Sky is the limit - What is freedom?

Trip Start Jul 08, 2007
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Chile  ,
Monday, April 7, 2008

I am writing these few words from about 5000m above sea level, on top of a mountain that was reachable without serious organization and guide.  The view around me is breathtaking and there is for only sound but the gentle breeze of the cold wind of the North Chilean Andes, my heart beat racing and the noise of the pen on the paper writing these very words.  I am comfortably seated between a few rocks, the sun is warming me up really nicely and I can see 6000m or more mountains and volcanoes all around me.  A few moments ago, I had to leave my car on the side of the dirt road some 500m below, because it could not go further up.  I suspect the high altitude has affected its combustion power or the road conditions are simply to harsh for the smallest car I could rent.  I was determined to arrive somewhere, so I took a few gears and left it behind.
As I was contemplating my surroundings, I started to wonder: what is freedom? What is liberty?  My first thought was about my capacity to move myself.   To have a car allowed me to go pretty much wherever I wanted, outside of the normal tourist trail anyways.  But as the elements had the best of my car a few moments ago, should I then consider myself less free because of this?  Freedom had to be something more profound than that.  To be free then is it to be able to do whatever I feel like, with no one to tell me what to do?  Maybe in part but sooner or later, my mental will restrain me with thoughts such as: I should not have left the car behind.  What if something happens to it?  Do I have enough time to venture in the unknown before the sun sets because I do not want to have to comeback in the dark?  Am I bringing enough food and water?  These are possibly valid questions but they remain limitations of my own capacity to accomplish my dreams, hence freeing myself.
Or is freedom my ability to desire and need nothing?  To be fully in the present moment, having nothing to attach myself behind and simply just be?  To be willing to accept a destiny, open my mind and let life guide me towards wherever it will?
Or maybe it is a little of all of that?  Which jointly ignite my ability to be my real self no matter what happens?  That would mean trusting that whatever happens I won't be afraid, won't desire something else and will grow from the experiences that are coming to me.  Therefore, I could be anywhere doing anything, being oppressed by whomever; it does not matter because I am then being myself.  That seems so simple but yet so hard to accomplish.  Why do I always feel like I need a plan of some sort?  Why can't I just trust that whatever happens is what I am meant to experience?  Is it my ego interfering?  Is it my desire to share this with someone else so I feel it's worth while living it?  Is it the brainwashing society had so adequately programmed within me that is popping up to the surface?
Or should I simply be patient, enjoy my moments of peace, perfect my connection with nature, seek always to understand my failures, laugh about them and try again when it does not work?  Pondering our reality might not bring direct and comforting answers, but will certainly stir our subconscious and sooner or later, we are bound to find the answer.  Climbing down the mountain, I felt a great feeling of peace inside of my heart... is that freedom?
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