Freedom

For the longest time, I considered the word freedom to mean my ability to do what I wanted, in all realms of life: vocational, religious, romantic-sexual, social.

But as I grew older I discovered (as I suppose all of us discover) that the need to act in a particular way in fact diminishes my inner freedom. In other words, if I am driven by my desires, compelled to do certain things or be a certain way, then I am most emphatically not free. An upside-down perception that is extremely liberating.

Then the question arises: what constitutes freedom?

My current understanding is that freedom is essentially freedom from inner compulsion. We are, most of our waking lives, slaves to our desires. Meditative philosophies teach us to watch our inner worlds, dissolve them, discover peace and compassion and an other-oriented life.

Freedom, ultimately, might mean freedom from our inner patterns of thought and emotion.

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5 thoughts on “Freedom

  1. I see this as a freedom from repeating the same old patterns in life, in order to make room for new patterns. When we watch our mind, we can recognize the old patterns, and how unfulfilling they’ve become. Then, as I see it, we can break through them, so that we can embark upon new, more fulfilling patterns. Kind of like getting out of a rut.

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    1. Thanks for your comment! Yes, I understand what you’re saying. My only question is: my new patterns seem so quickly to become old and repetitive, trapping me in the same ways as the old ones! How to be deeply free from pattern making is perhaps the point. Thanks again 🙂

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  2. As Krishnamurti puts it, the only real freedom is perhaps complete “freedom from the known” (the “known” being thought patterns and knowledge, which keep us slaves to the past). Great post. Thanks.

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