“It’s a Slavery to live in the mind unless it has become part of the body.” – Khalil Gibran
I came across this great quote the other day, and I wanted to share it with you.
In just 17 words, it shows the imprisonment the mind creates and the freedom available when that is seen for what it is.
For those of us who suffer greatly from the thoughts and beliefs of the mind and the corresponding emotional experiences of anxiety, depression, isolation, withdrawal, conflict, it might be really obvious that this is indeed a system of slavery.
In this system, everything is dragged into and held captive in whatever reality the mind is creating.
Our sense of being is captured in torturous thoughts of the future or held prisoner by the past.
Our idea of what we are is made dependent on what is believed to be going on in other people’s heads and our freedom seems to hinge on glimpses of approval and respect.
We are trapped in conflicts where the only escape seems to be proving ourselves right and the other wrong.
Slavery of the mind indeed. A no choice, no option compulsion. Forced to live out over and over again whatever the mind creates.
And this is because whatever the mind is creating looks real. Whatever the mind is saying about ourselves and what we need, looks indeed to be what we are and what we need. Whatever commentary the mind creates on other people, on circumstances and events absolutely is believed to be the truth of those other people, circumstances and events.
The experience of what we are is held captive in the creations of the mind. Actions and words are shackled by these mental ‘truths’.
And unless something happens or something is heard, this will continue. Because it is the struggle for freedom within these confines that makes the prison walls draw in. The fighting of the imaginary guards makes them seem all the more brutally real.
So where is the freedom?
It is in reality or the body as Gibran refers to it.
The body is the portal to reality. It is immediate. Now. Only this. It is intelligence. Presence.
And all of this, this reality, is what we are.
And the mind can become part of that flow of intelligence, of the flow of existence. The miraculous meeting of whatever is there to be met. The response to whatever is there to be responded to.
How does that happen? How does the mind comes into the body? Into reality. What makes it give up its habit of believing and then fighting its own creations.
Suffering is a good place to start. It shows what the mind, in that moment, is creating. Resistance shows the mind battling itself.
Desperation is another good place to begin. It is the desperation that maintains the slavery.
The counter point to desperation is curiosity. Curiosity makes it possible to actually see these prison walls, and shackles and guards for what they really are.
The slavery of living in a mind that is detached from reality. The freedom of bringing it home to what is now, real and true.