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On Freedom -- Understanding The Complexities of Freedom As Humans

Updated: Mar 7

An old man.

Logic, Laws, and the Power of Choice

Unlimited freedom, as tempting as it may sound, is ultimately an illusion. We exist within the bounds of logic and scientific laws, dictating the realm of the possible. Fantasies of teleportation, for instance, remain firmly in the realm of fiction, limited by the constraints of our current technological understanding (Although subatomic teleportation was only achieved with 1 particle). However, within these established frameworks, a vast ocean of possibilities still lies open for exploration.

You are, within reason, free to choose your path, to shape your life as you see fit, should you overcome the influences and pressures of your free will. Yet, with this freedom comes a profound responsibility: the awareness of consequences. Unaware of the ripples your actions create, you risk not only self-harm but also the destruction of the very liberties you seek to enjoy.

On a societal scale, it is also one of the reasons that regarding other people's rights is our responsibility as well, if we want to preserve the overall freedom in our societies. As such, on the long term, respecting people's freedoms is in your best interests for your own to be considered as well.

This is where the law emerges, not only constraint, but also as one that allows us to be free to a greater extent. If anything, the law should be broken when we are imprisoned in dire settings such as a concentration camp, not when we are freerer than the average forced worker in Qatar.

While technically possible to transgress the law's boundaries, the consequences can be swift and devastating. Think of the law as a sturdy guardrail along the highway of life, preventing us from careening off the edge and into the abyss. Perhaps, ideally, that's how the law should be, as the abyss in this metaphor symbolizes anarchy, which could lead to civil wars in a society (as represented by Libya's example after Gadaffi's death). To callously disregard the law without compelling reason, be it a conflict with one's conscience or a proven unjust law, is to cause your own self-destruction in the long run.

As you reach adulthood, shedding the legal mantle of "juvenile," your freedom expands. No longer are your choices primarily dictated by parents or guardians, no longer are you compelled to follow the prescribed path of formal, oppressing institutions like schools. This newfound autonomy can be exciting, but it also demands a deeper level of self-awareness. With greater freedom comes the weight of greater responsibility. That includes responsibility on your own freedoms.

So, while absolute freedom may be a mirage, the windows of possibility within our real-world constraints are vast and wondrous. Explore them with courage, choose your path with wisdom, and remember, even within the boundaries of logic, science, and the law, the power of choice remains in your hands, whether or not your choices will be wise, whether or not they will succeed.

Freedom: Boundaries, and the Power of Solitude

Freedom is not solo act unless you go somewhere truly remote and live in a self sufficent way. But by doing so you will lose the freedom of being able to regularly talk to people, which is a loss of freedom of its own.

With every choice you make, you dance within a complex web by logic, science, and the law. These are the firm boundaries that keep your waltz from veering into chaos, which is in a way, the closest thing to absolute freedom, but not something you want to achieve if you want to live in peace. Whatever choice you make will always be conditioned, and won't last forever either way. But none if those should prevent you from trying to truly actualize yourself.

Sadly, even money casts its shadow on liberty, allowing celebrities, who are often richer, gain more freedoms in the form of privilege. Under corruption, those who have more power and money may also get their way more than others, while actively reducing others' liberties by their corrupt ways. These are darker forms of freedoms, when the increasing freedom of one or more factions reduces the freedom of another.

In a way, the holistic approach, while morally beneficial, can call for a personal reduction of liberty in the favor of collective consideration. Since it's not as present in more-liberal societies, they could in theory breed anti-social behavior, which can be expressed as a disregard for others rights. That includes rights that involve liberties.

But within the realm of your capabilities, and unrestrained by these constraints, you can become bold and assertive as you can be ruthless as well, which reflects on either side of the freedom of expression when communicating with anyone. Should you choose wisdom as well, you at the very least be aware of the consequences that linger in the future you're making based on your decisions and on their success or failure.

In Rubinshteinic Individualism, solitude becomes the stage, where your freedom spins without the need for compromise, restraint, or the judgment of others, hence the benefit of mastering more the art of being alone. Living alone, playing loud music (with the risk of neighbors complaning but at least not roommates), or walking naked within your own apartment, are but a few ways solitude liberates us from the disapproving eye of others.

Singlehood, even at the price of skin deprivation, also allows freedom when your other choice is conditional love. In the absence of true love, singlehood at the very least casts off the restrictive chains of romantic codependency. When you are strong enough you might as well love yourself and rest at that. Additionally, freedom of action blossoms in the absence of "shoulds" and "nevers," leaving you to paint your canvas with the vibrant hues of self-determination.

Yet, companionship can also be a place to be yourself, and not a shackle necessarily. While limitations may arise in the intricate choreography of relationships, these can be nuanced, negotiated, and even embraced. The question, then, becomes not whether freedom is limited, but whether the limitations enrich your life, adding depth and texture.

In a sense, not everyone wants to be free. It's one of the reasons the state is also a business (AKA social contract).

Finally, freedom resonates differently in each soul. The difficulty in that lies in letting people go and be who they want to be and what they want to do. Some thrive within the constraints of tradition and societal norms, while others yearn to be in solitude far more, and are thus asocial. A wife in a conservative community, choosing to nurture her family over a career, paints a different kind of freedom, one defined by dedication and sacrifice.

Perhaps, if anything, "freedom" is not only the lack or absence of restraint, but the value which symbolizes our desire to be what we truly want to be: Becoming our ideal selves.

Navigating the labyrinth of freedom is therefore a personal journey towards the future you want to lead, without letting restraint or pressure standing in your way. It's about understanding the boundaries, wielding your choices with awareness, and finding the rhythm that resonates with your very being, in hopes that you will finally do what you really want to do in life, uncompromised by external forces who want to take that away from you for whatever reason.

As such, with money being a very important part in that, and with living becoming expensive, that is far from easy to do for most people, beyond living from paycheck to paycheck. Whether you're in the vibrant solitude of your own canvas or within the intricate dynamics of relationships, remember, the power of freedom lies not in the absence of limitations, but in the way you choose to dance within them; a way that you deem the most resonating with you.

Beyond the Comfort Zone

While some find freedom blooming within the familiar confines of their community, others crave a wider stage. Young people, for instance, may yearn to leave the nest, trading hometown comfort for the vibrant unknown of a distant college. This pursuit of potential, this need for a larger space to breathe, can bring them face-to-face with conflict. The values woven into the fabric of their community, represented by concerned elders or traditional expectations, may clash with their desire for autonomy.

It could be possible that said authority figures in their community are not fully aware that their selves exist beyond their framework.

Those who believe they have a stronger claim to freedom, a right to step beyond the boundaries set by their society, must be prepared for this dance of conflict. Even being a philosopher has its social risks. Embracing the life the individual envisions, the life they believe they deserve, will likely involve navigating a waltz of opposition. When it is in the name of concern, that can even be a good thing. Either way, they must be ready to defend their choices, to explain their motivations, and to face the consequences of their decisions, just like anyone else.

The fact that they might be more free-spirited than others does not negate them from being able to take responsibility for their actions. Either way it is the moral thing to do.

Even if conflict is inevitable, and even if that tradition opposes your ambitions, we should realize an acknowledgment that the path to individual freedom is rarely a solo journey. It may involve conversations, compromises, and even a willingness to modify one's own desires in the face of valid concerns. Getting power, when not done for the sake of power itself, is done at the sake of achieving a higher goal, unattainable by the individual alone. Those who live and die by power may understand this more.

The key lies in understanding that freedom thrives not exclusively in isolation, but in the intricate interplay between individual aspirations and the collective good.

The choice to push beyond the comfort zone, to embrace a life that aligns with your deepest needs, is a personal one. It requires courage, self-awareness, and a willingness to engage with the complexities of human connection, so people will intervene less, and even assist, more. For some, the dance with conflict may be a daunting prospect, but for others, it is the very rhythm of their liberation.

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Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

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