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Thread: Freedom

  1. #1
    Registered User beroq's Avatar
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    Freedom

    Surrounded with a universe that has strict physical boundaries, man cherishes the concept of freedom either as an answer or as an alternative to his chained existence in the world. As an alternative, man makes use of freedom to peacefully reach to a higher position from his fallen status, a belief whose roots go back to the creation of the first man. As an answer, human being employs freedom in a more rebellious manner to question and reject his limited and mortal existence. From the former attitude emerges constructive creativity and harmony while from the latter destructive creativity and anarchy. The way man expresses his freedom is the direct result of his understanding of existence. In art, architecture, ecology, economy and governance, our comprehension and understanding of freedom determines the policy we prefer to execute within and beyond our reach and understanding.

    Freedom is either a state of being or a state of mind or a combination of these two. Each of us experiences freedom in one of these three realms. Culture, religion and concrete preferences determine which type of freedom we will happen to choose. Some care more about their physical freedom while others strive to find their freedom inside themselves, disregarding the chains and setbacks in the outside world. Yet another group of people do care about both internal and external freedom in its fullest sense.

    In the first case, freedom necessitates the three dimensional world (width, length, and depth) as we know it by experience and habituation. To be fully executed, freedom needs five senses and a resonance to each of them in the physical world. If one of them goes unanswered, experiencing life fully becomes an improbable task for human being. He wants space to go wherever he wants to go. He wants time to do whatever he wants to do. He also looks for satisfaction that his five senses might bring about and any setback to this causes great unrest and possible rebellion. This type of freedom is largely based on the sensuality and satisfaction. Without an inner depthness and broadness, man can become the greatest destructive force in the planet if he reduces freedom merely to external realities.

    In the second case, freedom does not require time and space to be actualized. It is experienced deep in the mind and heart no matter how bad and unwelcome the outer environment turns out to be. It is more perception than execution. This type of freedom brings forth an individual peace and stability. Its strong individuality becomes a drawback when man has to share and promote freedom with and for the others. Inner peace and stability do not always the best reaction to the unjust and cruel practices that are always widespread in the world.

    In the third case, freedom is fully executed internally and externally. Now it is a complete concept and a realistic approach to the good and bad that life innately contains. It is both having and distributing. Freedom lived in its fullest sense is no longer a personal experience but an active ingredient of the daily life of all mankind. It is resilient and perfectly fit for application into real life. This type of freedom is the one that great revolutionists and leaders have adopted and carried out in many places throughout the history.

    As a conclusion, it can easily be said that freedom is the sum of internal and external experiences and expectations. Without grasping the complete picture of it, life becomes either too dangerous or too dull. As human beings, our creation is meant to be an actualization, but not a deformation. No matter how rough our voices might get against our fate, we are still weak and tied to the conditions that we cannot control. Therefore, to make best use of our freedom, we need to reconcile it with the meaning of our creation. This is only possible if we are able to have and execute freedom in its fullest sense.

  2. #2
    Haribol Acharya blazeofglory's Avatar
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    Freedom from what?

    It is hard to get freedom in essence. Freedom from hunger, thirst, suppression, hegemony, economic dominance, slavery. It is really hard.

    We are free in theory not in practice.

    “Those who seek to satisfy the mind of man by hampering it with ceremonies and music and affecting charity and devotion have lost their original nature””

    “If water derives lucidity from stillness, how much more the faculties of the mind! The mind of the sage, being in repose, becomes the mirror of the universe, the speculum of all creation.

  3. #3
    Registered User beroq's Avatar
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    My article says that freedom actualized in its fullest sense is what man deserves. Reductionism in the concept of freedom is but a pain in the mind and soul. Pyhsical and spiritual freedom, both at the same time, is quite possible.

  4. #4
    Registered User grotto's Avatar
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    Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose.

    This is not just a trite saying from a song when you really tear it apart. It’s freedom from the dualism that sets one against the other. Nothing left to lose is the importance and attachments we put on conditions, when all conditions and judgments are finally eliminated in your world, then and only then will you be free. That in itself is a notion that you must be free off.

    To be open to all that there is, to be free of all your learned notions and ideas, to be free of everything you think you know. The basic problem is, we don’t want to be free, we want to hold to an ideal of what is good, what is right and what shouldn’t be. When you keep these ideals, you will never be free.

    We live, we die, and death not ends it. To be free is to be off the cycle of birth and death, the birth of right and wrong, the birth of wanting and the anguish of not getting that want met. Free from chasing a dream and accepting what is as it is. Why do you feel man deserves anything? Is that not an idea that we need to be free of? Who decides who gets what? Does not merit in itself perpetuate the divide?

  5. #5
    Haribol Acharya blazeofglory's Avatar
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    Freedom is something that is more of abstract ideas, and not of anything concrete in life.

    We tend to be free from shackles of one kind and get incarcerated by something else.

    We for instance abolish slavery, colonialism. But we have in practice not been abolish slavery, and today there is no less amount of colonialism. We often term them as neo-colonialism, a different type.

    No country is a free country. A country is dominated by its rulers in the first place. Then it is dominated by another bigger country. There are explicit and implicit dominances. We often see some forms of dominance and others are invisible or beyond comprehension or out of our capacity for comprehending.

    Today, if we are a deep observer we can see so many things which we ordinarily can not understand.

    Noam Chomsky, a great twenty-first century thinker and activist has coined a clause: manufacturing public consensus. As a matter of fact we have kind of been today conditioned by ideas, and some big minds or powers keep on manufacturing public opinions. They shape our ideas, mould us into their ideas and opinions and we get swayed by them.

    And we blindly follow them.

    There are some people who create great religions, cults, schools of thoughts and we become in consequence enslaved to their ideas. We keep on indoctrinating young minds and into thinking that indoctrination is something that liberates them. But in the name of or act of liberating them we are hooking them into a form of slavery.

    Then the idea of freedom is simply a notion that has no base or substance. If we release ourselves from a set of fetters we will kind of hem ourselves in another form of slavery, or in another chain.

    “Those who seek to satisfy the mind of man by hampering it with ceremonies and music and affecting charity and devotion have lost their original nature””

    “If water derives lucidity from stillness, how much more the faculties of the mind! The mind of the sage, being in repose, becomes the mirror of the universe, the speculum of all creation.

  6. #6
    Registered User beroq's Avatar
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    Then, blazeofglory, don't you think that your notion of freedom, rather, lack of freedom, somewhat tresspasses the thin line between freedom and anarchy/chaos?

    In that sense, sure, we are not free at all. We are not free to live in a society where there is no higher mode of authority and rules set by that authority.

    I believe that, as Sartre puts it directly, "We are doomed to be free." We are doomed to be free in the frame that is determined by our human nature.

  7. #7
    Registered User JacobF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by beroq View Post

    I believe that, as Sartre puts it directly, "We are doomed to be free." We are doomed to be free in the frame that is determined by our human nature.
    I think that's very true. Our intellect as humans forces us to create an elaborate system of order in the form of laws and enforcement. Even if all the governments in the world disbanded and we became swept into anarchy, rules and order would eventually return. Either that, or the extinction of humanity. Even in nature there are rules. If a monkey doesn't participate in grooming they are shunned by their troop. The bees must obey they queen. Rule and order is the center of gravity which keeps everything in orbit. Otherwise, we fall apart. And just to clarify, I'm not implying a totalitarian state must exist to keep everything in line, but even as governments slide down the right side of the spectrum rules are needed.

    I think knowledge and experience is what makes someone free. Oppressive regimes since ancient history recognized literature as a threat. I say experience because I think in order to be fully free you need to learn about things beyond an intellectual level too.

  8. #8
    Registered User beroq's Avatar
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    Thanks for your input, JacobF. What I can add to what you say is that freedom in itself necessitates knowledge. Because only those who know themselves are truly free.
    Last edited by beroq; 04-05-2009 at 08:53 AM. Reason: spelling correction

  9. #9
    Vincit Qui Se Vincit Virgil's Avatar
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    beroq, you don't mention anything about economic freedom. If slavery is the forced labor for no pay, and freedom is the opposite of slavery, then some discussion on the limits of taxation (the forced taking of one's earnings or better stated the forced taking of the fruits of one's labor) as it relates to freedom is warrented. If a person works and half of his earnings are taken in the form of taxation (which in theory is at the point of a gun, because that is how they will come for you when you don't pay) then is a person only half free?
    LET THERE BE LIGHT

    "Love follows knowledge." – St. Catherine of Siena

    My literature blog: http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/

  10. #10
    Registered User beroq's Avatar
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    Again, we should not confuse freedom with the chaotic idea of doing anything one ones to do. Freedom necessitates a kind of consensual set of rules that cover the private and social life in its all aspects, including economics.

    We are free; yet, we are not islands. We prefer living in social structures (family, neighbourhood, religious communities, school and working environment) designed for our security, prosperity and psychological wholeness. With duty comes responsibility.

  11. #11
    Vincit Qui Se Vincit Virgil's Avatar
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    And each social structure is a limitation on our freedom. Where does one draw the line? If freedom is only a state of mind than any slave can be consiidered free, and therefore so abstract that all of this becomes philosophic nonsense. How can a slave be free? If freedom isn't palpable then it is nothing.
    LET THERE BE LIGHT

    "Love follows knowledge." – St. Catherine of Siena

    My literature blog: http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/

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    Registered User Mr_Rayber's Avatar
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    I agree with Jean-Paul Sartre when he said that humans are condemned to be free. We are free to make choices but the very freedom to choose can be the mechanism that limits our freedom. This is where social structure places limits upon our freedom, our right to choose. I do not think that consequence negates freedom. Simply because my application of freedom serves to make me less free does not prove my lack of freedom. It simply means that freedom begets responsibility.

    Social structure exist to protect freedom. We can argue about its virtue, but in essence, law and boundaries serve to inform freedom so as not to reduce freedom to mere chaos, as beroq states above. Society, civilization, can be seen as freedom experiments. We arrive by consensus upon a set of boundaries that serve to protect and enhance both personal and societal freedom. A society governed by fear due to the indiscriminate exercise of individual freedoms is less free than one regulated by law where its constituents choose to adhere to certain boundaries or suffer consequences established by society beforehand. The willingness to limit oneself to predetermined standards is not, in my estimate, a negation of freedom.
    It is better to be young in your failures than old in your successes. -Flannery O'Connor

  13. #13
    Vincit Qui Se Vincit Virgil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr_Rayber View Post
    I agree with Jean-Paul Sartre when he said that humans are condemned to be free. We are free to make choices but the very freedom to choose can be the mechanism that limits our freedom. This is where social structure places limits upon our freedom, our right to choose. I do not think that consequence negates freedom. Simply because my application of freedom serves to make me less free does not prove my lack of freedom. It simply means that freedom begets responsibility.

    Social structure exist to protect freedom. We can argue about its virtue, but in essence, law and boundaries serve to inform freedom so as not to reduce freedom to mere chaos, as beroq states above. Society, civilization, can be seen as freedom experiments. We arrive by consensus upon a set of boundaries that serve to protect and enhance both personal and societal freedom. A society governed by fear due to the indiscriminate exercise of individual freedoms is less free than one regulated by law where its constituents choose to adhere to certain boundaries or suffer consequences established by society beforehand. The willingness to limit oneself to predetermined standards is not, in my estimate, a negation of freedom.
    I agree when this applies to what society asigns as criminal activity. Indiscriminant freedoms that harm others is a lack of freedom on those being harmed. But no one seems to draw a line as to economic freedom. At what point is man no longer free? If he can't spend his earnings as he sees fit, when does one transition from freedom to slave? When the government takes 40% of his earnings? 50%? 75%? 100%?
    LET THERE BE LIGHT

    "Love follows knowledge." – St. Catherine of Siena

    My literature blog: http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/

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    Registered User beroq's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Virgil View Post
    And each social structure is a limitation on our freedom. Where does one draw the line? If freedom is only a state of mind than any slave can be consiidered free, and therefore so abstract that all of this becomes philosophic nonsense. How can a slave be free? If freedom isn't palpable then it is nothing.
    The line is drawn by the notions and concepts set by both divine revelations and human concscience.

    Our conscience tells us killing is not moral. If we do not abide by what our inner justice demands, then divine justice and the rules set by men accordingly step in.

    Of course freedom is not merely a state of mind. Bodily freedom is of equal importance. Nevertheless, freedom is not doing anything one wants to do. There is a thin line between freedom and responsibility. Our responsibility comes from our exalted status among the creation as a whole.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr_Rayber View Post
    A society governed by fear due to the indiscriminate exercise of individual freedoms is less free than one regulated by law where its constituents choose to adhere to certain boundaries or suffer consequences established by society beforehand. The willingness to limit oneself to predetermined standards is not, in my estimate, a negation of freedom.
    If it needs to add to the wonderful explanation above, I am sure that our soul does desire an absolute freedom even though, in a second, that may yield to chaos for it has the ability to exceed the concrete limits by mere thinking. Yet, we are limited by our corporeal existence, our souls being imprisoned in our bodies. Just like our soul, freedom requires a body to be kept in security and satisfaction.

    Quote Originally Posted by Virgil View Post
    I agree when this applies to what society asigns as criminal activity. Indiscriminant freedoms that harm others is a lack of freedom on those being harmed. But no one seems to draw a line as to economic freedom. At what point is man no longer free? If he can't spend his earnings as he sees fit, when does one transition from freedom to slave? When the government takes 40% of his earnings? 50%? 75%? 100%?
    In this case, I believe a general consensus is what applicable as freedom can not be applied one by one in varying degrees.

  15. #15
    Registered User grotto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by beroq View Post
    As a conclusion, it can easily be said that freedom is the sum of internal and external experiences and expectations. Without grasping the complete picture of it, life becomes either too dangerous or too dull. As human beings, our creation is meant to be an actualization, but not a deformation. No matter how rough our voices might get against our fate, we are still weak and tied to the conditions that we cannot control. Therefore, to make best use of our freedom, we need to reconcile it with the meaning of our creation. This is only possible if we are able to have and execute freedom in its fullest sense.
    Not to be a nit pick beroq, but in conclusion, I don’t think it can be easily said that freedom is the sum of anything. You have made some very valid points along with others, but to define freedom as an idea already takes away from it. You are not free from your ideal nor the thought that has attached importance to it.

    There are physical, social and individual limits to freedom. You are free to do as you please, however, there are consequences for those freedoms you employ. I am free to jump off a bridge, get drunk, punch my neighbor or to do nothing with my life. I am free to respond to this thread, but I am not free of the thought of this thread. Exerting my freedom immediately sets a boundary that I have to continually push against; I am no longer free of the idea. We are doomed to be free, freedom is a never ending cycle pitted against it’s opposite. Every time you act out a freedom, it immediately presents you with it’s opposite, and so the cycle continues.

    To say freedom, you have to ask, freedom from what? Or else the term means nothing. Freedom is a never ending, unreachable goal, an endless chasing of an illusion. One can never be free of the notion of freedom when the chase starts. It will continually be compartmentalized along the way.

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