Daily Inspiration for Journal Writing: Aldous Huxley on Freedom

by Amber Lea Starfire on July 8, 2011

catnav-journaling-activePost #47 – Memoir Writing, Journaling – Amber Starfire
-

July 4th, Lake Austin

“Almost all of us long for peace and freedom; but very few of us have much enthusiasm for the thoughts, feelings, and actions that make for peace and freedom.”

~ Aldous Huxley

Here in the U.S., we recently celebrated the 235th anniversary of our freedom as a new country. This time of year, a U.S. citizen — such as myself — naturally ponders the concept of freedom and all it might entail. Then, in my reading today, I came across this quote of Aldous Huxley’s, which made me think about the subject on a deeper level. Led me to ask questions (ah, isn’t life all about asking questions?) which, of course, led me to think about journaling, because I know of no better place to work out these internal questions than in my journal. I invite you to join me in exploring the topic of freedom and its associated topics: peace and happiness.

  • How do you define freedom? And is there a difference between personal freedom and social freedom?
    -
  • What do you think Huxley means by, “few of us have much enthusiasm for the thoughts, feelings, and actions that make for peace and freedom”? What kinds of thoughts, feelings, and actions could he be referring to? Do you think Huxley is right or correct? If so, how so? If not, how not?-
    -
  • Are “peace” and “freedom” naturally linked (as concepts)? In what ways are they linked? What separates “freedom” from “peace”?
    -
  • What about you? What kinds of actions might you take for peace and freedom?
    -
  • How is happiness related or not related to freedom?
    -
  • How is happiness related or not related to peace?

Because these concepts mean so much (and differently) to different people, we would love to read your comments.

__________________________________

For creative ways to use your journal, as well as writing tips and prompts, be sure to connect with me on Writing Through Life.
-

reflective journaling
-
Image Credit: Trey Ratcliff
-

{ 1 trackback }

Weekly Journaling Prompts: On Freedom — Writing Through Life
July 11, 2011 at

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Kendra Bonnett July 9, 2011 at

Thanks for this, Amber. These are concepts we all should (and need) to consider from time to time. I don’t know if I completely agree with Aldous Huxley, however. I’m not sure it’s about a lack of enthusiasm. You mention these words–freedom, peace, happiness–to almost anyone and they’ll be enthusiastic. And even when we feel any of the three are being diminished or threatened, we don’t act quickly.

In some parts of the world, it’s because they’ve been beaten down and demoralized for so long. In other cases (particularly here in the west) we don’t feel the 1000 little stings…until finally we have had enough.

This has brought people to the streets across the Middle East more than once. It started a revolution in France, another in Russia. It enabled Poland and others to realize they had the numbers to throw off their oppressors and win their freedom and happiness back. It brought Americans out to demand an end to the Vietnam War.

I’m glad you brought this our awareness. These are more than words. They are concepts we all need to examine and think about on a regular basis because struggles around the world and throughout history illustrate how difficult it can be to win back inalienable rights once taken away.

Amber Lea Starfire July 9, 2011 at

Kendra, thanks for sharing your thoughts on this subject. I think Huxley meant that while we all want peace and freedom, many are unwilling to do what it takes to make them happen. Of course, as you point out, “what it takes” is very different depending upon where one lives. For those in war-torn countries, “peace” might mean simply removing the threat of daily violence. For someone like me, living in a peaceful (largely non-violent) area of the world, “peace” expands to include personal attitudes and emotions.

Exploring our ideas about what it means to be free — and certainly how we might achieve and/or sustain freedom — can be valuable to understanding our “frame” through which we see the world.

hanna March 12, 2012 at

this bring back memories of my life how i suffer thank you very much i totally understand Huxley alot of us came to this country we suffer had to to run like athief and fight like atiger for liberty freedom this is so great this is helping me alot thank you

Leave a Comment

Interviews Category Interviews Category Interviews Category Interviews Category Interviews Category Interviews Category Writing Prompts Category Writing Prompts Category Writing Prompts Category Writing Prompts Category Writing Prompts Category Writing Prompts Category StoryMap Category StoryMap Category StoryMap Category Writing and Healing Category Writing and Healing Category Writing and Healing Category Scrapmoir Category Scrapmoir Category Scrapmoir Category Book Business Category Book Business Category Book Business Category Memoir Journal Writing Category Memoir Journal Writing Category Memoir Journal Writing Category News Category News Category News Category