Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Freedom Is Nothing Left to Lose

Freedom. We load up that word with so much meaning, most of it unspoken. I keep waiting for someone at FPR to tell me what they mean by freedom. So far, no one has taken up the challenge. Maybe they don't even know there IS a challenge!!!!

Probably, but maybe not. :)

Carlos Casteneda, that putative charlatan, said at least one profound thing - when you are totally free, you do only what you must do. You must eat, breathe, urinate, defecate and eventually die. Beyond that, what must you do?

I think that is the challenge that faces all of us. What must we do? Nothing is an acceptable answer. Who will enforce anything else? God? Jesus said "believe in me", so if you believe in the God of Jesus, that much you must do, but beyond that? Nothing.

But, must... what a strange word. It's meaning is freighted with culture and family and desire and authority. A grab bag of everything in the world. There are many things we must not do, but few ways to know what we must do.

I think we are always free. We do exactly what we choose to do and nothing else. Our choices are always constrained by consequences, but the choice itself is free. Viktor Frankl, in a concentration camp, decided he could be free, that no one could take that away from him. That in truth, he couldn't even give it up.

In the end, this is what Viktor had to say about what we must do, "I want you to listen to what your conscience commands you to do and go on to carry it out to the best of your knowledge." Whatever that is, that is where freedom lies - in doing what you must do, and nothing else.

Not that it isn't a hard path to follow.


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