Gangaji: Freedom and Desire


Freedom and Desire Desire is such an awesome, powerful controlling
element of life. Maybe it is the controlling element of life. And a beautifully engineered controlling element
of life. And nothing wrong with it. It’s obviously the desire to live that gives
rise to many other desires. Including the very basic creature desires. The desire to be fed, the desire to be sheltered,
the desire for security, the desire for procreation, the desire for power, the desire for knowledge,
more and more subtle levels of desire. There is a certain point in mysteriously chosen
lifelines where there arises the desire for what gets called enlightenment or truth, or
self-knowledge. Papaji said this desires is an all together
different order. And it’s true. All the other desires can be satisfied by
some activity of mind. So that the impulse, the hunger impulse that
arises then naturally gives rise to the desire to be fed. And then this gives rise to the activity,
generally unconscious activity, of what it takes to be fed. That is just at the creature level. All creatures, all kingdoms, nothing wrong
with that, natural. But once the creature has been fed and sheltered
and matured to a certain degree then it is actually possible for what gets called higher
levels of desires but let’s just call them more subtle level, rather than higher
and lower, just more subtle that’s all. So the desire for knowledge and the desire
for power, the desire for understanding, these are most subtle they aren’t higher and yet
they are still of a certain order so they are fed by activity of mind. And they are satisfied by activity of mind. And then in this blessed lifeline where there
arises the desire for enlightenment. Of course there is, there are, many
attempts (laughs) to feed that desire in the normal way that other desires have been fed
and truly you have experienced some of that, at least in this week (Gangaji laughs, everyone
laughs) and the futility of that. That no matter how much you try, no matter
how much you figure, no matter how much you get what it is is being said, or has been said,
whatever you try to do, which is mind activity, you cannot find what is called Self, or God, or Truth
because desire is really projecting into the future. The impulse of hunger maybe appearing in the
present but the desire is to get something so that in the future whether that future
be the next moment or the next ten years, that hunger won’t go unsatisfied. That’s very basic, isn’t it? So the desire for awakening, the desire for
enlightenment is also projected into the future, because that’s how we know desire. And that’s okay. That’s where you find out that that future
is always just in the future and that this is not like those other desires. This is another order. It will not be satisfied by the future. It will not be satisfied by anything gross
or subtle even the most subtle exquisite thing. And by thing I mean anything that has a beginning,
a middle and an end. Anything that appears, and then is subject
to disappearance. So I mean states of mind, thoughts, understandings,
insights, experiences, sensations, conclusions, on and on. This realization itself that this desire for Freedom,
for Truth, for God, will not be satisfied by anything in the future, is what most people
avoid because it is so radical, because it means that this desire for Truth or enlightenment
or God is not just a toy of your mind, is not just a thing to enrich your life, or
your sense of yourself, or to feed your feelings, your high feelings and keep your low feelings
at bay. This is what I mean when I say that dissolutionment
is essential. The realization that no matter what I try
to do I cannot get It. And if It appears to me, I cannot keep It. I cannot capture It, and I desire to. (everyone laughs) When Papaji says “stop”, or Ramana says
“be still” or Gangaji says “just experience what is occurring”, it’s an invitation
to actually turn the mind back in to that desire, rather than projecting it into the future,
of how the desire will be satisfied. To actually burn in the impulse and the impulse
can be quite strong. People have asked me questions about food,
or sex, or power and always I have said these impulses, nothing wrong with them. They are actually beautiful aspects of nature,
but if what you desire is really the Truth, it is very useful when an impulse, a sexual
impulse, or a hunger impulse, or a power impulse arises, at least once and maybe only once
is necessary, to not allow the mind to go into activity of how to satisfy that, to actually
turn the mind back into that gross order of desire so an experience can occur, so that
one can see that what has been leading or directing the life unconsciously, that one in that moment
can recognize choice. Can recognize that the impulse as powerful
and beautiful it is and a beautiful servant to the continuance of life, does not in reality
have to direct this life. It can be met for what it is – desire, impulse,
energy, sensation, shaking, fear, despair, lost, peace. So I have no distance speaking to people how
this desire for enlightenment gets you to a certain point and it got you here! So I bow to it but to give it up,
which is what Papaji is inviting you to do, and he says “To call off the search.” To call off this continual mind-generated
– which has to be based on the past – because that is how the mind gets its information,
of what is needed, what it looks like, what the feeling is, how you will know, and
how to keep it, once it’s attained To call that off simply means to be present,
right here, right now. So you have heard this many times “Be here
now. Just be in the now”. And then there is a desire to be here now,
(laughter) and that desire has some future picture what it will look like, when you are
really here now. (more laughter)
This is the, this is the power of the mind. To really just be here, regardless of what
impulses are arising. (flute music) I have this question about “wants”. Wants? Like desires? Like desires and what to do with them? What do you want? Mmm…I want to not be so wanting. Aha. (everyone laughs) And if you got that what would you have then? More peace. More peace. So maybe you just want peace. Yes. Aha. Where is peace? Um… anywhere. Oh, great. Then you have what you want. (everyone laughs) Ah, that was easy.(everyone laughs) It is easy. Yeah. (mmm…sighs) I notice when my mind talks about these wants
that I leave the present. You leave the peace. I leave the peace. To go in search of peace. Thank you.Yes. Or something, or go in search of something
that can give you more peace or permanent peace or a certain peace. The illusion of the idea of… Go in search of the illusion that’s right. That’s it.That’s what maya is. That’s the play of the mind.That’s right.That’s right you said it. That’s the secret. It gets easier and easier.The challenges get harder and harder. Mmm… And the willingness to meet each challenge
no matter how difficult I mean what is harder than the challenge of death? But really peace is that death you are speaking
of. I just noticed my mind doing this very funny
thing… Yes… That.. eh..I.. when we were talking just a minute ago,
I got it, it was all very clear, and now I am trying to get it. Recall it, yes… hold it… remember it. Yes, because I.. it makes sense, but… So, what is it what you want? Peace.(Gangaji laughs, everyone laughs). And where will you look for that? Oh, anywhere… nowhere. So, you know where you have looked for it. Will you stop looking? Will I? Uh hu, right now, just as an experiment. Yes. Just for this moment. Because I am only talking about this moment, ever. Nothing else is relevant. Just right now, will you stop looking? (sighs) Is peace absent? No. That’s right. Great. (laughs) Anything else? No. Mm… great! Thank you. You are beautiful. Peace is beautiful isn’t it? So vibrant. People are afraid of peace because it, somebody
said the other day “boring”, perhaps it’s boring. (laughs) Yes, it’s a fear of beauty and a fear of
peace and a fear of love and a fear of Truth. And a desire for peace and a desire for beauty,
and a desire for love, and a desire for Truth. (long pause)
Anything? Something? What is it? Well basically the same question. Aha well let’s go at it again maybe this
time it will really penetrate. Okay. So I do have desires and I don’t think when I have
them that they all lead back to peace but they might. (laughs) Aha, you mean following the desires
will take you to peace? No, that that’s what’s underline the desire. That’s right. That’s actually likely. So I have these illusions that if I attain certain desires then… Aha… I’ll have… So, what’s the solution to that? What did you just discover? Mm… that I already have it. Yes but now you remember that and
where is it in the memory? Then that memory becomes a super imposition
of “Well I am peace, well I have peace, well, I am always peace.” But you are not, you are lying. Right? Right. ‘Cause then I go right back to desire. Yes. I am frustrated. Good. Now we are getting…this is good. Well, I’ve been there a lot. Yes that’s right. So this is now getting closer, so the frustration… Okay. Can you let that get bigger? Yes! Really bigger? And just let your consciousness fall into it. Frustration or anger is usually defending
something, some other emotion. Fear. Okay. Sofear, this fear, can you let your consciousness
fall into this fear? Mm… Right now? Good, what’s under that? Fear. More fear? Then go deeper. All the way in. There is that still place. Still place… Is this a still place that is flat? Or is this a still place that is vibrating? It’s… it’s alive. It’s alive. Excellent. Good. If it were a still place that were flat as
in depression or despair because this often appears under fear, not always as you
just showed – a hopelessness as kind of existential angst then it is possible
also to experience that just as you experience so clearly frustration, fear, despair. Now in this stillness that is revealed
is there peace? (Nods ‘yes’) Are you there? (Nods ‘yes’) Excellent. When you know without a shadow of a doubt
that you are this Stillness, that you are this Awareness then it doesn’t matter
what is on the surface. It can feel good or it can feel bad. There can be confusion or there can be absolute clarity….what’s that? So when there are these choices to make… Like what? As being a human. Yes. You know, to whether to say “yes” or “no”. How do those choices get made? Yeah. Well sometimes I am very unclear sometimes. So I want clarity. Yes. Excellent. So… So you know just as this man spoke up you
have looked lots of places for clarity. But you can stop and look directly into the
unclarity. Can you feel that? Experience that unclarity that cloudiness that…Right now you can? Yes. Excellent. So just… Ping pong ball… Yes, so this is a kind of like death. Like the experience of death. Only now it is cloudiness, unclarity so
forget whatever you have learned about that or what it means, or how to transcend that
or how to get around that Right Just be that unclarity. So that you will know directly what unclarity is in this moment. I am there. So you drop your consciousness fully into
it. There is something still – still like ‘me an unclarity’. So you just let the unclarity have, have you totally. (long pause) I kind of go back and forth like I am, I am
in the unclarity and then I sort of drop down and… Well… I was looking for unclarity again. Yes! So because unclarity wasn’t there, right? Right. Yes. That is exactly what happened to you because
the experience of what is always here is so unconfirmed in our culture, in our lives,
in our churches that we don’t believe it. We don’t think it could be that easy. So then we begin searching again for ‘what’s
wrong?’ So in an instant of actually letting unclarity
be there there was no unclarity. And then you got busy to find it again. And then there would be an instant ‘Okay I’ve found it, great!’ Right. And then there is none. Do you follow what I am saying? Yeah, yeah. Yes because what happens is, is – this
is it! Who you are is always here –
clearly here – peacefully here – in stillness here. Whatever appears to obstruct that, whether
it is frustration, or fear or despair, or doubt, if that is met rather than tried to
get rid of then the spaciousness, not the “spaceyness” but the spaciouness
(light laughter) of who you are is clearly here. Is this true? Am I… Yes, yes. Are you sure? I just had the experience of it. Great. Good, because I don’t want to start feeding
your lines. Do you follow this? It’s great thank you. Yes. It’s deeper too now. I was speaking the other night about deeper and somebody said: “What in the world do you mean deeper?” And that’s really a good question because
I don’t mean what you think I mean by deeper. I don’t mean like heavier or more still. (everyone laughs)
What I really mean is spacious but not spacey because we tried to be spacious and
we get like ‘woo-woo’. Spacious, not getting like anything. Less, less present to who you think you are. More present to who you are. That’s deeper, and that is endlessly deep. Because then you find yourself everywhere. In every mind state, in every emotion, in
everybody – naturally. (Instrumental music) One of the… trickiest areas of spiritual
understanding and the one that has perhaps been most misunderstood is around this issue
of desire. So I can’t remember what the Western religions
say about it (laughs) because I put that aside at a certain point and really took on what the Eastern or what Buddhism really is what I knew. Said about it and that is basically that desire
causes suffering therefore, in my understanding that meant desire is bad therefore
I had to start desiring to get rid of desire, and that was my full desire. (everyone laughs)
And every time I suffered there was proof that I was desiring something and so my desire
to get rid of desire grew. And what a weight was carried until I reached
a point where I was overcome with the futility of, of
trying to cut desire at its root. Through meditation practice, through retreats,
through mindfulness, just overcome with my failure in that. And all I desired at that point was a teacher. That’s all I knew. And a teacher appeared to me, my teacher, Papaji. And he told me, “If you desire freedom above
everything else then that takes care of all the rest. That takes care of all the desires.” And since I recognized him as my teacher,
I listened very carefully and I surrendered to the simple, vast, ancient desire for freedom. And it takes care of all the other desires,
but not in the way that is mentally understood. So I’d like to speak today just briefly about
desire and desire. So we can talk about egoic desire and true
desire or we can talk about fixated desires and natural desire. Or we can talk about natural, cellular desire,
to live, to be fed. But it seems like if we speak about it very
simply, we can talk about desire that doesn’t cause trouble, (laughs) and desire that causes
trouble. (everyone laughs)
With that even making the trouble causing desire wrong, just in terms of observing,
just to be able to skillfully tell the truth, is a kind of maturity then that can arise
just in simply telling the truth. If there is a desire for love, there is no
trouble. But if there is desire that love be manifest
in a particular way at a particular time is trouble, (everyone laughs) because if it’s
not, there is suffering. And if it is, there is a belief that it came
about from that desire so then there is a further desire to keep it that way, or hang
on to it, or not let it go, or protect it, so it feeds on further desire. The desire for love without any form or formlessness
is truly the desire for yourself is no problem because love is here but it may
not be here in the way you think it should be here or have learned or been taught that
it will be here. There is a desire for peace that is beautiful
and true but if it’s a desire for peace on your terms, in the way you envision it
and when you envision it then this is a troublesome desire. It is a desire for justice. It’s natural – the desire for justice,
but if this desire for justice is tinged with revenge and hatred this is troublesome, or
fear, it’s troublesome. Is desire for freedom but if there is an
idea of what freedom feels like an idea that freedom can be bound then it’s a troublesome
desire. What have I left out? Truth, yes, the desire for truth is a beautiful
desire. When this arises in consciousness, the desire
for truth is a momentous, evolutionary event. But if it is just tossed into the old caldron
of truth then it is me and my truth. Truth the way I see it or truth the way I
think it should be then it is very troublesome to the whole world. The more profound the desire, the more potential
for the trouble. But the truth is that these desires do arise
and that’s no problem. The problem is what the mind or what the
understanding or what the conditioning does with the desire really in the hope of escaping the power of the desire. The desire for love is powerful. The desire for freedom is huge, for truth,
for peace, huge. The power itself is a kind of torture. And in the desire to escape that discomfort
there is a tendency to go into formulating how to get, how to keep, what it looks like. And I am not talking against visualization
and formulation and goal-keeping and that all has its place. Truly, it all has its place. There are great mind trainings and very
useful at a certain time but for our purposes, for what we are doing here together today,
in this offering of what my teacher gave to me, offering it to you, then what I am speaking
about is visualization in this context is useless, is in the way, is a distraction. True peace, true love, true truth, true justice,
true freedom, true you, can not be visualized. World peace? Yes, visualize it. It is useful, keeps the mind… it’s a good
point for the mind. World justice? Visualize it, but the justice, the truth,
the love, the peace that is eternal, that is here right now, that is present in the
midst of the experience of the lack of love, or the experience of war, or the experience
of injustice, or the experience of ego, that’s what must be communicated. That’s the task that I’ve been given and
you have been given, or we wouldn’t be having this conversation. So none of the words that I have said, even
though they are pointing to that communication are the communication. So it doesn’t matter if you don’t remember
a thing I just said, and can be even useful if you don’t remember a thing I just said. What matters is being conscious of Consciousness. Not as anything that can be visualized or
formulated or objectified or found or grasped or understood. Closer to the bone than any of that, more
immediate, more present, more you, more you than your name than your body than your
views than your hopes than your fears, more you. And it is here. And we are here in these meetings to discover
Its Presence. To be true to Its Presence and to discover
Its Presence when this meeting is over. To discover that whatever is occurring in
the inside worlds or the outside worlds, Its Present – Its Present. And this is a discovery that no one has ever
adequately described although we fall to our knees at the attempts of description. At the sutras and songs and scriptures,
and poems and paintings and music and literature and sunsets, and glances, we fall to our
knees at these glimpses. It is here. (phone rings in the background) And It is
calling you. (everyone laughs) Truly. (phone is still ringing) Sometimes in obnoxious
ways (laughs) truly and sometimes in the sweetest, finest, most refined most subtle secret
ways, the whole range is a call of you to yourself. So I welcome you, here, where you are,
as Consciousness – as Love – as Peace – as Justice – as Freedom – as the totality
of Being. (Instrumental music) I can see and feel how much this idea of my
own personal freedom was such a trap I didn’t even realize I was in. Yes, yes, how could you realize it until you
see it as a trap. Yeah, and then until something has called
me even more loudly and hit me even harder. Well this is the beauty. This is the privilege of personal freedom
and I don’t mean personal freedom cause you are not in jail, because you can
also find personal freedom in jail, prison, but that is the privilege of it, that you
recognize “I am free” personally. I get to think what I want to think, I get
to love who I want to love, I get to eat what I want to eat relatively speaking, and
then you realize there are limits to that. It’s a power. It’s a huge power and not everybody on the
earth is granted this power, so it’s a power to be thankful for and it’s a power that
is limited. And what I feel too is that it’s was so
easy to use the ‘nothing matters’ as a way to reinforce that personal freedom. To indulge. Yeah. The personal fixation. And it… Yes. Ah… And that’s not freedom at all. No, it is such a trap. That’s the trap, that’s the cheese in the
middle of the trap. (everyone laughs)
And it gets the rat every time. (laughs) Because it is very sweet cheese maybe
cheese with a little peanut butter on top, (everyone laughs) no rat can resist that.That’s the truth. This is very very important that you are saying
this especially here in America in this affluent rich free nation. So much suffering with this personal freedom. Personal freedom is beautiful. It’s a privilege, it’s an honor, it’s
a power but it has limits. And pretty soon if those limits are not seen
then you are bitten by personal freedom itself. Mm… That something else occurs then in a dream
that’s different from other dreams you hear some invitation to open because that’s what
devotion is, it is really opening, opening beyond belief. You know we use words like love, but it’s…
it’s of a different order. It’s more… ruthless and it’s like a
door closes and you can never be free of devotion. It’s like you willingly go into some place
that is beyond personal freedom, you go into… you have the choice – maybe, if you are
unlucky, you have the choice (laughs). If you are really lucky all of the sudden
you know so – there – like some quantum leap. But freedom, personal freedom and the realization
of freedom is the ground that allows this call and this also doesn’t appear to everyone,
it’s not necessary but when it does what will you do with it then? Be…I don’t know… (laughs) That’s good. That’s good. ‘I don’t know’ is very good. Very good, very good, because if you do anything
with it you are assuming control and it’s not about that. It’s not about that. And that is what I feel in the past. I’ve been sort of “the lover with the
wondering eye”. Yes, yes, that feels free, right? Right, totally. I can go at any minute. That’s right. Yeah, so this is, that’s right. So there is a kind of and always kind of checking out to see ‘is this a better deal? Is this a better deal?’
Until finally you see the cycling of that and the suffering of that and the frustration
of that and the bondage of that. Uh hm…(agreeing) And someone comes and says, “Will you marry
me?” “Oh my god! (everyone laughs) Give up my personal
freedom? Well if it’s an open marriage…” (everyone
laughs) or “if yeah I’ll marry you till something better comes along.” Uh hm…(agreeing) So this call to devotion is your own heart
calling you. It’s Truth calling you. And there are many false lovers that come
and dance in front of Truth, your own heart and say “I am a better deal”. But you followed those enough, Mm…(agreeing) that you have grown out of them. That’s the power of this invitation. Because there is an appropriate time to try
everything, everybody. I know in some South Sea island cultures, I am not even sure if it’s true, I think it was later discredited, but anyway it makes
a good point (everybody laughs) that, you know adolescence experiment sexually quite
a lot. It’s natural, there are hormones coursing
through the body there is all kinds of inclinations and it is natural. And then there is a certain point where it’s
finished, but in our particular society, you know you cannot even look like you are not
an adolescent anymore. (laughs) I mean, the whole deal is you got
to stay adolescent. (everyone laughs)
That’s the mom. You can get it wise and old and elder but
still adolescent in there. In terms of what you can do, in terms of your
sense of yourself or your power or your freedom. And adolescence is beautiful. And it is powerful, and it is outstanding,
but it is limited. And if you believe it to be the end all, you
continue to recycle in an adolescent dream and are bound by that dream and certainly the United
States is a great collective national example of that. (everyone laughs) Maybe growing out of it,
but just, just growing out of it. Just in the last 10 years, maybe we’ll
see. (laughs) This could be a latency
period. (laughs) We will see. But this is what you are speaking of. There is something bigger, something more
limitless than personal freedom. This you have to discover. Because if you know that, I mean and it is said
and it is true, but if you somehow know that there is a clinging to that, that keeps the
mind in control still. It’s like because of course you know
there has been massive abuse in the past. So if you can recognize that you aren’t
surrendering your…heart what you’re surrendering is your mind. That your heart remains intact and yours,
and pure, and deep. You know that’s what’s fear, that you will
surrender your mind but because you have held on to your mind you have been brainwashed. by culture, by teachers, by parents, by friends,
by lovers, by traditions… If you just let it go – just let it go. Then you will know directly what is closer
than any teaching or any teacher or any tradition or any culture but you will know it directly. Not through your mind. Not getting there through your mind with the
safety of “Oh, it will be my own heart.” You don’t know that. You have to discover that or it’s just
an imitation and you are fed up with imitations. (laughs) That is the good news.You are fed up with this burden of imitation. It is a burden. uh hm… (agreeing) And it needn’t be carried. You don’t need to be an imitation of something
to be who you are. (Instrumental music) My teachers message to you is that who
you are is and always has been and always will be free. That freedom is not something that can be
learned or earned or lost. It is the Truth of who you are. The only reason that you don’t know this,
if you don’t know this, is that you believe you are something other than that. And you use experiences and perceptions and
thoughts and emotions to prove you are something other than that. When they can just as easily be used as proof
that you are that freedom. In other words, most of humankind is walking
around upside down. Head in the sand, busily searching for the
sky, for the nectar, for freedom. It is possible just on hearing the Truth
to recognize it as so and in that instant your mind is flipped upright, inside out. It is possible if it is not recognized just
on hearing the words spoken that when these words are investigated there is a realization
‘it is so’, and the flip happens. It is also possible gloriously to catch it
from the person next to you, (everyone laughs) from the eyes of my teacher Papaji, or
his teacher Ramana. Since who you are is already Freedom itself,
you have complete capacity to realize yourself as that. If who you are were a thought, or a body
it would be impossible for you to recognize yourself as complete Freedom because no thought is free and no body is
free. So I am not speaking of you as somebody can
recognize yourself to be freedom. I am speaking of you as Freedom can recognize
yourself to be Freedom and this body that you believe yourself to be has made an appearance
in Freedom as it will make a disappearance from Freedom. So I want to be very clear about that. I am not offering you bodily freedom. I am not offering you a great siddhi (Sanskrit word) of
your body being immortal. I am pointing you to what is already immortal. And I am inviting you to investigate that. If you want the body to be immortal after
that investigation well there are plenty of people you can go to that is fine. It
is a good activity as anything else (laughs), nothing wrong with it. I take my supplements too of course. (Gangaji laughs, everyone laughs) But first
recognize what is free. What is already free, already immortal, already
who you are without changing a thing. Because people don’t come to see me, at
least not the second time if they are searching for a spiritual path or religion. Because I don’t offer that. I don’t have
that to give you. There are enough wonderful paths out there. You already know how to behave. (laughter) And you
know the results of behaving poorly. You know that. You maybe still telling yourself some
story about ‘not you’ or whatever but you know that. You don’t need me to tell you that. What I have appeared to you for is to point
out (laughs) bless Itself, that you are beyond enlightenment. You have to get enlightened to know that. You have to get enlightened and you have to
lose enlightenment to know that. Because you are what cannot be gained and
cannot be lost. You are Freedom Itself. If freedom is something that appears then it will
disappear and it is not free, it’s a conditional freedom. It is a freedom of the body as we have relative
freedom of our bodies. But we won’t in the end. We won’t have the freedom
to walk across the floor because our bodies won’t be able to do it at the end of
the life story of this particular body. So it’s not a true freedom. It’s conditional freedom based on the functioning
of the body. Who you are is Freedom itself. And that is non-conditional. It is here right now. Your body is in It. Your thoughts are in It. Your emotions are in It. Your enlightenment is in It. Your ignorance is in It. So you don’t even have to wait for enlightenment.>From the state of darkest ignorance, from
hell itself, you can inquire, ‘What is real’? ‘What is the Truth’? ‘What is eternally here?’ You understand this? Good, because I’ve never said it so well. (everyone laughs)
I am certain of that.(more laughter) And I am sure the tape broke
because… (more laughter) it always does when it’s just right, so it is not to be
memorized, not to be learned. It’s to be recognized in this moment because
it’s time. It’s time! There’s this moment on the planet earth
and we don’t know when the moment will be ended, but it could be soon. So no time for postponement. There is this moment where there is a crack
in the world story, in the collective story, in the earth story where Freedom can recognize
Itself, where Truth can recognize Itself here on Earth at this time. And it is up to you. It is up to you! It is not up to some messiah dropping out of the sky. That may happen but so what? It is up to you. And it is up to you right now. (instrumental music) I like to meet around holidays because even
if most of our holidays have been trivialized and commercialized or dismissed or just an
excuse to escape reality they really have at their root, whether they are religious
or political, at their root they have the source, the core of what we are speaking about here. And in particular this holiday, this holiday
of independence. This freedom holiday. So there is the political freedom which is
huge and the American revolution which was huge, is huge in history and what it
meant to speak of inalienable rights, rights that cannot be taken away from you. This is huge but I am not really speaking
of that. I support that as most of you know and do
speak of that and don’t want to dismiss its importance or separate it in any way from
spiritual inquiry. But deeper than that freedom, closer than
that freedom is the Freedom that is spoken of here and that this invitation to you is
made from. It’s not the freedom of choice even
though I also speak about the freedom of choice a lot while most species, including the
human species have no experience of choice, there are rare beings who do awaken to the
experience of choice, the freedom of choice. And this is wondrous and to be celebrated
but I am not speaking of that. It’s even deeper than the freedom of choice. It’s the inalienable Truth of who you are,
that which you cannot in reality be separate from. Which is the freedom to be. I am not speaking about ‘how’ you be. Because there are those who ‘be’ very
well (laughs, everyone laughs) and overlook this deepest Freedom. And there are those who seemingly be horribly
and recognize this truth of the deepest Freedom. So it is closer than any manifestation of
freedom, as wondrous as those manifestations may be. It’s closer. Not having to do with politics, not having
to do with the physical body, not having to do with circumstances, not having to do with
emotions and not having to do with thoughts. Because all of those can be relatively free. But the Truth of who you are is absolutely
free – unconditionally free, regardless of conditions is free. So the reason for our meeting is that that
may be recognized by you as the Truth of who you are. And since I know you to be my own Self, your
recognition is my recognition. My recognition is your recognition. And I am happy to give you all of my recognition
in exchange for your recognition. So that this deepest recognition, this deepest
celebration can spread throughout the land. So that all aspects of oneself can recognize
oneself as free, impossible to be separate from Freedom and that’s the true peace
regardless of the apparent conflict. That is alive and awake as you right now. Whatever is happening with your body, whatever
is happening with your emotions, whatever is happening with your thoughts or your circumstances
That is alive and awake as you. So if we can consider the question, ‘What
is real freedom?’ ‘What is true freedom?’ And if we can discover what it is that we
think is freedom and dive deeper than that. What it is we feel is freedom and dive deeper
than that. What it is we have been taught is freedom. What it is we experience is freedom – deeper,
deeper, deeper – closer, closer, closer. Then we cannot help but recognize it is what
is always here. There are circumstances that are not free. And most people in the world suffer those
circumstances. There are emotions that are not free. There are experiences that are not free. There are thoughts that are not free. There are bodies that are not free. And everyone has had experience of all of
that. The possibility for you is to have the direct
experience of what is free always. We have had great mystics in the past who have
shown us this. And some from the depths of dungeons, from
the experience of being tortured, killed, martyred, crucified, abandoned, ostracized,
burned, hated, ridiculed, some from the experience of being exalted, worshiped, adored, followed.
Closer than any of that is the opportunity for you to discover in this phase of your
lifetime for you to discover, what is and always has been free. What is and always is your true face and
to share that, to be that, to celebrate that, to receive that, and to discover, ‘Does it
have an end?’ In the turning the mind to discover, ‘Does
it have an end?’ perhaps you will discover apparent end, ending,
boundaries, and then you have the opportunity to discover, ‘is that boundary real?’ ‘Is that ending of the truth of freedom real?’ There are opportunities throughout life to
be challenged. Life is a challenge. However privileged your life may be, there are challenges. And each challenge can reveal deeper the closeness
of this freedom. Until there is absolute recognition of never
ever having been any separation, impossible to be truly alienated from the Freedom that
you are. Subtitles by the Amara.org community

10 thoughts on “Gangaji: Freedom and Desire

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