It has been a while since the last post on this Blog. As a guide, it is not a simple thing to draw a map which follows a path that leads to true freedom in ourselves All ancient traditions have had the sole purpose of conquering obstacles toward the liberation from ordinary limits, which coincides with maximum human fulfillment. The ancient texts however, to be correctly understood, require study and preparation. Attempting to approach such a complex and profound topic with modern language is therefore a way to provide greater possibilities for pondering and study.
In order to realize achievement of any goal, it is useful to follow a project that is close to our everyday life. I don’t mean here that we must follow a series of rules, which can easily turn into a path to be followed mechanically… but a vision, an image, which contains a progression – a map of the Path.
This series of texts suggest not only one possible approach. Because there is more than one approach, no system has the “exclusive rights” or shares the “only truth” to achieve such a state of freedom.
So, this series is divided into two distinct parts. This will make an easier explanation of such a Path and, consequently, it will be easier to understand.
First Step: Intellectual Understanding
Very often, when we try to reach a goal, we fail due to lack of clarity. If we chase something, which we then confuse with something else, we end up finding ourselves off track. For example, in order to find water, we need to start digging at one point and go deeper, in a consistent and persevering way. With a thousand excavations, stopping at the surface of each one, we will find nothing at all. However, it’s also true that we will not get anything even by insisting in a haphazard, uninformed way that there is water where it doesn’t exist.
In order to achieve the goal, we need perseverance and knowledge of the territory. Not everything can be realized by moving in a random way, hoping to find the best insights at the right moments.
It is very important to understand intellectually what is freedom and its absence, without limiting our search to a superficial notion.
When we choose a line of action, we must be certain of what we do, otherwise we will stop when the first difficulties appear.
Therefore, the first part of this series of posts is exclusively devoted to theory and pondering. We will explore some aspects of freedom in a simple and not too conceptual way, and also some forms of limitations to which we are subjected, trying to build an understandable map of a territory where freedom is sovereign.
Second Step: The Inner Field
Every human being has within himself, profound aspects of which he is not aware. There is much more besides what we know about ourselves, and I am not referring only to the unconscious sphere, which is the main focus of modern psychoanalysis, but to an even more intimate dimension.
Little or nothing is discussed about this hidden aspect of human nature in our culture; yet, in this intimate field lies the greatest energy we have at our disposal.
This energy can allow us to achieve any goal, in accordance with the needs of our real nature.
Thus, the second part of this series of posts presents a possible path to reach greater contact with this deeper side, in order to bring out the potential that resides in it. Let’s clarify it: this is not a sort of mini- course. In these posts we will explore aspects of the human being that cannot be investigated only in theory, and in the absence of an expert guide. This is an analysis of what is lacking and some of the ways to obtain what is missing; methodologies that have always been present on the planet, but traditionally known by a small number of people and too frequently misunderstood in the modern era.
When I was a child, I enjoyed going late at night to the garden in front of my house. I sat still and looked toward the vast starry firmament. At that time, light contamination was absent, so it was dark enough to see the clarity and brightness of the stars.
In this way I deepened toward the direction of something that I perceived as immense which brought me to a sense of peace, mixed with the desire to merge with that unfathomable space.
As a teenager, I experienced an opposite feeling: namely, by observing the sky at night, and, instead of perceiving its vastness, I started to perceive it as a dense, transparent wall, such as that of an aquarium, as if we were enclosed inside a glass bowl. Sometimes, such a feeling often appeared, even now. Surely, I won’t say the experience is pleasant.
Over time I also experienced a third sensation, linked to the starry firmament. Fortunately, this one is less oppressive. In this case, the luminous points, the stars, did not represent a reference of vastness. I perceived instead the “empty” and dark space present between one point of light and the other, as if it were showing me a way, a possibility – a free path towards Infinity.
Such sensations have always made me ponder about the concept of Freedom – the distance, the infinity, or the opposite – the sense of limitation of the universe itself that we observe, represents the symbol of a captivity or freedom that goes beyond common reason and everyday experiences.
However, through the years, those experiences bring some questions to my mind: what is true Freedom? What does it mean to be free? It certainly doesn’t mean doing whatever we want; which would be an extremely limited and silly vision.
Even if we could get everything we want, would we not be prisoners of the passing of time? Of that passage we call death and of many other Laws which we are forced to “undergo”? Are we free from the law of gravity? Can we just decide to fly without external help? Can we breathe underwater? Can we decide not to get old? I understand that these may seem obvious concerns, because the limits imposed by nature are not perceived as a form of slavery. Yet … they represent a prison.
In relation to the environment in which we live, we, as human beings, are subjected to many things (even before being so as individual men and women). It is useful to underline this, because later on we will have to distinguish between the limits connected to Natural Laws, and the chains imposed by human thought.
Over the centuries, throughout the world, many social bonds have been presented as God’s will. Such conditioning is strong and should not be underestimated; to be free we must not accept a human limitation as an expression of the will of something that is beyond human comprehension and of which we only know as something that has been said by others.
And this is not limited only to religious beliefs. Scientific conditioning also has its place within the map of what we are taught by culture. We are too accustomed to being wary of what is not sanctioned and recognized by modern science. If there is no credible evidence that human beings can develop mental powers of any kind, then it means that this cannot happen. It happens daily and, as always, it is others who choose for us, establishing what is true and what is not true.
The stars in the sky are both an index of a vastness to be conquered, and a sign of an apparently insurmountable limit. Many of those stars, although brightly shining in our eyes, have already collapsed, exhausted, transformed into something else.
Since light takes some time to travel in space, paradoxically, we can get the visual image of a sun when we observe it, although in fact it may no longer exist.
This makes me think that what surrounds us is a world of illusions; a play of light and shadow, which are not necessarily real despite the mere fact that we perceive them.
The Laws that govern our body and the life of entire galaxies represent. at the same time the limit and the door to a greater Freedom. The same Laws that imprison us are those that hide the secrets to free us and go “beyond”.
Freedom is not a factual condition, but a continuous journey, a Path; the only state which can reveal to us, the most wonderful realities of a life that otherwise is impossible to understand through logic alone, faith alone or scientific reason alone.
The Truth of this universe is a goal that recedes as we approach it. For this reason, I think that a path necessarily linked to time and space cannot reveal to us what lies beyond time and space itself..
We need a leap of consciousness, something that frees us from the road we have taken and launches us “beyond”. We need the ability to renounce easy reference points, because every safe place is also a trap from which it is very difficult to break free.
I consider that this is the reason why most people fail to be truly free; precisely because the primary tendency of many human beings is to seek a safe haven, enjoying the aquarium where inside they swim, however small it may be. They accept the comfort zone where they are imprisoned.
However, outside this comfort zone, there exists an entire Universe to be discovered.
To be continued….