A MAN'S GUIDE TO FREEDOM, HAPPINESS, AND PEACE OF MIND

In today's world it can be a very difficult task to focus on one's self; it involves disregarding others opinions and the will to give up luxuries to find a more simple and connected life. Humans as a whole let society shape their opinions of others. These opinions constantly affect how one acts, thinks, and speaks. It is impossible to find one's true self when society is constantly forming up opinions about the correct ways to behave, because it will always be influencing one's decisions. Many authors, for example, Thoreau and the like, focus on themes such as wealth, solitude, society, and finding one's self. They stress the importance of resisting the urge to indulge in luxuries and riches because they do nothing to benefit the mind, but rather, focus on internals and things which are in our power to control. Humans are unable to single handedly control the views of society, so it is an external power which should not be paid any mind to. Furthermore, ranks of society and riches are externals because humans are born into these roles. Because humans cannot control these powers, they must not focus on them. They are external to the body. Only the internals, which man has the power to control, should be a point of focus. Once man is able to disregard other unnecessary externals, he will find happiness and peace of mind. 

"Therefore since riches do not do the body any good-/ And nor does rank nor royalty-it should be understand/ that neither do they profit the mind" (Lucretius 37)
"What man thinks about himself, that it is which determines, or rather indicates, his fate" (Thoreau 11). Man must not focus on externals, but rather himself and how he portrays that image. Here the artist paints how he views himself.
"There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will" (Epictetus). Birds are a symbol or freedom and freedom means to be able to act, speak, or think anything which man desires. If one is constantly concerned about things which are not in his control, he is not truly free. The only way to truly be free and happy is to not worry about externals.
"To prevent any misconstruction, I must add, that I do not believe that a private education can work wonders which some sanguine writers have attributed to it. Men and women must be educated, in a great degree, by the opinions and manners of the society they live in. In every age there has been a stream of popular opinion that has carried all before it, and given a family character, as it were, to the century. It may then fairly be inferred, that, till society be differently constituted, much cannot be expected from education" (Wollstonecraft 20). Society dictates popular opinion. In this image, a society is going about their daily lives, most of their actions influenced by how others will view them.
"And so we see the body's needs are altogether spare/ only the bare minimum to keep suffering at bay" (Lucretius 36). Theo van Doesburg focused on basic geometric forms and primary colors of art, also known as the basics. Using this artistic technique brings about how so much can be made from so little; the same as a life can be fulfilled with only a few needs.
Solitude allows one to live by his own rules and form his own opinions. Away from the rule of the majority, man is able to think freely without the fear of being oppressed, and is able to focus on his internals, which are in his power to control. By doing so, he will find freedom, happiness, and peace of mind.
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