Just heard the new song Freedom by Pharrell Williams and started screaming freedom straight away but then it got me thinking, what is freedom?
I put the question a couple of friends and they weren’t much hep to be honest. It’s just one of those words I guess where you know what it means but you can’t really find the words to explain it properly. Anyway when friends fail you, there’s always the guru that seems to have the answer to every question….so I put it to Google….What is freedom?
It came back with two main definitions
1. “The state of not being imprisoned or enslaved.”
2. “The power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants.”
Let’s look at the first one – not being imprisoned or enslaved.
Ok, so most of us may not be in physical prisons or bound by chains as slaves of the past were but by no means would I say we are free. We are slaves to our emotions, our beliefs and especially to money. For example, look at most world leaders. They are slaves to systems they serve which is why they are not free to respond with love to any situation. Most of these systems are built on fear so all their reactions come from derivatives of that base emotion such as anger, vengeance, greed, etc. The reason this is what we continue to see from them all the time is because they are slaves to the emotion of fear.
Now beliefs. They imprison us so bad that they could convince us to disregard love for our own offspring. I have personally witnessed a situation where a father disowned his daughter because she didn’t follow the traditional religion of the family. When asked if he could not open his mind enough to accept her decision, his response was never! His belief would not allow him that freedom of choice. Now I know you might say he was free to choose his religion in the first place but was he really?
Let’s look at the other definition to the question what is freedom – “the power or right to act, speak or think as one wants”
Now this one sent me on a trip because on the surface you might think that this is a freedom most of us have. We can say, think or act how we want. Make our own choices… but are they really ‘our’ choices.
Let’s take the father I mentioned earlier for example. Chances are, he was born into a family practicing the chosen religion so all his life experiences were based on that and he ended up ‘choosing’ that religion for himself. Is it then accurate to say that he actually had the freedom of choice in the matter? The way I see it, if he was born and raised in another environment, exposed daily to another religion then he would probably ‘choose’ that religion as well. So then who is making the choice? The version of ourselves that is moulded and defined by our environments, can we really consider that to be our true self?
Personally I don’t think so. Any version of us that changes according to environment cannot be considered true so until we know the true self can we really consider ourselves to be free?
When you start getting a greater awareness of how the systems we live within are constantly bombarding us with subliminal and neurolinguistic programming, can we really be confident that the choices we make are true to our authentic selves? Do we even know how to begin to identify our true selves and therefore our true desires?
I always thought freedom was a simple concept to understand but after really thinking about it, I don’t think it is. I don’t really believe any of us ae really truly free. On one level or another, it would appear that we’re all living in a prison. Whether it’s physical, psychological, emotional, financial, etc, we have designed a world to keep people imprisoned in some way shape or form. More important than what is freedom, I think the question is, how do we attain true freedom? Anyway, enjoy the song that sent me on this thought rollercoaster;