Self-liberation means allowing emotional energy to be as it is. Generally we like to interfere – because we find the world less than fully satisfactory. Even when enjoying a vacation at the beach, we wish that the wine was a little dryer, the breeze a little warmer, and ourselves a little thinner. We also know that soon enough we will have to deal with a rush of work, a sick child, or an annoying acquaintance. We see our circumstances, not simply as an open environment – but in terms of how we can manipulate them as the project managers of our lives. We want some things, reject others, and the rest merges into the wallpaper of comfortable oblivion. This causes us to scurry around in a constant attempt to make the world conform to the preferences prompted by our conditioning.
When we allow our emotional realm to be as it is, we are freed to experience the texture of life directly. We can side-step the sour orthodoxy of preordained likes, dislikes, and habitual concepts. When we allow our perceptual life to be as it is, we are self-liberated to be as we are. We are freed from restrictive social rôles, conventional preoccupations, conservative anxieties, and mundane personal expectations. We are freed from constrictive ideas of: who we are and who we are not; who we should be and who we should not be; what we must do and must not do. The energy expended on worrying about the future, regretting the past, and judging the present is liberated – and we find tremendous resources of generosity, accuracy, vitality, creativity, and spaciousness – the natural freedom that is of benefit to all. Buddhism describes this as enlightenment.