Ahh…freedom feels good.
But what is freedom?
Freedom is complete detachment. If you consider that a slave wears shackles, so too anything that shackles you enslaves you.
Recently, I’ve been enslaved by this desire to delete eBooks, audio clips, and videos that I may have obtained illegally, while also desiring to listen and learn from these same things. The tension between the two irks me from time to time, and thankfully I just resolved the issue.
Officially, for the first time in maybe 6 years – as far as I’m aware – there’s not a single piece of stolen ‘intellectual property’ on this computer or in ‘my’ possession. So, I must say this feels pretty good.
The process of deleting all the files also helped me gain a lot of clarity and come to terms with reality.
A few of the files I had the most trouble deleting were audio files that offered lots of an abundance of knowledge regarding meditation, the present moment, and higher consciousness / enlightenment. However, even these files were relatively easy for me to let go of, because I realized that ultimately expertise in meditation or achieving an awesome consciousness of Presence or Enlightenment is something realized through practice and effort. Practice and effort can come in the form of studying via books and audio clips, but it’s primarily something you live out moment to moment to moment. So to think I’d achieve expertise in meditation or a state of enlightenment through reading is somewhat silly. Ultimately, I think books can be great teachers. Yet the true test of learning ultimately comes down to how it changes the way you live your life, moment to moment to moment. And really, I feel like in so many ways I’ve had that awesome peak experiences of enlightenment / oneness on several occasions, so to deny it would be silly. More over, to think I need more books or information to live in that state on a more consistent basis is also silly. If I experienced such a state without certain books, why would they be necessary to achieve the state again?
I had the pleasure of sitting in on a class on existential counselling the other day, and the professor shared some awesome ideas about venturing beyond your comfort zone and being in the moment. He said that we sometimes might have a tendency to devour life, when really so much joy and peace and freedom can be found when instead of devouring life, we choose to savor life. Savoring is the key. And what more is savoring than going slowly? It’s appreciating what you have. It’s being in the Here and Now.
Listen to the birds. Feel your lips curl upward you smile . Flash your eyebrows at the beauty before you. To experience happiness and peace and joy and the very best life has to offer, we don’t need anything. All the necessities are before us, beyond us and within us, in this present moment. Enlightenment and Peace and Happiness are not states to achieve in the distant future; they are qualities of our consciousness that we can experience now. The time is always now, especially regarding your Peace and Happiness 🙂
Thinking about questing through life, it seems like many of us move through the world on a quest for more, on a quest for what’s best for us, for that perfect something that will make our lives complete. Really, that perfect something is not out there, and you don’t have to quest for it. Questing for it almost moves you away from it. As I read in a de Mello book, “Seek and you shall miss.” Instead of seeking, let it be.
When you tune into being, right here, right now, that’s golden. No books required.
This is not to say to never read a book again. Rather, you can continue the wonderful journey of lifelong learning and growth knowing that you are perfect as you are now. You need nothing more for happiness and joy. So then, why keep reading and learning and trying new things and seeking new experiences? Well, from a consciousness of Joy and Happiness, why not do whatever you want to do? The key is to prioritize your Happiness in the Here and Now, and let be from there.
All activities can be filled with Joy. The external conditions don’t matter so much as your perception. As Eckhart Tolle mentions in the Power of Now, instead of changing your What, try changing your How. Bring lightness and ease to how you are doing whatever it is you are doing. To think, “I have to do something other than this,” is enslaving yourself. You can always free yourself by accepting the present moment as it is and moving into a state of joy, perhaps catalyzed by bring a smile to the face and raising your hands over your head and saying, “Thank you!” Why not be thankful? You can always fake it until you make it. Or, as I heard on a TEDTalk, fake it until you become it.
Meanwhile, why keep learning? Why keep writing or doing anything if the Happiness and Peace and Joy and Infinite Goodness is Here and Now, Always and Forever? Why not just let go and bliss out 24 / 7?
From that state of Happiness and Peace, remember that you can serve and you can give and contribute. And in those acts is even more joy! An abundance of joy lies in generosity and in giving. Also, consider, that in so much as you may have found Happiness in the Eternal Present Moment, Your God, some people might still be searching. So, by your moving and being in the world, connected with that Joy, you can share the Gift and awaken people to the Kingdom. Why not?
In a way, act selfishly. That is, prioritize the quality of your consciousness in the present moment. Let it be filled with Peace and Joy. What could be more selfish? And then, beautifully, this seemingly selfish act balances perfectly with the selfless service you can then render from a consciousness of Joy.
We can only give what we have, and what more do people want than Joy? Than Peace? Than Freedom? So by you working on yourself to have that Joy, you can then give it to people. You can share the abundance! You connect with the Great Gift, and then you share that Gift with your Being. No physical exchange of form required. Just being joyous brings joy. Liberating yourself liberates those around you.
When you listen to the birds and delight in the birds, you tacitly grant permission for all to enjoy the song of nature. (Woohoo 111 :-)).
Remember always, there are an abundance of ways to serve. Every moment offers a different opportunity. And, basically, no matter what you choose to do, it’s all good.
As Gandhi once said, “Do it with Joy or not at all.”