Freedom Within The Narrow Framework Of Family Life

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: A woman once said that her freedom is limited by certain obligations for her children, family, husband, household, etc. She feels most free within these obligations. But if all of this were to be taken away, her feeling of freedom would disappear.

Answer: This is true. When a person lacks strict boundaries, it is hard for him to determine where freedom is, and he simply feels lost, because absolute freedom appears to him to be an absolute lack of freedom.

Freedom, like any other feeling, is defined between the negative and the positive in it. Therefore, within certain boundaries and the opportunity to remain, act, and comfortably exist within them, which means managing them, performing any obligations and enjoying achieving them, this is perceived as freedom.

But the thing is that when we become integral in our society against our will, according to the plan of nature, we are unable to feel capable of creating the right framework because it is being violated all the time; on one hand, we become more interconnected with others, and on the other hand, we do not feel like we can do something on our own within our own framework because we depend on a huge quantity of external factors.

This is why the only way to surpass our boundaries is by entering the integral system, which gives the feeling of freedom.

Nature inevitably pushes us towards feeling “cornered” into a state of need, in a constant struggle for survival within our own framework, everywhere: in our families, at work, at home, on the street, anywhere at all.

It is here that we need to show people that freedom is only acquired by correctly interacting with others: globally and harmoniously.

A person, especially a woman, cares only for her boundaries, her comfort within these small boundaries on the animal, egoistic level of existence. When she has a home, a family, children, responsibilities, and she is able, capable, and equipped to provide for the wellbeing of her entire small household; then of course, she can have a complete feeling of confidence, freedom, and realization.

It is not as simple with a modern person, even a modern woman. She aspires to get into business and realize herself. But still, the determinant, basic orientation of the female character is directed towards the family, and for things to be right in it.

However we see that families are broken. The latest statistics are just menacing! The number of divorced and single parent families is greater than 50%!

Here we observe a tendency to push a person out of his little family circle where he feels comfortable leaning on his relatives, where it is enough for him that he could only care for his household and getting whatever the household needs. Despite his mind, man is being pushed towards something greater against his will.

We are tied up with everyone else. Our inner wellbeing depends on the entire world. Thus integral upbringing is simply necessary here to compensate for insecurity, fears, and absence of freedom.

As we rise to the next level, we specifically acquire freedom, despite our current egoistic beginning.

When I connect with others, I acquire something in common with them, common desires and common understanding that when we decide everything together, by interacting with each other, and in no other way—that is when I feel free.

My freedom depends on me. It does not depend on others, because everyone else in the integral group begins to appear absolutely corrected to me. They are already integral in the state of mutual guarantee, connection, and I alone am only beginning to feel where I still need to add and adjust myself. And in general every person feels this way in relation to others.

A person acquires a completely new need to constantly strive towards a proper relationship with all the people.

This is a whole new level. It is still egoistic, but at the same time it is a different and desirable level where I feel that I lack fuller integration. It is in it, after breaking into it, performing a psychological turn around inside of me like by pulling a trigger, and by changing to the opposite, I suddenly actually acquire freedom.

It is like when an embryo is born from a mother’s womb, it turns head down and seems to lose everything it had, after which it appears in a new world; we need to turn upside down, begin to understand the world in another way, and then we will be born in the new integral world.
From a “Talk About Integral Education” #9, 12/15/11

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