The Cry for Freedom (from self-obsession)

words & photo by Brian Thompson.

We cry for the freedom of choice, for the freedom of speech, for the freedom of belief, for the freedom from being oppressed, freedom of equality, for the freedom from being annoyed, for the freedom for everything to be perfect... and for the freedom from this, that, or whatever other thing we can possibly conceive.

We've become so consumed by our self-righteous indignation that we fail to realize that the very liberation we seek is already within us, waiting to be realized. In the process, our freedom is held captive by nothing more than our limiting beliefs. This is our prison.

Your falsities befuddle you.

We’re so busy playing the blame game that we’re unable to see the truth of our very own being. We’ve become hypnotized into believing that someone other than our self is responsible for our peace and happiness. We blame our parents, our bosses, our jilted lovers, our ex-friends, the banks, the media, the government, the “system”, the “man” — we blame everyone and everything, except for our very own misguided perceptions of this whole, entire thing — reality itself.

It’s all a very convincing dream, but nonetheless, it all remains false and unreal.

The truth is, nothing really matters much, except for where we place our attention. Wherever our attention goes, so too does the rest of our mind. So if you focus on fear and dwell on feelings of lack, then fearful and lacking you become!

We continually cry for freedom because the one thing we fear most is its opposite, imprisonment and isolation. But as long as we fail to see the true interconnected and indivisible nature of reality, then we will continue to be mentally handcuffed by the limits of our cultural conditioning.

However, freedom is our true nature. Our awareness can never be shackled, and underneath all of our conceptual thoughts, that’s who we truly are — Awareness. It’s within us, here and now, underneath the many layers of delusion and personal identity we’ve piled on top of it. Underneath all of our so-called knowledge, this freedom of our true self awaits — pure Awareness — untouched by opinion, judgement, fear, anxiety or any other belief. This is our true Self, infinite in nature — free.

The truth is, we only oppress ourselves.

We are not victim to anyone or anything other than our own sense of self. We need to realize that our personal identity is not real, it is only a sense. It’s a misguided perception — you are not who you think you are.

We make everything in the world to be all about us, which is why we take everything so personally. Believe it or not, the world does not revolve around us. We get furious over every little thing imaginable, including bad traffic, a flight delay, our dog that just pooped on the rug, or even a long wait in a coffee shop. We believe that everything within our experience is either being done directly to us, or directly against us. How could they do this to us!

The government is trying to screw us, the cops are trying to control us, our boss is trying to take advantage of us, our friends are alienating us, our lover doesn’t trust us, our parents don’t love us, the sales person cheated us, and society just doesn't think we fit in. We’re too fat, too thin, or too poor; we’re winners, losers, failures, our clothes are out of style, oh... and our car is too old and needs to be replaced too.

Narcissistic thoughts — all of them. Every single self-obssessed, self-possessed thought enslaves you further into a false world of your own imagining, further distracting you from the truth that sits right before you, and yet you continue to play right along.

“There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” —Shakespeare

We simply just need to get out of our heads.

We wrap ourselves in all of these false thoughts, and then we wonder why we feel so trapped and entangled all the time. We’ve tied ourselves into a conceptual knot that we just can’t seem to get out of.

The only way out from our predicament is to cut straight through all of our false thoughts and shake them off completely. We need to simply un-know what is untrue.

Begin by distrusting any thoughts you have of personal identity. All of them. Anything that includes I, Me, My or Mine — get rid of them. Don’t believe any opinion you have of yourself. As they arise, drop them, one by one. They are creations of ego and habits of mind only, they are not real. As you begin withholding the attention these thoughts crave, their hold on you will begin to disappear. Your spirit will become lighter and you will feel less weighed down by the burden of your false beliefs.

After all, it’s hard to hang onto that which isn’t real. Illusions are slippery, so they require you to cling to them tightly, which is of course why you always feel so tense.

Live and die in the present — every single moment is a new beginning. All that is, is whatever is, right now. There is nothing more, nothing less. Take things as they come and deal with whatever needs to be dealt with as it arrives. Go with the flow and surf the ever-present Now.

Quit resisting and struggling so much and you’ll find that the troubled waters of your mind will soon settle, allowing your true freedom to finally become visible. When all of your kicking, thrashing and flailing subsides, you'll find that there’s no one holding you down — it was all a dream.

Your self perception is a mirror in which all of your projections are reflected, so when you no longer project any thoughts of ego or duality, then your true Self — pure Awareness — will appear as it truly is, happy, calm and serene.

When we live effortlessly in pure Awareness, untouched by any obsessions of personal identity, the spirit of our true Self thrives — freedom.