“I desire your freedom,” the old professor told me.

“My freedom?” I asked, leaning in.

“Yes. I want you to be free from all forms of tyranny and oppression. Inward and outward, from the past or in the present.”

“Thank you,” I replied, unsure what to say.

“I don’t think you fully understand what I am saying to you right now,” the professor said. “I desire your freedom more than you yourself desire your freedom. I desire your freedom more than most of what’s in you desires your freedom.”

“I desire your freedom from oppression by those with more power than you. The government. The police. The wealthy. I want you to be free from any powerful forces who would inhibit or constrain your own will for your own life.

“I want you to be free from all transgressions against your personal sovereignty in any way. From family members. From friends and acquaintances. From employers and coworkers. From romantic partners. I desire your self-sovereignty over your will for your own life, in every possible way.

“Moreover, I want you to be free from all psychological manipulation which subverts your authentic will for your life. I want your mind to be free of manipulative parasites in your personal life who trick you into enacting their will instead of yours. I want your mind to be free from the toxic manipulations of advertisers who trick you into thinking you are inadequate and incomplete to try and squeeze a few bucks out of you. I want your mind to be free from the manipulations of propagandists in politics and news media who pull the wool over your eyes about what’s really going on in your society, in your nation and in your world.

“Your true will for your life cannot express as long as you are being successfully manipulated into enacting someone else’s will, whether that be an abusive partner or an abusive government. You cannot enact your own will for your life if you don’t know what your will is, and as long as manipulation holds sway over you it is impossible to clearly see your own will. You therefore cannot be fully self-sovereign as long as this is happening. You are not free until you are fully free of manipulation.

“For this reason, I also want you to be free from any forms of manipulation which have made their way into your mind through culture. I want your mind to be free from the religions which were concocted in ancient times to keep the peasants passive and obedient, rendering unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and glorifying poverty and meekness. I want your mind to be free from the power-worshipping attitudes which have been passed on from generation to generation, like reverence for police and military personnel, respect for politicians and government institutions, treasuring civility, and disdain for the underclass.

“For countless generations stretching back to the dawn of history the powerful have been shaping culture for their own benefit, and this is reflected in our values, language and customs even today, even for many of us who feel we have transcended such things. We show up in this world and are immediately indoctrinated with the will of not just parents, teachers, politicians and preachers, but also of long-dead lords and emperors who lived on the other side of the world. Our authentic will for ourselves lies buried beneath all that.

“This is what I want for you. Freedom to express your own will for your own life, but your real, authentic will. The will that has been buried beneath mountains of manipulation geared toward tricking you into manifesting other people’s will for your own life, funneled into your head since you were a baby. I want you to find your true, uncorrupted will, and I want you to manifest it in the world as you see fit.

“More than this, I desire your complete freedom from manipulation in all its forms, even your own conditioned impulse to manipulate. Growing up in a society that is steeped in manipulation conditions us to believe that that is the path to safety and security: manipulating others into doing certain things or being a certain way for us. Manipulating situations toward our advantage. Manipulating our own thoughts to weave pleasant mental stories for ourselves or to feel like we are in control.

“I desire your freedom. Your real freedom. From all forms of oppression, from all forms of manipulation, even your own. That is true sovereignty. I desire this for you. I desire this for everyone.”


“That’s… I think that must be the most loving thing anyone’s ever said to me,” I replied tearfully.

“It would heal all our world’s problems,” said the professor, leaning her head back on her pillow.

“You mean if everyone were truly free?”

“Wouldn’t take nearly everyone to get the snowball rolling,” she said. “It would only take some of us.”

“It just looks so hopeless!” I exclaimed, now fully sobbing. “The world is dying and everyone’s sleepwalking through it! It just feels so powerless and pointless and hopeless and worthless.”

“Only the living are dying,” the professor responded. “The dead are not dying, they’re gone. The fact that you say the world is dying shows you the world is still very much alive.”

I just bit my lip and stared at her, a complete blubbering mess.

“Look at me,” she said. “They tell me I’m dying, but I’ve never been more alive. The other day Ron referred to this as my deathbed, just in passing in the middle of one of those dark jokes of his. It surprised me, not because it was wrong of him to say‒it’s a perfectly accurate label I suppose. Thing is, ever since I got back from the hospital I’d been thinking of it as my cradle. I feel like a newborn baby.”

“There’s something about this stage in life that clarifies so many things that eluded me up until I got here,” she continued, squeezing my hand reassuringly. “I look within myself and I see vast expanses of my being that I couldn’t even begin to describe if I had to. I see now that this experience, this human experience we all talk about in our little philosophy books‒the work I gave my entire life to‒the part that we can think about and talk about an analyze, is just a teeny tiny microfraction of what’s actually here. The rest is… ineffable. It’s a mystery. The parts of the human experience you can understand with your mind are just the tiniest tip of the iceberg. Not even that, really.

“We are giants, and we are mysteries. There are limitless abysses within all of us in which world-changing potentiality can be hiding. There is simply no way to know how this adventure ends, because we can only see and comprehend the smallest piece of what we’re made of. Just watch the ride unfold. I guarantee that whatever ends up happening, humanity will surprise you. I’m super jealous you get to see it happen!”

“I don’t know how to do it without you,” I sobbed.

“Yes you do. You do, and you will. There is so very, very much more to you than you realize.”

“I love you,” I sniffled. I had never said that to her before.

“Oh I love you too,” she said. “Now come give me a hug. The morphine’s kicking in and I’m about to turn into a fuzz-brained idiot. I won’t have you see me in such a state.”

I gave the professor a long, deep hug and whispered a treasured secret in her ear. I said goodbye to Ron and walked out their front door for the last time.




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45 responses to “I Desire Your Freedom”

  1. This was so intense I needed a timeout period to recover. I’m feeling very pragmatic, so I will leave it to others to say how wonderful this story is.

    – Its very difficult to spot where I’ve been suckered into manipulating myself to support the status quo, to my personal disadvantage. I’d appreciate it if there were more specific examples of this in the matrix pieces. Then I can ask myself “Am I doing that?”, and then watch to see if I was lying to myself about not doing it.

    – The matrix pieces are very helpful because there is a big distance between being intellectually aware of something, and it being integrated into your subconscious mind. Repetition helps ideas sink in until they are in your bones. It also helps remind you when important issues drift to the periphery of your mind.

    – For instance, politeness is a tool of oppression because it conditions you to avoid raising issues critical to your own well-being. Its defended with the false dichotomy of politeness/rudeness. You can step away from that with a combination of respectfulness and courtesy.

    – If you are being abused, a respectful and courteous starting point is to say:
    That behavior feels abusive to me, please stop doing it.

    That statement doesn’t have a whiff of smearing the person or their beliefs.
    – Better yet, you aren’t coercing them to do anything, you are simply asking them to stop doing a specific behavior.
    – In particular, you aren’t referring to hidden self-serving agendas because those are nearly impossible to prove or disprove.
    – After hearing that, some people will apologize, and seek to understand the impact of what they were doing, and the respectful and courteous starting point encourages a response like this.
    – Some people will respond by doubling down on abusive power and control, and you will have done the best you could to avoid a confrontation, short of just endlessly eating the abuse.

    An indication of how politeness is a tool of oppression is that in many social settings it will be considered impolite to raise the issue that a person there is abusing you. Its no surprise that in a society dominated by manipulative people that “impolite” behavior is hammered on, and respectfully and courteously raising issues is discredited. The working vocabulary in our society is filled with prejudicial words such as “bully”. Using prejudicial words allows others to raise the red herring issue of rudeness, and divert attention away from the real issues. So I’ve been working on finding vocabulary and framing for raising issues, while staying in the context of being respectful and courteous.

    For many years I worked on moving from rudeness to politeness. Then I realized I was suckering myself by avoiding being “impolite” and avoiding issues important to my well-being. This is hard work because of how deep and pervasive the programing is in me, is to strive to avoid being “impolite”.
    – Now I’m wondering in what other ways have I been programmed to manipulate myself.
    – Thanks so much for inspiring the phrases “manipulating myself” and “manipulating yourself” – they instantly entered my working vocabulary.

    There are a lot of thoughtful commenters here.
    – What are your experiences with discovering you have been suckered into manipulating yourself, to support the status quo, to your personal disadvantage?

    1. Its worrisome that people don’t seem to have stories of their inner struggles with dealing with propaganda. The billionaires don’t care that some people know that they are lying. What the billionaires really care about is the propaganda that goes straight from your eyes and ears into your subconscious mind, skipping the intellect.
      – This is part of how we end up with many people repeatedly objecting to the status quo, while at the same time their behavior is reinforcing the status quo.

      Dealing with propaganda promoting lies is easy. Dealing with propaganda promoting behavior, which benefits the billionaires, is like using a leaky rowboat. As soon as you stop bailing out the leaky rowboat, it sinks. As soon as you stop bailing the self-defeating programing out of your subconscious, you become a tool of the billionaires and your well-being goes down the toilet.

      The supremacy of the intellect is another piece of propaganda, which serves the agendas of the billionaires. The intellect is more like an observer than a driver. The intellect makes “decisions” on what you will do. But what feeds the “instinctive responses” and “common sense” to the intellect, about what are good and poor choices? The subconscious mind does this, and it manipulates the intellect with emotions and rationalizations that justify acting on the emotions.

      The billionaires are winning the propaganda war because the subconscious mind has more control over your life than the intellect does, and the servants of the billionaires are so effective at stuffing the subconscious mind full of beliefs that serve the agendas of the billionaires.
      – A starting point for a holistic approach to being a steward for your life is this page:
      The boundary between the conscious and subconscious mind is fluid. Thru diligent work you can move that boundary and expose much of what is hidden to most people in the back of their mind.

      Using the indigenous approach to consensus, which is based on deeply listening, is very helpful in increasing congruity between all parts of your being.
      – The euroamericans were inspired by this, and then turned consensus into an arguing practice, which isn’t any more moral or useful than arm wrestling for making group decisions.
      – A good starting point for deep listening is this page:
      The book has lots more details about effective listening. Be sure to read the 3rd edition of the book.

      Creating consensus thru listening is where everybody keeps listening, learning, and gaining understanding until they all reach the same place. Listening to all of your parts is how you create congruity within your self. Listening to other people is how you create strong community that is effective in supporting the well-being of that community.
      – United we stand, and divided we fall.
      – Listening is how we maintain strength in unity and avoid the divisiveness promoted by the billionaires and their propaganda..

      I’m still curious about your struggles to clean garbage out of your subconscious mind, which was put there by propaganda from the billionaires.

  2. Thank You Caitlin

    Again and again . . .

  3. Loved it CJ, thanks.

  4. I’m not sure that it’s possible to be anything other than a product of your environment. To do so would be to step outside of culture – and then in to what? Some other culture, with a different set of rules and expectations. If you leave society say, go live in a cave, then you pick up the ‘cave culture’. Humans adapt and fit in to where ever we are. It’s a blameless situation. In the absence of free will we are simply participants of the ride. Now this is not to suggest we can’t have a better ride. If we change the culture. If we did away with those poisonous aspects. But as long as they remain we will reflect those values, individualise them in our individual ways and reimpose them. But here’s to a better ride!

  5. Morton K Brussel Avatar
    Morton K Brussel

    So, how is one’s will formed? Wills for such variety of things. How is one’s personality formed?

  6. Thank you Caitlin for reminding us of the path to what really matters.

  7. Stuff! You never own anything; whatever you have owns you; less stuff equals more freedom. No stuff equals death. Absolute freedom is an illusion of the hucksters, they use it to sell you stuff which makes you less free. You live in a rich relatively free country as do I on the other side of the world. “The only reason you can sleep comfortably at night is because rough men are up and prepared to do violence on your behalf. Of course they can also do violence to you if you break the rules and yes the rules are made by and for the ruling class but they protect you too. You have to drive on the left side of the road while I have to drive on the right side; this deprives us both of freedom. You wouldn’t want everyone to be as free as you say; the CHAZ didn’t work so well and never could. Celebrate what you have and work on improvement. The most free people I ever met were a Quebec couple and their two children living on a steel sailboat he had built. Met them half way up the Berry chain in the Bahamas, living off the sea and sacks of flour. Two beautiful children running naked on the beach, idyllic. Francois was the most confident man I ever met with no hubris at all but he had to go back to Quebec and work in the summer’s. This kind of life is available to everyone in a rich relatively free country, you too but most choose? security over freedom every time. Really, you can choose more freedom but unless you wanna live alone on an island or isolation in the outback, it will never be absolute. Life is good, live it, improve what you can, avoid or accept what you can’t. The sociopaths have always won and they always will but we can take the edge off if we try and I don’t mean with online post’s.

  8. A very taking and insightful column. Thank you!

  9. Went way over my head, rather obvious that love is just another form of hatred; why else would humans be hardwired to be narcissists in the least?

  10. Super lucid prose, Caitlin. A beautiful little story.

  11. Excellent satirical piece!

    Radical freedom is impossible for any living creatures.
    We’re all contingent on the myriad conditions that gave rise to who we are at any particular point in our lives.

    As the philosopher Schopenhauer so well put it: We can want what we want but we cannot choose what we want. The latter is a product of influences mostly beyond our control: Biology, culture, nation, family, education, etc.

    1. No satire here. Just a voice from the heart, the spirit, cutting through all the crap outside us, within us. One of Caitlin’s best. Bless her for it.

    2. Indeed. But I would like to think there is a chance we can change our culture. Can never be free of those factors but perhaps, with enough of a realisation we could make this place a little kinder.

  12. Freedom is the natural consequence of the abandonment of aggression against others. The threat of violence against others, except to defend one’s self from the violence of others, cannot be morally justified. Whether committed by a government or other criminal gang, or an individual criminal. I could be wholly on board with any government that didn’t threaten violence. Too bad that’s the very foundation of every government.

  13. Thank you Caitlin for your openness and for sharing that. And thank you for continuing to shine a light in the darkness.

  14. This is a MAN – not that I really care – I am just sick of the DECEPTION !


  15. Once again, Ms Johnstone, your writing brings needed serenity to this old man. Thank You!!

  16. Oh … so well said … my desire to break loose from manipulative regimes starting with the biggest criminal on earth the US and their Allies … in the name of “human rights” impose sanctions on countries and individuals for political manoeuvring; when such criminals acts persist from their own action both at home and abroad like black lives and Iraq, Iran, Syria, etc… travesty of justice.
    America’s unilateral approach towards imposing sanctions on other sovereign states by citing domestic affairs are excuses and indicates the hollowness of American justifications towards levying sanctions on another sovereign state justifying the right to respond. Ulterior motives to manipulating keys figures in the respective countries.
    What a grand scale “hoax” on the virus and grand scale lies to post wars against countries who do not do their bidding.
    Masters of grand scale human rights abuses, grand scale economic abuses, grand scale legislative and judicial abuses and grand scale political abusers. Who gives them the right to charge people in their countries and “confiscate property, money, etc” to benefit themselves.
    Modern day thief’s and slave drivers.

    1. The virus isn’t a hoax, it’s real and it’s killing the people who keep us fed.

      1. There is always a virus. Always have been. They’re everywhere, all the time. the Psychopaths In Charge have concluded by some very peculiar reasoning that we can’t survive this one without surrendering our liberty, prosperity, sanity, and our very lives. For their benefit of course.

        1. Sorry. The Pandemic is a hoax. Nothing makes sense. Its offends common sense.
          If you want me to expand on this, let me know …
          The manufactured virus is Bill Gates n Fauci’s baby together with the evil alliance …

          1. We are really herd animals more than we realize.

          2. Oh please, do go on @Jagiee. We all want to hear more about the half million deaths caused by Covid-19 in the US being fake news (because you didn’t personally add up all the numbers?). Or maybe tell us it’s just like the flu (bet you didn’t know that 12,000 to 56,000 people die each year from the flu — some years are worse than others). We want to hear more about your brand of conspiracy theory. Do tell.

          3. If Bill Gates were a character in a Batman comic book, he’s be the Joker; he’s truly an evil, evil man. While I don’t necessarily think that the Covid pandemic is a hoax, I do think that the danger it poses to humanity has been vastly overstated. Clearly, we’re not getting the true story, only the government-approved version.

        2. I agree. There are many virus everywhere and the ruling elites took advantage of this one to establish a health dictatorship to control people because something was brewing among ordinary people who were fed up and protesting in many countries.

          The world is decadent and the higher you climb the socio-economie ladder, the more decadent. We are in the return of the days of Noah just before the return of Jesus which is very near.

          Keeping my Rosary on hand!

          1. I once had a friend who thought doctors and hospitals were money making scams. He was smart, rich, and stubborn. When he got skin cancer he thought he could beat it with vitamins and prayer. Eventually, when it spread and things stopped working, he gave in and went to a big cancer center. He spent close to half a million, pretty much everything he had, but it was too late. Let’s not repeat his mistake.

  17. Thank you Caitlin, this is so beautiful . It reminds me of the freedom and insights my mother experienced shortly before she died. Neither she not I did understand at that time how liberating this was for her and me at the same time. Years of manipulation dissolved into nothing and no resentment carried over into my future.
    As she was dying she wanted her freedom and this was mine too.

  18. I told the love of my life today that I smelled the smell of death on our older dog. The smell of urine was there for sure and I cleaned the bedding as best I could, but we both know the time of letting go of a rescue yeller Carolina mutt dog in our lives is coming to a close.
    She, this firmly resolved dog, whom we both love so much has been with us for 14 years, yet we both know it is coming to an end. Her life is coming to an end. This sort of thing is not easy but it was woven into Valentine’s Day today and ain’t that the reality of it? You have to play the hand you have been dealt. You have to play your cards as best you can on any given day. I think we all are dealing with this sort of thing and I take solace in that. I take solace in thinking we are all dealing with this day-to-day stuff together.
    The good thing is that my wife and I know we will work our way through this as we always have worked our way through challenging times when changes were on the horizon and when we sensed them in our presence. Our other dog, a fine sweet Jack Russel, acquired on the fly, just as old, is still rather spry but she does has some urinary release issues that need to be remedied. I’ve been told I’m going to the vet this week. I’ll do what I’m told when I know that is what must be done, and I hope remedy can be found.
    Have you ever been with a dog or a person when they were having their last breath and everybody knew it? It is a solemn time but it is also a time to remember what in life is really important. In my experience when the last struggling breath finally left my parent’s dog who had lived a good life she just finally lost her balance and fell to the ground and breathed her last breath and we all understood that that was that. It had been a long night.
    Better times on the way friends! You can count on it is what I think.

    Peace is the natural law safeguarding love of life.
    Peace is the triumph of freedom,
    Freedom the victory of justice,
    Justice the measure of equality,
    Equality the birthright root of our
    Common humanity.

  20. On a seperate subject, this is why we are on a worldwide covid shutdown. It is about energy, not a virus. We are approaching an aww sh@# moment for societies usage of energy.


    1. Thanks for the article. It is starting! The 1:00 am national radio news (Central Time) reported that Colorado is asking its residents to refrain from using large appliances for several hours!

      1. Yes. It is not only energy usage and availability but an aging energy infrastructure. Then the green energy movement stoping nuclear energy for generations. Germany is in far worse condition than Canada or the US in this respect.

  21. Freedom is a funny thing. One persons freedom will inevitably imping on the freedom of others. Early settlers in America and Australia to name a couple wanted the freedom to explore and escape tyranny. Their desire for freedom displaced and took freedom from indigenous people. People desire freedom at anothers cost. When we put our freedom before others freedom, we all become both oppressors and the oppressed.

    1. Freedom isn’t the ability to harm others, it is the absence of harm done to you.

    2. Freedom is when you have no debt.

    3. Freedom is when you sing out to the sky and scream: I am FREE!
      The best freedom is when we are free together!
      That is my song Khatika and I want to dance this song with you in memory of my old dog Abbie-Mia is her name is she is a fine yeller Carolina Mutt dog and if you ever call her mutt, I’ll laugh out loud and say – yes she is. Yes she was. I fine mutt dog and she will be remembered.
      Freedom is forgiveness. Freedom is letting go of all anger. Freedom is when you look in the sky with wonder!
      Freedom is more than that, but freedom can’t be captured in quick words now can it?

      1. Have a little 4 lb dog I love too. Fully unerstand where you are coming from.

        1. Khatika –
          I think if we ever get another dog it will be a little one, but I think more than likely we won’t get another dog at all. It is so hard to lose one you love so much and with dogs this happens quicker and so it is hard to do it again. I just can’t imagine my life without a dog in it. I really need dogs in my life, so maybe the sweet love of my life will agree with me on this – but the decision will have to Mutual and I’m good with that. At the end of the day, when the day is over, after the last revolution, sometimes I think to myself – what was it all for……but I know I’m alive and for that I’m happy. You know – “Praise the Lord – It feels good to be alive” kind of thinking. You do know that my dance moves can be challenging sometimes don’t you? Ha, ha. I like your style and I always have and I always will I suppose…..I don’t care for mean girls – so I hope your not one of them. Hell – I don’t know your gender at all, but it don’t matter. I have an image of you in my mind and unless you teach me better, that is the image that will remain! How you like them apples? Ha, ha.
          I think getting rid of the spooks will be a piece of cake and I’ll take that thought to my grave along with a bunch of other stuff! But I ain’t planning on going there soon, cause I’m looking forward to the downfall of the spooks! Oh, it will be so glorious and it has already been foretold by whom – well, by me of course!
          Holy Moly – it is late. I think I need to go to bed!

          1. Lol. We also have a loveable golden retreiver named Molly.

            1. Khatika you old soul you…..I just made the appointment – Monday 4:30 pm my lovely wife and I will bring out resolute old Carolina yeller dog cause it is time for her to go down. She basically can’t even walk, but I’ll tell you this, I envy her digestive system. I wish they could transplant that into me, but I suppose that is selfish thinking.
              This is what I know as well, and I don’t think I’m alone, I don’t want to go through another night of strained and struggling breathing with a dog I love so much. I don’t have the heart for it.
              She live a good life and I’ve already suggested to my wife, that if we get another dog, and she is a she, we ought name her “Molly”. I just love that name. I have never met anyone named Molly that I didn’t like hanging around with!
              Down with Facebook! (Ha, ha)

  22. Truth and tenderness in the giving and the receiving!

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