What is “Freedom”? — I // Matthieu Ricard

What is “Freedom”? — I // Matthieu Ricard

“To be free is to be master of oneself. For many people, such mastery involves freedom of action, movement and opinion, the opportunity to achieve the goals they have set themselves. This conviction locates freedom primarily outside oneself and overlooks the tyranny of thoughts. Indeed, it is a commonplace….that freedom means being able to do whatever we want and to act on the least of our whims. It’s a strange idea, since in so doing we become the plaything of thoughts that disturb our mind, the way a mountaintop wind bends the grass in every direction….

Can anarchic freedom, the only goal of which is the immediate fulfilment of desires, bring happiness? There is every reason to doubt it. Spontaneity is a precious quality so long as it is not confused with mental chaos. If we let the hounds of craving, jealousy, arrogance and resentment run amok in our mind, they will soon take the place over.  Conversely, inner freedom is a vast, clear and serene space that dispels all pain and nourishes all peace.

Inner freedom is above all freedom from the dictatorship of ‟me” and ‟mine,” of the ego that clashes with whatever it dislikes and seeks desperately to appropriate whatever it covets.”

— Matthieu Ricard (“Inner Freedom – 1” Blog Post at http://www.matthieuricard.org/en/blog/posts/inner-freedom-1)

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