THE INNER PRISON – THE WAY OUT
Stone: Blue Sapphire
The Mantra: Om Namah Shivaya
What are the chains imprisoning me?
Are they truly real?
How can I become free of them at last?
Have you been asking yourself these questions?
If not, don’t you consider them important?
Before the Path and at its beginning they are the ONLY important ones.
a) If you consider these questions intensely enough
you will be bound to realize that:
our chains are only real to the extent
that we believe them to be.
as the prison is in our mind, to become free
we must go beyond it.
How will you go beyond the mind?
Begin by acquiring the control over your thoughts.
Indeed we are only bound by our identifications with them:
our thoughts determine how we deal with all the desires, dependencies
and habits from our psychological past.
The advice of many Teachers along the ages is:
Instead of trying to escape your inner prison,
just stop believing in it.
But this applies to the more advanced seekers, for most people – including many “seekers” – are not even quite aware that they are creating it at the unconscious level, so for them it would not easily work.
Wu Hsin’s advice is:
If man spent as much
time and energy
demolishing his prison
as was spent in building it
all would be free.
Actually, even less than less of such a time would do,
for it takes much less time to demolish something
than to build it.
b) As Ramana Maharshi pointed out,
Only so long as one considers oneself bound to thoughts of bondage and Liberation continue.
When one enquires who is bound the Self is realized,
eternally attained, eternally free.
This is the very first step of the Way Out:
Before we can break out of your inner prison,
we must first realize how strong it is.
To which extent have you realized it?
Einstein’s advice is:
Our task should be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles
of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole
of nature in its beauty.
How would this set us free?
Nisargadatta Maharaj’s advice is:
The main point to grasp is that you have projected onto yourself a world of your own imagination, based on memories, on desires and fears, and that you have imprisoned yourself in it.
Break the spell and be free.
How will you break the spell?
As Wu Hsin recommended,
Giving attention to What-Is and not giving
attention to what appears to be,
is the key to open the prison door.
c) Apart as a Positive Affirmation never say:
“I am already free, or very close to it”
But tell yourself:
As nothing else matter to me right here and now
I WILL conquer my inner freedom.
And if you are already at that level tell yourself with the words of the Avadhut Ghita:
As I’ve never been bound, so I can never be liberated.
How could I think that the Self to formlessness
can be restricted or imprisoned by form?
Nisargadatta Maharaj warns that:
It is only when you fully accept your responsibility for the little world where
you live and observe the process of its creation,
preservation and destruction
that you can be free from your imaginary slavery.
Do you accept your full responsibility?
Until you do you will never be able to really change your world.
In which sense is our slavery imaginary?
The Devil’s Advocate:
Dostoevskyis the one who understood how easy our job really is when he rightly wrote that: “The best way to keep a prisoner from escaping is to make sure he never knows he’s in prison.”
How many have realized that?
You probably need just the fingers of one hand to count them!
The inner prison is made up of all our identifications with so many
false beliefs about who we are: fully realizing this
will be your Liberation.
How many identifications and false beliefs do you still have?
Don’t be deceived.
Words of Power:
Apart from seeking a way out, until we are free from our inner prison
almost nothing we ever do makes
any difference at all.
If you do not think so, this thought is the bars of your inner prison speaking.
“A prison is the world and we are the prisoners. Dig a hole
in the prison and let yourself out.” Rumi
The very first story that Vijay remembers reading as a child was about a fox or some other animal who found a hole in a wall and though it entered a cellar full of rich food.
The fox ate and ate until its belly got so big that could no longer pass through the hole to escape, so it was caught and beaten up, or perhaps even killed.
Vijay then intuitively understood how that cellar full of food
was the world, and that he had to be careful
not to be imprisoned in it like the fox.
Do you ever feel likewise?
Question/Ko’han 1 and 2:
How will you become free of your own Inner Prison?
Why in this way and not another?
Question/Ko’han 3 to 5:
The only chains imprisoning us
are the ones cast by our own thoughts: all we have to do
to become free is to discard them.
How determined are you to discard them?
Is not, or not much, why?
What are you waiting for to discard them?
Rumi has the last word:
Tied up have you been, your feet in the mud,
your body to a log chained: break off all bounds,
for the final flight yourself prepare;
from this weird world your last journey make
to the high peaks soar up
where no more separation is there
between you and your true home.
Which separation is still there between yourself and your true home?
How will you bridge it?
1) Determine which your strongest conditionings from the past are.
– For each of them consider:
– Have you striven enough to get rid of them?
– To which extent have you been successful in this?
– How will you deal with each of them from now on?
1) This passage of Anthony de Mello:
First, realize that you are surrounded by prison walls,
that your mind has gone to sleep.
It does not even occur to most people to see this,
so they live and die as prison inmates.
Hardly anyone becomes a rebel,
a revolutionary who breaks down the prison walls.
You can only be a revolutionary
when you can see the prison walls in the first place.
2) These verses of Wu Hsin:
The trance of separateness
is the jail.
Imagination is the jailer.
When one no longer believes
what one imagines oneself to be
the cell door opens
and the realization dawns that
a life filled with being somebody
is an empty existence.
How can a snowflake exist in such a raging Fire?
said a Zen monk, curious soul, a bit like saying:
why do you in that old prison dwell still
when the door is wide open?