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What is freedom - A brief essay

Updated on June 21, 2014

Definition of freedom

  1. the state of being free or at liberty rather than in confinement or under physical restraint: He won his freedom after a retrial.
  2. exemption from external control, interference, regulation, etc.
  3. the power to determine action without restraint.
  4. political or national independence
  5. personal liberty, as opposed to bondage or slavery: a slave who bought his freedom.

What is freedom?

What is freedom? What do you believe freedom is? A word, a state of being, or something more? What truly makes one free? How can any of us make a claim to freedom when there are so many variables related to the subject? How am I any freer than you, for example? What differentiates our state of freedom? This is a difficult question, but it is one I will attempt to answer in the coming minutes.

A fragile concept, capable of being washed away at any moment.
A fragile concept, capable of being washed away at any moment.

Freedom of the body

We will start off by discussing the freedom of the body. At a first glance, one might think of a slave or prisoner, held down by real shackles, either having been forced to choose or chosen to be in this position. And you are correct, this is indeed a single aspect of the freedom of the body. The ability to roam without walls or cells to impede our path, without chains or rope to hinder us. Those who are not bound by such restrictions are in a sense, free.

But there is more to this than you know. The freedom of the body also considers having free use of our facilities. Our limbs must be intact and functional and our bodies must be rid of poisons. If one is missing a hand or leg, then he is restricted, is he not? Unable to enjoy the freedom granted by possessing all bodily functions. This is in no way an attempt to criticize those who may be handicapped in such a manner, merely an observation. If one's body is indeed intact on the outside, we must return to the subject of poison which in turn leads us to...

Freedom of the mind

The freedom of our physical form is nothing in the grand scheme of things. What use is a husk unable to think? Or to steal a quote, what use is a telephone if you are unable to speak? To truly understand the concept of freedom, one must first be liberated from all invisible shackles. It must not be burdened by luxuries such as alcohol and nicotine, nor must it be infected with the toxins of narcotics. But, as with the body, this is merely part of what is necessary in order to truly obtain a free mind.

Freedom of our conscious can only be obtained when our thoughts are free to spread and soar, bringing peace and purity. When we are faced with conflict, with decisions that could result in consequence, with challenges that test you financially, we are often crippled with worry, doubt and fear. All of which, as you may have assumed, limit our minds. They are just as effective as a glass of scotch or a puff of a joint at crushing our ability to think for ourselves.

Also, be sure to remember that a free mind is open to the thousands of other opinions given by people of different levels of understanding and intellect. Even if they are unable to convey their thoughts as you have come to learn, it is important to understand that a free mind is capable of accepting all forms of conscious views.

Finally, a thought that should be considered is the freedom of thinking as we please, with no regard for the opinions and values of others. Such a statement is of course shocking and rightfully so. But a free mind refuses to be caged, denies to be censored and will create and imagine and believe as it so wishes.

Freedom of speech

What use is formulating thoughts of such passion, of such raw desire and imagining, refusing to be limited, that we must contain them within ourselves? Freedom of speech is not merely a concept which allows us to talk as we please, when we please. It also implies the liberation of the pure and truthful thoughts within us. Those who practice freedom of speech must not be restricted in their endeavors. They must be willing to state everything and anything that forms within themselves and convey it verbally, holding nothing back.

Our truths, our values, our very beliefs, suggestions and dreams are not toys to be locked in a chest when we are through conversing and playing with them. They, like many creatures in this world, yearn to be free to do as they please. And we must grant them this wish.

Do not burden yourself or your thoughts with fear or judgement. Let it all soar free.
Do not burden yourself or your thoughts with fear or judgement. Let it all soar free.

Freedom from oppression

In the society we live in, in the face of countless millions of other wandering souls and prophets, there are indeed those who would seek to deny you the freedom you seek. Whether they be the ordinary citizen, who's understanding of our world clashes with yours, or powerful figures who wish to silence what they consider to be impure and wrong, it is necessary to remain unswayed and unrelenting in your efforts to deliver free thought.

As we have stated before, it is of prime importance that you accept the messages of others. You must not seek to judge or dissuade, as doing so limits your mind and thus prevents you for achieving true freedom. All that is necessary is to reveal your true thoughts, freeing your mind and removing yourself from oppression.

Freedom of the world

A free world. An idea so ludicrous and unorthodox, most would turn their heads in disgust. The idea of a free world is not one related to resolutions and treaties that would allow for fair trading and taxes. Nor is it the simply the belief that all things should be free, without monetary or personal value, though that does play a part. A free world might be something one would see as a place without limits, without boundaries and without rules.

The concept I am proposing is ideal for one who dabbles in anarchy and chaos, but that brings us back to limitations. We would only cause anarchy and chaos, embracing no new ideals or suggestions. A free world, whilst not bound by rules, must be open to their conception, as must its population. All cultures, all religions, every and all concept and idea must be introduced, so that we could all embrace it. But we must not be bound by it. We must have, in essence, the freedom of choice.

No limits, be they physical or mental.
No limits, be they physical or mental.

Freedom of choice

What is the freedom of choice? The ability to think for oneself and to come to a decisive conclusion that was reached by you and only you? Yes, that is one way of looking at it. Take the choosing of one's job for example, or perhaps a meal at a restaurant you wish to order. Does taking one road also prevent us from walking down the other in the potential future? I believe so.

Our choices, even if decided freely and without the input of the outside world, will always limit us in one way or another. The choice of one job means we lock ourselves in, unable to take another. The taking of one partner is denying us the luxury of another. Even the meal at the restaurant forces us to experience a single taste among millions, and no more.

Conclusions

What must be understand is that freedom is a concept of impossibility. There are always limits, restrictions, bindings that refuse to be unmade. Freedom is only something we can hope to brush against, to feel for a fraction of a second. As beautiful and as seductive an idea as it sounds, it is merely another failed dream to be cast aside, never to be achieved.

Your ability to hold nothing back, might be the most liberating thing of all.
Your ability to hold nothing back, might be the most liberating thing of all.

The poll

What are your final thoughts? Is freedom something possible?

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A video on the subject

Comments

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  • Soumi Das Canvas profile image

    Soumi Das 8 days ago from India

    Well presented article

  • Gyanendra Mocktan profile image

    gyanendra mocktan 4 months ago

    Thank you for sharing your thought on Freedom. I have my own kind thought process regarding freedom. Similarly, each individual has his/her own kind of idea regarding freedom. Thank you again'