A Gift to Realize: Freedom


freedom hearts

Ever notice how slippery the term “freedom” is?  It’s something we all value, think we have a right to, or are fighting for.  But what is it exactly?  What are free from?  To do what?  When were we not free?

We’ve been taught from birth that we aren’t free or that we must rely on someone or something else to ensure we can become and remain free.  This, unfortunately, isn’t a fact.  It’s societal programming.  I’m not saying it’s a plot or conspiracy and I’m not saying it isn’t.  It’s actually both, but that doesn’t matter.  What matters is that we’ve bought into this idea that freedom is either something we have a right to or something we must defend.  Freedom, even the concept of free will, remains contingent upon the externally-perceived world around us.  Even when it comes to matters of the subconscious.  The term “freedom” has become synonymous to the concept of an “other” in relation to a perceived “you”.

What if I told you that we are all free, right now in this moment, and always have been?  Would you believe me?  Please do.  Not only has this freedom always been present, it’s unchanging and unalterable.  We simply aren’t aware of it and that’s the irony.  The way to have it is simply to be aware of it.  Not intellectually, but experientially and the way to experience it is not to look outward at the world of “others” but to turn within.

Ask yourself who it is that’s free or not free?  If you reply, “me, of course,” then ask yourself who is this “me”?  Don’t answer it but look for what this “me” is.  Search inside for the place where this me lives; from where this thought of “I” arises.  See if you can find it. Is it even there or does it disappear when you inspect it?

It disappears.  The truth is, we can never find it.  Try it.  “I” is just an idea and a story we’ve been telling ourselves from the moment of birth.  Part of this story is that we are not innately free unless it’s given to us, taken, or allowed to us; that it’s something out there.  But if we continue searching inwardly for this me-idea, we’ll discover something quite amazing, something we’re so familiar with we forgot it was there:  our natural nature, our state of being.  Pure, peaceful, unadulterated awareness.

When this real “me” is discovered and experienced, an incredible liberation begins.  This natural state is immense, boundless.  Nothing disturbs it.  If we can be in this space it becomes easy to observe how our mind has entrapped us.  Thoughts and resulting emotions swirl around this unmoving peaceful place begging to be noticed, to be purchased, to be believed, but because this place of pure awareness is only the witness to all this, it’s unconcerned.  Unconcerned until we allow our attention to chase after these thoughts and grab onto them and allow ourselves to be dragged along behind to be shaken and bruised and beaten into believing they’re real again.  When we buy back into that, we suffer.  We lose clarity.  We blunder and stumble along through life.  We begin believing in and writing that story again and forget we’re really that which watches it all.

So, if it’s true freedom we desire, then the only way it can be had is to realize our true nature is freedom and nothing external to us can change that.  Try it.  It’s the single greatest gift we give ourselves.  It’s a gift that keeps on giving.  Revisit it every day, several times and as much as you can.  Eventually the light of this truth burns away the pages of your illusory story and the real you can live truly and irrevocably free.

The Craftsman


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We have grown to be in love with our thoughts.  We have chained ourselves to our intellect, prostrate before it, and worship it as the ultimate.  We groom it like a show pony, display it like a precious gem, yet we rarely see the truth of this treasure.  It’s no treasure at all.

The intellect is not a sparkling diamond.  It’s nothing but a hammer and chisel.  It chips away at memories of experiences past and engraves them upon our reality as if they were a great testament to who we are.  But the intellect is only a tool busily engraving dreams upon dust; a tool of the mind.  It has no eyes to see the dreams and dust blown away on any errant breeze.  It’s too busy chiselling.

We have grown to love our emotions.  Not only to love them but to fear them as well.  Here we seek our thrills,  Leaping from the cliff of love in hopes our parachute will open, exploding in a rush of anger to feel the burning flames engulf us, weeping cool tears to the strains of music so sweet it almost drives us to madness we delight in the aliveness.  Swept up in the dance we seek reassurance that this is who we are.

But the emotions are not who we are.  Emotions are the little chips of stone that patter to the ground as the intellect chisels away, the ringing of the hammer on chisel.  They’re but the sounds of its labor.

When we put the chisel down the song of its work goes silent and a sudden and unexpected enquiry arises like the sun burning through a cloud:  “Who drives the hammer and holds the chisel?  Who hears its song and watches the chips fall?”

This is the moment you become the Craftsman.  The hammer, chisel and chaff are in your hands but they are not who you are.  They are merely the tools and by-products of the timeless observer endlessly creating its own reality.  This is the moment you realize you can put the tools down and rest.

The Awakening of a Dreamer


To be a seeker is much akin to a dreamer who has awakened from a dream to find their self drifting inside another one called “waking life”.  Inevitably, an inquiry creeps into the dreamer’s mind.  Where am I?  What is the meaning of this life?  How do I know what’s real?  Why am I here?  Who am I?  In the dawning of the questioning moment, the journey out of dreams has begun.  The inquiry may change, but the light it emits remains steadfastly unchanging lighting the way.  If the seeker remains focused on this light, it becomes the key to every locked door, every conundrum, until finally the doors, the locks, the key, the inquiries and the seeker all begin to dissolve into the Unspoken Truth of the Answer.  Then, and only then, the dreamer has awakened.