Origin of Freedom
This page is an updated version of portions of the Health and Freedom Manual originally published in 1998.
Are you a free person? It is ironic that, usually, the most highly advanced animals on earth, human beings, are also the least free. 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 its origin is as old as the infinite universe itself.
As human beings, we have the capacity to develop our understanding of the universe and the world around us. Through this understanding, and the power of our mind, it is possible to greatly expand our freedom by overcoming our physical limitations, and by surmising about our origin, our place in the universe, our relationships to each other, and our spirit. However, we also have an equal capacity to enslave ourselves. Complete freedom (and its counterpart, responsibility), is the natural state of all species. Manifesting desire, however, is also our natural state. We live only because we desire to live. Without desire, we would not exist. We desire to preserve ourselves and what we have attained and obtained.
Imagine a community of only three persons living completely free in the natural state, A, B, and C. Nothing is identical, everything is unique, so one of the three, A, is a little bit larger and stronger than B and C. Suppose further, that A decides to obtain by force something that B or C has labored to produce. This initial act of irresponsibility brings the first reduction in the amount of freedom, with B and C having their freedom reduced. B and C, realizing that separately they cannot protect themselves from A, but by joining forces together they can do so, enter into an agreement, a commitment to one another. This commitment is a limitation on their complete freedom, which they inherently possessed by virtue of their existence.
We may enter into these agreements to protect ourselves, our possessions, or simply to reinforce our commonly held values. This simple process is repeated countless times in countless situations. Sometimes we call the structures of our agreements, contracts, or clubs. Sometimes we call them gangs, and sometimes we call them government. Whatever we call them, we are trading freedom for security.
Thomas Jefferson described the above scenario as agreements to secure rights in the form of government. Governments come in the form of monarchies, oligarchies, dictatorships, republics, or democracies. In all cases, the people have given power, either by agreement or by default, to an entity in exchange for protection. Almost inevitably, however, the entity charged with protecting the people, like person A above, acquires additional desire. In another act of irresponsibility, the entity uses its power to overstep its authority and apply force to the people. Leaders thus become tyrants, and freedom is further diminished. This is usually accomplished by the use of force or the threat of force, but it can also be done by deceit.
There are some major differences in these forms of government, however. In a monarchy, the king or queen is sovereign. Sovereign is defined as having supreme rank, power, and authority. In an absolute monarchy, the people have given up all their freedom, and what they are allowed to do is at the whim of the monarch. This obviously can have some devastating effects as the desires of the monarch ebb and flow. Depending upon a monarch to always do the right thing proved inconsistent at best.
At the end of the American Revolution, King George of England gave up his sovereignty over America to the people of the colonies. Each person living in the American states, and their descendants, became sovereign individuals, completely free in the natural state. Not being a perfect world, of course, this could not be sustained. A protectorate was still needed. Since the experience with monarchs had not been a pleasant one, the founders were well aware of the tyrannical possibilities of putting their trust in one person. Eventually, there was an agreement entered into which we now call the Constitution of the United States. (This agreement was only among a handful of people. Everyone else has merely agreed by default.) America would be ruled by law, not by men. Potential tyrants, in the words of Jefferson, would be bound "with the chains of the Constitution."
But sovereignty remained with the people. Theoretically, the people were the creators of the Constitution and retained the right to change it if they so desired. The people created the Constitution, the Constitution created the government. The people, not the government, are sovereign in America. The Constitution was a document which spelled out exactly what the government would be allowed to do. Article I addresses the establishment, procedures, and permitted endeavors of Congress.
Many people still did not trust congress to do what was expected of them, even with a list of do’s and don’ts. Therefore, the first 10 amendments were added immediately, enumerating certain rights while acknowledging that it was only a partial list. Clearly, the power delegated to the federal government is severely limited. However, although there is no real authority to do so, today the people who operate as the federal government exercise much more power than they lawfully have.
Are you a free person? Only if you have not enslaved yourself. If you have abdicated your sovereignty to another person, group, dogma, system, or artificial entity, you are no longer free. But you can reclaim your freedom at any moment. All it takes is to break the chains of social compliance that exist in your mind. This is not an easy task, but the more people in your life, community, and nation that you can persuade to reclaim their original freedom for themselves, the easier it will become for you.