This acrylic and collage painting Freedom is currently on the BBC Freedom website (No. 13).
Catherine feels that this painting represents personally and universally how difficult it is to find freedom to be our authentic selves. We are all held in the jaws of our family, tribe, society, and the collective unconscious. From birth, we are continuously told what we need to be, do, achieve, feel, think, and choose for our lives. She believes that the challenge for everyone (and especially women) is to find our way out of the jaws of those voices into the light of our own true Self.
This image first came to Catherine years ago during a group meditation during which she contemplated on what needed to happen in her life. After the meditation, she quickly drew this image of the woman emerging from the fish’s mouth with colored crayons. Other images came out of this meditation, but this was the strongest and seemed to affect the others in the group in a profound way.
Inner freedom is not dependent on outer freedom. It is dependent on our willingness to hold the tensions of our inner lives, purify and transform them into a higher quality of joy. It is dependent on our willingness to leave behind all we know for all we know we are.
Nelson Mandela and Robert Assagioli found Inner Freedom in Prison
If you were to have asked Nelson Mandela the best thing that ever happened to him, that he would have responded “Prison.” Mandela learned inner freedom while in prison and by being free inside himself, he was able to more effectively lead his nation to outer freedom.
Similarly in 1940, Roberto Assagioli was labeled a pacifist and imprisoned by the Fascists. Instead of breaking him, however, his imprisonment provided Assagioli with what he termed “a blessing”:
the realization of independence from circumstances, the realization of inner freedom. We should realize the freedoms from fear, want, etc., but the right emphasis should be given that inner freedom without which all others are not sufficient. My dedication is going to be to the task of helping men and women free themselves from inner prisons.