Real Freedom - and a culture built on slave ownership.
A question from a friend - t.k., with respect, your freedom looks like tons and tons of obligation to me (speaking as a person who is very lazy!!!) How does it feel like freedom? Why would you or Sangchen use that word? I thought I would ask this because I constantly struggle with choices between "freedom" and "obligation" due to laziness! I know in my heart that laziness is not freedom either but still struggle ongoingly with this.
t.k. - I do not mean to be rude and only say this because your situation breaks my heart and I pray to all sublime wisdom beings that you might become free of your slavery. You have become like a drug addict who the dealer gives the first few doses of heroin free so as to addict you, knowing full well they can later make money pimping you out as slave to your addiction.
What freedom is there in your laziness? What have you done with your leisure time that has brought meaning to your life? What has your constant search for more free time, more luxury, more ease brought you? I know you and, like most people, you suffer from your endless attempts to have it easier, to do less. Yours is no different from the mentality of those who grow up with privilege in a society built on the axioms of slave ownership. I look at your freedom and I only see a slave - but not a slave of Love, a slave to your middle class conditioning. I look and I remember the great saint Kabir's words, "The Lord of Love asks for a head. I look at your life and wonder why you are not jumping up to offer yours?" I see no joy, no deep meaning that transcends even death, in your lazy time activities.
Yes, I work hard … all the time. I strive to live the words of the great Sufi mystic who said, “Human beings are born to work 60 days a month.” I work hard and that work often exhausts my body, my mind, my heart and yet I am filled with joy and ease … and this way of living has given me a freedom that is free from even birth and death. The freedom of wisdom bliss that is not dependent on any cause or condition.
What freedom is there in your laziness that makes you weaker as your life goes on, more and more unable to accomplish noble goals as the habit of laziness grips ever more strongly? What freedom is there in your false comfort and ease, your TV culture, your vacations where you gawk at other’s cultures to compensate for a lack of deep and real culture built on wisdom? What freedom is there in an ever more desperate attempt to live stress free, until the stress of any real effort and work seems crushing. The debilitating quality of stress is Not from too much work, but from the meaninglessness of your work and free time activities. It is not stress which crushes life, but meaninglessness.
The truth is that you have made a bad faith deal and ended up ever more brainwashed by shallow values which lack nourishment to the soul and so your search for ease and luxury, never having to work hard, rules your life with the iron fist of a slave owner. You have built a wall of indifference around your life and are happy to live in your little luxuries at the expense of much of the world. Indifference to the world’s real condition is your disease and what it costs you is love, real love … the sort of love which leads one into transcendent meaning and joy - wisdom bliss. Love makes demands of us, but its demands are freedom and joy. To be the slave of love is to be truly a free human being.
How tiresome to have forged one’s life into a situation where one has to struggle to accomplish one’s aims, not because those aims are lofty but because one is too lazy to do much of anything. How tiresome to spend one’s life slave to the ego’s endless demand to be pampered, its endless need for stress reduction. You are not even free from the demands of laziness! You are not free from the demands of the tiny little body and “this lifetime”!!! What a narrow canyon you live in. My heart breaks for you. You suffer your body, you suffer the basic demands of life, you suffer the work of love and take refuge in any moment of Free Time you can scrape together.
For me, life and death are an option chosen In Love, For Love, As Love. My hard work has made me free from time, free from death, free from suffering. What has your “freedom” to watch TV, to do nothing, to take another vacation given you? I work day and night because in my freedom there is an endless reserve of energy forged into the action of love. It is the work that gave birth to appearance itself - work of Love as Play. And so, in this freedom of infinite energy and life I feel compassion and I work for beings with all this body has and when this body is used up I will put on another one and do it all again in unbearable joy love freedom.
It is very difficult for you because you have so weakened yourself with laziness. I am so sorry that you bought into this deal … but it is never too late … today you can begin to discipline yourself. Discipline comes from the same root as disciple - a root meaning To Learn. To Learn from your mistakes and act differently. You and I know each other well, over many years. Look honestly at what your laziness has brought you, and and what my hard work has brought me. Let the truth of your situation break your heart and make your mind tremble with fear of dying with a wasted life. Then slowly, surely, little by little make choices that discipline your actions, feeling, thoughts. Forge your life into Love in Action.
Please break the shackles of your slavery. You were born and raised to serve middle class values like a cow is raised to be hamburger. But you can break free! Be honest with yourself, please be honest with yourself about what you have gained and lost in your laziness.
With Love, t.