Why are you breathing?
Apart from the obvious biological answers, do you know why you are alive?
I didn’t for a long time. I was ignorant. The first time I ever thought about why I was alive was when my dad called me to his office (now my room) for me to watch the TED Talk by Simon Sinek. It is a phenomenal video that has helped thousands if not hundreds of thousands of people across the globe. Everyone should watch it and think hard about why they are alive and what they can do to achieve that why.
Except I didn’t. My thinking on the subject following that video was superficial. I knew I was a writer and that would be my passion for life. But I didn’t know why. Being a writer is WHAT I am, but not why I am alive, for writing is a craft, not a reason.
Knowing that writing was my craft for life did open the door to more in-depth internal exploration and thinking. Seven years at university, sexual exploration, philosophical awakening, political and religious turmoil finally led me to my answer.
I wish to inspire others to liberate themselves from their oppressors so that all can be free.
People refer to life as a journey.
“This is my journey.”
“I have found my path.”
Life is a ferocious battle with our oppressors whether we like it or not. It is a battle, and in combat we need help. No one can fight alone, which is why I write. It is why I live. I want to help others liberate themselves.
Ironically, it was the communist revolutionary, Che Guevara who said: “I am not a liberator. Liberators do not exist. The people liberate themselves.”
I am not here to liberate you. From my battle, I know that only you can liberate yourself. But that doesn’t mean I can’t help.
Freedom of Thought
The battle of the modern age is the battle of thoughts. George Orwell identified the oppression of thought back in his era ad it appears to be back at full strength. Purity of thought and the intolerance of dissent is poisoning society, thanks in the most part due to the power of social media. Twitter outrages lead to folks being sacked, harassed and silenced. Books, films and every other are given trigger warnings, and students cower in safe spaces rather than face the world head-on.
When people are afraid to speak freely, they cannot think freely. A great man once said: “If people cannot write well, they cannot think well, and if they cannot think well, others will do their thinking for them.”
That is why self-censorship is the most dangerous form of censorship alive. Other forms such as state censorship can be resisted if the mind is still free to fight. But when YOU suppress your thoughts, then the battle is lost.
NO ONE has the right to police your thoughts, speech or expression and you equally have NO right to police others. The truth is that everyone has the right to be heard, the right to listen and the right to decide for themselves how to react, whether that be to stand, argue, boycott or debate or just to ignore and walk away.
Freedom from the State
Freedom from the state is what folks usually think when it comes to liberty and liberation. That goes for me too. I am a loose member of the British Political Party, the Liberal Democrat and apart from their ludicrous position on Britain leaving the European Union, I support many of their fundamental policies. On the back of my membership card, it says:
“The Liberal Democrats exist to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society, in which we seek to balance the fundamental values of liberty, equality and community, and in which no-one shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity.”
The State as an institution is hostile to liberty because, by its very nature, it is based on power held by flawed humans, always seeking to increase their power.
For example, the consistent targeting of the rich thereby allowing the State to take more of their wealth by any means necessary merely because they can afford it. However, since when did the State has a right to just take money from those who can afford it?
Another example would be the regulation of the press and media, where the State enjoys prodding into as if it has any right in what appears or how we access it. This results in a government attempting to block porn sites unless we fork over our data, or threatening to force publications who don’t sign up to a corrupt regulator to pay both their legal fees, but that of their opponents even if they win a legal case.
No government should have the power to intrude and oppress its people and without due process.
Freedom from religion
My most significant enemy and cause of pain is religion. Raised in a Catholic household, attending Catholic institutions and going to church, while being a genuine homo meant a life of struggles including both external and internal oppressors.
Any other LGBT individual will tell you of a negative experience of the religious judging and be oppressing them at one time or another. Religion is the natural enemy of liberty, especially for LGBT folks.
Religion in all its forms is about control. It wants to enforce a single view of the mind, the vagina and the family, which in many respects are the essentials for how a society functions. Religion wants a monopoly on belief and what society believes as proven with its current battle over marriage, abortion and the right to think differently.
It is this battle that may have brought you and me together, and I hope I can help you liberate yourself from the worst form of tyranny.
Freedom of the mind
For many of us, our greatest oppressor in our mind. Mental illnesses imprison us inside our heads and prevent us from seeing our best selves. Anxiety turns our friends and family into enemies and depression forces us to edge of choosing whether to live or die by our hand.
Dealing with your internal oppressors and liberating yourself from its influence is one of the hardest things any of us can do and yet we must face it head-on. That is why I want to help you.
Freedom from Death
It is said that death haunts humanity. That the spectre of Death is always a few steps behind us. And yet that is not the case. Death is our logical and only conclusion. It is something we need not fear and again something we must always keep in mind.
You control how your life progresses. Yes, there is obstacles and life is a bitch, but everything depends on how you relate and react to it. Ask yourself this question: If you could leave life right now, would you be satisfied?
My answer is no.
It is that answer that has prevented me committing suicide on two occasions. I focus on Memento Mori. By reflecting on death every day, I allow myself moments of reflection about my life and will enable them to guide me forward. It is why I wear a Deathly Hallows necklace and a skull ring every day and own a coin from the Daily Stoic, whilst having two La Muerte skulls standing on my desk and drinking from a skull glass. Always keep a reminder of death close by because it prevents the fear of death oppressing me and instead liberates me.
Freedom from Society
As a man, society has set expectations of who I am and how I should behave. The same is precisely the same for women and in most cases, far worst. Society attempts to dictate the behaviour of men, women and children, covering various topics including sexuality, relationships, the type of work we should do and just how we should all behave in general. Society is in many respect the enemy of the individual.
75% of all suicides in the UK are committed by men. A primary contributor to that is that men are not meant to discuss how they feel. They are supposed to appear cold and in control at all times. They need to man up, never cry and always be the tough guy. I want to break that.
I want us, me and you to rewrite what it means to be a man. Cut away the toxic and diseased skin that covers the idea of masculinity and rewrite the story of the fresh flesh beneath.
I want to help you
Life is hard and filled with oppressors. I want to help you liberate yourselves from whatever oppresses you. Do you want my help?