October 23, 2021 @ 3:15 PM

Freedom

          

I accept there is no such thing as total freedom in society or in life.

I once espoused freedom – the drop out hippy type – but even a half hearted attempt at living the good life convinced me that life is easier within rather than outside society. It is hard work cultivating a veggie patch, let alone a self sufficient farm.

In the early seventies, a twenty something Hippy girl called Gypsy roamed the Daintree rainforest naked, living on wild fruit and herbs. I never met her but I thought she epitomised freedom – until the day I heard she had hung herself from a tree. Whatever despair led her to take her own life, freedom certainly wasn’t an antidote.

To me freedom is relative. Democracy has always seemed to provide a reasonable approximation for most individuals prepared to accept certain compromises. Physical freedom and freedom from tyranny are fairly measurable concepts. Freedom of the mind however is much less so. 

To participate in society is a little like watching theatre. It requires a certain suspension of disbelief. We live in an economy run mostly by people who worship money and espouse greed. But they keep the wheels of commerce turning and provide employment directly or indirectly to us all. It is possible to live a modestly prosperous life without becoming totally immersed in materialism. I don’t claim to be immune – I just try to be aware of it and avoid excess. As the Buddha taught – the middle path is the least fraught.

It is the consumer mentality we need to free ourselves from and which has led us into the miasma of pandemic management. The public response to the pandemic narrative is a symptom of the consumer mentality.

The disproportionately heavy handed approach driven by pharmaceutical companies seeking profit, and monetary institutions intent on the transition to a cashless economy, exacerbated by the irresistible lure of power and control for political leaders has been fuelled by media complicity. The public have bought the narrative to alleviate their fears – fear of being wrong, fear of being part of the problem, fear of sickness and most importantly, fear of death.

Our society is populated by people living unhealthy lifestyles and making themselves susceptible to disease. Vaccination is at best an artificial means of reducing infection that is inferior to the natural immunity of healthy humans. The aforementioned fears have led public opinion to succumb to the narrative, feed the coffers of the pharmaceutical companies, comply with the proliferation of cashless transactions and boost the opinion poll results and egos of politicians.

If we truly want freedom we must resist the narrative generated by greed and choose the level of compromise we are prepared to give the society in which we live.