In a Nutshell | The Giant Misunderstanding About Freedom and Self-Responsibility

The stronger and deeper our convictions, the more substantial are the forms that exist in our soul…There’s one soul form worth talking about specifically, because it exists in each and every one of us to some degree. This form is shaped like an abyss and it’s made completely out of illusion…The size of this abyss varies for everybody. But whether it’s a crater or a dip, we have to look this threat right in the eye and not blink…

Meme_Bones 29We might feel like we’ve fallen into this abyss when we can’t accept that this is an imperfect world. Or when we can’t, for the life of us, let go of our self-centered self-will…When we’re caught in this abyss, we are really in fear of not getting our way…

So let’s say someone doesn’t like us. Or they don’t behave the way we want them to. This, in itself, is not a threat…Once we accept that we are in some way inadequate, or accept that the other is, we’ll be able give up our self-will that demands perfection. But before this, it will feel like we are in grave danger if we yield, if we let go, if we give in to this apparent abyss…

It feels like we are trapped inside this abyss, and yet the only way out is by letting go and completely falling in…When we do, we’ll discover that something amazing happens. We don’t crash. We don’t perish. We float….

It’s wishful thinking to hope this abyss is going to disappear by itself. The only way for it to vanish is by taking the risk, little by little and then over and over, to plunge into it. Good news: it gets easier every time we do this…Every time someone does something we don’t agree with. Every time someone shows up with a fault. Every time we feel fear about a frustration we’re hard pressed to rationalize away. All these threaten our world of Utopia. We feel our life is at stake if this is not a perfect world…

So if Utopia were real, what would it look like?…Utopia means we get everything we want, how we want it and when we want it. We also want to have total freedom—with no responsibility…But alas, it is impossible. We can’t be both free and have no responsibility. To whatever extent we shift responsibility off ourselves and onto someone or something else, to that degree we curtail our own freedom. We enslave ourselves. It’s as simple as that…

We’ve become so afraid, though, of taking self-responsibility, our fear of it has become a large part of our abyss. We fear that if we assume self-responsibility, we will fall right in and be swallowed up whole…It seems like a huge danger to let go of our demand to always have our way…We literally fear we’ll be miserable if we have to give up our demand for Utopia…

Meme_Bones 30We can never be happy because buried in our unconscious is this mistaken concept that happiness requires utter perfection in all ways. But folks, none of this true. It’s all part of a grand illusion…We believe that harm can come to us through the arbitrariness of life, of fate or of the god-of-our-image, or through the ignorance and cruelty of others…For if we don’t want to be responsible for our life, someone else must be…

We are only helpless because we make ourselves so when we shift responsibility away from ourselves. When we look at things this way, we begin to see the heavy price we pay for insisting on Utopia. We pay every day with our fear…As we do this work of self-discovery, when we find the corresponding note in ourselves that is vibrating due to provocation from another, we’ll stop feeling like a victim…

Part and parcel of being a grown-up and making independent decisions is that we are bound to make mistakes. The child in us who still clings to Utopia, however, believes we must always be perfect. To make a mistake is to fall into the abyss…Life on planet Earth is not Utopia, and we aren’t perfect. This is not a tragedy.

Bones v.1

These snippets are from Chapter Nineteen: The Giant Misunderstanding About Freedom and Self-Responsibility

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BONES: A Building-Block Collection of 19 Fundamental Spiritual Teachings

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