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Day comes down to touch the ocean, And I stand up to look and live.Books of science unromantic--freedom's passport to the soul.
It does for language what the computer does for science and what the aerial photograph does for a landscape.
On nothing more than a sheet of paper you can do any calculation which the most up-to-date computer can do, but if the problem is complex, you will do it more slowly--so much so that you will never live to finish it.
The effort is always to understand and, by so doing, make life better and more in tune with ultimate reality--a combination of bread and the prayer book, food for the body and food for the soul. And while we cannot capture freedom in a rigid cage, we can describe it, seek it, and recognize its transcendent power.
Harold Laski said: "We acquiesce in the loss of freedom every time we are silent in the face of injustice." Daniel Webster said: "God grants liberty only to those who love it, and are always ready to guard and defend it." Benjamin Franklin said: "They that give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Samuel Adams said: "If you love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace." John Dewey said: "Liberty is not just an idea, an abstract principle.
But that is all that it is--enjoyable, useful, and convenient.
Except in imagination and mythology it is not more than that.
The urge to liberty and the need to be free are commodities of the spirit, not the senses.
They divide civilization from savagery and human beings from animals.
Therefore, when the poet tells us that humanity comes through the optic nerve and justice lives in the eye--when he speaks of freedom as a product of sight--he is not proclaiming new discoveries but repeating old superstitions: our common heritage--man's ancient fear of the dark, the equation of sight with light and light with good. He is resolving contradictions and distilling (whether true or false) the essence of cultural consensus.