When I first started reading about ancient philosophers, in my mind I figured, quite ignorantly, that their philosophies would be linked quite considerably with their religions, but, much to my surprise, what I got was a bunch of guys saying “look, fellas, even if there are gods, I really don’t think their very interested in us”. As far as my studies have gone the only religion to interfere with the building of philosophy was Christianity and that was mostly people going “look, guys, I think that god is probably a real guy for the following, quite logical, reasons,” so even then it wasn’t that intrusive.
Philosophy, I learned, isn’t about religion; it’s about reality.
People, things, perception of things by people, the reasons why people perceive things the way that they do and the acceptance of the endless possibilities. Philosophy is about all sorts of things.
I used to, before I began my explorations, believe that I was a realist, then I realized that I don’t actually know what is real and what isn’t, and the way that I saw the world shifted quite dramatically and it became about perception. Suddenly it wasn’t about what was there, it was about what I thought was there and there was a huge freedom in that. The freedom that came with thinking of all the possibilities that what I saw wasn’t what was actually what was there, in reality.
After this sugar rush of freedom I was left with endless possibility, but in the end I didn’t break all the rules or send myself to prison because, despite not being able to tell the truth of the reality that I perceive, I would still like this perception as pleasant as possible. I still feel pleasure and pain and I still have a sense of self-preservation, that’s me, that’s real, I think therefore I am, so on and so forth.
After my consideration of breaking all the rules, there came a long conversation about freedom. What is freedom? What does it mean? What does it symbolize? In short it’s not having something, it’s being free of… you know… stuff. When people talk about freedom, they’re usually talking about a specific type of freedom; freedom of responsibility.
People in prison, people who have had their freedom taken from them, mostly due to “bad behavior”, they have been put under threat, threat if further imprisonment, threat of solitary confinement, threat of lots of things. They are suddenly responsible for where their body is put and how it is treated. Responsibility is choice; it’s the choice between neglect and attention.
Your body is your responsibility, whether you chose to neglect it or pay it avid attention, it is and will be until you no longer inhabit it, your responsibility. Adults, among all the other living beings on this earth, will never have freedom, simply because they have physical body and a mind capable of looking after it.
All this raises a question; are only the mindless ever truly free? Pretty much, yeah. Think about it this way; a baby, completely useless, totally and utterly unable to look after themselves with or without a caregiver. Everything they do they do on instinct; they cannot be held responsible for their body. Their parents on the other hand, can. All in all, there isn’t an over abundance of freedom in being a parent.
Another thing babies can’t do; babies can’t make choices. Full stop. They cannot make a choice. They don’t cry because they want to, they cry because according to their hardwiring they have no other option. Their brains are too underdeveloped to even begin grasping the concept of preference. They are completely free of choice as well as responsibility.
Babies in general are free of all sorts of things, but grown ups aren’t. Fully matured adults are never free of choice, ever. Even if someone is holding a gun in to your head telling you not to do the thing, that doesn’t mean you can’t, it just means there is a large amount of incentive not to do to.
You still have the choice, you still if have a choice, even if that choice is just thinking a specific thought, it’s all made of the same stuff.
To be free is to be nonexistent and to be nonexistent is to be free, that’s just the way that things are as we choose to perceive them.
When you think about, why should we care about what we do if what we see, hear, smell, taste, or touch could be different to what hear, smell, taste, or touch? Would you take the risk it?
I believe that what we see is the base coat of some incredibly detailed masterpiece, we can only see the vague colors and outlines, but it exits, we just can’t see it al