Reflections on gratitude The beauty of Positive Psychology research is that it acts as a magnifying glass to show us...Read More
In the Jewish tradition, tonight is the Passover – the holiday that celebrates and commemorates the story of Exodus. It is a story about setting the people free, and Passover is a time to reflect on freedom, so allow me to share my reflections here with you.
Reflections on freedom
The story of Exodus can be seen as a metaphor for the journey of one’s personal growth. You liberate yourself from the tyrannical mind – the ‘me’ story – and then you journey in the wilderness towards your own promised land – self-actualization. But the first step would be to transform the mindset of slavery to one of freedom.
Many years ago, a great number of people were slaves of one tyrant or another. But in this era of democracy and human rights, many of us are still oppressed by the tyrant within. To liberate ourselves from our we first need to know it intimately just as we do with any disease before we develop the cure. So let’s have a closer look at this tyrant.
The tyrant is the identification process with what appears in our consciousness. Appearances are brain events such as images, beliefs, interpretations, memories, expectations and more. If appearances are experienced as reality, as truth, you are in the grip of something which is not you. You feel the impact in your body. Instead of questioning the appearances, you end up questioning yourself, your worth, your competence. The mind is now tightening its grip and you don’t even notice that.
To be free is to realize that whatever appears in the brain is not you. What appears is going to disappear.
This is when people get upset. “Then who am I?!” the mind wonders anxiously. Not to know is very scary for the mind. It demands words, concepts. It struggles to make sense, gain control and get rid of any uncertainty. Yet, the willingness to accept the mystery is a very liberating choice to make. The unknown is no longer a source of threat but the birthplace of creativity and newness, the place where the seeds of your potential are lying.
It took 10 plagues to make the king of Egypt willing to let the people go. What are the plagues that will make us willing to loosen the grip of this mind?Shame, guilt, regret, anger, jealousy and off course the many fears and anxieties; all these are generated in the mind and perceived as truth. These plagues give us the ultimate reason to loosen the grip of the mind. If we loosen the grip of the mind we can be fully alive and expressed.
We need to constantly remind ourselves that we are not the appearances; rather we are the one seeing them. If we are able to notice appearances without reacting to them, then we are in a state of awareness. We have broken away with the chain reactions of cause and effect that operate in nature. Awareness is the beginning of our life before we got locked in the world of words. Awareness is freedom.
Awareness is our gateway to that sense of abundance. Awareness will mean you no longer identify with the story of lacking, inadequate and insufficient you, the separated self. In the state of awareness we are all interconnected and share the love for life, for nature and for other human beings. It is the ‘promised land’ where we all naturally belong.
About the author:
Guy (Hagai) Avisar is a psychologist with more than 30 years of experience helping people with relationship issues