|19 Feb 2002 @ 19:12, by Andy Lehman|
There is something that strikes me as fundamentally wrong with the saying “Free your mind, and the rest will follow”. I think that a truly free mind must go hand in hand with an active effort to free the rest. In fact, the two must be pursued simultaneously. My evidence? Well, my first point is that at times I feel, for periods of seconds at a time, like my mind is truly free. The rest never seems to follow. Quite the contrary, the rest makes it impossible to maintain self-freedom for any extended period of time.
I say there are times when I feel truly free. This is something that is very difficult to describe because it is so real. I think it’s a kind of freedom that anyone who has to inhabit and function in this warped world on a daily basis is not quite ready to understand, let alone explain. It is so complete. I can’t help but think that many people may have moments like this, but I’m never sure. The only way I can attempt to describe them is by metaphor. Most times I feel that I am immersed in a sea of confusion, self-doubt, anger and fear (the monsters that we all have to hug, as butterflykiddo would say). However, there are occasionally moments of crystal clarity that come out of the blue. Usually they come with no real prompting or reason. When it happens, it feels like my head breaks out of that sea of monsters. I am, for a few moments, breathing a kind of air that is almost impossible to come by. It is so pure; so beautiful. All of my needs to judge, to despair, and to worry are stripped away. I feel like my baggage, just for a moment, melts away. I am ready to live the life of a ture human. It is such an amazing feeling. These are the moments that keep me going; the gasps of pure air sustain me. This feeling is just about as free as my mind can get. That is, at least as long as I have to play the old “game” every day, and watch the world around me tear people apart.
However enlightened we may be on the inside, there is a point where we must pay attention to the outside world. To not do so would be to fail in our responsibility to the rest of humanity. That is not to say that being a developed human being is not important; it is critical. But it has very limited meaning if we do not use what we learn inside ourselves to make the physical world better. One of the biggest questions we are faced with is where the balance point is between these two cycles of development. I believe that they must go hand in hand. More than that, we must demand that change in the outside world keep up with the development inside of us. Disparity between those two facets of existence (the self and the “real” world) causes either a great deal of frustration or an eventual disconnection from reality. I don’t know how true this is for other people, but for me the lack of progress in the real world is becoming a limiting factor in my internal development. I can still make progress, but there is a certain level that I simply cannot honestly and effectively transcend until I have a great deal more freedom in the outside world.
The world, with all its madness, keeps me from feeling the kind of freedom described above for more than a fleeting moment. My first priority is to find a way to remedy this situation; that is the end result that I will hope for any work group, or anything I do in my life. I hope to be able to explore this freedom and see how it might be used to transform the human condition in a very fundamental way. I also hope that others can understand and share in this. I want to fight the good fight; this is the fight I’m talking about. The fight that will allow us to be truly free is only the fight before the fight. The real one will begin only when we are free ourselves; then it will get unimaginably interesting. I can’t wait, and I sincerely hope it happens within my life time. Fat chance, I suppose. So many generations have tried and we’re not there yet. I know it won't be easy and that it will take a lot more than words. All I have in the end is commitment to a kind of freedom that transcends all doubt. I think it will be enough.
Thanks mmmark and ma shakti for getting me thinking about this stuff today.