Our Egos: Comfortable Prisons

image credit: Asif Akbar

Original article from trueself.org 2009.

The secret to getting free is getting out of our own way. When we finally take a look at our obstacles (habits, ego, relationships with ourselves, with others, etc.), we don’t want to let them go. They are so us. This piece from trueself.org (originally titled Freedom) outlines the things we refuse to even glance at and tells why we don’t really want to be free.  

Freedom, is that what you truly want?

This is an important question because at the center of this question lies the reason you do not have True Freedom.The reason is that you dont really know what freedom is, and yet you are sure you know what it is. And ironically, in that very idea, you are imprisoned.

What you actually seek is a false idea of freedom that has been defined by an Ego.You seek the absence of opposition to your thoughts and actions and you call it freedom.You can prove this to yourself by asking what happens when your freedom is opposed.You get anxious, frustrated and even angry, dont you? So the fact is that any opposition to your idea of freedom can immediately destroy it.

This false kind of freedom will always be in conflict with that which simply is because it has been invented by the Ego, which can only think in terms of what is good for itself; and nothing truly good is ever isolated to a single being.True Freedom is always in harmony and never in conflict with anything else.

For you to follow any definition of freedom that creates conflict is to put yourself in a prison.To understand this you must be willing to see that your current efforts, and the ideas that drive them, do not work to truly make you happythey instead make you unhappy.You must also be willing see that True Freedom is unknown to you.

Ask yourself if you want to truly be free or if you simply want to have things your way. Ask this despite how noble your way seems. That is essential in gaining True Freedom.

Your way may be to sacrifice or suffer for others, but that is still your way, and still very selfishwho has said you had to do such a thing? Only you or those of whom you have chosen as idols have said this, but God has not. If you truly want to sacrifice something, sacrifice having your waythat is a true sacrifice, and one Truth itself will reward.

Watch ever so carefully how you imprison yourself. First with false notions, then with wants, which are masqueraded as needs, and then by the consequences of acting out when both utterly fail you. And since each of these are just ideas in your head, the fact is that you are imprisoned by your own thinking.You are imprisoned by your unwillingness to let go of what you think freedom is.

If you want Freedom, start by letting go of your grand ideas. Let them go so Real Truth can enter.What harm would come from letting go of these ideas you hold so dear to your self?

Nothing.You could take them back in an instant if you chose, and yet you still fear something about letting them go.Do you fear the possibility that they may indeed be wrong and that you will lose part of your identity when they are proven to be incorrect? That type of thinking is the prison you occupy.You refuse to explore the truth lest you be identified as being wrong. See how ridiculously trapped you are by all of these notions.

The truth is that you desperately cling to the things that trap you the most.Watch how frantic you get when you lack security. See the rage when your identity is challenged. See how you hurt those you profess to love when they do not give you the attention you require.These are the things you work so hard to acquire and in the end it is they which acquire you.

They own you and imprison you. So in a sense you walk to the prison and say, “Let me in.”

Here is a wonderful idea. Let go of these imprisoning notions. Walk out of the prison cell of your foolish desires.Be free, truly free.

You say it is too difficult.This is only because you still do not believe these things are the source of your imprisonment.It is that simple.If a person were in a prison cell with the door wide open, they would leave, but in your case, you do notso it has to be true that you do not believe you are imprisoned.

What is it about these false ideas and notions that make them so attractive?

It may very well be that what you fear is the absence of ideas and notions altogether.You fear that having none would be to lose your precious identity, that you would then be empty.And that is it the answer to the problem.

That is Freedom.The absence of precious ideas to defend, the dissolving of chains between you and other people, the wonderful feeling of being completely open to what happens next. Freedom is the ability to not be you even if just for a moment.

No more pressure to perform for others or be consistent with your former crazy ideas.Imagine the freedom to steer clear of trouble and chaos.Doesnt that sound good?

To some it may not.To some, dropping those chains will sound utterly hopeless and depressing.To those who cannot comprehend this, it will take more pressure, anxiety and despair to see Reality.To those who are ready, it will sound like the good news that it truly is.

If you are truly ready, your heart will hear the good news and you will start to let go at this very moment.This is the door to the good life.You may feel as if you are losing something, yet you will quickly see that what you let go of has no true or lasting value.

The barrier to walking out of the prison cell is only an idea in your head, just like the harmful notions that put your there. You simply need to walk out.You will not go back, I assure you. Once you break this psychological barrier, a new outlook is sure to emerge.

Seeing the reality of your current life is a necessary stepping stone to understanding True Freedom.If you cannot see your life as it truly is, you will have no reason to explore a breakout from the prison. In other words, if you enjoy prison, you will see no need to leave.

Use the wonderful gift of awareness to see what is truly happening. See how the most important notions you hold so dearly are utterly false.Just look to where they came from for evidence. See, at each moment, the Reality before you.Persistently question your urge to daydream your life away.

You can live a new life, but not at the same time you live the old one.Freedom is the new life do you want that?

© 2009 Trueself.org







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