Thursday, June 18, 2015

"It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere." Voltaire

A thought for the day. Freedom has been on the hearts and minds of men and women since the beginning of human time. Yet, it may be one of the most elusive facets of humanity.

There is lots of rhetoric about being free, personal or individual freedom and living free. Unfortunately, the major purpose of any governing body or entity is control. I'm not sure I've ever met a truly, free person. As long as you live in a society, regardless of how big or small, there is virtually always someone attempting to impose their will or control on you.

It begins as simply as in the nuclear family with its obvious hierarchy. Then it moves up through schools, jobs, religious institutions, businesses, community and homeowners associations, town and city governments, county and state governments and then the national or federal governments. And, we could even push the envelope and suggest the United Nations, World Courts and so on, impress certain degrees of their will on people.

Sure! We're going to say that we need this control, the laws, rules, regulations, ordinances, codes, covenants, etc. to have and live in an orderly society. This is, essentially, true. That's why there are no truly free people in our world. And, of course, the idea that we are controlled, limited, restricted, etc. by tens of thousands of these laws, rules, codes, etc. and the entities that enact them doesn't make it easy to realize what it might be like to be truly free.

What's even more interesting is how there are laws, etc. made by one governing body that can override the rules made by another governing body. What's with that? It wasn't really always that way. When most governing bodies (national or otherwise) begin, they have all good intentions. Time is the enemy as well as the human traits that begin to immediately infringe, step on, violate . . . choose your own word . . . the rights of others.

I espouse living free. I claim to be living freer and happier than I ever have in my life. Within the "system" I am living free. Well, certainly freer than the majority of the population. By choice, I live in a "tin can tent" aka "My McVansion." By choice, I don't own any property that would in anyway restrict my mobility and freedom to roam. By choice, I've eliminated most of the major overhead that the majority of the population are concerned with every month, month in and month out. By choice, I personally limit my exposure and contact with significant segments of society.

I don't necessarily agree with Voltaire's use of the word "fools." Granted, there are certainly millions, maybe even a billion or more fools who qualify under that term. What I do see is the vast population of the world not really grasping the true meaning of what it means to be free.

These are the people who willingly accept the, so-called, "chains" Voltaire said they revere. I don't believe they revere them and I don't believe they recognize them as chains. From birth until death, humans are under constant indoctrination. As society progresses, more laws are made and enforced, the continual indoctrination evolves to keep people marching in line.

I dare say we are less free today than we were 50 years ago. Next year we'll be less free and the year after and the year after that. As the world population continues to increase, more and more laws, rules, codes, etc. will be enacted and enforced. Humans will conform to them because, I believe we live with a certain "herd" mentality and disposition. Some call it tribal, I believe it's more like a herd.

So, is there really anyplace where you can be free? I dare say, possibly, the last frontier of true, individual freedom is in the human mind and spirit. So far, to the best of my knowledge, no one has legislated how you think or what you think about. There certainly are efforts in that direction with what appears to be certain new incursions to our freedom of speech. There is also this thing called "political correctness." Considering the mores displayed by so many of the "elected" representatives, I don't see much that's correct when the word "political" is joined with it. Political correctness is a form of government and social order groups mind control.

Life is a fantastic, miraculous gift. It's not fair. It's not without challenges, obstacles, pitfalls and other negative influences and events. However, within our mind, heart and spirit, to the degree we don't infringe upon or maliciously injure anyone else in any manner, we are still free to dream, to plan, to set goals, to achieve whatever it is in the world we want to - IN OUR MINDS. The moment you open your mouth and verbalize, write it or depict it in some visual manner, you may be subject to breaking a law or code of civilization.

Let's hope that we don't add a new level of government agencies to the numerous entities operating under the umbrella of Homeland Security - "The Mind Police" - that will be able to invade our one last sacred frontier of individual freedom. 


Ed Helvey said...

Thank you, Maureen.

Anonymous said...

Well thought out and written Ed.

I particularly liked pointing out that most people do not recognize the limitations of government. It’s important to know them in order to become all you are capable of becoming––meaning linking up to your innermost spirit for direction by first escaping the mind limiting world view we absorb from family and school––the culture. Once this is done, clearly and deeply thinking through each situation and its decisions from our core values becomes possible.

Because of the vast cobweb of laws, we’re lawbreakers whatever we do (just a question which government agency decides to target us). If the decision involves principles of ethics, morality and spiritually, then acting is a necessity, not an option.

Therefore, it requires wisdom to evaluate how our out-of-lockstep actions may be interpreted and how best to implement them without raising our profile to those whose jobs it is to find breakers of mores and norms, for which a legal accusation can always be found. In other words, evaluate the risk, count the cost, and use wisdom in acting.

Ed Helvey said...

Well said, Richard. On point!

Merwinly said...

When I think about freedom, the real freedom you're talking about, I think about emotions. Most people are kept in check by their emotions. They may think they have things under control, but as soon as something goes wrong, they fall apart. Real freedom comes from understanding how your emotions work, so that you can process them in a healthy manner, and therefore, be free from their tyranny. I've spent my adult life learning about emotions and it's really paid off. I'm no longer subject to bouts of depression or rage, inter-personal instability, or that blah state of being that so many people inhabit. It looks like you're headed to the same place, just by a different route. Great post. I've bookmarked your blog so I can read some more. Thank you.

Ed Helvey said...

Thanks for your complimentary comment, Merwinly --

I'm glad what I said resonated with you. Living is a continual growth process, as you have embraced. We don't stop growing and learning until we . . . stop living. And, as you noted each of us takes a uniquely individual route, Unfortunately, some people never learn that and stop growing emotionally, when they are too young - and then deal with the depression and other challenges of life negatively. Thanks for reading and I hope you gain other insights rom other articles on the blog. I welcome additional comments.