Freedom is something that some are born with, while others fight for it. Some try to prevent others from experiencing it. Some have died, never having tasted a drop of this elusive nectar in their lives. We hear the word used all the time. We want to be free from the pain and burden of our monotonous work, from the stresses that come along with raising a family, from our strict ideologies, and from our own thoughts and emotions, to name a few. Those who have tasted freedom will never be willing to part from the feeling. Freedom is a beautiful thing. When used correctly, it allows us to grow as beings and seek the highest forms of pleasure that the world offers. It gives us the capacity to make mistakes and be okay with them, learning from them in the process. Wikipedia lists one of the definitions of freedom as “the power of self-determination attributed to the will; the quality of being independent of fate or necessity.”
So when just a drop of freedom feels so good, why is an absolute abundance of it unhealthy? Let us think for a minute about what absolute freedom would feel like. The absolute freedom from emotion would not allow one to mourn for the death of their loved ones. The absolute freedom of consumption would tempt one to indulge in any substance available, irrespective of the effects of that substance on their bodies and minds. The absolute freedom of speech could allow one to potentially hurt the sentiments of another. The absolute freedom from work would leave most people without existential purpose. The absolute freedom from love would hinder one from loving to begin with. The absolute freedom from society and its demands would be a lonely existence, because when you do not need anybody else in your life to be happy, then you are more satisfied when you are all alone. The absolute freedom from life would be the immunity to death, the Universe’s natural reset mechanism. Absolute freedom is like giving a child a gun and instructing her to fire as she pleases, with no fear of negative repercussions or consequences.
Just like salt, I believe that even freedom has to be experienced in limitation. We all wish to be free, but who among us actually thinks of freedom as a burden and a curse, an eternity of loneliness, and a cavern of despair? When we think of hell, we think of burning in an eternal pit of fire and poison, surrounded by people who have made the same mistakes in their lives. However, I think of hell as a beautiful meadow of open fields of fresh grass, perpetually beautiful blue skies, and lush trees bearing all kinds of vegetation, with gentle blue rivers flowing from large mountain tops. Except that in this reality, you would have to spend the rest of eternity alone. Pray that the ninety-nine shackles that tie you down may be broken, but the last one left intact. After all, that last chain will be the only thing preserving your humanity.