Being that Filipino Independence Day is tomorrow, and Canada Day comes a few days before my own U.S. Independence Day in the coming weeks (I have family ties to the Philippines, Canada and the U.S.) I thought I’d just get this one out there. It’s about freedom.
A lot of people say “I’m not hurting anyone, I can do what I want. It’s a free country.” And it is. Sure. But hear what Paramahansa Yogananda has to say about Freedom. He talked a lot about desires and habits and attachment to those habits. Being slaves to those habits and desires.
Take eating a whole bag of Cheetos in one sitting, for example. I am free to do so, according to U.S. and state laws. But the freedom Yogananda-ji spoke of tells one that he/she does not have to let the senses dictate their behavior. The senses are meant for self-preservation, and when they start taking over they may make us do things that are anti-preservation, such as eating a whole bag of Cheetos in one sitting, They have then usurped the power that we are granted as sentient, intuitive, discriminating beings.
So, in truth the real freedom is in using our discrimination, not in sense-gratification. In sense gratification, our most base powers of decision-making are in control. Not our essential being. Not the mind. Not the higher Self. The Bhagavad-Gita sees the senses and desires as an opposing army. It is definitely a useful analogy, but as an opposing army they are really beyond one’s own control. All you can do is fight them. When thinking of them as one’s own weapons and tools, one wields much more control over himself. And therefore, his destiny.