What is your greatest fear? A gripping thought that sends chills through your spine? Is it the fear of a deadly disease? Unprecedented demise of a loved one? Psychologists say that the primal fear in all living things is the fear of death. Roots of all other fears can be traced back to it. If it is our extinction that we fear most, then what if we feel nonexistent while we are still alive? That is a nightmare. Well it turns out that there is some place where your nightmares become reality: prison.

Getting locked up in a place where all sorts of freedom are suppressed is the most undesirable thing that can happen to anyone . That’s why we extolled when Andy Dufresne crawled through the waste pipe to break out of Shawshank prison (Shawshank redemption-1994 movie) and held our breaths while Michael Scofield’s ingenious plan to rescue his brother from the Fox river state Penitentiary was met with adversities(Prison Break). Yet somehow we fail to see the invisible prison that we all endure. A confinement most of us don’t even realize exist, but saps out all  the freedom and makes us blind followers. The self created prison in our mind.

We were all born free. As children, our dreams were unlimited and thoughts unbiased. But slowly we were baptized into belief systems, faiths and dogmas. The fact is that most of our impressions of the world were formed by the time we were six years old, before we ever had the opportunity to evaluate our perspectives or make our choices. For instance, we hold the same religious views as our parents, moral values of our society and even our fashion out looks are consistent with that of our country. We accepted all of them without question. Hence were reduced to typecasts who just parrot whatever all these institutions instilled. Sadly, we became nothing more than the products of the circumstances that nourished and deprived us.

Eventually, our prejudices shrouded our perspective. Ego, negativism, favoritism and even our religious outlooks limited our freedom of thought and made us fanatics and partisans who fail to see the light outside the dark cells of our blind beliefs. Thus we created our own hell and are living in it eternally.

These uncompromising personal prisons brews greed, selfishness, vengeance and hatred and in turn results in religious, political, cultural and ethnic tensions. Moreover, we live in so much unnecessary pain and self torture. But we have come to love our chains so much so that the very idea of emancipation terrifies us. It seems that we prefer a life in hell above that of freedom and growth.

Nevertheless, guided by the inner light that adheres to ultimate truth, unconsciously we earn to break out of our prison and seek deliverance. But redemption from any prison is very difficult. We have to have meticulous planning and knowledge of how the system works. Sharp intellect, indomitable spirit and perseverance are imperative tools.

Primarily all the belief systems relies on compliance. To escape, we have to consider for a moment that our believes may be wrong. It is not easy, for we are all self-righteous people and would give anything to defend our views even if it is hearsay. For example, I had this stupid idea that intensity of car headlight is more than that of a bus, just because my dad dismissed me with a quick answer to my highly intellectual question when I was four. Even though I grew up the belief remained in my subconscious until I challenged it. So once we start open minded enquiring, we will find weak links in the arguments. Thus we can remove the veils created by presumptions ordained by institutions and get insight into reality. Rather than making situations complicated by mixing our partial views we will start seeing it as it is.

Secondarily, subjugation thrives on ignorance. It is our naiveté that creates jails in our mind. So we can be more competent by educating ourselves on various topics such as science ,religion, politics and history. Rather than reading periodicals which reaffirms our belief system, try going through something different. Widen the world by travelling, mingling with different people and culture and watching documentaries and educational programs.  When different political, religious, cultural and moral views become familiar we  will transcend the walls that separate us.

Let us be advocates of a world where everyone lives free, where vested interests find no fertile grounds, where people live in liberty by breaking out of their inner prisons like Andy Dufresne and  happily extending their arms to the world with an open mind.

A world without boundaries, unlimited dreams and unbounded potential. Imagine…

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