What does Freedom even mean?

What does Freedom mean?

Wendell Berry on Freedom…”In our limitless selfishness, we have tried to define ‘freedom,’ for example, as an escape from all restraint. But, as my friend Bert Hornback has explained in his book The Wisdom in Words, ‘free’ is etymologically related to ‘friend.’ These words come from the same Germanic and Sanskrit roots, which carry the sense of ‘dear’ or ‘beloved.’* We set our friends free by our love for them, with the implied restraints of faithfulness or loyalty. This suggests that our ‘identity’ is located not in the impulse of selfhood but in deliberately maintained connections.”

Thomas Merton on Freedom…”What Is Liberty? THE mere ability to choose between good and evil is the lowest limit of freedom, and the only thing that is free about it is the fact that we can still choose good. To the extent that you are free to choose evil, you are not free. An evil choice destroys freedom. We can never choose evil as evil: only as an apparent good. But when we decide to do something that seems to us to be good when it is not really so, we are doing something that we do not really want to do, and therefore we are not really free. PERFECT spiritual freedom is a total inability to make any evil choice…

Freedom therefore does not consist in an equal balance between good and evil choices but in the perfect love and acceptance of what is really good and the perfect hatred and rejection of what is evil, so that everything you do is good and makes you happy, and you refuse and deny and ignore every possibility that might lead to unhappiness and self-deception and grief. Only the man who has rejected all evil so completely that he is unable to desire it at all, is truly free.”

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