We tend to think freedom is the ability to do whatever we want. But what determines what we want? Our preferences, likes and dislikes, attachments and aversions. Do we choose them freely? We may be free from external constraints but are bound by internal constraints, by instincts and passion. To be truly free we need to overcome the conditioning of this life (and many before, if you believe in reincarnation), conditioning by our parents, our friends, community, culture and life itself.
“Freedom consists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought.”
Pope John Paul II