Freedom in a time of quarantine

They may take away our lives, but they’ll never take away our freedom! (Braveheart)

Freedom is a concept that describes one’s ability, power or right to act without constraints, no matter the race or gender. It also means the state of not being imprisoned or enslaved. But how can somebody express themselves freely when we are physically trapped? Being subjugated to a government makes our freedom relative.

Today we long for the simple things, things that we took for granted. And as every aspect of life begins to change, I don’t believe we will be getting back to our former life-style too soon. Maybe never. And maybe it will be a good thing. Maybe these events will help us improve our way of living. Maybe freedom will be redifined.

Think about the Buddhist monks, for example, who are deliberately isolating themselves so they can go into a deep state of meditation and find freedom within themselves. The difference of what we’re going through today is that the isolation is imposed on us by an outside force, thus making us feel imprisoned and giving us the impression that we’ve lost our freedom. This revives the feeling of rebellion inside ourselves, which ultimately leads to chaos and destruction.

So, how can we rebel without causing any more damage to our society? By finding pleasure in despair.

Now think about those scenes in the movies when the antagonist is torturing the hero and, instead of giving in to the pain, the hero laughs in the other one’s face. This enrages the bad guy, but the realization that he has no power over the hero makes him give up the torturing.

I think that one way to rebel is by accepting what’s happening and exploring the other sides of existence. Freedom is matter of perspective. It does not lie in the external circumstances, but in the way we behave towards it, in how we are able to experience it in a giving situation.

Finding pleasure in restraint gives us the upper hand, brings us back our sense of freedom and helps us tame the craving for the outside world.

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