This article was inspired by Anarchy To Ecstasy: What Is True Freedom?
Discovering our freedom through anarchy and reaching the ultimate state of ecstasy.
(You can read part one here).
Self-Awareness and Freedom
We all seek retreats in the form of vacations. But what we don’t realize is our own inability to retire within the vastness and beauty that resides within our existence.
This is important because no retreat on this planet is more serene and equipoise than the one that lies without ourselves – the perfect tranquility.
To be able to seek freedom, we first need to develop awareness of our enslavement – one that extends beyond the physical realms.
The first and only step towards freedom is self-awareness. Many people who had realized their own state of enslavement started to rebel against the same notions they used to live their life by, in the hope to acquire freedom.
But how is one supposed to achieve that much desired state of freedom when they are constantly opposing something?
How does this represent freedom when they are bound to fight an ideology they believe enslaves them?
The only way to achieve freedom is through awareness and transcendence. There needs not be a revolution, conflict, and hypothetical bloodshed to change something, especially something as spiritual as individual freedom.
Think of how we perceive the idea of a paradise. We associate it with its exterior aesthetics and a sense of freedom. But no matter how beautiful our proverbial garden may be, it is still enclosed within the confines of a wall and we, who experience its beauty and freedom, are still prisoners within it.
Our perception of freedom, for some reasons, has always been external. We seek help from god because we do not want to feel the burden of responsibility of our own lives.
Our lack of courage prevents us from experiencing our own divinity. And when things don’t work out in our favor, or when god doesn’t help us, we are naturally inclined towards blaming others.
Another example is how we perceive love. Throughout our lives, we fail to love ourselves and, as a result, we seek out others in the hope that they would love us and fill the void created from our own neglect.
Then it is no surprise that we are so conflicted and disoriented, as we place our own happiness in the hands of another.
See how this is another form of enslavement? We have deliberately enslaved ourselves to that other person with one of the most important aspects of our survival and growth.
Predictably, they don’t behave in the way we expect them to and, as a result, we become angry and destroy our relationships.
Is it even fair to place such a huge burden on someone else? Our tendency to blame others is such an obvious evidence of our lack of self-awareness! As we imprison others along with us, we perpetuate the cycle of enslavement.
Despite our expectations, we have never made any deal with them to behave in a certain way. Yet, we project our ideals of responsibility onto others so that they don’t make our lives difficult.
It never occurs to us that the key to freedom lies within ourselves and all we need to do is change something deep inside.
To be truly free from everything that binds us and everything that is false, imaginary, and mortal is to experience truth and immortality with ourselves.
It is a state where we are free from the shackles of our past thoughts and future expectations. It is the freedom of existence that lies only within the present. And such freedom comes only from being aware of what makes us happy and then taking the responsibility of achieving happiness.
We cannot change the world for it is external and beyond our influence and such thoughts only help enslaving us further. The only thing in this world we hold absolute control over, is ourselves, and through changing ourselves and embodying this message, we can literally change the world – for it is we who comprise in this world, our actions, intentions and existence that have shaped the world in its present form.
Freedom to Act
By now, we should have understand that we need awareness to achieve freedom, because without understanding of our situation, we can never even imagine a different situation, one with freedom as a premise. And once we are aware that we must be responsible, our awareness cannot manifest into our reality.
Hence, responsibility is our freedom to act or respond. But the final act requires a mature and soulful individual – for an immature and a lazy individual will never amount to any action, hence that person will be irresponsible.
The ability to act is not the same as the ability to control. Controlling is another form of enslavement.
For example, we attempt to destroy parts of our self or inner being, in order to present ourselves to the world in a certain way, such as calm and collected.
A better analogy would be of a priest. His existence is based upon destruction of his own self as he is required to control the inherent sexual desires, in order to appear celibate and saintly, despite having perverse thoughts just like anyone else.
This results in the creation of self-denial, neuroticism and self-hate.
To actually seek out freedom requires a great deal of courage. To be authentic requires significant amount of courage. But we are instinctively or habitually used to avoiding risks due to our lack of courage.
The only way to develop this courage is through self-love, which is the only way to believe in oneself and discard all feelings of insecurity and lack of trust. Only when we begin to feel comfortable within our skin for the first time, can we begin to stop depending on external factors and start living more responsible lives.
Our authentic selves can only be unleashed once we start to take responsibility and allow ourselves to effectively unlock our infinite potential of joy and freedom. And only when we get a taste of this freedom and this joy, can we become aware of our incredible capacity for passion — the highest reason for being.
We can never be truly free as we are not special. We are a part of an ecosystem of animals, plants and other living things.
Through the development of our intelligence, we have elevated our position within this ecosystem, but we still can’t transcend it. Hence, we are still part of it and, implicitly, interdependent on numerous factors that are beyond our control.
This article was inspired by Anarchy To Ecstasy: What Is True Freedom?, which was written by Don Mateo Sol. He is the author and co-founder of popular spiritual website LonerWolf.com. As a shamanic practitioner, teacher and soul guide, Sol has helped to lead thousands of people throughout the world on their journeys of self-discovery, healing and wholeness. You can follow Sol’s work on Facebook.