I just know that I m free. I stand here, able to raise my arm or not just as I please. Suppose I do it-thus-then I have felt myself controlling the way events unfolded. My consciousness reveals my freedom to me.
However here is the German philosopher Schopenhauer :
Let us imagine a man who, while standing on the street, would say to himself: ‘It is six o’clock in the evening, the working day is over. Now I can go for a walk, or I can go to the club; I can also climb up the tower to see the sun set; I can go to the theatre; I can visit this friend or that one; indeed, I also can run out of the gate; into the wide world, and never return. All of this is strictly upto me, in this I have complete freedom.
But still I shall do none of these things now, but with just as free a will I shall go home to my wife.’
This is exactly as if water spoke to itself: ‘I can make high waves (yes! in the sea during a storm), I can rush down hill (yes ! in the river bed), I can plunge down foaming and gushing (yes! in the waterfall ), I can rise freely as a stream of water into the air (yes! in the fountain), I can finally, boil away and disappear (yes! at certain temperature);
But I am doing none of these things now, and am voluntarily quiet and clear water in the reflecting pond.’
– German Philosopher “Schopenhauer” (1788-1860)
In this parable Schopenhauer denies that our own self understanding, our self-consciousness, displays our real freedom.