May 2nd, 2008 11:15 EST
That is the quintessential point of my book, Paradox: Journey Inside Out.
Liberty from pre-conceptions, expectations and assumptions. Liberty from the constraints "the traps-- inherent in conforming to the dictates of culture, family, religion, duty, politics, ideology, tradition, law, relationships.
Not just freedom FROM something, but TO and FOR something.
A freedom from thinking the adopted thoughts of others, to think your own thoughts.
Freedom to become who you are. To determine and create who you are, instead of letting society define who you are supposed " to be. For choosing YOUR life, rather than wake up an old man one day, regretful and resentful to realize you`ve been living a life chosen for you by others, living a life for/of someone else, or a life that you have never truly LIVED.
It is tragedy when a child dies? How much more tragic it is to reach old age without having lived! Potential denied? What of potential squandered? How awful to have merely existed, simply going through the motions! How terrible to find out that you are not yourself, you are what the world has made of you; not a person, but a placeholder in an assigned role.
The unexamined life is not worth living? Perhaps the unlived life is not worth examining? Shall your gravestone "your epitaph-- say nothing more than I was here "?
I can`t do what I want with my life, because my spouse/ children/ parents/ family/ friends/ religion/ government/ law/ boy-girlfriend/ peers/ community/ school/ job/ lifestyle/ customs/ fear/ whatever restrict me. "
How dare they deny you yourself? How dare you (let them)?!
But these are only prevarications.
We give and accept so many excuses to avoid the responsibility of our liberty " of self-creation. We blame others for our bondage, when it is we who have the power to change: our minds and our lives. It is WE who bind ourselves with imagined limitations of obligation and placation.
If something is important enough to you, you make the time for it, you find a way.
Paradox doesn`t so much tell you how to " live and think freely, as it does why ".
To paraphrase Nietzsche: if you have a sufficient Why " to do something, then you can discover the How ".
Isn`t a life of meaningful self-fulfillment and no regrets reason enough to embrace your liberty?