The Ability to Be Free
"The beginning of freedom is the realization that you are not “the thinker.” The moment you start watching the thinker, a higher level of consciousness becomes activated."
- The Power of Now
This week in Libya, another decades-old strongman, has his authority challenged by protestors. Part of Libya has declared itself free of Gaddafi and has organized itself in a democratic manner despite being forbidden to even assemble for over 40 years. How can these people know how to cooperate and self-govern with no prior experience?
The ability to be free is directly proportional to how identified you are with the pain-body, and more importantly, with how willing you are to let it go. When regimes are toppled there is a tendency for the victors to punish the vanquished. This simply perpetuates the pain-body, as most clearly illustrated when Germany had to pay war reparations after World War I and the rise of Nazism in Germany was helped by the resentment Germans felt for being punished for losing. The United States learned that lesson and instead rebuilt Germany after WW II with the Marshall Plan.
Now in the eastern parts of Libya, towns have organized themselves peacefully with new ad hoc local governments despite continuing attacks from pro-Gaddafi forces. On the surface it looks like this part of Africa has broken free from a dictator, but on a deeper, spiritual level they also have the potential to break free of the pain-body itself – the root cause of all human suffering. Once we understand that it is identification with the suffering one inflicts on oneself and others that causes us to identify with the pain body, then the next question is how long will it take to be free of that identification?
Remarkably, it can take no time at all since the resolution is in the present moment. Knowing that the present moment is always available to break the trance of self-hatred that is the pain body is the real secret tool to the ability to be free. Old negative emotions may still dwell inside of you that can get reactivated. But once you experience the power of the present moment you can no longer be tricked into identifying with your personal or global pain body for very long. Every living human has this potential for transformation and freedom whether it’s Wall Street or on the Arab Street.