How to free yourself?
What means 'free'?
How would you use last 24 hours of your life?
What about the next 24 hours, if you lived a bit longer?
And finally, what prevents you from living that way day by day?
My answer to the final question is: the unholy trinity. It makes us perform our lives instead of being subjects of it.
The three corners of the unholy trinity are: 1) the fear of death, 2) money and possessions, 3) the illusion of justice. The trinity works like a vicious circle. Fear of death is the ultimate motivation causing the two other barriers of a happy life to follow. When people wake up to the realization of their mortality, they begin to seek security. Most people lean on possessions thinking that money can buy both security and immortality. The third corner of the trinity, justice, plays the role of a guarantor in this quest. Authorities of society are expected to enforce peaceful continuation of everyday life and secure the possessions of citizens.
When I thought about the question how I would like to live my life, and how I could break free from the unholy trinity, my answer was anarchy. I am talking about anarchy in its pure form, which exists on a personal level only. This is something very different from the state of anarchy, or rebellion movement seeking to oppose authorities violently and spreading fear.
In order to live in an internal anarchy the unholy trinity has to be broken. The first step is to give up the fear of death, and then other fears. I started by asking "What happens to me when I die?" My realization was that death exists as a word in dictionary, and as a concept in societies. I found out that on personal level it was as irrelevant as life itself, and a pure matter of faith. I simply stopped believing in it.
When there is no fear, there is no longer compulsory need for security. Thus getting rid of the need to hoard money and possessions should be easy, as well as seeing through the delusion of justice. The fear of death is the one and only fundamental motivation that keeps the unholy trinity going and ties us into the rat race.
What will be left in the state of internal anarchy? When the fear of death has been overcome one no longer needs to pursue immortality by being outstanding or hoarding possessions to create barriers between oneself and other people. One can finally live in harmony with all living beings, give and receive unconditional love, enjoy internal peace, and seize the moment. Nothing drives to delay fulfillment of needs anymore. Earth becomes the heaven it has always been. And life gets a profound meaning: Life simply is.
Every faith relieves the faithful from the fear of death by promising that death does not exist. One faith offers its followers a paradise while another believes in reincarnation and so on. Those who do not have faith, or who question the whole idea of faith, may not have any idea of death, but one thing that everyone can agree is that death is a matter of faith. If you choose to believe that it does not exist, it does not exist. The thinking is precisely the same as in religion. You either believe or not. This realization will free you from vain attempts to try to protect your life. You no longer have to live for the future good (as religions and societies tell you to do) and delay the fulfillment of your needs for greater good.
Beating the biggest fear helps you to get rid of all other fears as they often relate to each other. When there are no fears left there are no worries. When you are no longer afraid of death, you will not need the security authorities claim to provide. You will realize that the conventional concept of security was just an illusion. And you no longer have to submit yourself to the judgment of authorities, sell your time for building society (sometimes referred as working), or refrain from criticizing society or being selfish.
If we fear something we make our fears more likely to come true. In fact, all fears will eventually turn against us. But what is the source of our fears? Biologically fear of death comes from the instinct of survival. If we do not seek immortality then we do not have to pass along our genes, and the matter of survival becomes obsolete. Having children makes it more complicated, but I do not really have any other answer to the fear of death in this case but utmost selfishness.
Apart from the instinct of survival, most our fears are learned. A puppy learns by watching carefully its master and imitating example. Many dogs are afraid of loud noises like gun shots and fireworks which they have learned from their masters. When master is scared, dog will sense it, and learn an appropriate reaction. So puppies are simply imitating behaviour when they catch fear. The same way we have learned, first at home and later at school, what we must be afraid of according to what our society sees necessary for every citizen to be afraid of. Unfortunately, this framework of fear alienates us from happiness. It makes us greedy for getting more and more possessions that we think can guarantee our immortality, and it builds faith in authorities who promise us security.
Modern alchemists try to make security from money just like their ancestors tried to manufacture gold. In modern world everything can be valued in money, but money is actually valuable only if you choose to value it. It is, after all, just some colorful pieces of paper. They do not burn well nor wipe any shit. For me they are toxic waste.
If you choose to value money, it usually means that you have to give up your freedom. First of all, you need to work for your wealth. Secondly, you have to start worrying about your money: how to make more of it, or how to avoid losing it. Inflation, exchange rates, taxes and robbers are constant threats to your precious possessions. Why do we want money so badly despite these worries?
Many believe that money can buy security and immortality. But: if you try to define how much money is enough to feel secure for the rest of your life, or how much you have to pay so that you will be remembered by the next generations after your death, you will realize that there is not such an amount of money. In fact money has nothing to do with security or immortality. You can feel secure only after you have abandoned your fears, no matter how much money you have.
If you try to pursue immortality with the aid of wealth, the attempt can become very expensive because you have to damage other people in the process. That will actually make you mortal again and destroy your reputation. In my opinion, this happens with charity work. Charity is based on the assumption that a philanthropist or a charity organization knows better than the object of charity what it needs. Rather than helping, charity poisons the object with the values and the greediness of this so called philanthropist pursuing fame and immortality.
In global scale money is used to value human life. Without Iraqi oil killing 500.000 Iraqis and 3.000 Americans would not have been neither justified nor possible.
It seems that money is the root of many evils. My personal experience has lead me to think that money can make fathers to betray their sons and turn sisters against each other. It perverts religious institutions, creates barriers between people, excites envy, and alienates people from happiness. The same applies to all possessions. You can turn your possessions into money by selling them, or use money to buy things. The form of wealth does not make any difference. Similar problems and worries persecute you with both. I am happy that I have absolutely no money nor any valuable possessions. Instead, I have my freedom, and there is no such an amount of money that could buy any of my time. If someone tries to take something from me I am happy to give it away voluntarily, as that person must need the thing much more than I do. I do hope that if I have to born again I will live the next life without any money as a beggar or a dog.
How long is a long walk? How much money is enough? If you can answer these questions the same way as all other people do, then I accept that the concept of objectivity can exist. Unfortunately the way people use words and define concepts differs a lot acccording to many reasons: culture, history, personal connotations etc. Assuming that objectivity can exist leads to some fundamental misconceptions, and the biggest of them is the delusion of justice.
There is no universal truth or justice. Defining what is 'justice' depends fully on the perspective and the underlying concepts, values and most importantly underlying assumptions. What is a just cause for someone can offend someone else deeply. The conception of justice as objective becomes dangerous when it makes people behave aggressively, or harm, or kill each other. But what is 'justice' at grass roots level?
Justice is usually fulfilling the will of the majority, or an attempt to please them. In democratic societies majority is required for example for passing legislation. The majority also set the moral standards, define what is 'normal', and create ideals of society. You will get justice if you follow or appear to follow the rules of the majority.
Religious institutions assume judgment power as well because of earthly reasons. They justify their actions with the will of god which in many cases is contradictory to their teachings. Namely, there are basic principles in every religion telling that nobody should judge anybody as only the god is almighty and eligible to judge anyone.
Justice is also about revenge. When a rule of majority has been broken, the majority wants to revenge. In case of international law justice is defined by the oppressor or the winner of the conflict; in corporate world it is defined by the biggest players who have most resources to seek justice. But beware: if you want to revenge, dig first two graves.There are no winners in courts, only fools.
It is up to you to decide to what kind of criteria and to what kind of judges you want to submit yourself. The dominating concept of 'justice', and authorities that are guarding this conception, will stop dominating and dictating your life if you choose so. There are always two parties in a social contract, no matter what authorities claim. I left the Finnish Rat Race in 2004, and with that decision revoked my contract with Finland. Maybe they will some day ratify my decision, but I could not care less.
I sincerely hope that you will manage to live without fear, envy, and greed no matter what choices you make in life. I had to leave the rat race to find the meaning of my life, but maybe the decision does not have to be as drastic as that to you. Just remember that everything is about choices, and they are solely our choices.Thus spoke Zen Devil.