Two posts again on one day??? The Ending one this morning really was just a continuation of yesterday’s thoughts. This is the one that actually had been brewing for today…
During my bliss time of doing nothing in particular, onto the radar has floated this bit of apparent fluff:
Orange Is The New Black
(a show on NETFLIX)
I must say I have been pleasantly surprised at the level of depth that the show is able to touch upon while still being quite witty and funny just as entertainment.
It is interesting to me how sometimes it takes the idea of being incarcerated to realize the ways we are and are not inherently free. It also has been a wonderful mirror for thinking about the ways we imprison ourselves within our own thinking and behaviors, while still we walk around in the world seemingly free.
None are more helplessly enslaved
than those who falsely believe they are free.
I have never tangoed with the penal system in a physically personal way (ie. I have never been locked up). However, I did take a psychology class, where as part of the course work, we went to the state prison for men to help model socially appropriate male to female social interactions with long term incarcerated inmates who were just about to be released back into society.
If you have ever been to a maximum security prison and have experienced the slow loss of physical freedom as you pass through the security layers and enter deeper into the belly of the physical facility, you will know that it is a tangibly nonhuman, creepy way of externally living. For M at age 18, the experience forced me to start to think about how real freedom operates. It gave me a mirror to begin to understand that true freedom is then always, all ways actually created and found in the mind first.
Many people are physically free, but mentally always in prisons. Many people who are physically in prisons, I discovered are mentally, in all ways that count, free. One such story of a man who was physically in prison, but all ways was free is the Tibetian Buddhist Monk, Palden Gyatso. 33 years in a Chinese prison, often being humiliated and tortured in an effort to break his inner connection in the external world. For a bit more about him:
Do you want to actually help free Tibet? We must first free ourselves from living from an internal reality allowing duality separate from self. As long as we are dancing this polarity of a separate inner and outer, there will continue to be externalized Tibet’s and China’s to be set against the idea of an “other”. I feel another post brewing. Yet, I digress from the original post thoughts…
I am finding that Orange Is The New Black (although containing some fluff) does do a decent job of raising some deeper questions about just what freedom actually is…both inner and outer freedom and freedom in general. Welcome to an interesting place to take a deeper look at oneself as self in the mirror. I’ll share one example with you.
For myself, I have always viewed any experience having to do with the need for public peeing as a special type of torture…welcome to being in physical prison 🙂 . [[This comment is not meant in any way to lessen the gravity of what happened to Palden Gyatso, but rather is shared as a little lesson in how to balance living in polarity by offering up the power of a heart felt chuckle, which in my experience is more effective and destructive in eradicating the face of “evil” than a sword]].
M’s idea of living hell:
the “love” toilet
(made by Niagra, “the toilet people” click link to enjoy a healing lol)
I grew up in a closed door for bathroom business house. Really, with so many people under one roof (11 when I left for college), it was one of the only places and times in the house when one could get any privacy or peace and quiet. After watching this show, I am reminded of the external ways I definitely am not free. Participating readily in the public pee is one. Quite frankly, it is a habitual and behavioral prison I am perfectly OK with not being freed from just yet. 🙂
So, in what other ways are the doors open or doors closed in the internal and external living of our lives freeing us or creating prisons? Just knowing that we always and in all ways have a choice with the door is one of the first steps to actually breaking free.
“To survive in here, it is all about perspective.” -Yoga Jones
“You got to get broken down to be raised back up.” -Pennsatucky Daggett
“I’m scared that I’m not myself in here, & I’m scared that I am.” -Piper Chapman