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by John Wilson
"One farmer says to me, 'You cannot live on vegetable food solely, for it furnishes nothing to make bones with'; and so he religiously devotes a part of his day to supplying his system with the raw material of bones; walking all the while he talks behind his oxen, which, with vegetable-made bones, jerk him and his lumbering plow along in spite of every obstacle." - Henry David Thoreau
"No action which is not voluntary can be called moral. So long as we act like machines there can be no question of morality." M.K. Gandhi
There are deep relationships between wisdom, circumstance, morality and their manifestation in the goal of freedom. True freedom requires a great deal more than the openness to do anything one wants or thinks. Rather, in truth, freedom as an idea has roots in understanding history, exploring deeply into the nature of nature, and coming to terms with that ephemeral reality of living consciousness.
In searching, as we must, for that eternal flame that is freedom, we should accept that none of us are completely free today. Most of us are slaves to systems we hardly understand. That bright light that we seek is freedom.
Birth both in reality and in metaphor, represents the start of a cycle. For parents, the creation and legacy of children is one of the greatest moments of sheer joy, as it represents that moment when we freely bring into this world, a being that links us together with the closest thing imaginable to eternity that exists in the living world.
A new born baby is largely, if not wholly, at the mercy of parents, who in love, will more often than not, at that moment bond to such an extent that they would sacrifice their own life so that their child might live.
Fear of death, fear of the end of our family, fear of pain, fear of the unknown, fear of the dark, fear of the lack of food, fear of others, all and more, drive both child and parent, to seek survival no matter the circumstances. A portion of our so called reptilian brain, our link back through evolving time, drives feeling, actions, fight or flight. Love, joy, truth, creation, in partnership with family and community compete with fear to create, something; security, wholeness, and perhaps that fleeting beautiful lightness of being called freedom.
How we view the world unendingly changes, as we experience life, as we learn about our history, as we exercise our emotions, as we are acted upon by nature, our community, our parents, and the broader community of communities. Who we are is affected by how we view the world and by how we view ourselves both despite and because of how our view of the world has come about.
At any moment in time, and this is the most difficult part of freedom to realize, despite how easy it is to say, is that we can change both who we are, how we view the world, and create our own freedom. The moment we begin to do that, however, we may complicate the thought with feelings of fear, an inability to imagine the path, or false understandings of reality. Feelings, thoughts, obligations to others, community, history, and natural forces rightfully come raging through. Labels, false simplifications, untruth, or misapprehensions can lead us astray.
Thus is the path of freedom. Find what you love to do. Consider the wisdom of doing what you love to do, and the impacts it has on nature and your fellow beings, and if it leaves them with freedom, if it is in truth the right path, then follow it.