There is no such thing as freedom at the present time, we don't know what it means. We would like to be free but, if you notice, everybody - the teacher, the parent, the lawyer, the policeman, the soldier, the politician, the business man - is doing something in his own little corner to prevent that freedom. To be free is not merely to do what you like, or to break away from outward circumstances which bind you, but to understand the whole problem of dependence. Do you know what dependence is? You depend on your parent, don't you? You depend on your teachers, you depend on the cook, on the postman, on the man who brings you milk, and so on. That kind of dependence one can understand fairly easily. But there is a far deeper kind of dependence which one must understand before one can be free: the dependence on another for one's happiness. do you know what it means to depend on somebody for your happiness? It is not the mere physical dependence on another which is so binding, but the inward, psychological dependence from which you derive so-called happiness; for when you depend on somebody in that way, you become a slave. If, as you grow older, you depend emotionally on your parents, on your wife or husband, on a guru, or on some idea, there is already the beginning of bondage. We don't understand this - although most of us, especially when we are young, want to be free.
To be free we have to revolt against all inward dependence, and we cannot revolt if we don't understand why we are dependent. Until we understand and really break away from all inward dependence we can never be free, for only in that understanding can there be freedom. But freedom is not a mere reaction. Do you know what a reaction is? If I say something that hurts you, if I call you an ugly name and you get angry with me, that is a reaction - a reaction born of dependence; and independence is a further reaction. But freedom is not a reaction, and until we understand reaction and go beyond it, we are never free.
-- Jiddu Krishnamurthy