The greatest source of confinement

We all value freedom, but perhaps in our foray on physical chains we miss the greatest source of our confinement: our mind.

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  1. This is so true, raam. I was thinking the other day of the importance of mind on our perceptions of our own personal freedom, ie: if we perceive ourselves to be unfree – hobbled, bounded, caged by whatever force or circumstance surrounds us – we will act as though this is true. I was reading about political prisoners, and realizing that the point (or, one of the points) of incarceration is to impose upon the incarcerated the idea that they are no longer free, with the intention of breaking the will and spirit, and causing conformation to imposed behaviors. But if the prisoner (or any of us, really, we all have boundaries in our lives; things that make the world and our options in it feel too small) is able to hold within his own mind the understanding that personal freedom has almost nothing to do with exterior circumstances, he can retain his freedom even in the most confined of circumstances. When we can think in radical new ways about our situation, we find that we can reconstruct it. (the beauty and power of that!) And we understand that we are already as free as it is possible to become.
    The power of the human imagination and will, especially when it is up against unthinkable odds, is completely astounding.

    • What an incredibly powerful addition to this quote, Shawnacy! Thank you for sharing here.

      Your comment reminded me of a quote by someone; I cannot remember the person nor the exact quote, but the gist of it was “they can confine my body, but not my soul”.

      It’s incredible how easily we create our own hells, our own jails, and our own self-limiting realities right here within our own skulls.

      Thought precedes action, so our thoughts need to be of the caliber we wish to see in action. Self-limiting thoughts create self-limiting actions. We as free and capable as we allow ourselves to be.

  2. Hi Raam,
    Great thought. I was just watching a Vanguard documentary on “Illegal Americans”
    I felt heart broken for the people in this documentary and got to thinking about freedom. Physical freedom is important and emotional freedom is essential. But what to do one’s physical freedom has such a heavy and overwhelming burden on how we process our lives, our communities, our world?
    The people in this documentary portrayed such bravery and intention on striving for freedom of the mind. But with physical freedom in jeopardy at every moment of every day, it seems as though mental and emotional freedom becomes harder to achieve.
    Thank you for this thought, very timely 🙂

    • Thank you for sharing your thoughts here, Tali. 🙂

      I think physical and mental freedom are closely linked, or at least they are when we have no conscious control over either one.

      However, when we actually have control over minds, we can compensate physical freedom with mental freedom and while the opposite approach rarely seems to work (physical freedom compensating for mental freedom), I think it can definitely assist us in achieving mental freedom.

      It seemed that achieving physical freedom from my job and my possessions (and traveling to India) led to an exploration in mental freedom, helping me explore to a depth that I may not have otherwise explored.


  • Treehousechatter January 15, 2012