Are birds free?

Posted: 10/06/2012 by zandtao in Freedom, ONE planet
Tags: , ,

This is a blogged response to this question, I am concerned about what was originally bonhomie:-

“All birds, fish, and wild animals are free to do as they please, go where they please, associate with whom they please, and work or play when they please, regardless of boundaries. They are bound only by their instinct and physical limitations. Freedom is natural, and it’s origin is as old as the infinite universe itself.” This appears to be taken as a starting point as to what freedom is, and I don’t see how it can be.

Birds look as if they are free. I go to the beach, and there are a couple of eagles high in the jungle. Then they soar out magnificently, maybe even swooping; it is majestic. Would that I could have that freedom? Of course I cannot, is the bird free?

So what is the bird doing as it flies majestically? It is hunting food – instinct, it has no choice it must hunt food for itself or family. If it must hunt, is it free? Does it do anything else other than hunt for food? Watch TV, write a blog, meditate? What about migrating birds, are they free? In the UK birds fly South for the Winter, they have no choice. Nature’s response to the cold is they fly South. I saw a TED talk where dragonflies cross oceans, such phenomenal freedom. But the old dragonflies die, the old birds they die. There is no choice, they die. If it is their Nature is it a choice, is it free?

There are two ways to consider this “freedom”:-

1) Accept that the bird is free because it is living according to its Nature
2) The bird is not free because it is not making a choice.

Either way the actions of the bird do not change so freedom cannot be judged by action but by state of mind.

With man we have similar options:-

1) Accept man is free because s/he is living according to her/his Nature
2) Man makes a choice to be free.

The first option requires an analysis of the nature of man, and in understanding this nature and living to that understanding s/he can be free.

The second option is what I suspect is normally considered to be freedom, the ability to choose. Like in many esoteric traditions I believe that man uniquely has the ability to choose. But does having that choice mean that man is free? Suppose s/he chooses to commit a crime and is put in prison, the consequence is not freedom. Suppose the choice leads to a restriction of another, is that an appropriate choice? I could continue with innumerable choices, and if I were an academic I would have to, that would lead to a conclusion:-

The only viable choices are those in which man is living in harmony with Nature where Nature is ONE planet, Unity of all men and species.

And this brings us back to 1), man is free only if s/he is living according to her/his nature; one consequence of this recognition is that freedom is a state of mind and not a question of incarceration or boundaries. It is only if our minds are free that we can be free, and our minds can only be free if we are living according to our nature.

That brings us to a question of understanding the nature of man. Starting with Unity as ONE planet, then the issue is what is causing separation. So to understand the nature of man we have to primarily understand that the part of mind of man seeking individuality – egotism – is that which restricts freedom. If egotism were under control and separation was not being sought, then man would be living according to nature – ONE planet – free.

Unfortunately it appears to me that much that is libertarian is not seeking this living according to nature. Freedom is this ability to soar like the birds, and this human personification means do what you want. Such is not acceptable.

Update – This series of discussions with the libertarian has left me with a good understanding of people like Greg, Alex Jones, and so on. They are completely divisive. The more discussion with Greg, the more the focus on idealism less on people, mortgages – collateral damage, judges and politicians are corrupt, but a 12-person jury of poor people with families who have no protection are not. Farcical. Ideas first is pure Trot. Free regulations – people be damned, law is integral as justice in a system without a state, no consistency, not thought out in terms of the people, just freedom at whatever the cost. Ideals – a belief system.

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