Freedom is a very popular word ever since democracies started to be established in the world. But another connotation of the word, the freedom of the soul, has also been a word much used in the last hundred years or so, as many philosophers thought that was the ultimate goal of the development of human mind. While happiness is a difficult concept to live in, freedom of soul is a more viable concept.
A man’s life in the world perforce involves some bondages and in the process he gathers some chains on his soul. Loss of this freedom is significant to the quality of a man’s life. So, effort has to be made to regain the higher level of freedom man comes with at birth. Of course, though the freedom level is higher at birth, due to the newborn’s limitation of consciousness, his freedom quality is low.
It is not that we can run away from the world to gain the higher threshold of inner freedom, it is how to manage to live in the world, while at the same time maintain a higher level freedom that is needed. While inner and outer freedoms have similarities but they also have sharp differences. In the inner life one is aiming at freedom from want while in the outer freedom one wants to have a freedom to want. In the outer freedom one may have to deal with the other people to gain and maintain it but in the inner freedom one is not dealing with them at all.
However, acquirement of the inner freedom may be constrained by the state of the outer freedom. That is, the external circumstances of a man may impinge on his developing and maintaining his inner freedom. Also, if anyone has found the inner freedom, he is for the outer freedom. We have had revolutionaries who have fought for and won outer freedoms for people, we also have had revolutionaries of human mind who have fought and won inner freedoms for people.