Flipping through the channels on the ol’ tele the other day I came across a golden oldie from 1966: Born Free. A memorable flick about a lioness cub named Elsa who was raised by humans, neither of whom could bring it into their hearts to allow her to be relegated to a zoo; in fact, one of the top scenes for me was when Joy, the cub’s human mother, says that she would never stand for Elsa just rotting away, fat and dopey-like, behind the bars of a cage. No, she would always remain free. What a metaphor! It could also be used in reference to the adept who, in light of the Unborn Buddha Mind, can no longer be held captive behind the discriminatory bars of one’s own limited mind capacity (just staying fat and stupid and complacently lazy in Samsara)—one that is ruled by the vast projections of the Alaya receptacle—no, one needs to soar Free in the Freedom of Mind that the Unborn alone can offer. The following selected lyrics behind the hit single at the time, Born Free, really bring this home:
Fast, on a rough road riding
High, through the mountains climbing
Twisting, turning further from my home.
Young, like a new moon rising
Fierce, through the rain and lightning
Wandering out into this great unknown.
Like Elsa, who needed to roam into the great unknown on her own in order to come to the self-realization of her own natural state, likewise does the UnbornMind adept venture forth alone into the Undiscovered Country of the Unborn; there are many dangers along the way, for Mara will stop at nothing to prevent this Noble self-realization—one that empowers one to truly realize their own True Self-Identity in the Womb of Deathless Suchness.
And I don’t want no one to cry,
But tell ’em if I don’t survive:
I was born free!
I was booooooorn free
I was born free, born free.
For the adept, there is no turning back, because it’s like turning one’s back on oneself. If others shed tears when not understanding the transformation…so be it! The adept has gone beyond the stage of mere “survival” in the volatile waters of samsara.
Free, like a river raging
Strong, if the wind I’m facing.
Chasing dreams and racing fathered time.
Deep like the grandest canyon,
Wild like an untamed stallion.
If you can’t see my heart you must be blind.
You can knock me down and watch me bleed
But you can’t keep no chains on me.
This Noble Stream-enterer now goes with the flow of where the Unborn Spirit leads—deep looking upon deep—untamed, primordial wildness breaking free from all projected dreams and memories in the Alaya receptacle and not allowing Mara to enchain them any longer…
And I’m not good at long goodbyes,
But look down deep into my eyes,
I was born free!
Yes, somehow born-free with the bodhi-seed of this Noble self-realization, even one’s earthy mother cannot comprehend the deep gaze of the Original Primordial Stature shining back like a dark luminosity from deep within. Born-free from the conventionality of the Prison-house…trailing, as Wordsworth wrote, “Clouds of Glory” from whence I come.
Calm, facing danger,
Lost like an unknown stranger,
Grateful, for my time with no regrets.
Close to my destination,
Tired, frail and achin’,
Waitin’ patiently for the sun to set.
No danger is too great from preventing the Noble determination to carry on—with no regrets of past karma—even despite being tired and achin’ for the journey to somehow wind-down—yet, faithfully persevering and waiting patiently for parinirvana—the True Self-Realization that you have never really been born and hence will never die, but rather, that you are now, and will always be…UNBORN.