This is an extract from a philosophical debate between KKB and a friend based around the concept of Freedom. It was a totally spontaneous discussion which took place over four hours using Whatsapp.
Chairman- The main reason people don’t do certain things is because of the law and restrictions on society, ironically society mainly in form of your family and peers. People naturally want to have and do whatever they want, be it loads of money, have multiple women or men or just spend endless hours playing computer games etc.
KKB- Is that living or existing. Will that bring one “peace and happiness?”
Chairman- I am existing right now. So it’s a matter of perception
KKB-Life is a perception; nothing exists until our mind comprehends it
Chairman-and I say those who say you can’t buy happiness aren’t shopping in the right places.
KKB-Loooool, money can’t buy happiness, but it sure can make misery easier to deal with
Chairman- You are right on one part. Humans are never fulfilled
KKB- I am looking for eternal happiness
Chairman- So why make it worse by not having the things you long for? Doesn’t that make you feel worse?
KKB-I am looking for peace on earth and eternal freedom, joy and happiness in heaven
Chairman- You want a wife and kids, will that make you happy?
KKB-On this earth yeah…but on judgement day each to their own. All I want to take with me is a sound heart.
Chairman- and you are unhappy because you have got that yet.
KKB-Yes, it’s a desire of mine. But I believe it’s not my time yet.
Chairman-Exactly, so why should somebody else’s desire be less than yours because you say so?
KKB-Did I say so?
Chairman-Point is, we all want things we think will make us happy, what we will think will make us happy is not necessarily a desire.
KKB- My desires or needs are shaped by a quest for meaning.
Chairman- I didn’t choose to be here. Whilst I am here, I want to live how I want.
KKB- So you don’t think you are free
Chairman- Definitely not!!! As I pointed out earlier because of social pressures, law ethics, morals etc we are not in reality actually ever free.
KKB-Without laws and tradition will we be free? What is freedom to you?
Chairman- Being able to do what one wants to do without repercussion!
KKB-I think not sir. There is no true freedom without discipline.
Chairman- Are Gorillas free?
KKB- I am not a Gorrilla, so I can’t tell you.
KKB-You are free to choose to be free with discipline
Chairman-Freedom is an illusion!
KKB-Without limitations, there will be anarchy within the self. So limitations give me freedom within myself
Chairman- I know that! But what humans have created is a pretty much a paradox.
KKB-Please explain sir
Chairman-You can’t be free without discipline and u can’t be disciplined without freedom. Paradox! But again I ask in this day and age of social pressures and restrictions. How can one be truly free in its true definition?
KKB-Where is the paradox?
Chairman- It’s a contradictory statement that also happens to be true. But let me ask, how could I be truly free right now?
KKB-It’s up to you to decide your perception of freedom. Human beings are born in conflict.
Chairman-So you can’t say, and that’s my point.
KKB-I am on quest myself chairman, like all human beings. But I know for certain that doing whatever I want won’t give me the freedom I desire.
Chairman- U can’t even tell me! It’s an illusion. Since our evolution we have put restrictions on ourselves that are not necessarily natural to us but through conditioning it has now been accepted. For instance, not everybody wants to get married or have children, however, because of social pressure, they go through with it.
KKB- That’s social pressure. Ultimately, men should be free to decide. . I believe I am free; I am on a quest to achieve ultimate freedom by attaining peace. Like I said yesterday, ultimately having children is a selfish act. It’s a desire for some and a duty for others. We didn’t choose to be born. What do mean by public perception?
Chairman- What people think of you or how they see you, which I believe leads to Mental enslavement. These pressures and public perceptions stop one from attaining one’s true desire, desires which I personally believe leads to some form of happiness be it temporary or not.
KKB- So you think getting what we want is happiness?
Chairman-If happiness is a feeling and down to perception who are you to argue with mine?
KKB-Who is arguing, we are in dialogue? Fools argue wise men dialogue!!!
Chairman-You disagree that getting what we want makes you happy? Yes or No?
KKB- Sir, that is unfair
Chairman- you just asked me “So you think getting what we want is happiness?” well sir, yes, I believe so.
KKB-If getting what we want is happiness, we will never be satisfied because humans always want more, so what is true happiness
KKB-I was unhappy when I left you house yesterday because Arsenal lost
Chairman-Because u weren’t getting what u desired
KKB-But a few hours later I was happy
Chairman-Because you were getting what you desired
KKB-Because I was getting what I wanted…yes
Chairman-So what are you disagreeing with?
KKB-Sir all I am saying is although I got what I wanted, I want more. More meaning, more purpose. I want peace within myself
Chairman-Ok so we can’t achieve true happiness because there are too many things we want and won’t be able to get.
KKB-From my understanding of faith, this world is temporary. Nobody can tell me what true happiness is, I believe in a world after I die so that’s my quest.
Chairman-Imagine a perfect scenario. Wife, kids, money, good health, family and friends are all good. U telling you won’t be happy?
KKB- I would be happy but that doesn’t mean I give up. I would be thankful.
Chairman-People in that scenario who aren’t happy or content is usually because they want more.
KKB-Yes, but more what? What is missing?
Chairman- Depends on each individual. The average man probably wants more women?
Chairman-Why?!!! You are a man and you are asking me why?
KKB-That’s not freedom then is it, it they want it just because they want it.
Chairman-If God said you can have 10 more women would you decline?
KKB-Depends if they are hot? Who am I decline a gift from God?
Chairman- Lol. Ok, so far it appears we both have different definitions of freedom
KKB-For me freedom is I love my wife and I won’t sleep with other women. Discipline is important.
Chairman-That’s good, for you
KKB-Yes I want more women, but I can control myself
Chairman-For me, freedom is I can have more women if I want
KKB-But u will always want more women
Chairman-if I decided but chose to control myself. Without the other, that is not true freedom.
KKB-For me, that’s true freedom.
Chairman-No its not, because you are only controlling yourself because ur wife won’t let you do what you want
KKB-No no sir, freedom is what you want it to be?
Chairman-No one is ever truly free, please tell me you get that.
KKB-I don’t believe that one can’t ever be truly free…..the first steps to achieve freedom is with limits, discipline and responsibility
Chairman- What if a slave in their mind thought they were free, does that make it so?
KKB- I put it to you sir, what is a master without a slave? I am a slave of Allah, but I free to choose to serve.
Chairman-Ok, well I am a child of God blessed with freewill but inhibited by man.
KKB-Doesn’t freedom begin in the mind?
Chairman-Is your mind more powerful than my reality? Again I’ll ask, if the slave in their head thought they were free, does that make it so?
KKB-If he a slave, his physical freedom is taken away and he has no choice but to serve. But a slave with a free mind always yearns for physical freedom. Kunta Kinte for example.
Chairman- OK, so what I’m saying is I’m mentally enslaved so I don’t feel free.
KKB- Then begin your quest for freedom sir. Nobody, but body can take away freedom of the mind if the mind believes it’s free. The Quran gives me discipline and helps me on the quest for freedom.
Chairman-I think others are too (mentally enslaved), but fail to comprehend or just simply won’t admit it.
KKB- Society is more enslaved now than we realise. Freedom is not doing anything we want…. that’s dangerous. We have a duty of some kind, firstly to ourselves.
Chairman-You mentioned the Qu’ran but the Simple fact that you are looking to a book (that suggest you should do as it commands or you go hell) to guide u suggest to me that you are not fully exercising you’re true free will.
KKB-Sir that is a simplistic and superficial perspective which I utterly reject but that’s a debate for another day. The “book” guides me and gives me freedom by enabling me to control my carnal desires.
Chairman- Fair enough
KKB-Closing statements please sir
Chairman – Ok here goes: You say freedom can be whatever you perceive but I think this a mistake many make. To me it’s much more; it becomes reality, much like the feeling of LOVE. If you choose to live away from human contact have no need for other human contact then it will work for you. Because then you can trick your mind into all sorts and make it your reality. However with our quest and need for social acceptance we are forced into doing things we don’t necessarily want to do. Putting us, I believe in a subconscious state of mental enslavement. A JUXTAPOSTITION because u choose to do stuff because u can or want to but in fact if you didn’t, you’d be judged, ridiculed or just feel bad which of course you don’t want. My definition of true freedom is having the ability to do something within my power/ability without any repercussions and so when I chose not to do it, it’s because I am demonstrating discipline and not because I’m afraid of the alternative or consequence.
KKB- Na body blow you de give me o. My response: I stick to the notion that there is no true freedom without discipline. I can’t define for you or anybody else what freedom is or should be. But because one thinks one is free doesn’t mean one is free. Picking up on your statement about being able to act without repercussions, ppl do a lot of acts without fear of repercussions and they still believe they are free. I propose that there is personal and societal freedom. What happens when your freedom impacts on my freedom? Some people want to walk around naked but I don’t want to see ur naked body. Without rules, there will be anarchy. That goes for personal freedom too…..human beings are always in conflict between good and bad. With discipline, you can choose to be good or bad. Acting on emotions doesn’t mean one is free…..in fact one who is subject of his/her emotion is not free. So I put it to you sir, you can choose to decide whether u are free or not, or develop the discipline required to achieve true freedom. But as we said….its all a perception!!!!
What is your perception of true freedom, is it being able to do whatever one wishes or can freedom only be achieved with discipline? Or is it all an illusion. What say ye?
Till next week