We all believe that most of us need just too much of freedom. Right from freedom from parental or peer compulsions, unwanted influences on our choices, if not decisions, people taking undue advantage, or lying upfront, bosses stumping one’s promotion, “friends” spiking our innocence through bullying, or others impressing upon us to change our outlook and also our temperament.

It is obvious that all of us want to be freed from our own flaws too, such as a bad habit, envy, pride and selfishness. Yet, all of this, and more, does not reflect freedom in its comprehensive form. The only mode through which we can quantify our true freedom is by way of being free from every part of our bloated ego — with all the bad qualities expunged. When we are open and truthfully free of our faulty beliefs, opinions, likes and dislikes, or idiosyncrasies, to the best extent possible, it leads us to a state where there is no need for us to “pine” for being endowed with the liberty to be “free.” We are free — as free can be.

Most philosophers would agree that the yearning for absolute freedom impacts our longing for the suspension of one’s bias. The reason is simple. When we meet someone — albeit difficult in day-to-day life — who reflects the power of being free from one’s own vanity’s stranglehold, it’d provide us with the roadmap of “tapping” a way of finding freedom in our big, maddening world of cascading influences that are liberally picked up.

Mind research suggests that the essence of freedom, as we would want it to be, isn’t simple too. This is because we are mere pawns in the template called inclination, predisposition, or drive. In other words, our yen is keyed to being the best in anything and everything we do, or wish to.  The fact is — each and every desire that manifests in us is part of our personality. It is not really at the mercy of anything, although it makes sense to say that one is at the mercy of oneself. This may not apply to some of us who are under the spell of our own self-propelled “hypnotic” state. The paradox also is we cannot act in a certain way — against the diktats of our own will. Yet, all of this would change the moment we allow someone to take “hold” of our will, or desires, and mould them to “fit” into their own design, as it often happens through a mentor — be it in the corporate world, or sports arena. 

The whole idea is labelled as self-tailored “determinism.” In other words, it relates to the use of language to preserve the quintessence of our everyday choices. It also, likewise, suggests that real freedom is nothing more than the prospect of being different from others. The context is simple — when there is just one choice you’d have gladly opted for, it’d have also meant that there was no choice at all. Let us think of a logical simile in the context. The English philosopher John Locke syntaxes an archetypal tale of how a man could be carried while he is fast asleep into a room where there is a person he longs to see and speak to. He wants to be there locked, with no clout to get out. He awakes and is delighted to find himself in such desirable company — so, he stays put willingly. The inference is simple; also profound. Most of us, wittingly or unwittingly, would want to be a part of such a happy-freedom state, or predicament, in life. 

(The writer is a wellness physician, independent researcher and author)

Rajgopal Nidamboor