Sunday, 8 January 2017

Introspection - 7 : Illusion of Bondage

By Michelle Wiarda

We will attempt to gain a direct experience of the free nature of the Self and will see that there is absolutely no bondage of any kind.


Nothing more than that which is already mentioned for other introspections. See introspection - 1.

Question your bondage

Ask – Who is bound? Who is not free?

Those who are identified with the body will immediately find themselves answering how they are not free to do this or to do that, to remain young and healthy forever and to evade death or to have all the riches and pleasures of the world. That is deep ignorance, but it is ok.

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Ask – Am I the body?

Obviously, I’m not only a body. The body is a tiny part of my whole being. There is Mind, there is a person, an occupation, skills, there are memories and experiences that form a major part. For most people these experiences are directly attached to a body and hence it is easy to fall into an error that their entire essence is a physical structure, the body.

Ask – so who or what is bound then?

The body is bound, it is not free. It is subject to physical laws, decay and death. It is an object and cannot do everything, given that it can already do some awesome things, it is foolish to expect that it would be free to do anything. It will not stay forever, it is impermanent, just like other objects. After this realization you will have no other choice but to accept that you as a body, or the part of you called a body cannot be free. But the good news is that you are not a body.

Ask – so am I free then?  Why don’t I feel like that?

Those who are identified with a Mind or Ego (the lower mind), will immediately find themselves bound. There is no freedom to think everything, or even to stop thinking, or to be hyper-intelligent and extremely creative. There is no freedom to always keep the Ego happy, secure and pleased. Its not possible to end all desires and wants nor are you free to satisfy them all. The Mind is also an object and is impermanent, even if it is non-physical, it has limitations. If you believe that your essence is just Mind and Ego, then there is no hope for freedom. It will remain tiny, limited and will perish. The good news is that you are not the Mind or Ego. They are also a small part of you.

Maybe you doubt that. Let's find out. Ask – Why am I not the Mind?

Counter the question by asking – what is aware of a mind? How do you know there is a mind and an ego? Who really knows this? And in response to this question, the Self will step forward, it is the pure knowing, the consciousness behind all the drama of minds and bodies. It is more fundamental and is your essence, as it cannot be reduced to anything else, there is nothing more beyond it. Self is the ground of everything. If you have a doubt about it, just ask – who knows the Self? Who is aware of the Self? And every time you will find that it is the Self that knows itself, experiences itself, there is nothing else there.

Ask – I’m obviously the Self, but still why am I not free?

Counter the question by asking – what is it that binds Self? What is taking away its freedom? You will find that the matter and physical universe bind the body, and the limited mental capabilities bind the Mind, and past programming and conditioning binds the Ego. But there is nothing there to bind the Self. There is just Self, what can bind it? You will soon find that as soon as you identify with a mind or a body, the limitations and bondage appears. As long as you identify with the Self itself, you cannot find any reason and anything that can bind it. It is free, and has always been eternally free. Bondage was only a belief, it was your ignorance that you are not free.

Analysis and Conclusion

This simple introspection shows that bondage is just a belief, a result of ignorance, a consequence of identification with bound and impermanent features that appear and disappear in this vastness of Presence. The Self is free, simply because there is nothing there to bind it. But what does it mean to be free from the point of view of the Self? Can it do everything, can it be anything? Yes and No. You are imposing mental concepts of doing and achieving on the Self here. You are assuming that it must do X, for example, that you can think of now, and if it can’t then it is not free. You see, it is only an assumption, the Self needs to do nothing and be nothing. There is no compulsion or necessity to be in a specific way for the Self.

On the contrary, as soon as it becomes something, it becomes limited. It has become a human, and so it appears to be very limited and bound in that form. It has become a trillion things that we can see and experience , however all limited. It remains limitless only when it does not become anything or does not do anything. Actually, that is precisely what it is doing - non-doing and non-being. It is pure witness. It is just present here and now, that is our direct and irrefutable experience. The doing and being are illusions that appear on the screen of the Self. These images, shadows, are impermanent and are limited, the watcher of the shadows is not. The concepts of limitedness and impermanence do not even apply in case of the Self. They are conjured up by an ignorant Mind, which then simply projects it on the Self.

But why did I say yes and no above? Yes because all that we can see or experience is nothing but the Self, in its various forms, so it is already doing everything and it is already everything. It is also that which our limited minds cannot see or grasp. When I say both yes and no to that question, it shows that the Self is beyond such descriptions. It is even beyond language.


What does this introspection tell us about the concept of liberation or Mukti? The short answer is – obviously since the Self, which is you, is already free, liberated, the goal to get liberated is only a belief. There is nothing to be liberated from. What from are you going to liberate the Self? From itself? Isn’t that a ridiculous thought?

So why is there this mad rush to achieve liberation? As we have seen above, those who do not know the Self need a teaching to reach there. They know themselves as body or an ego-mind or a complex of all three of these. It is their only experience, so what else can they know? They are bound to feel bound and limited. So the path to liberation is prescribed for them. It is a trick that brings them to the Self-realization. You cannot “get” liberation, you only get rid of the belief and ignorance that you are bound and limited. Once it is seen, the illusion of bondage disappears on its own.

Now that I know, I am eternally and infinitely free, what should I do? Nothing, just be that way. There is no compulsion to do anything about it. Its all already perfect. Such questions arise from the Mind, it feels a purposelessness and thinks its role is over, it had no role in the first place. Now that the Mind is an abandoned child, you can adopt it back as your own, and cultivate it to reflect your true nature through it. We can become only that which we already are – eternally free and happy.

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