Monday, March 9, 2009

The Fallacy of Freedom

The Fallacy of Freedom To ‘Do What I Want’

Our forefathers fought, in their way, for freedom. Women have fought for the freedom to wear pants, to smoke cigarettes and the have an education. We have typically fought for the freedom of our country and the freedom to practice our religion.

Freedom has been, in the past, linked to increasing our choices.

However, things have gotten out of hand.

Freedom of Choice ?

Freedom has turned into freedom to buy different types of toilet paper. It’s become a consumer freedom, and it’s the same freedom the developing countries are striving for.

Freedom for many today is the freedom to do and buy what ever you want. And what is it, exactly, that we want?

As young adults, we think that our freedom is our right to do what we want. Our wants are dictated by advertising, hormones, social pressures and our will or ego to stay entertained.

Teenager’s View of Freedom

Teenagers are typically people who are pulled this way or that for no apparent rhyme or reason – this behaviour has been seen, as ‘freedom’, or going with the flow, to be able to do what you want at a whim of suggestion.

If my friend asks me to go out, then I want to be able to go, and if someone offers me a drink, I want to be able to drink it, and if I want to buy the latest mobile phone, I will feel deprived if I can not have it. I’d also like to be able to have sex with whom ever I’d like, and when ever I want, and to wear any clothes I want, and this, for me, is freedom.

Adults are seen as people who must curb their real wants and submit them to ‘conform’ to society, for the sake of family, society and work. Teenagers don’t want to become adults, and there are many adults who look at their lives through the eyes of a teenager. So when there is a chance, on holidays, or if they break up from their partner, or if they lose their work, they resort back to the teenage ideal of freedom.

That is, indulging the senses and being ‘free’ from thinking of the consequences of our actions.

‘Freedom’ is Seeking to Be a Victim

And if we look at it, for just a moment, we can see that this is not freedom. It’s the opposite. The ideal of freedom of western youth is being chained to the ever shifting whims of the ego.

The ego is a victim to concepts about what we ‘should do’, when we are a certain age, or single, or in certain situations. We are so full of our own ideas that we couldn’t see freedom if it hit us in the face.

Instead, we are victims. We can blame the politicians, we can blame advertisers and we can blame our parents, but the fact remains, that we have only ourself to blame.

We must admit, accept, and with grace, embrace our adulthood. That is, as far as I’m concerned, accept responsibility for our individual freedom.

Freedom is not.

Freedom is not following the dictates of a petulant and demanding child. And we know that our ego is nothing more than an attention demanding, bad tempered and selfish creature.

The ego wants entertainment. It’s a veteran illusion seeker. And we think we are this wilful self.

We are not.

Freedom is not about following consumer choices.

Freedom is not the urge to chase a different skirt or another pair of biceps.

Freedom is.

Freedom is freedom of the demands of the self.

Freedom is freedom from the whims of the ego.

Freedom is awaking to the eternal Self within.

Freedom is the realisation that we are, quite literally, one and the same. And putting this truth into action, is one way to express freedom, as it is.

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