My brother and I were talking today, and I found myself articulating something that I’ve been thinking a lot of lately.
Wylder: It’s funny how polar opposites our lives are right now.
Me: How so? Wherever we are in the physical world is kinda irrelevant (when you ask big questions like what is permanent).
Wylder: Well, I guess I’m just thinking in terms of mobility, of physical attachments, of culture, of aspirations, of work and stress levels
Me: Yeah I guess that’s true. I’m kinda on the pursuit of freedom and liberation from stress right now.
Wylder: And I’m embracing stress for some reason… haha
We are taught that money grants us freedom, and that’s why the pursuit of it is necessary. If you have money, you have the freedom not to worry, the freedom to travel, the freedom to eat… but what if you didn’t have to go through the path that we are taught to follow? What if you could by pass the path altogether, and just be free.
But ya gotta be successful! Well why is it that when someone says “I havent been sleeping, im so stressed, ive just been studying all the time and i feel like shit” we congratulate them? I guess the idea is that this suffering leads to good outputs or making good money later in life. But what if life just passes us by while we are constantly looking forward? We spend so many years in our childhood being weighed down by terms of success and terms of the discipline necessary to make something of our lives, then we graduate eventually, and just start working for the rest of our lives. We have family, and then the income isn’t optional. I just think that life will pass too quickly this way. I want to have freedom now. I want liberation from stress.
I’m just realizing traveling how little you need (if you’re not living in the US). For example, I just checked my bank transaction history, which is really short because it just shows when I’ve taken out cash. I withdrew 4 times since I’ve been in India, $150 each time, so that means I’ve spent $600 in the last 3+ months. My brother’s room in his shared Los Angeles apartment alone costs $950 a month. He’s understanding that it’s a vicious world out there and you need a lot of money to survive. I understood that too. I’ve been eating amazing food every meal, getting my laundry done, spending months exploring, and time pursuing my most precious goals here in India. I don’t know how I’ll go back to living in the U.S., where I’ll be struggling all over again due to the extremely high cost of living.
Freedom to me is the ability to say what you’re thinking in a conversation. Freedom to me is freedom from the weights of conformity physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Freedom to me is the ability to play with and challenge the world around me. Freedom to me is the chance to grow and wander.
Ultimate freedom, as I’ve been learning from a dear teacher, is the freedom of truth. I want to be able to distinguish permanent from impermanent. Really, in terms of permanence, this body, this life, this world is all a playground for our self-realization. Why not make the most of it?