“Monks, I will teach you the parable of the raft – for getting across, not for retaining.”
“It is like a man who goes on a journey sees a great stretch of water, the near bank with dangers and fears, the farther bank secure and without fears, but there is neither a boat for crossing over, nor a bridge across. It occurs to him that to cross over from the perils of this bank to the security of the farther bank, he should fashion a raft out of sticks and branches and depending on the raft, cross over to safety. When he has done this it occurs to him that the raft has been very useful and he wonders if he ought to take it with him on his head and shoulders. What do you think, monks? That the man is doing what should be done to the raft?”
“What should that man do, monks? When he has crossed over to the beyond he must leave the raft and proceed on his journey. Monks, a man doing this would be doing what should be done to the raft. In this way I have taught you Dharma, like the parable of the raft, for getting across, not for retaining. You, monks, by understanding the parable of the raft, must not cling to right states of mind and, all the more, to wrong states of mind.”
According to Buddhist psychology, most of our troubles stem from attachment to things that we mistakenly see as permanent.
To achieve our goal many times either the object or person who helped us, we get attached to it. Like that person. The usefulness of the raft was to cross the river and reach the safe bank. Once that objective was done raft will not be of any use. Ya we need to be thankful for it. But no need to get attached and possess it.
Attachment is the great fabricator of illusions; reality can be attained only by someone who is detached.
The Buddha taught that attachment, which is the desire to hold on to a permanent state or keep a thing or person, generates craving, wanting, and insecurity, and he believed it is one of the main causes of human suffering.
Non-attachment, on the other hand, aims to cultivate a mind free from these limiting desires. Once we do this we can then move towards a mind of oneness, which involves compassion, clarity of vision, and an understanding of impermanence.
Not only do humans become attached to physical objects or things, but also to relationships, ideas, opinions, and success and failure. Most of the problems we face as a species and planet are a direct result of our attachment to one or more of these things.
If there is one thing that remains certain in this life, it is change. As soon as we realize the impermanence of our existence it becomes much easier to let go of attachment. While in theory this sounds easy, however, even the greatest of masters struggle with letting go…
Some of us think holding on makes us strong, but sometimes it is letting go.
If we learn the art of letting go we will find peace within ourselves.
When you love someone and expect something in return, that relationship is then based upon condition. When you love someone or something without being concerned for a result, or reciprocity, then you have mastered what it means to love. To let go of this state of wanting something in return is truly powerful and the highest form of love we can offer, as it exists without condition and without fear. It is pure freedom.
Learning from the story Raft: Pure Freedom
Freedom has two sides and if you have only one side of it, a single side, you will feel freedom mixed with sadness. So you have to understand the whole psychology of freedom.
The first side is freedom from: from nationality, from a certain church, from a certain race, from a certain political ideology. This is the first part of freedom, the foundation of freedom. It is always from something. Once you have attained this freedom, you will feel very light and very good and very happy. And for the first time you will start rejoicing in your own individuality, because your individuality was covered with all those things that you have become free of.
But this is only one half and then there will come sadness, because the other half is missing. Freedom from is fulfilled, but freedom for what? Freedom in itself has no meaning, unless it is freedom for something, something creative – freedom to sculpt, freedom to dance, freedom to create music, poetry, painting. Unless your freedom turns into a creative realization, you will feel sad. Because you will see that you are free: your chains are broken, you no longer have any handcuffs, you no longer have any chains, you don’t have any prison, you are standing under the starry night, completely free, but where to go? Then comes a sudden sadness. What path to choose? Up to now there was no question of going anywhere – you were imprisoned. Your whole consciousness was concentrated on how to get free, your only anxiety was how to get free. Now that you are free, a new kind of problem has to be encountered. What to do now that you are free?
Just freedom in itself does not mean anything, unless you choose a creative path. Either you go deeper into meditation for self-realization – or if you have a certain kind of talent. If you have a talent to be a dancer, then be a dancer. Then your freedom is complete, then the circle is complete.
Freedom from and freedom for – this is not something new that you are facing. It is being faced by every person who struggles first for freedom and then suddenly finds, ‘Now that I am free, what am I going to do?’ Up to now, he was so occupied, so engaged, so very busy. Even in his dreams he was thinking only of freedom. And he has never thought about what he is going to do when he will get freedom.
What has happened is beautiful. But something more is needed. You have to become a creator. You have to find some creativity that fulfills your freedom, otherwise the freedom is empty. You need either to create something or to discover something. Either bring your potential to actuality or go inwards to find yourself, but do something with your freedom.
Freedom is only an opportunity for you. It is not in itself the goal. It simply gives you the whole opportunity to do whatever you want to do. Now you are free and you are feeling sad, because you have not used this opportunity yet. Meditation will do, music will do, sculpture will do, dancing will do, love will do. But do something with your freedom. Just don’t sit with your freedom, otherwise you will become sad.Tags: Awareness Comes Be Yourself Infinite Expanse Pure Freedom Raft Something Inner Ultimate Freedom