The whole purpose of this approach is learning to BE FREE while living.
What we are talking about here is the recognition or discovery of that freedom which lifts us above all the different forms of psychological suffering that we tend to become enclosed in.
We are talking about a freedom which is ALWAYS available right here, right now, AS WE ARE. A freedom that does not depend on our mind being in a certain way, how other people are treating us or the external conditions which we find ourselves in.
We tend to think that freedom is something we can end up HAVING and if we can start DOING the right things, we can eventually achieve it. This is understandable because the process of LIVING necessitates our engaging in DOING in order to HAVE. All our actions are desires being satisfied. When we look at our behaviour and the behaviour of others, we are looking at the process of satisfying desires.
However, the approach outlined here is that freedom in the real sense can never be attained through any sort of DOING and can never be something we can end up HAVING.
Rather, freedom can be discovered as a WAY OF BEING in the world. This is a freedom that can be lived. In this way, FREEDOM is not some future event; it can become evident as a way of being RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW, AS WE ARE.
The value of abiding in this freedom is that this ONE way of being lifts us out of ALL the forms of emotional suffering or stress that we so easily become enclosed in.
From our perspective, every form of human suffering is not the result of mental processes that are happening inside of us but rather, they are ways of being in the world that we tend to become enclosed in.
At any one moment we are in a state of BEING which determines the thoughts active in us, the feeling we are pervaded by, the physiological state of our body like our breathing, muscle tension, gesture and posture. And finally, what we are doing. When we use the term psychophysical functions, we mean thinking, feeling, physiological state and what we are doing.
These four functions are not separate activities or parts but are rather organised or work together to make up the state of being we are IN at any one moment.
Our state of being is our experience of ourselves right here, right now as we are. It is something we can describe and be aware of but unfortunately, emotionally painful ways of being are something that we can easily become helplessly enclosed in. Perhaps the example of anger might help to make this clearer.
Let’s take BEING angry. When we are enclosed in the state of being we call anger, all our psychophysical functions are determined by and make up this angry state. In fact, all our psychophysical functions conform perfectly to our present way of being – in this case BEING angry.
By this I mean:
- Our thoughts will be something like “what a total %&*# this person is” “I’ve had enough”, etc.
- The feeling we are saturated with will be actively moving us with an urge to attack another verbally and/or physically
- The physiological state will perhaps consist of irregular breathing, tense jaw, closed fists as well as a churning stomach
- Our doing might be attacking speech and acts of various kinds, or it could be inhibiting the expression of anger
If someone says something to us and we suddenly find ourselves BEING helplessly angry, we are obviously not BEING free. This is because our way of being is being determined by something external to ourselves.
People say and do things we don’t like all the time. This is never going to change. However, what can change is that the way we are BEING does not have to be determined by what people are saying and doing.
Freedom as a way of being IN the world is not some abstract theoretical thing that we hope to gain in the future. Rather, it can be discovered as a way of being that can be lived in the face of:
- Unpleasant and/or unwanted thoughts and feelings that are active in us
- Unpleasant things that people are saying or doing
- Unpleasant or difficult external conditions
It might take some time to understand but freedom in the sense we mean it, is not produced or developed. Rather, it is a possibility abidingly present that we are normally blind to. EVERYTHING that comes into existence goes away again. Experiences come and go all the time because this is the nature of experiences.
The freedom we are talking about does not come and go and is not something we experience but rather, it is a sense of identity we can learn to live. This freedom does not come and go because it is abidingly present as a possibility and does not depend on the mental content active in our minds. It does not depend on other people or circumstances. It rather depends on our recognition or coming awake to what this freedom is and our learning live it in our daily life.
Our way of seeing IS our way of being.
At any one moment our way of being right here, right now is determined by our way of seeing. For example, if we are angry with someone, this is a way of being. Every aspect of ourselves is manifesting this anger. However, this way of being is a way of seeing embodied.
If you SEE someone as deserving of attack and hatred you will BE hating. On the other hand, when we SEE someone as a friend this way of SEEING will result in us BEING friendly. This is because we can’t help but BE as we SEE. This is why this new approach Freedom While Living works.
Freedom While Living is an approach that transforms the way we see ourselves, others and the world. This results in our being lifted out of ways of being that we have been enclosed all our lives.
Freedom While Living reveals that there is more to us than just psychophysical processes. There is a spiritual aspect to our lives that tends to remain hidden but without waking up to this aspect and its value, abiding freedom is not possible.
Freedom While Living is practical and realistic. However, it does not restrict itself to functional living ONLY. It opens up a transformative spiritual understanding of life and living that can be lived as a WAY OF BEING.
This way of being is not based on religious belief or any humanistic ideology. However, it is a way of being IN WHICH we can abide while living our ordinary everyday lives. When we are abiding in this way of being, we are moved emotionally by good will and active concern for self and others.
Without love and care active in us, it is not possible to live peacefully and happily in this world. We are not talking here about TRYING to be loving and caring as an ideal to be attained but rather a way of being which IS loving and caring.
Without a deep reverence for life active in us, freedom while living is not possible.