Tuesday, April 20, 2004


In the book The Genius of Haiku, which contains readings from R.H. Blyth, is a lovely paragraph about freedom. Blyth was a practitioner, proponent and promoter of Zen.
What is the essential? Zen is the only essential. What is inessential? All the rest, especially the emotional and intellectual rubbish that hinders our freedom. Just as
Perfect love casteth out fear,
so true Zen casts out every kind of bondage, which includes fear. Freedom is perfect, pure freedom, but Milton said of liberty,
For who loves that must first be wise and good.
Freedom means freedom from error and superstition, freedom to be good. The more freedom, the more truth; the more truth, the more freedom, -- this is a natural law everywhere demonstrated in the history of human thought. Thus the construction of dogmatic beliefs by the highest intellect reduces man to the same state of mental slavery as the crudest and most infantile superstition. The philosopher and the savage are just as distant from the truth.

I used to feel exactly that way, when studying Locke and Hume and other philosophers. The only philosophy I know of which is a workable (not perfect, but workable!) system, in which man is postulated to be basically good and seeking freedom, is Scientology. And I thank my lucky stars (said with tongue firmly in cheek) that I found it and wasn't so cynical and so depressed that I could not recognize it for what it was -- a way to the truths I had been looking for.

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