The idea of liberation, of freedom, is perhaps as old as humans have been around on planet Earth. One of the freedoms that we seek in our daily lives is to be liberated from the bondage of the laws of Nature and its hold over us.
We want to climb a mountain? Nature stands in our way. We want to grow crops? Floods and droughts thwart us. We want to reach the Moon and Mars? We have to overcome gravity. We want to cross the oceans? Storms pose all kinds of disruptions. We want to be in good health? We are constantly fighting off all kinds of microbes, germs and viruses.
How finite it seems that we are! How helpless like soft clay in the hands of the potter who moulds us and our lives on his spinning wheel of time, space and causation! How little control we seemingly have of our own existence, for we do not even know whether we will get the next breath or not!
So, it is natural that we seek liberation, seek freedom from the agency that Nature exerts upon our every exertion towards progress. Our seeking for liberation is essentially an affirmation, a confirmation, an assurance that we are not just finite, but possibly Infinite. How can we be both finite and Infinite?* How do we resolve this conflict?
To resolve conflict, the first step is to heal, to harmonize, to integrate with Nature. When we take actions to live in integrity with Nature, then our life becomes more peaceful. In the presence of this peace and healing with the without, we can begin the journey to exploring our Infinite nature within. On this inner journey we can experience the bliss Absolute of our integrity with the whole, with the Oneness. When we experience that divine Oneness, we have the opportunity to become the living free, the jeevan mukta — one who walks awake in the state of moksha, of nirvana,
The how to question of spiritual liberation, of experiencing the infinite, is often much simpler to answer than the why to question. The paths to the inner experience are many and multifarious. Some say that walking the path is more that important than the path itself. In that vein, some prefer the methods of deep prayer, practicing intuition, extra-sensory perception, divination, and the like. Some prefer the method of withdrawing their attention seed from the external, from Nature, and sowing it within, in meditation. Through the regular practice of meditation, we can give the seed sunlight and water, and an opportunity to grow in the heart’s soil.
How do we know that our spiritual practice(s) are being effective to move us towards liberation? We begin to experience our Infinite divine nature is experienced by us as a state of bliss absolute, a state of permanence, a state of truth and higher knowledge. Once we have experienced a glimpse of the infinite, of our divine reality, we are on the path to liberation from our limited, finite nature. We are breaking the shackles of the external, of Nature itself. True liberation is thus like the butterfly who emerges from the cocoon of finite existence, with her wings having been energized with the experience of its own infinite potential.
Yes, butterflies are still subject to the laws of nature, to cause and effect, to life and death. And yet, every flap of their wings as they defy gravity and gracefully glide among flowers sends messages into eternity. They seem to be saying — yes, you are finite like us, but you have also been given the opportunity to realize your Infinite nature.
Let us heed the messages. Let us not hanker for or rush to return to the old normal. It didn’t serve many of us very well, did it? Instead, why not pause to create a new normal with our newly discovered infinite nature? Can we imagine a new, sustainable world of caring, compassion, courage, empathy, forgiveness, giving, healing, joy, kindness, purity, simplicity, solidarity, and Ubuntu?
Are we ready to realize our Infinite nature? What do we have to lose? Let us take the first step. Let us begin with simplicity. Let us take responsibility for our own spiritual liberation.
*Swami Vivekananda. The Open Secret (Los Angeles, CA, Jan 5 1900)
P.S. Join us for our weekly twitter gathering and conversation – Sunday, April 19 at 9amET / 1pmUTC / 630pm India. We will talk about the finite and the infinite, and yes, even a bit about liberation over tea and coffee, fruit and bakery. Namaste – @AjmaniK
Breaking free – expressing their infinite potential – the first blooms of spring…