I Illusion of Freedom

Marion Woodman: ‘A life truly lived constantly burns away veils of illusion, burns away what is no longer relevant, gradually revels our essence, until, at last, we are strong enough to stand in our naked truth’ –

Frank Zappa’s image and quote reminds me of Plato’s Cave-

Napoleon Bonaparte once said “Four hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets”.

The next two images and quotes are by Saul Bellow, born Solomon Bellow (10 June 1915 – 5 April 2005). He was a Canadian-American writer. For his literary work, Bellow was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, the Nobel Prize for Literature, and the National Medal of Arts.

I think we know that newspapers and other media control a lot of what we see or are exposed to. Wikileaks and Julian Assange and others, and fearless journalists not in the pay of politics opened our eyes. Political parties spend obscene amounts of money (paid for by the tax payer) in advertising as to why they are so great and why we must vote for them because that will be the best deal in our receiving greater freedoms in the work and recreation arenas.

I was so pleased to come across Mr. Nelson Mandela’s quote and image. I was thinking of the value of disillusionment, as a way of lifting the veil from our eyes and seeing reality for what it is, discomfiting though it may be to be free of illusion.

Mike S: The question (of freedom) defies itself.  Freedom to ME is only possible when the ego shuts up, i.e. in psychosis, altered states or on dreams (flying etc). As soon as there’s the illusion of ME, there’s no freedom.

Thank you for reading. I love to read your comments.

40 Comments on I Illusion of Freedom

  1. I am impressed with the first quote of Mariam woodman – a life truly lived burns away the illusion … so true and nelson mandela is right when he says the processes of illusion and disillusion being part of life… great post susan

  2. I love the quotes you’re sharing. Yes, thank you for looking them up and sharing them. Some I knew, but not the one by Nelson Mandela. I’ve learned from many Eastern philosophies and also from Jung and other wise humans that we live in a world filled with illusion. As individuals, it’s essential to realize our/my opinions are driven and distorted by illusion and false opinion. When I know this, I become suspicious of strong feelings driven by projections and illusions. I question and pause.

    • Thanks Elaine for your comment. Illusion is a very powerful force, so too is dis-illusion which is no bad thing when we become aware of the illusion and have the determination to get to the truth of the matter in spite of the difficulty of it – as in eg seeing the cheating partner’s ways and owning one’s own part in not wanting to see, or in politics, or in the workplace ..

  3. Each of these quotes is a gem. The one that will stick with me today is the first one about burning off illusions. I feel that happening, and I see that happening in the role models of joyful aging around me. I feel certain it is happening for you too, Susan.

    • So lovely to see you here Shirley thank you for coming by! Burning off illusions can feel a bit uncomfortable at times, but rather that than being under illusions .. may yours and ours’ aging continue joyfully 🙂

  4. Oh my gosh, I don’t even know where to start. All of these quotes resonate with me!
    The one by Marion Woodman describes these last 2.5 years of my life. I adore the visual of burning away all the nonsense that keeps us from our truths. Happy Sigh…<3

  5. These quotes are fabulous. Freedom definitely IS an illusion, particularly now, as with Zappa’s quote, I think we have hit the bare wall! I LOVE your posts! Great job.

  6. Powerful set of quotes Susan, and I think this is an especially important topic. I believe one of the most important things a person can be taught is critical thinking. And while I would whole-heartedly defend anyone’s right to hold beliefs different than mine, I would also demand that they do their best to understand why they hold their beliefs, just as I expect that of myself. To imagine that there is not huge profit in systems, whether political or otherwise, controlling what people think is patently absurd, and yet so many refuse to even consider the possibility. We must be vigilant in our work of uncovering what underlies everything, including our own illusions. I LOVE those wise words from Mr. Mandela.

    • I’m in full agreement with you Deborah about the value of critical thinking as it applies to one’s own and others’ beliefs while upholding their right to own them. It requires vigilance as you say and to not become complacent ..

      As we know those promoting anti and pro vaccinations (as an example) have a wealth of marketing behind each of them … each equally plausible. Each system has some motive behind punting theirs. Edward Bernays comes to mind ..

      Thank you for coming by 🙂

  7. Thank you for these wonderful quotes.
    I’m reminded of two books I loved in this respect, by Chogyam Trungpa, published by Shambhala during the 1970s – ‘Cutting through Spiritual Materialism’ (73) – and ‘The Myth of Freedom.’ (76)

    • Thanks Ashen – I will look out Chogyam Trungpa’s book. I have a few of his. But I’m reminded by the title you provide of ‘spiritual bypassing’ a little too prevalent these days. Thankfully there are a number of books and journals and writings around that address the myth of freedom – I’m reminded also how imprisoned we are by our own unconscious complexes that keep us trapped unless we acknowledge and work on them ..

  8. So many great quotes Susan! Today I resonate with Mike’s words deeply for when I’m in search of (my own) freedom, I often head out for the woods. There I find things fall into place as the ego abruptly shuts up when it realizes that it’s only a tiny, insignificant part of so many other lives that surround it. Just one among the thousands of other lives of trees, birds and animals, etc. Much like sleep, nature equalizes us all! And so as I come into the presence of mystery, or as Wendell Berry eloquently writes, “the peace of wild things” … my fearful ego transforms as I sit or stand in awe at the beauty surrounding me, wordless and humble. Love and light, Deborah.

    • Mike S is my son Deborah I’m happy to let you know! Ego has its place but it’s wonderful when it takes a break! As it does when one is out in Nature where there’s the peace of wild things’…

      Kgakgamatso (Jane, her second name as per her ID; her first name means “Amazing’) and I have had a few walks on the beach already and she says she’s in Paradise! She loves the sound of the sea and I’m so enjoying seeing Plett through her eyes. She won’t believe what else we have in store for her for these next very few days…

      My younger son Davey’s quote comes up under M …(I think)

      Thank you so much for coming by, I so appreciate this 🙂 Love and Light to you too, Susan

      • How wonderful it must be to see Plett through Kgakgamatso’s eyes and to share her experience of wonder at the beautiful area she’s visiting. I can only imagine the surprise of her first flight. I hope your next days together go to plan! Enjoy! x

  9. Thank you for doing the research so your readers can see the results all in one place, Susan.

    Control, like freedom, is an illusion. That does not mean, however, that we throw up our hands and do nothing. The trick is to filter out the false and promote the good and true. So it seems to me.

    • You’re right Marian, much filtering to do while promoting the good and true – there are compasses that can be used for this!

      Thank you for your lovely comment 🙂

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