Sometimes the journey towards inner freedom can feel like a paradox, for example, there may be a phase where there is a movement towards freeing you from your ego and it can be followed by a phase where there is a movement towards freeing you from trying to be “egoless” – you can see how confusing it can be to a mind that’s trying to hold on to a certain idea about this process. This is also the reason why you may even find some posts, on this blog, that seem to be conflicting with each other – for example, there is a post on connecting with your ease and then there is a post on freedom from the resistance of lethargy, there is a post on freedom from a life of compromise and then there is a post on being grounded in reality, there is a post on the art of letting go and then there is a post on deliberate creation, there is a post on finding freedom from the ego-force and then there is a post on allowing the desire to show-off, and to the mind it can seem very conflicting, especially if it was trying to make a “technique” out of the pointer. However, if you see this blog in its entirety, you will see the underlying pattern is one of finding “total” inner freedom and if you take these pointers as a means to contemplate your own sense of freedom, in an authentic manner, you will be free of needing a technique, rather you will understand the logic behind the process of conscious freedom.
It’s very important to realize that inner freedom cannot come from a place where you feel the “need” to hold on to something for your sense of freedom – be it a belief, understanding or a life situation. When you do start making a journey towards inner freedom, your awareness keeps growing until it gains enough power to get on “auto mode”, from here on the journey just becomes “inevitable” towards finding total inner freedom – there is simply no hiding anymore, there are no convenient allowances that get made, it’s simply a very strong movement towards finding freedom from every resistance, and imbalance, that’s present in your being. Your well-being is well taken care of, but it’s important to understand that if the fear of uncertainty has a strong grip on you, it’s very logical that you will have to face it (sometimes through some external event) as a part of reaching inner freedom – in that sense, asking for assurance is not really the right attitude in a person who is willing to make this journey. When I understood the logic of this process, I also understood that the attitude that was required was one of total openness to growth of inner freedom – it became pretty obvious that I couldn’t just “manipulate” this process, it was much easier if I just stayed authentic, if there was a lack of freedom towards something it would be unearthed and it would need to be faced until freedom is acquired consciously from it.
The attitude of flexibility
Though this process does go on “auto mode” once awareness gains some power in you, and there is no hiding, it’s still possible to “suppress” this process in some way by holding on to a certain technique, or a rigid mindset, but sooner or later the inner turmoil becomes so evident (between the aware part of your being and the unconsciously “holding on” part of your being) that it can no longer be ignored. It’s much easier if you simply allow the process to complete in a linear manner, it just has one direction which is to keep unearthing all your inner resistances, delusions and hang-ups, the one thing you can be sure of is that you are moving towards an authentic, and free, way of living. The awakening in your being (as you start becoming aware of your unconscious anchorage in the mind’s conditioned thinking and identities) is just the first step, it’s just the start – you don’t need to have any dramatic awakening experience, it can be as simple as you just realizing that you are deeper than just your physicality. In fact, as soon as you become aware of some patterns of unconscious living, you are having an awakening in your being. The awakening can feel blissful for a while, but like I said, it’s only the start of the journey towards inner freedom – awakening of any form is always followed by the urge for inner freedom.
It’s a very normal tendency, in the mind, to ask for a technique immediately – “how do I get inner freedom? Give me an ABCD technique to do it”. But if you think logically, any technique that you hold on is eventually going against the very essence of freedom – so does it really make sense to ask for a permanent technique when we are talking about inner freedom? What really makes sense is to just understand the pointers, and there are different pointers (sometimes contradicting pointers) that make sense at different stages of this process. If the process was simply about executing a technique you wouldn’t find people stuck in trying to find inner freedom after years of meditation – the mind is great at executing techniques, some minds better than others, but the journey towards inner freedom has nothing to do with perfecting a technique. However, I also understand the value of some “practices” like the practice of relaxed awareness and the practice of the state of allowing, because I understand that sometimes you do need a practice/technique, for a while, to gain some stability in your awareness. So, I am not suggesting that you don’t need any practices; I am just saying that you can’t come to total inner freedom through clinging to a practice alone.
I can see how some people try to make the “practice of allowing” into a technique to cling to – it’s very natural to do so, because that’s exactly how we are trained to live. We are trained to live by techniques, and hence we have a belief-system which says – “If I perfect a technique it will give me xyz result”. You can get a lot of results from perfecting techniques, but “total” inner freedom is not one of them. Use a practice for the value it serves, but also realize that there will come a moment when you will have to let go of that practice also. For example, the practice of allowing is a very powerful practice to let go of your past accumulation of emotional/mental momentum, and gain freedom from the pull of the mind, and you can work with this practice till you feel that you are gaining this inner freedom from the grip of emotional/mental intensity, however once this practice has served its purpose you also need to start “living” a deliberate life, with a return of focus, else you end up in some form of lethargic daze of detachment. Of course, only you can know when you need to start “moving on” from a practice, and you can only depend on your own authenticity to know it – just remember that a practice can serve in finding one form of inner freedom, but it can also become a resistance of its own when you start clinging to that practice as some permanent technique to live your life.
The journey of inner freedom
The below is the sequence that you will normally go through after you start awakening from your trance of unconscious living.
- Becoming aware of the incongruent reality you’ve created for yourself
- Becoming aware that it’s your inner imbalance, delusion and resistance, that’s creating your in-congruent reality. A lack of inner freedom is what manifests as a lack of external freedom. You realize that your reality is “your” responsibility and nothing is served by complaining about the elements created/attracted by your past unconsciousness.
- Releasing the past accumulation of emotional energy, ego-force and grip of conditioned thinking. The practice of relaxed awareness and the practice of allowing are both helpful in letting this release happen without constantly “questioning” it – the understanding of the dynamics of this release (read the post – the basis of inner freedom) is useful in this regard, but no matter how good your understanding the release will take the time it needs to take, depending on your past load and how willing you are to allow what arises. (The attitude of surrender, or letting go of the need to control, is useful during this phase). This phase defines the freedom from all forms of resistances.
- When you sense a space of freedom from your emotional/mental momentum, your awareness is now free to work with the mind, and to work with your expression, without the load of past resistance and unconscious thinking. You are more into “conscious thinking”, in terms of thinking from a place of deeper understanding of yourself and reality. You need to align with your personal expression while being in sync with inner wisdom (which allows you to stay true to certain expressions needed in you from the perspective of totality along with your personal expressions). This phase defines your freedom to live your natural expression.
As you can see, the process by itself is very straight-forward in terms of “logic”, and if you can really get the logic of this process you will no longer feel confused by its paradoxical movements. It’s very difficult to explain this process to someone who only wants a “black and white” technique; if you lack a flexibility in your being to be willing to understand the logic behind various pointers, and your whole focus is simply on getting a technique/teaching to hold on to, then you can at best get to some “partial freedom” (which can be better than unconscious living) but is not the true freedom that your being desires. The people who benefit the most from this blog are the ones who take the time to read it in its entirety rather than just focus on a few “technique-based” posts alone – I don’t write a post if I feel it’s redundant, so each post has some pointer to convey. I always understand that for a question like – “how can I be free of this xyz situation/thought”, the answer boils down to finding “total” inner freedom and that a partial freedom may solve one situation but will cause the same question to arise about another situation. A situation where you become conscious of your “imprisonment” to unconscious living, or negativity, is simply a wake-up call towards coming to a place of total inner freedom which is a full-package journey in all aspects and cannot just be explained through one technique alone.
The paradox of inner freedom
What you will notice during this journey is it paradoxical nature of making a shift towards finding freedom in the “expression” of an element/aspect that you actually found freedom from to start with. For example, initially you are on the journey to find freedom from your ego, and just when you feel you’ve achieved freedom from the ego, you see yourself in a situation where you are being asked to express from your ego. So in that sense, once you find freedom from the ego, it’s time to develop the freedom to “express” your ego also – if you try to cling to a state of being “egoless” you will start sensing an imbalance creeping in which will elicit psychological suffering in you. Another example would be, when you feel free from the grip of anger in you, you will find yourself in situations where you realize the need to express your anger also; when you find freedom from the unconscious grip of your sexual drive, you will also require to find freedom in a balanced expression of it in alignment with your personality.
This journey is not about “detachment” – it’s about freedom. There is a huge difference between a “pseudo-freedom” acquired through a state of detachment and true freedom. True freedom is characterized by the freedom in your being from a certain “force” while also having the freedom to express its balanced equivalent – for example, when you have freedom from ego-force but also the freedom to express from your ego, you’ve hit a balance. This paradoxical nature of inner freedom is why it feels confusing to a mind that wants a “black and white” technique to hold on to. The mind would find it easier to just follow a technique like “be egoless” or “be free of anger” or “be joyful” or “be positive”, but these techniques will never bring you to a place of true freedom. In a place of total inner freedom you have the freedom from the light nature as well as the dark nature components, of your mind, while also having the freedom to express/experience these components as a part of your living.
When you understand the paradoxical nature of this journey towards inner freedom, you also realize the importance of having a flexibility in your being; after all, freedom always implies the presence of “flexibility”, if you get rigid about something it just means you are operating from some place of fear or narrow-thinking. The reason why inner freedom brings you to a state of inner wholeness is because you are “all encompassing” of all the elements of your nature (as life-energy in general and your present expression in the form of your body, and its personality), be it light nature or dark nature, in a balanced way. The journey towards inner freedom keeps deepening in your being and the more it deepens the more you realize the futility of trying to hold on to any “pointer” as a finality, rather it becomes about understanding a certain “call” for growth (in freedom) that’s being asked for in the present situation.
When I talk about the power of allowing, I am not implying “allowing” as some technique, it’s more of an attitude – allowing implies that you are free of the element and also free to express/experience that element. If you are truly free of fear you will not be afraid of integrating your fear if that comes as a natural requirement of a situation. To be free of “lack” also implies that you have the freedom to allow the experience/acceptance of lack which is actually a requirement for the experience of growth – it’s just that you don’t cling to the lack, and you don’t try to “fake” a sense of abundance when you don’t feel it. To be free of lackful thinking doesn’t mean you never have a lackful thought/perspective, it just means that you are not unconsciously clinging to it or defending it, neither are you trying to put a “fake smiley” on top of it – the feeling of lack is a pre-requisite for a growth, and it’s a natural part of life, the problem is when one is trying to suppress it or getting over-identified with it, that’s when you lose your “natural wholeness”.
Though the journey towards inner freedom seems to reek of paradoxes, it’s totally aligned with the reality of life that truth is always found in the “grey areas”, if something looks too “black and white” to you it’s mostly just a “relief mechanism” and not the truth of the situation. If you notice the underlying message in all the “truth-based” teachings (be it spiritual or otherwise) is one of being “open handed” (which naturally allows you to experience a balanced expression, or the middle path) rather than one of clinging to a rigid standpoint of one extreme vs another extreme. Certainty is the attitude of the ignorant and it closes down the pathway towards growth, inner freedom is to be free of the need for certainty, to simply be open to constant growth. There will definitely be “endings” where you evolve in a certain growth aspect, and there is a sense of joy in reaching an ending, but each ending also marks a new beginning towards a new growth, a new expression.