Each week, since August 2011, my wife and I have hosted an Internet radio show "Freedom For All" that has touched on topics related to inner freedom (meditation, healing, dreams, philosophy) and outer freedom (GMOs, vaccinations, government controls, human rights, etc). For almost all of the shows, we have had guests join us each week to bring us their own story, viewpoints and flavor of freedom.
|Jim and Jennifer Ellis - Cohosts of Freedom For All Radio|
A few examples:
- Kendra Wilkinson, former Playboy playmate, defined freedom as "balance, being an all-around person." She noted that the different sides of a person makes them special, and those people who can carry themselves with head held high no matter what are the ones who truly know who they are. They are the ones who are free. LINK.
- Chiropractor Brian Garrett notes that when people get in touch with the origin of pain, and then get free of it, they are free to be who they are. "God didn't make no junk," he said. "The greatest machine ever is our bodies. Our job is to find our song and sing it until it helps us and helps other people." LINK.
- Patrick O'Neal - sports announcer for the Fox Sports West - sees freedom in the basic way he can live his life: riding his bike in beautiful Southern California, having peace of mind knowing he has a job, can love those he cares to love, can speak his mind, and can live the life he wants. LINK
- Investigative journalist Jon Rappaport sees freedom as the individual inventing his or her own path, apart from a reality invented for people by powers that wish to control and manipulate the populace. LINK.
As you can see, each person has a slight different take on this thing we call "freedom." The through-line though: an identity of self that can make choices based on truth with the result being happiness. Sounds familiar: "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." Ah ya, that old saying. It's from some document that is designed to establish a countryman's freedom.
Another thing I noted over the years is how some freedom can mainly be defined through the lack of it. "Freedom" in a physical body can be realized when pain and sickness can make the body a prison for us all. Having a government dictate to us what chemicals we must put into our child's body pushes our autonomy to the forefront. Police and politicians who are held to a different standard than the common people heralds the beginning of a tyrant / slave relationship.
In this light, the need for freedom arises when it is being pressed upon. So perhaps freedom is a natural state of being that can be recognized mainly when it's being taken away - as in limitations, controls, censorship, injustice and all-out abuse. We are born free, and we must find our way throughout our cultures and society to always maintain this state.
The backbone of any freedom in our society is something called "Natural Law." Support for this form of law came from the likes of: Ancient Greece, English common law, the US Constitution and a few enlightened philosophers. I'm not an expert on it, but to me a law based on nature - which would naturally be universal - would be a foundation for all of us at the humanity level ... where we are all equal and, believe it or not, connected. With a natural law respected, the notion of reaching over to another person and harming him or her is preposterous. The mere act of crossing over a boundary of another human or a territory of another people would break this law. Therefore breaking natural law would appear as: sexual abuse, physical abuse, rape, murder, stealing, lies, all of the deadly sins and pretty much everything on that tablet from Mount Sinai.
So for me, the litmus test for freedom and natural law is a phrase I ask myself often: Am I breaking another person's autonomy or natural boundary with this action? If the answer is "yes," then I think to either curtail my action, reframe it, or do the respectful thing and ask the other person's permission.
Freedom is a fascinating concept. I used to be afraid of the notion of freedom since I believed if someone was free than that gave him or her license to kill, maim and hurt others without care or consequence. But then, upon reflection, I realized that when people are free - with the associated emotions and behaviors associated with this - then killing and harming others is far from their minds. It is, in fact, impossible.
Let us all be free and then share the gifts with others when we are in that natural state, so we can indeed live in a world where we have "freedom for all."
James Anthony Ellis is a writer and producer living as free as he can in Lemon Grove, California. He cohosts "Freedom for All" Radio with his wife Jennifer at blogtalkradio.com/freedomforall. He can be reached at LegacyProductions.org.