January 10th, 2021
I read this Jean-Paul Sartre quote the other day:
"Freedom is what you do with what's been done to you."
I remember wanting to align myself with cool philosophers like Sartre and Nietzsche when I was in high school. But really all I ended up doing was buying books that I couldn't actually understand. And maybe that's OK, they were just interesting sacred objects that sat on my shelf. Fast forward 15 years or so... I read this quote. And I found it to be SO interesting, to the point where I wrote it down so I could remember it. Then I fell asleep, and read it again few days later. The best part is, I absolutely do not understand it. There are a few different ways to parse the words in my mind, but no matter how I frame it, it still feels slippery. Freedom is not taking things personally? As in not being reactive? Or is freedom just going with the roller coaster of gut responses? Every time I start to understand it, or think I have a hold on my own interpretation, it vanishes. Which is what makes the idea so wonderful! It is such a concise sentence that leads to wealth of ideas. So is freedom free will? How can freedom be derived from something that has been done to you without your knowledge? It's just great. I love it. And I feel so much happier now reading things I don't understand than I did 15 years ago. Hopefully I'll understand even less in 2036!