In some ways human history can be summed up in the search for freedom. Not only to be free, but more profoundly, what it means to be free. The path goes something like this: if we can figure out how to be free we will as a result be happy, satisfied, and fulfilled. The search for freedom, as you can imagine, has followed many different routes each attempting to define those elusive elements needed to ensure true human freedom. Ancient and modern philosophers, most religions and spiritual systems, science, technology, and social systems have all sought the answer. After thousands of years and diverse propositions the world has come no closer to a real answer, for every human effort invariably fails to provide the freedom that the human heart is seeking.
'We are free,' many have claimed, 'yet we are miserable', they conclude. 'We are free,' they say, 'yet we are corrupt' they realize. Oppressive systems have attempted to impose control on societies valuing order over personal freedom, leaving populations far from happiness. Democratic or 'free' societies have placed freedom so high upon a pedestal that restraint of any kind is revolted at, yet they are amongst the most depressed populations in the world. To do as I want when I please is the order of the philosophical day, but it has not led to happiness. One might conclude that 'freedom' is a kind of will'o'the'wisp, an illusion always just out of reach and that true happiness is also an illusion fooling us all as we grasp at empty air pursuing it through a dark forest.