Freedom comes with not judging, and equally not being affected by the judgment of others. In life the delicate balance is to care about others as well as the world but without taking things personally. Engage, allow yourself to be affected yet without the weight of it all.
Freedom is knowing what you have to do - your truth
Harmony and freedom - Do they come together ?
Freedom to live:
Freedom to be yourself
Freedom to love and allow yourself to be loved
Freedom to enjoy
One starts life free, then learns the world, it’s ways and one’s place in it. Ultimately, the task is to find one’s freedom again.
Our destination is freedom - we are born free, we then lose our freedom, and spend the rest of our lives trying to regain it. We don’t realize our freedom, thus we need to want freedom to rediscover it.
True freedom is to be rediscovered when exploring the journey of life. A child is born free, finds a place in society and then lives to regain freedom. The experience of freedom is natural, lost in domestication and reintegrated when awareness of self and the world realign.
You start life light. You then acquire the baggage of the world around you. Thus, it is your mission to let up, to become free again.
Free doesn't mean random, but mastering an environment and going beyond. Like a great classic ballet dancer who looks effortless and natural, when in reality discipline and experience are the foundations.
Ironically the desire for self-sufficiency produces loneliness leading to wanting to be accepted which creates dependence as opposed to liberty. Ideally you achieve independence and freedom from convention, combined with the capacity to love and be loved. Open hearts and minds, and vulnerability, lead to freedom, allowing love and discovery. The need to survive, conquer and find your place in society will separate you from true love and the experience of your life as yours. Most people obsessed with success aren’t living their lives, and live for others - unsuccessfully, as others really don’t care; but for an imaginary audience.
Freedom starts with that realization and changing accordingly. Once you know, you live for yourself and, depending on your engagement with the world, do things that are not just for you, but for others, not because of other.
Freedom, living as you, able to look at yourself in the mirror, not seeking others, is past the selfish and narcissistic - enabling you to engage as you, honestly, realistically and with generosity that is genuine whilst within true possibilities and manageable ambition. Yet while this may make for happier and more evolved individuals, it could perversely make it harder to manage and advance society, dependent on cohesion on one hand and the unbalanced genius of progress.
Living, Liberation, Communicating
By affirming and accepting life you are liberated.
The unknown is a source of anxiety but also possibility. Hope and aspirations are empowering emotions, more so even than a sense of fullness, or of satisfaction. Religion inspires, facts don’t. More than exhausting, the possible is exhilarating. You are liberated when you accept the unknown.
We will be liberated if we take full advantage of time and space by going beyond.
At some point in life you have to overcome your traumas, stop being a masochist and allow yourself to be liberated.
No matter how dark things are, humans always find a light - including suicide which may be seen as a liberation.
You aren’t liberated until you accept death. Not accepting death is holding on to something - life, as if you owned it. As opposed to experiencing it, living, until it stops.
Life, ideas, cultures and places survive but my connection to them is furtive. My experience of something is my temporary possession of it. All states, all experiences in all possessions are ephemeral. You are liberated when you become free of the need to hold on. You may get enjoyment in fashioning something, more so than by possessing it, yet it will escape you ultimately and will always be relative to everything else, making it only so valuable and unique. The challenge is to enjoy things for what they are as opposed to your wish for them. Yet what you make of things in your mind is what keeps you engaged. Accept that nothing is definitive.
How do you achieve true freedom without being lost ? Can you allow change that is really free, not linear and predictable, not circular and repetitive with cause and effect. You want neither the balloon that got loose or a rocket with a goal.
You become freer and lighter when you open up and let in. Health and strength come with. Let it be.
Your life as yours begins when you have the courage to be yourself and go for what you truly want.
Live and let live - freely. Allow engagement.
Precious time and space have been given for me to become who I would like to be and live the life I might want to live. Let me make good use of this chance. I am both more and less free than I think. I am part of the whole, but I am not the whole: I am I.
When children are alone they play, discover, imagine, have fun - by themselves, never bored. For those who find themselves alone, it is a chance to play again. The most precious of freedoms is time.
With technology we have more free time. Are we devoting it to improve ourselves and experience the wonders of living, or are we just consuming our freedom?
We are only free in the present. In that sense animals and machines ( including non
self-aware AI) are free as they don’t fret about the past or the future. Humans are self-conscious because of their awareness of past and future. We tend to live outside of the present as we are tributaries of the past and the future. Paradoxically, to be free we have to be in the present, losing some of what makes us humans. For a self-aware being, the present compared to past and future is like Yin and Yang, like light and dark - you can’t have one without the other.
Is Freedom really free? With freedom comes responsibility.
Any powerful social movement harnesses human freedom to a cause, even if in the name of freedom. Although human freedom is ideal, the means to get there often requires limits on freedom.
We all know about not enough liberty, but is there such a thing as too much liberty?
Even within chaos you will need order. Freedom is paradoxically best enjoyed with constraints, including within areas of technology and consumption.
The values of society are not limited to love, knowledge, beauty, self-sufficiency, and harmony. Conquest and domination have helped our progress but equally hindered our happiness and freedom.
Don't be afraid to think the unthinkable.
In theory, every event is independent of the past, like a coin toss. The chances are equal that you will get heads or tails on the next throw no matter the last result. Yet all is in context. Nothing is truly autonomous. Coin flipping consists of discrete consecutive events, always offering even odds - freedom within constraints.
With freedom comes action, and by acting, freedom.
Peter Beard lived free, like a wild animal but also civilized - instincts combined with beauty and life. Maybe he was an embodiment of Nietzsche’s ubermensch.
You are liberated when you realize that the way is unknown. Equally, you are at peace if you believe you know the way.
Human society swings between Orwell (control - China) and Huxley (out of control - social power/demos and referendums)
We are moving from a world of limited to limitless - possible versus impossible.
With too much freedom some flourish but most get lost. With rules and a compass many will feel constrained but most feel safe and protected.
It is because technology and networks give us more reach and power that we have a greater responsibility in their use. The increased freedom comes with greater burdens.
We have the reach of the networks, equally they possess us. The web is our canvas but also our master.
As we become more immersed in the data networks do we gain power or lose our freedom?
When you have unlimited freedom, like on the internet, you get lost. There is value in order and constraints. Freedom needs conquering.
Voluntary action is the price of freedom.
For gods humans were slaves. Machines are our slaves, but what might happen when we become their slaves?
Snobs float above, detached, lost but free versus those engaged and real, yet slaves to a cause, a need or a passion.
Living in the known, in the world (and opinions) of others enslaves you; the unknown frees you.
Most people are owned by their possessions as opposed to being their master. Money should give you some freedom, instead people become its slave. Beyond basic needs money is there to work for you, not you for it.
The greatest gift of love might be freedom. We often try to own loved ones or burden them with possessions and habits that make them slaves. If you really love, convey love, not things. For the sake of love you will encumber your children when you should let them be.
When machines do our work, how will we use our freedom ? Will digital entertainment occupy our time or will we perfect human nature?
Technology gives us power, equally the power is with technology.
Because AI’s are so goal oriented, versus humans, will we humans lose our desire for adventures and chance encounters as we get trained by the machines we invented?
The challenges and opportunities of today : ecology and technology. Ecology will force technological progress, and technology could liberate humans.
The only way to preserve freedom is to escape from the data universe.
The continuing ascension of technology means less and less control by individuals, especially of their economic lives, even if more technology gives them more access, opportunities and connectivity. Governance is therefore even more crucial.
Which is more beneficial but potentially more dangerous: control of technology as in China, or the American open architecture?
In the digital world there is a war between freedom and control.
Are technology networks ultimately freeing or enslaving?
Are social networks giving or taking freedom?
Freedom of the individual at any cost can destroy the freedom of the entire society.
Community means togetherness but also interdependence - village life. Freedom gives you the independence of the lone cowboy on a horse in the wild west.
As much as the independent, free, life-at-its-maximum nietzschean Ubermensh is a seductive inspiration, it is hard to embody and sustain. The opposite, Alan Watts’s we are all connected, interdependent, part of the whole, rings truer, and feels ultimately more nurturing and empowering, even if restrictive. How to balance self-motivation with the fact that we have generally limited control over our destiny? Even though all roads lead to the same place, our individual lives allow us to choose the roads and change direction - therefore, take inspiration from both.
You imagine freedom outside of the net. But that’s not freedom, you are lost. Freedom is being inside the network, able to move around. That’s how family and community relationships are strongest.
Becoming free, you give freedom to others.
Freedom happens when you aren’t the subject or the object, but both in one. That’s why humans are fascinated by theater, spectacles and acting.
Which comes first ?
In the West: Freedom
In the East: Harmony.
Relationships are the essence of our lives. In the West we are taught we are free, and in the name of freedom we care egoistically about ourselves, our way and our feelings - we are impatient and won’t make needed efforts. Freedom is about me, not about others or the other. The arranged marriage of the East sounds like a nightmare and often is, on the other hand the constraints but equally the intention focuses the effort of making the union work. Togetherness and harmony are mandated, they are not a choice, which can lead to more meaningful and deeper relationships; if not to happiness.
The West has an aspirational model. What is China’s beyond its borders? The West has produced universal values - can China ?
Westerners are too free for the Chinese system, and the Chinese are too conformists to thrive in western messiness.
Questions for China:
Giving freedom is a sign of confidence
Without freedom creativity will be limited
The West protects individuals against the collective - in Asia, the opposite
China functions with the controlling frame of politics and party, everything else is relatively free and wild ( within its Confucian culture). As religion has waned in the West, we have lost all control. Are we free to the point of being lost ? Do we need a control structure, corresponding to our culture, and what should it be ?
In the West information is distributed - the best way to propogate is to sensationalize.
The East thrives for common narratives.
In the West we have pushed for the acceptance of all and everything in the name of diversity - which also meant giving up norms, codes of conduct, relationships and hierarchy. By breaking the old order and we have freedom.Yet we are lost, and by allowing all values, have we given up on morals? How can we cooperate when everyone is for themselves and their ideas - are any universal values possible ? All are competing more than cooperating.
In western thinking all is in human hands. There is one way forward, driven by technology. Except that liberty is being challenged by networks who take away individual freedom, and AI which tests human functionality and our cognitive limits.
I’m a Taoist existentialist : I am condemned to live MY life, while life lives through me. My life IS mine and ISN'T. Freedom to be me, and impossibility to not be me, combined as life. Both the actor and the spectacle.
Taoism implies freedom
With freedom you become an existentialist. Yet, liberty is lost with the burden of being an existentialist.
Become a Daoist to regain freedom.
As an existentialist, stream with and into the Dao, and so it goes round and round, the yin and yang of engagement and letting go.
Frankl said that our life is the search for meaning. In my case, it is the quest for freedom - freedom from the need to control, to possess, to understand, to hold on. Letting go, letting be - allowing for my conscience to truly wander.
The French ethos of “Liberty, equality and fraternity” is very different from the American - “The land of the free, and the home of the brave.” One is about a free and just society. The other espouses individual liberty and agency above all.
You disobey the emperor by withdrawing from society, or by leaving the empire. Even when in jail, your mind is free. The only time you aren’t free is when you are prisoner of your own mind.
Liberal democracies have one ideology: freedom. Yet with freedom alone, people get lost. Humans need something to bring them together: connectivity, nationhood, spirituality.
Many people lose their freedom as they grow up and become like Sisyphus, carrying the burden of their chores and duties, real or imagined . Life becomes yours again when you let go of the boulder crushing your shoulders up a never-ending hill climb. What happens when you are suddenly free and unburdened? First, you can stand straighter, relax your shoulders, open your eyes, and move your legs and feet - you have regained your body. Then you can breathe in and look all around, your eyes open to the ground, the sky, and the horizon, in all directions. You now have choices: to go up the hill as planned, straight and as quickly as possible, or pause and take time to evaluate alternative paths and destinations. As you start walking you might change your mind about any of it. Discoveries along the way will be made and inform your movements. Reaching the top of the hill may still be your objective, but equally important is the journey. When letting go of the boulder, you are not just unburdened but become free to live and chart new life courses. Freedom to be and freedom to act.