True Freedom

starry night over the rhone

Everyone wants freedom, but our definition of the word lacks the depth it requires. We equate freedom with the absence of constraints. We view most things as oppressive. Things that limit or hinder our choices are only seen as bad. We want limitless opportunities to pursue our wants for pleasure and success. We see this as true freedom and choose to indulge ourselves in whatever this world is telling us contains happiness. We think we are free because we are pursuing our own happiness. A happiness that is contingent upon our external circumstances. A happiness that only occurs without any constraints or limitations form outside forces. We go after the “something” instead of the “something more”. We bend our desires to fit in the box of this world instead of giving them free reign. They are what drives us to the beyond. They are what carries us to true freedom.

We are left here thinking that we should pursue our desires for something greater than what’s in front of us. Not only we should, but we ought. Julian Carron, in his book Disarming Beauty, says:

“But it is also true that we do not settle for a moment of satisfaction, a moment of freedom. We want to be free forever, not only on a few occasions. We want to be completely free. Therefore, ‘experience indicates that freedom presents itself to us as as total satisfaction, complete fulfillment of the self, as perfection. Or we can say that freedom is the capacity for the end, totality, for happiness.’ Freedom is for man the opportunity and the responsibility to be fulfilled. Starting from certain and particular experiences of satisfaction, freedom is revealed as ‘capacity’ for total, complete satisfaction, that is, for perfection, for self-realization, realization of our human desire.”

Our definition of freedom is predicated upon our momentary want for partial fulfillment. However, this deeper freedom Carron speaks about is predicated upon our lasting pursuit and discovery of what is beyond us.

We are free when we truly accept our limitations, but allow our desires to transcend them. This is nothing someone else or something else can take from me. This is a choice I make to acknowledge my ability to seek after something I cannot see but my heart assures me of its existence. Lorenzo Albacete said:

“But we know very well that nothing ever satisfies us in such a way that we’ll never desire more, or something else. Our hearts desire infinite happiness, infinite satisfaction. Freedom is the capacity for infinity. I am free each time I walk along the path that moves me to infinity, to the stars. If I choose to act in a particular way that separates me from my infinite destiny, I lose something of my freedom and move closer to that abyss of not being free, that is, of ‘not being able to love anymore.’ I can be rescued only when the attraction of infinity wins over whatever is attracting me away from it. This is the redemption of my freedom.”

This idea is also echoed by Marcus Mumford in the song Timshel:

“And you have your choices

And these are what make man great

His ladder to the stars”

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