Liberty is a sketchy ideal. It works in principle, but plain principle is not good enough. In fact, it never was. That is why we prefer to use the word ‘freedom’ when describing a state of feeling liberated. Liberty is a label for an illusory intangible – and what is the point of that? There is none. I find these days that there is no point in most things, but that is no reason to neglect them. It would be irresponsible to the future to leave any karma undone.
I believe each person has their own understanding of liberation. For some, being free from bitterness and hatred – irrespective of the reasons for which those two particular diseases have been fostered – is absolutely everything. For others, having found freedom from the excesses of unjustified oppression will be the be-all and end-all in their days. Yet others will experience freedom to simply be, although it would seem that that is some way from being a reality on this planet. There are still too many people lying to themselves about what they are to know that kind of independence.
The most sought after liberation – in my opinion – is that of absolute acceptance. That seems to be, asides from happiness, what the majority of humans need. When did it become a blasphemous pastime to tell someone they’re perfect as they are – no matter who they are? And who – in this age – dares call ANY other person ‘imperfect’? In 2015, perfect is imperfect. Refusing to accept that which has been presented to you without guile or guise and then attempting to subvert that truth makes you a prisoner of your own prejudice. That is a dangerous place to be.
Succeeding is far more satisfying than winning is. Long term. Winning is a delight, there can be no doubt about that feeling – to be the best at something is a personal achievement indeed. Whatever that best, be. But the joy that winning brings you is short-lived. You are only ever as good as your latest victory. If you are in the business of winning then you will know that is the truth. The thing about winning is that there will always be someone who can beat you. In the end. That is the way of Nature. Challenges are posed, accepted. Territories are won, lost. Survival of the fittest is nothing to be sniffed at.
Take pride in your successes. Do not rub them in other people’s faces. Be modest, enjoy the freedom that succeeding brings you. Surround yourself with people who will celebrate your successes with you, people who wish to see you succeed at those things you do that mean something to you. It is pointless surrounding yourself with people who wish to see you fall, or fail. That is counter-productive.
Success is empowering. When you set yourself a goal, or give yourself a deadline, you are posing a challenge. Throwing down a gauntlet. When you accept the challenge and then ensure that you do achieve the goal or meet the deadline, you are giving your self esteem a needed boost. The kind of pleasure success brings you feeds your soul. There is a reason for having self esteem, you should pay attention to yours. It is safer to rely on yourself to boost your esteem, when you give another that task you are playing a risky game. Set yourself goals. Give yourself deadlines. Let yourself achieve them. Feed on your successes. They buffer you against failure.
There is no morality in slavery. You cannot expect to enslave another human being without finding yourself in due course on the über-cruel receiving end of slavery, yourself. That there are those who are enslaved in the 21st century should not surprise anybody. There are still those that believe that theirs’ is the right to control the life of another sentient being. Theirs’ is not the right – it is never the right thing to do – and this should matter to every person on this planet. It does not matter to a whole contingent of people inhabiting planet Earth and this fact would be laughable – because of the reciprosity of karma – if only the subject of slavery was not as distasteful as it is.
I do not doubt that every nation has been guilty at some stage of slavery in one shape or another. Whether it is the money-enslaved masses of the west and the would-be west, the trafficked girls from the east, the labouring children in factories and mines, the militant child soldiers from Africa or the political puppets that run this world, it should be recognised that this form of oppression is ongoing and it is unacceptable. People need to be free.
Enslavement is wrong. Simply wrong. There is no justification for it, whatsoever. It is not for one person or organisation to ‘own’ another’s life and direct their passage, their path. If you are a president, for instance, you should (want to) be able to act according to your own will in the best interests of your people. The people put you where you are for a good reason. Authority figures should not be coerced into action or non-action by their peers, their governing bodies. A presidential slave is a problem of the highest order because a spearhead is put in place to lead the way through confrontation, conflict and resolution. Should a spearhead be blunted by indecision and external influence, it loses its efficacy immediately. Mr Mandela was a spearhead, he was never a slave to his circumstance or anyone else’s. His example should really have changed the ways of this entire planet by now.
Consider yourself a player. A life-player. You are one. You cannot think that life is not a game. It is an elaborate game of chance. How exciting is the notion that you can change totally the direction of your everyday by doing one small thing differently? That is some clout. Like touching the steering wheel at 220km/h on the autobahn. The smallest nudge has big implications. How comfortable are we accepting that we are all role-players? I think a great many people are either in denial, or are unable to reconcile their own manipulation with themselves. We are all manipulators. Every single one of us. How skilled we are at manipulating is testimony to the teachers we had as children. We learned from watching our parents manipulate each other. We learned from being manipulated. Even as a child you know when you are being manipulated. It is impossible not to feel coercion. You can hide from it, or hide it from yourself, but in every exchange you have with another there is some form of manipulation underway. It’s about wants and needs. We all want our needs met. How closely do we pay attention to the needs of others? Perhaps not closely enough. But we are all built from the same basic stuff. In that way we start life equal. We are all of an egg, a sperm. But we are equal only at the point before fertilization. After fertilization it becomes clear how successful our genetic coding is – because we are not genetically equal by any stretch of the imagination. It depends how far our parents’ bodies had evolved by the time we were conceived. It depends how good the best of each parent actually was at the time of conception. We have unique patterns of personality, as individual as our experience of the world. We are not the same, but we are one. We are part of the diversity, our thoughts are part of the far-reaching collective unconscious to which we all have access. We are alone in our perception of the world and alone in our expression thereof, but in each of us is the same driving nature, we all face the same need to self-actualise. How much time do you spend ruminating on life with the great masters? You should meet them in your head. One by one. They all live there. You have to learn how to speak each one’s language. In fact you cannot appreciate your own mother-tongue until you learn another language. Each language houses a different reality. We need to share our learning and celebrate our diversity. We need to take on the roles we create for ourselves and play them to the best of our ability. There is no coincidence in your being where you find yourself. You have carved for yourself the niche in which you find yourself confined. If you are confined, you need to free yourself. Or you need to be free of yourself. The self is a great oppressor. It, too, is an efficient manipulator. But celebrate that. It is your choice to benefit from your own experience. It is your choice to learn who you are and to make yourself stand out by virtue of your understanding of life’s lessons. You were made to do something. Find out what it is by seeing where you have sent yourself.
You will find that some of you are more refined than others. Some of you understand life better. It depends how emotionally intelligent you are. You need to foster emotional intelligence. You bring it up in you, like a child. You cannot play the life game until you tend to your inner child. It holds the dice. You know how powerful the drive of the subconscious when the inner child is in control? It is something to behold. That is always something to think about before you switch to auto-pilot. Let your subconscious speak, but perhaps do not let it act for you. You can never guarantee the way an encounter with the ego will go.
If you had to choose between freedom from and freedom to, which kind of freedom would you choose? Or would you insist that freedom in its entirety comprises both the ‘from’ and ‘to’ options? Freedom from oppression, for example. Or freedom to choose. Freedom from persecution. Or freedom to be? In our first world we are privileged. We have the freedom to choose both. Imagine the value of just one type of freedom when you have never had any. Who is one man to say that this person can speak their mind and that person cannot? Who is one man to dictate the conditions of another’s existence? Why should the Dalai Lama not live where he chooses? Who are the Chinese to tell that man where he must sit in this life? I think they have too much audacity for a country that is slowly destroying (the peace of) our planet. Clearly they are not the only ones, but they are the only ones that operate without either fear (of repercussion) or respect (for this world). They do, however, revere their panda. I wish someone from China would explain to the rest of the world what they are thinking when they do the things they do – because watching them behave leaves a great many questions hanging. Their sullen silence does not help. The sooner we begin to understand each other as ‘a people’ a ‘breed’, the sooner we can draw a line in the sand and accelerate our evolution. I don’t believe we are doing all we can to evolve to our full potential as human beings. There are so many restrictions, so much censorship, so few true guidelines. I think we need to save ourselves from the butterfly net that would capture our freedom. I think the big fat corporations are very effective butterfly nets. I think outdated curricula are very effective butterfly nets. I think China is a very effective butterfly net. We need to breathe new, think new, feel new. It is time to air the archives.
Heart. Courage. Remember in this life it is who we are that counts. Who we are becomes what we are. We are in Nature. Ours is the same cycle, as any in life. If we go to ground with our music still in us, then it bleeds into the earth. The soil sings. When the trees grow, they sing that same music – but it will be organic, it has run through another system after all. The wind takes that song from the lips of the leaves, those whispers, and sends fragments of songs, flying. We breathe in those fragments. We build a new song. We are another system, after all. Do you not think it is a beautiful cycle of life, this? We should maybe all appreciate it a little more.