Waiter: My mother said to me, "Garcon. The world is a beautiful place, and you must spread joy and contentment everywhere you go". And so I became a waiter... Well, I know it is not a great philosophy but...
MR. HENDY: What is this one here?
WAITER: Uhh, that's 'philosophy'.
MRS. HENDY: Is that a sport?
WAITER: Aah, no, it's more of an attempt to, uh, construct a viable hypothesis to, uh, explain the meaning of life.
I think I actually wanted to write about freedom, but didn't know how to start, so I decided I should add something more attractive in the title, to get more reads, maybe even get an idea of an introduction, in the process. Because you see, now that I added these two words in the title: "sex, drugs" I feel somehow constrained to write something about them, too. So on the one hand I might be more successful, people are going to read this article cause it appears to be something about sex, and not some boring explanation of what freedom is(to me!). But on the other hand I feel a lot less free. Now that I cannot really write about whatever, I have to think of something that would make sense and have some connection to the title. This is probably all for the best, anyway.
This is just an example of what I think happens every time we choose something. Assuming you have a large amount of alternatives, before choosing something you feel so free, because it's that sensation of "I haven't decided yet, but I can do almost anything, no constraints, no strings attached". But it's not like you can just sit around and contemplate this beautiful world of alternatives forever, cause you would then be completely inactive (since you haven't chosen any course of action) and it would be rather frustrating. So, at some point, you start choosing things, every time you choose you think about the costs and benefits of each choice
and pick the one that seams most advantageous for you. And you are extremely happy every time you think you've made "the right choice". But you also tend to forget that once you've made "a choice", no matter whether it's the right one or not, you've lost some freedom, since now you don't have all those alternatives. And people usually remember that only when they've made the wrong choices, and then, in order not to feel bad about themselves not being able to choose, start talking about "free choice" and stuff like that. There is no "free choice", making a choice means giving up some alternatives, giving up some freedom, so I think people should start acknowledging that and rather talk about the "right choice".
I'll try giving some examples. A girl and a boy fall in love. One of the expressions of their beautiful feelings is them having sex. And this is usually just great when you're in love and so on. But at some point, after, say, one year (as the scientific studies demonstrate), the passion is gone, and then they suddenly realize they have only had sex with each other for one whole year, and thus lost their sexual freedom. The two will probably feel being in a relationship with each other is full of constraints only when they are not happy anymore, when they are bored. In the beginning everything is so marvelous it just feels "normal" to make choices and restrain your freedom for the sake of being with the other one. I suppose this is how all the hippie talks about "free love" started. I mean people would prefer to have them both, "free" and "love", but I think this is just as much an impossibility as "free choice". When you are in love you are not free, because being in love is at least about spending a greater amount of time thinking about a person. And that distracts you from paying attention to a lot of things; being in love is about making somebody the center of your universe, and that means your universe will revolve around that centre, and all the alternative courses of movement disappear for a while. But this is again all for the best - you just have to choose the "right centre".
"Not being free" and "feeling you are not free" are two different things. Let's say you are a prostitute and there is a client you like. You are as much not free when you have sex with him like when you do it with any of the other clients, only that with him you "feel free" because you like him. What would be then the solution, what should we do in order to make the right choices and feel free more often? Intermezzo:
I think the best solution would be to, and this will sound extremely corny, understand and accept there is not only our universe that is "the real one", there are other universes, each person has his/her own and we should just try to live in harmony with them. Everybody thinks the world is the way they see it, because they only have their own subjective point of view, and everybody thinks the world revolves around them. Once you have accepted there are a lot more worlds than yours and the best way is to try and know them and enjoy this diversity, instead of trying to impose your own point of view on the world, you'll probably be a lot more relaxed and happy. If you assume that each time you choose something you loose something, a little freedom, and you try to make the best choices, deciding on what you are willing to give up - freedom, happiness, etc. - and what you want to gain - freedom, happiness - then you'll probably feel a lot more comfortable about what happens. And if I don't want to transform this into a very poor version of the poem "If" by Rudyard Kippling, I should try writing something about drugs, too (if you remember, it is included in the title).
Most drugs alter the so considered "normal" perception of the world. They create the so called "artificial" universes. Why artificial? Well, probably because people don't know how to get into that state of mind by themselves, they need the chemicals to modify some reactions in their brains. And this "need" is what people consider to be the terrible side of "drugs". I mean if a pill makes me happy, then it's ok to take it and feel happy or whatever. But once I start liking it too much, and "need" it in order to feel happy, and the "normal" world doesn't satisfy me anymore, then it's bad. I am "dependent", I am not free. I don't feel free anymore. Should I complain about it, make anti-drugs campaigns and try to convince people not to make "the same mistake"? Yes, if I assume it wasn't me that made that choice, if I assume there is some powerful thing called "The Drug" that is stronger than my will, if I assume all people are alike. But as long as I assume responsibility for my choices, as long as I assume people are different and each is responsible for their own choices, I will neither blame nor encourage sexual promiscuity, drug consumption and so on. I will just leave it to others to decide for themselves and try to make my decisions so as to keep my own private sphere of freedom, that isn't dependent on external circumstances.
How can one not depend on external circumstances since everything we do is somehow linked to the outside world? Well, probably the best solution would be to choose the kind or degree of dependency (or lack of freedom) that suits us best.