Quotations on FREEDOM
collected by Rob Kall
c 1996 Rob Kall
Center For Optimal Living 211 N. Sycamore, Newtown, PA 18940, 215-504-1700 fax 215-860-5374 firstname.lastname@example.org
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BELIEFS, FREEDOM OF SPEECH HAPPINESS, MIND, POTENTIAL, PEAK
It has never mattered to me that thirty million people might think "I'm wrong." The number of people who thought Hitler was "right" did not make him "right." The same principle should be applied to anyone who has an individualistic attitude. Why do you necessarily have to be wrong just because a few million people think you are?
Frank Zappa, his Autobiography
A man's happiness consists in the free exercise of his highest faculties.
"So often, he who is impatient to become his own master, when the outward checks are removed, merely becomes his own slave."
anon, in Bohn
The mind, in proportion as it is cut off from free communication with nature, with revelation, with God, with itself, loses its life, just as the body droops when debarred from the air and the cheering light from heaven.
POTENTIAL, PROMISE, GREATNESS
"Every human soul has the germ of some flowers within; and they would open if they could only find sunshine and free air to expand in."
Lydia T. Child
"He knows little of himself or of the world, who does not think it sufficient happiness to be free from sorrow : therefore, give a wise man health , and he will give himself every other thing."
A human being is part of the whole, called by us "universe," a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, has thoughts and feelings, as something separate from the rest-- a kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.
"No man is free who is not master of (commands not) himself."
Epictetus, Encheiridion, c.110
...everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms-- to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.
Viktor Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning
There is no freedom unless there is a firm and powerful will to maintain acknowledged order.
Freedom, Happiness, Responsibility or tranquillity can be frightening, intimidating, overwhelming or awful.
Freedom is like taking a bath-- you have to keep doing it every day.
And so, my fellow Americans; ask not what your country can do for you-- ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world; ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.
John Fitzgerald Kennedy 1917-1963
Presidential Inaugural Address Jan 20, 1961
The politics of the nervous system involves the minds against the brain, the tyrannical verbal brain disassociating itself from the organism and world of which it is a part, censoring, alerting, evaluating.
Thus appears the fifth freedom-- freedom from the learned, cultural mind. The freedom to expand one's consciousness beyond artifactual cultural knowledge. The freedom to move from constant preoccupation with the verbal games, the game of self-- to the joyous unity of what exists beyond.
Timothy Leary, Foreword To Watts' Joyous Cosmology
In giving freedom to the slave, we assure freedom to the free,-- honorable alike in what we give and what we preserve.
A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure permanently, half slave and half free.
Cheerfulness is a great moral tonic. As sunshine brings out the flowers and ripens the fruit, so does cheerfulness-- the feeling of freedom and life-- develop in us all the seeds of good, all that is best in us.
"God will not do everything, in order not to deprive us of free will and the portion of the glory that falls to our lot."
Machiavelli, Niccolo, THE PRINCE, Of the Secretaries of Princes
PERSPECTIVE, MEMORY, HORIZON, VISION, ATTITUDE
"It is only in the space that our thoughts and our feelings enclose that our happiness can breath in freedom."
Maeterlinck, Maurice, WISDOM and DESTINY
AWARENESS, GOALS, SELF, FREEDOM
The greatest thing in the world is to know how to be one's own.
A human being is always a prisoner of something. The only real freedom is within ourselves.
Robert Muller, Most of All, They Taught Me Happiness
In attempting to avoid the pain of responsibility, millions and even billions daily attempt to escape from freedom.
M. Scott Peck, TRLT
The government of one's self is the only true freedom for the individual.
Frederick Perthes (in Samuel Smiles CHARACTER
The wildest colts make the best horses.
Freedom in general may be defined as the absence of obstacles to the realization of desires.
Bertrand Russell, Freedom, Edited by Ruth Nanda Anshen,
If you don't experience what ultimately becomes the pain of wearing a tie, you never get to feel the pleasure-- and the freedom-- of not wearing a tie."
William Safire, NY TImes10-25-90
Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world he is responsible for everything he does.
FUTURE, STABILITY, CHANGE, ADJUSTMENT, DESIRE, NEED, GREED, MOMENT
"The true felicity of life is to be free from perturbations; to understand our duties towards God and man; to enjoy the present without any serious dependence upon the future. Not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears, but to rest satisfied with what we have, which is abundantly sufficient; for he that is so, wants nothing. ... Tranquillity is a certain equality of mind, which no condition or fortune can either exalt or depress."
...Only the policy that is morally right is victorious; only the political idea which takes human freedom as the measure of all things will be invincible.
Eduard Shevradnadze, The Future Belongs To Freedom 1991
AVOIDANCE, BATTLE, FACING, CONFRONTATION, EVASION
"The virtue of a free man is seen to be as great in avoiding danger as in overcoming it. ...Flight at the proper time, just as well as fighting, is to be reckoned, therefore, as showing strength of mind in a man who is free;"
Spinoza, Prop. LXIX
"The free man who lives among those who are ignorant strives as much as possible to avoid their favors.
Spinoza, Prop. LXX
As long as men are free to ask what they must, free to say what they think, free to think what they will, freedom can never to be lost, and science can never regress.
J. Robert Oppenheimer, in Life mag., 10/10/ 1949
How rarely I meet with a man who can be free. even in thought!
We all live according to rule. Some men are bedridden; all world-ridden.
Thoreau, Journal entry, 5/12/1857
What other liberty is there worth having, if we have not freedom and peace in our minds,-- if our inmost and most private man is but a sour and turbid pool.
H.D Thoreau, Journal, 10/26/1853
"Thus the infant believes that it is by free will that it seeks the breast."
Freedom is the chief ingredient in confidence
R.L. Stevenson, Truth of Intercourse 1879
The secret of happiness is freedom, and the secret of freedom is courage.
The man who asks of freedom anything other than itself is born to be a slave.
Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul.
Self control and freedom are incompatible with weakness.
What looks to us like chaos also has the fecundity of freedom at work.
George Will, commenting on end of Soviet Union