The ego has put our sense of self into the body and the role that we play in the drama of life. The body is not who we are but as soon as we are born, others relate to us as though we are the form we inhabit. “What a pretty girl. What a handsome boy” may be said many times when we are little. Such remarks focus our attention on the body and such experiences influence us. Our appearance becomes important to our sense of self. The media encourages this attitude with its emphasis on how physically attractive we are. Fashion and make-up are billion dollar industries.
In our search for happiness, we also tend to create many desires around sense pleasures. Pleasures are always temporary like eating a bar of chocolate. There is no lasting experience, so we then tend to look for the next pleasure. We can become addicted to such things as alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, lust, and even thrills that give an adrenalin rush like bungee jumping.
In this physical world, we need our bodies in order to express and experience the real qualities of the self. Everything of importance is already inside the self, the peace, love and happiness that we seek to experience. We don’t need things like chocolate to make us happy. We will naturally be happy as we live our lives without feeling the need to take from life. It is natural for us to be kind, gentle, friendly, patient and so on and we use the body to express these virtues in action. These virtues enable us to be givers instead of feeling the need to take in order to feel worthy.
Of course, we have to look after the body and the attitude of a trustee enables us to be healthy and active. Then eating a bar of chocolate means nothing more than a pleasant extra and we remain peaceful and happy because we do not feel the need to take from life in order to feel happy.
This is freedom.