I left school seeking freedom. I find myself more captive away from it. Freedom is the ability to do interesting things with other people. Limitless is meaningless. We all are constrained by limits of some form or another. Even if you have all the time and money in the world, your body still cannot go more than a few days without sleep.
In our physical actions, our cognitive capacity and our emotional flexibility, we are limited. The question then becomes: How do I create good limits? To what environment do I limit myself? To what proportion of work and leisure? What activity to I fill my days with and for how many years do I practice that specific craft?
The limit of little human interaction I find painful. The limit of one building and a few surrounding streets I find boring. The limit on the amount of time far from food, I find distracting.
We usually like being interrupted if it gives us an excuse not to work. We fragment our time and focus helping someone else with their goals. When we are on a tight deadline or are in a good flow doing work that we like we don’t like being interrupted. It could be because we do not want to lose our focus and have to start over again. It could be because we are on the edge of a solution to a hard problem. It is probably because we think that accomplishing our task will move us towards a goal. That somewhere in the future once we do this and accomplish that, we will be happy. A happiness in the future.
We think we know what will make us happy, yet forget all the times that we have been horribly wrong. All the times when something contrary to our expectations happened and we either hated it or loved it. We have a plan, a path laid out in front of us. But how do we know that it is the best path? We can’t know exactly how it would turn out and it wouldn’t be fun if we knew. We choose the best path we know with what we know.
We can’t know what small piece of information change our mind and set us on a completely different path. We can’t know if the path that we are on is going to turn out well or not. All we know is now. We know how we feel about our actions now and how we feel about the future. Most ignore this. We ignore how we feel now, telling ourselves that it will change or thinking about all the things that we will get in the future.
We do not know what we have to fail at to get to the thing at which we will succeed.
We can’t know, yet at some point you have to draw the line and do something, or you will do nothing. But we would love to be interrupted and walk a better path.
We want good interruptions. Most of us live in the city not just to be close to our jobs(survival). We also want to be interrupted. We want to bump into a stranger and make a new friend. We want to meet the loves of our lives at the most likely (and unlikely) places.
Not only do we want to be interrupted, we want to be commanded.
Many of us wish that we did not have a choice of unhealthy and nutrient-poor food constantly available.
IN YOUR FACE.
Many of us wish that we were commanded to exercise, to be active and take good care of our bodies.
Many of us wish that we had somebody who could tell us what to do, eliminating all the confusing information and overwhelming choices.
Many of us wish that our careers were chosen for us, instead of agonizing over the innumerable options and yet-to-be-created positions.
Many of us wish that there was an official, strict, dress code. That every morning did not have to be a constant foray into textile fashion just to cover our nudity and start our day.
In this modern age of freedom to command, we have lost the freedom to serve. Sometimes you have to be wrong before you can be right. Sometimes you have to be wrong a lot of times. As more power has shifted to the individual, we are all learning how to not be wrong. The power of each individual is at one and the same time magnified and divided. One bad person in control is less likely to beach the whole ship, but it is hard to steer when everybody sets sail in a different direction.
Many of us give up our power. We follow, as blindly as we can, where leaders have trodden. We do what others do, and kill the voice of doubt that protests when the herd is jumping off a cliff. This voice never dies but is muffled and lost in the noise. Sometimes in moments of exceptional stillness we hear it and try to smother it out of terror. The words burn into our brain, despite the sea of distraction we try to drown it in.
YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE
You are the one that lives with it, and you are the one who has to change it. If you wait for someone else to push you, you might wait your whole life.
Why equality is not noble.
Some are born to lead, some are born to follow. Some are born to serve, some are born to command. Some are born to push, some are born to pull. Some are born to drift, spinning aimlessly.
Pure information-processing limits ordain that for most choices you have to choose the default. Some have to set that default. Please, (insert here), let them be better than average.
Some people say you are free when you have nothing, no one, everywhere. If there was not a single person in the world except you, you would be the most chained person on earth.
That definition where you are influenced by nobody is where you are free to let any word mean anything. You could say nothing, think almost less. You would spend all your time creating words and none living. The same for science, art, music. You free to go in any direction without footsteps to follow would be hacking and slashing and moving at a snail’s pace.
I do want to be free: I want to form my own attachments to things, places, mostly people.
I don’t want to be completely unattached. I wish for a higher variety and sorting mechanism of attachment. One that goes deeper.
Somehow, being free is something that I can only do for myself. Money is not an excuse: I eat better than most people in this country. The only thing stopping me from walking out the door or calling a stranger and not looking back is my own mind. The chains that I choose to bind myself with. The phone calls that I choose not to make. The tweets I don’t tweet. The blog posts I don’t write. The model of reality that I live by even though I find little joy in it.
I am the one who allows people’s expectations to drive my actions. Not even that, but what inaccurately believe to be people’s expectations. And which people. Unattached, nobody would come looking if did not show. No-one would knock on your door, or call your number. Your inbox would be empty, for even spam is an opportunity for attachment.
From how to love yourself: Free-free: having no expected attachments and relishing it
Wild-free: having no expected attachments and desperately trying to escape it.
I wanted to be free-free, am currently wild-free. I want to be attached to places, activities, times and people. I also shy away from nearly all places, activities, times and people. I feel the struggle keenly and do not know what I can replace it with. I suspect that earlier in my life the struggle was present as well, yet less felt and noticed.
I used to read a lot as a young child. Fiction by the dozen. Late into the night I would lie on my bed and lose myself in other worlds. Lately I view most fiction and especially television or series as escapism. As running from problems that require facing and action. Escapism can be useful when something painful but necessary has to be done, and cannot be done immediately. It also easily allows you to forget and read the last page one day to realize that your own pages have turned. Unwritten and empty, they cannot be turned back and those that remain are only a handful. With a full inkpot(read: input) you start scribbling and move at last. Or just pick up another thriller and start paging.
I have one in each hand. My eyes dart from one to the other and do not find rest. I feel tired and want to sleep, my pen hand itches and hungers for release. I also literally feel tired as I write this. Tomorrow, hopefully, I move…
To happiness, and beyond!