In the United States, we are coming up on a national holiday known as Independence Day. It is an annual remembrance of a day when the thirteen British colonies in North America agreed to an act of treason against the crown of England. With some really good karma these men defeated the armies of England and we became who we are. The irony is that even though we have freedoms unequaled in any other country in the world, many people are still slaves and prisoners to their own minds.

In spiritual terms, the mind is a tool that was formed to help us to survive on this planet and hopefully get from survival mode to relaxation and happiness. Unfortunately, many of us are stuck in survival mode and spend most of the day scheming and thinking about what we lack and how to get it. This is the biggest prison in the world, and to some extent we all live there.

One of the biggest emerging industries on the planet involves how to set ourselves free from this prison. Religious leaders, spiritual leaders, monks and housewives are all writing books and teaching seminars on how to free ourselves from anxiety and stress and achieve whatever it is we want. Most of this is nonsense and a waste of time. Teaching people how to think differently keeps them trapped into the same prison they have placed themselves. All we do is leave one cell to go into another.

The only way to escape this prison is to realize that it is our thinking that is keeping us prisoner. Our minds have been trained since birth to keep us imprisoned in a jail so that we can be controlled and herded like sheep to buy, consume, desire and compare ourselves. It is an intentionally induced insanity that is destroying us. We are destroying the rainforests to clear pastures for substandard beef to make into hamburgers that we eat to become obese. And the majority of us don’t care.

The only way out of this prison is first to realize that we are in the prison, and then wake up and become aware. There is a story about Sathya Sai Baba who told a man who was having trouble sleeping to go to a yoga master for help. The man returned to thank Baba because the yoga master helped the man start getting restful sleep. Baba replied: “Good. When you want to wake up, come to me.”

What keeps us imprisoned in our suffering is our unwillingness to take responsibility for our lives. We blame others, or believe that we are victims and take on the consciousness of lack. Whenever we want to change anything about our life, whether it is our situation or the way we think, we are falling back into the same old prison. What we have to realize is that we are creating everything, including our thoughts, for our own enlightenment.

The path to enlightenment must include the realization that we are divine. Whether we believe that we are hopeless and helpless or wealthy beyond imagination, we all are divine. The only way to be free of all of this illusion and insanity is to accept the fact that we created all of this and we can change it simply by applying this one teaching. We are not helpless and hopeless, we are not wealthy beyond belief. We are simply one.

When we start to wake up to the fact that we are creating what we need to be enlightened, we will start to behave in different ways. We will stop gossiping, which is probably one of the most destructive habits we have as human beings. We will have compassion for each other and start to share what we have with others. We will start to practice the way of non-violence to ourselves and others, which will eliminate the need for wars and politics. We will understand there is no longer “them”, there is only “us”.

We do not have to change the masses, we only have to take responsibility for ourselves. We do not need one hundred monkeys, only one. I hope that everyday will become Independence Day for each of us.

Author's Bio: 

James Robinson has enough life experiences to fill five biographies. A trial lawyer for almost 30 years, a cattle rancher, horse trainer, dog breeder, restauranteur, alternative healer, international seminar leader, ordained minister and deacon, father, surivor of two marriages, and international entrepeneur, James has been successful in everything he has done. He has studied with philosophers, internationally known gurus, healers and sages. Through all of his trials, tribulations, successes and especially his failures, James has learned a lot of lessons about suffering, pain and happiness. He has written scores of articles and regularly shares his wisdom on the internet, facebook, twitter and James regularly travels to all four corners of the world to share his wisdom, healing and humor.