Something I’m finding very interesting at the moment is living in a wealthy western country in an extremely privileged life – in lockdown. Going from living with all the physical freedoms and mod cons of this world to living with a curfew, schools and businesses closed down, restricted time outside, and extreme reduction in ability to move around.
Not only is there a virus pandemic going on, but there’s a mental health epidemic moving even faster through the community.
It’s interesting to see that when we have our freedoms taken away, we as a collective are stressed. But when I see and read about people living in countries that are not the wealthy western standard, and in communities without the white socioeconomic privilege I have, I see a freedom in the people that is severely lacking here.
Of course, this freedom is not seen in everyone, but there is a resilience and a sense of peace for many people in China and North Korea and other places with extreme rules and government spies ready to report you. While many people there may not be living their best life, by western standards, many are living their best life as they go about their business doing what they want as they work around the system. Black markets thrive as even government officials know that these are not only the best way for people to survive, but it’s the best place to get the best contraband!
I’ve been watching the Avatar The Last Airbender series and loving seeing this juxtaposition of a fictional life in a propaganda driven dictatorship, with ultimate happiness being running the best tea shop in town. Who needs to struggle to the top when you can just drink good tea, right?
So I am wondering if our western idea of freedom is simply a false physical freedom. The mind is not truly free. Always seeking, driving, pushing, needing to work, to be busy, to make money, spend money, achieve things, get better, do better, climb up the latter to just be better. We never had the freedom that we thought we did. The wealth and privilege was all an illusion of false freedom.
I wonder if having our physical freedom taken away highlights the absence of freedom of the mind, hence the mental health epidemic going on here. A resilient soul might drop all expectations of the world, and rely on the freedom of the mind to carry them through, drop into a deeper soul truth, and live peacefully through that. But in a society where everything is handed to us on a platter, we have never been forced to seek that freedom within.
I’ve been playing a tonne of Lego Marvel Superheroes games with my kid. In the game, Kang the dictator has regular announcements such as, “Citizens are reminded that your every move is being recorded for quality assurance.” Meanwhile in real life, people are referring the Premier of our state to as a dictator. In the game the people and the superheroes just go about their every day life wondering how long it will take to get rid of the ridiculous leader. I wonder if we all just went about our lives living through our hearts, could we all just let the politicians play their own game of thrones while we do our thing with freedom of mind?
We might find that we no longer need to struggle through life. Freedom could be found in a cup of good tea. Or in my case – making music and looking up at the stars.
I am hoping a sense of resilience and freedom will come through the people here, although it seems that no matter which side of the fence people are on, fear is ruling.
True freedom of the mind seems to come from knowing yourself, who you are, what your values are, and living congruently through your heart.
As I sink deeper into a freedom of the mind that I had not yet truly embodied, I have hope that this freedom will ripple out in waves through the collective consciousness, and plant seeds in those who need it most.