Three unsuccessful attempts of personal freedom

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by lightgigantic, Sep 22, 2007.

  1. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    Goodness - The first is introspective and is based on “being” – regardless of whatever good or ill fortune comes one’s way, the focus is on not being emotionally crushed but rather the maintenance of virtue – one’s faith is invested in the present

    Passion - The second is sometimes referred to as “instrumentalism”. The passionate instrumentalist uses their mind and senses like tools, to locate and dig up treasures buried deep within material nature--riches, rare pleasures, sources of energy, cosmic secrets—that one hopes will serve the needs of the human race. One’s outlook is prospective, since one’s faith is invested in the future. Thus "becoming" is far more important than "being."

    Ignorance – The third is retrospective in one’s outlook, in that in one’s heart one nurses unending dismay, anger and frustration about one’s past experience. Thus one sees hope neither in the present nor future. One chooses to cancel out further involvement in this world by negating one’s personal self. There are demanding, highly disciplined philosophical systems dedicated to losing one's self; but in today's Western world, many people try it the easy way, through alcohol, drugs and suicide.

    The person in the mode of goodness seeks freedom in being rather than becoming. The person in the mode of passion seeks freedom in becoming rather than being. The person in the mode of ignorance seeks freedom in non-being, or nihilism.

    Good people struggle to be free from the loss of the self to material attraction. Passionate people have no problem with losing themselves in that way. But they struggle to get free from the problems that result from their attraction to matter. The ignorant person claims freedom by disclaiming the importance of the struggles of goodness and passion. He thinks eternal life and worldly happiness are impossible, and the effort to attain them is a waste, an absurdity, a nothingness.

    Inasmuch as one is captivated by these three outlooks, real freedom is impossible. Thus after many attempts at finding freedom in these ways, one may become inclined to transcend matter altogether. But to transcend matter, one must transcend the interest to wield power over the material world--the power of aloofness from the world (goodness), the power to control it (passion), and the power to negate it (ignorance). These powers belong to God. The material bondage of the soul is caused by imitating the power of God, who alone is the all-powerful master. It is impossible to become God. The attempt to imitate Him brings the soul under the influence of these three states of being.

    In otherwords, the attempt to find personal freedom through one of the above referenced outlooks is the very means of entanglement.
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  3. ashura the Old Right Registered Senior Member

    What exactly is the "real freedom" you mention in the first sentence of the second to last paragraph?
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  5. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    real freedom is to not be defined by material designations, such as being aloof to it (goodness), controlling it (passion) or negating it (ignorance)
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  7. ashura the Old Right Registered Senior Member

    It's kind of late so I'm sorry if I'm not following properly. Are you basically saying you can't achieve true freedom till you die?
  8. lightgigantic Banned Banned


    the three popular attempts for freedom illustrate an attitude to material nature.

    In otherwords they indicate what one feels is their constitutional relationship to this world (to be aloof from it, to control it or to negate it)
  9. redarmy11 Registered Senior Member

    None of these three perspectives seem to fit the majority viewpoint, which is one of pure materialism. The idea of personal freedom for many seems to rest in having a wide variety of new car colours to choose from. From this perspective, immersion in the material world is total, and the end goal (no passionate seeking or becoming, and certainly no thoughts of benefitting mankind, beyond onesself).

    Also missing from your system is the blended perspective of those who pursue neither virtue, nor worldly goods, nor shrink from either, but who embrace the material and the spiritual as appropriate. Does it have to be either/or?

    I think for many of us - I'm one - the issue of personal freedom isn't a particularly hot topic. It's not something that we consciously pursue - until we feel that we're in danger of losing it.
  10. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    I thought number 2 (passion) would fit the bill
    yes - based on control of matter and "becoming"
    there is seeking for newer and newer depths of immersion .... and this is seen as the "benefit" to humanity
    not sure what you are getting at ... appropriate to/for what?

    maybe you could take it down a notch and ask yourself where do you think progress lies ...
  11. redarmy11 Registered Senior Member

    Certainly the rhetoric from the professional rhetoricians is that more car colours = more freedom = more benefit to mankind. Doesn't quite add up for me though. Is it really your view that most people buy new cars in the belief that they're benefitting humanity? I would've thought that the decision - not to mention the choice of finish - is a highly individual thing.
    How exactly?
    Appropriate to the situation; to what life demands. It's hard to be spiritual or virtuous when materials are scarce. Physical needs have a way of monopolising your attention. Sufficient supplies allow for more flexibility.
    I could certainly think of a few things that would bring progress globally but they're not generally within my sphere of influence, except in small ways, so I'll concentrate on the individual. Freedom to me (or progress, if you prefer) certainly requires that all basic physical needs are met but, given that, what I said stands. I suppose I'd describe myself as a reluctant materialist. I reject any notion of a life beyond this (more or less - ok, I'm hedging my bets a bit, but..) and that doesn't leave me with an awful ot of realms to play with. It's not so much a question of diving enthusiastically into the mud, looking for the truffles, but more of a recognition that body and mind are all there is. Thus I'm focussed on meeting my material needs, achieving a degree of comfort where possible, trying to become a little wiser (you manage to make all this sound so... dirty). There's no grand plan, not in my case - it's all done very much on an ad hoc basis. I face the (near) certainty that it'll all come crashing down one sunny day with a shrug of resignation. It feels a little fruitless sometimes, sure, but there's no 'dismay' - why should there be?
  12. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    that highly individual taste is facilitated by manufacturers and there certainly are technologies focused on the cutting edge of paint finishes ... as pathetic as it sounds - thus from the view of the manufacturers, particularly on their PR dept, they certainly perceive themselves as benefiting humanity
    along the lines of old wine in new bottles
    ironically, those parts of the world that are facing the stark realities of meeting physical demands are more often than not the result of other parts who are habitualized to material excess
    are you trying to tell me that your days are spent completely absorbed in meeting the bare necessities of staying alive?
  13. redarmy11 Registered Senior Member

    Not sure that it's entirely philanthropic, LG, or even particularly voluntary. More of a response to (green) regulatory pressures on the one hand and 'consumer demand' - ie financial charts and graphs - on the other.
    Still don't see how a change of label benefits mankind - either in theory or in fact. I think you may need to explain some more.
    I couldn't agree more.
    Hmm, let's see: 48 hours a week working... 56 hours a week sleeping... maybe 10 hours a week eating... maybe 2 hours a week shopping...

    So no, not entirely - occasionally I like to sit down and relax with a good book.
  14. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    whatever, but they are working to uncover more "treasures" to bestow on humanity
    to facilitate material immersion it is required that different varieties be provided - for instance despite practically no advances being made in toothpaste technology in the past ten years, it is still hyped up with "new" and "improved" - IOW the benefit to humanity (at least from the view of passion) is to constantly provide them with a revised and updated varieties to assist them with the persistent desire for material immersion
    so I would assume that a person who has the time and money to post on forums like these cannot be in such a situation of poverty

    and your pay check goes into purchasing the bare necessities of life - or is it more a case of being decked out with modcons and maxed out credit cards that breaks the camel's back?

    then it would seem that the opportunity to apply yourself to some sort of spiritual endeavour is not an impossibility due to the bleak reality of meeting the demands of the body
  15. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

    There is no such thing as true freedom unless you become a god and even then you would lose the freedom of wonderment and curiosity.

    The best we can achieve is the freedom to experience, to see past and future concerns as experiences and to view the present as part of developing experiences.

    To dwell excessively in the past tends to distort what can be expected to come. To dwell excessively on what one hopes will happen risks being lost to fantasy.

    Even LG's transcendental god/soul fantasy is a foolish dream that dwells excessively on what might/could happen in a false hope to find a freedom that doesnt exist. Even if it were possible to transcend the material the issues of past and future fixations will remain.

    Wherever you are, material or whatever, if you are conscious then you are free to experience and enjoy.

    There is no need to create god/soul fantasies to achieve what is already possible if we so wish.
  16. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    there is no such thing as freedom for a person who accepts the road to freedom lying in the acquisition of power (ie - become god)
    the inhabitants of the material world are a classical example of such folly

    one could also experience such things in jail or on a deathbed in an AIDS clinic

    thus dwelling in the past was indicated as an aspect of "freedom in the mode of ignorance" (lamentation, etc) and dwelling on the future is an aspect of "freedom in the mode of passion" ( focus on "becoming" something)
    and these two notions are the most common avenues of freedom in contemporary times
    as indicated in several other threads, your statement suffers from critical reflexivity (shooting yourself in the foot)
    but as far as this thread is concerned, anything that deals with aspects of material nature in the past (ignorance), present (goodness) or future (passion) will simply result in misery

    since that is the foundation that you accept as "everything", small wonder you open with the assumption that freedom is not possible

    far from suggesting that these are not 3 unsuccessful attempts at freedom, you confirm it
    to transcend material nature and house fixations of past and future aspirations of material nature is an oxymoron

    I guess if you had a positive enough outlook, you could view jail as a positive proposition ("Hey - no rent and free meals - I'm in ecstasy!!")

    Actually at no point of our material existence (either in jail or out of it) are we free to do anything except receive the results of our actions, which ultimately accumulates in a gradual process that takes us towards death
    there is a variety of things available in the material world, but they all involve concomitant factors of suffering.
    In other words the possibility of existence without suffering is not a tenable option for material life (ie identifying the self with the material body, mind and senses = suffering)
  17. redarmy11 Registered Senior Member

    So how can those of us who recognise nothing beyond the mental and material dimensions escape our materialist prison?
    You're painting materialism as a rather shallow and empty existence. My purpose, such as it is, doesn't lie in acquiring dishwashers or microwave ovens. My most recent acqusitions are an MP3 player and a motorbike. They're both valuable to me not as things in themslves but as keys to another dimension.

    PS I don't have, and never will have, a credit card. You?
  18. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    for as long as one pays full credence to one's mind and senses, there is no scope for escape

    what can occur to begin such a break in that state of being are

    BG 7.16: O best among the Bhāratas, four kinds of pious men begin to render devotional service unto Me — the distressed, the desirer of wealth, the inquisitive, and he who is searching for knowledge of the Absolute.

    until such a time one's values will remain as they are, simply because one won't see the value in doing anything else

    certainly - that's why the canvas of materialism requires constant resurfacing

    so what's your purpose then?

    lol - no
  19. redarmy11 Registered Senior Member

    Doh, I should've guessed. I think I'm stuck then.
    Ha, very good. I like to peel off that top layer to see what's beneath. It's fairly ugly usually but you do sometimes come across the odd undiscovered masterpiece.
    To enjoy life and, hopefully, die without pain - what else?
  20. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    free will means its nobody's responsibility but yours
    its called "retro" in the fashion industry

    and what means do you propose to take shelter of to achieve such a noble aim?
  21. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member


    Are you implying that a god would not be free then?

    What is freedom? Freedom from what? Any form of existence will be constrained to some degree by the fact of their existence. E.g. I am not free to create a new universe since I do not possess that power. Even if I entered a non-material realm I would still be constrained by the rules and boundaries of that realm.

    So what is freedom?

    This is logically invalid. You imply all people seek power. Some do, some do not.

    Yes indeed. What people see as freedom is entirely relative. And the same would apply if you had a soul. You will still be constrained by relative needs, desires, and emotions. Of course if you remove all those attributes then the result would be a banal nothingness.

    No you miss the point. My key word was “excessively”. We need to examine the past since that is the way we learn from our experiences and gain wisdom, and we need to look to the future so we can plan what to do next. Hopes and passion play a large and essential role in what it means to be human and to exist. Neither of these aspects of our lives are negative unless sought to excess.

    Which simply isn’t true so the thread will be of little value it would seem.

    Freedom is entirely relative LG. Whatever you claim as freedom I will be able to show how you would be constrained by some factor and be able to refute your claim. Whether material or immaterial.

    But you will not be able to offer a non-material solution.

    You miss the point and that is not what I said. If you transcend the material and gain some other form of existence you will still not gain any freedom. You will still be constrained by what it means to exist.

    Alternatively the most powerful people on the planet are jailed by their world and are not able to travel to distant planets and are currently doomed to die. But wherever you are and under any condition you are free to observe and experience. Even in a conventional jail a great deal can be learnt and experienced.

    As I said what do you mean by freedom?

    That is the current case which we should strive to solve.

    And pleasure. That is what it means to be alive. To seek one and avoid the other.

    Only if you constrain human life to be forever trapped by his current biological condition. But even there science is continually discovering ways to relieve pain and suffering and continues to increase life spans, with potentially no end in sight. Transhumanism and posthumanism seeks to take that even further.

    But if souls were to exist and have an eternal existence outside of a material form, what then? What would it be without passion, hopes, desires, emotions, etc. It would still be seemingly trapped by these things unless one becomes aware that these aren’t entrapments but an essential part of what it means to exist just as that is true in the material world.

    Freedom is entirely relative to your perspective. I’m sure the US president often feels trapped by his inability to make certain events occur, and at the same time an inmate in a prison is free to learn and achieve a university degree. Which one is really the prisoner?
  22. lightgigantic Banned Banned


    I am implying the position is already taken

    in the sense of this thread topic, it means the fulfillment of desire without concomitant factors of suffering

    suffering - which has its root in ignorance
    hence laboring after freedom in the mode of passion (controlling material nature) is not where freedom is at - not vastly dissimilar from freedom in the mode of goodness (being aloof from it) or freedom in the mode of ignorance (negating it)
    hence the foundation of freedom is knowledge - namely that I have no business trying to be aloof, controlling or negating material nature

    proper knowledge of
    1. what one is
    2. what this phenomenal world is
    3. what is the ultimate cause of these things

    generally everyone seeks power or controlling material nature (freedom in passion), as indicated by your opener about creating a universe - this results in frustration which leads to the other two options - aloofness (goodness) or negation (ignorance)
    as indicated in the OP - relative to goodness, passion and ignorance - and all three are in the realm of ignorance
    the difference is that such needs would be fulfilled from the platform of knowledge as opposed to ignorance

    I am afraid that if you think the notion of the soul means no needs, no desires and no emotions (and thus absolute nothingness), that is simply another aspect of the pursuit of freedom in ignorance (negation)

    thus you seem to be advocating the somewhat rarer alternative of freedom in the mode of goodness (ie strongly situated in the present, as opposed to the future or past)
    while somewhat higher than the other two it still doesn't have the capacity to grant freedom, since even level headed introspection on issues of past and future lead to folly for as long as one doesn't know properly what one is (it requires the platform of knowledge)
    is there evidence that aloofness (goodness) controlling (passion) or negation (ignorance) of material nature has delivered a result other than misery?

    relative to goodness, passion and ignorance which in turn is relative to the mind which in turn is relative to ignorance.

    when freedom becomes relative to knowledge, namely the knowledge that I have nothing to do with being aloof, controlling or negating material nature, things start to become dynamic

    all from the position of advocating that the material mind (who's business is to remain aloof, control or negate) is the absolute position of self, no doubt
    well let's hope you have a proper understanding of the word spiritual before you begin such a discourse
    Even though this thread deals specifically with how freedom doesn't work, I did hint at a solution

    The material bondage of the soul is caused by imitating the power of God, who alone is the all-powerful master. It is impossible to become God. The attempt to imitate Him brings the soul under the influence of these three states of being.

    basically our choice to freedom is our choice whether we want to imitate god or whether we want to be a servant of god
    I think I did catch the point
    if you think that it is somehow tenable to transcend material nature as a means to attain a new and improved or refreshed perspective on remaining aloof, controlling or negating material energy, it is an oxymoron, because such notions of freedom (or existence) inherently belong to the realm of ignorance (ignorance of what I am, what this material nature is and what the cause of both these things is)
    hence its a sobering reflection to review the inherent limitations of freedom in the mode of passion (ie controlling material nature)
    if despite all such experiences in jail, if one doesn't come to the point of knowing the reason why they are there in the first place (what is my position? what is my relationship with this place? What caused me to be here?) all such experiences will be secondary at best.

    freedom from suffering which has its root in ignorance - and the issue of ignorance is to not know what is one's position, what is one's relationship with this place and what caused one to be here
    the answer doesn't lie in being aloof, controlling or negating material nature
    and what if the means we take to seek pleasure (ie remaining aloof, controlling or negating material nature) makes it impossible to avoid suffering?
    I think I touched this issue on the Human Situation thread
    our problems cannot be objectified - rather they are sourced from the mind (aka - remaining aloof, controlling or negating material nature)
    just because the scope of empiricism is unlimited doesn't mean the vehicles it travels on (namely the mind and senses) are unlimited
    seeking to control material nature leads to predictable results (ie frustration)

    while it is somewhat better than negating it (ignorance - hopeless lamentation) its not as good as remaining aloof from it (equipoised).
    the participation in spiritual activities

    a dull stone
    fortunately however, material variety is only a perverted reflection of spiritual variety
    what it is that actually does the business of "trapping" is the passion, hopes, desires and emotions that demand freedom lies in being aloof, controlling or negating material nature

    hence some perspectives lend themselves to freedom more readily than others

    for instance passion (controlling material nature) offers more than ignorance (negating material nature)
    goodness (remaining aloof from material nature) offers more than passion
    yet it is transcendence (realizing one has no business negating, controlling or remaining aloof from material nature) that is actually the real platform of freedom
    perhaps the prisoner is operating out of a slightly more advanced aspect of the mode of passion (controlling material nature or the anticipation of "becoming" something by such endeavors) than the president

    perhaps one day they will see the value of freedom in the mode of goodness

    perhaps one day they will see the value of freedom in transcendence ....
  23. Grantywanty Registered Senior Member

    I feel a sudden passion to eat and I eat a good meal and the passion to eat is no longer there. Same with sex. (I know, you think the only possibility is that you suffer with these things, especially sex, but you are incorrect)

    Sometimes I feel this overwhelming urge to be in the woods. I go there. I love it.

    What gets called passion certainly can lead to problems. So can the belief in God, which you seem to have. It seems to me everyone who believes in God has problems. Still you believe in God.

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