One can be a slave to an idea of self that is not true, but maintained in preference to truth, and as a result defend its assertion against what IS true. This equates the self with a power to 'do' or act upon the Life that is defined outside or other. But first it is coercive unto its Self. That a self contradiction can give rise to an insanity of an attempt to resolve it externally is evident. But the self-image defends itself against exposure by every means available, and so the desire to observe the mind-in-act is usually only as a result of an attempt to gain insight in order to leverage more control, or the true insights arising from yielding the personal investment in coercive thinking.
Free will means freely willing, but a presumption of independent coercive power redefines free will as the capacity to DO what it chooses - being blind to the fact that all action is an automatic result of the mutually agreed definitions, beliefs, feelings, thoughts, perception, that generate the experience which is interpreted in terms of the past and the behaviour simply effects reaction - along with a script or narrative of self-justification.
That 'slave selves' should organize themselves as a result of attempts to dominate, own, coerce and manipulate others is inevitable. Unified or unifying power is meaningless or anathema to such structures of thought EXCEPTING to attempt to unify all powers under one global power.
True relationship is not a contractual attempt to use the relationship only as a means to GET from, but an extension of a connected wholeness brought TO the relationship. The substitution of true presence with artifice is choosing to identify in mask rather than actually meet the other - or one's self. When all agree to turn away, the presence of Life has been disregarded in order to seek and find one 'own' life on one's 'own' terms' - and this seems a freedom while the 'Prodigal's' pockets are full of friends - but the journey is one of depletion and disillusionment into darkness and isolation - and all of it operates a mechanism of diminishing returns that finally require 'selling' or abusing every vestige of inherited integrity to get cash for the next 'fix'.
ONCE one is exclusively identified with the body and its corresponding personality structure (in the realm of blind powers acting upon each other), Coercion can be brought to bear by direct violence through to subtle inferences that are backed by the capacity or belief in the capacity to effect such violence on one's body, one's mind, one's loved ones, one's assets. The 'balance of powers' includes a willingness to limit such power through rules, laws and collective enforcement. But the nature of guile is to operate in the shadows towards undermining such limitations in one's own personal agenda and its own self-justifying exceptionalism.
So within the experience of our waking conscious sense of the world, we experience a conflict between an inherited or innate integrity that may be heavily denied by fearful and guilt or shame-framed self-definition, and the dictate of fear which operates as a driven or threatened sense of personal survival. Awakening to integrity and choosing to stand in it and live from it, may well meet the confusions of a split sense of self, but is awake beneath it and within it. Freedom to be who you are is the freedom to withdraw allegiance from what you are not. It is also the freedom to be truly guided as to how to relate in any given situation so as to release the hooks and triggers whereby guilt and fear would manipulate or 'bait' reaction. Freedom is of the Spirit - that is the freedom of Purpose. When all that arises is used to serve a willingness to uncover truth - then that is the purpose it shall have for you. When that is the ONLY purpose, then you have released all that WANTED untruth in yourself.
It is easy to invent scenarios to demolish love's reality for that has been the job description of the mind for millennia. But life is not rehearsal in mental dissociation so much as an ongoing unfolding living relationship in which one swims with the current or apparently against it - yet it flows as one whatever the little eddies and undercurrents may suggest.
What one attunes to becomes the focusing of their choosing and their experience - which then conditions the mind as reinforcement. Un-owned and un-transmuted fear is slavery. Identified and accepted guilt is powerlessness. Both can take many forms so as to operate a protection racket.
Following the dictate of fear - albeit dresses as the temptation to 'power' or self-specialness - 'sells one's Soul' - which is to say trades an innate and integral capacity for joy and creative relationship for a 'lead role in a cage'.
The way out of an impossible situation... is to recognize you are not in it. Yet experience is equated with 'reality' and seeing is equated with 'believing'. Such is the slavery of a conditioned mind.
"Can I choose to deny true freedom in ever deeper and more complex and conflicting patterns of denial"? The answer is not to ask the question as a means to find out! Knowing that this is a painful and self-defeating futility, can you or anyone want this?
The capacity to maintain the focus in the physical experience is temporary. Not only requiring daily sleep, but innumerable correspondences behind the scenes to effect the experience - for even the material aspect of existence is not as solid and continuous as it seems. It also tends to operate as a discrete 'life-time' whether long or short.
While we cling to life in the terms we set, we fear not only death, but Life Itself. When Plato's freed man tries to speak to those in the cave, they will not hear, or will redefine what they hear in terms of chains. For they yet seek to be free from light, so as to dream alone in darkness. Dreams of freedom YES! Good News! Now they can understand. Feed them dreams of freedom so that they can cover and salve the pain and shame of a broken will, a lost love, a shadow of a life.
"Can I let myself into freedom"?
By siding with it instead of fighting for it. There is no freedom in hate. Don't take the bait!