“Whereas if you begin to enquire, find out, go into it very, very carefully, then you might find it is possible, entirely, urgently possible to live without any kind of pressure. Therefore when there is no pressure there is freedom” .Public Talk 1 Ojai, California, USA - 01 April 1978
You want something because you believe you’ll be happier and better off with it than without it. So, you apply yourself, and with skill and perseverance you succeed in getting what you want, and you’re proud and pleased and gratified.
But after awhile you become increasingly aware of how much of your time and energy it costs to have what you wanted so much, and you find yourself wanting to get rid of it. You realize that all the time and energy you spent wanting it, getting it, and having it, you want to get back because it really wasn’t worth it. Now, you think, you’ve learned your lesson and you’re wary of wanting and the cost of having, and you start thinking about freedom. Now you know that your time and energy is all you can really have, so you sell and give away all but the basic necessities.
Now you’re free, unencumbered, liberated from what possessed you and required constant attention. You bask in the luxury of your loss of attachments. You feel weightless, unbound, knowing that not knowing what’s next is freedom from the known. You’d rather live with uncertainty than with a false sense of security. Every day is a new day because it requires so little of you, leaving so much to explore and discover.
But eventually, you find that unless you avoid people and further simplify your life, you get bogged down in the swamp of things and relationships, and more of your time and energy is sapped until you’re back where you were: wanting. Will becoming a recluse, a hermit, be the solution? Or will that, too, prove to be only a modification of your situation? Probably, and anyway, that kind of austerity is too extreme.
So what are you to do? You’ve tasted freedom and you’ve found that it turns bitter with time. Freedom, it seems, is a momentary thing that can’t be bought or earned, strived for or invited. And freedom may even be possible with possesions and relationships because freedom is above and beyond everything you know - including your precious time and energy. But you can’t want freedom because you are time itself, the very antithesis of freedom.