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Sat, Jul. 4th, 2009, 02:48 pm
Walt Whitman on the Law of Liberty

Happy Independence Day!

"IT is not only true that most people entirely misunderstand Freedom, but I sometimes think I have not yet met one person who rightly understands it. The whole Universe is absolute Law. Freedom only opens entire activity and license under the law. To the degraded or undevelopt—and even to too many others—the thought of freedom is a thought of escaping from law—which, of course, is impossible. More precious than all worldly riches is Freedom—freedom from the painful constipation and poor narrowness of ecclesiasticism—freedom in manners, habiliments, furniture, from the silliness and tyranny of local fashions—entire freedom from party rings and mere conventions in Politics—and better than all, a general freedom of One’s-Self from the tyrannic domination of vices, habits, appetites, under which nearly every man of us, (often the greatest brawler for freedom,) is enslaved. Can we attain such enfranchisement—the true Democracy, and the height of it? While we are from birth to death the subjects of irresistible law, enclosing every movement and minute, we yet escape, by a paradox, into true free will. Strange as it may seem, we only attain to freedom by a knowledge of, and implicit obedience to, Law. Great—unspeakably great—is the Will! the free Soul of man! At its greatest, understanding and obeying the laws, it can then, and then only, maintain true liberty. For there is to the highest, that law as absolute as any—more absolute than any—the Law of Liberty. The shallow, as intimated, consider liberty a release from all law, from every constraint. The wise see in it, on the contrary, the potent Law of Laws, namely, the fusion and combination of the conscious will, or partial individual law, with those universal, eternal, unconscious ones, which run through all Time, pervade history, prove immortality, give moral purpose to the entire objective world, and the last dignity to human life."

See also Liber OZ: http://sekhetmaat.com/wiki/Liber_77

Thanks for the pointer, rikb!

Sun, Jul. 5th, 2009 09:17 am (UTC)

Thank you brother

Sun, Jul. 5th, 2009 08:58 pm (UTC)
iao131: Whitman-Wisdom


"I know I am solid and sound,
To me the converging objects of the universe perpetually flow,
All are written to me, and I must get what the writing means.

I know I am deathless,
I know this orbit of mine cannot be swept by a carpenter's compass,
I know I shall not pass like a child's carlacue cut with a burnt
stick at night.

I know I am august,
I do not trouble my spirit to vindicate itself or be understood,
I see that the elementary laws never apologize,
(I reckon I behave no prouder than the level I plant my house by,
after all.)

I exist as I am, that is enough,
If no other in the world be aware I sit content,
And if each and all be aware I sit content."

93 93/93

Sun, Jul. 5th, 2009 10:45 pm (UTC)

Fantastic Whitman passage, he very much sounds like a Thelemite. Actually can't believe it's quote by him and will have to look it up for myself, great find.

Was it all this talk about freedom, that got your twitter account suspended? ;)

Mon, Jul. 6th, 2009 01:59 am (UTC)

I have no idea why my account was suspended. Have you?

Mon, Jul. 6th, 2009 03:03 am (UTC)

Many strange twitter suspensions today http://tinyurl.com/os7prf
I noticed it because I have your twitterfeed in my newsreader and it bounces in my mac menu bar when it runs into a suspended account. Since this looks like a widespread "twitter fail" I think it will get fixed soon.

Mon, Jul. 6th, 2009 03:14 am (UTC)

Ahh, thanks for the info! not to mention, thanks for following!

BTW, here is an online source for that Whitman quote. I agree, it is totally amazing. I'm considering whether a nomination for Order of the Lion may be called for on the strength of this quotation alone.

Mon, Jul. 6th, 2009 03:16 am (UTC)

Here is a Mashable article on the suspensions http://mashable.com/2009/07/05/twitter-account-suspensions/

Be sure to contact twitter regarding your account. http://twitter.zendesk.com/requests/new