What would I be prepared to sacrifice for my freedom if it was in danger of being taken away from me? Freedom of speech? If this was silenced, would I stand up and be counted? Would I be prepared to die for it? And, as a free person seeing others kept in slavery, would I stand up and fight for their release from their imposed shackles?
What is the shadow side of Freedom? Does my freedom come at the expense of others?
What is sacred to us?
Albert Schweitzer: ‘There also exists a sleeping sickness of the soul. Its most dangerous aspect is that one is unaware of its coming. That is why you have to be careful. You should realise that your soul suffers if you live superficially. People need times in which to concentrate, when they can search their inmost selves. It is tragic that most men have not achieved this feeling of self-awareness. And finally, when they hear the inner voice they do not want to listen anymore. They carry on as before so as not to be constantly reminded of what they have lost. But as for you, resolve to keep a quiet time … Then your soul can speak to you without being drowned out by the hustle and bustle of everyday life’.
Lisa B: (freedom means for me) the ability to choose not to suffer, no matter what the circumstances.
I thought long and hard about my friend’s view on what freedom means to her, and I couldn’t quite square it except for thinking she may have had the Buddha’s 8 fold Noble Truths in mind.
But as is known, suffering is a part of life. How we choose to respond to it, or look back on it, is a different question.
Elisabeth Kubler-Ross: The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of those depths.
And what of our own shackles? Are our freedoms still limited by our conditioning, of family and institutions, that uphold one thing and practice another? is there a sense within that we can free ourselves from conditionings that no longer serve us?
Lizzie G: Freedom is being able to escape the shackles of our upbringing.
Moments of silence and sorrow for all victims of the Sri Lanka blasts.
Thank you for reading. I so appreciate your comments.