The best way to be more free is
to grant more freedom to others.

Carlo Dossi

Whoever will be free must make him- or herself free.  Freedom is no fairy gift to fall into a person's lap.  What is freedom?  To have the will to be responsible for one's self.

Max Stirner
Unfortunately, many people do not feel comfortable with freedom.  They must find for themselves a leader, a guru, or a mentor to take over the direction of their spiritual lives and who will tell them what to do and how to think.  A guide or a counselor is understandable, as in sports or music or in any pursuit, but that is not enough.  Many mistakenly believe they have to be led each step of the way.

Joseph F. Girzone
Never Alone
The free person is not one who defies the rules. . . but one who, recognizing the compulsions inherent in his or her being, seeks rather to read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest each day's experience.

Bernard I. Bell
Freedom which has genuine meaning is more than a timeless abstraction, more than an absence of restraints.

Helen M. Lynd


Everyone talks about freedom.  All around the world different people,
different races,  different countries are fighting for freedom.  But what
is freedom?  In America we speak of living in a free country.  But
are we really free?  Are we free to be who we really are?  The answer
is no, we are not free.  True freedom has to do with the human
spirit--it is freedom to be who we really are.
Who stops us from being free?  We blame the government, we blame the
weather, we blame our parents, we blame religion, we blame God.
Who really stops us from being free?  We stop ourselves.

Don Miguel Ruiz
The Four Agreements


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Let your cry be for free souls rather than for freedom.
Moral liberty is the only important liberty.

Joseph Joubert


As long as you are free, you are free to select and choose
alternatives, provided that you are willing to accept the
responsibility for being free.  And after you've tried your
alternatives, and they don't work as you would wish, don't
blame me.  Blame your choice.  Try another alternative.

Leo Buscaglia


The price of freedom is to allow freedom.
Very few people are willing to pay the price.

Leonard Jacobson


What a curious phenomenon it is that you can get men to die
for the liberty of the world who will not make the little sacrifice
that is needed to free themselves from their own individual bondage.

Bruce Barton

The only freedom which deserves the name is that of pursuing our
own good, in our own way, so long as we do not attempt to
deprive others of theirs, or impede their efforts to obtain it.

John Stuart Mill


Freedom is the open window through which pours
the sunlight of the human spirit and human dignity.

Herbert Hoover


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I was put into a jail once on this account, for one night; and, as I stood
considering the walls of solid stone, two or three feet thick, the door
of wood and iron, a foot thick, and the iron grating which strained
the light, I could not help being struck with the foolishness of that
institution which treated me as if I were mere flesh and blood
and bones, to be locked up. I wondered that it should have concluded
at length that this was the best use it could put me to, and had never
thought to avail itself of my services in some way. I saw that, if there
was a wall of stone between me and my townsmen, there was a still more
difficult one to climb or break through before they could get to be as free
as I was. I did not for a moment feel confined,
and the walls seemed a great waste of stone and mortar.

Henry David Thoreau

A free mind is one which is untroubled and unfettered by anything,
which has not bound its best part to any particular manner of being
or worship and which does not seek its own interest in anything
but is always immersed in God's most precious will. . . . There is no
work which men and women can perform, however small, which does
not draw from this its power and strength.

Meister Eckhart


Freedom is not worth having if it does not
include the freedom to make mistakes.

Mohandas Gandhi



Freedom is not a goal; it is the supreme awareness of who you are.
Freedom is found once all concepts are thrown away, and one stands
alone in the present moment to find the depth of meaning inherent in their spirit.

A Spiritual Warrior


Only on the surface of things have I ever trod the beaten path.
So long as I could keep from hurting anyone else, I have lived,
as completely as it was possible, the life of my choice.
I have been free. . . . I have done the work I wished to do
for the sake of that work alone.

Ellen Glasgow


In a society in which nearly everybody is dominated by somebody else's mind or by a disembodied mind, it becomes increasingly difficult to learn the truth about the activities of governments and corporations, about the quality or value of products, or about the health of one's own place and economy.

   In such a society, also, our private economies will depend less and less upon the private ownership of real, usable property, and more and more upon property that is institutional and abstract, beyond individual control, such as money, insurance policies, certificates of deposit, stocks, and shares. And as our private economies become more abstract, the mutual, free helps and pleasures of family and community life will be supplanted by a kind of displaced or placeless citizenship and by commerce with impersonal and self-interested suppliers. . . .

   Thus, although we are not slaves in name, and cannot be carried to market and sold as somebody else's legal chattels, we are free only within narrow limits.  For all our talk about liberation and personal autonomy, there are few choices that we are free to make.  What would be the point, for example, if a majority of our people decided to be self-employed?

   The great enemy of freedom is the alignment of political power with wealth.  This alignment destroys the commonwealth--that is, the natural wealth of localities and the local economies of household, neighborhood, and community--and so destroys democracy, of which the commonwealth is the foundation and practical means.

Wendell Berry
The Art of the Commonplace



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A journalist was complaining to the French novelist, essayist, and
playwright Marcel Ayme that the modern world hinders the free
development of the human being.  "I don't agree," said Ayme
mildly.  "I consider myself perfectly free."
    "But surely you feel some limits to your freedom," the journalist
    "Oh, yes," replied Ayme, "from time to time I find myself terribly
limited by the dictionary!"

John Marks Templeton
Worldwide Laws of Life

The Two Freedoms

Whatever your difficulties—a devastated heart, financial loss, feeling assaulted
by the conflicts around you, or a seemingly hopeless illness—you can always
remember that you are free in every moment to set the compass of your heart
to your highest intentions. In fact, the two things that you are always free to
do—despite your circumstances—are to be present and to be willing to love.

Jack Kornfield
"Set the Compass of Your Heart"


The only person who is really free is the one who can turn
down an invitation to dinner without giving an excuse.

Jules Renard



 I wish that every human life might be pure transparent freedom.

Simone de Beauvoir

Freedom is what you do with what's been done to you.

Jean-Paul Sartre


Those whose joy is within, whose pleasure is within, and whose
light is within, that devotee, being well established in
the Supreme, attains to absolute freedom.

The Bhagavad Gita

What do you suppose will satisfy the soul,
except to walk free and own no superior?

Walt Whitman

I have only one purpose:  to make people free, to urge them towards
freedom, to help them to break away from all limitations, for that alone
will give them eternal happiness, will give them the
unconditional realization of Self.

J. Krishnamurti



Total freedom is never what one imagines and, in fact, hardly exists.
It comes as a shock in life to learn that we usually only exchange
one set of restrictions for another.  The second set, however, is
self-chosen, and therefore easier to accept.

Anne Morrow Lindbergh

We cannot escape the truth that we are free to think as we
choose, and we are responsible for our own thoughts and
attitudes.  If they're not what we desire, we can change
them and, thereby, change our experience of life.  So long
as we cherish our freedom to think and be, it can never be
taken from us.  Patterns were given to serve us--not for us
to live for them.  An old adage says, "Behold the turtle who
makes progress only when he sticks his head out!"
  Do you
dare to go boldly and freely forward--positively?  True freedom
can come to us only by way of self-domination.  When a sincere
desire for spiritual help begins to grow in the heart,
that help is at hand and freedom is assured.

John Marks Templeton
Worldwide Laws of Life

What other liberty is there worth having, if we have not freedom and
peace in our minds--if our inmost and most private person is but
a sour and turbid pool?

Henry David Thoreau

Every good teacher and every good parent has somehow learned to
negotiate the paradox of freedom and discipline.  We want our
children and our students to become people who think and live
freely, yet at the same time we know that helping them become
free requires us to restrict their freedom in certain situations.

Parker J. Palmer
The Courage to Teach

In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to
a world founded upon four essential freedoms.  The first is freedom of
speech and expression--everywhere in the world.  The second is freedom
of every person to worship God in his or her own way--everywhere in
the world.  The third is freedom from want--everywhere in the world.
The fourth is freedom from fear--which, translated into world terms,
means a worldwide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such
a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act
of physical aggression against any neighbor--anywhere in the world.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt (January 6, 1941)


Freedom is so much a part of the human makeup that it is not too far-fetched
to say that an un-free human being is in a sense a contradiction in terms.  The
ideal society is one in which its members enjoy their freedom to be human
freely, provided they do not thereby infringe the freedom of others unduly.
We are meant to have freedom of association, of expression, of movement,
the freedom to choose who will rule over us and how.  We are made for this.
It is ineluctable.  It cannot ultimately be eradicated, this yearning for freedom
to be human.  This is what tyrants and unjust rulers have to contend with.  They
cannot in the end stop their victims from being human.  Their unjust regimes must
ultimately fail because they seek to deny something that cannot be denied.

Desmond Tutu



Daily Meditations, Year One
One full year's worth of our daily meditations.  366 entries on tons of topics that we really do need to ponder if we're going to live our lives fully.  We promise no answers to anything, but we do promise food for thought that just may help you to reach the answers that are best for you, personally, in your own life.  The other people on this planet have spent their lives learning and growing, and many of them have shared those lessons with us--and this book is an effort to learn from those lessons so that we can incorporate them into our own lives.  You can have the entire first year's worth of daily meditations for just $2.99 on your Kindle.  (Print edition available here.)