Freedom And Liberation

 

From the Diamond Sutra:

‘Subhuti, what do you think? Let no one say the Tathagata cherishes the idea: I must liberate all living beings. Allow no such thought, Subhuti.

Wherefore? Because in reality there are no living beings to be liberated by the Tathagata. If there were living beings for the Tathagata to liberate, He would partake in the idea of selfhood, personality entity, and separate individuality.’


Self-Liberation is realizing that there is no ‘Self’ that needs to be liberated. ‘I’ am never Liberated; to be Liberated is to see that there is no ‘Me’ that needs to be set-free.

Absolute Freedom is absolutely absurd. For to be unfree is part of the prerogative of being free. [‘Divine Reason’: the old-fashioned term. Do you smell the presence of the Self-Eating Expression hereabouts?]

I am free to be unfree. To be Liberated is to be freed of trying to be free. [As must be evident, ‘Liberation’ unlike the expression ‘Freedom’ has an intentional connotation of release.]

And to be Liberated [Mukthi, Moksha] is not to gain some new private freedom but rather to be let loose in primal freedom. [‘Will of God’? What’s that?]

And Liberation cohabits with no one. You cannot seek ‘Happiness’ and ‘Liberation’ at the same time [in spite of Thomas Jefferson’s silver prose]. Take your happiness when it comes; but don’t compromise on your freedom to be unhappy.


‘Truth’, in delightful irony is a chameleon of a word. It derives from the Old-English Treiewo, itself from the ProtoGerman Treuwaz. Etymological descendant of the Sanskrit Dre and Dhr [as in Dharma], it originally meant ‘Firm, Immovable’.

Around the 14th Century it began a descent in meaning to Fidelity, to a conformance’ [to the situation] and in time to simply as ‘Faith’. Truth in its deepest meaning had something to do with an ‘Unshook Trust’.

As late as the 19th Century Academic philosophers were coming up with ‘Theories of Truth’ which by that very fact vitiates its end. The Consistency Theory of Truth; the Coherence Theory of Truth; the Correspondence Theory of Truth and so on. Plato would have gulped.

If you look up modern dictionary definitions you will find explanations in keeping with the times: ‘Actuality, Certainty, Conformance with Facts, Accord with Reality’ and so on although each of these terms [‘Fact’] would itself require a lengthy elaboration.

In Martin Heidegger’s insightful take, Truth has not to do with logical propositions but rather:

The essence of Truth is Freedom and the essence of Freedom …is the resolutely open bearing that does not close up on itself…Philosophical Thinking’ is the stern and resolute openness that does not disrupt the concealing but entreats its open essence into the open regions of the understanding and thus into its own Truth.’


The English translation of the Chinese classic the Hsin-hsin Ming, arguably the best known early Zen poem, has various interpretations of the Chinese Character that makes up its title, most commonly as ‘Faith Heart-Mind’ or the better known ‘Trusting Mind’. And the Poem itself refers to its purpose as a ‘Life lived in True Faith’, a ‘Living in Trust’.

Sola Gratia [Grace Alone] and Sola Fide [Faith Alone] were the first two of Martin Luther’s five Solas, what are widely regarded as the five statements that lie at the very heart of the Protestant Faith.