In the final sentence of one of her recent daily emails, Esther Hicks wrote:
“You are determined to be freedom-seekers in a Mass Consciousness society that is determined to make you the same.”
What a powerful statement, and on so many levels!
In the context of her entire message, she was referring to internal freedom.
Yet, we can think about why physical, personal and economic freedom/liberty (what my favorite magazine, Reason would call “free minds and free markets”) is such a high ideal. The more freedom one has individually, the more prosperous and happy will be the society.
Yet, society, by its very nature, seeks to conform the individual.
While we cannot control society (even if we could, that would simply be another form of mass consciousness control Mrs. Hicks referred to) and we should not try and control other individuals, we can control ourselves.
In his classic, Man’s Search for Meaning, Nazi concentration camp survivor and psychiatrist, Dr. Viktor Frankl considered choosing one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances to be the highest level of freedom; the last of human freedoms. The one type of freedom that could never be taken.
So long as we do that, we can — to paraphrase the title of one of Harry Browne’s most famous books — “find freedom in an unfree world.”
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Well said Bob. My thoughts turned to Daniel Pink’s Ted talk on motivation and how much more enjoyable and productive work/society is when we have a level of authority and mastery.
Enjoy your work.
Gordon: Indeed, Daniel’s talk was excellent! And, thank you for your very kind words.
Great topic to get one thinking about freedom. Not only is society by its nature seeking to conform but I would argue that we are wired to want to fit in ourselves somewhere and somehow. Some choose mainstream and some choose an outlying “anti-conformist” model. Gets you thinking about how far you can push yourself out of conformity without conforming to something or anything at all and not be totally dysfunctional.
Doug: Thank you. Yes, agreed; we are wired that way as well which dates back to caveperson days when fitting in was a matter of survival. So, we have both societal pressure and self-inflicted pressure working toward comformity. And, yes, even anti-conformists are often just as conformist in their…non-conformity. 🙂 Great thoughts!
Great post Bob! The only thing we CAN truly control is…ourselves; OUR thoughts, OUR emotions, OUR actions. And that’s great news, because, as you mention, being aware of and embracing THAT freedom, not only makes OUR life better… it makes society better. (Sorry for all the CAPS but I can’t italicize in here 😀 )
Linda: Thank you. Very well said, my friend!
It’s true that if we control our emotion and actions then we are truly free.
But controlling our thoughts and emotions is a tricky business.
If you practice mindfulness meditation for just a couple of minutes, you’ll discover that there’s a stream… no … a torrent of thoughts that goes through your head that you are not aware of.
And even if you resign yourself to being positive, happy and content, your inner thoughts and emotions might reinforce other ideas.
I’ve read a wonderful book called Positive Intelligence that describes a combination of meditation and positive psychology techniques that can help you take charge of your inner dialog. If you have the time. I highly recommend it.
Yoav: Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your book suggestion. Controlling thoughts and emotions is tricky, indeed. An ongoing process.
What a good reminder of the amazing power of choice we all have and should probably use more often. It has specific relevance to one of my cases right now so thanks for the mindset reset 🙂
Mitch: Thank you for your kind feedback. And, my pleasure. I hope it helps with the case you are working. 🙂
Another incisive post – thank you Bob. So many rich responses so thank you too! For me the ultimate freedom is to be able to do the right thing at the right time for the right reasons. Not always easy and what is “right” for me to do as a person may well be different to what is right for someone else to do. Getting a solid sense if what is right for a person like me comes from conscious connection with our individual priority values. Each of us has a unique pattern of priority values and that’s the heart of the ultimate freedom – knowing and being the best version of myself. Have a great day!
Jackie: Thank you. What terrific wisdom you just shared with us. I loved everything you said!
Lovely Post Bob,
a very clear distinction that you have bought forward between the Freedom from the outside world or the freedom within the inner self.
What surprises me is that we are looking at ” control ” our thoughts and emotion as freedom. wouldn’t it be like a parallel between Society trying to conform the individual and We trying to Control or conform the self. What Mitch said about the ” amazing Power of Choice ” makes sense as Choice are made out of sense of Liberty/ freedom and not out of Control. As such anything that is controlled moves to chaos sooner or later in form or another.
Mindfulness definitely creates the awareness of whats happening and gives us the awareness to Choose and that’s the freedom.
Vijay: Thank you for your kind words, and for sharing your thoughts and wisdom with us. You provided us with a terrific viewpoint and very effective way to frame the entire concept.