There is so much truth in this single statement that it bears the light of being a continual reminder. A free mind is a free being.
Over the course of my life I have looked for myself, as they say in all the wrong places. And of course that is perfectly "normal" given the circumstances into which we are born, it's also the way our souls challenge us with experiences that help peel away the layers of falsity, societal impediments, false allegiances, etc.
We hear over and over through the writings of sages and if we are fortunate the voice of our friends this single phrase: Know Thy Self
. I would venture to guess that while it has a resonant ring of truth it also has become just another phrase that many nod at and move on with their doing or their fretting or their anxiety, or their whatever...
Just a few days ago while washing up a sink full of dishes it occurred to me that Know Thy Self
is a choice and not lifetimes of forever seeking. (I am not discarding the seeking aspect for indeed if we sincerely seek we shall find.) What I self realized that I am that which I choose to be, not some mysterious element locked in so many layers of complication that I will forever be bumping into the walls of the maze or falling down rabbit holes that someone else dug.
There is in actuality a reversal of energies that happens in the human form, you can call it alchemical or natural magic. When this happens it can be disorienting and is often accompanied by a great sense of loss for our false identities (things like Alan Watts states that we accept as our most personal and intimate self) are being purged of their iron grip. We then become centripetal in nature not ego-self centered but core eminent.
An example of what I am writing about and something I see with others more frequently is that when the false identity tries to re-establish itself, often through compunctions of family, education, or traditions and usually coupled with feelings of self doubt or fear we easily recognize the source of it and can quickly dismiss it's entry, it's a sneaky bastard and always is nibbling around our edges. [... back to finish writing this now, lots of energetic swirls that needed to settle. And what better way to center than doing something pleasurable like making polenta! I am getting one of those inner chuckles when I see the perfect metaphor in action. You see polenta takes focus and care, a letting go of anything pushing around the edges one can get rather drawn into the stirring swirls as the polenta slowing thickens, you can't hurry it at all.]
Something inexplicable happen to me, so subtle it could have been missed and would have been if it wasn't repeated many times. Over time my mind is less active though always vigilant if that makes sense, I am sure to some it does. So a week or so ago I heard my mind say "I am happy". It caught my attention since happiness is not something I have actively sought seeing it as an ephemeral state of being. Then a few hours later my mind said it again, "I am happy", it actually seemed like a foreign thought. And then the next day again, "I am happy", well this time I burst out laughing and answered my mind, Yes, I am happy! So happiness found me and I gratefully accepted her.