Freedom’s Delusion of Grandeur: Plight of The Ego’s Identity
Politics, religion and economics often allude to freedom, or the free will. Western societies tend to oppose restrictions on freedom, but only a highly conditional freedom, where usually the conceptual parameters of the freedom being considered are rendered a plus or a minus depending on ones circumstances.
When I was a child, I was often in charge of burning up huge leaf piles in our front yard. I really enjoyed the responsibility; trying to keep safety my number one priority while getting the job done. Yet these days I would be arrested or cited, and perhaps rightly so, for air pollution. Burning down my neighbors house, or myself, is considered not worth the risk of individual freedom–where others become held accountable for my own actions, by state and municipal interest. This means the representation of The Commons finds the behavior unacceptable, and I agree. One “freedom” bites the dust, or goes into the compost bin.
But then if I am not so understanding of my extenuating responsibilities and accountability’s to The Commons; WELL, how dare you tell me what to do, you and your government designed to restrict my freedom (by obvious restrictions on behavior). Shame and blame on you all! It is so easy not to see the connectivity to my actions when that connectivity seems to make me do things not seeming to represent my instant gratification, or quick solution to a problem I have encountered. And that is a kind of rub; for we would rather just do what we will in Western cultures, and rather not know of what greater impact my actions and inaction’s may have on The Commons. In fact; try to get rid of this The Commons idea, except in abstractions, where I am seemingly left to my relative opinion in these matters.
–What Connects Freedom
We all seem to have faith in our words, like freedom; that they actually mean something. We are free to express ourselves, usually, maybe not at times in church or at work, and maybe not to strangers is certain ways. We are told democracy and free choice make us free, including freedom of speech, but we find these have conditions, usually implied and out of sight, like not calling out fire in a crowded theater just for fun. But society decides to deprive some of freedom to vote, even though we claim to have the freedom to vote, or the right, because it believes those deprived do not deserve to vote for one reason or another, often a punishment. Again, Freedom, with all its pride and long history of sacrifice, rendered conditional.
We are not free at times, though if asked we would claim to be, overall. We can be led to assume freedom means certain things and not others, while others can assume freedom does mean those other things. Freedom is an abstraction; it declares a positive amidst an assumed negative; I claim to be free from something. That something, can very wildly by the minds of those considering what freedom means—-in context and to them.
Now context is another matter, we declare reality is pinned in by certain parameters of consideration. Much political “proof” uses these parameters to spin conception my way, or else someones I disagree with. We can restrict or expand context by our own intention. Sure it will rain at my house, absolutely. But rain today? That diagnosis is much more specific and restricted. I am no longer free to assume forever, just today. The context of if and rain has changed. In my view, many ideas are manipulated in these ways to suit the ideological preference. Ideology, usually seeks to reproduce itself, and stand alone as truth for those who will buy or not question the explanation. In that trick; emotion can present “facts” in ad hominem “proof”, when attitude leads the logic’s connective dialectic.
Usually we are not free to make up all of our own words, except with a known context exception, but changing the context around a word can make it seem to be something more specific that I mean. I want to be free from your meddling in my affairs! Or; I wish I were free from this caste on my leg! Or; I intend to be free from money worries. Freedom becomes the sought after release from stress in the abstract.
Like the air, words belong to a collective, a common thing. This common thing is sometimes called The Commons. Most all things in life are derived from commonalities, or communally possessed givens; poems from existing words; inventions from existing ideas, most of my or your genes from humanities gene pool. We are free to ignore our common ground to our peril. The Commons is effectively the Super Context—my breath is taken in from our common air. Ignore the air or ignore the language, and you will find yourself in dire straights.
I can be mad at anyone who calls these in common things “collective”, if I have one of the anti universal ideologies inserted into my conceptual programing. If collective or commons has been turned into a socialist or communist ideological tag, just mentioning it can become a Thought-terminating cliché for me. It then is a bias to me, to hear such things called collective; why, you have yours and I have mine. If I bias to the subjective end of consideration, my ego can better identify reality as being mine—my possession, my God, my stuff, my whatever. I may have then shrugged off awareness of the collective aspect, The Commons. If so, I may never give it another thought, and wish others would never bring it up. My big truck is polluting your air? Mind your own freak’en business! And so The Commons becomes denied or derided. And I assume I know ‘the kind of people’ who mention collective or commons.
But now, with my subjective identity, if someone comes along and says to me that taxes are taking my money and giving it freely to those who do not deserve help? The Commons can be quick led into a kind of inferred obvious negative weight. One that I can then assume I feel, cause I, and most of us, could use more money for something. If I have clean air, I posses it as far as I am concerned at my house, why should I care if someone else does or does not? Let them buy their own air filter.
Yet The Commons is effectively The Universe; it is a unity. If I declare unities not relevant to my thoughts, my thoughts do not actually have the power to exclude the real Universe, but to instead be ignorant about it. My denial of connection still caries consequence, so then its resulting problems or perception and cognition will be assigned to some imaginary cause. Perhaps a religious or political one. Oh lets say; You people.
Environments are this way, and society is even this way, and yet by focusing on my background’s rules and expectations, I can be excluding others just as valid, or just a truthful. I render their image less worthy than mine. Heck; if I had to buy an air filtration system, why don’t they just get responsible and do the same. The problem with those people is that they are lazy and want government to do everything for them! This kind of stance boldly ignores that some may not be able to buy one. Then what is my responsibility to this commonality; what do I care? The answer is telling to levels of detachment to identity to The Commons, by those led to believe they are somehow outside of it. Or that it takes care of itself, and does not depend in any way upon me.
-Cutting Up Identity——-The Trouble With You People
We seem stuck with individuals thinking as they will, and so seeming to be free to do good or ill. We see in our world today, that God so often stands in as a kind of abstract idol. Allegedly monotheistic religions claim their subjective experience of religious narrative as absolute truth. Then, others, with their one God, are false, for this one God could not be so different in human impact and behavior. These others, with their alien God, become strangers with behavior to reject as not being true. They become The Other, others who are so different we need not attempt full understanding of the legitimacy of their ways.
This is how much conservatism reacts to inwardly contain followers identity, to shelter it in ideology, and effectively, arrogance or indifference toward others not of their group. Their religion might say respect all, but rationalizations say the others do not deserve respect unless they become us, otherwise, they seem to represent the bad unknown and undesirable otherness we are attempting to eradicate. This seems to institute the inevitable conservative turf battles with others as they compete over resource; human and material.
Again in this, The Commons, the generic like unity of all things in existence, is effectively bypassed for what I know and am told to respect or to not respect. Freedom is again highly conditioned; I am free to believe what I am told by those claiming a-prior awareness of absolute truth, or I am free to digress and go my own way, outside the group paradigm, and into a place seemingly alien to it. For instance; who says that pantheism is not a kind of One God, only revealed specifically into all things? —The dictionary? Monotheist? Atheist?
Monotheist will see the danger; the pagan past seems hard to detect if God is in everything, so make Creation seem somehow independent from God; God created it and left it for us, or God no longer wants anything to do with it. However this does leave me and my life’s concerns, so tied into that Creation, as perhaps of no concern to The Creator, unless I selectively see ways to make God interested in what I am doing here. But I will thank God for my new car or for helping my sick child, because I do not really know exactly how the Universe is working and how involved God is with my life and its hopes, dreams and realities.
In reality, we find that may monotheist will look upon Creation as delivering signs from God. The prayed for rain; the prayed for child; the prayed for death of one suffering terminally; the prayed for defeat of a foe; the hoped for outcome. We can very much believe God is involved with the minutia of our lives. We seem to want God to be so involved; to manipulate The Creations Commons to my own needs and desire. If I pray for rain, and the neighbor, just as wholesome, prays for dryness to bring in the hay, do I really expect it will be raining at my house and dry at my neighbors? For many, the answer by default is, Yes.
God will answer the righteous prayers. But why should God reward me for following orders to achieve desired results? This seems not a freedom of choice, but a barter system of reward and punishment. Where is the spiritual merit in that? Yet for all too many, the important thing is actually not to question beliefs, it is to not have questions, rather to act in rote conformity and be rewarded now or later for not engaging my own critical thinking to freely make my own choices.
Travel around this world we live in, and beliefs such as these are scattered everywhere; trust authority concepts and do not think about them, except in ways to validate them. Again, these conserved notions are much of what human conflict is about; the inability to be present in the present moment with all or faculties available to address Creation as it is. We are instead, busy forcing our ideas upon it, claiming they are some absolute truth, so reality must in some other way be wrong. And so come the many varied forms of rationalization, to explain away Gods motives as unquestionably pure, or those of others as unknowable except in the negative of their strangeness, or otherness.
Most human identity is derived from conditioning by whatever hereditary platform I have. If I am a woman, well in many cultures, the idea of freedom was seldom meant for me. I am free to be me, obviously, but only so long as I follow the cultural programing. The Commons, as far as culture is concerned, is saying my role is restricted to certain definite parameters, while men may not be. Even in the USA, where we claim all kinds of freedom, I can just assume, as commercials do again these days, that the woman can afford to be at home and cleaning the floors while the man is out working, or…
In the name of Freedom, as in the name of God; all manner of perversion and good works are done, while the holistic impacts of our beliefs are ignored or assumed the credit of God. Yet those who are too other than our currently accepted beliefs, are most likely bizarre and discounted, except in the negative, as an influence in our worlds. Subjective arrogance, the allusion of abstraction, the mind games of idea manipulation from abstraction to subjective narrative, all these are combining everyday with our and others ignorance to produce many of the “complex” conflict conundrums hounding humankind. This remains problematic and persistent, as we are led to allow others to do the thinking for us.
My Freedom ignoring Connection will likely lead to extinction; F-C=E. This is one formula, where I am one of the ingredients, as are you.