an idea that freedom is the grand prize for having healed all psychological wounds, dissolved all conditioning, and worked through all ‘negative’ patterns of behaviour. But is that really what freedom is?
Working on oneself in this way can of course be beneficial in bringing more well-being into one’s life. But we can easily become caught in a cycle of longing for some future moment of perfection, and so completely miss the wonder that is shining as this moment.
True freedom is always already available, whatever our ‘condition’. When we let go of all of our ideas, beliefs and concepts to which we cling so tenaciously: Our name, age, size, and colour; our gender, sexuality, intelligence and qualifications; our occupation, religion and social status; how we should live; how we should behave; what we should wear and how we should wear it; what we should say and how we should say it; how beautiful/ugly, rich/poor, superior/inferior, spiritually enlightened/unenlightened we think we are; all of our self images; all our hopes, dreams, ambitions and desires, and stand ‘here’ stripped bare with nothing left to hold, then, to our utter amazement, rather than falling dead to the floor our heart leaps for joy! Without our prison of definitions there is nothing to separate a ‘you’ from a ‘me’ from a ‘this’ from a ‘that’ and we feel vividly alive.
This is the crucifixion and the resurrection. “Whoever will lose his life shall find it,” says Jesus. These words you are now reading, the intimate thought that reflects upon them, the tingling sensations in your toes, the sound of traffic, the smell of coffee, the man walking by with his dog, the image of the sky – all are equally an expression of who you truly are.
This is not a rejection of life, on the contrary. When we see that nothing can threaten or contain our essential nature, all is welcome. And that includes our world of definitions, as well as feelings of fear, anxiety, sadness and discomfort. Even resistance to that welcoming and the sense of contracting back down into a limited ‘me’ is welcome too!
The paradox is (and isn’t there always a paradox) that as a by-product of this openness, this total immersion, this unconditional honouring of life, there can be a transformation, there can be falling away of the patterns and activities that require the belief in the mythical ‘me’ for their lifeblood. This is the ultimate healing.
Then, just as the rising sun dissolves the shadows of the night, this understanding gradually spreads into all areas of our experience, ever deepening, ever enlightening, ever celebrating this wondrous miracle of being.