Sometimes too much freedom is not a good thing. For example, science has proven that children need boundaries, and too much freedom is not good for children. In fact, it’s better to over discipline a child rather than giving them too much freedom. This new essay on “Freedom” I don’t know where to start. Freedom is many different things to different people. Today for me, freedom is becoming self-actualized. This essay will explain what self-actualization is and how to achieve it in order to live in freedom.
According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, we all have different motivations and needs in life, and only after we have met all of these needs: “Physiological, safety, love and belonging, and self-esteem” (Wikipedia); only then, can we truly become self-actualized. According to the dictionary – Self-actualization is “the realization or fulfilment of one’s talents and potentialities, especially considered as a drive or the desire for self-fulfillment, namely the tendency for one to become actualized in what they are potentially and most importantly, giving themselves the opportunity to do so.” For me, this is freedom!
Self-actualization is possessing freedom, because for me, freedom is thinking and acting more in tune and practicing a better connection between our consciousness and subconsciousness at the same time. We can only truly do so, only when all of our needs are met. You see, if all of our needs aren’t met such as: Physiological, safety, love and belonging, and self-esteem, there is no way that we can truly live in tune with our subconsciousness. If our consciousness keeps feeding our subconsciousness with needs, then we can never be truly free, because we are in constant survival mode. Until all of our needs are met, only then can we truly live in freedom as our consciousness and subconsciousness are in tune with each other. Not just experiencing our subconsciousness while we’re dreaming but becoming so in tune with our true selves; our subconsciousness. It’s like living in a trance of freedom – of purpose – becoming self-actualized. This is what the meaning of self-actualization is for me.
What made me realized this? You see, like Malcolm X, I too went to prison for DUI for 11 months. I didn’t hit or kill anyone, thank God, but there are much more stricter laws in a commonwealth state than in the other states. I could relate to a lot of what he describes in his experiences while in prison, especially when he said: “I don’t think anybody ever got more out of going to prison than I did. In fact, prison enabled me to study far more intensively than I would have if my life had gone differently and I had attended some college. I imagine that one of the biggest troubles with colleges is there are too many distractions, too much pantyraiding, fraternities, and boola-boola and all of that. Where else but in a prison could I have attacked my ignorance by being able to study intensely sometimes as much as fifteen hours a day?” (https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/schmerlereng1121e106spring2019/files/2019/02/Malcolm-X-Learning-to-Read.pdf).
Malcom, just like myself had experience some sort of self-actualization. All of our needs were met: there was housing, there was security – whether we liked or not it came with the territory, love and belonging from our family and friends and also for me, the other inmates in my drug program including the councilors, and self-esteem which came from learning about myself and why I ended up in prison in the first place. I learned that I had a bad habit of minimizing my problems which is a form of a self-defense mechanism, which ended up landing me in prison. Having all of these basic needs met, it aloud us to become self-actualized and to become truly free to connect our consciousness to our subconscious. For Malcolm like he said, he found his purpose in life: “You will never catch me with a free fifteen minutes in which I’m not studying something I feel might be able to help the black man… and my reading of books, months passed without my even thinking about being imprisoned. In fact, up to then, I never had been so truly free in my life.” (https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/schmerlereng1121e106spring2019/files/2019/02/Malcolm-X-Learning-to-Read.pdf). I too had a similar experience. I read many books which passed the time, and aloud my mind to wonder and become creative by creating images of characters and places being described in books. I had a more closer walk with God and my spirituality, because there weren’t too many external distractions that surrounds us when we’re out in the streets. I’ll give you an example of what I mean by this – I was reading my Bible one day on my top bunk and I fell into a trance, I heard a voice say to me, tell him (my cellmate) that I have been hearing his prayers and he should marry her. When I told my cellmate about the message I had just received, who was reading a book on his bottom bunk, he was in shock, as was I, as he confirmed that he was indeed praying to God for an answer! I truly believe that I had made a connection between my consciousness and my subconsciousness in order to hear the Spirit of God because I was truly free to connect with the Almighty truth; as God is a Spirit and those who worship him must worship Him in Spirit and in truth. Some religions call this enlightenment. For me, this is what I believe Maslow was referring to when he thought of the philosophy of Self-actualization. This for me, is what it truly means to be free!
Freedom is to live, think and act in unison with our consciousness and subconsciousness – living in a trance of freedom – of purpose – becoming self-actualized – a free ticket towards freedom!