We know what material freedom looks like.
Loosely defined, it's having enough money to meet survival needs, have some comfort, and be OK when we are too old to work.
We aren't restricted. We can, more or less, do what we want to do. Billionaires, yet still, have a few more options and soon, might even be vactioning on Mars.
We get fixated on this kind of freedom and look up to those who have achieved it, perhaps even envy them. We may also get discouraged and depressed if we haven't achieved it.
It's material freedom only and just because it's been acquired doesn't necessarily produce the feeling of being free. In many cases, you can feel less free because you're afraid of losing what you have.
Material freedom doesn't mean you are free of your past. Free of your ego. Free of your psychological/emotional patterning. Free of the need for approval. Free of the fear of intimacy. Free of the fear of not surviving.
These are incredibly important aspects in life. They are the shackles that prevent the attainment of a wider concept of freedom, more subtle in nature, call it spiritual freedom.
Individuals with spiritual freedom (like Mildred Norman aka Peace Pilgrim) don't worry. Ever. They could be penniless, hungry, without a roof over their head and yet, they won't panic nor will their unending and causeless happiness be broken.
Think how far less causes us to worry and become dejected, even if we have a million dollars in the bank!
How is this? It's because they have worked hard to be liberated from the "survival self." They are no longer individual "Is" questing for personal success, personal happiness, personal freedom. How small these goals become in their eyes!
They have made God contact. In other words, their consciousness has expanded beyond the five senses. With God contact, comes knowledge that all is well. We are cared for. We are provided for, provided we stay in touch and true to ourselves.
When this kind of yoga or merging occurs, we no longer worry about material freedom because it is a natural byproduct of spiritual freedom—you always have enough, as Mildred did, though she roamed on foot for years without any money.
It doesn't work the other way though. Material freedom does not lead to spiritual freedom and can, in fact, hinder it, just as Siddhartha Gautama felt the need to flee his royal abode.
So, we want to be mindful of where we are placing our attention, especially if we live in a culture that favors one kind of freedom over the other. Of course, we tend to our material necessities but even more so, we work to eliminate those tendencies which cause us to compete with the world.
The more we compete, the less understanding we have that all is well, the less God contact we have. We need to prove something and are not yet free.