Although it's not the best book I've read, I can't deny that "The Neverending Story" is, by far, my favourite. I first read it when I was a teenager. I was captivated by such a wonderful story, plenty of meanings.
I've always seen it as a story about the true meaning of freedom. A story which shows us that we always have a reaction for each action, facing one to each other, either helping themselves to grow something, or for destroying one to each other.
When we look at ourselves in the mirror of our actions, we'll find that the reactions are looking us too, from inside. Depending on our choices, a beautiful or an ugly reflection for ourselves will stare at us.
Specially in this surreal world of SL, where we (supposedly) play our fantasies, I've listened the phrase "I'm a free spirit" as an excuse for some people for not accepting the consequences derived from their actions.
I don't accept that. You're completely free only when you understand about the consequences of your actions, and then, being informed and aware of the responsibility you must face after you act, choose an option. Any other than that is not being free, but a slave: slave of a whim, which is one of the most irrational and dangerous passions that might drive our behaviour.
If, by claiming that you're a free spirit, you really mean that you're not accepting the consequences of your actions, nor make yourself responsible of the pain you inflict, then you're not a free spirit: you're a whimsical selfish person.
Freedom always comes by knowledge and empathy. Never, ever, by ignorance and selfishness.
You can't be free if you don't know what you're doing. Where there's ignorance, there's always a great playground for being manipulated. Manipulators know pretty well how to take advantage of the ignorance and feed the ego expected from a selfish person, so they never realize that they're manipulated.
You'll know that you're free because, maybe your actions are restricted because of the consequences, but your conscience will be always clear, free, for living in peace with yourself, the only person you know for sure will be forever in your whole life: you.
That's why I chose my name, Auryn, for living in this surreal world. The AURYN had an inscription, "do what you wish". But the power of succumbing to your whims will mislead you, and make you finish in the lost emperors city, completely insane, with no memories as for being able of coming back to the real world.
Only those who understand the real meaning under the responsibility hidden behind the words "do what you wish", will be able to find the AURYN and bring back to their reality the water of life, usually found in happiness tears from those we've not harmed with our whims, but proven love with our facts.
(For more on the book, this article of Wikipedia pretty much nails the core: The Neverending Story. And now, excuse me all. I feel I want to read it again.)