Dictionary.com defines it as…The state of being free or at liberty rather than in confinement or under physical restraint: 2. Exemption from external control, interference, regulation, etc. 3. The power to determine action without restraint. 4. Political or national independence. 5. Personal liberty, as opposed to bondage or slavery: a slave who bought his freedom
Too many times and from too many people I have heard this word used haphazardly like they know the truer definition of the word in relation to being. Freedom is a word, action and philosophy most everyone takes for serious granted. I would say 1% of the population truly knows and live by its tenants. But for those who do goes the spoils of the ultimate form/piece of happiness (or at least one part of it, albeit a big one, but a part none the less. Happiness has many faces.) Freedom is also one of those words that can be used simply, but has a meaning tremendously profound. Freedom is something that is an inherent right given by God, Nature, The Universe, a birth right and one of, if not THE most precious gifts we are bestowed, but yet almost everyone has given it away without even realizing it. Freedom is a word that so called “Patriots” throw around like a banner cry to the masses, wielding it as if even they understood what its essence truly is. Freedom – most importantly, most critically, most urgently, is a word, meaning, philosophy, birthright, that I offer to you for very serious consideration, thought, and meditation this entire week to reflect on. As I am almost sure most of you will be unpleasantly surprised at what you see looking back at you.
To be free, to hold your own personal freedom, to have “The power to determine action without restraint”, is your most sacred right, but do you have it? For your consideration and weekly meditations…
Are your thoughts your own, or are they influenced by something you have been told, overheard, or read? Have you considered the decision you made on an issue or belief based on doing your due diligence and research, without bias, to both sides and facets of a viewpoint. The mind is lazy, and with proper propaganda, (humor, impassioned speech, strength of charisma or character, emotional enticement) a mind can be easily swayed to believe, or choose to believe, as its always a choice, any perspective easily and with simple psychology. The truth, personal truth, understanding and conviction, can only honestly be reached by doing your proper homework. That “Work” is something most people will not do, as its just more convenient and less time consuming to be given the information in such a way that is acceptable or enticing. The sad and scary fact is that the mind, on its own lazy accord, will not take the time, effort, or lay down its ego/emotion to look at a subject with logical and proper bias in order to reach a solid personal decision on what to believe. When you give over your power of decision, belief, and personal convictions to a lazy mind and opt for the simple path of less resistance, you have sacrificed and freely given away yet another aspect of your freedom. You have become a slave to the other perspective.
“What would you be like if there is nobody else in the world? Who would you be if the only opinion that mattered was yours? Because if you want to be truly happy, you must be that person. You must search inside yourself for what is uniquely you. When you find it, polish it until it becomes your style. It’s no good being a pig farmer for 30 years looking back and saying ‘I was meant to be a ballet dancer.’ At that time, pigs are your style.” ~ Quentin Crisp
Are your wants and desires your own? Are they truly free or have you enslaved yourself to those as well? That fashion, that technology, those toys, those material objects, all of them are nothing more, and can never be anything more than, a physical manifestation of a temporary desire. A “fix” of feeling good, but even that feeling of ‘feeling good’ may not even be your own. All “things” are ephemeral, there is and never will be an object, whether it’s a piece of clothing, a new car, a material toy of some kind (a piece of technology, an appliance, a new piece of furniture, anything you can think of really) that truly last. It’s simple psychology, that new phone, car, piece of clothing, when first had will give you excitement, maybe even make you feel good about yourself, but there is an absolute, it will ultimately loose its ‘newness’. You will become bored with it, it will become lackluster and sooner or later you will seek that next or newer ‘thing’ to satisfy or recreate that “feeling” and “fix” that most likely you have been told you need. If you have this you will be cool, or suave! If you have this, people will think you’re sexy! Anyone who owns this will project success! Own this and everyone will like you! Take this and all your problems will be solved! Where have you lost your freedom in this? As most everyone in modern society has become a slave to it. The power to decide, properly consider and suitably understand that true and absolute content, inner peace, and happiness always and forever will ONLY come from those things that are eternal. Believe it or not, the truth is that all things eternal are only and always will be aspects that only you can give yourself, or can be bestowed on you by others. Love, trust, compassion, consideration, true friendship, endearment, caring, giving, these are the things that will grant and offer truth in satisfaction; these are the things that cannot be taken from you, lost, stolen or lose their luster. In fact, those are the things that grow, evolve and always offer new facets to explore and discover every day you nourish them. They can only ever be lost if they are abused, misused, taken for granted, let go or given away. But have you given away your freedom in your hard earned work in order to give in to material and transient happiness? Sex, Drugs, food and even shopping offer the body and mind a temporary fix of brain chemistry that makes us temporarily feel good, but it cannot and never will last. Sooner or later the addict will do whatever it takes to get that next fix. Slavery and the lose of freedom to this aspect usually comes in the form of debt or the sacrifice of many hours of our lives working ourselves to the bone in order ‘to have’. The truth? Every single second, minute, hour, day, month, year that we use is a one shot deal. You can never get that back. Life is not a game of do over’s. You get one chance, one shot, one decision, and with that it becomes a part of your experience, story and past record/journey until the day you pass. When you give over those countless hours of your hard work and effort for the sake of something that will ultimately become trash, or something that gets eventually replaced, what have you lost? But, if you place that effort and precious irreplaceable time investing into things that cannot be taken away or ever replaced (personal development, relationships, simply spending time with the ones you love and cherish), they not only form simple memories, they nourish and evolve into experiences that enrich your life, enhance and grow your spirit/soul, and most importantly give you back your freedom! For your consideration, “things” can be lost or taken away, but experiences are an aspect of our spirit that will carry into eternity!
Your freedom…Do you really have it? Are you really free? People will tell you that you are free and that you should thank God you live in a place where you have your freedom. But if you have sacrificed or indebted yourself, whether by time, money, or personal conviction not properly considered or educated, then you never had your freedom to begin with. You are and have been a slave. A slave to Society, a slave to Corporate imposed greed, a slave to a political movement, a slave to a religion, a slave to your environment, a slave to your own mind and life!
“Freedom is never dear at any price. It is the breath of life. What would a man not pay for living?” ~ Mahatma Gandhi