"Is freedom anything else than
the right to live as we wish?
Nothing else."
by:
Epictetus
(ca 55-135 A.D.) Greek philospher
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It's not a meaty platitude - perhaps there's some nuance lost in this translation.
 -- anonymous     
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    We will never live as we wish to. There will always be rules; however, the fewer the better.
     -- cal, lewisville, tx     
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    No, not with out moral restraint and guidance. But always a good question to be answered. Those that behave the best are governed less. If I keep the true and just law, I will walk at liberty.
     -- watchman 13, USA     
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    As long as we don't hurt anyone.
     -- jim k, Austin, Tx     
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    Free people don't have to perform for strangers nor do they have legal tender laws. The sole function of legal tender is to take labor and property without payment. The late Merrill Jenkins, author of "Money", The Greatest Hoax On Earth said "freedom is the absence of legislation."
     -- John Wilson, Memphis     
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    There is no such thing as freedom without the responsibility of facing the consequences of exercising one's freedom. Those that wish to regulate freedom merely prevent personal responsibility. There will always be people who use their freedom to abuse another -- that is not reason enough to limit people's freedom, for there would be no end to it. If you want to truly civilize people, then forgiveness is the key, for 'justice' is an eye for an eye. Compelling others to follow your customs is nothing but another form of oppression.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    The quote, at face value, is too vague. At natural law, one is not free to commit criminal acts. For example, one's rights (freedom) ends at another's nose. A qualifying existence at 'natural law', including an 'order' closely related thereto, with 'justice' for all, would include the above quote in context.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Mike, I know what you are getting at, but I do not think of 'criminal' or crimes when considering Natural Law. There are consequences, for sure, but it is not 'criminal' to ignore the law of gravity, for example, but there are consequences. As for the punch in the nose, I am free to do it, but I am not free from the result.

    It does not appear that humankind truly trusts "Nature's God" to mete out justice, so we therefore take it into our own hands -- the degree to which we do determines how 'free' we allow each other to be. When man assumes the role of God, there seems to be no limit to what evils he is willing to commit in exercising "God's will."

    Not letting others "live as they wish" is the primary cause of misery in this world. Even if we let others live as they wish, when what they do prevents another's will to live as he/she wishes, then there is a violation, and there are any number of responses one can take. Never-the-less, everything we think, everything we say, and everything we do makes an impact. To act consciously will keep the freeman out of a lot of trouble, but as in Nature, there will always be predators to keep an eye on.

    Thus, freedom will always require the ability to defend oneself! The attempt to avoid this fundamental responsibility has resulted in oppressive laws and dependencies of every sort. I prefer a dangerous liberty, rather than a safe police state. I choose the pursuit of happiness rather than the pursuit of security. Security is essentially unattainable, and happiness is but a normal fruit of life, even in a dangerous world.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    "All"
     -- Robert, Somewhere in the USA     
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    Epictetus speaks of Eleutheria (legitimate or licentious) Freedom. We stand in the Liberty of which our Declaration declares us Free. The combination of the noun and the verb stresses the completeness of the act. Yet it is through our Creators Eleos, compassion, human or divine mercy. Eleos is the outward manifestation of pity; it assumes need on the part of him who receives it, and resources adequate to meet the need on the part of him who shows it. Grace removes doubt, Mercy removes misery. We have been liberated, Eleutheroo, "make free". And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. Eleutheria freedom means "Liberty." The phraseology is that of manumission from slavery, which among the Greeks was effected by a legal fiction, according to which the manumitted slave was purchased by a god; as the slave could not provide the money, the master paid it into the temple treasury in the presence of the slave, a document being drawn up containing the words "for freedom." No one could enslave him again, as he was the property of the god. Hence the word Apeleutheros, "a freed man" the word denotes "liberty" of access to the presence of God. The virtues of a wholesome life, tempered with grace abounds with mercy to others.The Natural law of moral responsibility is manifest through conscience. When walking At Liberty one must never oppress his neighbor. This is the lesson of life at liberty and freedom. #1, Homologoumenos, to speak openly and freely based upon a deep conviction of fact. #2 The right to defend said "liberty." Our Liberty is declared a gift from the Creator, walk accordingly for neighbor and conscience sake.
     -- Ronw13, Oregon     
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    Very interesting, Ron.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    What is Freedom?
    Freedom? Have you really thought about the meaning behind the word Freedom, and what it means? Do you truly understand the real meaning of Freedom? Freedom is not worth a damn unless we all have freedom. So, you think you have freedom in your lovely house, with lovely friends around you who all think they also have freedom too! Think for a moment about the essence of universal freedom/thought, universal love, and universal understanding. If you think hard enough then you will understand the power of ONE. If this is so, then you have no Freedom – today our freedom has/is being eaten away by greed, political manipulation, and tyrannical laws. How can you have Freedom if you don’t obey rules, rules made up by your government – we are so unfree it’s a joke. Each day, this freedom you think you have is less and less – then perhaps you will understand how those feel who have even less freedom. Are civilians in Syria free to go about their daily lives free from being killed by western funded terrorist’s and bombs; this is just one example of thousands that occur on a daily basis. WE ARE NOT FREE UNTIL WE ALLOW THE ONE TO BE FREE. Without freedom to tell the truth, we have no freedom……. If we deny freedom to others, through our complicity to deny others, then we forfeit our right of freedom.
    Freedom is a myth!

     -- Robert, Somewhere in the USA     
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    Great questions, Robert! There's enough there to discuss for hours. For me, 'freedom' is 'a way' rather than 'an end.' I am free to break as many statutes as I may, I must also bear the consequences. Perhaps I may get fined or locked up for the 'offense' (i.e. my choices), that only makes me a freeman under oppression. I will ALWAYS be a free man because I take responsibility for my life -- all of it. When I say "I am responsible" out loud to myself, perhaps only just realizing for the first time how far my responsibility reaches, that's what I mean by "taking responsibility."

    You want an end to war in Syria? Take responsibility for it. Boom. When you are ready to say, "I am responsible for whether there is war or peace in Syria," and truly 'realize' it, you will affect change in Syria. Dare I say, if you don't someone else will (why is there war there anyway?). For whom in the world would the above declaration best fit and have the greatest impact? Until someone takes responsibility, the current claims still stand.

    Regarding "the power of ONE," blurring the distinction between freedom and power leads to confusion. I do understand the "power" of "ONE" big group or ONE big guy, and yep, expect no freedom in such a scenario.

    "Think for a moment about the essence of universal freedom/thought, universal love, and universal understanding. If you think hard enough then you will understand the power of ONE."

    ;-) Sounds an awful lot like some people's definition of God. What 'power' is rendered in universal thought, universal love, and universal understanding? Sounds like the power of prayer, visualization, meditation -- do you experience any of that? It kind of seems like you are asking people to be charitable because of all the suffering in the world -- isn't that what religious people do? Isn't it out of love and understanding that so many people offer their service and charity? As for love and understanding, the truth can cut like a knife, so it always must be tempered with Love.

    "Without freedom to tell the truth, we have no freedom." Like "the truth shall set you free"?

    We are not free because of the One, another way of saying God's will is done. But consider that if I want to drive to New York City, there are a lot of different roads, but I DO have to drive on a road. I can pick a lane, a speed, a radio station, an attitude. There's a lot of play in there -- but no less free from consequences. If I miss an exit, I've got to figure out how to get back. But I am still 100% free the entire time. I am responsible for being where I am and wanting to go somewhere else and for getting there. So once on the road, I have no one to blame but myself. ;-)

    I am free to fly if I have the power to do so. If I am born with wings, do I have the right to fly? What if I am a fish? Is a fish not free because he cannot fly? The Universe is a BIG 'One' -- it's everything, All. But I am 'one' being, within a body, through which I experience and interact with the MANY (not just one), in different lands, in different worlds, on a speck of a planet, orbiting a star that is but a droplet in a cloud of stars that are themselves ENDLESS in this Uni-verse (One song).

    My problem with the philosophy of 'the One' or just 'One' is that's the end of the discussion. To believe in the One is to believe in the Universe, the One Song. The universe is not just what it is but what it is doing. OK we are One, but what are we doing? Yes, the philosophy of the One claims all, including freedom. The 'One' is already free -- the universe cannot be yoked. But we WITHIN the One and OF the One and AMONG the One (what do you call others?) are indeed as free as we can be. ;-)
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    Archer, I have to go out but will reply later - thank you for taking the time to respond.
     -- Robert, Somewhere in the USA     
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    Great questions, Robert! There's enough there to discuss for hours. For me, 'freedom' is 'a way' rather than 'an end.' I am free to break as many statutes as I may, I must also bear the consequences. Perhaps I may get fined or locked up for the 'offense' (i.e. my choices), that only makes me a freeman under oppression. I will ALWAYS be a free man because I take responsibility for my life -- all of it. When I say "I am responsible" out loud to myself, perhaps only just realizing for the first time how far my responsibility reaches, that's what I mean by "taking responsibility."

    Of course, you are free to do anything as long as there are no physical or mental restraint’s. But, if you break the rules or the laws then you are no longer free as your freedom is being withheld until you correct the situation – “you must bear the consequences of your actions”. Yes, you may be a freeman under oppression but that will stop you from doing the things you want to do therefore you are not free – you are but a prisoner. Even being a prisoner, you still have free will but not free actions. Taking responsibility for your own life does not mean you are a freeman, it just means you are a responsible person. But, does it mean, as a freeman, you have integrity – we are but slaves to the system (automatons).

    You want an end to war in Syria? Take responsibility for it. Boom. When you are ready to say, "I am responsible for whether there is war or peace in Syria," and truly 'realize' it, you will affect change in Syria. Dare I say, if you don't someone else will (why is there war there anyway?). For whom in the world would the above declaration best fit and have the greatest impact? Until someone takes responsibility, then the current claims still stand.

    Didn’t understand the “Boom”. Why are you responsible for war or peace in Syria? If you wish to affect the peace or the war in Syria, it requires action on your part, regardless of your personal responsibility (you didn’t start the war). There is war in Syria because of western greed and hubris – it keeps the military industrial complex funded, and as America is ruled by the Pentagon and not the White House, they (the pentagon/CIA) have full reins over the promotion of propaganda and funding (it’s called the Deep State” [IMC, CIA, CFR, NGO’s, 16 Intelligent agencies and “most thinktanks) – they command the Politian’s, MSM and to a degree, social media. And if you get to close to the truth you are made to disappear. So, unless you are part of the deep state then, regardless of your responsibility, you will not affect change. We may do our little bit by protesting, etc., etc. but it will have no change in the outcome.

    Regarding "the power of ONE," blurring the distinction between freedom and power leads to confusion. I do understand the "power" of "ONE" big group or ONE big guy, and yep, expect no freedom in such a scenario. "Think for a moment about the essence of universal freedom/thought, universal love, and universal understanding. If you think hard enough then you will understand the power of ONE.";-)
    Sounds an awful lot like some people's definition of God. What 'power' is rendered in universal thought, universal love, and universal understanding? Sounds like the power of prayer, visualization, meditation -- do you experience any of that? It kind of seems like you are asking people to be charitable because of all the suffering in the world -- isn't that what religious people do? Isn't it out of love and understanding that so many people offer their service and charity? As for love and understanding, the truth can cut like a knife, so it always must be tempered with Love.


    Archer, I’m sorry, but you have missed the point re “The Power of One” has nothing to do with GOD (religion); we are all made from star dust – there is no action with a reaction. The power of one comes entirely from within – it is a coming together of all conscious belief into an infinite singularity. Bruce Lee and many others have demonstrated the power of one - It’s an ability to focus on a single action. We are here today because the universe focused on a particular millisecond second – if the “big bang” occurred a millisecond either side of when the “big bang” happened, we would not be here today. The power of one understands but is incapable of defining; it is for us mortals a fabulous dream..

    "Without freedom to tell the truth, we have no freedom." Like "the truth shall set you free"?

    We are not free because of the One, another way of saying God's will is done. But consider that if I want to drive to New York City, there are a lot of different roads, but I DO have to drive on a road. I can pick a lane, a speed, a radio station, an attitude. There's a lot of play in there -- but no less free from consequences. If I miss an exit, I've got to figure out how to get back. But I am still 100% free the entire time. I am responsible for being where I am and wanting to go somewhere else and for getting there. So once on the road, I have no one to blame but myself. ;-)

    I am free to fly if I have the power to do so, If I am born with wings, do I have the right to fly? What if I am a fish? Is a fish not free because he cannot fly? The Universe is a BIG 'One' -- it's everything, All. But I am 'one' being, within a body, through which I experience and interact with the MANY (not just one), in different lands, in different worlds, on a spec of a planet, orbiting a star that is but a droplet in a cloud of stars that are themselves ENDLESS in this Uni-verse (One song).


    You hit it on the head – I knew you would – One song – the power of one! I think my comments in the first paragraph answer this – remember, thought and action are two entirely different processes, though you can’t have one without the other. Again, you have answer your own question “taking responsibility” If you want to fly, fly, but as you are not a bird it may be difficult to achieve – now if you are born with wings, you are free to make the choice to fly or not to fly, that is the question….

    My problem with the philosophy of 'the One' or just 'One' is that's the end of the discussion. To believe in the One is to believe in the Universe, the One Song. The universe is not just what it is but what it is doing. OK we are One, but what are we doing? Yes, the philosophy of the One claims all, including freedom. The 'One' is already free -- the universe cannot be yoked. But we WITHIN the One and OF the One and AMONG the One (what do you call others?) are indeed as free as we can be. ;-)

    Correct! The one will set you Free…..
    "People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use" ~ Soren Kierkegaard

     -- Robert, Somewhere in the USA     
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    I had my reply in italic but it didn't work - sorry!
     -- Robert, Somewhere in the USA     
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    Robert, I do understand what you are trying to convey. It just seems painfully obvious the lengths you go to re-word and re-define what are essentially Christian teachings. If you took a Gnostic view of the Bible I think you might find a great deal of similarity between your philosophy of the power of ONE and God. Certainly you are capable of comprehending a greater understanding of God (i.e. the ONE) than the obviously limited and contrived version you believe many Christians to hold absolute. Hypocrisy of the self-righteous is all too evident, whether religious or secular -- I invite you to take a fresh look.

    The truth is the truth is the truth, and I do believe the truth wants to be known, whether through the eyes of a Christian or a Buddhist or an Atheist, the truth will make as much of itself known as one is willing to bear.

    I do believe in the One Song, and I can be in harmony with it or not -- and there is undeniable power in 'resonance' (e.g. electricity). But there are MANY verses, bars and measures, in this opus, and I'll sing the notes that best resonate within me. For me, all of life is a dialogue with the universe. It's like playing in a band -- to make music, everyone has to be in tune, in time, and listening to each other.

    Robert, you've got a good heart -- how about acknowledging the voluntary charity and goodwill of others? Real charity and goodwill make the world go 'round, not compelled social services.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    One more thing, regarding "Freedom is a myth!" ;-) Freedom is a 'way' - your way. Like playing in a band, you are free to choose a tune, but then we all join in. During the song, there are many interactions and improvisations -- there are a great many notes that can be played, BUT there are some notes that absolutely will NOT be in harmony with this particular song and are to be avoided. Take note, that there is no music unless someone plays it. Thus there is no freedom if it is not exercised. It can be exercised if I have the power to exercise it. Freedom is a 'way' not an end.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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