Quotes for
the Journey:

Freedom 2

Freedom is what you do with
what's been done to you.

Jean-Paul Sartre


Those whose joy is within, whose pleasure is within, and whose light is within, that devotee, being well established in the Supreme, attains to absolute freedom.     -The Bhagavad Gita

Every good teacher and every good parent has somehow learned to negotiate the paradox of freedom and discipline.  We want our children and our students to become people who think and live freely, yet at the same time we know that helping them become free requires us to restrict their freedom in certain situations.     -Parker J. Palmer, The Courage to Teach
Without total freedom, every perception, every objective regard, is twisted.  It is only the man who is totally free who can look and understand immediately.  Freedom implies really, doesn't it, the total emptying of the mind. Completely to empty the whole content of the mind--that is real freedom. Freedom is not mere revolt from circumstances, which again breeds other circumstances, other environmental influences, which enslave the mind. We are talking about a freedom that comes naturally, easily, unasked for, when the mind is capable of functioning at its highest level.     -Jiddu Krishnamurti, On Freedom
I only ask to be free.  The butterflies are free.  Humankind will surely not deny to Harold Skimpole what it concedes to the butterflies!     -Charles Dickens, Bleak House
Freedom is the basic condition for you to touch life, to touch the blue sky, the trees, the birds, the tea, and the other person.     -Thich Nhat Hanh, Anger: Wisdom for Cooling the Flames

The freedom from something is not true freedom.  The freedom to do anything you want to do is also not the freedom I am talking about.  My vision of freedom is to be yourself.     -Osho, Freedom: The Courage to Be Yourself
The free person is one who does not fear to go to the end of his or her thought.     -Leon Blum
I know I was being prepared for the pilgrimage when I made certain choices.  For instance, I was in grammar school when I was offered cigarettes from a package, which I did not smoke but my friends did.  In high school I was offered all kinds of alcohol, which I did not drink but my friends did.  Then just after my student days I was faced with a kind of test because all my friends at that time used both alcohol and tobacco.  There was such a push towards conformity in those days--they call it peer pressure now--that they actually looked down on me because I didn't do these things.  And gathered in someone's living room I said to them, "Look, life is a series of choices and nobody can stop you from making your choices, but I have a right to make my own choices, too.  And I have chosen freedom."    -Peace Pilgrim
They only have freedom who ideally love freedom themselves and are glad to extend it to others.  They who care to have slaves must chain themselves to them.  Those who build walls to create exclusion for others, build walls across their own freedom.     -Rabindranath Tagore
When you can look a thing dead in the eye, acknowledge that it exists, call it exactly what it is, and decide what role it will take in your life then, my Beloved, you have taken the first step toward your freedom.     -Iyanla Vanzant
In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential freedoms.  The first is freedom of speech and expression--everywhere in the world.  The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his or her own way--everywhere in the world.  The third is freedom from want--everywhere in the world.  The fourth is freedom from fear--which, translated into world terms, means a worldwide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor--anywhere in the world.     -Franklin Delano Roosevelt (January 6, 1941)

I was put into a jail once on this account, for one night; and, as I stood considering the walls of solid stone, two or three feet thick, the door of wood and iron, a foot thick, and the iron grating which strained the light, I could not help being struck with the foolishness of that institution which treated me as if I were mere flesh and blood and bones, to be locked up. I wondered that it should have concluded at length that this was the best use it could put me to, and had never thought to avail itself of my services in some way. I saw that, if there was a wall of stone between me and my townsmen, there was a still more difficult one to climb or break through before they could get to be as free as I was. I did not for a moment feel confined, and the walls seemed a great waste of stone and mortar.       -Henry David Thoreau
Only on the surface of things have I ever trod the beaten path.  So long as I could keep from hurting anyone else, I have lived, as completely as it was possible, the life of my choice.  I have been free. . . . I have done the work I wished to do for the sake of that work alone.       -Ellen Glasgow
Unfortunately, many people do not feel comfortable with freedom.  They must find for themselves a leader, a guru, or a mentor to take over the direction of their spiritual lives and who will tell them what to do and how to think.  A guide or a counselor is understandable, as in sports or music or in any pursuit, but that is not enough.  Many mistakenly believe they have to be led each step of the way.     -Joseph F. Girzone, Never Alone
The free person is not one who defies the rules. . . but one who, recognizing the compulsions inherent in his or her being, seeks rather to read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest each day's experience.     -Bernard I. Bell
Freedom which has genuine meaning is more than a timeless abstraction, more than an absence of restraints.
-Helen M. Lynd
Everyone talks about freedom.  All around the world different people, different races,  different countries are fighting for freedom.  But what is freedom?  In America we speak of living in a free country.  But are we really free?  Are we free to be who we really are?  The answer is no, we are not free.  True freedom has to do with the human spirit--it is freedom to be who we really are.  Who stops us from being free?  We blame the government, we blame the weather, we blame our parents, we blame religion, we blame God.  Who really stops us from being free?  We stop ourselves.        -Don Miguel Ruiz


The price of freedom is to allow freedom.  Very few people are willing to pay the price.       -Leonard Jacobson
It is dangerous to take human freedom for granted, to regard it as a prerogative rather than as an obligation, as an ultimate fact rather than as an ultimate goal.  It is the beginning of wisdom to be amazed at the fact of our being free.       -Abraham Joshua Heschel
A superficial freedom to wander aimlessly here or there, to taste this or that, to make a choice of distractions, is simply a sham.  It claims to be a freedom of "choice" when it has evaded the basic task of discovering who it is that chooses.       -Thomas Merton
Freedom--no word was ever spoken that has held out greater hope, demanded greater sacrifice, needed more to be nurtured, blessed more the giver. . . or came closer to being God's will on earth.       -Omar N. Bradley
Freedom is as frightening now as it was thousands of years ago.  It will always require a willingness to sacrifice what is most familiar for what is most true.  To be free we may need to act from integrity, on trust, sometimes for a very long time.  Few of us will reach our promised land in a day.  But perhaps the most important part of the story is that God does not delegate this task.   Whenever anyone moves toward freedom, God Himself is there.       -Rachel Naomi Remen
You are already free.  You only have to know and realize this truth.       -Sivananda
If some great Power would agree to make me think always what is true and do what is right on condition of being turned into a sort of clock, I would instantly close with the bargain.  The only freedom I care about is the freedom to do right; the freedom to do wrong I am ready to part with.        -Thomas Henry Huxley
What I would like to give my daughter is freedom.  And this is something that must be given by example, not by exhortation.     -Erica Jong

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