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Do you think you are free?

We are prisoners of complexities in the name of modernity, traditions, professionalism, and of many DO(s) and DONT(s).

There is no ultimate freedom in our societies. In one form or other we are bound, restricted and handicapped while in the mean time our intellect desires Infinity, freedom and power. This war leads to no way. But to self destruction.

I want to say that we should have a FREE INTELLECT. Why to follow so many, so called, Systems and Regulations, Laws and Principles if by birth we are free? You may not agree with me and call me a wild, a rebellion. But think, without having a biased mind, you will love being wild and free then civilized and bound. Don’t you?

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    Dec 11 2011: "The basic test of freedom is perhaps less in what we are free to do than in what we are free not to do." (Eric Hoffer)
    • Dec 11 2011: If only that becomes reallity ..
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        Dec 11 2011: Is it helpful, Mr. Kahn, to try to think of a scenario where people are so enslaved that every physical act is commanded by others, there is no freedom, physically, to choose to NOT do something, anything?
        Consider a slave labor camp like the Gulag, or Bucenwald. Those suffering souls would have found life in one of today's penetentiarys to be quite free because they could choose not to use the library, or the gym, or the many other elective activities. I, however, consider the idea of incarceration in such a prison to be an all-but-total loss of freedom. Am I free? Yes. Is an inmate in the state prison free? If you ask a survivor of a Nazi concentration camp, their answer might well be "Yes!"
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    Dec 21 2011: No, I am not free. There are a few indigenous villages who are living much freer than I am. I fear it is only a matter of time before institutionalised governments and organised religion relieves them of their precarious position, as well.
  • Dec 15 2011: There is no ultimate freedom. Not here. Not on earth if you make it your reality. But religion does not tell us to do this. It tells us that here, we are limited by physics and such but not in the next life.

    Religion tells us that we are all slaves of God and that we are as good as anybody else. Thus, we can achieve what the others can achieve.

    More importantly it tells us that we will not gain from this world. What we hoard here, we can never bring forth when we die. Those who choose to con the others who are ignorant are conning themselves.
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      Dec 15 2011: QUOTE: "Those who choose to con the others who are ignorant are conning themselves."

      That is very true.

      For example, many people believe they know what happens after we die because they read it in a book. They might believe the book is the word of God (as if an omniscient, omnipresent God could be contained in a small book!) Some even speak with "authority" telling others they know God's will and they know what happens after death.

      They do not know. And neither do you. (Unless you are God or unless you have died.)

      Of course, there is nothing wrong with believing. However, believing and knowing are NOT the same thing.

      Unless you have died, you do not know what happens after we die. Period.

      We are free to believe whatever we want. We are also free to reject religious dogma.

      Freedom we might say is a choice. And we are all free to choose.

      Many will attempt to use fear to coerce others to "choose" to believe in, say, some religion or other (believe or go to hell, they say.)

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    Dec 11 2011: If we define freedom in terms of externalities, it would be difficult to say we are free. Perhaps impossible.

    But the great ones have not defined freedom in terms of "systems and regulations, laws and principles" they have talked of internal freedom. Christ was imprisoned and executed. Was he free? Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years. Was he free? Viktor Emil Frankl was held in a concentration camp. Was he free?

    They would probably have said yes. Many others would say so now.
    • Dec 11 2011: Hello Mr. Thomas,
      I agree with your points. Infact these examples were in my mind when I was raising this question.
      But Let me add some more. the examples you have given are of great people or great minds, who were having brilliant causes to live or even die for. Jesus Christ was a prophet, his cause was endowed on him , to preach. Nelson Mandela, a leader, to whome whole South Africa was looking in hope. and Franki a doctor who was practicing his Psychotherapuetic method in prison for survial, and thus survived.

      What about a common person? who doesn't know what he lives for. No cause, no objectives. Nothing to eascalate him. How can we expect from him the acts like great one did? they would be no more common if they do so.

      I am not blaming the system or governmnet here as we ourselves have made them. But why we have overtaken these systems so much on us that even our intellect is no more free.
  • Dec 10 2011: I would agree with you to a certain extent that we are not free.
    But I also think that times are changing. We are not as blind as we used to be, partially thanks to the internet, thanks to websites like TED! The Internet as reinvented the freedom of speech. Its the uncontrollable media force which can take down goverments. They say that the revolutions in Egypt and Libya were largely due to the Internet, and is that not just something fantastic?
    Look at all the Open Source initiatives (open software, open hardware, open science etc), people are realising that freedom is close, one just has to get up and do a small part of it (you're doing a small part too by posting this). Freedom does'nt start in politics, it starts with us!
    • Dec 11 2011: You are talking about media here. Yes no doubt it is true that media has power to bring a change or even a revolution, like in Egypt or in Libya from tweets. The thing is At one side it gives us a better way to communicate with each other while most times, it also imposes many things in our lives to which we find no escape. I mean look at our intellectual life, we are so much influenced by media. Our way of thinking, life style and even daily diets, all are "Made By Media". One other thing, they cover only public opinions not an intellect thought. Of course, sites like TED is exception here. And these are very few in number.

      Still another fact is, Telecommunication media works under the supervision of governmental regularities. Sometimes Sites and channels get blocked when find working against rules and regulations. So, again we are bounded.
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    Dec 10 2011: the reason we all work is becuase we dont have enough money. we dont have time to express ourselves and create new things becuase we always have to to work. many people conform to the consumer economy and purchase things in order to feel better about their status or to make their lives more convenient. then they need more money, then a better job or more jobs, then they have less time to find themselves and they feel even worse, and they want to buy more. this is an exaggeration to an extent but most of our lives boil down to exactly this. we arent slaves to a company or system or our government. we are slaves of our minds, these systems are just here to exploit our tendencies. marketing and advertising within the next 10 years will be out of control. personalized ads will appear on smart surfaces and those addictions fromthe past that you cant seem to break away from be it food, cars, porn, videogames, just may completely engulf us. we're slaves of our own minds, our emotions drive us, our emotions shape our world. those who have cultivated their minds can shape their emotions and usually do shape our world, and when successful they form the rules which all others must abide by. landlord-tenant, politican-citizen, entreprenuer-the world, employer-employee etc.
    • Dec 11 2011: This is what I am talking about Everyone is running after status and, of course. This is never ending race. if one wants to participate in this Marathon of Status s/he needs to have stamina of money. And I ask What is this status in the first place? You want to impress someone or everyone? If yes why? One might answer, people will not make us friends, will not make any relation with us, or at least won’t call us civilized. Why we are so greedy for these fallacies? I think of these relations as something one can easily buy in supermarket, if having enough money. So, they are not pure relations, but duplicity. If people don’t recognize me as what I am, by my true intellect, but with what I have. OR get impressed by any of my signboard which I gained from treachery or from whatever mean. Then truly its more loss then gain.

      Mr. Julius, you said that “We are slaves of our minds.” . It would be more than good if the case was so. I say Go for what your mind and heart says. we have accepted things as ours but in fact they are very imposed on us.
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        Dec 11 2011: well i suppose it is more than good Muhammad, becuase this is the case. being slaves of our minds simply means we are slaves of our perception of reality. in several ways you have just proved my point. whatever you percieve your reality as, is exactly how it will effect you, and becuase it actually effects you in this way, that now becomes YOUR reality. humans are more suceptible to conform to our environments becuase we are social, however the fact that some people do percieve problems as opportunities debunks your idea that our current and future predicaments are imposed on us. let me give you a few examples: if youve never heard of the elephant and the string effect it goes like this. when an elephant is a baby they tie a string around its ankle and tie the other end to a stake in the ground, the elephant is not yet strong enough to break it and eventually gives up hope. after 6 months, 6 years, 15 years, the fully grown elephant is bound to this stake by a tiny rope becuase, in its relity it cannot excape. this elephant is a slave of its mind as we are currently a slave of ours. the wisdom of the crowd effect has been proven effective at combating these views of perception. obviously WE know that the elephant can break the rope and others that look at similar situations from many different perspectives begin to grasp the reality of their situation and gain traction as their minds provide them ways to profit from the true reality, con artists, entreprenuers and magicians all profit from those who are slaves of their perception of reality.