Saturday, April 17, 2004
A Question of Liberty
Liberty is ours by virtue of our limitation and misere; the fact that we die and know we are to gives the transcendence; 'sin' is a refusal of freedom and freedom is attained by engagement in the world, by chaining ourselves with responsibility. I concede the absurdity of man's reason in a universe which can never be explained by reason; yet freedom of the will is defended on grounds that are both secular and religious. The right and left most definitely have something in common here. One of our recurring purposes for self-enlightenment includes the discovery or realization of available resources for living in the face of the worst that the world can do to us. Freedom is not stepping away from this discovery. Am I free? Yes and no. None are as hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free. I fear little now. I am free of fear - until I meet something frightening. In my comfortable state, I am free. Remember the toothpaste tube. I have not yet been squeezed to the point of getting at what is really in me. I embrace a theology of suffering, but I am not sure what suffering is.
Many conversations in homes or at dining places are filled with the loud silences that are subjects not discussed. Is it ever possible to exhaust all conceivable topics? All things are possible, but 'All' 'Ever' and 'Exhaust' are universal quantifiers constantly in danger of exceptions. We are limited by our knowledge, experience and imagination. We do not know what we do not know. What are the topics of those loud silences I wonder? Are you bold enough to breech them? Will it be worth it? We have not yet broken decorum and discussed the taboo. What is taboo? By what standard do you tell if your thoughts, actions and words are trivial or brilliant? Yes, all conceivable topics can be exhausted in conversation if we choose not to acknowledge new understanding of select topics. In the exchange of words reflecting insight, we may gain new insight. We may also generate extreme boredom, but for a curious mind this is less likely. Surround yourself with interesting minds as a safeguard against boredom. When this is not possible, be kind.
God - No God
If you believe you are endowed with some gift or talent or pleasure, who is the endower? There is no rapacity equal to that of the privileged who feel that their advantages are conferred upon them by some Intelligence and no bitterness equal to that of the ill conditioned who feel that they have been specifically passed over. These are extremes of emotion mixed with just enough reason to make the sting noticeable. I contemplate freedom in this context. To value the opinions of others to the extent that it directs your actions is to be a slave to those opinions. How easy it would be to live if we were certain that there was no greater mind behind what we do. How terrifying and vain would be the role of leaders if, indeed, without guidance and consolation they must create from their own vitals the meaning for existence and write the rules whereby they/we live. There is only one way, however, to know what we know, and that is to risk our convictions in an act, and to commit them (our convictions) to responsibility. What do you know? What do you do?
I take such pride in the exploration of my mind that I forget there are laws governing that exploration. Those laws, whether they be defined as religion or ethics or mere judgment, must be found and respected. Otherwise the mind leads to self-destruction. To be so well established and mentally enlightened is a danger. It is a liberty that leads me to forget to allow the exercise in freedom to others. Liberty is an accumulating discipline. People must be given practice in choice. What laws govern your thinking? What are you trying to say? Who are you trying to say it to? To what end? Are you free? What enslaves you? Is freedom embracing responsibility? Is all this chatter a device to avoid the responsibility of daily living? Forgive me then. Write to alter all thought to self-awareness and enlightenment. Write for self.
- posted by -g @ 11:16 AM | | 0 rocks in pond
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