[Photo credit: artist and illustrator, Siri Stiklestad Opli http://www.fjellbjorka.no]
“It’s the ultimate peace, ultimate freedom. Everything falls away. There is nothing left.” a beautiful young man, I met recently, describing heroin.
And isn’t that what all of us are looking for in one way or another through whatever means our conditioning tells us it can be achieved?
The end of the self blame? The end to the feelings of inadequacy, responsibility and insecurity? The peace of inner silence. The freedom from everything.
That moment when we are no longer this vulnerable self in a harsh world. When all weight on our shoulders falls away. The high is a high of nothingness. It is the temporary end of a belief in self and other.
We crave this freedom and peace. We know deep down that exquisite nothingness is who we are. And we dedicate our lives to finding it in whatever way seems to work.
Freedom by earning more money. Peace in drugs, meditation or yoga. Losing ourselves in work. Forgetting our worries in exercise. The joy of a bottle or two. Quieting the insecurity by seeking approval or love or holding back or hiding away.
And when this works it becomes a Class A fix. That glimpse of peace and freedom is sensational. It is everything. And what we did to achieve it looks like the solution.
And so we earn more money. We drink more alcohol and take more drugs. We work harder. We enrol on more courses. We up the exercise regime. We seek more recognition. We hold back even more.
Of course we do. Why would we do anything else? We are searching for the only thing that makes sense – peace, love, joy and freedom. Nothing is more valid.
And then, maybe one day, we realise.
These glimpses of peace and freedom are the highs of an addict that keep the treadmill turning and the dealers dealing. We will only ever need more.
We realise that nothing can bring us what we are desperately seeking. Nothing can permanently chase away those feelings of insecurity, inadequacy. Nothing can bring constant peace or joy.
So we turn and face it head on, because we can’t do anything else. We give up. Whatever it is, we submit. We embrace the panic and the awfulness and the desperation. We shout at the world, ‘Bring it on. Give me the worse you have…’
We open up to the worst the world can bring and we realise… there is nothing there.
There is nothing there. And there is no self here.
And that is it.
That is the end of it. No more struggle.
Because, in seeing through the illusion of control, we realise the magnificent freedom of true nature.
In giving up the desperation to be calm or happy, we realise the profound peace and joy at the heart of every experience.
In ending the search for love, we realise there is only love.
No more seeking. No more fixes.
No more addict.
Just the freedom, peace, joy and love we always, deep down, knew we were.