Saturday, February 04, 2006

Why Don't We Want to be Free?

The other day, disoriented as a deer caught in the headlights, I attempted to walk out of the library with unchecked books in my hand. The alarm went off and even then, my mind had not registered that those two events were connected and that I was the subject of them. Shortly I had a report written up. Yes, yet one more strike against my name. What does that mean really? Is life a long rep sheet that the ever elusive “they” add comments and judgments to as they observe the progress of our lives? And should living be a conscious act to have that paper be as white as possible or is a sign of a healthy existence a sheet marked liberally with red ink and animated punctuation?! I would like to believe that the latter is the truth. Why are we presented with so many opportunities, possibilities and forks in the road if we are to merely maintain a steady heartbeat? Something doesn’t add up. The custodians of our welfare have distorted the project and stuffed the peoples’ minds with fluff! Do you see what I’ve just done? I’ve deflected the accountability again. Easy is it to shift the blame and responsibility. Easy is it to label oneself victim. When the truth of every matter is that the self is the beginning and end of it all. All illusions start with and are subscribed to by “I”. Sticky! This is the inevitable dead-end that makes us avoid going down this road. Yet it is the only way to enlightenment. Indeed restrictions and limits often lead to greater creativity! They squeeze our sensibilities, concentrating them in a smaller space so that they have to interact and fuse and fission, generating energies that eventually explode out of their confines. That’s what it feels like to write, to create, to craft, to dance, to really laugh… to love. That release is perhaps the only true freedom one can feel. So why do we constantly keep each other from this actualization? Is it fear? Is it even conscious?

Or is it something more malevolent festering in the deep recesses of our soul? I’d like to disbelieve that that could be it. There is too much wonder and beauty in life to believe that we are somehow jealous or resentful that others may grab the pieces that we are entitled to. It pervades the air and the earth, it seeps from impermeable surfaces, it breeds and catches the winds and sails on them in every direction they go. It surrounds us in every place and at every moment, only we do not choose to see it, to recognize it, to respect it, to honour it. But it is there to guide us if only we let go of our pride. Our self-importance ironically reduces the quality of our life for we become blind to the connectivity and interrelation between ourselves and everything around us. And perhaps worse, between our minds, our bodies and our souls. It’s interesting when you listen to your body, how much it can tell you. Those headaches and stomach rumblings and aches and pains that we so readily ignore or stifle with a cocktail of chemicals proven to give rapid relief! They are God’s unique but subtle way of sending us signals. They attempt to say, “Hey, slow down and pay attention!” But we, as a society, as a species, seem to have lost even that basic self-respect.

Perhaps, before we get too far ahead and outside of ourselves in our motivations and meddling, we should check in with our selves and see that everything is in proper working order. This selfishness exists for a reason: to help you better interact with others. To bring you equanimity and balance and with that, uplifting insight. Resonance with all that wonder and beauty that envelops you with no explicit demands.