Just been examining the idea of freedom recently in the media, in particular an article by Jeff Sparrow in the Guardian.
Freedom is such a misnomer in our society. I have the right to choose many things, but I cannot choose to easily escape my own prisons of the mind / soul. Am I trapped in my own gilded gold cage? Is a life of comfort diminishing my senses? Diminishing my choices?
The thirst for a non-ordinary state of consciousness springs from my desire to 'escape' the mundane. Hence we also have the desire for men to fight in wars - to escape the banal realities of modern western suburban life. Some soldiers will return, not with PTSD, but with a memory that the war zone was the highest peak experience of their life - a chance to lead a truly heroic life.
Our efforts at peace in the world need to take account of such desires in the male psyche. Yes we can have peace, but we must make room for heroic journey's, not just in Harry Potter books, but to construct those opportunities in our social worlds.
This then opens whole new ways of living - gradually replacing the technocratic with story - telling and the hero's journey.