"Epictetus' point, Hegel's point, and the point of nihilism is this: there is no freedom except in our minds. But we must achieve that freedom in our minds before we appreciate how truly free we have been all along."
this may be a dangerous line. One could easily say "tell that to somebody living in USSR, or somebody who's doing time"- just because most people use their lifes unwisely is merely an argument against stupidity and limited individuals, but not against "concrete freedom", don't you think? Someother wise man said (explicitly against hegel i think) that there isn't such thing as "half-freedom", or diferent kinds of freedom, in fact, freedom can't exist but intact. If somebody is not free to act accordingly to his ("free") thoughts he s not free at all. there's no such thing as "political freedom" or "economic freedom" etc, just FREEDOM and anybody who tells you otherwise is eithr the one who tries to flaw it or the advocate of such a man.what's the use of my thinking if i cant express it if i cant debate with others on it? (writings books, music, is acting, not just thinking, (wich in fact is an act also...) and as you stated not an act that's safe from inslavement - weak minds, easily to manipulate and direct) what's the use of artstical creation in "just freedom of thinking" ? I wouldn't want to be deprived of my favorites artistic acts (be it music, film, literature etc) just because the artists freedom is "in their minds" (think totalitarian censorship). the mind is not isolated, or selfsufficient. It needs action. It s funny how actualy inconceivable this is: being free only in your mind, that's truly impossible, everybody acts. even when they choose not to. (manipulation kills choice, freedom of choice is an atribute of a free individual, do not confuse this with the automation of so many, or democracy etc)