Being, Free of Freedom

At the absolute limits of conceptualization, freedom and bondage coincide as mutually grounding aspects of one another, with the implication being that there is no ultimately real difference between the mundane freedom to express the state of my personal being and the fulfillment of a sacred bondage to the process of cosmic becoming.

A mode of being which is free from the antimony between freedom and bondage is a paradoxical mode of being because it implies that, in its being and through its being free, it is free even of itself. Since we are habituated to understand freedom in terms of freedom for oneself, as if that is the only way to make sense of and feel a sense of freedom, freedom understood as being free of oneself sounds inconceivable, nonsensical, and even contradictory.

But if we reverse the formulation, and understand that freedom as freedom from oneself is one and the same as being bound in obligation to others, then we realize that freedom is gained only in the service of others. Then, this paradoxical mode of being would no longer be entirely inconceivable, but perhaps might still seem wholly undesirable. For, who would pursue such an endeavor to realize a mode of being in which the highest expression of one’s freedom is measured in terms of their greatest commitment to others? Aren’t we conditioned to think and act, with intense conviction, and granting some minimal level of exchange with others, that ultimately my freedom should not come at my own expense?

But perhaps there is nothing really contradictory between the rationally intuited notion that my freedom is my own and the empirically observable fact that freedom comes at a cost? To comprehend this, we would require to undertake a perspectival shift in consciousness by which our primary locus of consideration is expanded beyond the finite bounds in which my individual self is concerned, as it appears to immediate awareness with intrinsic identity, to include the total nexus of causes and conditions through which my individual self is constituted. Since the totality of all relations which can be considered are potentially limitless, the gradual cultivation of an ever-expanding horizon of conscious considerations, along with the development of a skillful capacity to sustain the newly expanded awareness and the deliberate elimination of the habituated tendency to contract that expanding awareness should yield, as a matter of due time, the establishment and persistence of a mode of being beyond, and hence free of, the limits of freedom and bondage.

There being no antinomy, then there is no conflict, hence no friction, hence no suffering. What would undoubtedly remain is the sustained motivation to act and decide according to one’s underlying values, which was at work before the threshold and what continues to work beyond the threshold, now driving us to infinity and beyond.

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