Appreciating degrees of freedom
The more freedom we see without envy, the more freedom we will find in our own experience. We will find ourselves in a state of mind where the ideas and motivations will come that take us in the direction of more freedom. This means we are powerful enough to create more freedom by simply choosing to see all the freedom in our present circumstances.
Freedom of choice: A pencils and soda straws are free to roll off a table when pushed perpendicular to their length. They cannot stand up or roll end over end when moved. Each has one degree of freedom that allows it to roll forwards or backwards in one direction only. We are experiencing one degree of freedom when we've got a choice between staying or leaving, doing something or not, and persisting or dropping it. When we're limited to one degree of freedom, we can see it, appreciate it and use it. We can also devalue it for not being two or three degrees of freedom and even feel like we've got no freedom at all.
Freedom of grounded movement: Pedestrians, bicycles and cars are free to move in any direction on the ground. They cannot fly or go underground. Each has two degrees of freedom that allows free movement on an inclined or horizontal plane. We are experiencing two degrees of freedom when we play by the rules of the game, explore new territories with our physical senses or use tangible tools to get things done. We can appreciate these two degrees of freedom or seek sympathy for not having a 3rd degree of freedom to experience.
Freedom of flight: Kites, airplanes or hot air balloons are free to move vertically as well as in every horizontal direction. Each has three degrees of freedom that allows it to soar above the ground. Insects, birds and seeds also show us this freedom that defies gravity and the usual need for surface traction. We experience three degrees of freedom when we change the rules of the game, revise our strategy for exploring new territory, or formulate a plan for using the tools to get things done. We transcend the level of task, progress and productivity to be more resourceful, clever or efficient. It can feel like flying when we get above the problem like that. We can treasure this much freedom or wish we had more.
Freedom to disappear: Fog, clouds and rainbows are free to vanish. They do not need to "exit stage right" or leave by moving within the volume of space. They exhibit four degrees of freedom that allows them to wink out in an instant or fade out of sight slowly. We experience four degrees of freedom when we feeling like all is possible in this moment. We may transcend our physical and historical limitations to seem to be everywhere all the time. We can become one with everything here as if now is the only time that is real. We may extend our consciousness beyond this space-time reality construct to a fifth dimension of experience. When we experience four degrees of freedom, we are not only here in this world of appearances and not entirely eternal either.