The shows premise was that the POWs were actually active war participants, using the camp as a base of operations for Allied espionage and sabotage against the Germans or the German Armed Forces.
The prisoners could leave and return almost at will via a secret network of tunnels and had radio contact with Allied command. They were aided by the incompetence of the camp commandant, Colonel Klink, and the rather more complex motivations of Sergeant of The Guard Sergeant Schultz.
Colonel Hogan would routinely manipulate the incompetent Klink and get Schultz to look the other way while Hogan’s men conducted secret operations. Klink and Schultz were in constant terror of being transferred to the Russian Front, and Hogan took pains to keep the hapless German duo firmly in place.
Schultz was quite aware that the prisoners were carrying out some sort of mischief, but deliberately ignored it in order to maintain the status quo.
It was all fun and games as the actual war was now 20 years over at the time the show was broadcast and time to start having fun with it all, i suppose.
But i am struck with the similarities of how we are POWs within our own minds.
You see, i believe us to be prisoners to our egoic nature and, like the show, we seem to be willing to allow ourselves to be used by allied command, the ego, for all kinds of shenanigans.
Unfortunately, we will never be allowed to leave as the ego has decided that you are not worthy to become the expansive creatures who relish living in the beauty of each Now Moment.
You see, by keeping you forever trapped by a guilt-ridden past and a future that is full of angst, for the details of your life must always be planned out or you are just a failure, we are kept as POWs forever hoping the war might end.
But like in the show where the POWs were content to stay put to do the secret operations, we too, seem to be content with ceding our lives to the ego to manage. I mean, isn’t it just easier to live in guilt and regret of the things we should have done and to put our desires into some hope of a glorious future that will happen when our ship comes in?
The ego is never a tyrannical dictator as the aspect of divine providence within for freedom would always rise to the surface.
No, instead, the ego is indeed like Allied Command, making it seem as if you are part of the overall plan for success.
Way 1: Understand the Way You Are Being Held Captive
This is indeed different for everyone as the ego is subtle in its design. It is forever dwelling on that which will make you stay put as a prisoner but making it seem as if you are a full participant in the process. If it is guilt about something in your past, regret about some situation that you had no control over or whatever it is your ego has decided that t needs to keep you bound, you need to understand for yourself the way you are being kept prisoner.
The key here is to understand the feelings and emotions, yet never judge them. When you allow yourself to judge them, you become the victim and then the prisoner. Judgement always reflects on the one who judges.
Way 2: Understand that the Tunnels that Lead Away Have Always Been There
Believe it or not, there is a symbiotic relationship that you have with your ego. You know the tunnels are there, the ego knows you can be free, yet does not try and stop you from using them. However, the ego tells you that the tunnels are simply used for missions but that the place of safety and security is always behind the barbed wire of the camp.
When you can make sense of the “why” then the access to the tunnels becomes a bit easier to begin to see that the true freedom can only come when you decide to use the tunnels for a one-way trip out.
There is never any safety and security as a Prisoner of War but there is clarity when you understand that life begins when you do. This means shedding your reliance on the ego and allowing yourself to step into the fresh sunlight of your Present Moments. Only there can you find yourself waiting.
Way 3: Understand that There is No Safety Ever in the Realm of the Ego
The tendency to retreat back into the camp is so dominant as you come to truly live free. The ego has assured you that the missions were as free as you needed to be, but that you will always be the safest behind the barbed wire that encloses it. The ego will tell you that it is in charge but that everything you do is vital to the success of the war.
You believed it.
Well, you used to, but no longer. Yes, the freedom of accepting yourself for who you are can be daunting. The freedom to be free of judgement of yourself and of others can be exhilarating, yet scary, at the same time. It has been such a fall-back position that the ego has used to bolster your view of yourself, right?
But once you have lived in the realm of freedom of yourself, from yourself, you begin to see the uselessness of the ego and the temptation to retreat back into the tunnels.
It is not a journey back you should ever desire. It is like when someone loses weight and gains it back and it is more difficult, or so it seems, to lose the weight again. It is just easy to retreat back into old patterns of guilt, regret and judgement.
Don’t go there.
Be a person who is free of the encampments of the mind and of the ego, for there, in the details of each Now Moment, life is waiting.
Be a Person of Quality. Direct Your Power.
Be Excellent, Expect the Best!
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DA Southern is an Author, Speaker, Blogger and a Personal Development Life Coach, teaching the spirit of living in Now Moments with the principles he experienced during over 35 years as an actor and director in live theatre. DA coaches his clients to rid life of limiting beliefs that have kept them from achieving miracles in all areas of their life by embracing Mindfulness of the Present Moment with a renewed Vision for life. Contact DA Southern for Coaching or Speaking @ email@example.com