The greatest freedom a human can find is spiritual freedom.
But we are ‘body-bound’ creatures, locked up in physical matter, here on earth for a brief time and subject to the effects of the relative world, which means we experience pain and decay, and eventually death.
And the problem is this ‘body-bound’ experience dominates us, takes over our entire consciousness and we easily forget our ‘sky-nature,’ we forget our true nature as spirit.
Is there any way of reconciling these two seemingly opposite and different experiences?
Is spiritual freedom possible through the physical body?
The truth is that at the end of life, when the body is shed, we will once again return to our sky nature anyway. It is only our forgetting that seems to be the issue here.
To me there are two powerful invitations grace offers us to reminds of this truth. One is old age, and the other is illness.
Old age and illness. Two of our greatest apparent enemies. Yet they are only enemies to our time based, body-bound sense of self.
The other way of seeing things is that old age and illness give us a glimpse of the truth, our sky mind and eternal nature. The trouble is both these things scare us to pieces because they threaten the existence we have become so used to.
Let us face it, we are habituated to this life. We do it over and over and over. We get up once again after sleeping, we push stuff into our mouths, we do things that help us survive, we call it work, we procreate, find pleasure and meaning where we can, and we go back to sleep, only to repeat the same pattern over and over again, every day of our lives.
If you live for 70 years you will have gone to sleep and got up approximately 25,000 times by the time you die. No wonder we resist death!
But old age comes along and we gradually start to feel the body change its nature. It gets weary, and weak, and the effects of age multiply, and so many of us take that experience to be us. But many don’t, and they experience this strange juxtaposition of feeling like a child, ageless and free, but living in a body that gets cranky and withers. That is the possibility of realizing you are not the body.
And illness comes along and may well shake us to the core, force us to question everything we are, think, believe and feel. Illness may well bring us face to face with the possibility of our annihilation and demand that we look deep into our soul to try and find freedom despite the death of the body.
Both old age and illness are tough, and sometimes, cruel, masters. Often they gang up together.
But in their cruelty is the brutal truth of our impermanence in this reality but our eternal and free sky-nature, that has been with us since we arrived here.
The problem, to these eyes, is a global and very human error of perception and judgement. This error creates chaos and misery on the grandest of levels. We believe ourselves to be time based and body bound, and we pass on that belief through countless generations, totally unconsciously and globally, and it becomes the dominant reality. Beliefs create reality, and global beliefs create global realities.
We believe ourselves to be human, time based and body bound, and we isolate and marginalize all other parts of ourselves like spirit. So even though our eternal sky nature is a truth, an actual truth, it is perceived as a belief, as something that doesn’t matter much, like religion, it appears belief based not science based.
What we still need is the science to prove our sky nature.
Until then it is up to each of us to remember, through deep exploration and inquiry. If you are blessed with old age, inquiry into what is real and unreal, what still feels eternal and free.
If you are ill, contemplate your mortality and make friends with your nature beyond the body.