The Illusion of Freedom of Thought
The Illusion of Freedom of Thought
By Tony DeLorger © 2011
I see the world perhaps a little differently from most people. I see the reality and the possibility so diametrically opposed that often I hide from the truth of it, not wanting to be involved at all. The truth is I am involved whether I like it or not. No matter how adept, I still bare the scares of my conditioning, my middle-class upbringing and the imprint of life’s path.
None of us are immune from the course of human existence: the hurt, the disappointment, the lies, the pleasures, the achievements, and the seduction of lost principles. We suffer the consequences of our actions and may or may not learn from them. Our lives are filled with confusion, all of which is self-imposed.
The biggest problem that any of us face is self-deceit. We become so used to lying that in the end, we are the ones who are lied to most. We adhere to ideologies and beliefs, learn disciplines and practice them religiously, but when it comes to our thinking we understand little and have almost no discipline. Why is this?
I suppose we take our ability to think for granted, assume that with experience and age our thoughts become more precise and controlled. Unfortunately the opposite is true. When we are in our twenties, we have learned how to manipulate people, circumstances and unfortunately ourselves. This practice usually continues unabated throughout life.
The problem is that our thoughts and actions become habitual and psychologically motivated though various sequences of experience creating bias and misunderstanding. We become no longer aware of our responses and motivations, simply enacting behaviours that have developed rather than been chosen consciously. This is why, to protect this process, we unconsciously deceive ourselves to uphold equilibrium, the known.
Unfortunately the known becomes the norm and all else is limited within these parameters. Life then is a repetitive experience that often disallows change. Without change we cannot grow or learn anything different because we are restricting the possibility. Freedom of thought as we see it, is then somewhat of a misnomer. All we have is the freedom within what is accepted, in a pre-emptive way. Therefore the only freedom of thought exists when we let go of conditioning and learn to see and respond to life in a more present way.
This task is not an easy one, being able to relinquish conditioning and to respond to circumstance creatively and individually. Freedom of thought is possible. But as I said it takes much discipline and practice. The beginning of this process is learning to understand your process of thought and acknowledge the conditioning you have assimilated. This awareness is a second to second exercise, qualifying thoughts as they manifest and understanding their root source. With that understanding, when we respond because of conditioning, we recognise it and re-examine the response.
This process of awareness is a necessary part of self-discovery and the catalyst to understanding how we can find freedom in our thoughts. When unencumbered with conditioned responses, we become open to change and creativity that enlivens our being to a great extent. Having more control of thoughts and attitudes gives us the opportunity to explore the infinite possibilities of life, unrestricted by habitual limits.
Freedom of thought and our awareness of it is something that can transform your life. It represents self-discovery, self-realisation and self-fulfilment. The process is difficult but worth the effort.