On this blog, I wrote about personal freedom when talking about free spirits and the will of freedom. I’ve described freedom as measured by the options we have. I’ve said that freedom in solitude is not full freedom, for this needs the company of someone that can push us towards directions we’ve never had thought, therefore enlarging our freedom. I’ve also talked about emotions, and how important they are to understand our humanity. Now, I see that freedom and feelings are very much connected.
Some people confuse freedom with doing whatever they feel like doing at all moments, mainly in their search for pleasure. They take drugs, drink, do extreme sports, have sex as these activities were the symbol of their freedom. “I feel like getting pleasure, I can get it therefore I am free.” “I do take drugs/drink/have sex/throw myself from a cliff because I feel like doing it, I want it, I have the urge to do it, therefore I am free.” Well, I don’t think so. This is hedonism. Being slave of our pleasures, our bodily urges is not being free. Not because “we do what we want at all moments we feel it” we are free. I am not saying there is something morally wrong about it, that’s another discussion, an ethical one. I am just saying that it is not the path towards what I would consider a free life.
We are on the path of freedom when we dare. We dare when we face our “pleasures” and our “fears” in order to discover what’s behind, on the sides, in front, thus things we’d never dare to see or feel. This is indeed a difficult struggle, but who said that the path of freedom is all nice and rosy, easy and attractive? No, it looks to me as harsh and difficult as it may be joyful. It is a path where we need the courage to transform ourselves into beings that go beyond our rational learnings, our hedonistic urges or emotional attachments. It is all – reason, feelings and emotions – at the same time. Freedom comes from connecting it all, not being captured by one or the other, so we are capable of seeing, thinking, feeling the amazing things this universe hides. Freedom is a path, not a state. The final, ideal state of absolute freedom is being able to choose among all things, permanently without limits, and for this it is necessary to experience and be connected with the whole. In it, we can always choose. But then, we’ll probably won’t have the need anymore. More freedom we have, less need to choose. That’s the beautiful paradox of freedom.