CAPTIVITY TO FREEDOM TO CAPTIVITY
For Man, the nine month captivity in the womb ends at birth. But another kind of captivity with another name, LIFE, that sounds very optimistic, begins. People around are happy chanting happy notes, with laddoos and with felicitations. But perhaps the consciousness of the new born immediately identifies the beginning of another kind of imprisonment. It cries!
Man has always cherished freedom, at various different levels. From the womb to the cradle to the mother’s lap is another freedom but captivity of another kind. From crawling to walking to running, you notice that limitations of one sort open up into an extension of freedom but one step ahead brings an instant new set of shackles.
The child now is free to go to school but immediately the school rules apply. The child is a free member in the family but family traditions catch up.
Life then is a sentence!
You are free to choose a word from all the words available in the language. But once you pick the first word, choices close in upon the choice of the next word. You have to choose the next word from a smaller number of words available now to strike compatibility with the first word chosen. The second word and the third have fewer and fewer choices to choose from until the last word that has only one choice: full stop!
Life is a SENTENCE. The verdict has already been written. We call it Destiny. There have been debates: destiny is character or character, destiny. Much has been said on either side. But I think Destiny comprises two sub-destinies: one, that cannot be modified, say, about 90% and two, that can be modified with the help of one’s free will and what is called a’maal or karma, say, about 10%.
I think, the so called cherished freedom is at best attainable within this 10%, not for free but at a very high price. Look at the price people like the prophets and saints had to pay to attain a certain level of freedom for oneself and the followers. One would shudder to visualize the unimaginable and immeasurable suffering they chose to embrace only to attain the highest level of freedom that we call by different names like salvation, liberation, nirvana, fana fillah or ‘dying before death’. It is a state of mind at the highest level. Some people, like Buddha or Ram or Mohammed or Nanak, only to name a few of the many, have reached this level where not only they freed themselves from the various mundane bondages but paved a new path and established it for a better world order.
It was Ramkrishna Paramhans who said, “It is by Mind that one is bound and it is by Mind again that one is freed”.
There have been people in the history of mankind who have attained this state of freedom by breaking the prevailing social and religious codes and customs and readily paid a heavy price, in certain cases even in terms of one’s life, people like the Joan of Arc or Mirabai or Shams Tabrez or Mansoor or Sarmad, only to name a few.
There is yet another category of men and women who have or have been campaigning for one kind of freedom or the other. In principal, it appears that they are raising voices for a just cause, like human rights related issues, or women empowerment or eradication of corruption or legalization of gay marriages or you-call-it-liberation-movement but we call it cross-border- terrorism or you call it jehad but they call it fundamentalist terrorism or simply freedom of action and expression.
So many lives have been sacrificed. The world order has been terribly disturbed. No side is willing to understand. The fight for freedom is on. Why? Because the mind can go in two directions: the positive and the negative. To get rid of negativity, one has to train one’s mind by actually living a life free from the Freudian id and ego. If I am still not free from the clutches of the material desires, if I still crave for a woman either in this world or in Heaven, taking for granted His Judgement that He will allow me into the Heaven, I don’t think I’ll succeed in attaining my goals, no matter how noble and lofty they are. I wouldn’t even know whether gay marriages will bring a better world order.
Aql-e-salees or sadbuddhi, I think, is attainable only after one’s mind is free from kubuddhi or aql-e-iblees, which I call ‘outellect’.
O God, have mercy on us. We do not know what we are doing. Forgive us and free us from ‘outellectualism’ so that we start looking at FREEDOM as jam and butter between two large slices of CAPTIVITY.