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Contrary to popular belief, freedom is not simply the ability to do and say as you please, without fear of oppression or restriction, but rather the ability to independently determine how to behave on your own. Words, actions, and behaviors all stem from a person’s beliefs and their thoughts, and far too often, those beliefs and thoughts are a reflection of outside influences and attitudes more than an individual’s own personal opinion. In that regard, people are not free; they are prisoners of a system that dictates how to live, how to think, how to feel, and how to behave. Predetermined conclusions and prejudices feed misguided actions and perceptions, and as a result, people who believe themselves to be free are merely the puppets and pawns of outside influences.
James J. Alexander believes in freedom and in free thought and encourages others around to be free-thinkers, themselves. In the complex, modern world, that seemingly simple act can be actually be an arduous undertaking. In his book Libere Cogitare, he explains a simple process for taking initial steps for an individual to become a free thinker, and escape the clutches of outside thought and influences as a means of determining personal behavior.