Defined Words: freedom
The bell rings and you’re finally able to leave school for summer vacation. Your mind is racing as you think about what you want to do first with your time. You can go to the pool, hang at a friend’s house, drive to the beach, you can do anything! Let’s jump into your brain here.
You first think, “Let’s go to the pool” and immediately you begin forming neural paths in anticipation of what you’ll do at the pool. Who is with you? Is it sunny out? Will this be the moment you talk to your crush? You’ll then think about your friend’s house and fill in more neural paths. Whose house will you go to? Will you try out that new four player video game that your buddy got? Your friend has a pool at his house!
Hopefully you’re getting the point here: without limitations, you have the ability to anticipate a huge number of scenarios. You don’t even have to run through each scenario to completion. Because there are so many paths forming, your brain feels the stimulus from many areas of the brain simultaneously. The global stimulation of your brain when faced with many possibilities is called freedom.
Many synapses can form in many different parts of the brain, causing a large release of pleasure. The individuals who put themselves into situations where they had many different choices were more likely to not die. The feeling of freedom is your brain’s way of rewarding you for being in the best situation for your survival.
Wide open spaces can create the same feeling of freedom because of the huge amount of visual information for your brain to process. With more space, there are more possibilities. If you can see a huge canyon with lots of large rocks, there is a possibility that something could come out from behind each rock.
The immense amount of possibilities causes a pleasurable feeling as a reward to the Organism. If you can see a huge area, you’ll probably be able to see predators coming to better stay alive. Similar to the visual stimulation from a large area, wind blowing around you causes a lot of stimulation to the touch neurons and also gives the feeling of freedom.
The release of pleasure is a reward system to encourage behavior of the Organism. Releasing pleasure when the Organism has come into an advantageous position, one in which it can do anything, encourages more of that behavior. There is a reason the people who travel want nothing more than to keep on traveling!
Freedom is a feeling that occurs when there is a lack of limitation to stop the neural paths from firing. People who are not fully unlimited in their options are not truly free. It is essential to understand the world you live in so you know how to put yourself in a position to feel free.
Everyone has something limiting them, whether it is their society or their own inhibitions. Embrace those moments when you feel truly free. Total freedom is great but partial freedom can still be enjoyed. Discover your limitations, plan how to overcome them, and take your freedom.