Consciousness has a tendency towards constricting, so that if you do not openly push boundaries and question assumptions, it will gradually lead you into a smaller and smaller world. It will shrink around you, limit your circle of friends, limit the light that enters into your world from a vast universe of mystery where joy can be found in infinite varieties. With the constriction of your consciousness will come a feeling of helplessness and persecution. You will feel the world is a hostile place and that you need a place to hide. You will stop exploring and turn even further inward, rejecting new ways of seeing things and clinging tightly to what is comfortable, even if it is an addiction or an unhealthy relationship.
There are those who are willing to prey on this human propensity. Closed off from the universe themselves through fear, they seek a false sense of strength through controlling others. They will seek to shape the way you see the world, will erect barriers of fear within you mind, and their ultimate achievement will be when you begin to do the work of censoring yourself for them. Within you own mind will be their voice, telling you to fear, telling you to run away and hide.
You will know you are in the grip of such thoughts when you are angry and fearful and feel helpless. You will know those who seek to manipulate you because they will always try to steer you back into you cage through fear and hatred of those who they do not approve. They will never allow you your own thoughts, never permit your mind to wander or for you to express curiosity.
You can never be free without being open, can never be truly free without trusting in a universe that holds more hope than fear. Your greatest act of self-liberation will be to dare to look outwards, dare to feel a positive connection to the world so that you feel a power to shape the world around you and a willingness to have it shape you in return. In short, you will never feel free until you are capable of experiencing joyfulness.
It is time we stepped out of our bunkers.