freedom

2 minute read

TLDR : A compendium of current thoughts on freedom


Political and ideological freedom is up-stream of financial freedom

You want to have ‘f’ u money, and then think about ideologies and politics. Money is the engine of change (a reality) - and fuels innovation (science, spreading of memes, technologies).

You can’t worry about politics when your own house is not in order. Pay your bills first. Locally fix, before thinking about global issues.

Freedom to vs freedom from

These are distinct. Freedom ‘to’ is about doing anything you want. Freedom to move. Freedom to buy / create. It involves the external world. Imposing your will on changing the world.

Freedom ‘from’ is about removal. It is usually internally focused. Freedom from ‘desire’, freedom from aversion, freedom from delusions/dogmas etc.

You may not always have freedom to ‘do’ whatever you want. Does satisfying all your desires lead to happiness/contentment anyways? Think about this

Freedom ‘from’ is much more lasting.

Freedom to do whatever can be paralysing

Paradox of choice : an ocean of potential experiences is infront of you. By choosing how you are spending your time, you are inherently cutting off all the other potential futures.

At some stage in your life, you want to start committing to things. This means limiting your freedom. When you have all the options, you are technically free, but you are not invested in anyone/anything.

As you get older, finding a spouse means foregoing your freedom to pick anyone. Creating a family and having kids means letting go of your freedom of time. Choosing a career means letting go of all the other potential options.

Some may want to remain completely free in their late 30’s/40’s/50’s - but from what I see, it can lead to loneliness and a lack of purpose.

Note : It doesn’t have to, I’ve met several people in their 40’s/50’s who externally free (no family/spouse) - but often they have worked on some sense of internal freedom.

Freedom from is more durable

External freedom is needed, but not always possible.

Internal freedom is always possible. You can be externally in a horrible situation, but internally at rest.

Cultivate the ability to be free from negative states.

But of course, have freedom ‘to’ do in important domains. Just realise that you are not actually free ‘to do’ anything. I am not ‘free’ to join the NBA (I don’t know how to play basketball).


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