Letters To Seneca – Letter 15
Within the last decade or so I’ve had very few constants in my life, but the one constant that’s stayed with me is the push for financial freedom. Investing and saving have been my outlet for most of my work, with the hope that someday in the future I’d be “free”. In this context “freedom” meant the ability to escape the societal restraints one has when it comes to working for money. Always exchanging your time to achieve someone else’s goal for a salary.
While learning more about this world of philosophy I’ve come to realize that I may have been pursuing an intermediate goal. There’s a chance that I would’ve never reached a level of financial independence that was satisfying. Let’s say that I was satisfied, even then I may have realized this freedom still doesn’t feel free.
Instead of pursuing financial freedom the ultimate form of freedom seems to be freedom of the mind. Being able to dissociate myself from my thoughts, creates space between the observer (me) and the observed (my thoughts).
This is the ultimate freedom. Freedom of the mind allows one to no longer be driven by external wants and needs, but instead by what’s truly interesting and fulfilling to them. I came to this conclusion after thinking through the different ideals I have in mind of freedom.
If I’m able to free myself of the mind, then my want for financial freedom will diminish, alongside other ambitions. The more space created between the observer and the observed, the closer I’ll get to being truly satisfied or in other words content with life.
Some would argue that money is still necessary and I completely agree. I’m not stating that once free of the mind you’re free of external commitments (i.e. pay rent, buy food, etc.). What I’m saying is once free of the mind, I’m free of the constant pressure of always saving, investing, and waiting to experience life… With freedom of the mind, you’re more focused on the present moment than anything else.
That for me sounds like a satisfying life.