Are we free?
Most human beings believe that they live in freedom, but is it so?
Our world is a world of free choice, which offers a very wide spectrum of options to choose from, which many times can give us a deceptive feeling.
This is because in our world there is a huge supply of options that are not always in our favor.
Some of the options that exist in our world are harmonious options towards ourselves and this world, while others are disharmonious and even destructive, and lead to paths of friction, difficulty, suffering, and lack of well-being.
It is easy for us to understand this when we look at bad habits – such as smoking, alcohol addiction, or dietary habits that harm our health – but hurtful and harmful choices can meet us anywhere in life.
For example, choosing studies or occupations that are “practical” but we are not really connected to or happy about, instead of choosing something that we love and close to our hearts – leads to a life of dissatisfaction and lack of fulfillment.
Another example is emotional attachment and fear of being alone, which cause us to stay in a harmful relationship that reduces and hurts us.
Another example can be found in the choice to push ourselves beyond our limits to succeed, even at the cost of self-exhaustion. There are many other examples, that are the product of living in a world that tends to mask us and offer ways of conduct and norms that partly distance us from who we really are.
This is also the reason that free choice can be deceiving – after all, we all want to live well, to be successful, to live in mental and material well-being, and to maintain harmonious relationships with our environment – but many times this leads to choices that are contrary to our true will and ability to act for ourselves.
In practice, in the reality in which we live, many people make choices that hurt them and harm them, since they are influenced by the outside, are not attentive to themselves, and thus are led to harmful norms and behavior patterns and in fact do not control their choice.
What disrupts free choice?
The disruption of free choice is created by distancing from the authentic self, and the lack of attentiveness to the distilled inner voice, which connects each one to the direction of the soul, and the authentic desire that stems from it.
This distancing is created for a variety of reasons, such as identification with the environment – following accepted norms, satisfying others, and trying to feel “okay”, “belong”, “acceptable”, “liked”, “going with the flow” and “normal” (in a world that is categorized dichotomously What is allowed and forbidden, appropriate and inappropriate, good-bad, etc.).
Also, the influence of fashions, trends, media, advertisements, and leaders of public opinion – results in the fact that many times we ignore authentic desire, deviate from it, and compare ourselves to models that distance us from self-acceptance and self-love. The distance from the self also stems from fears, traumas, self-doubt, a feeling of weakness, smallness and inability to cope, prejudices, and lack of self-awareness – all of which create a reduction of the authentic desire and a self-annulment of the person.
We live in a world where many do not have the freedom to be and live in a way that supports and backs them up.
The disruption of free choice creates an internal paradox, disharmony, and an inability to back up the internal emanation, which comes from the authentic self.
In this situation, the person is influenced from the outside, does not control the choices he makes is not aware that he is being “activated” and controlled, and sometimes also imitates others without being true to himself and attentive to his inner self (I will expand on this further in the chapter in this series, which deals with jealousy and alienation towards the self).
This creates a common phenomenon, which I call the “trap of free choice” – in which the person chooses in an apparently “free” manner, choices that harm him and do not correspond to his optimal and harmonious self-realization.
It is a free choice only apparently, because it is not truly free and it does not allow a person the true freedom to be and express who he is.
In this context, an article was published in the Israel newspaper “The Marker” stating that – “In 2022, life expectancy in the US dropped to 76.4 years, the lowest in two decades, according to the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), after reaching a peak of 78.9 years in 2014. The decline in life expectancy has been recorded for a decade, with slight breaks, and it cannot be attributed to the coronavirus epidemic alone.’
The decrease in life expectancy is compounded by many reasons, including the lack of state health insurance, along with destructive dietary habits, increased use of opioids as prescription pain relievers, and the use of hard drugs.
This is a clear example of the use of free choice, in a destructive way, which harms the body and mind and consumes them.
So, in light of all this, what is the freedom to be?
The freedom to be
In true freedom, lies the ability to listen inward without interruption, to recognize the voice of the refined self, to express active will and wishful heart, to dare to dream, to create, to realize, and to express the personal power and the unique personal voice, here on earth.
This is the freedom for self-discovery, which allows us to expand and renew, and it is expressed in the human spirit and soul, as an inner desire to grow, achieve, explore, realize processes of change and transformation, and connect to additional meanings, beyond those that are already known and familiar to us.
I call it a “state of being of free will” – a state of being in which there is real freedom to listen to the inner voice, which encourages us to discover more about ourselves and the world, to consciously violate an existing situation and move from the comfort zone of the known and familiar to a new zone. One that invites us to develop and grow and dedicate ourselves to the renewal that affects our daily lifestyle.
I call this process “from a comfort zone – to a development zone”. It is a spiral process of constant growth from one state of being to another and adopting a lifestyle that has the readiness to change and renew and to socialize with another facet of who we are.
When we are connected to this state of being – we are connected to our true desire and let it lead us, in a way that allows us to influence and direct the current of our life – and not be swept away by it, without being aware of it.
The connection to the state of being of freedom, allows us to look at our lives with an intelligent and clear view, to identify the junctions of choice and their possible results, and to consciously use our free choice to support the most harmonious path for self-realization.
To connect to the state of being of inner freedom – we must be able to create introspection and readiness for an honest, simple, and impartial dialogue, which will allow us to recognize the true desire and follow it.
How to connect to inner freedom?
When you seek to live out of freedom, ask yourself the following questions:
• What is the authentic voice emanating from me now? What desire stems from me?
• Do I recognize an inner objection or doubt that arises within me and inhibits the desire?
• Where does the resistance come from? (See the reasons listed above for disrupting free choice and try to identify what is the reason)
• What internal commitment to change can I create within me, so that I can overcome the resistance and maintain loyalty towards my refined and authentic desire, and how can I support it with actions?
• Do I have prejudices – about myself and the world, that fix me and reduce my desire?
• Do I feel that I have freedom for self-discovery?
• How freely do I express my true desire?
After you have answered these questions, stick to the commitment you made, and know that in doing so you are paving a path for yourself to the freedom of conscious free choice that holds loyalty and attentiveness to yourself.
In the next chapter, we will delve deeper into the ability to identify what type of person you are, out of honesty that allows a clear self-assessment.