“When you don’t have any money, any things, any house – if you are unattached, what is the difficulty in it? But when you have everything and you remain unattached… then something very deep has been attained.” ~ Osho
What we are all looking for, in one way or another, is freedom from limitation. Freedom from the world; being able to do whatever you want, free from anything on the external level that could make you uncomfortable or limit your movement in any way.
The easy answer to this of course is money. And recognition perhaps; fame, celebrity, universal approval, son and so forth, but first and foremost we think that financial independence is the key to becoming free of the world. And in a way it’s true; with unlimited funds you could arrange your external situation in a way that is relatively limitless, on that level.
“I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it’s not the answer.” ~ Jim Carrey
But this is the big misunderstanding. It is true that we want freedom from the world, but we make the mistake of looking for freedom exclusively on the external level. We think that freedom from the world of form can be achieved on the level of form, and that overcoming worldly limitations is to conquer them on the external level. And this is certainly what we are taught to believe, that one can achieve freedom from the world through external means.
What we are not told, however, is that freedom from the world has nothing to do with anything on the level of form at all. Being externally free of limitation can give the illusion of what we are seeking, for a little while, but the real salvation and what we are actually looking for is inner freedom from external limitations.
Real freedom from the world is to be in a state of inner non-attachment to it, and this does not require anything in particular of your external situation. You don’t need to change anything on the level of form in order to become free of it.
And in fact, being faced with severe limitations on the level of form is for many people the key to freedom. Paradoxically, somebody who is completely free from limitations on the external level is much less likely to find real freedom from the world than someone who is neck-deep in worldly challenges. You are much more likely to find inner freedom in prison than a five star hotel.
When you realize this, you may even begin to feel grateful for the limitations in your life situation. They offer an opportunity for you to align yourself with what is, and keep you from getting pulled into the illusion that one can find fulfillment on the level of form.
“Of the billionaires I have known, money just brings out the basic traits in them. If they were jerks before they had money, they are simply jerks with a billion dollars.” ~ Warren Buffett
If all the worldly desires of the ego are met, it is very difficult not to get lost and completely identified with it. But when the ego is met with things not working out, the world not respecting its plans and ambitions, you are given an opportunity to go beyond the illusion of ego.
And what more could you want from the world? Indeed, we could see this as the only real purpose of the world of form; to present you with challenges and limitations so that you can overcome them.
If you expect something other than that from the world, like fulfillment and salvation, you will suffer. But if you see the world of form for what it is, a teaching device of sorts, you become free of it without needing anything to be different from how it is right now, in the present moment.
Source: the now defunct Everyday Wonderland, a “weblog on the subject of spiritual awakening, creativity, enthusiasm, inspiration, and generally everything having to do with the higher levels of human consciousness”, as expressed there by an anonymous author. It has been preserved here for your pleasure.