Liberation of the Individual

Liberation of the Individual

“Until an individual comes to a fundamental questioning of who he is, he is simply lost in the collectivity.”

Spirituality is not an ideology, it is not a concept, and it is not a manmade dream. Spirituality is an existential longing to know who you are. That is why there is no other force more powerful than an individual’s longing. It is more powerful than all of the atomic bombs that man has ever created, because this force, once it takes over an individual, can remove everything out of their path and simply allow them to focus: Who am I? What am I? Why am I? Why am I eating? Why am I breathing? Why am I walking? Why am I dreaming? Until an individual comes to a fundamental questioning of who he is, he is simply lost in the collectivity.

A further example of this collectivity is religion. In religion, you cannot recognize an individual because it is just another collective ideology. If you are a Hindu, a Muslim, or a Christian, does it say anything at all about you? No. It can only say something about where you grew up. In fact, everything about you, from the way you look to the language that you use, has been acquired from the outside. And all the accumulation has submerged and hidden the real you.

Now, more than ever, the world is moving towards the liberation of the individual. There was a time for kings, there was a time for priests, and there was a time for governments, but now the force is the individual. If you look at what is happening, our innovations and developments are constantly giving the individual the power to express himself. Not too long ago, even to share this simple existential process would have required me to get permission from my religious community. They would have decided whether it made sense or not. Then I would have needed the permission from my country. They would have decided whether what I said was helpful to people or not. Under those circumstances, individuality was completely drowned.

Throughout human history, if an individual saw something that sparked his curiosity he would want to express himself, no matter the circumstances. For example, when Galileo figured out that we live on a round planet and that the Earth rotates around the sun, the church considered this to be an absolute heresy. During the time of Galileo, if you were not following the orders of the church you were a heretic, which literally means “one who goes their own way”.

Galileo was also considered to be a danger to the church because the church always believed that the earth was flat and that it was created in six days. So the church branded Galileo as a heretic and his papers were not allowed to be published. They went back and forth and finally the church forced Galileo to write at the end of his papers that his findings were only a speculation, not the truth. Only by adding that condition could Galileo publish his papers.

In a way, we have come very far. Now an individual is free, theoretically. Psychologically he is still bound by a suppression that has kept him in bondage for so many centuries. Since man comes from this collective consciousness, whether he knows it or not, there is a part of him that knows that his ideas were subjugated at one point in time. At that point in time, man had the fear of expressing himself freely. So in a subtle form, that suppression has continued to this day in the form of the family, the community, the religion, and the ideologies of the country

Therefore, an individual is still bound, but he is more bound psychologically than in any other way. He is more bound by his own mental process than by anything else. If an individual can step away from his psychological burden, if he can explore life from the pristine purity of his own consciousness, then the answers he will get will simply astound him. It will completely put him in a different realm of reality, because an individual is only one end of the spectrum. The other end of the spectrum is divinity.

What is an individual searching for? He is searching for absolute freedom, happiness, goodness, and love. He is searching for a way to go beyond his pain and suffering. He simply wants to be out of pain. As a result, the combination of all of these qualities is what we call divinity. Divinity is not a person. Rather it is the best of all of these qualities, and the search to reach that divinity can only start from the individual.

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Seeking Divinity is an individual’s journey

Seeking Divinity is an individual’s journey

“Not everyone who has a body is an individual.”

An individual is an ocean; a vast, unimaginable ocean of life. An individual is aliveness; he is not what you see. A person is simply what he is.  You are simply what you are. There is a tremendous difference between the person that you see in the mirror and the person that you see within yourself. The person that you see in the mirror is just a form, a play of light and darkness. What you see there is a texture and a shape—that is it. What is not visible in the mirror is the aliveness through which even that contemplation is happening.

The thought that enters your mind and says, I am, is an individual. In that sense, not everyone who has a body is an individual. But everybody who has asked this question, everybody who has contemplated on the thought, I am, is an individual. Hence, an individual does not take birth through the body. It is the body that takes birth through the body. An individual takes birth with this question, with this realization, and with this understanding.

Spirituality is a very human problem. It is not an existential problem. There are insects crawling around, and there are birds singing. Look at the vibrancy of aliveness all around you. There is no disturbance, there is no questioning, there is no seeking, and there is no trouble. They are all just going about their lives. You can even say that they are blissful, because bliss is a state of non-disturbance. The insects and the birds are simply being in the moment.

A bird flying in the sky has no religion, no name. It does not know where it has come from and it does not know where it is going. It does not have a philosophy, it does not have an ideology, it does not believe in heaven and hell, and it is not interested in redemption. Yet, look at the life that is gracing that bird. It is free in the vastness of the sky, utterly free, absolutely free. If a human being can experience that one single moment of freedom, then he will be changed forever. If he can be a bird in the sky for even one moment, then his troubles end. Even for a single moment if you can be absolutely free, utterly free, then you will know the tremendous value of individuality and you will know the tremendous force called an individual.

As of now, an individual is suffering. He is suffering his own knowledge, reasoning, questioning, and ideology. In a way, it is bound to happen though because an individual takes birth as an idea. You will have to understand: An individual is a beautiful quality that takes birth through a desire, which is an action. An individual is always born into a collective system, or a family. Grammatically, an individual is an adjective who takes birth through a desire, which is a verb, into a collective noun. So, an individual is nothing but an adjective trapped in a collective noun.

An individual is born into a family, but what is family to him? He does not understand family because all he knows is how to recognize another individual. He can see his father, his mother, and his brothers and sisters, but he cannot understand the idea of a family. It just seems elusive. Still, he tries to fit in; look at the trouble. An individual is trying to fit into a collective ideology, but it doesn’t make any sense to him.

An individual has to move from one collective ideology—his family, to another—the school. There, he learns certain things and abides by the rules of the school, but again his individuality is troubled. He begins to ask, What am I doing here? What is my purpose? Why am I in this school? From school, an individual moves into work, and even at work he is a part of a collective ideology, because organizations always have a common purpose that everybody is working towards.

So, an individual is automatically given all of these collective ideologies. He is given a country, he is given a religion, he is given a family, and he is given a place to work. Thus, throughout his life he remains confused about the most important thing: Who is he? That question leads an individual to spirituality. In fact, just ask yourself, Who am I? That question itself will make you spiritual.

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This is the time for individual

This is the time for individual

There was a time for kings, there was a time for warriors, there was a time for governments, and there was a time for countries; this is the time for the individual.  The whole existence has been quietly moving towards this single purpose of liberating an individual. Every change in desire, every change in lifestyle, every change in technology, every war, every invention, and every movement across the world has been towards attaining this single purpose; to give back an individual what is rightfully his; his freedom.

The whole world is deluded in believing that the object of our struggles is a better world. The fact is, individuals across the world are tossing and turning in discomfort; this is the reason for our movement, this is why we are creating, this is why we are searching and this is why we are changing.  The existence is shaking itself to a grander realization; it will not rest till each and every individual is free. We are not moving towards a better world, we are moving towards our freedom.

“This is the time for the individual”

So what is this freedom? Is it to live in a free country, is it to have a right to elect a politician, is it to have freedom of speech, is it to follow a religion of our choice; surprisingly it’s none of these. If even one of these things were to represent true freedom, all our struggles would have ended by now.

What we are searching for is something else altogether. Our search is for love and the freedom of its unbounded expression. We are meant to be something, we are here for a purpose; there are no flukes in existence. Everything has been moving towards helping us to get to this point; to help us find our true expression. There is no other better time to begin the search for our meaning and purpose than now. 

Just think about it, how infinitely easy it is for you to freely express yourself today when compared to even ten years ago. The future belongs to those who can find that inner spark of individuality within themselves and express it without fear. They are the ones who will be heard, they are the ones who will be looked up to, and eventually they are the only ones who will matter.

It simply does not matter what is your chosen field of interest. Your stamp of uniqueness and individuality are the only things you leave behind. The phenomenon of you is new. Existence has never produced another you before and the reason for it is obvious; it wanted to create something unique and different, and found its expression through you. All you need to do is be that you, you are meant to be. Everything else is ready to make way for you.

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