Freedom

Freedom written by Philia Stauber, Switzerland, 2002

 

Freedom is a basic human right, but nevertheless it is obvious, that not everybody is in the position to make use of it because it has been disregarded and trampled on throughout the ages. From time immemorial mankind had to fight for freedom, because there were always human beings who considered this basic right to be reserved for themselves and a few other like-minded individuals. All those who didn’t belong to this so-called “privileged class” were judged as too inferior and primitive, in order to know anything about freedom, so why should they be able to make use of it.

In this regard, there has been very little change to this day. To consider oneself as better, more intelligent and therefore more privileged than one’s fellowman, shows a point of view involving destructive elements, as is the case with all unbalanced things. Nevertheless even one-sidedness and imbalance include something positive because they stimulate the human being’s thinking, whereby he can strive for solutions to correct the imbalance. That’s the way in which new cognition is achieved and evolution is propelled. Some people though have viewpoints that not only lack interest in correcting the imbalance, but on the contrary, are obviously striving to obtain the opposite effect.

Greed for power and profit as well as reputation is the underlying reason for such intense ambition and the human being needs a strong backbone to turn his selfish way of thinking and feeling away from it, for it is one of the most dangerous temptations he is facing during his life. Freedom itself falls victim to those temptations, for where should conquest, suppression and slavery originate from, if not from a mind obsessed by its greed for power and profit? History gives us so many examples. Tormented and suppressed people won’t allow themselves to be bereft forever of all opportunity to decide about their own lives and to be classified as a kind of merchandise to be used for whatever purpose is convenient to their oppressors. An unbalanced situation such as this will not endure forever because destruction, as a logical result, is pre-programmed into it and will take its course in the end. In time, even the oppressors will fall victim to the effect of this natural law and eventually it is unavoidable that the suppressed people will start to defend themselves.

Even though times are changing, along with the human consciousness, and the fact that today’s mankind is generally able to realize that no one has the right to take his fellowman’s freedom in order to fulfill his own private ambitions, the greed for power and wealth still continues and has not been reduced at all. Those who strive for it, force themselves to override everything in order to reach their goal. But are those people who suppress and exploit their fellow human beings really free, just because they do as they please, benevolently overseeing the misery they spread? Certainly not. If someone creates an obsession within his consciousness, he won’t be able to decide freely anymore, but only in favor of his obsession. The power of his own thoughts will leave him no other choice. Outwardly it may seem as if a person such as this is free, but appearances are deceptive, for there is not only an outward life to live, but also an inward one. And there, on the inside, the human being will certainly not be a powerful winner but a miserable loser because he will neither know what real inward freedom, happiness, peace, harmony and love mean, nor will he ever experience it, nor being able to live it.  He will always be a shadowy existence of a real human being, for he fails within himself and denies his own evolution. He is imprisoned by his selfishness and even though he might think about and seem to make sense of life, he will never comprehend it as long as his selfishness always comes first.

The result of the human being’s material point of view and understanding of all things, is, that outward freedom is his reality and counts most to him. Actually it is always the state of consciousness that determines in all cases what is real to the human being, revealing his comprehension and understanding. For those people who are used to being free it is nothing special and seems self-evident. But isn’t it obvious that living in outward freedom has no everlasting guarantee and can very easily be changed? What kind of freedom is it that human beings are fighting for since former days and which they consider as worth enough to give their lives for? Is this unsteady freedom that can be changed so easily into the opposite the real and only one?

Nowadays freedom is often equated with doing what one wants to do, but without taking responsibility for, or thinking about, the results of one’s own behavior.  The human being likes to set his selfishness above everything and everybody else, and doesn’t really care what happens to his surroundings. He is not interested in his role of being part of life itself because he doesn’t want to integrate himself, fearing to lose or to miss something when he cannot live as his fancy takes him. And he certainly doesn’t want anyone to tell him what he has to do. No wonder that he feels constrained in his personal freedom as soon as an outward circumstance shatters his solitary high position, revealing to him how insecure his situation is.

Nevertheless, this unrealistic idea that freedom can be achieved all alone, in a world where everything and everyone depends on each other and is connected to each other, roams peoples minds. Fortunately most people do not really give such unrealistic ideas a lot of power through their thinking and feeling, but unfortunately it doesn’t need more than one power greedy person who fanatically insists on living his own selfish ideas of freedom, in order to spread terror and misery and let chaos rein the world.

The direction of thinking and feeling reflects the human being’s point of view, which is individually formed by his current thoughts. Those thoughts and feelings that depend on the level of consciousness, are responsible for all ideas, he develops. Since everybody is individual in his evolution and so in his level of consciousness, he sees and experiences the world from a different angle than his neighbor. That means he realizes freedom in his own way, whereby he forms his own opinion on what is important, right and valuable to him.

In daily life the human being is continually confronted with and influenced by many things, which make him believe that freedom depends on outward circumstances, as well as on his fellowman and material things. Since he makes himself dependent on them, which is contrary to being free, he is disappointed over and over again, while finding himself in situations where he doesn’t want to be at all. Even though it is quite clear that no one likes to be a victim, feeling the burden of injustice on one’s shoulders, it seems more comfortable yet to be a victim than to explore how much one’s own wrong behavior took part in forming the result one is confronted with. And why? Because feeling innocent through denying self-responsibility makes it so much easier to let the fault lie elsewhere.

Another popular excuse to shove one’s own responsibility aside is the lack of money that prevents one from buying things that convey a feeling of freedom. Many people get headaches where money is concerned because they consider it an injustice that some people are born rich, while others have to grow up under the poorest conditions. This feeling of injustice that is actually just an apparent injustice, is created within the human being himself, through his thoughts and feelings which only lead him to where he directs them. As long as every thought and wish is guided along the way of the outward material life, the human being only searches for freedom in the material realm and makes himself dependent on the impermanence of material things. Through experiencing the material life, he is constantly confronted with the limitations of material transience and should actually notice that this kind of freedom does not come up to what he truly expects of it. Even though he is free and can go where he likes, he feels afflicted, constricted and confined. After all it would be really unjust, if freedom were reserved for those who have enough money or other means to fulfill their wishes in order to feel free. But unfortunately it is a commonly widespread opinion, that this injustice is a fact and that freedom is reserved only for those few who can afford it.

It is not so hard to guess where this opinion comes from. The human being is encouraged to think like that and is confirmed in his materialistic ideas by TV, magazines and the opinions of his fellowman because he is not at all aware of how much he let himself be manipulated. But that's not the only source of the misery, for his own experiences that show him how easy one can achieve almost everything with enough money, do their share as well. If a person can afford everything, and can do whatever he likes, he even has the chance to circumvent the law. This is a fact of course, but it only refers to the outward freedom that belongs to the transitory part of reality.

Unfortunately very few people think enough about this, in order to become aware that there isn't only an outward life but also an inward one and that both of them are inseparably connected with each other. Most people simply realize, that money handles situations without having to experience uncomfortable confrontations. In this way freedom is totally ascribed to the material realm and equated with "to have". Consequently "not to have" is connected with a certain loss of freedom. Since "to have" doesn't only refer to money, but to many other things, the human being already starts to feel a loss of freedom, if he cannot refuse to do work he doesn't like, or has to follow given instructions he doesn’t agree with. But he probably suffers more from his own various wishes, which cannot be fulfilled, leaving him behind with this frustrating feeling of "if I had enough money, then..."

Money rules the world; who can deny it.  And it is true, life is different for a person who has a lot of money but not in the way most people generally imagine. It is a great error though to believe that freedom would automatically turn up, if the purse is full of money, for troubles, fears, discontentment and constraint don't simply disappear, but only change their face. Poverty-stricken people rarely think about rich people’s sorrows because they see the world from their point of view and are busy with their own sorrows. And of course it is the same case the other way round. How should rich people know anything about poverty that they’ve never experienced?

Luckily it is absolutely unimportant whether a person is rich or poor, because it is the way of thinking that provides freedom. Nobody can ever feel free, as long as he depends so much on material things and allows them to overpower him. Only his thoughts and feelings are responsible for that, for they determine whether a human being enslaves himself or not. Through a wrong way of thinking and feeling he really can build his own prison that he is not able to leave. And what's the conclusion to this? If his thoughts have the power to imprison him, they also have the power to free him again. Every human being creates his own world through his thinking and feeling; a world in which he feels free or not. This world represents his life and reflects his personality and everything that happens within its framework. In general nobody is aware at all of the power of his thoughts and how much they make him dependent on so many things.

For example, there is the guy who always needs to be the center of everyone’s attention and thereby suffers so terribly, if he cannot accomplish it. Negative thoughts roll over him like a big wave and he feels so miserable, so disregarded and left out in the cold by his fellowman, only because he cannot play the main part.

Jealousy has a very similar effect. The human being feels cheated, disadvantaged and betrayed and his mind is totally concentrating on finding new evidence for his suspicions. And what does he do this for? He does it solely in order to combine one miserable imagination with another one until he is absolutely desperate. Jealousy is very dangerous and can really hold sway over a human being, if he doesn't find a way out of his confused negative thinking.

Furthermore, there is the self-interested human being who is aligned with “always grabbing the best things for himself” in order to nourish his selfishness and obtain satisfaction. His life takes place on a narrow path too, because he compels himself under self-coercion to use every situation and incident to satisfy his own interests. He undertakes whatever he can, so as to reach his goal and this is very strenuous. And what he experiences if he doesn't succeed in his effort is pretty disastrous. His world breaks down from the injustice done to him, for he is absolutely convinced that he has earned the right to have the best of everything and nobody has the right to ignore that fact. There are countless examples of course, which show that the human being doesn't realize who he is and what power lies within him.

As a last example, worth mentioning is a person who believes in God. All people are more or less infected with faith through the religions they grew up with. Whatever accompanies the human being from childhood on is deeply embedded within him. Even if he claims to believe neither in God nor in anything else because he thinks there isn't any validity in doing so, he remains a believer nevertheless, for he doesn't realize how much his life bears the imprint of it. The reason why he isn't aware of it is the fact, that not only his surroundings but also the whole cultural complex is interspersed with faith. Even though people don't go to church anymore because they don't want to be religiously involved, show that their pattern of behavior, their way of thinking and feeling and their point of view is still strongly influenced by religion in the form of rejecting responsibility. What other reason could be the source of the fact that there exists such a basic problem with taking responsibility for one’s own life, if not that something else is designed to do so? This problem of denying responsibility is to be found in all realms of life and therefore it also touches freedom and freedom is undisputedly one of the most preferred things that is made dependent on something else rather than on oneself.

That doesn't mean though that serious striving for inner freedom keeps uncomfortable situations, pressures and other constraints at bay. Such challenging circumstances provide the necessary opportunity to learn by searching for the right understanding of how to handle them. An increasing inner freedom makes the human being aware of the fact that he can cope much better with difficulties if he doesn’t take things so personally anymore. It even encourages him to make conscious use of the challenge in order to gain the best learning effect.

Even though he is always confronted with the fact that the consequences of his actions lie on his own shoulders and that he cannot avoid making the experience of a negative or positive result, he is seldom aware of his own thinking being the actual source. Neither money nor power nor any other material thing is necessary to gain freedom, for it can only be gained through the permanent effort and willingness to learn and to extend one's own consciousness through one’s own searching and exploring. Therefore every human being is able to achieve real freedom as long as he can think. Could there be a more logical and more just way to find freedom than this one?

But who is really interested in searching for this natural-creational justice, which will remain concealed for as long as no effort is made in order to think about it? And why should anyone make an effort to think about something, if there isn’t any awareness of being able to achieve knowledge through one’s own profound thinking?

The human being rather waits for better times, while grieving at the injustice done to him because of a negative experience or loss of a worthless thing, instead of searching for this true justice, which is embedded in the natural-creational laws, enabling all various life forms to evolve individually. Where should true justice lie if not in everyone’s ability to create freedom, happiness, love, peace, harmony and prosperity within himself through neutral-positive thinking, regardless whether he is rich or poor?

Every human being, no matter who he is or what he is doing and if he is aware of it or not, is automatically working on his personal freedom or imprisonment every day, for there are always decisions to be made. Even though these decisions might seem unimportant, they are instrumental in giving his life a certain direction. And nobody can prevent the fact of making wrong decisions and coming to harm because of it, for the human being is constantly learning and progressing on his evolutionary path and thereby must make mistakes. Otherwise he could not increase his understanding concerning freedom and all other things. Nevertheless he always has the opportunity to change his mind and decide differently, wherefore the recognized mistakes can be overcome at least in the future. The problem is, who is truly willing to recognize his own mistakes? Isn't it much easier to believe that it isn't one's own fault? And isn't there always something else to be found that is or could be responsible for one’s own failure? Mistakes are never welcome because they result in different kinds of suffering and in restraint and crestfallen feelings. But are these feelings an unchangeable fact or is there a way to handle these situations without being so crestfallen?

If somebody is troubled by negative thoughts, it’s his own decision, whether he surrenders to them or not. Surrendering means keeping the thoughts in his mind, while endlessly pondering about them and therefore providing them with power. This results in miserable moods, which can even give rise to absolute misery. It requires a neutral way of thinking to prevent such a state of mind, which means that things have to be seen as they really are and not taken personal. Everybody is free to consciously put negative thoughts aside, instead of surrendering to them.  This may not be mistaken with ignoring negative thoughts while pretending that they do not exist. Only through controlling one’s thoughts, which results in realizing and registering their negativity and possible resulting effects, can it consciously be decided to put them away and to concentrate on something delightful by setting and striving for constructive goals. In this manner negative thoughts, as well as feelings, slowly lose their power over their creator because they are not in the center of his consciousness anymore. They become weaker and weaker since the human being withdraws the power by consciously putting them aside. He no longer lets them rule over him, but dominates them himself. But this doesn’t mean that suffering, constraint and pain are automatically gone. It only means that negative thoughts and feelings can be diminished to a more harmless degree by setting a delightful subject in the center of awareness. The problem that caused the negative thoughts is still there and has to be solved but with a balanced psyche and a neutral point of view this is much easier. If the human being does not take care of his negative thoughts, and denies their existence by ignoring them, they will lead to an excessive stress of his consciousness and his psyche, which is extremely unhealthy.

There is no human duty such as suffering, for the duty is to leave suffering behind and learn from it. And if a pseudo-bad conscience sometimes makes somebody think he has to pay for making mistakes by suffering, then this originates mostly from being deceived by religious faith. In general though it is the human idleness and bathing in self-pity that hinders somebody from fulfilling his duty to leave the stage of suffering in order to progress. Fleeing from the responsibility everybody has toward himself, his fellowmen and his surroundings, will finally result in bad consequences not only for his own life but also for life in general. Consequently each human being should take care of his personal freedom and learn to live it in the right way. The basic condition in order to progress on this evolutionary path is learning to control one’s own thoughts. But without being able to concentrate on something, this cannot be accomplished.

Concentration on a neutral subject clears the mind, which is absolutely necessary in order to recognize things as they really are and to make clear decisions. If the human being is aware of what is going on in his mind, he doesn’t let his thoughts and feelings rule over him anymore. He is always free to concentrate on an object whenever negative thoughts attack him and it doesn’t matter where he is and which object he chooses. The concentration on the object keeps it in the center of his awareness and helps him to maintain control over himself while keeping unwelcome negative thoughts at bay, as mentioned above. And nobody needs money or anything else except himself to do so. What he needs though is to become aware of what is going on in his mind, which is not the easiest thing to do. It requires a lot of exercise to become conscious of one’s own thinking because thoughts often chase one another uncontrollably. They create feeling after feeling and make a big mess, before the human being realizes what he is actually doing. How should he re-establish order again, if he is confused and cannot recall what he was thinking? In the middle of chaotic feelings and emotions, it isn’t possible to step back and survey the whole situation objectively, therefore it is necessary to calm down first by using one’s freedom to devote the attention to an absolutely different subject. Only then will the human being be ready again for new impressions that might help him to survey the whole situation in order to make new decisions.

This demands hard work, which means, overcoming superficiality, idleness or over-activity, in order to achieve discipline and responsibility. Exercising concentration and learning to control one’s thoughts is an unavoidable part of the learning process. Being passive and waiting for something to happen is useless. But if the human being becomes active and makes an effort to do the right things, he reveals a willingness to learn something and, depending on his endurance, will sooner or later be successful. While controlling his thoughts, feelings and emotions instead of being enslaved by them, he acquires real freedom. Since he doesn’t want to be overrun and confused anymore by unwanted outward and inward influences, he tries to use his newly achieved comprehension to extend his newfound freedom whenever he recognizes an opportunity. This doesn’t happen from one day to the next, but the effort is worth making, for the resulting feeling of being somebody who can make decisions on his own, without fear or manipulation from external sources or influences of a similar nature, is the feeling of real freedom.

While someone is in the process of acquiring freedom through neutral-positive thinking, he will simultaneously acquire neutrality toward his selfishness and of course toward outward influences in general. If this weren’t the case, and one’s own selfishness would continue to influence one’s own thinking in the same egotistical way, it would prevent the ability to make objective decisions and no progress could take place. This reveals the logic of the natural-creational laws, for everything depends on everything and is connected with everything. That means, while freedom and neutrality work in reciprocal action together they are also growing simultaneously with each other.

The result of making the effort to learn about real freedom is for example, that the human being doesn’t feel compelled anymore, to be in the center of all events in his life, but will feel just as comfortable on the outskirts without feeling less worth than anybody else. He is not interested anymore in having a certain position of importance or in having a special image in order to impress his fellowman and please his selfishness because he is not solely concentrating on himself anymore, but on learning, experiencing and living his life. Therefore it doesn’t matter at all, if he plays a leading role, a minor part or even “no part at all”.

While taking things as they are and making the best of them, he changes from a burdened person to a watching person and from a suffering one to a learning one. Everybody is absolutely free to change from a suffering burdened person to an attentive learning one, because nobody can ever forbid him to do so, since this process is part of his inward life and, therefore, it takes place within himself. And because learning is a process that takes place within the human being it is neither limited to any particular time or place, nor to a certain level of consciousness. Learning always opens the mind, be it an intellectual one or a simple one and since it also changes the interests, the human being starts to concentrate on different things that lead him to new conclusions. Suddenly it isn’t important to him anymore to fulfill other people’s expectations of him or, at any rate, to fulfill his own unhealthy self-created expectations. He gains a new viewpoint of life that allows him to leave his self-made prison and become free. Since the point of view depends on the consciousness, it is the stage of development that reveals a human being’s individual understanding and handling of freedom. That doesn’t mean at all that a certain level of evolution has to be reached in order to feel inwardly and outwardly free. At every stage of development, depending on the degree of awareness, there exists an inward and outward freedom.

In order to find one’s own path in life, it is by all means advantageous to not devote oneself completely to the material realm. Consequently one has to avoid being restrained or ruled by outward circumstances. To the degree that one tries to keep a neutral point of view, is also the degree to which one will feel free in one’s behavior and decisions. That is not as easy as it might seem because the human being is first of all concentrating on himself, his needs, fears, troubles and joys. This is absolutely natural because he is first of all responsible for himself. But this must not be mistaken for being egotistical, for it has nothing to do with fulfilling one’s every material wish, feeding one’s selfishness or enforcing one’s own ideas by hook or by crook, without considering the feelings of other people. Actually it is a question of the responsibility toward oneself. This responsibility is a human duty that helps to make an effort to learn and to extend one’s consciousness. By realizing this responsibility and bearing it, the human being becomes aware of his creativity, his power and all other potential abilities that he can develop and use in his daily life. And by doing so, he again extends his responsibility toward life in general. Worth knowing is, that on every stage of a learning process, regardless of the level of consciousness, one has to be aware that one’s egotistical tendencies will strike back as soon as one loosens the reins, resulting in the change from having true ambitions into having egotistical ones.

To be free is, as everything else is in life, a question of making the effort to understand the truth. And truth actually is very simple. The human being is responsible for everything in his life. He is the one who develops interest within himself for a real understanding, by getting to the bottom of a thing through profound thinking. Simultaneously his consciousness increases and leads him to new levels of realization, resulting in the development of a more profound and comprehensive feeling for life itself. This results in a basic changing of his thinking, his point of view and therefore his level of understanding. The material realm will no longer be the exclusive center of his attention anymore, but the spiritual aspects will also take their place in his life and play a part in it. This is the chance to become aware of the material reality, namely that the material realm is only a means to the end that guarantees evolution. It may sound quite delusional but it actually means that the human being should take pleasure in material things and make use of them in order to learn. While gaining knowledge from his own experiences he begins to integrate this knowledge into his thinking, speaking and acting. And while forming a new point of view he starts to recognize the real worth of the material world. The transience of material things becomes more and more obvious to him and he realizes the uselessness of depending on them. This cognition leads him to the awareness that he also doesn’t want to depend on any other kind of uncertainty anymore. Neither presumption nor belief shall determine his life but only cognition, knowledge and their rightful application. Thus the human being’s life becomes freer and despite the strenuous work of growing real freedom within himself, which is not only crowned with success, but also connected with ups and downs, frustration and doubts, his life will become easier in many aspects.

 

Original article on They Fly