Our Quest for Freedom: Yearning
[This is from my new book Our Quest for Freedom and other essays]
We have seen that there is a fundamental dislocation here, a deep gulf between the reality of contemporary society and the way in which we are meant to live.
In so many ways, the modern system is the exact opposite of what we really crave. It is the inversion of healthy and natural life.
It disempowers us, on every level, stifles and stunts us, forces us to repress our deepest feelings, intuitions and desires in order to fit into its gridwork of conformity and obedience.
It is the cage in which we are kept, it is the shackles with which we are bound, it is the gag that silences us.
There are many who lack the vitality and integrity to resist this and resign themselves to their incarceration.
But we are also many who refuse to be defeated. We hold on to our vision of something else outside of this grey gulag and refuse to let go.
A tension therefore emerges between the real circumstances in which we find ourselves and the place where we desire to be.
This tension – between what is and what could be – is our yearning.
This word nicely brings together the two ways in which we remember the archetype of authentic living which we carry within us.
As well as meaning a nostalgic, even melancholic, longing for something in the past, it also indicates a strong desire to do something in the future.
It is said to originate from the indo-european root word meaning ‘gut’ (along with ‘hernia’, for instance) and thus speaks of our gut feeling, our gut instinct, a voice that calls to us from our physical bodily being.
It provides us with a powerful internal motor to move on from our realising and remembering and to set off on the quest to reclaim our freedom.
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