Although I am doing life in prison, prison is not life for me. Since my day of incarceration I’ve never been in prison. As strange as this may sound, it is true. I never imagined how liberating it would be to be physically within the confines of walls. It is within these walls that I’ve learned how to live in true freedom via freedom of spirit.

To many people “freedom” has to be physical. If it is not, then they are “in prison.” However, there is a difference between “in prison” and “imprisoned.” The former is deprivation of liberty; hence, physical. The latter is deprivation of freedom; hence, psychological. It is this distinctive nuance that I now profoundly understand which is why, presently, I live in true freedom of spirit.

What is “freedom of spirit?”

Freedom of spirit is the absolute understanding and execution of one’s will to never ever succumb to one’s fate; but rather, to always prevail on one’s destiny. Pitiful for those who allow unsavory challenging circumstances to dictate what the strength and quality of their spirit and character should be.

No matter how pressing life can get, we must never surrender, never undermine our natural inborn power to choose what our world should be. Irrespective of such circumstances, that must never be imprisoned; that freedom will never live in prison. That freedom dwells within your constitution not within an institution. Put differently, one’s confinement is not based on feeling. It is based on thinking. If one can truly understand this profound truth and act upon it, one, perhaps, may tap into and discover unthinkable dimensions of freedom and reality.

I know readers are eager to know what I do and how I do this. Fortunately the method is not complex: Engage the mind with meaningful subject matter; engage the spirit to give it life and purpose; and engage your intelligence to understand, learn, and function accordingly. Like the great ancient philosopher Socrates said: The marks of a genius are “a good judgment”, “a retentive memory”, and “an ardent desire of useful knowledge.” In other words, to concern one’s self, substantially, with human affairs. Once this is so, technically, one is disengaged from “reality.’ One is no longer consciously aware of the anxieties of life; of the vicissitudes of life; hence unmeaningful immaterial subject matter.

I have discovered such freedom by genuinely intending to make the most of my [life] in prison. First and foremost, I lead a disciplined workout regimen to myself healthy, fit, and strong.

Second, I study, study, and study: business (my favorite), accounting, writing, philosophy, history, computers; in addition to Forbes, Entrepreneur, Inc. com, Bloomberg Businessweek, the Wall Street Journal, any many more subject matter to keep the [mind and spirit] always engaged in a meaningful manner. But most of all, I study and learn about the law ad nauseum. I read appellate courts rulings to stay informed about recent case law developments; and I read and study Supreme Court cases to keep the mind, logic, and understanding capabilities as polished and sharp as possible. There is nothing quite fascinating as Supreme Court case studies. I am currently working on special project that can forever alter the present legal landscape; that is, to prove that Title 21 USC 846 Drug Conspiracy is NOT “a controlled substance offense,” that warrants such harsh sentences.

My true passion is counseling, mediating, and mentoring (with an emphasis on relationships). Although I do not have a diploma or certificate, prison has presented a special opportunity to help those that are psychologically, emotionally, or intellectually unsettled. Prison abounds in rich, raw, incessant material from which to “treat,” study, and learn. To optimistically help those comprehend, resolve, and cope with such challenging circumstances is truly buoyant.

In sum, if it is possible to experience such freedom in prison, what freedom are you experiencing in liberty? If one can gain such freedom by losing such liberty, what boundaries?

Thank you all for welcoming my spirit. Like yours it is free; albeit, via a different dimension.

— Vladimir I.

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