Freedom and Form

Snohomish County field of Snow Geese

The human being can been seen as a mid‑way point between a kind of heavy density on the one side and on the other side, a realm of light, subtler beings, less bound beings, beings less oppressed by the weight of fortune and destiny, less oppressed by the weight of form. Humankind has been seen as a bridge between that which is very dense and that which is very light. This all is symbolized by our utter dependence on polarity, on our utter dependence on relationship for our existence. On the one side, on the journey back to the infinite, there is a series of subtler light-oriented realms. As these realms get more subtle, they get more intelligent, more loving, more expansive, more compassionate, less obligated, less dense, more free. As we come to the very subtlest edge of this movement, from our restrictions to that growing sense of no restriction, we find the two great qualities ‑ yin/yang, mother/father ‑ and beyond that, the Infinite. The Infinite is absolutely unfettered, neither alive or dead in any sense that we understand, without qualities.

Here we are as human beings. Here we are in the realm of left and right, of up and down, of interdependence, of the weight of the body and the lightness of spirit. Here we are, in a sense, trapped between two worlds. Here we are in a sense, beings that represent two places, one which is dense and heavy and recoiled, and one which is light and intelligent, and filled with the free offering of love. Here we sit. There isn’t any human being on this earth who doesn’t live in their day-to-day affairs with some aspect of both of these operating within. The great light, the great freedom, the huge creative surge and that which is heavy and dense and caught, trapped in and on itself. This is our experience here.

Let’s close our eyes together. Sit and be easy and breath and allow. Notice the body and how the body feels. We breath. We allow. We settle down. If we find that difficult, if there’s something inside of us that seems to suggest we not do that, stay with it. Stay easy. We are here to have an experience that is quite different than the normal experience in the world, to come to ourselves in a very different way. To be easy in a way that perhaps we have never been with ourselves before, to unmask the whole conceptual framework that we use to surround and veil the experience of our lives. To come to our internal experience without a moral code. To come to our inner experience without any particular organizational structure at all, to let it be fundamentally, spontaneously, open. If what happens as we let ourselves be, if what begins to emerge is that we are often times quite contained, if we find ourselves latching onto an organizing structure as a plea for safety, if we find ourselves in a struggle between the organizing structure and that spontaneous emergence of the feeling life which is so apt to occur without any particular warning, then we watch the struggle. We don’t take sides. We don’t argue. We don’t push. We simply look at the struggle. Within me, there is a kind of argument between an enormous urge to a kind of spontaneous and artistic feeling orientation to my experience as a human being. There is within me an enormous urge to freedom. I can feel that sometimes. Sometimes I have felt this urge to freedom to be a difficulty. It seems to want to make me disband some of the structures that sit in my physical, external existence. It feels sometimes to be a form of irresponsibility. If we look within ourselves I don’t think there is anyone in this room who can’t remember or directly experience a kind of swelling toward freedom, a kind of urge toward something greater than where we find ourselves to be, or what we perceive ourselves to be at this given moment. I don’t think there’s anyone who doesn’t experience from time to time a longing in the heart for something else, perhaps something indefinable, perhaps something that we can’t quite grasp in the ordinary way that things are grasped, but something none the less that calls out to us, that hankers deep within to be released, to expand, to come to this world in a way that we have never come to it before ‑ some deep urge toward freedom that flows like a river, that flows like the great moving flood.

And then there are times, I am sure, for each human being who sits in this room when that urge toward freedom, when that urge towards expansiveness, when that creative movement hits something, when it’s stopped by something, when it’s suddenly strangled in an odd and unseen way. There are times when that urge toward freedom meets a sense of limits, when that urge toward freedom meets something else, structure ‑- whether it be physical structure, whether it be some conceptual organizing structure, whether it be a moral code or whether it simply is an image of ourselves that excludes the dramatic flow of freedom from within. Sometimes that urge toward something that is not limited, meets an internal structure, meets a conceptual frame, meets a way of being which seems to obstruct the direction of that flow and seems to create an obstacle so that flow can’t reach its goal. So, we sit on this earth and we may be able to notice within ourselves at any given time that urge to create, and the urge to hold onto structural limitation, the urge for freedom and the desire or the compulsion to hold back.

This is something we may feel within ourselves and we may feel that very strongly as we sit together. We may find those two things riding side by side. We may experience this fundamental conflict between the great surge of freedom and creativity and the structural apparatus that seems to hold that back. We may describe that conflict to ourselves in any number of different ways. We often do. Sometimes we may experience it as a series of judgments about what’s going on. Sometimes we may experience it as a resentment. Sometimes we may experience it as a kind of unstated conflict that seems to be going on within us about any number of things that we can’t quite put our finger on, and we feel discomfort. We feel uneasy. We don’t know how to deal with something that seems to be going on in an invisible territory within. There may be a part of us that wants to get it as quickly as possible to look like something that’s going on, on the outside and not something that’s being worked out, on the inside. My suggestion is if it is at all possible when we begin to experience the inherent conflict of being a human being, the great wisdom knowledge memory of limitless freedom, of unbounded creativity and the experience of polarity in limitations that signify so much of this human experience, when we sit with our eyes closed and feel those two things sitting side by side and we want to address that basic conflict in distracted ways, let’s do something with it that perhaps we have never done before. Let’s sit and wait and watch and allow and strip back all the entertaining diversions that we use to mask a fundamental human conflict. I want to expand. I hold back. Let’s get to that if we can and when we do, some understanding of ourselves will emerge that is different than the one we have been carrying with us.

Copyright 1993 Estate of Stephen Robbins Schwartz

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