“True autonomy arises when we have broken free of all the old structures, all psychological dependencies, and all fear.
Only then can that which is truly unique and fearless arise within us and begin to express itself. Such expression cannot be planned or even imagined because it belongs to a dimension uninhibited by anything that has come before it. True autonomy is not trying to fit in or be understood, nor is it a revolt against anything. It is an uncaused phenomenon. Consciously or unconsciously all beings aspire to it, but very few find the courage to step into that infinity of aloneness.” — Adyashanti
Breaking Free of Old Structures
What do psychological structures do we need to break in order to be free? Ask most people and they don’t know. They have become so accustomed to the barriers that they can’t see them. So, here’s a list of the most probable harmful and confining structures.
- Organized Religion
- Social Standards, and Values
- Family and Cultural Hierarchies
Roadblocks to True autonomy
How can you tell which structures are harmful and restricting your true autonomy? Ask yourself the following questions.
- Does the structure promote or cause you fear or anger?
- Do you feel you need to defend it?
- Does it contain elements that are harmful to you, others or the environment? In other words, does it contain justification for harming or discriminating against others?
- If it has a hierarchy does this promote more value or human rights for certain classes, ethnicities or genders? In short, does it value some people more than others?
- Does it place boundaries on what you can think, what you value, what you can do? If so, are these boundaries applicable to everyone, or are some exempt?
- If there are boundaries are they around what you can believe about physical or spiritual reality?
An affirmative answer to any of these questions means you have structures preventing your true autonomy. You have two choices. You can ignore it and go back to sleep. Or, you can fight for as much of your autonomy as your situation allows. Many cultures are oppressive and restrictive. So, your autonomy of thought must be kept private.
Sadly, there are societies where is not safe to be a freethinker. Oppressive cultures exist around the globe. People think that the West is a bastion of freedom and tolerance for people of all backgrounds. Perhaps this was the case long ago. However, even in North America, one needs to be cautious and prudent.
Regaining True Autonomy
Here are some practical things you can do if you chose to increase your breadth of autonomy.
- Eliminate or at least minimize your contact with all major mainstream news media. If you are a news junkie switch to independent sources.
- Eliminate your exposure to voluntary social and cultural programming. This is important but it’s hard to do since it’s this comes under the guise of religion. Specifically, Western Organized Religion under the umbrella of the Abrahamic Traditions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam). If you can’t disengage the counteract the social programming by doing independent sources. Study and learn how to employ logical reasoning. This is imperative. Otherwise, the longer you are subject to this social conditioning the harder it is to reason objectively.
- Find other truth-seekers. If you can research together that is a great strategy. If the culture you are in is oppressive. You is your own but that doesn’t mean you have to walk it alone.
- Be careful not to share your new awareness and knowledge with those who would use it to persecute or ostracize.
- Above all, fill your life with hope and allow yourself to become vulnerable. Open your eyes to social injustice. Learn to live a courageous life.
You would probably be surprised to learn how many people there are who are in working their way around these roadblocks. You aren’t alone in your quest to regain your true autonomy. This is something many truth-seekers deal with as they become aware.
If this article resonates, there are more on our blog. Also, you may be interested in learning about our blended learning process. This is our curriculum which we use to teach several mind-expanding tools. It also aligns the Hero’s Journey. This is the term Joseph Campbell gave the pattern of consciousness development. Our learning process is available in two forms. You can take part in the virtual learning module or in our workshops.
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