Freedom, Love, Success and Happiness are the most expensive, misunderstood and rarest feelings humanity so desperately seeks to achieve. The complication lies in the complete control we have over their definition. What is freedom to me, may be a prison for someone else. If we are the sole masters of these definitions, what’s stopping us from knowing exactly what will make us happy, what will make us free?
There are two illusions here: treating these concepts as end goals, and failing to see the underlying components and complexity of these feelings. In other words, we think that there is one happiness, one freedom, one success, one love, and that once you’ve achieved these states, in an unchanged environment they will remain there. In reality, these states are equations driven by a multitude of variables which change in time. To maintain an equilibrium, one must constantly readjust the variables.
Freedom is not one thing, it comes in various forms. Freedom of speech, freedom of love, financial freedom are just a few of examples. One often associates freedom with having more control over his actions. But the paradox is, the more control we have, the more surprising the unexpected is. We often feel that breaking free from society is what we need in order to become free. But by doing so we become increasingly dependent on other things such as nature, where very different rules of freedom apply. It’s naïve to believe that you could ever be completely free. Where there is life, there is a source of energy, there are forces hence dependency. We will never become perpetuum mobile.
According to Seneca, we are like dogs tied to a chariot that is driven by someone we don’t know, someone who is unpredictable. We can only allow to run as far as our leash allows us to and we have no choice but to follow the chariot. This is where the illusion that freedom means having no driver, breaking away from society and its laws, becomes dangerous. Where there is no driver, there are other driving forces. In other words, we always depend on something.
Seneca also said: “Most powerful is she who has herself in her own power”. Having control of our own actions and reactions is the power of freedom. The closest you could ever get to being completely free, is in your imagination. Its only there where you are the master of the outcome. It’s only there where you are God.
Enough crazy for today.