Often, when one talks or thinks about freedom – individually or collectively – we tend to be concerned only with freedom from outside forces. It is often only seen as a circumstance where the world or someone out there is the aggressor and we are the victim.
Sadly, this mentality sometimes becomes the very source of one’s misery for becoming oblivious to one’s self-imposed enslavement. This is not one’s fault alone because. Often, from the get-go, one’s circumstances condition them to focus only on identifying external sources of some sort to blame for their plight.
It should be highly noted that when talking about freedom, one gets to relate the terminology and concept of freedom only highly to political or territorial freedom. Freedom is often seen more as a physical aspect – and once achieved, one would go about their life as if they are free and ignore other freedoms that are equally important.
As it may be obvious, for those who may have taken the time to examine, sometimes the most freedom one needs is freedom from the self. This is because, in most cases, our dreams and aspirations never come to manifest. After all, one becomes an obstacle and enemy of one’s progress.
Compared to territorial liberation, liberation from the self must be the second hardest and bitter one. This is because, often, one may not even think, feel or see the self-imposed enslavement; therefore, there is no chance for such liberation to begin in the first place. This is because nowhere in the mainstream would one find effort to create awareness on issues of this kind.
The beginning of the freedom from the self may also be hard to come by because the world has no interest in the individual for his or her benefit and goodness. Often, that is how everything is presented to them to make them believe the world is on one’s side, - but subliminally, it is always a way to get him to toil for the invisible master.
In this case, the individual is always distracted from focusing within in the pretext that everything they need comes externally. In this process, the individual, in search of the milk and honey the world has promised, becomes frustrated and finds temporal means and short cuts to experience what they have been seeking – that which always seems to slip away every time one comes into its reach.
Therefore, as much as we talk about freedom, we cannot talk about it without talking about freedom from our habits, actions, thoughts and even emotions that keep dragging us either backwards or astray from our purpose.
This is because although we may live in denial and try to mask it, every cell in our body will scream out in one way or another when everything we go about is not aligned with our purpose.
It is for this reason that one must admit that no other freedoms will mean much when one is not free from the self.
It is, therefore, important to emphasise that inner freedom and freedom from the self are of utmost importance. Freedom from the self is the beginning of a life lived authentically and in alignment with one’s natural inclination – and with little or influence from the world.
Freedom from the self also means freedom from one’s fears and self-doubt. It is the origin of a positive self-concept and confidence as foundations of the ability to navigate through life towards one’s purpose as given from the source because any freedom without freedom from the self is not total freedom.
By Karlos TheGreat
Uncommon Sense is published every Friday in the New Era newspaper with contributions from Karlos Naimwhaka