Achieve Mental Freedom
It is impossible to gain freedom from something undefined and vague. You must know what is trapping you; without doing this, all your efforts to emancipate yourself will bear no fruit. The fact that we live in a chaotic world makes attaining internal freedom more difficult. This is because the external or physical environment is more powerful than our internal environments. For example, a young person can’t appreciate what he or she has if he or she is constantly comparing his/her lifestyle to that of others on social media. This may lead them to stress, depression and low self-esteem. Fortunately, by attaining internal freedom, we can appreciate what we have as we work towards what we want.
In this article, I will be talking about mental slavery and what it takes to achieve mental freedom. Towards these ends, I will be discussing what various cultures and religions teach in regards to achieving mental freedom. While the term jihad is synonymous with hate and violence; jihad, according to Islam has a greater meaning. The term jihad connotes striving or struggling to attain something. This includes various forms of non-violent struggles. It includes struggling to become a better person. This falls under the interesting category referred to as the Jihad of the self or conquering oneself. By engaging in this type of jihad, Muslims can liberate themselves from their mental shackles.
Mental Freedom according to the Buddhist Religion
One of the fundamental teachings of the Buddhist religion is how to achieve mental freedom. According to the teachings of Buddhism, everything depends upon your mind. The world that you experience is as a result of karma; your actions, and speech. To change the world you live in, it is important that you change your mind. This can be achieved by first gaining a firm understanding of how the mind works. When you free your mind from the turbulence of distracting things, it becomes smooth and calm. As you begin to enjoy internal peace (mental freedom) our craving for external sources of happiness and pleasure decline naturally. This, in turn, enables us to be content with ourselves.
Mental Freedom according to the Christian Doctrine
According to the Christian doctrine, mental freedom takes a different, but interesting turn from Buddhism; however, the principal remains the same. The result of gaining internal freedom in all the religions is to be able to free ourselves from external pressures that have blurred the true meaning of freedom.
According to the Christian doctrine, freedom does not give you the right to do as you please. Secondly, without accepting Christ, you are a slave of sin, and you will not be able to actor do right. Thirdly, the death of Christ on the cross set Christians free from sin and its penalty. However, to gain true freedom from the world, Christians are advised to seek the kingdom of God first and all the rest shall follow. This, of course, includes mental freedom.
Own your mind: Do not believe in external circumstances
There is one golden string that cuts across all these doctrines in regards to attaining mental freedom. The struggle to achieving mental freedom starts deep within the person in pursuit of it; you have to pursue mental freedom aggressively and without giving up. You do not attain mental freedom by merely saying that you desire to be free. According to the above examples, it is clear that mental freedom comes from detaching ourselves from all ideals, emotions, definitions, and standards you learned growing up. This process will be highly uncomfortable but its results will bring you immense comfort and happiness.
The infamous Roman philosopher, Seneca, once stated ‘’ show me a man who is not a slave …one is a slave to greed, another to lust, another to ambition, and all men are slaves to fear.’’ All human beings subject themselves, one way or another, to mental enslavement. Historically conquerors like Alexander the Great, and Genghis Khan were able to rule over vast lands but they failed to rule over their minds. Mental enslavement is not a preserve of the common masses.
One of the most celebrated stoic philosophers is Marcus Aurelius. Marcus Aurelius was not just a stoic philosopher; he was an accomplished general and one of the greatest Roman emperors. Marcus Aurelius, in the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, compares different conquerors to philosophers of their time. He says that the philosophers, Diogenes, Heraclitus, and Socrates knew the what, the how, and the why; and most importantly, their minds were their own. The conquerors, Alexander, Pompey, and Julius Caesar, were according to, Marcus Aurelius, full of anxiety and enslavement.
Think Beyond Emotional Instability
Stoic philosophers like Marcus Aurelius teach us to think beyond our emotional instability. This is the only way we can achieve mental freedom. It also frees us from the turbulence of our emotions. The emperor Marcus Aurelius also battled his demons in this regards. He advises us to stop being slaves of our minds, and slaves of our selfish impulses. We are usually inclined to blame others for our mental states. For example, we may blame our mental state to our jobs, wealth; and at times, not being privileged compared to others.
However, from the above examples, it is clear that privilege and wealth do not guarantee mental freedom. Just look at Hollywood. All the stories of dysfunctional behaviors are proof of this. Fame and money cannot buy your mental freedom. The truth of the matter is that we all experience setbacks in our lives. These setbacks may include rejection, financial ruin, poverty, addiction, or heartbreaks. Life is like a movie, it moves in a linear line. As a result, you may choose to be either the director or the actor.
We all have the power and capability to take a pledge of control, and personal responsibility. This gives us hope that we can attain mental freedom. This also allows us to free ourselves from victimhood. We can understand and take full responsibility for our choices. This allows us to enjoy life more because we work with what we can control. The first step of attaining mental freedom is mastering the elusive art of letting go of ideas and reactions that cause us to be slaves of the external world.
Wisdom is going hand by hand with mental freedom. Your choices and actions are directly from your Higher Self and not the external circumstances.
Always look for mental freedom no matter what. The only way to be free and happy.
But still! Freedom is not for everybody! only to the braves! It takes courage to be free…
Are you up? Ready to make an impact and change to your life and others?
I have a way to help you…
I love you all!!! Stay on the good path!!!