I am looking at the back of a pair of boots. They turn out to be boots that can be clipped onto skis, and that’s what’s happening now.
Otherwise the image is a still, these ski boots just stand there.
I take my eyes off the skis to look around and observe the surroundings. I find myself on a mountain and you would expect a sun-drenched, snowy landscape. But nothing is further from the truth.
The landscape looks grey and dreary and there is a gloomy atmosphere.
The skis are on the top of a mountain and when I look on the other side, I see ski slopes. I could slide down on the skis but I don’t feel like it.
When we speak about shoes, we speak about standpoints. And you know that there are all sorts of shoes, that each represents a certain standpoint.
Now we have shown very specific shoes and you may wonder what these ski boots stand for.
A human who goes on a winter sports holiday and stands on his skis, has a strong feeling of the wind through his hair whizzing everywhere; determine his own speed; a smashing feeling of freedom!
That is the standpoint that humans may have when they wear these shoes. We see that the feeling of freedom of every human being manifests itself in a different way.
And yet, freedom is an emotionally charged issue and it sounds strange, because freedom means: I do my own thing, I do what I want; but when a human uses the word freedom, there are always conditions attached.
In the purest sense of the word freedom should mean that there are no conditions to be met.
So freedom doesn’t exist, even though humans use the word so easily.
For one human an afternoon to town feels like freedom and the other loves watching television in the evening and considers that freedom.
It is different for everyone.
And yet, a human being says: ‘I want to be free and nobody lays down rules on me, I’m free to do as I like.’
But when the human being says: ‘I’m free’, he has a certain standpoint in mind, which means that he is just going to do something in a way different from what everybody expects. And he calls that freedom already.
In matters of freedom human beings follow a path that is slightly off the beaten track.
The human being feels free when he thinks, Hey, look at me, I’m a daredevil, or I have the courage to…!
We also see this when a human being stays on the beaten track, because the rules are mostly imposed by the surroundings, family etc. And if he takes one step off the beaten track, outside these rules, he experiences this as freedom. He has already reckoned that he should apply his own rules when stepping off that track. He already knows that he has rules in his thinking hat and wants to live by them, but thinks he is free because they are not somebody else's rules.
And yet, we still don‘t call that freedom, because there is no freedom on this planet. It is a bit strange, the way we explain this, as many a human speaks of nothing else and thinks it’s a broad-minded idea that everybody should be able to make his own choices, that there is freedom of speech etc. etc.
That colouring of freedom for everyone … well, we can write that on a tiny piece of paper, and that’s it.
Freedom doesn’t exist and yet we see in every human’s thinking hat what freedom means for you. We cannot give any theory about freedom, because it is so different for everybody.
We can only say: ‘In each of you there is a certain feeling of freedom.’ But we also say: ‘Freedom doesn’t exist’, and you feel that as a rather galling contradiction. We can only give you a tiny bit of theory about freedom and that’s all. We aren’t going to blow it up, make it bigger and more colourful than necessary.
You will find that this subject as such seems very frivolous, a bit like a holiday feeling: great, let’s opt for freedom, we don’t have to fulfil anything; but at the same time there are some strings attached to the word freedom and the image of freedom. Try and find out where this call for freedom comes from.
Everyone is unique, and everybody’s personal circumstances are unique and may differ a lot: you have a family that you have to take into account; you have children, or a boss who is rather strict... So each of you has ended up in specific circumstances where freedom is sometimes hard to find.
Then the human being resists and says: ‘I am looking for my own freedom’, and then he fights something in his surroundings, because he has the feeling that he is being devoured. This proves that freedom as such is just a standpoint and that you pass over what is really playing a role inside you.
When a human being says: ‘I want so much to be free’, he feels oppressed inside. He feels he is stuck somewhere, he is a prisoner, feels unhappy, because otherwise the call for freedom would not even have occurred to him.
For a human who is further on the path of consciousness, freedom doesn’t seem so difficult, and he says: ‘I have my own freedom, if I’m neutral; I no longer have to occupy myself with other humans.’
But now we say that there is no freedom and there you are. You think, What have I been looking for all these years, what do I actually want, what is it like for me?
You know that our task is to make everyone conscious of his possibilities and once a human is conscious of those possibilities, he can say: ‘I know myself.’ It also means that you should know where this call for freedom comes from, what is the weight of that what incites that call and how you look at your own situation.
Now you wonder where to experience that freedom that you dearly want for yourself? How does that feel in your body? Does it mean that you feel an energy?
Is that an ‘energy of freedom’ or is it just an image that you pursue?
You often hear us say that freedom is the human being’s supreme good and now we say that freedom doesn’t exist. We suppose that every human has his own idea about it; that he wants to be free and to make his own choices and we refer to the human we are dealing with. We also know that it always has a certain colouring. And yet, a human being says: ‘Great, the teachers give me freedom.’ And that’s what we mean.
The human only knows his cloak; the essence is much more important, because it makes use of this cloak.
For the cloak freedom is just a thought-form, as we have just seen, and as we still want to stay in touch with you, not just through the essence, but want to help you further on your path, we will have to take into account the content of the thoughts and colourings of the image of freedom every human has.
You may have quite a few questions about this sentence and yet, we will keep using it, because for many humans it actually means: ’I can make my own choices.’
Then the human can say: ‘I can choose in freedom, or I can listen to what my essence wants of me’, that is also a choice if one learns to listen to it.