What is freedom? Some would say that total
freedom is being able to do anything I want. Seems fair at the beginning, but wait a minute,
look at this: “I want.” This is ceding total control to this mechanism of what I “want.”
But what is this “want”? We don’t even always want what we want. People will do something,
and then later say oh no, I didn’t want to do that. But they did it, because back then,
they did want to do it. The wants are at war! There’s things people want and wish they didn’t
want. People completely sabotage their own lives by going with what they think they want.
Is this “want” even our friend at all? Seems like a pretty shady character. Swedenborg
wrote that doing whatever you want isn’t being free, because you’re completely under the
control of your cravings. True freedom is at first, a lot of work. By taming our cravings,
resisting our negative tendencies, and having what’s loving, true and universal take precedence,
we can begin the process of overhauling ourselves, and fostering the growth of desires for what’s
compassionate for everyone and what’s truly healthy for ourselves. Once those become what
we want, we can follow them in true freedom.