Usually when we do our ‘He Says, She Says…‘ posts every week we offer our own views on whatever topic we’re approaching. Sometimes, however, our interest is in provoking thought from you, our readers. A lot of my life it seems has been about opposites – looking at things from differing points of view. Sometimes I sit across the hypothetical table from others, and sometimes even from myself, as I find that my perspectives and ideas change. I often find that who I am in any given moment is quite the opposite of who I used to be. Something I wrote a while back was:
“I have become what I once most feared…
And found beauty.”
Discussions and ideas around the concept of ‘value’ have always been important to me, and no discussion of ‘value’ would be complete without considering things that are ‘free’. As mentioned in our opening post for this week, the word ‘free’ can have many definitions that are or seem to be completely opposite to each other. Context is therefore highly important when discussing things that are ‘free’.
For Nelson Mandela, being free meant being released from the prison where he was held for so many years. It also meant he was free to pursue a career and a political agenda that has changed the face of his country in so many ways. For someone who is sick, ‘free’ might mean freedom from illness, or it can mean a good deal more than that as health is not merely the absence of sickness. It is a state of being. For someone in poverty, being free might mean freedom from debt, or it might mean abundance. Again, very different things. For a dancer, being free might mean feedom of movement, freedom of expression, being able to articulate thoughts, feelings, even dreams through movement. In our western society there are those who would say that we live in a free world, and there are those who would say that we are free within boundaries – the legal and social mores of our society as a whole. If we are free within bounds are we truly free at all? Does such a freedom exist? Should it?
Something that is ‘free’ can be something that has no use or value to one person, but may have use or value for another. In the city where Marcia and I live at the moment, there is a rather large population of homeless people. It’s also fairly common, especially in the downtown area, to find that someone has simply left a blanket, a coat or a bag of clothes on a street corner, trusting that someone who needs it will find it. The reasons for leaving such gifts are as variable as the number of people who leave them, but they have one thing in common – they are ‘freely given’. There’s another connotation for ‘free’ – something that has ‘no strings attached’. It may be implied in such a case that ‘free’ does not imply exchange, but I disagree. I think the exchange is one of the tangible for the intangible. When something is gifted freely, the giver receives a good feeling in return. This is intrisic to the act of giving itself, even when such gifts are made anonymously and the receiver unknown. Of course if we follow this thread further we begin to unravel connections between ‘value’ and ‘money’, and how we measure the ‘value’ of that which has no monetary value. Is something that is free therefore priceless?
I did a quick search through the quotes that I have on the computer for the word ‘free’ and found some interesting examples. From Seth:
“When people are convinced that the self is untrustworthy, for whatever reasons, or that the universe is not safe, then instead of luxuriating in the use of their abilities, exploring the physical and mental environments, they begin to pull in their realities – to contract their abilities, to overcontrol their environments. They become frightened people – and frightened people do not want freedom, mental or physical. They want shelter, a definite set of rules. They want to be told what is good and bad. They lean toward compulsive behavior patterns. They seek out leaders – political, scientific, or religious – who will order their lives for them.” ~ The Individual and the Nature of Mass Events, session 834.
“I have something to say to each of you, and all of you. In many areas of your lives, you go to learn discipline. You are taught by another and by a teacher and by a great authority. You are taught to become disciplined. In this class, there are other issues involved, and now I will tell you the terrible truth!
“For I am an un-teacher. And an un-teacher un-ravels you, or lets you unravel yourselves, back to the truths of your being. An un-teacher helps you un-learn your ‘discipline.’ An un-teacher, hopefully – and it is a difficult task that I embark upon, playfully – an un-teacher, hopefully, lets you lead yourselves toward the freedom of your being. So, when you are used to discipline, you may, for a while, feel un-done, or without a foundation. And then, when you let your disciplines go, you feel the great foundation of your own being, and its greater freedom.
“There is a purpose to this class, as all of you know, and for all of my talk, you see, you still have not un-learned enough. For when I tell you that you create your own reality, none of you are really sufficiently secure in that belief to take advantage of it as yet; to grasp this great creative freedom of yourselves, and use it to make the life that you presently [live] be the most creative and joyful for yourself and others. And so you give yourselves and others excuses, and you are in this position because of that, or you are in this position because of that person, or because of your background.
“Now, this applies to everyone here, Ruburt included – to each of you. When you thoroughly recognize the majestic freedom of your own being, and your own creative power, then you recognize yourselves as creators, creating your daily life and joyfully helping create the mass experience of the world as you know it. And then, you are ready to say ‘I act out of the full joyful knowledge of my creativity.’ Then you do not blame events or others or circumstances. Then you are able to thank yourselves for the joys of your being, and the glory of your days. You are able to say to the smallest cell within the ear, ‘I give you greeting. I am thankful for our joint creativity: for our eternal knowledge which is ever new.’ . . .
“And your dreams will help you point the way to your own freedom – and they are pointing the way to your own freedom.
“Again, from my reality to yours: if there is one gift that I would give you, it is the reflection of yourselves as I see you, returned to you so that you could sense, as I do, the miraculous joy and freedom, and trust it. If you make mistakes, they are your own mistakes, and you can learn from them. If you make decisions, they are your own decisions you can make new ones. If you are afraid of making decisions, you cannot learn from them.” – Conversations With Seth, Volume II
from Jane Roberts herself:
“Freed by death from the conventional frameworks of thought and belief that surrounded me, I have gained in death insights and comprehensions of the greatest consequence. Ironically, I wonder why these did not come to me in physical life, where certainly I could have put them to as good a use – particularly when it is obvious that they were as available in life as in death – and I am convinced that only certain beliefs and attitudes of mind make these insights psychologically invisible.” ~ The Afterdeath Journal of an American Philosopher, The World View of William James, January 25, 1977.
“Two elements in my present state are particularly significant to me, when I compare it to physical life. For one thing, my psychological and ‘physical’ mobility is astonishing, and my sense of freedom feels, at least, unlimited.” ~ The Afterdeath Journal of an American Philosopher, The World View of William James, March 30, 1977.
“The basis of your life is absolute freedom, the goal is joy, and the result of that perfect combination is motion forward, or growth. Your goal is to find objects of attention that let your cork raise.”
“You are joy, looking for a way to express. It’s not just that your purpose is joy, it is that you are joy. You are love and joy and freedom and clarity expressing. Energy—frolicking and eager—that’s who you are. And so, if you’re always reaching for alignment with that, you’re always on your path, and your path will take you into all kinds of places. We will not deny that you will not discover miracles and create benefits and be involved in creation, and that you will not uplift humanity…we will not say that you will not find satisfaction in so many things that you create, but we can’t get away from the acknowledgment that you are Pure Positive Energy that translates into the human emotion of joy.”
For myself, there was a very large part of my life where I felt I had to conform rigidly to what (I thought) society expected of me. Bob Proctor once said, “Most people live their lives the way they think other people think they should live.” My own private rebellion came in the way I chose to look, the way I chose to dress, and my freedom of thought. Slowly, little by little, I began to allow myself more freedom of expression, more freedom to simply be who I felt myself to be. By being who I am, I create unique expressions of creativity and vitality that are uniquely mine. Seth again:
“You are given the gift of the gods; you create your reality according to your beliefs; yours is the creative energy that makes your world; there are no limitations to the self except those you believe in.” ~ The Nature of Personal Reality, session 677.
So, what does ‘free’ mean to you? Is it a word for you that invokes thoughts of value or of absence? Do you seek ‘freedom from’, or ‘freedom to’? Do you allow yourself to be ‘free’ within yourself?
P.S. On Tuesday – June 8 – Marcia and I are launching Victoria’s first (to our knowledge, anyway) ‘Free Hugs‘ day. If you happen to be in the inner harbour area late afternoon and want to share a hug, come and find us! They will be freely given, and accepted with appreciation!
Follow this link to read Marcia’s View.