The binary nature of Freedom

John BEPPU beppu at
Tue Jul 9 10:00:20 UTC 2002

[  date  ] 2002/07/07 | Sunday | 02:12 PM
[ author ] Alexandre Dulaunoy <alex at> 

    First, let me apologize for the late reply.
    My excuse is that I've just moved from Northern California
    to Southern California, and I'm still getting settled.  
    I was also trying to think of what I wanted to say.

> "
> I love you all from the bottom of my heart, because I know what you can
> become, and there are two sides to this. You can be free and happy and be
> the director of your own life, or you can be the complete opposite.
> Remember that there's no such thing as "partially" free. You're either
> free or you're not, and anyone who tells you otherwise is either fooling
> you or worse -- fooling themselves. This is the binary nature of freedom.
> "

> Can this essay extend the initial discussion around Freedom ? 

In my comments at:

I mentioned that I was primarily interested in helping people
gain the "capacity" to be free.  This may seem like a strange
concept to some of you so let me present you with a scenario:

    An intellectual man goes to his friend and gives him
    the most logically sound arguments for freedom that
    he can conjure up.  The friend concedes to the intellectual
    that he may be on to something, but he'll say something
    disappointing like:
        Yeah, that makes a lot of sense, 
            but I can't live my life like that.
        There's nothing I could realistically do.
        That's just the way of the world.

This is the way most people are -- self-defeating.  Considering
the state of the world we live in, it's understandable, because
people who want their freedom often end up dead like Martin
Luther King Jr. or Malcolm X or Che Guevarra or Jesus Christ.
(And I'm not Christian -- I just think he was a good man.)  As
a general rule of thumb, freedom fighters end up dying as
martyrs.  However, they wouldn't have had to die if they didn't
have to stand alone against the world.

Take Martin Luther King Jr. for example.  When you studied history,
did you learn about how Martin Luther King Jr. assembled a
massive following of about a quarter million people and marched 
on Washington D.C. where he gave a speech saying, "I Have A Dream!" 
What if instead of just one Martin Luther King Jr., there
were 250.000 people who were just as thoughtful, passionate,
and articulate as he was?

    "Impossible," you say?  

    Well I say, "Don't defeat yourself."

I sincerely believe that each and every one of us has the
potential to affect great social change.  Unfortunately for the
world and for our future children, much of this potential is
untapped.  I think I can safely say that less than 1% of the
world's population realizes just how powerful they really are.

I didn't realize my own potential until a few months ago when I
accidentally healed myself of 14 years of psychological pain.
I had no idea the healing process could be so sudden, but I'm
so glad it happened.  And I'm glad I never swallowed any pills
peddled by a psychiatrist.  I've had many sad times in my life,
but I never did go to a shrink and I never did take any
medication, and I consider myself lucky for that.  My cousin
and my next door neighbor who are in their early teens just
tell me that the drugs don't work and that the psychiatrists
just pretend to listen.  Damn, I'm glad I never went to them,
because I found out that all the drugs in the world pale in
comparison to the power of a sincere: "I love you."  

When I found the power of love inside myself, my life was never
the same again.  I became a person who could write emails like
this one and write essays like [The Binary Nature of Freedom].
You have to understand that I didn't used to be able to do
this.  I used to be a quiet little boy who programmed his
computer and didn't want to cause any trouble.  I was a coward,
but no more.  

I became capable of unconditional love, and this great love
gives me great courage that would have been beyond my wildest
imagination just a few months ago.  If you find this power
within yourself, you will feel free, too.  When I said that
freedom was binary, what I meant was that you've either
discovered your true potential OR you think you are still
powerless to change the world.

The truth is that no one is powerless, but they'll never teach
you this in school.  This is something you have to learn all by
yourself and only then can you be free.

> Also extend the discussion of what is control ?

Let's stop worrying for a moment about how we are being
controlled from the outside, and let's focus our attention
inward.  We've all heard of the concept of self-control, right?

Well I'm going to tell you that everything you've ever learned
about self-control is wrong.  A lot of people think that
self-control means doing things that you don't want to do,
because you're just supposed to (but why?).  A lot of people
think self-control is the act of being stoic in the face of
traumatic events.  A lot of people think that self-control
means suppressing your strongest emotions -- like boys should
never cry.

This is all wrong.  
This is not self-control.  
This is self-denial.

Yet, everyone is doing it -- people are fighting against their
own selves day in and day out, and it has to stop if people
ever want to live freely.

To me, true self-control is achieved when the way you live
coincides exactly with what you believe is right.  If you ever
feel like you're having to force yourself to do something, stop
and think about why that's so.  Really try to get to the bottom
of things by being brutally honest with yourself.  

I believe that as humans we all have the same basic emotional
needs, and when you're not able to do something, it's usually
because some emotional need is not being satisfied.  So be true
to yourself, or you'll never be free.  Instead, you'll be your
own slave driver.

The libertarians say that freedom means being able to do
whatever you want to do without hurting others.  However, can
you ever be truly free if you can't do what you KNOW in your
heart is right?  Are you really able to do "whatever you want
to do"?

Not if you deny yourself.

    Peace and Blessings,

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