A definition of freedom

Burley, Keith L., Jr.



Keith Burley Pennsylvania A Definition of freedom One form of freedom is the ability to recognize the truth. For when someone has the ability to recognize the truth, he is free from an intellectual perspective, and a rational perspective. It is a form of "MENTAL ENSLAVEMENT" when someone knows the truth, yet does not recognize it. Consider someone with an addiction to cigarette's. He knows that they are poisonous in that they cause cancer and other ailments. However, if this person continues to smoke despite knowing it's harm, then he has not recognized the truth. Because "recognition" would lead him to abandon the bad habit of smoking. To aggravate matters even more is the element of addiction which plays a role in this mental form of enslavement. So how does he free himself? He does so by taking those necessary steps to rid himself of this self-destructive behavior, either by simply quiting, or limiting his intake until he conquers that demon called addiction. Once he conquers what his desires so desperately craved, he feels the mental relief (i.e. release) and is comforted by the fact that he no longer indulges in something "HE KNOWS" can kill him. From a rational stanpoint he is free because he is now no longer "a slave" to his thoughts. He is now strong enough not to be bullied by his ideas. Nor does he allow his every whim and desire to dictate his decisions. So from the standpoint of the ability to recognize the truth, freedom develops from something that is not contingent upon wether or not someone is incarcerated or not, despite the fact that one of the ways to percieve freedom is to be deprived of it and experience it's opposite (i.e. incarceration). Suppose a bird is captured in a cage, constricted and confined to a limited amount of space. Now suppose we release this bird, is it free? Is it not still confined to a limited amount of space? In comparison to this vast extensive universe? To such a dgree that too much "freedom" would bring harm rather than benefit? This bird cannot fly to the moon, and were it able too it would die because it cannot breathe on the moon. So it's being restricted benefits the bird. So to define freedom in terms of what one can and cannot do would remain contingent upon opposites such as what one can or can't do. It would be reliant upon allowences and dis-allowences. It would be a stagnant definition (itself), confined to dependent and conditional meanings. So the minds confinement is more pernicious to the soul than any prison mankind can build. Being unable to see with the eyes is one thing, but when hearts go blind it adds a whole new dimension to what it means to not be able to see. Because we are obliged to discuss such terms as ignorance, doubt, and delusion. These are three forms of mental enslavement. Consider an ancient artifact, which has no intrinsic value. A piece of wood for example which belonged to a king. In and of itself it's only a piece of wood; but the fact that it belonged to someone who was held in high esteem, it is able to provoke curiosity in it's beholders and so now is valuable. On the other hand; imagine a billion dollars that was thrown in the trash. It retains it's value despite place and time. It's being submerged in filth doesn't diminish it's worth, appraisal, nor assessment. With this analogy in mind, now imagine a "prisoner". He is the possesor of intrinsic value. He is worth more than we measure on account of him being a human being. And his value in the eyes of others will be based on the quality of his character. So the prisoner who seeks knowledge, in comparison to the prisoner who wastes his time are in sharp contrast to eachother. The prisoner who seeks knowledge is intellectually free; while on the other hand the time waster is in the fog of his ignorance; under the umbrella of delusian; and in the corridors of doubt. Name something worse than wasting one of the most precious assets known to man; which is time. Let me put forth an example: A prisoner who does not waste his time, and a prison guard who wastes his money. They're both in prison, except one is serving a sentence, while the other is earning a living. The prisoner has an advantage, because he pursues knowledge and does not waste time. While the guard goes home and squanders the wealth he earned on alcohol and other non-beneficial things things. So the prisoners knowledge (protects) him, while the guard goes to great lengths to (protect) his wealth. He'll put it in a safe or bank, fearful of losing it. And the prisoners knowledge protects him from indulging in the harmful things the guard spends most of his money on. This is not to imply all prisoners are better than all prison guards and vice versa. I am generally speaking in reference to a prisoner who benefits from his time, and a guard who does not benefit from his wealth, in order to demonstrate the superiority of knowledge over wealth and personal status. So the prisoner is far greater than that billion dollars in the trash. He is beyond monetary measurements, but if he is unable to recognize his own worth, then that is a great loss. He becomes akin to that ancient artifact; namely that piece of wood. He now simply provokes curiosity in the sense that some would become curious as to why he spends his time on things not valuable at all. It is amazing how a person, prisoner or otherwise, could spend hours upon hours in front of a television (the plug in drug) in observance of things which are not beneficial (i.e. talk shows, reality shows, pornography, etc.) viewing things that are detrimental to overall health. To such a degree that it's the very things that he sees which "blind" him. At times we subject ourselves to harm deliberately due to the fact that sometimes we may choose the pleasure of deleterious things over the joys of discipline. To look at the things we term "eye candy" results in the diminished capacity of ones insight. The results from lowering ones gaze from looking at forbidden things are nutritious for the soul, to such an extent that those enslaved by desires hold those who have discipline in contempt. Our ability to recognize the truth is a form of freedom necessary for growth and development. Being able to find strength in ones moment of weakness is the catalyst of change. To triumph over ones trials and shortcomings regardless of time and place is a freedom of which even the most valuable of jewels pale in comparison. For when one recognizes truth, he is not plagued by the dis-eases of doubt and delusions. So he becomes free in accordance to what the word "freedom" denotes; even if walls confine him!!!

Author: Burley, Keith L., Jr.

Author Location: Pennsylvania

Date: November 11, 2013

Genre: Essay

Extent: 4 pages

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