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The real freedom

There are two kinds of minds --- an open mind and a closed mind. An open mind says,‘‘Maybe, perhaps, I do not know!’’ A closed mind is that which says, ‘‘This is how it is, I know it.” Sri Sri Ravi Shankar writes.

india Updated: May 12, 2011 00:35 IST
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

There are two kinds of minds --- an open mind and a closed mind. An open mind says,‘‘Maybe, perhaps, I do not know!’’ A closed mind is that which says, ‘‘This is how it is, I know it.”

All problems arise from knowing, not from ‘not knowing’. Whenever you seem to understand a situation and label it, that is the beginning of your problem. Whenever you think injustice has been done to you, or you are a victim, or you think something bad has happened to you, all this falls in the category of ‘I know it, this is how things are’.

But when there is amazement, patience, joy, then you are in a state of “I don’t know, may be.” The whole life is a shift from the limited “I know”, to all possibilities. You think you know the world and this is the biggest problem. When an event happens, there could be many possibilities for that event to be that way, not just in the gross, but some other reason in the subtle as well.

Suppose you enter your room and find that someone at home has made a big mess in your room. You attach that cause for your anger to that person. There is something else happening in the subtle but you could only see that person creating a mess and you attribute all the anger to that person. This is what limited knowledge does.

As we attach the events and emotions to individuals, the cycle continues. You will never be free from that. So first detach an event and emotion from that person, space and time. The wise person never labels individuals. That is why one should not see any intention behind the other’s mistakes or attribute mistakes to somebody and bear grudges. Then mind drops cravings and aversions and becomes free.

The world is for change, the self is for no-change. You have to rely on the no-change and accept the change. Often people think that certainty is freedom. If you feel that freedom when you are not certain, then that is ‘real’ freedom.