Watch how the mind judges, critiques, and weighs everything against a conditioned standard that is very familiar and based on self-preservation. Just look and observe. Do not condemn or condone, nor fight or pledge your allegiance to these thoughts. At the same time, pay attention without grasping the body’s reaction to the thoughts or emotions that very subtly arise almost undetected. This is the freedom to look, which must be implemented at the very beginning of the journey, rather than thinking it is a result at the end. It is only when we can truly observe our daily life without interference that a fundamental mutation can take place within it.
The intensity of devotion to empty oneself and surrender one’s personal will, determines the pace towards the revelation and the descending of grace; which unites the individual with the One. It is in the womb of this omnipresent aspect of ourselves that the heart forever stays anchored; in spite of mind/body conditions. Here, freedom becomes the permanent reality in the midst of the whole spectrum of human experience.
Most view freedom as being free from some “thing,” and once I am free there will be peace. If I can just get rid of this and retain that; I will be happy. This is a natural way to perceive life because in the beginning as children, we are completely identified with form (body and mind). The very nature of form is duality: growth and decay, pain and pleasure, birth and death. So it seems fitting that freedom is trying to rearrange form; our inner thoughts and outer circumstance in order to achieve peace.
If we look a little bit deeper, it becomes evident that peace attained in the manner above is always fleeting, as circumstances continually change and challenge the consistency of our experience. Granted, if we had enough resources to experience something new each day and throw money at our anxieties, we may be able to dodge and elude the pain that comes with the reality of un-fulfillment. Even that is not a sure way, as there are many examples of people that “have it all” and cannot derive a consistent peace from it.
But can we really call this freedom and peace? If it is here today and gone tomorrow, and needs to be always maintained through an effort to retain and reject? This leads to aggression, separatism, and the desire to protect at all costs.
How can this be the freedom and peace that loves unconditionally and sees Spirit in all things, yet is based on conditions? This is the most difficult thing because it is the accepted norm to “go get it, make yourself happy, fight for what you want, be a winner, and your entitled to defend against ‘them’ who want to take it from you.”
One must stand completely and utterly alone internally while letting your outer life go on unimpeded, and turn away from seeking peace through things and inquire: Who am I in spite of thought and the fulfillment of body sensations? Only then does one stand a chance to discover the Impenetrable Fortress Within, that is your true nature and is peace itself not dependent on outer or inner phenomenon.