The gift of freedom
When I was a child, I remembered my past life as an animal. I did not realize it was a past life, I just realized that it was something that I had lived, before. I missed freedom, but what is freedom?
As a small child, I could not pin point exactly what I was missing. I just found the world of humans bizarre…why so many “musts”. I did not understand why I should go to school, then why should I get a job, and then make money, then marry and have children. Very soon, I started using the word NO…it was one of the first words I used to say. I was not fond of socializing with my fellow humans, too much. To start with, I did not like their food. I did not think sweets were great. I hated cakes and adults kept giving me all these things that I did not want. I remember going to a children party, when I was small, obliged by my mum ( my poor mum did not understand why I was not like the other children), sitting and watching all those children eating pasta and having tears in my eyes, asking myself why I was so different. Therefore, I ended up being a very thin child and adolescent …not a bad thing.
The human world is full of obligations and, as time passes, more obligations are added to the list. Making it a status position impossible to achieve, humans are always reaching for more economic and material rewards, stepping further away from our natural origin.
Going to kinder garden became an obligation to allow women to go to work (when a mother cannot afford to pay for a baby sitter) and the ages that a child is sent to preschool are gone backwards. Nursery school can start at 6 weeks old! This is a very young age to separate a child from a mother. The hours in school became longer and the classes more varied. I used to go home in the afternoon and never ate lunch in school. Now, in France, children can stay the whole day at school. With the school schedule becoming very similar to the working hours of adults, children are obliged to mature very soon. Adding to that, bullying and other kinds of harassment make the life of young children very difficult. I always asked myself why humans put their own species in such difficult situations.
Besides school, children and adolescents find themselves in social groups where other criteria exert enormous pressure on them: the need for certain kind of clothes, the need to belong to a gang or a group, the need to have a car at a very young age (in some states, in the US, you can have a driving license at 14)…the need of money and to be popular. When trying to be popular, adolescents and young adults are capable of anything to be part of a group; many groups have initiation rites which are dangerous or humiliating.
The origins of socialization for humans and animals are very similar. Many animals are social animals, living in groups, as humans. Gorilla troops are very similar to human society; with a social structure, a leader (silver-back), females and their offspring. It could be a human family with the difference that they live in what is supposed to be animal land, they are not obliged to pay taxes, rent a house, buy a car, go to the movies, go on holidays, send the children to school, call friends over, play golf, etc…
We could use the argument that human beings are “superior» and therefore they need/chose (pun intended) to create “entertainment” …for themselves…and bigger properties…and better clothes…and bigger cars…and a higher social status…and towns…and countries. Where did we go wrong and why do we need this entire superfluous material world? Why did we choose to lose our freedom over an unnatural need, based in an inferiority complex; because we were the most vulnerable species, millions of years ago? Numerous tribes and groups of natives, in different parts of the world, are here to prove that humans do not need all the apparatus they created for themselves.
What is Freedom?
Freedom is the ability to live your life without fear…of death.
Alfie, the cat, from Alicia, taught me that sometimes, we can do things we are not comfortable with but we have the freedom to do them, anyway. Alfie is like a “service kitty”. Says Alicia, his mom: “I do tell him often our (I should say “my” that I impose on him) mission is to help people understand what cats/ animals are capable of.” It is a beautiful mission and so much related to the freedom animals have inside them. It is true: they are capable of everything, even when they are afraid. I had felt that Alfie was afraid, going up that huge tree (see photo above) and it is true, he was, but he climbed the tree, anyway.
This might be the freedom I missed, since I am a child; to be able to choose and to not be imposed social beliefs, fashions and status symbols and to do things, freely. Alicia told me that, when Alfie decides he has enough, he starts acting wild and biting; making everybody understand that he wants to go home. That is also something humans have to learn, to say no to something. We do not need to impose in ourselves values that are not ours. We really do not need to buy things to feel better or to do things to please others.
Alfie, animals , plants and natives teach us the freedom that we once had, even when life was more dangerous. Maybe when we lived in caves or tents and life was simpler. It is time to listen to nature which has a lot to give us, to listen to the voice of animals, that have so many gifts to give us. We do not need to do a course in Shamanism to find our natural path, it is enough to look in the eyes of our animals who are here to teach us.