On Liberty

All this talk about freedom, 

but I’ve never found it, 

not in religion or reckless 

hedonism, one pricks me 

with scruples, the other  

inundates me with guilt. 

I’m not righteous and will 

never be, no matter what  

I do or think, but am I secretly in  

love with the very things 

that make me miserable?  

There are some issues too  

difficult to confront,  

and some answers too  

terrifying to know. 

I’ve never experienced a  

sense of wonder that lasts,  

perhaps something ephemeral  

that lasted a season,  

but never an absolute  

conviction of being liberated,  

a strong purpose that  

urges me towards beauty,  

I flit between angst and ache,  

knowing that’s no way to live, 

I suppress the pain I need to  

look at, with all its imperfections 

and harrowing aspects,  

and slowly kill myself

by running away from something  

that threatens to consume me  

and spit out my bones.  

25 responses to “On Liberty”

  1. The struggle for Liberation and Purpose inspires me to create. I still feel trapped, but I hope not forever. Maybe one day I’ll have an epiphany and this will all make some sense. Is it that way for you as well?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’ve struggled all my life for purpose. The struggle for liberation, on the other hand, is intense recently because I don’t know how to move forward. There’s too much inner trauma, and intrusive thoughts afflict. I sometimes wonder what the point of all of this is. I mean, why must I be caged like this with no escape? What greater purpose does it all serve? Yeah, so I guess I’m hoping it all makes sense one day too.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. As far as creating is concerned, I wish I didn’t have to struggle to create, but it is what it is. Sorry I forgot to answer your question and just rambled lol

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s okay. You seem to have pondered on it more than I have. Can’t help rambling under those circumstances…

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I think you’re looking for the wrong thing in the wrong places. There is no such thing as freedom. The very rich think they’ve bought it, but their ‘freedom’ is built on the slavery of others. None of us are free to do what we want, because we live in a society with other people, and what we want might mean preventing other people doing what they want. But we can liberate part of ourselves, the part that responds to beauty, as you say, that creates and nurtures, doesn’t destroy or maim. You can open the cage by being content with what you see and what you create. There isn’t really much else in life. Success for most people is at the cost of losing any soul they had once.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree. There is no such thing as freedom when it comes to doing whatever we want because we’ll sacrifice our souls if we did that. I guess I was more focused on the liberating part of ourselves bit when I wrote this. I think I’m at a stage in life where I am content with my lot in life. As far as creation is concerned, I share a love-hate relationship with it, but I digress. It’s a freedom from self-loathing, scrupulosity, untameable guilt and madness that I seek. I may sound idealistic here, but I want to soak in beauty and let it wash away all my trauma. It’s a kind of personal freedom that I had in mind when I wrote this. Perhaps that comes from lesser introspection and being there for other people. I don’t know. Time will tell.


      1. You know, I don’t get this self-loathing thing. Unless you’re a serial killer, what’s the problem? Is it because we live in a society that pretends perfection exists and it’s ours if we try hard/pay enough? It doesn’t, and it certainly doesn’t involve beauty products and wellness tutos. Don’t think you have to ‘love’ yourself, whatever that means. Just value yourself, and you can only do that if you make a point of doing things of value, being a person others can admire in a small way. It’s maybe the opposite of introspection, more of looking outwards and seeing the world as it is, independent of our small person, and trying to make it a bit better.
        I think you have the answer already, and yes, time will tell.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. No, I think the guilt stems from both my Calvinistic background and the abuse I went through at the hands of my father as I child. I’ve made my peace with the latter, or so I think, but there’s an ever present sense of being wrong even when I’m right. It’s difficult sometimes because I’m harassed by thoughts that condemn me for everything I do. Perhaps that drives me to a perfection that doesn’t exist and when I fail, I blame myself. It’s a vicious cycle. Calvinism hasn’t helped either. I find myself driven a little mad by it like William Cowper was, but I can’t stay away for too long because of guilt again. I think the worst part of all this is to have insight into your condition but not be able to help yourself. I don’t believe in the self-love concept at all. I think that’s gibberish too. But yes, valuing oneself and treating oneself with respect is necessary. Yeah trying to help make the world a better place and not living in perennial self-indulgence is good. I’m working through all this, and maybe that’s why my writing is often a little dark.


      3. Religion messes us up. It all does unless you accept it all without question, in which case you’d accept that fathers ‘discipline’ their children as they see fit, and children just honour, obey and let them do it.
        It’s a triple burden you have to carry, ingrained by culture, biology and emotion and it doesn’t help knowing that none of it is your fault. If it did, no religion would have such a stranglehold in its victims, nor would patriarchal despots.
        I think you’re right to insist on the ‘respect’ aspect. That’s all most of us can insist upon. Don’t dig down too deep judging your worth. If someone holds you in esteem, trust their judgement and don’t throw ‘but what about’ at them. I don’t think that anyone who shows compassion to animals, understanding to people who are miserable, or is capable of creating something beautiful can be a bad or irrelevant person.


      4. I think accepting religion without question creates a bigot. Like you said, it gives room for abuse, etc. Accepting it after reasoning it out is a better way to go, but some say (Kierkegaard, etc) that faith and reason cannot co-exist. I have nothing against religion, and if someone finds God, and is changed for the better, that’s great.

        But once it becomes cumbersome, or starts taking a toll on mental health, I think it needs to be approached differently. I’m working on that myself, and I have no clue where my life leads.

        Religion having a stranglehold is terrifying, I agree. But is that true religion? In, my case, I’m referring to Christianity. As far as patriarchal despots (nice term btw), yeah I dislike them too. My father is not a Christian, but he was extremely patriarchal. I think in India, most families are. Sadly even a lot of women I’ve met are. It’s ingrained in a caste system heralding, crazy culture, but that’s a bigger discussion.

        Yeah the not throwing ‘but what about’ is key, methinks. And as long as people value you, it’s enough. Yeah compassion is also key. It’s something that I’ve found from very few friends though. In India things like depression, etc carry a huge stigma. I remember a classmate afraid to walk with me because she knew I suffered from Bipolar Depression. It’s a hard culture, but I’m sure there are some nice people out there. I just have to find them.


      5. The way I look at it, there’s organised religion which is simply a form of social control. Always has been, but the monotheistic religions have got it to a fine art by adding threats of eternal damnation for back-sliders.

        You can accept that religion has its own agenda and still believe in God though. You just don’t have to accept the rules invented hundreds and hundreds of years after the event by a bunch of bitter old men who seemed to want everyone to be as miserable as they were (except the rich, of course, our masters).

        Some people manage to rationalise God and thus an intelligent, thought-out way of worshiping him (because he has to be a him). It’s a form of spirituality, whatever floats your boat, I suppose. As long as you don’t insist that the rest of the world joins in, that’s fine.

        God is not a hypothesis I can find any reason to believe in. To believe in any hypothesis you have to want to, to dismiss the irrational aspects, the plot holes, inconsistencies and the sometimes unacceptable morality.
        As a woman, and a feminist, there is nothing for me in a system that tells me my only role in life is to produce the next generation, shut up and do as the menfolk tell me. Apparently, God is okay with that.

        When the religion of the people defines the moral position of the people and the laws of the people, someone who doesn’t conform in even a slight way is an outcast. You shouldn’t have to feel like that, nor should it ever have been acceptable in the eyes of society that your father treated you the way he did. But it’s what floats the system’s boat, so we ignore all the ugliness it engenders. You have to rise above all that. Float, if you like. The more you get out of your immediate surroundings, virtually is easiest, you’ll find other human beings you can relate to, who are not hidebound by the same cultural blindnesses. Write, draw, create, and talk. Make your own world and choose who you want to share it with.


      6. Yeah, I agree with organised religion being a form of control. Having said that, maybe there are churches where people care. But I’ve never found one. There are always hierarchies and cliques, and it sort of becomes like college.

        I don’t like rule following and I think that goes against religion tbh. That’s a different topic though. I think what appals me the most is when a nation becomes a theocracy like Calvin’s Geneva, etc. That’s when the rule following becomes a type of control.

        It’s strange that most religions cater to the rich. It’s like capitalism has dug deep into religion, which is weird. Pastors have mansions, gurus have Harley Davidsons, and clergymen travel in private planes. Even some people who call out the prosperity gospel in Christianity live in homes with tennis courts. It’s ludicrous.

        I don’t think I can ever insist on the world joining me. I may tell someone about my hope and leave it. If someone is insisting on someone else being religious, they’re doing something very wrong.

        Thank you for your words of encouragement. I think I’ve always felt like an outcast. I think it’s my social anxiety coupled with my openness. I feel that a lot of people just don’t get me. It’s so strange that even though I’m well read and knowledgeable, people refuse to accept it. It seems that way at least. I don’t want people adoring me. I’d hate that, but I think we should respect people for who they are. I guess money and prestige are the only things that talk. Yeah the virtual world is fantastic because of a few people (you included), but I’ve also endured a lot of abuse on this platform. Stalking, hate, etc. That often puts me off because I’m not thick skinned. But yeah, I agree that creativity is a great outlet.


      7. About church and religion, I suppose you just apply the general rule that it’s a bad thing to clump people into groups. It always ends up with group-think, prejudices and an erosion of intellectual curiosity.

        I’m sorry to hear you’ve had such awful experiences on here. I don’t understand why people do that unless they’re sick. I’m not surprised you went private. I would too, being very thin-skinned. The virtual world isn’t real, but there are real people behind the words, and some of them need a good slap in the teeth. Keep writing and I’ll keep reading. After the new year though when things simmer down. I’m tired of cooking big meals, will be glad to get back to normal.

        Liked by 1 person

      8. Yeah I don’t like clumping people into groups at all. Then a hierarchy always sets in. I found it difficult when they did that when I did my masters in psychology. My opinions would often get brushed aside. And it’s not easy dealing with prejudices. I think the thing with religion (Christianity especially) is that it’s very different in the West. There Christians are powerful and rich. Here, we’re a minority, struggling for freedom. In a majoritarian government like mine, we find ourselves persecuted. We’re told what to eat, labelled and stigmatised. And it doesn’t help that the church is divided within itself too.

        I decided to go public again. For now at least. I’ve enabled a feature that allows only logged in users to comment. That way the stalkers can’t leave anonymous comments. Cyber bullying is an awful thing. But I think we need to stand up for ourselves. If the madness starts again, I can always go private again. I’ve invited a few people (you included) and I’ll write for them. Take your time and read. You might have to follow me since I’m public to get my posts to show up on your reader. And thank you for your encouraging words.


      9. It sounds a little bit like it was for Catholics living in Protestant England. They couldn’t get jobs, had separate schools and couldn’t even be buried in the same cemetery as Protestants. When people are discriminated against because of their religion, it makes them cling to that religion and identify with it. Only when the discrimination slackens off can they start to look at it critically. It’s what happened with us. When Catholicism became fashionable among the élite, Catholic bashing stopped and we left the church in droves.

        I’ll see if I can get into your blog, though WP doesn’t always let me follow other blogs.

        Liked by 1 person

      10. Yes, it’s definitely like that. It’s sad that people of one religion or one sect push their agenda on the others. Most of what goes on here goes sadly unreported because almost all the major news channels are owned by the government. Propaganda pushing and persecuting minorities is the norm. Sadly it’s the poorer minorities who get the worst deal. If you read The Wire (a news outlet that has received a lot of criticism for its more liberal, anti-propaganda stance) you’ll get an idea of the terrible situation here.


      11. We hear about the anti-muslim outbursts, probably because the Muslim populations in European countries have an interest. You’d think the media would be also interested in what happens to minority Christian groups too, but Christian is synonymous here with a conservatism we don’t wish to encourage and Islam with a conservatism we play along with because it suits some political agendas.

        Liked by 1 person

      12. Yes, that’s very true. I’ve often thought about the same things along the same lines. I think what you said is true of Europe. As far as America is concerned, the Christian population here might be safer if a Republican is in power, regardless of whether he’s good for his country or not. It’s all very strange and frankly addles my mind when I think about it.


      13. It’s so frustrating when you’re lumped with people with whom the only thing you have in common is your label of religion. Goes for most things, like skin colour, sexual orientation, sex. Human beings come in an infinite variety, and I hate being told, oh, you white people this, or you Irish/English/foreign that. It has no meaning, it’s reductive and insulting.

        Liked by 1 person

      14. The right wing media will cover the atrocities, but tend to do so more when a Republican is in power because he might openly call out a country’s persecution of Christians. A Democrat might not want to be affiliated with a religion, and might use an umbrella term like human rights, though that’s hardly happening these days. But a Republican in power is something a lot of people there will dislike because of conservatism, capitalism, etc, etc. Everything comes down to politics, including what you hear on the media. In that sense, I don’t think journalism can be unbiased. At least not in this day and age.


      15. I don’t know of any newspaper owners who let the journalists have a free hand. They always have to reflect the opinions of the owner. And there aren’t many millionaire newspaper tycoons with progressive views…

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you so much for the invite Nitin.
    I’m not blogging too much because of my eye issues but I look forward to reading more of your posts in the future.
    You are so incredibly talented. I hope for the future you find freedom and deep true love which lifts you and carries you, through all the difficulties life tends to throw at us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for accepting it Sarah. It’s good to see you here! I hope you recover from your eye issues. I always enjoy your posts because there’s so much humour in them and positivity. Thank you for your kind words, and I really hope that your words come true. Here’s hoping that we can both conquer life’s difficulties and find solace, peace or whatever we’re looking for this new year.


  4. I think sometimes we remain in the misery because of the fear of unknown. Will reaching for something new hurt even worse than things do now? Will opening myself up leave me more vulnerable? I can handle the pain of where I am…will I be able to handle what comes with change? Thought provoking piece, Nitin! 💞

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah that’s very very true. Better status quo than unpredictable change. But change might be a good thing. I’m often terrified of the risk which comes with it. I don’t mind slowly occurring change, but something sudden is too much lol. Thanks for the comment Dawn ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

About Me

Ordinary Person is a guy who likes to write. He writes fiction, essays, poems and other stuff.


%d bloggers like this: