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Every act of rebellion expresses a nostalgia for innocence and an appeal to the essence of being. (Albert Camus)
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    Liberation! It’s as simple as being free (from liberty)
    (A very liberating story of and on freedom based on a personal letter, which you shouldn't believe and neither do I, but then here it is)

    My dear friend,

    You asked me, in truth and simplicity, why it was so difficult to be free?
    And my first answer need be:

    Forget truth and simplicity- aim for elegance of thought; the reason, if you should care to explore it, is that no reality survives the encounter with an inquiring mind, none more so than the reality of one’s own freedom and liberation..


    Could I not oblige you and answer you more thoroughly?

    Of course I can and of course I do, here, I do and will keep on doing so, of course you shouldn’t believe a word of what I am saying, this is after all a story, a private one for sure, almost a confession of sorts. And as confessions go one wouldn’t trust them, not implicitly, for confessions demand ontology and maybe a theology, but a confession on freedom’s difficulty will demand the annihilation of both ontology and theology not to mention the annihilation of one’s belief in freedom as a conceptual idea.
    You also shouldn’t believe it because after all how can one explain from the standpoint of freedom why freedom is so difficult to attain, for if one is free, it is not difficult anymore, now is it? In fact it may very well be that the difficulty in finding freedom is exactly that, the difficulty in telling the story of freedom, in such a fashion that the story does not hinder one’s freedom.
    Quite a conundrum I agree and yet one must try, if only because of the love I have for you, or more accurately the extension of me into you as love.
    Why, the very word freedom means love, or friendship, or acceptance, or joy, or dear one, or beloved, but somehow we managed to forget this. Well maybe not forget, more like a kind of obfuscation of immediacy, as if at a certain point we started looking at freedom as a freedom ‘from’ and not freedom ‘in’.

    I think I cannot speak about freedom without mentioning some great humans that walked among us, and helped us and me, understand our freedom, such as Isaiah Berlin.
    He is an important person primarily because he made a very important distinction between negative and positive liberty, in simple terms he taught us that there is a big and critical difference between the absence of something ((i.e. of obstacles, barriers, constraints or interference from others)) and the presence of something (i.e. of control, self-mastery, self-determination or self-realization), in Berlins’ words:”..we use the negative concept of liberty in attempting to answer the question “What is the area within which the subject — a person or group of persons — is or should be left to do or be what he is able to do or be, without interference by other persons?”, whereas we use the positive concept in attempting to answer the question “What, or who, is the source of control or interference that can determine someone to do, or be, this rather than that?” (1969, pp. 121–22). (Positive and Negative Liberty)

    Isaiah Berlin is quite a recent protagonist in this great quest for liberation, you should if you really are interested in understanding the difficulties of freedom go back a bit in human history and study those minds that claimed wisdom concerning liberation. You could as did I many years ago, start with Plato (as good a point of departure as any) for whom freedom was something that might only be attained in a perfect society ruled (how else?) by philosophers kings, for Plato only the just can be free, and you my friend are far from just, knowing you, this will not be to your liking, I do not think that is what you are asking.
    Besides if we were to follow Plato and Aristotle we would need first to accept that we are political or social animals, a fact which I for one, think about differently.
    Maybe you could seek the insights of those wise Indians, some of them spoke of Moksha (liberation), or Mukti (release) as liberation or release from rebirth, again I do not think you will find there that which you are seeking but it is important to know what they say, especially if you look into the concept of Nirvana, though I will argue that the other shore of wisdom has nothing to do with tranquility or extinguishing desires.
    I suggest to you all these important paths, which are not mine, because if you are to unbelieve me I think you should have a good reason to do so.

    My main issue with all of them is about attainment, I do not think that freedom is something to be attained or that liberation is to be sought by negative liberty (a la Berlin) and though I much appreciate the clarity that his writings have given me I also do not think in terms of positive liberty as in having the presence of self-realization (since we have so many selves..).

    Freedom and liberation are not aims to attain, objectives to target, aspirations to manage, or goals to reach; these are to a very large extent hyper complex dynamic processes of mind, that vigorously shake the very foundation of that which brings them into being. Thus in a very real sense these concepts have no foundation. Not even as objects of mental consciousness.

    Hence the big problem!

    If they have no foundation how are we to know anything about them? The answer is of course through intimacy and intensity.

    I think I told you once that it took me many years of combat, both of the reflective kind, and of the emotional tempests sort, to release the concept of liberation from the shackles of contextualized freedom.
    It took me years to understand that spiritual liberation has nothing whatsoever to do with spirit, whatever that term may mean; more importantly perhaps was the reflective time that was involved in unleashing the freedom ‘to be’, from the freedom of ‘to do’ or ‘doing’.
    It was always the confusion of acting that didn’t make sense, as if by being able to go away (unclinging) from my love I would be free, and therein laid the conundrum, for if I was free to go I would liberate from a situation that I desired to continue, shackles and all.

    Didn’t make sense to me! I needed my desires, I desired my loves, I loved my feelings and I felt my existence, how could I, or better yet, why should I, have left them behind? And for that matter where was this behind? I wanted it all, to take it with me. Where to? Nowhere in specific, and nothing in particular, but all these where me, so how was I to be free if I left part of me out of the game?

    The thing is that as funny is it may sound you cant be free alone but not in the platonic sense, there is a sense to liberty that demands at least one more mind to be liberated with you, put differently it takes two (or more) to tango.. or be free.
    There is a sense to the manner and style of freedom; we are not created equal (for that matter we are not created but emergent and I know it’s a poor choice of words) and that is why we each have a unique kind of freedom and a highly idiosyncratic fashion of liberty.
    A kind of madness if you like, but a madness that can go everywhere! A very personal and highly distinctive form of madness, mostly hidden in the light of internal desire..

    “Madness need not be all breakdown. It may also be break-through. It is potential liberation and renewal as well as enslavement and existential death.”

    R. D. Laing


    In a way there is no theory that can account for all possible manners of being free, which is another problematic aspect of the freedom and liberty issue, and thus another way of understanding why it is so difficult to be free.

    I know you know some of these issues very deeply but I am not sure you understand deeply enough the concept of agency (which is more of a philosophical and legal term really which modern society has created for us) I mean how intimate are you with the agent that presumable you are? I know you take your responsibilities seriously but think it through: what higher responsibility do you have than the management of the meaning you yourself have put upon the idea of your own freedom?

    That is what I meant when I wrote to you at the beginning of this letter, that you need, (as did I), to release the concept of liberation from the shackles of contextualized freedom. It’s always the context that constrains the explosive nature of personal liberty.

    There is, in the world we have emerged into, a kind of tyranny, of the context of course, but more specifically of the body. The tyranny of the body is only one amongst the many many kinds of restrictions we find ourselves in but it bears special consideration.
    It bears this very special consideration because we are embodied consciousnesses, having cognitive capabilities that far outshine the capacities of our bodies. Some of your thoughts as you disclosed to me in the past and if I recall correctly, involved a desire to eliminate pain, the pain of the body and the pain of the mind. You wanted to be free of these and that started your quest so many years ago, but all the drugs in the world will not eliminate these pains, because though they can be temporarily abated they will always find a new way to tackle you.
    There will always be another demon come to haunt you, be it of the material kind or of the mental sort. Unless of course, you can merge intimately with them in high intensity; it is in a fashion a form of desire folded upon itself, fractalized until its nothingness becomes apparent.
    In this you may possibly not be happy (whoever told you that your freedom implies your happiness?) but you will discover that you can walk on nothing.

    I like walking on nothing. Maybe you can like it too.And we can be free together.

    My dear friend, I could write pages and pages in trying to describe to you the difficulties of being free, but I know that is not what you have asked of me. I could give you theories and clichés that sometimes help ease a moment or two. I could describe to you the beauty of being free and the exhilaration of certain moments of heightened inspiration, by that stimulating you to desire the kind of freedom I am privileged to partake in. But also this is not the essence of your inquiry.
    I think that what you ask is more a question of management, management of (apparently) conflicting desires.
    And I promise one of these days I’ll write you a letter about this subject but for now I must run take care of my loved ones. Strange, I know, but taking care of my loved ones allows me the freedom and the liberation of being that which I am, a relation of loves and desires, powered by an ever increasing allowance for that which is not me to change me. Just as you do when you ask this kind of questions.

    I hope I have managed if not to answer (because I do not think there can be a full answer) at least to raise your appetite for more of these semi-poetic elaborations on our mutuality.

    Until soon then,

    Slowly but surely I walk on nothing, from there my love, from there my confidence, in the chaotic harmony of ambiguity.

    w.

    ps. you see, Liberation! It’s as simple as being free (from liberty).

    ps1. soon I will write to you again on this fascinating topic.
    -


    EndNote:

    I have deleted from this letter some issues that I think you might find interesting.

    1. A deleted scene: "..But you know me; you know I love my language treats of etymology, so imagine my surprise when I discovered that freedom and liberation come from two different dimensions (I mean cultures). It appears that Freedom comes from a Saxon root, from the German Freiheit (freedom) whilst Liberty comes from a Norman root, from the French Liberte’ (liberty) (see)."

    2.The Idealized agency of free will, is more than a perpetuated philosophical (and psychological) myth, it is ipso facto, a devastatingly ignorant approach to the concept of personal autonomy.
    Personal autonomy may best be understood as more of an authorization than a willed action made by the agent.

    3.The authorization in turn should be looked upon as an act of distancing on the spectrum of self-reflection, balancing its act in a move towards self-alienation. (in this self alienation is responsible for an extreme form of self reflection in its negativity.)

    4.Being alienated from your own power to act (think Tourette syndrome) defies the whole concept of free willed agency (as is the case with addiction- or for that matter the belief that freedom means doing whatever it is that you like, whenever you feel like doing it – Neti-Neti).

    5.What about instincts? Think about it like an authorization given by reason to the motivational power of desire


    Part of the Ultrashorts project

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