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Liberation

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

Excerpts about Liberation

Almost Everyone Goes In and Out of Liberation Frequently

Liberation or freedom is not really concerned with any particular essential aspect, quality, or state. It does not matter what essential state exists in the experience of liberation. If you are free from personality, you are free no matter what the state is. In the state of liberation the content of experience becomes unimportant. It is very ordinary. Nothing specific happens, no huge realization or mind shattering experience. It is the most natural state. It is so ordinary and so natural that when we have it, we don't know we have it. It is so uneventful that almost everyone goes in and out of it frequently.

Barriers to the Liberation of the Soul

The process of liberation of the soul frees her from many issues and barriers. We can organize these into the following categories:
* The soul’s physical preoccupation and external orientation. This is attachment to the external, which is what the world promises her, at the     expense of her depth, her true nature.
* The passions and appetites, drives and instinctual compulsions. These are the forms external orientation takes.
* Attachment in general, with its grasping and tight holding.
* Psychodynamic issues and conflicts with their repression, ego defense mechanisms, and blockages. This includes the difficulties of early experience as they survive in one’s personality and unconscious.
* Self-images and object relations. These constitute the content of the soul’s identifications.
* Fixation and rigidity, which tend to characterize her views and attitudes, but most importantly her ego structures.
* Narcissism, which reflects the soul’s alienation from her true nature.
* General ego structural issues, such as weakness and inadequacy. This includes schizoid defenses.
* Precocious development.
* Underdevelopment. Both this and precocious development may characterize some of the soul’s ego structures.
* Structure in general, more specifically the need for one.
* Underlying all these categories are the fundamental issues of ignorance and duality. These are the central spiritual barriers usually identified by the various wisdom traditions. In Facets of Unity, we discriminate this fundamental barrier into nine fundamental delusions about Reality.

Continuous, Dynamic, Morphogenic Renewal of the Soul

Liberation, then, is not the attainment of a static state or ground. It is rather the freedom of the soul to fully engage in autopoiesis, that is, to reach the flexibility and impressionability, combined with mature autonomy, that allow her to be transparent to the fullness of her potential, in a dynamic responsiveness to her environment. Her self-renewal becomes a continuous dynamic morphogenic process, where she constantly and spontaneously restructures herself, expressing the richness of her potential in attunement with the demands and needs of her environment.

Freedom is the Raw State of Liberation Itself

Throughout life it comes and goes, for some people more often than others. It is a state of release, but without conscious feeling of release; everything is loose. This condition of freedom is not like liberation from some particular oppression; it is the raw state of liberation itself, so liberating that it doesn't matter what your experience is. You don't care what you're experiencing. Your heart is open and your mind doesn't fixate on preconceived ideas or worry about imagined possibilities. You're completely accepting without thinking or feeling that you're accepting. Essence will be there freely in whatever way your being needs at the moment, but still the Presence of Essence is not your focus, it's just who you are, what is present in your experience now.

Liberation is Actually a Change of Mind

Understanding is our natural, inherent faculty. We see that this is all we’ve got when finally left to ourselves. When we forget all methods and techniques, when we just rest and be, only our own recognition of what is true is left. From this place, when we recognize our true nature, we understand who and what we are. And when we are convinced—with certainty and without question—that this truth is really our nature, then we change. So liberation is actually a change of mind. At some point, we change our mind about what reality is in a very fundamental way. The Diamond Guidance is the faculty in our soul that makes it possible for our inquiry to arrive at understanding. As we have seen, each essential aspect functions in the operation of the Diamond Guidance as a faculty needed for inquiry and understanding. And together, all the elements of the Diamond Guidance make it possible for our inquiry to become precise enough to arrive at objective understanding.

Liberation is the Freedom of the Soul to Fully Engage in Autopoiesis

To move toward renewal, the soul must recognize and respect her dissipative nature, and allow the process of autopoiesis to resume, or to resume more fully. This becomes the process of inner work, in which older structures are made transparent, dissolve, and allow for new structures of experience to emerge in a way that integrates the learning of the old structures. This is a metabolic process where the conscious medium of the soul is liberated from its rigid structuring, and develops by becoming increasingly structured by her essential nature and qualities. This process leads to realization and liberation, which is the regaining of the full autopoietic function of the self-organizing principle of the soul. More precisely, this function is the way the soul’s inherent creative morphing dynamism expresses itself in evolutionary self-renewal, culminating in self-liberation. Liberation, then, is not the attainment of a static state or ground. It is rather the freedom of the soul to fully engage in autopoiesis, that is, to reach the flexibility and impressionability, combined with mature autonomy, that allow her to be transparent to the fullness of her potential, in a dynamic responsiveness to her environment. Her self-renewal becomes a continuous dynamic morphogenic process, where she constantly and spontaneously restructures herself, expressing the richness of her potential in attunement with the demands and needs of her environment.

Reality is Not Designed for Individual Human Beings to Liberate Themselves

When awakening experiences arise, most of us think that they do so because of our practices and what we do, because of our intelligence and understanding, because of our sincerity and diligence. Although there is some truth to this view, the shadow of arrogance persists in it. This is called “the tail of the devil”; the head may be gone, but the tail still trails behind. From the perspective of the fourth turning, we don’t do any of it nor can we do any of it, not because we are failures but because reality is simply not designed that way. Reality is not designed for individual human beings to liberate themselves. Reality is designed for true nature to manifest itself in a way that human beings call liberation. Part of the secret of the philosophers’ stone is that it reveals itself by liberating itself from the shackles that it experiences through whatever human being it is experiencing itself as. And you could say, “It is my nature, my light, my intelligence.” But the situation is tricky: Is it yours or are you its?

The Essence of the Soul Stands Apart from the Rest of Her Potential

Only with the actualization of Essence can the soul be free, completely authentic and totally serene. Essence is her true nature, without which she is estranged, lost, inauthentic, empty, and twisted. Regardless how much of her potential she actualizes, regardless how much a genius she becomes, artistically or scientifically, if she does not realize her essential nature her experience continues to be characterized by emptiness and strife, on the same level as most human beings. This is why the wisdom traditions think of their work as the most significant for humanity, as transcending any artistic, scientific, cultural, or intellectual kind of education and development. The essence of the soul stands apart from the rest of all of her potential, for it is the only possibility she has for finding true liberation and fulfillment.

The State of Being

Being liberated means there is no clinging to anything; there is no worry, no concern, no heaviness. The mind is not fixated, focused or bound to any particular content; you are aware of whatever arises in the mind, without effort, without even trying to be aware. You don't care whether you are sensing your Essence, or even whether your Essence is there. Whether you are happy or sad, whether a person is there with you or not, none of these things seem important. For the moment you are completely free from all the concerns in your life. This state can never be achieved by striving for it. It will just happen one day, and if you notice it you won't think it's a big deal. You'll go on eating your dinner or whatever you are doing. The moment it becomes a big deal, it's gone.

When the Soul Attains Non-conceptual Freedom

When the soul fully understands and integrates the dimension of pure presence, she becomes open to all knowledge, to all the timeless wisdom of Reality. When she attains the dimension of pure awareness, she goes beyond knowledge, and attains nonconceptual freedom. She is now free from the constraints of knowledge. However, if she has been able to realize both dimensions and integrate them in her realization, she will be free to use knowledge without constraints, and without danger of reification. She will be able to recognize concepts and their reifications, to see the usefulness of conceptual knowledge as well as the dangers of the discriminating mind. She is open to knowledge, but is established beyond it, and hence she is not afraid of it and not constrained by it.

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