Abundancetribe's Bi-Weekly Question: What Freedom Feels Like

One of the most prevalent concepts claimed by people to be important for them is the idea of freedom. It is generally assumed to be well understood, and thus commonly shared by all. But is it really? The numerous jokes and puns regarding this elusive concept just show the opposite. And once we start scratching the surface, we start realizing that there are just about as many interpretations of freedom as there are interpreters. However, at the same time there IS a certain notion that is equally important to all of us, which nobody is likely to disagree with. What a contradiction! This is why I am quite happy to see @abundance-tribe phrase their bi-weekly question in the following way: What Does Freedom Feel Like To You?

Freedom For Me

The image that comes to my mind from the top of my head, when asked about what freedom feels like, is rolling down some hill that I had painstakingly climbed, on my epic bicycle trip. I think I even went into great details explaining this freedom that I felt all day every day over my three-month journey. Going whichever way I pleased, stopping, drinking, eating, smoking, sleeping, etc. whenever I wanted. Also, traveling by my own devices, in other words by physical pedal power on the bike I built myself, gave me a considerable amount of freedom.

But was I actually freer in those moments than in other circumstances? Was I really free to do whatever I wanted? Take a shower for example, something so hard to come by in the remote forests of Northern Cali, or the Olympic peninsula, that it came to be somewhat of a luxury event. Sure, I did manage to cover my hygienic needs in rivers and streams, which ended up being wonderfully refreshing at the same time. What's more, it gave me the liberating feeling of not needing a hot soapy shower, even in the most miserable rain-drenched moments. So yes, in a way part of one's freedom is being free from desires we'd thought were needs.

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Thoughts and Words

So freedom of movement, and the freedom to decide what to do and not do, are important elements of this overall concept. But there is more: many people would mention the freedom to express any opinion, even experimentally if it is not your own. While it may be possible that someone won't like these views (as it tends to happen with almost everything), I believe it is an essential part of this freedom that we should grant it to each other. Because honestly: if we focus less on taking offense, and more on allowing the freedom of expression, there is also less chance of willing provocation on part of the others. At the same time, it fosters an air of honesty, letting others speak their mind without any form of limitation. Once this becomes the norm, there will be no need to pretend to please others.


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Another idea that ties into here is the freedom to be wrong. None of us is infallible, after all, and we should all know it. At the same time we should all be aware, that even the most knowledgeable of us will be wrong at times. In these cases there may be a huge amount of expectations placed on them, especially if others put their trust on these experts. These are precisely the situations where the alleged expert should be given a chance to change their mind if they notice that they have been wrong about something, while others should let them do so without doling out any repercussions. Ideally, this should give everyone affected a chance to learn, or let's call it the freedom to learn from our mistakes.

Freedom From Other's Freedom

One last type of freedom I'd like to mention has to do with living together in some form of society or another. After talking about expressing any opinion which others may find offensive - something I strongly believe in, though many people will disagree - I would like to stress the importance of not walking over each other. In the place where I live, noise is generally not considered something that should bother anyone. Two weeks ago at the national holiday it was nothing out of the ordinary that my neighbor played the worst music, at top blast, all night long until 8 a.m. and then again from 11 a.m. on until the afternoon rainstorm put an inadvertent end to it. While I appreciate their freedom to be noisy up until the small hours, it just happened to interfere with my freedom to sleep. (And after 4 a.m. I really wanted to!)


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In other words, freedom comes with the same amount of responsibility. And as much as I want each and every one of us to enjoy their full range of freedom in any regard, I still don't want to be on the receiving end of their freedom. This means, each one's freedom should be limited by everyone else's freedom to be living the kind of life they wish for. This may be the most difficult thing to realize, as it requires a great deal of communication, but also soul searching on the part of each individual, regarding the best kind of life they wish for themselves. Talking about this may not be easy, since we have to disregard the actual way the world is, and imagine how it could be. Not your typical dinner table discussion. Instead, it's more typical for a bi-weekly question by @abundance.tribe . So great to have this venue where we can help each other imagine a better world!



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Sad to have found this post only now.

From reading your ideas of freedom I realize we have more or less the same views (our experiences are similar after all). It took me almost 300 pages and a whole story to barely scratch the meaning of freedom; Tales of a Patagonian Journey is about that.

Your freedom of movement I call it freedom to roam, without any constraint of any sort, or geographic freedom to go whenever we want, with our own desire guiding the way.

I also believe we should have total freedom of speech, as long as we are not using it to defame someone. As Jordan Peterson says, speaking is the externalization of our thoughts, it's the mechanism through which we seek truth. If we can't speak, for the risk of being sued, we can't seek truth nor discuss how to solve our issues as social creatures. I like the concept of non-aggression pact the Libertarians use.

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Hahaha, ditto on the book. I wrote one about my great trip, hoping to put this elusive concept into words, not sure how well I managed to express it, though.

Yes, I like the non-aggression principle. I should have mentioned it. But now you have done it for me!

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You have a book out? Where can I find it?

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