Sunday, August 13, 2006

Unfreedom and Happiness

In Zamyatin's novel We, the main character D-503 in his conditioned state of mind, speaks of the happiness that comes from unfreedom—allowing the state to control and care for all. An odd twist of meaning, but perhaps what is really meant here is a kind of security. A superficial security-happiness that manifests well below the threshold of knowledge and understanding, a happiness that is born out of ignorance and social conditioning. But what of other kinds of happiness? A truer form that manifests only when preceded by the development of will, or put another way, the freeing of will. A will that allows human beings not to be enslaved to their lower reptilian (i.e., base-brain) or animal natures. A will that is not a form of Victorian repression but rather inner strength, fortitude and courage. A will that allows all experience as it naturally arises, and simultaneously shields the individual from being overwhelmed by desires, passions and intense longing. This, it seems, is the true freedom, the freedom that allows one not to be enslaved by any experience, any state of being, whilst fully allowing and embracing what is.

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