And Now For Something Completely Different

If I was a book in a library, then I'd finally be free

The Price of Freedom; or Enlightenment and The Market

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“God offers to every mind its choice between truth and repose.
Take which you please, — you can never have both. Between these, as
a pendulum, man oscillates. He in whom the love of repose
predominates will accept the first creed, the first philosophy, the
first political party he meets, — most likely his father’s. He gets
rest, commodity, and reputation; but he shuts the door of truth. He
in whom the love of truth predominates will keep himself aloof from
all moorings, and afloat. He will abstain from dogmatism, and
recognize all the opposite negations, between which, as walls, his
being is swung. He submits to the inconvenience of suspense and
imperfect opinion, but he is a candidate for truth, as the other is
not, and respects the highest law of his being.”

– Emerson, “Intellect.”

So why return to the market with open hands? I smell Dogen’s koan, but does this Ox-Herding picture function as a kind of apology for liberal-capitalism centuries before Adam Smith?

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Written by Joe

July 3, 2009 at 12:28 pm

Posted in Buddhism, Philosophy

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