Sounds good, doesn’t it? But it is important to remember that freedom, to be truly free, must lead to lasting happiness, to liberty, or we are really not free.
When has an accomplishment brought lasting happiness so that you needed nothing more?
Grasping for the next thing we think will make us happy, and then the next, is not freedom.
It is as if we are caught in a web of wanting/getting/wanting/not getting, and we are stuck there.
The “wanting” mind can never be free as it will always be in pursuit of something. When that is secured, the next want appears and on and on.
Finding happiness beyond the ups and downs of life is freedom worth pursuing, for it is the path with a heart.
So what will bring happiness and liberty into your life right now?
If it depends on people, places, things, and keeping young, you’re in for a rough ride, for even if you can somehow get everything to work for you, keeping it in place is impossible.
Obtaining something outside us, such as the right companion, the right job or the right amount of money in order to be happy is delusion, for all this can be taken from us at any moment.
By now you have probably discovered this for yourself.
Everything formed passes away, dissolves into the nothingness out of which it was created.
True freedom can only be found in one place—within our heart and mind.
There is a place within us where we aren’t trying to make something happen, or keep it from happening.
This is a place that no one can enter but ourselves, and no one can take away from us.
Jesus spoke of this as the place that never rusts and where thieves can’t break in and steal. Matt. 6:20
He called it the Kingdom of God.
Mystics have called it “the secret place.”
This place is our domain. It is our “Kingdom” and we must take care of it. It is necessary to watch this mind within us and see what it is doing, who it may be hurting and what are its motives.
No one can do it for us.
Einstein speaks of an optical delusion that is really a prison. Here are his words:
“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” Einstein
This optical delusion is our sense of me and mine, the personal ego.
This has been our prison. The walls must come down so that spaciousness and freedom abound.
If we think the “Kingdom” Jesus spoke of as personal, we are deluded. A “me’ cannot live in this kingdom.
Nothing belongs to us, personally, but we must make the effort to free this mind from its identification of itself as a separate, stand-alone ego. It has been a prison for us.
We must seek clearer vision. In the light we find truth.
What we attend to “lights up” so that we can see it clearly. Attention is like a searchlight revealing whatever it shines upon.
in the Gospel According to Thomas Jesus said, “Let him who seeks, not cease seeking until he finds, and when he finds, he will be troubled, and when he has been troubled, he will marvel and he will reign over the All.”
Seeking and finding is a process of discovery and we must follow the trail wherever it leads, even though there be trouble.
Yes, it is troubling to attend to and persistently watch what the mind is doing.
Close attention will undoubtedly cause some grief, but delusion drops away eventually as we wholeheartedly pursue this task.
“It’s not that I’m so smart it’s just that I stay with problems longer,” said Einstein.
The trail will eventually show us that our freedom and happiness are bound together with that of all others.
When we act from generosity, desiring good for others, removing the “me first,” life rolls along in a much sweeter and happier way.
One important way of doing this is paying very close attention to our words and actions and exploring our motivations before speaking or doing. We ask questions such as:
Does what I am about to do or say come from a warm heart, as well as a truthful one?
How much am I wanting things to be a certain way?
How much pushing or pulling am I doing to try to make something happen?
Examining our deeper motives is a life-long activity that leads to freedom when our compass is pointed in the direction of liberty for all.
There is nothing like real freedom to bring joy into our lives, but we must bear the suffering of seeing what is actually taking place in this “Kingdom,” the mind within us so that the prison can be dissolved. It can be embarrassing, but so worth the effort.
We are the “King” but it is nothing personal! Nothing to crow about. It belongs to everyone. What a paradox!
It’s just a work that needs doing. And it carries “nobility.”
In lovingkindness, Rev. Billie