Thursday, June 20, 2013

How do we define freedom ?

Wikipedia defines freedom as follows:

Freedom (the idea of being free) is a very broad concept that has been given numerous different interpretations by different philosophies and schools of thought. The protection of interpersonal freedom can be the object of a social and political investigation, while the metaphysical foundation of inner freedom is a philosophical and psychological question. Both forms of freedom come together in each individual as the internal and external values mesh together in a dynamic compromise and power struggle; the society fighting for power in defining the values of individuals and the individual fighting for societal acceptance and respect in establishing one's own values in it.

In philosophy, freedom often ties in with the question of free will. Libertarian philosophers have argued that all human beings are always free - Jean-Paul Sartre, for instance, famously claimed that humans are "condemned to be free" - because they always have a choice even an external authority can only threaten punishment after an action, not physically prevent a person from carrying out an action. At the other end of the spectrum, determinism claims that the future is pre-determined and freedom is an illusion.”

Freedom exists on many levels, emotional, spiritual, physical, and mental. We, as the wonderful beings we are, also have a tendency to self limit our own freedom. We place constraints on our behavior, how we think, how we feel and what we do.

We desperately yearn to be free, but strangely enough, we tend to be our biggest jailer. Why? Is it because we have lost touch with what we truly desire? In essence yes, we have forgotten that we possess the strength to make our own decisions, determine our own existence. We have become rather complacent and have capitulated to the pressure of the majority of our society and have readily accepted concepts and belief systems that inhibit the very same freedom we seek.

When one begins to question “is this what I really want?” and begins to delve into the deeper regions of their being, further questions arise, questions which have perhaps laid dormant and unanswered. Questions regarding mindset, values, objectives and achievement, arise and slowly recognition of the need for personal freedom in thought, emotion, spirit and physical presence blossoms. Once the blossoming begins we search for ways to break free of the shackles that we have created for ourselves, which we have permitted to develop.

Can we really achieve true freedom on all levels? I think we can, I believe it is possible, but also to make this possible we need to recognize factors which keep us prisoner.

© 2008 J Picken

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