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pure freedom addendum

Some additions to my last newsletter, which dealt in freedom. First up, Mac Miller:

Livin' needs no reason, just like seasons, they keep changin'

Have you seen the people's faces when you take away their pain?

That shit is prettier than any picture Monet could've painted

From Pure, this beautiful song by Mac Miller:

Have you seen the people's faces when you take away their pain?

That shit is prettier than any picture Monet could've painted

Take away someone’s pain, the weight is lifted, the face opens up, and they are beautiful. There is so much pain!

This echoes Nina Simone, who says:

I wish I could break all the chains that are still binding me.

I wish I could say all the things that I can say when I’m relaxed

Such a simple way of describing freedom, so relatable. And:

I wish I could share all the love that’s in my heart

Another beautiful way of understanding freedom. If we are free from fear, love will flow. It’s already there!

Freedom as absence of fear; no fear about whatever may come, no fear from whatever was. Then, relaxed, you can say what you have to say, and share your love that is there, AND, your pain taken away, you’re now prettier than any picture Monet could’ve painted! This is a great deal!

A last text, mirroring and adding to my last letter:

From, Guide for the perplexed, by E.F. Schumacher:

What is good and what is bad? What is virtuous and what is evil? It all depends on our faith. Taking our bearings from the four Great Truths discussed in this book, and studying the interconnections between these four landmarks, we do not find it difficult to discern what constitutes the true progress of a human begin:

His first task is to learn from society and ‘tradition’ and to find his temporary happiness in receiving directions from outside.

His second task is to interiorise the knowledge he has gained, sift it, sort it out, keep the good and jettison the bad; this process may be called ‘individuation’, becoming self-directed.

His third task is one that he cannot tackle until he has accomplished the first two, and for which he needs the very best help he can possibly find: it is ‘dying’ to oneself, to one’s likes and dislikes, to all one’s egocentric preoccupations. To the extent that he succeeds in this, he ceases to be directed from outside, and he also ceases to be self-directed. He has gained freedom, or, one might say, he is then God-directed. If he is a Christian, that is precisely what he would hope to be able to say.

To me, this is closely related to what I quoted from Earthsea in the letter:

You thought, as a boy, that a mage is one who can do anything. So I thought, once. So did we all. And the truth is that as a man’s real power grows and his knowledge widens, ever the way he can follow grows narrower; until at last he chooses nothing, but does only and wholly what he must do…

To close, some words from the Tao Te Ching; an eternal text that has greatly influenced Ursula Le Guinn, the writer of Earthsea:

True mastery can be gained

by letting thing go their own way.

It can’t be gained by interfering.



Mac Miller Pure sample is from the RY X song ‘Berlin’:

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