Where the Mind is Free...

Mind you, we are mind. / We are not the kind / To stay too confined. Robert Frost, "Kitty Hawk"

You can chain me, you can torture me, you can even destroy this body, but you will never imprison my mind. Mahatma Gandhi

I know but one freedom and that is the freedom of the mind. Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Man Unbound

Our duty, as men and women, is to proceed as if limits to our ability did not exist. We are collaborators in creation. Teilhard de Chardin

What comes over a man,
is it soul or mind
That to no limits and bounds
he can stay confined? Robert Frost

Whatever appeals to the imagination, by transcending the ordinary limits of human ability, wonderfully encourages and liberates us. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nietzsche - Philosopher's Pain

We philosophers are not free to divide body from soul as the people do; we are even less free to divide soul from spirit. We are not thinking frogs, nor objectifying and registering mechanisms with their innards removed: constantly, we have to give birth to our thoughts out of our pain and, like mothers, endow them with all we have of blood, heart, fire, pleasure, passion, agony, conscience, fate, and catastrophe. Life — that means for us constantly transforming all that we are into light and flame — also everything that wounds us; we simply cannot do otherwise.

...Only great pain, the long, slow pain that takes its time — on which we are burned, as it were, with green wood — compels us philosophers to descend into our ultimate depths and to put aside all trust, everything good-natured, everything that would interpose a veil, that is mild, that is medium — things in which formerly we may have found our humanity. I doubt that such pain makes us "better"—; but I know that it makes us more profound. Whether we learn to pit our pride, our scorn, our will power against it, equaling the American Indian who, however tortured, repays his torturer with the malice of his tongue; or whether we withdraw from pain into that Oriental Nothing — called Nirvana — into mute, rigid, deaf resignation, self-forgetting, self-extinction: out of such long and dangerous exercises of self-mastery one emerges as a different person, with a few more question marks — above all with the will henceforth to question further, more deeply, severely, harshly, evilly, and quietly than one had questioned heretofore. The trust in life is gone: life itself has become a problem.— Yet one should not jump to the conclusion that this necessarily makes one gloomy! Even love of life is still possible — only one loves differently. ... The attraction of everything problematic, the delight in an X, however, is so great in such more spiritual, more spiritualized men that this delight flares up again and again like a bright blaze over all the distress of what is problematic, over all the danger of uncertainty, and even over the jealousy of the lover. We know a new happiness ....

--Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science ("la gaya scienza"), Translation by Walter Kaufmann

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