Two days ago, I met a lovely woman on the bus. She was from Bulgaria but now lives in Germany. She and her husband were in London for two days. She was trying to get to a toy store in central London. As our bus had only gone part of the way, I offered to walk her to the store. She was looking frazzled as she was supposed to meet her husband outside the store, but she was running late. She said she was always late and her husband would have left by now. I tried to reassure her that maybe he was still waiting for her, but she was adamant he had already left. She said she tries her best to be punctual, but there’s always something preventing her from being punctual. There had been a problem on the tube (underground train), that’s why she ended up coming by bus. When we arrived at the toy store her husband had already left, as she had expected. We exchanged hugs and best wishes and I left her to enjoy her shopping.
Later, I pondered over habits. Was my friend always late because she’s got into that habit; and was her husband in the habit of expecting her to be late? It would seem that the Universe was helping her to turn up late. I would imagine there is always the option for her to be on time, but she is probably so used to being late, she ends up creating tardy experiences.
How do you break away from a habit that you consciously don’t wish to experience? Breaking away involves freeing yourself from that reality, but in order to be free you have to be disciplined. It sounds like a contradiction, doesn’t it? How can you experience freedom and discipline when discipline suggests rules and regimen?
Let’s take the example of the woman who is always late, though she tries her best to be punctual. She has got into the habit which has become automatic. Even when she consciously wishes to be punctual, the habitual pattern of being late seems to be in control, or is it? From my experience, I know that any decision one wishes to experience already exists. However, if your belief is not congruent with your goal, you’re likely to create a parallel reality opposing your goal. When you are focused only on your goal you end up creating it. On the other hand, if you wish to achieve such and such and have doubts that it will manifest, you are likely to create that which you give more attention to. “Where attention goes, energy flows.” For the new reality to manifest, it requires discipline.
The woman who was always late has to see herself arriving on time and knows she can do it. I’m sure there have been many times when she has arrived on time. She might have had a job when she had to be punctual. She, therefore, has evidence of punctuality. It’s a matter of transferring evidence of punctuality over to the way she relates to her husband. She might even want to ask her husband to recall times when she was on time. I’m sure there have been many, it’s just that her husband only focuses on the times when she is late, which becomes their shared reality.
Discipline, in the above example, is a willingness to be open to a new reality, a determination to be focused only on what you choose to experience. Discipline is also a willingness to find evidence that the reality you wish to experience already exists. If you can see it, you can have it.
I have had experiences of following a particular teaching then I realise I wish to relinquish that paradigm and experience a new reality. I’ve found the transition period hard – letting go of old ideas and friends associated with that school of thought. I have found that I have had to be ruthless. Fortunately, I have a lot of evidence of ruthlessness.
For years, I did contract work and I got into the practice of disconnecting from the company and my colleagues the moment I walked out of the door. Naturally, I developed good friendships in majority of my contracts. The friendships which survived were those that were open to new experiences, not simply confined to our shared work reality. I have a dear friend I met at a contract nearly 10 years ago who I’ve stayed in contact with. We don’t see much of each other but we keep in contact by email. We’ve both changed a lot over the years yet our friendship has sustained because we appreciate each other’s experiences.
In terms of leaving a paradigm, just because you are no longer physically with a group doesn’t mean you’re not still connected to that group. There have been times when I have found myself being influenced by the group or school of thought, even when I was physically disconnected. In that case, I wasn’t free, I was still in mental bondage to that group. To be mentally free is when you are able to express yourself in your unique way without reverting to a group’s idea of how one should live one’s life. I am free when I do what I love in the way I choose. I am free when I wish people in a particular group all the very best in their choices and have no desire to be in that group.
I have experienced freedom in two ways: the hard way and the easy way. The hard way is when I have tried to be free by mentally freeing myself. I will find myself thinking of x that I wish to be free from and have to develop strategies of not thinking of x. Or I try to understand the truth behind why I’m still attached to x. While some techniques work they are only temporary or I end up only getting over x by replacing x with y. And so it continues.
When I studied energy healing, we were advised how to cut the energetic strings that attach you to ideas and people. A healer, for instance, must disconnect from her patient or she is likely to fall ill from the same disease or worse. In the same way, we were taught how to instantly disconnect from recurring thoughts and habits that you no longer wish to experience as reality. The problem with old habits is you disconnect and disconnect and they’re back for more. This is the hard route of attaining freedom. This route reminds me of the Jnana path of yoga where you are seeking freedom through your understanding of truth. It could take you ages.
The second approach to freedom is very easy. It involves submitting to Freedom. I trust in the concept Freedom to do the work. So if I have a desire to be free of a certain idea, I become one with Freedom from the idea. My oneness with Freedom removes the desire to have the experience. Where there is no desire for experience, there is no longer an attachment to an idea. For instance, if you are trying to give up smoking, you can try to understand why you smoke and the benefits of smoking, or whether it is true that smoking kills. Or you can be at one with Freedom from smoking, where this oneness removes the desire for cigarettes and beliefs that smoking kills. You end up living in a reality where smoking and its related beliefs have no existence. Freedom has effectively wiped out all memories – personal and shared – of smoking. This approach reminds me of the Bhakti path of Yoga, which is the path of Love.
A word or two about memories. I believe we only have memories because we’ve got into the habit of believing memories enable one to experience life. You could say, another word for memories is lessons. I observe humans to have two types of memories: ones that help you experience life, and ones that are meaningless.
Brushing one’s teeth is the first type of memory. I brush my teeth every day. I have it on memory how to do it so I don’t have to think about it. I only think about brushing my teeth when I need to. Memories can be stored away to be used as and when.
The second type – meaningless memories – are ones I can’t do anything with. I see hundreds of people every day. While part of me records them, I don’t consciously feel they are relevant to my life. The experiences that mean anything are those that are part of my life experience, like the encounter I had with the woman I described earlier.
Do we really need memories to experience life? Do I need to remember to brush my teeth or how to brush my teeth? I believe we don’t. I believe that when I trust implicitly in Freedom, It will annihilate all memories and I will have a different experience of life. What do I mean? How can we not need memories? Are you losing your memory?
I believe when I experience Freedom, every moment is new. I believe eternity is unchanging and every moment emerges from and dissolves into eternity. Each moment is a stand-alone moment that is pristine and new. Let me put it another way. I believe I have infinite bodies that are beautiful, perfect, ageless and unlimited. Every moment, a body emerges from Infinity, which should wipe out all evidence of aging. The reason why it doesn’t happen is because of memory. You have on the one hand infinite beauty, perfection, eternal youth and freedom being thrust upon you; on the other hand, you have the memory body fighting for dear life, reminding you that every moment you are aging and approaching death. Who wins? Immortality in the long run. Instead of experiencing immortality at every moment, we experience immortality in segments. These segments are popularly called lifetimes. You have a bit of life here, and another life there, evolving to become an immortal being rather than experiencing immortality now. I believe oneness with Freedom wipes out all memories, and every moment is new. Only then does mortality cease to have reality.
For argument’s sake, I’m now experiencing immortality in every moment, where every moment is new, what is the point of recording life experiences in music, art and drama? Why write when every moment is new? Good point! I believe I record my experiences for two reasons. The first is pure narcissism – to record the fact that I have lived. The second reason is a demonstration of ever new experiences. You see, I have a ritual I follow after writing every article. After I have finished the article, I usually ponder over it for a short while, then I disconnect from the experience. Why? Because I know tomorrow is another day with new revelations. If I hold on to the old, I will not open myself up to the new. Thus, my writings are an opportunity to demonstrate that every day brings a new adventure.
I travel a lot on the bus and I can tell you that no bus journey is ever the same. I like to think of bus routes as eternity; they never change. But the actual bus journey is the equivalent of a day emerging from eternity, which is ever new and filled with rich possibilities.
What I’m saying is that when I submit to Freedom, I can experience untold realities because, in truth, every moment is new. It is the belief that memories/lessons help me to experience life which blocks out infinite possibilities. Imagine a reality where you can experience life afresh every moment. This will annihilate all memories or need to have memories. There’s no need to brush my teeth when my teeth are forever sparkling and new. No need to have a bath as my body is forever perfect and clean. No need to eat as every moment I am energised and full. Imagine living in a reality where you are completely whole in every moment! Imagine living in a reality where you are already immortal! Surely that is what true Freedom is about?
In a reality where I’m whole and complete, would I need to have experiences of forms? Maybe that is the ultimate purpose of life, to experience freedom to the extent where you realise that it is pointless having a form experience since I’m already perfect. Or it could be that I am so whole and complete that I can see the dream body for what it is – a simulation; which I can choose to experience knowing full well that the simulation has no effect on what is already free. I can eat knowing full that the meal and the body are simulations. At least that’s my excuse for indulging in chocolate. What’s yours?
Breaking the habit of a lifetime requires Freedom. You need discipline in order to be free. If you are doing it the hard way, you have to be disciplined in your thoughts. If you are doing it the easy way you still need discipline in letting Freedom do the work, letting Freedom reveal to you untold possibilities.
I feel so excited thinking about these possibilities.
I now firmly declare, “Freedom, I am all yours. Let’s do it!”
I am Freedom,
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