Yesterday I Danced To The Theme Of Freedom

It was difficult.

I go to an ecstatic dance meetup regularly, as part of my self-development and community practices. There are many of these “ecstatic dance communities” all over the world, each with its own unique culture. These groups consist of the most lovely variety of people engaging in free-form dancing, alone and/or with each other during an hour or two of conversation-free, drug-free, good ol’ booty shaking.

I’ve been a regular attendee for over a year at various groups, and I absolutely love it. It is such a joy and consistently one of the highlights of my week. (If you aren’t already part of one, Google ecstatic dance in your city and check one out or start one!)

Often, the music sets feature diverse and beautiful tunes from all over the world. Usually, the music starts slowly and gradually picks up pace and intensity, building into a fun, chaotic crescendo, before gradually tapering back off into slowness and eventually stillness.

Sometimes the DJ, or the person in charge of the playlist announces a theme before we start grooving.

Yesterday’s theme was freedom.

And I feel so heavy about freedom.

I want freedom so badly, both inside and out.

A few months ago I was re-reading the US Declaration of Independence, pondering the ardor of those souls who dared separate from their oppressors, and I literally sobbed.

They were willing to risk everything, and, of course, they did. Lucky for many of us they did.

And not so lucky for many others, too, for example, the people whose land they stole and pillaged in the name of their God and their “righteous” cause.

I’m speaking of the indigenous Americans, of course, who are still routinely oppressed and pillaged today.

Freedom is such a loaded word, because, on the one hand, we all want to be free, but on the other hand, many people are willing to ENFORCE their version of freedom onto other people.

And a freedom which does not respect individual freedom and property rights is no true freedom.

If it’s only freedom for you but not for me: That’s not freedom.

Freedom always comes with responsibility. Without taking responsibility, there is no freedom. Without an individual taking self-responsibility, there is no individual freedom.

Part of that means dropping our entitlement ideas that anyone owes us anything.

Taking self-responsibility means accepting that no one owes you anthing.

And that’s another problem with popular ideas of “freedom.”

Freedom is usually terrifying, because it entails waking up, facing reality and taking self-responsibility. This applies in the internal and external worlds.

Freedom is terrifying in our own physical bodies, which is why we so often constrict them and hold tension in them in a desperate attempt to avoid Nature in her naked truth and raw intensity.

And it really does cost everything we have, or at least everything we think we have (our ego, our self-concept must die and be reborn for freedom to flourish).

Let’s first talk about freedom in the external world:

Real freedom, true freedom, a deep, radical, self-responsible freedom is one which lets go of ALL attempts to control others, to manipulate and deceive others, to take advantage of others, or to take rightful property from others. None of this is tolerated by true freedom. Otherwise we wouldn’t be free.

Freedom will not tolerate lies. Lies are the stuff of fear, of control, and ultimately, if perpetuated, of violence.

Albert Camus famously said, “The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.”

Real freedom is downright offensive to those who wish to control and to oppress and to maddeningly equalize.

There are many people that speak of freedom who want nothing more than to command you to obey.

But that’s not freedom now, is it?

There are many people with beautiful intentions, with souls that long for peace and for paradise, whose idea of freedom means your censorship, your oppression, your obedience to their ideals and their god.

But that’s not freedom either!

That’s oppression idealized and masquerading as freedom.

That’s Utopia’s empty promises of “do what I say” and “enact my committee’s plan” “don’t go too high or too low” and you will finally be free.

See, the concept of radical freedom can be really hard for those who want it only for themselves and their own select, chosen, inspired and enlightened group of people…

I advocate a deeper freedom, a freedom based on individual self-responsibility and a respect for sacred Nature, starting with our physical bodies and extending to the World.

A freedom which does not transgress the self-sovereignty of the individual. A freedom in which your consent is NOT optional!

(I’m speaking of adults here, there are, of course, some obvious responsibilities that parents have for their children, and I’m not addressing those separate issues here.)

I’m talking about a freedom which does not say “because you are peacefully excellent, you must pay me a tax, you must pay your ‘fair’ share, (and fair is whatever we deem it to be!)”.

This is based on the non-aggression principle (NAP), which essentially teaches that the initiation of violence or the threat of violence on an individual or their property is a violation of basic human rights. Violence is only permissible if used in self-defense.

There are many people who see the world only in terms of win-lose, which says, “If I win, then someone, has to lose.” This is a childish worldview.

Do these types of transactions happen? Obviously they do. But they are far from the norm, and they are unsustainable in a free world where free people will choose to work with those who do not repeatedly deceive them.

The more transparency and responsibility people have, the less often these win-lose transactions happen. And the world is clearly trending up in transparency and freedom, and therefore also in prosperity and in reduction of violence. Look at the transparency that is demanded of many companies these days–MUCH more than ever was in the past.

This will continue as long as we promote freedom and self-responsibility, and detest control and “power-over.”

Many people see the world mostly in terms of power-over: “In order for me to be more powerful, you must be less powerful.”

It’s an elementary worldview, with a distracted focus because, even though this is the case sometimes, it is not sustainable. A socioeconomic structure based on “power-over” others will not last.

The reason it won’t last is simple: The more people wake up and become aware, the less they will tolerate being controlled.

The only way to control people is to lie to them, and to keep them in resistance to fear, to manipulate them.

Control, the path of violence, is only maintained by deception. There is no other way to control free people. And as human beings, our birthright is self-sovereign, self-responsible freedom.

Freedom, on the other hand, the path of peace, is only maintained by self-responsibility, truth and transparency. There is no other way to keep it from those who would attempt to control us and make us do what they think is best for us whether we like it or not. (Think: taxes, forced equality, ideological oppression and forced conformity, censorship of free speech and of art).

In a horrifying, maddened quest for equality, and in a well-intentioned but violent attempt to end suffering, many people impugn free speech and privilege as grounds for oppression, while glorifying and exalting sickness and mediocrity, simultaneously downplaying the evils of censorship and oppression. The world really has gone mad.

And this is not what freedom looks like!

Freedom is not glorification of sickness, as we hear the youth of this country exclaim, “Sick!” as a slang stand-in for when they mean something is “great!”

I 100% respect their right to say that.

Censorship of speech and the criminalizing of any non-violent actions is one of the tackiest, most offensive, most ridiculous forms of attempting to control others. These tactics are employed by desperate, control oriented, immature people who are terrified of words and ideas and free people, and essentially conflate words and ideas with actions.

And, of course, words do have meanings, and my point here about the slang “sick!” is that it is essentially exalting sickness AS health: That’s a symptom that something has gone awry.

We’ve forgotten what is real freedom.

In an attempt to escape a “freedom” which persecutes those who are different (an ethnocentric freedom–“my culture gets freedom but not yours”), some of us have simply gone too far and elevated equality before individual freedom.

The astute Milton Friedman observed, “The society that puts equality before freedom will end up with neither. The society that puts freedom before equality will end up with a great measure of both.”

So do we stand for real freedom or not?! Do we value individual property rights or not?! Do we respect the consent of each other or not when it comes to taking from each other one’s life, limbs or their rightfully earned living?!

Or has our idea of external freedom been reduced to a politically correct, bastardized form of “consent” barely even masquerading as equality that says, “I won’t hurt your feelings if you don’t hurt mine.”

I’m talking about FREEDOM: self-ownership of our bodies, of what goes into them and what we do with them, and individual property rights, based on a nature-honoring paradigm which necessitates deep self-responsibility and transparency. THAT, is FREEDOM.

We’ve got to know what we stand for in this crazy place.

REAL freedom that includes the rights to our bodies and our spiritual development, because, of course, that is what this is ultimately all about.

A few words about Freedom and the Body:

Freedom is so often terrifying to most of us because we’ve got our bodies themselves on lock-down, tightly controlled by the incessant dictator voice in our heads.

Every place in our body that we are contracting with tension and resistance to the flow of nature is a place that we are attempting to control Nature, as opposed to honoring Nature. An attempt to control Nature, as Ayn Rand says, is an attempt “to assert the primacy of our consciousness over existence” instead of surrendering our consciousness, our self-concept (our ego) to the fierce and wonderful and terrific nature of reality and the REALITY OF NATURE itself.

Wherever we try to control our bodies, our internal worlds, with tightness and tension and resistance to fear, this shows up in the external world around us.

As above, so below. As within, so without.

It has been said that enlightenment is simply being totally relaxed.

And there are studies which have demonstrated that when there is no tension in any of the muscles of the body, it is physiologically impossible to feel fear.

So, of course, it is up to us, as self-responsible leaders to become free first.

That is what leadership is: going first. Real power, real leadership sees the world in terms of win-win, of self-responsibility and of excellence through peaceful, freely offered service–the only sustainable way to excellence and to being fully ALIVE.

Real freedom knows that unless you win, I don’t win.

I only win if you win, too. “Win-win.”

SO HOW DO WE CREATE THIS WORLD?!?

Sometimes I really just don’t know.

And sometimes I feel exhausted just thinking of it, like when I was dancing yesterday–exasperated because sometimes I just don’t fucking know.

And many times I feel hopeless when I think of all the people who want to control others and extract resources from others through FORCE; when I think of all the people who want to censor each other and command each other to obey instead of invite each other to enjoy.

How can we cultivate real, self-responsible freedom?

I do have one suggestion:

Meditate with your body. Feel more. Feel the tension, the spots of resistance, where you are attempting to control Nature, where you do not trust Nature, where you would rather believe the distortions, the lies that nature is not for you. And relax those parts. Over and over and over.

Start with a few minutes a day.

Recognize that fear is not the enemy. Your resistance to fear is the enemy. Fear is simply a strong sensation, an impulse which has been clamped down upon in your nervous system, creating chronic contraction and resistance, and if sustained, bodily sickness.

Fear does not exist when we embrace it, because it instantly transmutes itself into an energetic force which impels us into excited action.

Have patience with this process, because our bodies are often genuinely TERRIFIED of freedom. Freedom, real freedom includes self-responsibility and transparency, realization, and many of us are not ready to be free.

There are many parts of myself that I still keep constricted, controlled, on “lock-down.” Those parts of myself aren’t ready for freedom yet either. That’s why I meditate pretty much every day and work with healers and teachers and I thirst for knowledge and vitality. Because I want to be free. I want to be fully ALIVE.

In summary:

Becoming free is a process that takes DEVOTION.

Becoming free takes persistence, mentorship and training, tolerance for risk, a thirsty-as-fuck curiosity, a willingness to try new things, to read new things, to listen a little more closely, to speak a little more loudly, to be the truest version of yourself and, ultimately, to let “who you think you are” die.

Be patient with yourself because to die can be terrifying, and it is what real freedom asks of our self-concepts, our egos: “who we think we are.”

Freedom really does cost everything we have. Real freedom, which starts internally, in the body, asks of us a sacred ego-death which welcomes and transforms us from who we thought we were into whom we are meant to be. And then it asks us to keep doing that. Over and over and over. Then it spreads to the external world.

You will not become free by feeling like it might be nice.

You will neither attain nor keep freedom by always being nice to people and tolerating their attempts to control you.

You will not become free by making others obey your version of freedom.

You will not become free by accident.

Freedom, like self-responsibility, is a choice.

Choose freedom.

Love,

AZ

Self-Ownership & Overcoming Fear

Who do you think you are?

Well, chances are, unless you’ve achieved the non-dual realization of Oneness with everything and nothing, who you THINK you are is not who you REALLY are. And for all I know, maybe the “non-dual realization” is only the beginning. I’ll let you know when I find out ;p

I believe that becoming fully ALIVE is a process of discovering and uncovering the layers of constriction that block the flow of life through you.

I believe that who YOU are at your deepest is INFINITE, like the universe itself. You, like the universe, are infinite.

No bounds, baby.

And the only thing standing in the way of this realization is your pitiful holding on to the limited version of yourself that you think you are right now. (I do this, too.)

I’ve got a little theory about life, fear, peace and violence. I’m still working on it, but it goes something like this:

Life begins as a brilliant impulse. The intensity of that impulse is high.

When we are confronted with that continued growth-impulse throughout our development as children (and also adults), when we experience a little bit of it, we have a choice.

We can allow the intensity of that impulse to flood our system, to enliven us, to invigorate and enlighten us.

But like I said, that impulse is fucking intense.

It’s so intense that most of us will, at some point in our development, choose to say no. We block it. We constrict around it. We simply do not trust the intensity of that sensation, of that level of expanding aliveness. This is usually done unconsciously, in other words, without awareness.

And that is when that impulse becomes fear.

It could have been excitement. But you tried to restrict it.

Fear is the potential enlightenment of the prime impulse that gets constricted and turns dark and stuck.

Fear is the opposite of trust; fear is what happens when we try to control the impulse of life.

When we choose an attempt to control LIFE instead of trusting LIFE, we enter into a world of fear. The characteristics of fear, those habits which perpetuate fear are control, constriction, opacity/lack of curiosity, desperation, clinging to the illusion of safety, attempts to force/coerce others against their will, power *over* others, condemnation, and a win/lose outlook.

When we trust LIFE, those characteristics are in direct opposition to attempts to control her. These are openness, transparency, investigation, curiosity, confidence, letting go, attempts to persuade and understand others, power *with* others, compassion, and a win/win outlook.

The foundation built from attempts to control life leads straight from fear to suffering to violence. Any attempt to control another adult human being against their will is violent because, at the very least, it carries the threat of violence.

The foundation built on the trusting of life leads to the high-sensation worldspace of freedom, responsibility, prosperity, wisdom, and the highest possible levels of peace and aliveness and connectedness.

Obviously, in life, there will always be some degree of suffering and unrest. Growth, as far as I can tell, seems to be an inherently uncomfortable process. But our attempts to control life only lead to more suffering.

Again, any coercion or force applied to another against their will is violent because it carries the threat of violence. This is the path of control, the path of fear and ultimately of staying small and desperate, stuck and stagnate.

Those with full respect for another’s self-ownership/self-sovereignty will never initiate the threat of violence on another, whether it is direct or by proxy, by mercenary.

Leaders lead. They don’t threaten their people with violence. They reach out with respect for others’ minds and hearts, and they inspire their followers by integrity of example, by going first, by serving their followers and their cause. Anyone who threatens others with violence is not a leader, but a despot, a tyrant, a criminal.

Do you disagree?

WHO OWNS YOU BUT YOURSELF?

It is crucial to understand, in the defense and protection of LIFE, as the ultimate standard of morality, that fear is not the enemy.

Fear is not the enemy. In fact, one of the best ways to overcome fear is to run toward it, to dive into it, to stare it in the face until its desperate, silly little game reveals itself as the farce that it really is.

Fear is ultimately a lie. It is sometimes a highly convincing lie, but it is based on an avoidance of life, of avoiding truth and transparency, and it is but a withering pang of desperation in the face of real love and truth, freedom and responsibility.

Remember! Fear is not the enemy.

The enemy is the attempt to control life, the initiation of the threat of violence on another or our own bodyminds, NO MATTER how beautiful one’s imagined end-game utopia seems to be under this coercive ideology.

There are lots of beautifully-intentioned people out there, but many of them adopt a coercive ideology as a means to fulfill their dreams. That’s not sustainable, and it’s actually EVIL when morality is defined as protecting and defending life, self-ownership and vitality.

98% of us want peace and prosperity for all. (Statistically speaking, 2% of the population are sociopaths, so we’ll just go with 98%.) And either way, it is the VAST majority that wants peace and prosperity for all. (note: those 2% are probably the ones hurting the most.)

The great challenge therein, is the means to that end.

Our theoretical, philosophical means are different.

It’s not necessarily a bad thing, because individually, as self-owning human beings, our individual ends we seek are personal. My caution is when we go beyond ourselves in order to influence, let us remember that other people are also self-owners and we have NO RIGHT to threaten them with violence if they do not comply.

Remember that commissioning a government to carry out your wishes is using the threat of violence by proxy. Hiring someone (a mercenary) to do the dirty work is just as bad as doing it yourself.

You want different things from what I want. Success for you is NOT necessarily what success is for me. We want similar things, perhaps, but we are individuals with different wants and needs. We are self-owning individuals. Are we not?

I prefer to let you go about your methods and means freely, AS LONG AS IT DOES NOT HARM MY LIFE, MY REAL PROPERTY, AND THE VITAL RESOURCES WE ALL MUST SHARE (like water, air, forests, wildlife, oceans, etc).

I hope you want the same for me.

I don’t know about you, but I’m a survivor. And I WILL DEFEND my life and real property and vital resources from violence and the threat of violence.

As Patrick Henry so eloquently asked a couple hundred short years ago, “Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?”

No fucking way.

So what will be your answer when you are asked: Who owns you?!

You own you, baby. I hope that’s fucking clear.

Lean into the fear. Discover the lies it has been telling. Know the truth and be free.

Love,

Aaron

PS: As many of you know, I’ve been building my life coaching business since being recently certified as a Bulletproof™Coach. I’ve actually been considering re-branding myself as a self-discovery coach, because I’m finding that that is possibly what I do best. I help you discover who you *really* are (which can be quite intense) so that you can be fully ALIVE.

I ask deep, intuitive questions, exquisitely following my curiosity, reflecting and amplifying your presence–and the results so far have been great! I’m currently offering discounted rates, too, while I’m still building my clientele. If you’d like to have a revolutionary self-discovery conversation with me and feel out if some transformational coaching might be just what you need, check out: www.reallifeconnectioncoach.com/coaching and drop me a line!

A Few Words On Freedom

Life coaching2
No man or woman owns us. We own ourselves. We do not own each other.
I re-read the USA Declaration of Independence yesterday and broke down in tears when I got to the end. I care about freedom so much, and I hate so much how our freedoms are being taken away, bit by bit, by those who would force us to comply with their ideologies. Coercion, the initiation of force by one over another in order to elicit non-consensual compliance, that is where immorality begins. We must be vigilant to protect ourselves and the world against this type of evil.
When we become so arrogant as to force others to comply with our own ideologies, when we know what is best for others and MAKE THEM COMPLY–whether they agree or not–we are overstepping our bounds.
The good news is, that in the end, the truth always wins. It doesn’t look like we think it will look, but a castle with a foundation built on deceit, lies, fear and the forcing of compliance, that structure will always crumble in the end.
Fear is not the enemy, unless we run from it. Fear is simply the darkness into which we are called to shine the light of truth. Fear is that ever-expanding circumference around the brilliant orb of our being which calls us to expand into our glory and be that much more fully ALIVE.
Love,
Aaron

All You Need is Love

“All ya need is love, love, love….”

And it’s true!

Except for when it’s not.

Love can no more exist without fear, than hot can exist without cold.

Ultimately, love is something that you DO by making a conscious choice to focus on your own and others’ gifts, by accepting that whatever is, is perfect (even the desire to change as being perfect), and by choosing to guard our compassion. Because love is an action, a verb, now it means something.

It’s not enough to choose to love the “good” parts. Because without the “bad” parts, we wouldn’t even be aware that there were good parts! The contrast provides the choice. The choice provides the responsibility. The responsibility is the foundation of Autonomy, and autonomy is freedom. When you’re free (and your mind is always free) you’re responsible for your own decisions/choices. And that means that your choices matter. Your choices have meaning, significance, and implications for good and/or bad feelings resulting to yourself and others.

Again, everything is perfect, just as it is, even your desire to change.

So all you need is to CHOOSE love, and at the same time, be grateful that choice exists.

That choice is what gives love power.

Without that choice, we’d just be circuits and breakers.

However, it’s a lot harder to put all of that ^^^ into a song!