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The Illusion of Freedom of Thought

Updated on February 15, 2012

The Illusion of Freedom of Thought

By Tony DeLorger © 2011

I see the world perhaps a little differently from most people. I see the reality and the possibility so diametrically opposed that often I hide from the truth of it, not wanting to be involved at all. The truth is I am involved whether I like it or not. No matter how adept, I still bare the scares of my conditioning, my middle-class upbringing and the imprint of life’s path.

None of us are immune from the course of human existence: the hurt, the disappointment, the lies, the pleasures, the achievements, and the seduction of lost principles. We suffer the consequences of our actions and may or may not learn from them. Our lives are filled with confusion, all of which is self-imposed.

The biggest problem that any of us face is self-deceit. We become so used to lying that in the end, we are the ones who are lied to most. We adhere to ideologies and beliefs, learn disciplines and practice them religiously, but when it comes to our thinking we understand little and have almost no discipline. Why is this?

I suppose we take our ability to think for granted, assume that with experience and age our thoughts become more precise and controlled. Unfortunately the opposite is true. When we are in our twenties, we have learned how to manipulate people, circumstances and unfortunately ourselves. This practice usually continues unabated throughout life.

The problem is that our thoughts and actions become habitual and psychologically motivated though various sequences of experience creating bias and misunderstanding. We become no longer aware of our responses and motivations, simply enacting behaviours that have developed rather than been chosen consciously. This is why, to protect this process, we unconsciously deceive ourselves to uphold equilibrium, the known.

Unfortunately the known becomes the norm and all else is limited within these parameters. Life then is a repetitive experience that often disallows change. Without change we cannot grow or learn anything different because we are restricting the possibility. Freedom of thought as we see it, is then somewhat of a misnomer. All we have is the freedom within what is accepted, in a pre-emptive way. Therefore the only freedom of thought exists when we let go of conditioning and learn to see and respond to life in a more present way.

This task is not an easy one, being able to relinquish conditioning and to respond to circumstance creatively and individually. Freedom of thought is possible. But as I said it takes much discipline and practice. The beginning of this process is learning to understand your process of thought and acknowledge the conditioning you have assimilated. This awareness is a second to second exercise, qualifying thoughts as they manifest and understanding their root source. With that understanding, when we respond because of conditioning, we recognise it and re-examine the response.

This process of awareness is a necessary part of self-discovery and the catalyst to understanding how we can find freedom in our thoughts. When unencumbered with conditioned responses, we become open to change and creativity that enlivens our being to a great extent. Having more control of thoughts and attitudes gives us the opportunity to explore the infinite possibilities of life, unrestricted by habitual limits.

Freedom of thought and our awareness of it is something that can transform your life. It represents self-discovery, self-realisation and self-fulfilment. The process is difficult but worth the effort.


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    • Tony DeLorger profile image

      Tony DeLorger 6 years ago from Adelaide, South Australia

      Glad you found it so, Ironman1992. Thanks for reading and your comment.

    • Ironman1992 profile image

      Ironman1992 6 years ago

      interesting hub.

    • Aly Ameziane profile image

      Aly Ameziane 6 years ago from MOrocco

      hope you cheek my hub

    • Tony DeLorger profile image

      Tony DeLorger 6 years ago from Adelaide, South Australia

      Thanks for reading and your comment Aly.

    • Aly Ameziane profile image

      Aly Ameziane 6 years ago from MOrocco

      understanding what we have to do instead of what we want .............that's the real conflict. we always have options....but how we can make sur it is the best way ? confused lost spechless happy sad the adjectives of life and what makes us human ....a unique being swiming on ocean looking for an island that maybe never exist......only hope keep us from let in down

    • Tony DeLorger profile image

      Tony DeLorger 6 years ago from Adelaide, South Australia

      Thanks anusha15, for reading and commenting.

    • anusha15 profile image

      Anusha Jain 6 years ago from Delhi, India

      An illusion indeed. It's difficult to be unbiased. But on an another plane of thought, the bias can be important part of who we are. :) The dividing line between being effective and being manipulative is really thin.

    • Tony DeLorger profile image

      Tony DeLorger 6 years ago from Adelaide, South Australia

      Thanks again EHQ. Glad your enjoying

    • profile image

      ExoticHippieQueen 6 years ago

      As usual, your creativity is amazing, as well as the photo accompanying it. I am very fascinated with it! Voted up!

    • Tony DeLorger profile image

      Tony DeLorger 6 years ago from Adelaide, South Australia

      Thanks Mr Happy, I think perhaps I do. I have a joke with my FIL. 'I can write my speak, but can't speak my write.' In other words my expression is more complete when I write. Just a fact of life. I'd love to have a computer attatched to my brain that wrote my thoughts down without mechanics. Oh well, just have to do it manually.

    • Mr. Happy profile image

      Mr. Happy 6 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      I enjoyed "The Gay Science" much better than "Thus Spoke Zarathustra" but the latter is a marvel as well. My last essay I posted was all on German philosophers. I love metaphysics especially - I can have it for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

      Nietzsche was a giant of a man, "god's unique prototype" as Hunter S. Thompson might have said.

      Another great write Mr. Tony. Do you have a typewriter built-in?


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