Wednesday, February 02, 2011

The Metaphysics of Freedom

"Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose" Janis Joplin from "Me and Bobby McGee"

The other day I was listening to The School Sucks Podcast: 078 - Nonviolent Communication Round-Table (w/ Wes Bertrand and Stefan Molyneux). It was a discussion about ways of communicating with people non-violently, and the intro was Marshall Rosenberg saying this:

"We deny responsibility for our actions when we attribute their cause to vague impersonal forces such as 'I cleaned my room because I have to.'"

I won't go into a long description of Nonviolent Communication (NVC), but it was incorporated by the creators of this podcast, because they think it would be useful in helping people communicate better. For the most part, I think that is true, too, but that in itself is not the objective of this post. It is also important to know the general aims of the podcast. Brett Veinotte claims that the objective of the project in general is the end of public education.

The END...of Public Education?
1. END: It's over, irrelevant, useless, needs to be done away with. Does far more harm than good (it does no good).
2. END: (As in means to an end) We'll also explore the true intentions behind the system, which have very little to do with real education. There is substantial evidence that its failure to educate is no accident.
School Sucks Podcast is a show about what one might do about these problems...
 The end of public education as a violent organ of a violent institution, government in its present form, and the beginning of freedom, which would also necessitate the acceptance of responsibility for our actions in word and deed.

So what's this post about? 
I am happy when things work out, when ideas work together and are formed elegantly. I am satisfied to accept the process itself as a positive experience, but I am especially pleased when I can look back on the beginning and see some of the original theme where I now stand, like a beautiful piece of music, poetry, physics.

I had that experience with this broadcast, and I would like to share it with you, Oh Patient Reader. My conclusion is that in freedom, a metaphysical construct is important and available. It has nothing to do with religion, but appears at first to be something like Buddhism. In the podcast, Stefan Molyneux voices some skepticism about Rosenberg's ideas because he talks about Christ consciousness, spirit, and eternal principals.

My guess is that Rosenberg experiences this metaphysical feature of personal responsibility in a religious way, and that is the language he uses to express it. It need not be expressed in that way, but it may be useful for some people.

Why I think this
During the Bush years after 9/11, I was depressed. I didn't feel good about people or myself the way I had before, and I was tired of feeling that way. I needed some perspective.

My first stop was a podcast called "Morning Coach." I'm not sure that the podcast is still there, but it was very helpful for me then. In it J. B. Glossinger spoke about positive mental attitude and finding prosperity. Also at that time the book, "The Secret" came out. I became interested in manifesting prosperity, and the works of other writers, such as Napoleon Hill, and James Allen

In a nutshell all of these people were saying that you/I/the individual is capable of and responsible for creating his or her own happiness, worldview, wealth, security, comfort, and freedom. Some have interpreted this to mean that if we do the right stuff we can get all the material wealth we want. That is shallow and unproductive thought in the long run, but probably can't be avoided.

However, extrapolated out, this responsibility for creation has immense metaphysical implications. If this ability is real, and I according to others it is, then we are responsible for so much else. We can not only bring freedom to ourselves, but to others. The enormity of this idea started after I listened to Joe Vitale speak about ho 'oponopono.

total responsibility for your life means that everything in your life - simply because it is in your life--is your responsibility. In a literal sense the entire world is your creation.
One day as I was reading my tweets, I came across one from a teacher (I searched for the link, but I can't find who wrote it now.) who had added a link to a podcast about shamanism. As I had experienced a sweat lodge experience with a Native American shaman just before I read that, I followed the link and downloaded the mp3 file. Terrence McKenna. (Follow this link, and choose any of McKenna's talks that sound interesting. You'll never be the same.)  I had never heard of the man before or what he was talking about, but I was blown completely away. The strange sounding man spoke eloquently about topics that I had never dreamed of, and his words filled me with hope.

The Liberty Movement

His words also helped me know that culture, including government and organized religion, are not our friend. Something about that was ringing true. Why weren't humanity's most sacred medicines available? Why are so many people in prison over a plant? 

I had voted in the presidential election, and Mr. Obama became president. So much was going to change. So much stayed the same. I was sad, and didn't have an answer for how there was any way to make our world better if the election of a man in whom I had so much hope wasn't going to work. 

Then I listened to an episode of The School Sucks Podcast, and there it was, like the missing piece of the puzzle. The why and the what , at least, of freedom.


Rosenberg's expression of how Christ consciousness is understandable, because liberty posesses a metaphysical aspect as well. If we want freedom, we must take responsibility. That is where our power lies. By giving it away, by saying that some external force made us do it, we empower that thing.   

I was happy when I heard this podcast, because it reassured me that my journey is progressing with little bits of closure here and there, like a fractal, that contains the whole of the universe in each of its parts.

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