PERSONAL FREEDOM

There is no consolidated
opinion of this matter among novice esotericians, novice psychologists as well
as teenagers: some of them consider that a person
has personal freedom, some of them believe that he does not possess and cannot
possess it at all... As for those who are older  or more experience do not chatter about it.
Yet what is really going on? To answer this
question, I decided to resort to an unusual for me literary form – I’m going to
play Q&A with myself :)
Q: Does a person have
freedom?
A: Yes.
Q: Is this freedom absolute?
A: No, it is limited.
Q: What is it restricted
by?
A: Personal freedom is restricted by 2 groups
of factors: laws of nature and consequences of the person’s previous choices.
The laws of nature can be evaded though, when you know how :)
Q: Is freedom a
privilege just for some people?
A: No, absolutely all people are equally free.
Q: How can it be? It
is obvious that some people are not free, and some of them are less free than
the others.
A: Personal non-freedom is a form of a personal
freedom display. In other words, the man wastes his freedom himself to become non-free.

Q: But that’s silly! How
can one trade freedom for non-freedom?
A: Oh yes, it is silly.
Q: And why do people
do that?
A: Some of them do that due to the fear of
responsibility, the others simply don’t understand the consequences of their
actions.
Q: And what’s the deal
about responsibility?
A: Freedom and responsibility appear to be the
different sides of the same coin. There is no freedom without responsibility and
it can not exist without responsibility.
Q: Why is that?
A: That is because any action involves
consequences. Theoretically, freedom is only an “opportunity to take a choice”.
Practically, freedom involves specific actions
taken by a person. Every action has consequences. Thus, this means that either
freedom remains the matter of future (then its benefit makes zero) or a person implements his freedom and reaps the
consequences of his actions. Consequences are personal responsibility, which
cannot be avoided.
Q: Does it mean that freedom
is an action?
A: Not exactly. Freedom is a possibility to
express the will and is implemented through actions/inactions.
Q: And what about
social standards, ethics, criminal code?
A: These things do not restrict personal
freedom. The man follows them at his own decision (even when it doesn’t look
like that) but has the possibility to change his ways at any time and violate
moral principles and the law.
Q: Let’s assume (suppose) a
person stole something – he would be caught and punished!
A: Yes, that’s possible. According to the Criminal Code some actions lead to
rather specified (and unpleasant) consequences, e.g. jail. Yet it’s not a restriction
of freedom. That is a determination of responsibility. Well, here’s a simpler
example – a socket. The man can stick his fingers into
a socket. Yes, he will get killed by that. And yes, sticking fingers into a socket is stupid. Yet he can do that,
regardless whether he is aware of the consequence of his actions or not. The
same goes with morals, ethics, laws or any unwritten rules of a social group: despite
they do have the form of restrictions, in fact, they are  of recommendative character (e.g. morals) or
impose responsibility for the actions (e.g., Criminal Code) or both (e.g., “ponyatiya”
(unpublished rules in the criminal community) at the places of confinement).
Q: Yet apart from
human laws, there are some other ones.
A: Yes, there are. But I have already told about
the laws of nature, the rest comes to the aforesaid cases.
Q: Nevertheless, there
is one more aspect of personal non-freedom – human mind. What can be done about it?
A: One should understand that human mind is not
a restriction but a form of beliefs or convictions, i.e. in essence, a display
of personal free will.
Q: Does it mean that a person is absolutely free inside?
A:  Yes, the
man is absolutely free within his own mind.
Q: And what about the
consequences of the previous actions and the laws of nature?
О: The laws of nature do not relate to the
sphere of mind. Besides, the consequences of some actions can be replaced by
the consequences of other actions, i.e. one reprograms him-/herself.
Q: Does it mean that a person is almighty what regards his mind?
A: Of course, no.
Q: But the man can do
whatever he wants, can’t he?
A: The man can CHOOSE whatever he wants. To DO
something, freedom is not enough. At __ least,
it requires time, resources and skills.
Q: What is personal
freedom for then?
A: Personal freedom is like a starting point.
It takes much to reach the finish line but one cannot finish without starting.
Therefore, any deliberate action requires freedom just like other things. In
other words, freedom is an inceptive (initial) impulse
for any action taken by a person.
Q: Ok, let’s get back
to the external displays of freedom. It is clearly seen that most people are
not free regarding many things. Practically, the degree of personal freedom is low. How is that?
A: The idea of unlimited personal freedom is
absurd in statics, even regardless the consequences of the choices (or actions)
taken. Yet it looks quite reasonable in dynamics. Try to take a look at the man’s
life in the course of several years. Here he chooses education --> here he
chooses his (job) occupation: yet he will not be
employed in any sector but the one where he can bring benefit (in employer’s
opinion). And that depends on the man’s skills and abilities. Yet these skills and
abilities are the outcome (consequences) of many years of the man’s life, i.e.
these very consequences restrict the man’s further opportunities. Restrictions
are built by consequences and not employers. Some time passes by; the man earns
a certain amount of money per month but can’t afford some things because the
money earned is just not enough. Now it is consequences of the man’s choice regarding
his job, education, morals (that concerns rejection of amoral actions), as well
as civic consciousness (that concerns rejection of unlawful acts). Though one
can grab a crow-bar and start robbing in backstreets so that (then) he would (will) get
more money (for some time). However, then there’ll come different consequences
(for example, imprisonment). Thus, the man’s life consists of many pieces –
choices and their consequences.
Q: This resembles karma. Is personal freedom
and karma the same thing?
A: Responsibility for the previous choices is a
part of karma.
Q: How can one
increase the degree of personal freedom?
A: No way. All people possess equal freedom but
it is possible to eliminate some factors that, in the person’s opinion,
restrict his/her freedom, either external or internal.
Q: What is meant here?
A: Many things that look like restrictions, in
fact do not appear to be them.  
Let’s take Work as an example: The man is
occupied with his duties and he doesn’t seem to be free, since he cannot leave
and have a glass of lemonade in a park. Actually he can! There would be some
sanctions applied though, yet his freedom was not restricted by anyone. He can easily
go outside and eat some ice-cream. The man’s thought of him being at work and being
restricted is just his own deceit (The man’ thought
that his job restricts his freedom is a mistake). Nevertheless, nobody
revoked consequences. Thus, responsibility and freedom are
the different sides of the same coin.
So, it is better to go and have ice-cream only
after all consequences of this step have been contemplated and the person is
ready to take the responsibility for this step.
This concerns not only work but any other
sphere of life. As a matter of fact we can choose any of many (a great deal of) variants. It’s true that we can be
absolutely unsatisfied with many consequences – and this restricts our choice at some point  …
but actually it doesn’t. We still can stick the fingers into a socket or quit a job. Or
drink lemonade instead of beer, or take the kid to a café for an ice-cream
instead of watching TV… there are lots of choices. More
than we think.
Especially, regarding our mind. Very, very many
things that a person thinks he can’t do (i.e.
his freedom is so to say restricted) he can do
indeed.  His restrictions are nothing
more than an illusion, nought. His mind is chained with fetters that do not
exist.  That’s why it’s so hard to fight
it.  The existing fetters can be broken.
The fetters that do not exist cannot be broken because there is nothing to
break.
A person doesn’t want to face some consequences, so he converts
them into restrictions and then believes that he can’t do this or that.  But in reality, he can make a choice. 
Once the choice is taken, then time, resources
and skills can be applied. Just exert your will, make efforts and the majority of
chimeras will disappear.
But whatever the case, action begins with the
free choice.
And people do have it after all.