a reply to: Wang Tang
Great post, thoughtful and engaging.
The western world is finding out a truth through existential experience. That is that freedom is not an end in itself, but like most things a means to
Freedom exists so humans can find some truth….Or the truth. But this is a double edged sword waiting to strike.
I won’t go into the subjective and say what that truth is, it’s for an individual to seek and find for themselves without the burden of a coercive
agency like a government.
Once we understand this then the next item to deal with is the etiology of the philosophy of freedom that has gripped western civilization.
This means a grasp of history, exoteric and esoteric. In examining the source of western philosophy where the concept of freedom has taken hold we
come to see the exoteric as the political idea of freedom as an end in itself, and the esoteric aspect which understands that that concept is
bankrupt, and only leads to forms and levels of hedonistic indulgence.
That’s one reason for the unfortunate fact that many of the fascist ideas from the west are based in immature esoteric concepts from people who
aught to know better.
That said, and gotten out of the way, we must note that freedom as a means to an end has as its extension in many minds that the end is some kind of
religion or philosophy that claims to have found the truth; therefore to its fellows they say: there's no longer any reason for freedom: fascism,
Nazism, religious cults, political cults, communism, capitalism and many other isms and asms have filled the void you speak of in contradiction to the
very concept of freedom.
This is valid on one level as far as it goes, conceptually speaking, in terms of the idea of freedom as a means to an end and not as an end in itself.
But the ever present idea of ethics and morality cuts through this and slays it like a valiant knight slays for its beloved. It never works, the
apocalyptic cults and truth finders when they want to impose their truth on the world always fail because of the ontological reality that truth is
persepctival and based on many things outside of linear deductions and dogma.
The fact is the individual in the west has to find a path within the narrow and conflicting elements that cut across the philosophical reality of
freedom: materialism, the cause of seeking higher truth, and the conflict of truth for the individual and the collective.
There are dangers in all of these elements.
Though in the end we must try to understand ourselves better...
It’s like the spiritual seeker who visited a spiritual master with intent to become enlightened. When the master healed this seeker of a disease he
had, ironically, the seeker no longer needed to have enlightenment.
I wish you well