Human freedom is located, and flourishes, in the precise point in philosophical space where the questioning attitude and what is meet. Without this direct, head-on contact with what is, one remains forever trapped in a pure, psychological universe, in which nothing exists but the contents of one's mind—in philosophy, this doctrine is called "solipsism." A solipsistic universe can never allow for freedom, because freedom requires that an individual be aware of that which threatens to constrain it, and this can only be what is. In this sense, free acts, free choices, and free expression can exist only when there is a possibility that they may be squashed by the hard facts of reality. This is precisely why the experience of freedom, in any form, creates a powerful feeling of liberation: one can only know freedom when one is liberated from that which tries to constrict or extinguish it altogether.
In the end, freedom of thought is nothing more than an individual's ability to engage what is and to respond freely to this experience, and to ask rational questions about it. But this ability presupposes openness to what is. The simple attempt to try to answer the questions that emerge in this openness is one of the profound expressions of human freedom. Free acts of creativity represent human freedom at its most expressive. Creativity means going beyond what is already realized in order to produce new items and meanings that the individual had not previously found in the natural or human world. Going beyond what is already realized first requires intuiting or surverying what is, questioning it, and then, in an act of philosophical or artistic defiance, transcending or transfiguring it by genuine actions that produce change and novelty. Producing something that is seen as original is actually the most powerful act of freedom, and it follows naturally that it also grants the creative individual the deepest sense of liberation. This is the primary reason why the arts have such a visceral and imaginative grip on us, both as viewers and performers: these creative mediums enable us to break free of the constraints and banality of what is predictable, typical, repetitive, limited, and controlling—the existential gravity of everyday life.
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