Do you want to be free?
You say you want to be free. Everyone says they want to be free. When will man be free? No matter how often you say, “I want to be free,” the result is you’re not free at all. Why is this? It’s because every person has a feeling of shame. Freedom comes from letting go of shame. The shame we refer to commonly is a feeling of shame when you are not free from others’ eye. Truthfully, it’s of no matter at all what others say behind your back. It is as simple as putting on and removing a piece of clothes, but you take it to heart and bring shame on yourself. Feelings of personal insult…feelings of personal embarrassment…There is no way to be compensated by any means in this case. You say to yourself, “Why did I do that?” “Why am I so petty?” and these feelings of shame are such a difficult problem to solve for people. But I say to people, before being square and honest to all others, if you can be square and honest to yourself, you can be a free person. This is the short-cut to becoming a human being. What you do when you are alone is a reflection of the maturity of your personality. When you’re alone, do you read books, meditate, work, or run through your mind? If you manage well the time that others don’t see, you will break out of a feeling of shame. How others think about you is nothing at all. Think by yourself, “Am I really doing what I have to do? Am I doing what I really want to do?” If after asking yourself, you say “yes,” then all is going well. If “no,” throw away your feelings of shame to achieve your want, and you need to move yourself to act with courage. Then some may ask what should I do after throwing away my shame and having achieved freedom? Think about it. If you’re starting from freedom, the next step is, what do I have to do now? Should I do something that’s beneficial to me? Should I do something that’s beneficial to others? Or should I do something to trouble others? First of all, you have to do something helpful to yourself, and then you have to do something helpful to others around you. That’s the method for a person to be free. It’s silly to talk about saving the problems of the world when you haven’t even established your own freedom. However as you can imagine, being free is harder than you think. As you grow up and live in society you become socialized. You get tamed. I want to tell you there’s nothing scarier than being tamed. Let’s look at couples. One spouse is always doing everything for the other. He does everything to the point the other spouse could live without one hand. In this way, one spouse begins to shrivel. She forgets everything about living. She forgets how she has to live; how to drive, how to use directions, what to buy at the market – it’s now impossible for her to live alone. Is it then such a good thing to do everything for your partner? You say you do it in the name of love, but you are taming your partner to make him or her yours securely. You are expecting a benefit-return for your love: “You have to give me as much as I gave to you.” This is not unconditional love. The more devotional parents are to their children, the more things they demand from their children. That is “I did this much for you , so surely you have to do something for us.” This is where the problem begins. How should I live? Our society, or surely our education system doesn’t teach us the most basic thing; “How should I live?” Freedom means living according to what you want, and doing what you want. The standard is evolution. If it’s bringing evolution, then do it.
If not, then it’s not the right thing for you. This is the same for all sides of society, family and work. Don’t be tied to anything or anyone. Then how should relationships with others be like? Throw away the idea that the other is yours. Children too, and parents too, are not yours. Do I have to take responsibility for somebody? From the view of the universe, no state exists where one person possesses another. As all those with freedom know, above heaven, below heaven, I am alone. People get married and have children for the sake of study, but this basic point is misunderstood.