Freedom and happiness are fundamental universal human rights. In spite of that, these basic qualities have been rather elusive for much of the world for quite some time now. The UK Government purported to hand its citizens “freedom day” on the 19th July this year. An odd turn of phrase, some might think, if not a little ironic.
Real freedom is here, not somewhere out there
Liberation is much more than escaping legal or physical restrictions, though, and if we really want to be free and happy, we have to transcend normal thinking. Real freedom can only occur in the mind. It is as much an inner state as an external one. There are stories of people who have been wrongly incarcerated yet, due to their spiritual training, they have felt completely free. Such are extraordinary people, of course, but there is no reason why we cannot train ourselves to be freer and happier.
The big problem? The conditioned mind
The way we think and react to things depends on how the mind is conditioned. That conditioning comes mainly from our past experiences and what we have been taught or led to believe. At the root of all that is the very basic sense of “I”, which gives rise to a belief in “me” and “mine”. The mind is very clever and will do anything to defend itself and the personality, the “I”, it has created.
Selflessness brings freedom
To lessen the mind’s grip, we need to cultivate selflessness. Instead of maintaining our imagined position as the centre of our own little universe, which takes a great deal of energy and effort, we might try letting go a little. It’s a very relaxing thing to do; quite liberating, in fact.
The real crisis
It is selfishness, not Nature, that has driven humanity into the throes of a climate crisis and only a reversal of that will free us from it. It is far more of a threat than coronavirus. As individuals, we cannot change the world overnight but we can change ourselves. By beginning to train the mind to be calm, clear and open, we can be free wherever we are.