Recently I watched a doco on how we pretty much live in an open air prison. We do things out of fear and conditioning. We are givien an illusion of choice. The media and their bullshit.
So I just want to know, what does being “free” really mean?
It’s a relative term, I’d say. One can always push the question to a different frame of reference to argue that we have no freedom even at the most fundamental and existential levels. Because it is relative, it’s really a question of whether you want to look at the glass half empty of half full. You can take the positive “free will and exploration” perspective, or the “determinism and prisoners to our minds and world” perspective.
This question is often brought up in Intro Philosophy courses. Do we even have free will? It’s rhetorical, I’d say.
It’s all a state of mind, really. It’s your choice to believe whether you are free or not free, and to what degree you are free. There are a lot of ways you can look at the world and justify the view that you are not free, and there are a lot of ways you can view it to justify that you ARE free.
Are you free in the sense that you can do as you please with regard to your career choices, what kind of car you want to buy, where you want to live, what kind of ice cream you want for dessert? Yes.
Are you free in the sense that you are unbound by any rules, laws, or regulations set forth by your government? Of course not.
You could even make a strong case that the government is tightening its grip on society. And in many ways they are. But ultimately it’s up to the individual to decide how free he/she is. The more knowledgeable you become about the world and its ways, the ways of government, the economy, the world of money, law, the way the military operates, the way corporations operate, etc., the more you start to adopt the view that you are not free, or at least not as free as you once thought you were.
But ultimately it’s a state of mind. It all depends on how you want to view things.
You can probably tell which stance I take based on what I’ve just said.
to me living life of freedom would mean to be so completely free and clear of all the bullshit and toxic sludge we get from outside sources (whatever they may be) and so completely tuned in to our Divine guidance team that we just instinctively know and understand the Universe. that leaves all options open in my opinion. it’s not just some blissed-out state of being, it’s a verb to me.
IMO, nobody is really “free” (minus the highly spiritual beings that are here to teach us a lesson) which is why we’re all still here on earth. Every individual has their own journey and their lesson to learn. A lot of us are stuck in a cycle of fear, avoidance, denial about who we really are, along with being stuck in desire and attachment to materials and people we love. Many conditions for freedom are directly tied to the ego. We grasp on to what we think is “ours” (objects and people as well as ideas) and in doing so we are stuck in a cycle of maintaining what we are familiar and comfortable with. Depending on one’s point of view, being able to maintain and live comfortably can be “freedom” in a sense that we do not have to worry about dying of hunger or cold. However, ultimate freedom is being able to live with no attachment and fear of losing what we perceive as ours (objects, people, and ideas). I also would say that with this freedom, genuine love can finally be experienced.
@qwuakeup, I believe true freedom is in self control. There is a quote of Edmund Burke that I use often, it goes something like this:
“A man qualifies for civil liberty in direct proportion to his ability to place moral chain upon his own will and appetite”
Another thing I say is that laws are not made for those who would naturally obey them or see the logical reasons for establishing the law in the first place.
But then there may well be laws that do not automatically make sense, such as laws designed for strength of economy rather than individual rights and obligations as we would naturally see things.
I think ultimately freedom is about staying true to your own nature, having the discipline to behave according to what your conscience permits and according to what makes most sense to you rationale.
I’ve been thinking about that a lot as well, and I believe that we all essentially are free. We all decide whether or not we want to allow ourself to become influenced by the media, government, politicians or each other – because if you persuade someone to become, what you call free, then are they really free? What I mean is that, freedom doesn’t come from an outside source telling them how to be free or how to live their life, but freedom comes from allowing yourself to be free by, for example, taking on another persons point of view, not by them telling you that you have to, but by you telling yourself that do.
Of course some people, in any part of the world, is to an extent “not free” – but at the same time they are because some of them have chosen to not be free, and in that sense actually becoming more free than the people in pursuit of what you would call freedom.
All in all, I think the only people that aren’t free, are the people that aren’t ALLOWED to have a personal opinion, and who get persecuted for sharing their beliefs.
Freedom of expression. Any form of rebellious art. That’s what freedom means to me.
@mathiaes, I read something that suggested owning your freedom by defining what you want to be free to do, not what you want to be free from. Because we can never be free from making decisions and living life.
@beyond, Freedom is artistic expression in anything you do, which requires passion and awareness. But is the rebellious nature the key? If I was totally rebellious to life, I would free myself from it completely.
@anjelica, Rebellious to life itself? That’s going against yourself. I don’t know what the key to the feeling of freedom is, but I feel it when I’m liberated from some kind of fear. Maybe rebellious in a sense of going against what we fear that complicates our life. :)
To me, freedom is being completely self sufficient with no obligations or fears stopping you from living the life you want to live. As long as I have to work to pay off student loans & bills and shit I will not be truly free. I mean, it was my free choice to make the decision to go to college and take out loans to pay for it but at the time, i believed the illusion that this was what had to be done in life.
I would feel free if I just walked away from all of this but it’s fear that keeps me stuck.