What is Freedom?

Freedom is not a desire to be free. It is what remains once all desires are dealt with, not fulfilled, but dealt with. 

Freedom is not the end of a process, but indeed some sort of a beginning. You don’t become free after you have done a hundred things, but on the contrary, you become free first, and then may, or may not choose to do those things. Freedom comes easily when all movement of the mind comes to a standstill.

Movement is implied by the reaching out of the thinking mind to accomplish some end. A mind which is constantly seeking, wandering, searching can therefore not be still. It always has some agenda which must be fulfilled. That plan beckons it to move away from itself, and the mind obliges by creating thoughts. 

Such a mind, no matter how brilliant, cannot know freedom. How can it? It is always full of ideas, opinions, arguments and rebuttals. It is loaded with information and yet it wants to be sharp as a blade. 

How can a fat cat get on the roof?

This mind is adjusting, analyzing, distorting, recollecting or forgetting. It is anything but empty. A fulfilled mind is attached to what it is full of. So it cannot be free.

There is always this conscious will to achieve something or the other. A focused one-pointed doggedness to get that raise or whatever it may be. That determination prevents this movement in freedom, where there is no motion of any kind.

Freedom in that sense is an oxymoron. It suggests the ability to move, yet its quality is inseparable from stillness. In that stillness, there is the potential for movement. That potential, which is not defined by preconceived notions, ideas, historical facts, hardened opinions or proclivities, is the original quality of being free. Free from one’s own self.

As long as one clings to his or her ideas, notions, ambitions, such a freedom is not just elusive, but impossible. Therefore freedom cannot coexist with ambitions, desires or attachments. They all must die a natural death for something new to be born.

A baboon puts his hand in the jar so that he gets the apple. The mouth of the jar is too small, and so he is trapped. To escape he must let go of the apple. But he hold’s on, for the apple is everything. That’s how the hunter gets him.

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