Absolute Freedom: Why It Doesn’t Exist
What is absolute freedom? If one defines it as the ability to make a choice and act on it completely detached from the input, control, or otherwise influence of persons or society, then absolute freedom is an unattainable goal. Gerry Spence, author of the essay “Easy In The Harness: The Tyranny Of Freedom,” asserts that “freedom is like a blank, white canvas when no commitments, no relationships, no plans, no values, no moral restraints have been painted on the free soul.” Absolute freedom is a height that will never be reached. For as long as there are people there will be influence.
Every choice and decision we make is affected by something. It could be from laws and rules or something we have heard or seen in our lives; whether an advertisement on television or something a friend said. Everyone we see and everything we hear has a domino affect on all our choices we make in life. It’s as if we have imprisoned ourselves. Mr. Spence argues that “perfect freedom demands a perfect vision of reality and total awareness of our being.” This raw, absolute condition of existence sends humans looking for shackles. He continues by providing four examples where we willingly give up our freedom: The fear of death becomes the desire for the boundaries of religion to address our existential needs. The fear of loneliness pushes us to imprison ourselves in relationships by limiting our freedom through commitment and the emotional risks of caring for each other. The fear of want drives us into the lifetime bondage of employment so we can collect a paycheck. The fear of rejection tempts us to conform to the rules of society, whether we agree with those rules or not. Freedom, as defined by Mr. Spence, requires great courage and a willingness to move beyond the beliefs of society in order to escape the “tyranny of convention.”
Freedom doesn’t mean living in a “free” country or not being in prison. Freedom means taking responsibility for...
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