The Ultimate Freedom

by Christopher Lovejoy on May 22, 2016

The ultimate freedom is … what, exactly?

Is it lying under a tree near a lake under a clear blue sky in the middle of nowhere?

Is it standing at the peak of a large hill and running your gaze all along the horizon?

Is it getting a taste of ecstasy on all levels with a special someone while making love?

Certainly, if you’ve lived long enough and if you’ve loved truly and deeply enough, you have your own version of what ultimate freedom means to you, from which and with which to sketch, draw, or paint a vision of same, to serve as a reliable polestar to your ultimate freedom.

My initial question, however, is an invitation to articulate, in mere words, the ultimate freedom. The reason why I am so keen to describe this kind of freedom is because it is so deeply allied with ultimate fulfillment, such that “if I am ultimately free, then I am ultimately fulfilled.”

And so, wherein lies ultimate freedom? How might one describe it?

Over a span of two seasons (1959-1960), Alan Watts anchored and presented a television series of 18 episodes on eastern wisdom as it applies to modern life. In episode 13 (yes, lucky number 13!), he shared his view on the nature of omnipotence, in which he made a key distinction between what I call the (linear, serial) Way of the World (Western) and the (holistic, simultaneous) Way of the Wand (Eastern).

Aside: Gaia carries all 18 episodes under the heading Alan Watts on Eastern Wisdom and Modern Life.

Let me put it to you this way: if I am to apply ultimate truth and ultimate wisdom in service to ultimate freedom so that I might experience a realization of the ultimate in personal fulfillment, which path do I take? Do I enter the Way of the World to blaze a path of guts and glory to the ultimate in unity … or … do I enter the Way of the Wand and follow a path of buoyancy and serenity to the ultimate in harmony?

In keeping with Western tradition, do I presume to go from the outside inward, in doing, doing, and ever more doing to improve, improve, and improve some more, or, in keeping with Eastern tradition, do I presume to flow in being, being, and ever more being from the inside outward?

With the Way of the World, I ask this twofold question: how do I engender my will with a will so that I might engender the will with the Will? With the Way of the Wand, I ask this twofold question: how do I surrender my will with a will and thereby surrender the will to the Will?

The choice is clear: engender (to be at cause just because) or surrender (to be a channel for the cause)?

These existential questions are vitally important because they go to the heart of that duality known as scarcity and abundance, but even more fundamentally, they go to the heart of our lives with this rather provocative question: how does one move from impotence to omnipotence?

In daily life, unless you’ve identified yourself as manic, depressive, or manic-depressive, most feelings of omnipotence and impotence are relatively fleeting experiences.

The traditional Western bias is that a feeling of omnipotence is to be favored over a feeling of impotence. The traditional Eastern bias, by contrast, is that a feeling of impotence is to be favored over a feeling of omnipotence. Let us now see how and why this might be so …

Via affirmativa (adding, affirming, adding, affirming), the ultimate freedom in the West is to resist impotence with all your might while also doing everything in your power to occupy a position in a place where you allow yourself to be, do, and have whatever you desire, so as to enjoy a longstanding feeling of omnipotence as a separate, significant Self, no matter how arrogant this might seem to others.

Via negativa (subtracting the ways of the world until harmony with the Whole is attained), the ultimate freedom in the East is to pass through impotence with deep humility on the way to being carried on the wind of the Whole, which, by the Way, also happens to be omnipotent, so as to enjoy a longstanding feeling of omnipotence as an integral, relevant Self, no matter how arrogant this might seem to others.

In my view, there is no escaping the ego.

Yes, of course, you can distinguish between the healthy ego and the unhealthy ego, and yes, you can be provocative by presuming to view (stupidly, in my humble estimation) the ego as an enemy, but the egoic core cannot be escaped, ever. While in third density, it can be tamed and it can be pressed into the service of the Self with a heart, but it cannot ever, ever be escaped, or even destroyed – only transformed.

Many years after Alan Watts presented episode 13 on Omnipotence, while passing (after passing?) through the transformative fires of the sexual revolution of the 1960s, he gave a bold and daring talk, all the while deftly straddling energies East and West, on “how (not) to make yourself a better person”.

I let the inimitable Mr. Watts conclude this post:

I hereby allow hidden fingers to pick up
any loose threads in this post
to weave a magical result in my next post.

This post has been filed under a message for our times in the Ultimate Outline.

Note: my evolving outline on approaching a realization of the ultimate in personal fulfillment can be found here, accessible from the nav menu under the page “Be Here Now”.

Note: this ever growing perspective began here: Ultimate Perspective

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