Thursday, August 27, 2009
The Whole Point of Enlightenment, Liberation, & Freedom
I recently asked the question: Are we avoiding communal responsibility?, and I would like to look into that a little more.
As we are putting ourselves into Triangle pose on our yoga mats, as we are settling in comfortably on our zafu cushions, as we pull out our prayer beads, as we light our candles, as we gaze at the moon and contemplate her feminine energy...
As we do all these things that comprise individual spiritual lives, do we think about the reason we do them?
Is Triangle pose only about stretching? Is meditating only about feeling peaceful and calm? Are the prayer beads only about connecting to the inner divine?
In other words, have our spiritual lives become self-centered?
It's true -- we can only liberate ourselves.
It's true -- we can only be who we were meant to be, and it's most definitively true that when we are that person it goes a very long way to rippling out and healing the planet.
I believe that with all my heart or I would not write and take pictures and dance. If I did not believe that, I would chuck it all and head to the streets and feed the hungry and clothe the poor and help build houses (and I have done this in the past, actually).
I am a believer that we are all sent here for different reasons, and each of these reasons is just as important as the next, just as vital to communal health.
What is the point of enlightenment but to eventually spread our light to others?
What is the point of liberation but to eventually help liberate?
What is the point of freedom but to go back and unlock the doors of the prisons that contain so many?
We must get off the mat, off the zafu. We must put our beads in our pockets and walk into the world.
But how? It will look differently for each of us.
How do you spread your light? How do you help to liberate your fellow human beings? How do you unlock others' cages?
(Photo & Text Copyright: Christine C. Reed, blisschick.net, 2009)