Trained – Not Constrained – to Freedom

One usually opposes the necessary and the possible. And indeed, if there is a relationship between the possible and freedom, then it is hard to imagine a form of liberty that would be constrained by necessity. But once freedom is seen as a discipline, and I would argue that it can only be cultivated as such, then one could think there is a paradox in the idea of – not constrained – but at least a trained attitude of liberty inducement.

The paradox fades away if we look at the domain of music improvisation, today associated with jazz but formerly also practiced in baroque music for example. There is a necessity dictated by the score, the tonality at least, some elements and themes that one needs to return to, a field or grid delimitating a domain of possibility for expression, but these function as a trance inducing protocol to generate the liberty of improvisation, the singularity of a musical voice.

The domain of human existence is equally constrained, albeit arguably less than music. What they both have in common is the idea that an individual, a person may manifest new possibles, rather than a group may do so. Of course, groups may have styles and be innovative, but in our epoch the idea of singularity, style, freedom, is preferably associated with the singular person, the modern subject and his respective free will.

I wrote free will, which begs the question: is free will the condition of possibility of freedom? Perhaps it is the opposite: the capacity to train oneself to improvise and think as personally as possible slowly generates a character that allows for autonomous wiling. This means that not all human possesses free will. As surprising as this assertion might sound, if one thinks about the two words free and will in their stark sense, we might agree that not everybody is autonomously willed. Free will is a horizon, a state that might be attained after a long training and a life of courage, virtue and introspection, amongst the obstacles of the majority of humans and their autopilot, mimetic or timorous behaviour.

Here a soft imperative (comparable to a musical tonality for an improviser) might be: in order to become yourself, remain constantly faithful to your mode of access to freedom (a motto for example), and then see what happens, let life and the Creal offer you synchronistic opportunities along the lines of your combat for authenticity. There is no need for wanting secular standards of recognition if you cultivate freedom as a martial art.

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