I think freedom must mean freedom from something.
No more chasing pleasure and praise. No more dodging pain and blame.
It’s not the pleasure/pain, etc. itself that is the problem. It’s being too much motivated by the prospect that has to be dealt with.
Still a tall order.
Do it first; talk about it later. That’s good advice.
I’m going to talk first. I’ve been banging on this one for a while. I’ve been asking myself whether freedom is worth the effort.
I’m thinking of what I’d have to get rid of…
A certain amount of my consciousness is more or less permanently occupied by the anticipation of a cold Tecate with my enchiladas on Friday night. Is that an obstacle to my freedom? What if they’re out of Tecate and I have to drink Modelo instead? What then?
My opinions are how I keep track of what I think about things. They make me feel good in a righteous sort of way. Do they have to go? And how about my characterization of you – or myself, for that matter? I’m feeling pretty satisfied with how I’ve got us summed up. It would be unpleasant to not have you and me figured out.
I like the feeling I have when it seems to me that others like me. How much energy over my lifetime have I expended in an effort to present myself in a way that I think will make me appear to others to be someone they would like to like?
I like being told I’ve done a good job. I don’t like being told I’ve done a bad job. So, for that reason I will do a good job. Or maybe I’ll just conceal from you that I’ve done a bad one.
What about animosities? I have some. Funny how carrying around a little irritation feels good. If I’ve got something against somebody, it’s because I’ve caught them doing something that displeases me. And since I’m my own standard, I’m probably a little better in some way than someone who falls short of that standard and thereby causes me displeasure.
Anger feels righteous.
Craving is an unpleasant feeling that can temporarily be relieved by its gratification.
How much of my life is in the service of desire?
How much of my life is in the avoidance of discomfort?
Freedom starts to feel like I’m killing off pieces of myself.
What do I get out of it?
To figure that out I’d have to figure out how much pleasure and praise I get by freeing myself from my attachment to pleasure and praise.
Ego is sitting on the couch reading the paper, and when I get restless like this he looks over and says… If you could do it, you would have done it by now. That shit’s not realistic. You want real? Grab a beer and come sit down. We’ll watch the game. You’ll feel better.
I’ve been hanging around in the parking lot for a while, thinking about it.
I want to be better than I think I am. I want you to be better than I think you are. I want the whole damn species to pick up its game a little.
Happiness fugitive in what is not.
I’m pulled by craving and pushed by fear, and many are the times I’ve said to myself…
Wouldn’t you like to be free of that?
I’m always hearing that freedom isn’t free.
Yes it is.
Yes it is.
It’s all that other shit that will make you bleed.
I can’t talk to myself any more about whether freedom is worth it or whether I can do it.
My question to myself now is, Have you begun.