Free the King
We allow the illusions to imprison our lives and our dreams. It's time to let love break the walls of the prison that we have created.— Sean Dragon
Meeting the King
When I was a young boy, about ten years old, I had a trip with my parents in a small provincial town. One of the attractions of this city was a lovely park on the banks of a river. Due to river water, the park had beautiful vegetation, and so there were hosted many animals and birds of my country. Some of them were free to walk around the park, and some others were indoors. I was so glad that for the first time in my life I could observe so many animals that until then I knew them only by the books.
Suddenly, while we were walking on one of the paths next to the river and we were feeding ducks, geese, and swans, I saw a sign said "Lion." My heart fluttered, and I started yelling at my parents, pulling my father by the hand to move as quickly as possible. In my young mind, it was a dream to have a close view of the king of animals. Although I was worried that it could be a trick of the park and not a real lion, I was running following the signs while my parents were shouting to me that I had to wait. I climbed a small hill in the center of the park, and I finally reached in front of the lion's cage.
That very moment is one of those that remain forever engraved in our minds. It's one of those scenes that pop out in our mind, in sudden, some unrelated moments, through strange associations and we live them again as they happened, no matter how many years have passed since then.
It was there, in front of my eyes, huge, the king of the jungle. But after the first observation, the enthusiasm began to turn into a tightening of my 10-year-old heart and anxiety. This lovely animal was in a cage that did not exceed the size of my small room and looked even smaller as was filled with the size of the lion. So it had a tiny space to move, and the only move it could do was to cross the diagonal of the cage. And that's what it did all the time! It was stopped for a moment to look at the crowd outside the cage and then back again. An unstoppable motion with no meaning. And yet it was the only possibility of a movement of that animal which naturally had to live in a place where the horizon does not set any limits.
A King Enslaved
I felt awful because I felt pity for the lion and in my mind, this was a shame. Who was I, an insignificant little boy that I could feel sorry for the King of the animals! No matter how strange it sounds, it was my first awkward and sad thought. But then I noticed something that made me feel even worse. I saw his gaze. It was empty! Empty and sad. I was sure that while the lion was looking outside the cage, it didn't see anything of this place. Not because it was blind, but because it did not want to see. The railing of its enclosure was railing that has jailed its soul. A soul that could not breathe the freedom for which it was born, and so it was refusing to see anything else. So it seemed to my naive mind. I was sure that its gaze was the look of a lunatic, looking but seeing only what its mind was showing. So I believed that this proud animal was viewing the vast savannas of its homeland, the ones I had seen in the books, and it was thinking that it was walking on that free land and not in its narrow cage.
I felt immense sadness by these thoughts! And my sorrow became greater when at some point its look met mine. At that moment I thought it understood that I knew how it was feeling. And only for that moment, I think that it stopped seeing his wonderful homeland and looked through my eyes, into my soul. I heard its voice inside my head telling me: "no matter what you do, live free or do not live at all."
I could not bear to stay any longer. I turned around, and I left the place with my head bent to hide my tears. I felt at that moment as helpless as the lion in the cage. So weak and unable to help, so unable to explain why. Why we enslave the life?
Emancipate Yourself from Mental Slavery
Later, as I was growing older, in the years of my internal search, this experience became for me an allegory of human life. This lion became the symbol of the real king, the symbol of our divine Self, of our soul that we keep confined and imprisoned in the cage of the illusions of this world. Our soul has been created to live in Paradise. Exists only to be able to breathe free in the beautiful fields of His Love, to enjoy the miracles of every day. But we choose to live in slavery. Every day we restrict our soul because we fill our lives with thoughts and acts of selfishness, condemnation, and rage. Therefore, we imprison it in the railings that are raised by egotism, fear, guilt, envy, and passions. But our soul continues to dream of Paradise from which it originates and refuses to live in a world of slavery that we build for it in our everyday life. Consequently, it slowly separates itself from what we really are, a unique body-soul set, and we end up wandering like lifeless and mechanical bodies without being able to find real joy in whatever we do.
The grief of that day became the thorn in the side of my life that helps me to remember the promise I gave to myself that morning as I left the King imprisoned behind me. The promise to live my life fighting for the freedom of my soul and the freedom of every soul. The promise to give all my strength to free my King from his bonds. To deny selfishness, envy, condemnation, fear, guilt, and everything else that is imprisoning my soul.
It is difficult in a world that has idolized the lie and fights against the truth. It is difficult in a world that grows us by teaching us from our first moments that kindness is a weakness that exposes us to mortal danger. It is difficult in a world that tries to persuade our soul that there is nothing else but this cage. To convince our soul that this jail is safety and that there is nothing but hell outside of it. Denying this illusion of the security of our prison is difficult because we have become prisoners that afraid to escape. Overcoming fear is tough. It's hard to deny any bad habit, I know. But I know I can do it. I can do it because I have the key that opens the prison door; I had it always with me. And the magical thing is that the same key opens the doors of Paradise too.
I have love in my heart, that's the key. Love is the memory of Paradise, the one that does not let me forget my origin. I choose to live my life offering love. Whenever the habit and the fear force me to react with selfishness and malice, I am trying to deny. I am trying to break the habit, defeat fear and answer with love. I can free my soul with the power of love. Everyone can. It's a matter of choice.
Make that choice. Free the King!
Love is the only cure; anything else just can give an extension to life.— Sean Dragon
The greatest prison anyone can escape from is ignorance.— Matshona Dhliwayo
© 2018 Ioannis Arvanitis