I’ve been talking a lot about freedom. But one thing I’ve noticed, as I’ve been pointing out lately, is that despite everyone wanting it, it is a thing that very few people actually have in reality.
Sure, you can pursue certain things that you might believe will make you free, but you’ll always find, once acquiring those things, that they brought you no closer to freedom than you were before.
You could have millions of dollars, the perfect relationship, a great house, wonderful children— and yet be no closer to freedom.
Yet that doesn’t mean these things are bad, either. They are simply not the key to freedom.
The usual pitch after this is to say that freedom doesn’t come from desires— that it comes from transcending the ego and freeing yourself of attachment to material things. This is what many spiritual teachers would say. And there is indeed some truth to it.
My favorite spiritual teacher, Byron Katie, often says that freedom is to not believe in your stressful thoughts. And I agree, at least to a degree.
Once you’ve eliminated your stressful thoughts— the thoughts and stories that hold you bound to limitation and suffering— you will indeed be far happier. This sort of “letting go” brings you into a place I’ve called the Zero State. It’s a state of light and peace wherein you experience a sort of limitlessness and expansion.
This is great, and you can easily mistaken this for freedom. But there’s a slight issue.
Most spiritual teachers agree that from this point, you lose all desire. In fact, you lose the very desire to make decisions, because to you, they are all equal. Deepak Chopra calls this state “choiceless awareness”. Lester Levenson called it imperturbability. Other teachers call it by other names.
But haven’t you just swapped one form of enslavement for another? Haven’t you given up enslavement to your thoughts, just to step right into enslavement to this greater awareness?
For me, when I step into this state, it feels great, but it’s extremely passive. I may take some action because it comes up to be done, but there’s no real connection or ownership of that action. It’s just an action being done through me. A choice being made through me.
Is that freedom? Or is that simply a higher form of slavery?
I experimented with this earlier this year. I spent one month not making any decisions. It was a great month, and things really did work out for me. It’s a great intermediate step if you have trouble letting go.
But, I also didn’t achieve many of my personal goals. Things worked out, but I didn’t really head in the precise direction I wanted to. Is that freedom, or is it just giving up your power?
I believe freedom requires one further step. I agree that one must give up identification with and belief in one’s thoughts. But one must not stop there. There is a further step.
Unfortunately most don’t take that final step, because this seems like it should be the end of the journey. You’ve ascended, you’ve transcended the ego, and now you’re free. Except you’re not. It is a false freedom. You’ve simply melded into the All. You’ve actually given up your freedom.
What is the next step? It is the step that takes you into true freedom— the first step upon the path to your own godhood.
And it is the subject of this issue of the Circle of Darkness newsletter.
This newsletter will show you how to end enslavement to life and step into your true freedom.
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