Some time ago, I wrote a post about choosing the conscious spiritual path. The conscious spiritual path is the path we take to begin to get to know ourselves. That’s a good enough motive as it is, but the reality is that we typically have that choice corrupted by a number of ego desires and motives. And freedom is often not even a part of the conversation.
So we start on the conscious path, and we engage with all kinds of spiritual tools and beliefs as we unintentionally or intentionally seek a variety of ego desires. The person may want to know themselves better, but they also want the soulmate. They want to attract more money. They want to live their best life, which is so utterly vague that it makes this idea totally unattainable.
Thus, the conscious spiritual path is rarely about choosing spiritual freedom; that choice comes later.
Today, I felt like talking about coming to that crossroads where we more deeply or for the first time choose spiritual freedom.
The ego doesn’t want freedom. It’s most basic goals are pretty simple, and many of you will find that you still want these goals. They are:
- Safety, and
Many of you will have read those three items, and you’ll be like, “Yes. I want those.” But those are not freedom. Those are temporary states, and since they are temporary, they will come and go.
But we don’t want to believe that they are temporary. We want to believe that we can be safe all the time, healthy all the time, and live happily ever after. Yes. You know that last phrase very well if you live in the U.S. and have watched a movie or 10.
So this is one of the places that the ego has a stranglehold on us, and it’s why so many people fail on the spiritual path in realizing freedom. They want something temporary, and they believe in a deep, deep way that they can make a temporary thing permanent.
One key moment in truly choosing spiritual freedom is realizing impermanence. When we see that nothing we can do can stop things from changing, something inside of us surrenders. Something inside of us says, “I can’t keep anything.” In that moment, we are breaking from the illusion of permanence that we hold for all the temporary things, relationships, work, and places in our lives. Now, we can get serious on the path to spiritual freedom.
But still, the ego holds on. As I often remind people, spiritual freedom doesn’t come all in one big awakened energy shot in the arm. It’s not that it can’t; it’s because we have so many layers of unconscious ego and attachment. That’s why discipline and dedication are vital to realizing spiritual freedom. Without them, we tend to go back to our old ways of thinking and behaving.
However, after we have a realization like realizing impermanence, something inside stays in awareness. Something inside of us doesn’t want to be fooled anymore, and something inside us more profoundly chooses spiritual freedom for us. From this new level of understanding dawns, our spiritual work and trajectory changes, and we move more directly through and out of the darkness of ego illusion.