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Feature: The Freedom Experiment- Entry #2
I am at the airport, waiting patiently as my flight has been delayed for an hour and a half. I have faith that everything will work out. It has been hectic trying to bring everything together leading up to this day. Financing is in place, got insurance on the vehicle, scheduled the emissions inspection, got a mifi hotspot, and packed a sheet, blanket, and pillow for the long drive home. As I mapped out the journey, all I could think about was forgetting about work and just exploring places along the east coast over the next few weeks… Or more. That time will come when it’s due, one step at a time.
I decided to label this The Freedom Experiment because it captures my purpose in doing this and the uncertain nature of the path ahead. Let me catch you up with my plan – I am moving out of my apartment and into a small rv. I am traveling to Florida now to purchase it because there’s not too many of these kind available. It’s essentially a large van, so I can park it on the streets of the city legally. Driving it back up to the northeast over the weekend and back to work without skipping a beat. I will continue working my job until I pay off the big purchase, but my home going forward will be on wheels. Of course I will not reveal this aspect of my private life to my colleagues, only to you, and I aim to carry on with life as usual. I will have a kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, tv, and work station so I’ll have all the comforts of home, just in a fraction of my current space. I decided to do this because I wanted to own a place to live, but since I am not ready to lay down roots and purchase a home somewhere, I’m buying a home that isn’t tied down.
This is the first phase of the Freedom Experiment. And it is exciting to be taking the plunge. The goal is to taste more and more of that special freedom that comes with releasing attachments. Next weekend all of my furniture, that I worked so hard to pick out, pay off, assemble and arrange will be moved into a 5×15 storage space. I have been attached to these possessions, and as long as I have them, I need the space to keep them. That means that for the past several years I was bound to paying $ 1400 in rent every month for the great apartment that fits all of this furniture. I was also bound to sitting in front of the 40inch flat high def TV with surround sound system almost every night and paying the cable bill every month because thats what it was there for. I had acquired all of these nice possessions of my own free will but as time worn on, I began to realize that all of these nice possessions had gained a certain control over my life. Sure, I didn’t like throwing away rent money and paying all the associated bills anymore so money was a factor in leading me towards this decision, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. There was a system of control, a relentless wheel that I was caught up in. And I had to start moving in my own direction.
I work to earn money. Why? To pay rent and buy things that reflect how much money I make (clothes, shoes, drinks, technology, etc), and the name of that game is to earn more money to get more things. The way to earn more was to work more and mold myself into a programmed pawn of the corporation, doing things that were against my own moral values for the good of the company. In this game, the value of a person is defined by the value of his possessions and the degree to which he relinquishes choice and separates from being human in the pursuit of gaining more. There is no end to that wheel. And no winning. So, while you may perceive that my goal is just to get around paying rent and bills, there is more to it. Sure, money can buy me the ability to do what I want when I want. But money cannot release me from attachment. It cannot free me from that wheel of the working life.
An unbearable lightness of being, the freedom of release, of letting go – that is the special freedom I pursue. There is no such thing as possession, and this is an idea that I picked up from the philosophies of the east and spending time at an ashram. I’ll share more about that sometime. For now, I’m trying to find out how close I can get to true freedom while remaining a valuable member of society. That is The Freedom Experiment.