Saturday, November 27, 2010

Absolute Freedom

Sometimes, if rarely, in the middle of a conversation, and for no apparent reason, out of no animosity or anything... it occurs to me that I could just... take a swing at my friend, knock him right to the ground. Or sometimes that it'd be kind of fun to just walk away while the person is in the middle of a sentence. To just intentionally do something extremely antisocial. Sometimes I get this sudden objective appraisal of the scene I'm in, and the countless options available, most of them absurd. It's a weird feeling. I've never acted on them. I wonder if this occurs to other people.

This isn't about desiring to do these things; but it's interesting, that you are free to do whatever you want, whenever. You could go down to the airport and get on a plane for Argentina or something, right now. Or just go out your front door and start walking, to see where you'll end up. You could bark like a dog at the next person you see.

What's stopping you? Nothing but the rules you have written in your mind, rules you have let society write in there. Society in the guise of well-meaning teachers, parents, friends, and others, of course. Mostly they make life livable and sane; imagine the chaos if people were really free. But there's always the option. Not that in the next break in the conversation you should kick your friend in the crotch. I'm not saying that.

But wouldn't it be fun to make use of that vast freedom now and then, albeit in a somewhat more constructive fashion? It could-- it would change your life, from the flow of countless consequences and effects. You never know where it might lead.


  1. Personally I think freedom is a state of mind more than anything else. And I agree that people are basically "free to do whatever they want", but doing whatever you want doesn't make you free from the consequences of your actions; you must take responsibility for whatever you do. Just like you are free to break the law, but the consequence may be getting arrested or killed.

    So no matter how repressive and unfree of a society, we are all free in the sense that we each have a choice, whether to act on our impulses or to repress our impulses, whether to follow social conventions or to defy social conventions, whether to follow the law or to break the law, whether to be ethical or corrupt, whether to be good or evil. Everyone has this choice, and that is what makes us free. Just remember though, while you are free "to kick your friend in the crotch", your friend is also free to do the same to you. And then you may find that such actions have destroyed your friendship. Was it worth it? Probably not, not unless your goal was to end your friendship.

  2. In answer to the question you posed: Yep, I've considered many of those options too!

  3. Cym, you're right in all you said. Of course the consequences are always there. It just fascinates me, the sheer number of options available to me in any given situation. I'm not going to hit anyone. But I could...

    And many of the options aren't illegal or even probably negetive in any way.