Reflections, Stoic advice, Uncategorized

Freedom


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Then how can I free myself ?  you ask. You cannot escape necessities, but you can overcome them.” Seneca

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Freedom, such a beatiful and grandious word.

Freedom is our highest value and yet, we are not and don’t want to be free at all.

Free form what?

Freedom from care is what I would like to argue. Bear with me, as I organize my ideas.

We all live in our subjective realities. Meanings differ like songs differ from one another. Freedom can be seen in many contexts, depending on the man and on his level of wisdom and understanding.

A vile man would argue that freedom is the satisfaction of every desire, even petty ones. Every food craving, sexual or anything that the body requires to satisfy a hole that can never be really filled. There is no freedom in craving. Pursuing cravings and physical desire uninhibitedly just makes us slaves to those very desires, and so freedom is not achieved.

If freedom is not to be found there, then where do we have to look?

What is freedom anyway? I’d define it as a state, a state in which the individual or the thing itself is not attached to anything outside that mandates a determinate action.

What are those things “outside” of ourselves that mandate action?

We could argue that it can be a tyrant, the state, our families, our cravings, just about everything.

What is truly ours? in ultimate instance?

Victor Frankl, psychiatrist and jew survivor of the holocaust, writes beautifully in his book Man’s search for meaning:

victor franklEverything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

There, deep inside ourselves, lies the last of human freedoms, the capacity to choose our attitude towards fate, only once we have made this choice can we start acting as individuals and speak loudly to fate where it is that we want to go.

In life, there comes a time to make a decision. I’d say it’s the ultimate decision of a human being. That decision is how we are going to look at the world, as an oppressor, or as a friend. How are we going to live, voluntarily or forcefully?

There, in that question freedom takes its true and last meaning, we are free to make that choice and that choice is the most important choice we will ever make.

Albert Einstein backs this.

“The most important decision we make is whether we believe we live in a friendly or hostile universe.”― Albert Einstein

Let me explain.

When we do things forcefully, we don’t enjoy them, we don’t put our light into what we are doing and so we act from darkness. We are not making a choice by living this way, someone is making the choice for us. This is not freedom.

When we choose to act, to grab any challenge that life gives us, we are acting from ourselves, our light is on and we can see things that we couldn’t see in darkness. This is freedom, the choice to act voluntarily and willingly.

This is the ultimate freedom.

Hope you all make the choice to live freedom this very moment.

Best of luck friends or better, inner wisdom.

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Stoic advice

The work is never done. Fortunately


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There comes a time in life where time makes itself present. We realize that the infinite hqdefault.jpgtime we thought we had in our younger years, is not infinite, but really short.

Life is indeed, very short. Once dear time hits on our door, toil begins. We start thinking of all the things that we need to feel we are full and happy and so we say:

When I have my house I’ll be happy.

When I have my house and a beautiful wife I’ll be happy.

Once I have made that trip, I’ll find myself and be happy.

When I have everything I want, then I’ll be enough.

We think that we must hurry because life is going to end soon and we still haven’t attended to our purpose and our dreams (foolishly). This is the beginning of wisdom, because it is true, Memento mori, dead is knocking at our doors.

When we are young, we have a chasm in our heads. First we believe that we are going toDrinking-Game.jpg live forever, and live as so. Then we start pursuing things that we really didn’t choose consciously, like a career chosen by our parents or being “cool” drinking and partying way too much.

The time when we can no longer fool ourselves comes and truth starts to spring out, it is in that moment when you have to grab it as hard as you can and pursue it, it’s hard, but we must do it.

How much things do you get done throughout the day? Would you consider your days to be really filled with meaningful action? I’ve been asking myself this question a lot lately. 

Suppose that we have made the choice to live meaningfully, other dangers arrive and proper notice and car must be taken.

This is sound practice,—to refrain from associating with men of different stamp and different aims. And much harm is done even by one who holds you back, especially since life is so short ; and we make it still shorter by our unsteadiness, by making ever fresh beginnings at life, now one and immediately another. Seneca

As I said, that stage is the beginning of wisdom. Why the beginning? Because everything that we are chasing is external and we don’t realize that what we were chasing all alone was within ourselves. Work is necessary to produce a sound mind, and a sound mind is needed to attain wisdom.

I’m not saying that getting what we want is not important, but what we have to realize is that we can do everything in the world and still not feel that we have made it. Why?  There is a secret. As long as we are alive, it’s never done. There is not one point when you will say, ok great i have everything i want. No, it’s just not going to happen, as long as you are looking for it outside.

What we have to realize is that fulfilment does not come from getting at the top of the mountain, but from climbing the mountain and enjoying the climb.

We are very much like Sisyphus. The greek king that was punished by the gods for self downloadaggrandizing himself and condemned to roll a giant rock up a mountain for eternity. When he got to the top the rock was rolled again down, so he had to do it again and again and again.

Life is similar. There is never a point in which we reach completion. Incompletion is the rule of thumb. Change is the law of life, we can achieve a perfect business, a great wife, children and everything but as soon as we say this is enough things start to deteriorate and change.

So what does this has to do with the fact that we are going to die and we feel in a hurry because we have to get things done?

It means that life is really paradoxical. We have to hurry, we are going to die but we also have to be happy as we toil toward our worthy goals cause we are never going to get to a point where we are complete. We have to enjoy the process of whatever is it that we are doing and appreciate the person that we become as we do that, truly be comfortable at every moment as we already are who we need to be.

Paradoxically, again. When we realize that there is never going to be a moment when we are complete, we can embrace life and cease with the anxieties of the future self that will have everything handled, you are that self, right now, so start handling appropiatley. 

Even as i’m writing this, I have to be honest with you. I am looking forward to end this, today inspiration got late a bit and I’ve been figuring what to write for almost 2 hours. But I’ve just figured out, the problem is myself waiting for an outcome and not writing properly. That is the real issue. We have to forget time, and put our hands to work, otherwise expectancy is getting in the way of actually doing what is needed. So, now I know why I’m writing this, I needed myself to be reminded of this.

Once we realize, that we are already are all that we need and that we are doing what we cropped-cropped-marcus-aurelious-head.jpgwant (our truth), we can start acting correctly and enjoying what we are doing without preoccupation of the future.

Focus on the work, not so much on the results, the results will take care of themselves if we put conscious work on it. Trust me. Do not be attached to the results but to you doing the meaningful and perfect work as best as you can.

Would you know what makes men greedy for the future ? It is because no one has yet found himself. 

O when shall you see the time when you shall know that time means nothing to you, when you shall be peaceful and calm, careless of the morrow, because you are enjoying your life to the full ? Seneca

 

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