Most people want to be free. We are born with the basic instinct to be free. There’s always a strong desire towards freedom. If someone is not looking for freedom, it is most probably because they are already free, they don’t need to be free from anything.
In the world, many people want to have freedom of living, expression, thinking, action and speech, freedom to think what they want to think, say what they want to say, behave the way they want to behave, do what they want to do, and go where they want to go, without being limited by restrictions, conditions, rules and regulations, freedom to be what they want to be, freedom to get all the things that they want to get, freedom of choice, freedom of belief, freedom of religion, freedom of education, freedom of arts and cultures, freedom of relationships, freedom of marriage, freedom of lifestyle, freedom of sexual orientation, freedom of opinions and points of view, freedom from crime, violence, injustice, racism, discrimination, prejudice, riot, war, killing, conflict, and corruption, freedom from hell, punishment and imprisonment, freedom from natural disasters, freedom from fear and worry, freedom from unhappiness, sadness, madness, injury, hurt, disappointment, illness, hunger, thirst, weakness, immobility, old age, separation from the people and things that we love, being with the people and things that we don’t like, and mortality. And there are many more that we can think of. It can be anything that makes us think that we are not free, and we want to be free from that which make us not free.
In Yoga and Buddhism absolute freedom or ultimate liberation has very little to do with all these worldly thinking about what freedom is.
The point is, our true nature is always free. There is no need to look for freedom to be free.
What make us think, feel and believe that we are not free is ignorance, being ignorant about the truth of who we really are.
We think and feel that we are not free because we identify with the body and mind as ‘I’, which is conditioned by qualities of names and forms that are subject to impermanence. There is no real and permanent satisfaction that we can attain through this ‘I’.
If we truly know what is freedom, and respect the meanings of freedom, the desire to be free from all the above ‘what we think that which make us not free’ will vanish, as we are free.
We allow and respect everything and everyone to be what they are, as they are, without trying to control things or beings to be what we want them to be, or what we think they should be.
The perception of ‘not being free’ and the desire to be ‘free’, comes from the mind being ignorant about the truth. Egoism is the side product of ignorance. Attachment, craving and aversion, are the side products of egoism. Fear and worry, anger and hatred, and all the other impurities that we perceive as ‘suffering’ are the side products of attachment, craving and aversion.
In Yoga and Buddhism, if we want to be free, we go to the root cause of ‘what makes us not free’ and remove that root cause. We only need to bring the mind to be free from ignorance and egoism, to realize the truth, then all the other impurities that arise due to ignorance and egoism, will vanish.
There is no need to be free from anything that our impure mind used to think and believe made us not free.
Being free from being conditioned by conditional and limited function of the mind, and the perceptions of the qualities of names and forms through the function of the body and the senses, is what true freedom is about. It is not about being free from all the conditions and qualities that we think are causing us to be ‘not free’.
It’s like when we say somebody’s ‘speech’ is hurtful and bad, and make us feel hurt and bad, it is not the truth. It is not the ‘speech’, nor the person who made the ‘speech’ that cause us to feel hurt and bad. It is the perception of our own mind when comes in contact with the speech, and generates reaction towards the speech. The intellect recognizes, analyzes and understands the speech as something ‘hurtful’ and ‘bad’, because that is what our mind is being conditioned to think and believe what things are. Then the ego generates aversion towards what our mind dislikes and disagrees with, and generates unpleasant feelings of what the mind perceives as ‘hurt’ and ‘bad’.
Our mind is conditioned to function, act and react in certain ways.
Yoga and meditation practice is here for us to change this conditional habit of the mind, or to deprogram and reprogram how the mind acts and reacts upon coming into contact with the objects of the senses. This will change how the mind perceives, thinks, acts and reacts. This is the way to ultimate freedom.
It is not about avoiding, or pushing away, or eliminating the conditions and qualities that make us feel ‘not free’, but to be free from being conditioned, or determined by the thinking and beliefs in the mind, thinking and believing it is those conditions and qualities that make us ‘not free’.
When we are free, naturally other beings also will be free from being hurt, or affected and disturbed by us, as we stop reacting the way that we used to react when we were not free, and won’t generate any harmful or disturbing thoughts, action and speech, if we know the truth of freedom and are free. This is compassion.
Real and absolute freedom is in the moment when we realize the truth, being free from ignorance, egoism, and impurities. In other terms, the mind is free from suffering, restlessness or anxiety that derives from attachment, or craving and aversion towards the good and bad conditions and qualities, which are subject to impermanence. There is no craving and clinging to the good conditions and qualities. There is no fear and worry, or aversion towards the bad conditions and qualities.
What we think and believe is ‘not free’, is no longer something ‘not free’. That is freedom.
Being free from being conditioned, or affected, or disturbed, or influenced, or determined by what the mind perceives through the senses of what it sees, hears, smells, tastes, touches and thinks. That is freedom.
Being free from being conditioned or determined by the impermanent conditions and abilities of the physical body and the states of the mind. Being free from the identification with body and mind as ‘I’. That is freedom.
Totally surrender to the universal consciousness. Accept the reality as it is, without trying to control, or change any reality that we don’t like, into what we would like it to be, or what we think it should be. Just give, do our best, and allow the fruit of our actions to be what it is. Without expecting the result to be the way that we think it should be.
Being free from duality and separateness that derives from ignorance and egoism, which is also the root cause of all types of suffering, unpeacefulness, restlessness, anxiety, fear and worry.