Many of us believe that if we just had a little more money we’d be freer. We think that if we only had enough money to set up that business, or establish some kind of higher status in the world, all would be well. The truth is, freedom, has nothing to do with these things.
Clarity of mind:
“This can be achieved through a meditative state. During this state, we must look to drop everything from our minds, that we believe matters. When we’re able to do this, we clearly understand. . . freedom occurs when we shed the layers of confusion brought about through conflicting beliefs.”
“The common man is indoctrinated into his expectations of life.”
The very broad and general system of beliefs we’re given, come as a consequence of our environment, during childhood. For example, when young, what made our parents happy? This is easy to answer, because most times all we need do, is ask ourselves what makes us happy. Happiness, and most importantly what makes us happy, is a learned behaviour.
“By questioning our ‘learned’ behaviour we escape many of the shackles previous generations have taught us. Paradoxically, many of the means we use to seek happiness, actually enslave us.”
It goes without saying, happiness, well-being and safety, are important to us all. How we find these things varies from individual to individual. One individual might feel free, well, happy and safe when he’s in the local betting shop, placing a months wages on a horse. Another, may feel free and safe sitting in his favourite chair, with his family around him, watching a good movie after a hard days work.
“Yet another person, who has questioned the types of systems we’ve developed to make us happy, may feel all these things when sitting alone on a beach.”
True happiness is achieved when we free ourselves from the illusions created through learned behaviour. When we take the time to really think about it, happiness is a state of mind, effortlessly achieved, when we have balance. A Buddhist monk for example, may well tell you: “happiness is achieved through realising the now moment.” How easy would life be, if we could achieve happiness (a state of contentment) through simply being aware, of our breathing? In those moments of awareness, would we be enslaved by all the ‘trappings’ of life we’re taught to believe we need, in order to be happy? No, in those moment, we’d be free.
“It may seem difficult to believe and accept, the most effective route to the true happiness freedom brings, will include: Creativity, Change, Challenge and Variety. All of which, can cost us, nothing.”
It’s worth considering a different route, to what you believe may help you feel happier, before seeking investment in that business. It’s only ever the ego (the best creator of illusions there ever was) that seeks a higher status in life, and is often driven by fear. Do we fear not seeming good enough? Our fears enslave us.
In addition to all this, raised self-esteem, is something we attach to happiness. The assumption is: low self-esteem equals unhappy. It’s certainly the case, if we’ve found activities – from learning martial arts to having sex – that help with building our self-esteem, we feel happier when doing them. However when this is the case, we’re also working to the same mistaken principle: Happiness comes from outside of us. This belief is our weakness.
We raise our self-esteem from the inside out. For example, if a child is small and weaker than his classmates, the solution will often be seen as something external. With this in mind, is learning martial arts the answer? High self-esteem will only be achieved during the hand chopping, board breaking classes. He’ll still potentially grow up to have low self-esteem in many other aspects of his life. If he never questions the belief: ‘small equals weak,’ he’ll remain this way on the inside forever.
“Now he has his ‘black belt’ what if he were drawn to a violent lifestyle? What if he adopted a confrontational approach to others?”
Would this be a useful way to get through life? Far better to change how he feels about himself on the inside. We do this through helping him deal with his emotions in a gentle way. We help him question his beliefs about size: small is efficient, small diamonds are used to change big things, and so on.
The paradox is this: The greater the happiness – found through our archaic beliefs – the more enslaved we become.
Happiness is found through the things that help us feel less afraid; when we can fight we’re less fearful; when we own we’re less fearful. The bigger the car, or the house or whatever – now we have the black belt – the safer we feel; all paradoxical.
We really do live in a world that’s a mirror reflection of the true one. When we step out of this mirror – through shedding the confused conditioning of our beliefs – we’re able to see the ridiculous nature of the world we’ve created. Only then, will we find the freedom, that costs nothing.