Freedom: a wolf in sheep’s clothing if there ever was one.

Image (c) AlexMax http://www.fotosearch.com

For my entire life pervasive, unqualified, “freedom” has been being presented as the antithesis of tyranny. It isn’t. In fact, tyranny can only arise in situations in which it has been given the freedom to do so. Freedom is, in fact, an essential precursor of tyranny.

For example, let’s look at an orchestra. An orchestra is only a thing of beauty when everyone in it is playing together as a unit, in harmony. Yes, some orchestras may present musical pieces featuring dissonance as an experiment, or as a change from their standard presentations. However, how many people would regularly attend performances to subject themselves to two or three hours of dissonance? I believe anyone doing so would be placing their mental health in serious jeopardy. If an orchestra were operating with total freedom. Imagine if every musician would show up and play something detached from the whole, something that they, as an individual, whimsically choose. It would be dissonance, chaos. Maybe the instrument capable of the most volume would dominate the scene. Or the physically strongest musician might coerce all, or most, of the others into playing what they want. That would be tyranny.

The antithesis of tyranny is cooperation, harmony. It requires the collective recognition of the importance and needs of both individuals and the “whole”. The balancing of efforts in service of a successful collective experience. This can only be truly accomplished when we, as individuals, recognize our interconnected, interdependent reality and subsequently dedicate our lives to living within a paradigm which nurtures and supports this essential nature of our reality.

In a world in which all (or at least the vast majority) of individuals, have the knowledge and wisdom to to realize and honor the mutuality, the interconnectedness of ALL of our lives, then freedom, in concert with such knowledge and individually assumed responsibility, is an essential aspect of a satisfying life. Freedom tempered with wisdom, self-regulating one’s behaviors to operate within parameters which sustain wholesome living conditions. Otherwise, freedom becomes the banner under which all manner of perversity and corruption finds expression. Imagine a body in which all the cells decide they want the freedom to act independent of, or maybe even contrary to, the good of the whole. That body is doomed.

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