Thursday, August 09, 2007

The locus of freedom is in the fast.

This phrase keeps coming to mind. As you know if you still read my occasional posts, I have been thinking about the problem of freedom lately. Not the problem of liberty, which is easily solved, and is quite a different problem anyway, but the problem of freedom. How is it that we are free? This question doesn't interest me, as I take the existence of regret as prima facie evidence that freedom does exist, at least as a possibility. It is possible for me to be free, whether or not I actually am free, and it is the possibility that I could have acted differently that gives rise to regret.

If I am free, where and when am I free? As I reflect on my life, I find that I generally follow my desires. In this I do exactly what an animal or plant does. I do what I want to do, within the constraints of my current situation, but my wants are the real driving engine. The dog follows his desires to the extent he has the liberty to do so, and so do I. There is no freedom here.

No, where freedom is evident is in the fast. When I desire something, and don't seek it, I am demonstrating that I am free. It is paradoxical, perhaps, that freedom is best shown when one does not do something. This is perhaps the greatest reason to fast, that we continually remind ourselves that sin is not inevitable. No matter how oppressive my desires are, no matter how constant the temptations, the fact that I can fast, even if only from something as inconsequential as soft drinks, is a light in the darkness.

The locus of freedom is in the fast.


Robert said...

As usual your insights are suscinct and to the point. Which means I should stop reading this blog because I desire to do so. Right?

By the way, none of your contact information that I have works any more. Is there any way I can contact you? If so, e-mail me. You should have my e-mail address.


Karl said...


try (removing all spaces, etc.)

byzkarl at yahoo dot com

Cure of Ars said...

Thanks for this insight...I need to start fasting. I'm not very good at it. lol

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