Were the eye not attuned to the Sun, the Sun could not be seen by it.
An eye to the Sun, had Goethe. What an instructive and stimulating simile by this wise man! How it encourages reflection and stimulates thinking! Goethe uses the Sun to symbolize both the seen and the unseen; only our expanded awareness makes the difference. To the individual who has no eye to see the Sun, that star does not exist. Similarly, nothing is real for you or me or anyone if the eye be not attuned to it—even freedom is nonexistent!
The Sun is an excellent symbol, for without it there would be no life of any kind. It is the single star in the solar system around which our earth and other heavenly bodies rotate. It is the source of all physical energy, the enormity of which is incomprehensible. For instance, enough solar energy reaches our planet in 40 minutes to supply all the energy mankind consumes in a whole year. While Goethe was unaware of this recently discovered fact, he had an eye for the future. Small wonder that he used the Sun to symbolize the heavenly!
But what of the eye not attuned to the heavenly virtues such as integrity, humility, charity, justice, love, reverence for life, individual liberty, and the like? All eyes not so attuned see neither the Sun nor the heavenly virtues. Overcoming this blindness—really seeing—is our earthly and, may I add, our heavenly purpose.
Now to an observation by another wise man, the renowned biochemist and biologist, Roger J. Williams:
If people were different from each other only in trifling ways—fingerprints, length of noses, the texture of their hair, the exact shape of their eye lenses—they might insist on wearing their own spectacles and on a few other minor rights. But the rights that Patrick Henry and others were ready to die for were of a very different kind and would never have been thought of if the individuals concerned had not possessed the enormously significant biological individuality which we now know about. This inborn individuality was and is the mainspring of our love of liberty.1
No doubt about it, biological individuality—variation—is the mainspring of our love of liberty. However, the spring isn’t as strong as it might be. And I suspect the weakness may stem from lack of awareness. The eyes of many persons are insensitive to freedom and, thus, this wondrous achievement has no reality for them; it doesn’t even exist! So, let us try to open those eyes.
Further, let us not deal harshly with their blindness, for that would reveal a myopic weakness in those of us whose eyes are attuned to freedom. And I confess such nearsightedness at times. It isn’t easy to be patient with those who fail to see what we see. Overcoming this psychic blindness in ourselves may be the first step in attuning another’s eye to freedom. So, let us strive for patience, bearing in mind the infinity of things and ideas for which no living person has ever had eyes.
A striking example of these variations comes to mind. I had quoted most favorably a brilliant zoologist, and assumed that he might be pleased to have a copy of my new book. His acknowledgement was in a sentence or two, no more than a shrug of the shoulders, as we say—obviously, not pleased.
Nevertheless, when his next book was released, I entered it with enthusiasm and was rewarded by enlightenments such as these:
. . . man is an integral, small, but significant part of a universe that is creative at all levels.
Minds are self-creative. They are not born, they are made.
. . . when we express ourselves creatively, in whatever field, we best fulfill our nature.
And potentialities mean not just skills, but the full range of the capacities for sensing, wondering, learning, understanding, loving, and aspiring. In this light, the ultimate goal of the educational system is to shift to the individual the burden of pursuing his own education.
• The only equality lies in the right, if any, for equal opportunity to develop freely his own worth.
. . . recognition that no one else is like oneself gives at once a unique value to the individual and at the same time demands that every individual recognize the uniqueness of others.
. . . the greater the minds the greater the difference.
These (Leonardo da Vinci and others) are uncommon giants. . . who grew out of the so-called common stock of a multitude of uncommon individuals of lesser stature.
Never have I felt myself more on the same wave length than with this great zoologist. And then, later in the same book, this one:
Now all is changing, thanks to antibodies, antibiotics, the surgeon’s knife and the welfare state.
Little wonder that he shrugged me off when I sent him my book—I being attuned to freedom, he to socialism. However, we should look for truths from whatever source, so why not be grateful for those found in the writings of one who gives thanks for the welfare state! He at least acknowledges that “no one else is like oneself,” and asks “that every individual recognize the uniqueness of others.” This is to say that the eyes of no two persons are attuned the same. Each is unique, indeed.
No two of us are identical, not even “identical twins.” Interestingly, no individual is the same as he was a moment ago. For instance, in a span of five years one’s octillion atoms flow away as a new octillion replaces them. Imagine: In every second of one’s life, over 6,000,000,000,000,000,000 atoms (6 quintillion) come and go! Thus, I am a different person than I was at the beginning of this sentence. My eye is attuned differently—hopefully attuned to more—than a moment ago. This goes for everyone, and should help us to “recognize the uniqueness of others.”
All things in the Cosmic Scheme are in flux—be they atoms, or galaxies, or man’s earthly life. The action flows. This is why, as Roger Williams says, our “inborn individuality was and is the mainspring of our love of liberty.” Inborn? Yes, in people like Williams and, relatively speaking, in a few others. But mass perception of this truth is not a requirement. Were everyone like you or me or anyone else in their attunements, all would perish. The requirement is that those of us who love liberty make that mainspring stronger—discover how better to explain our love.
Who among us knows precisely how to make this explanation? To my knowledge, no one! Conceded, there are thousands of us who see the light and love what we see. But how describe it? ’Tis comparable to explaining sunlight or Creation! However, thank Heaven, we can cast our eyes aright, keep attuned to freedom, and perhaps improve our explanations of creation at the human level. A few thoughts that come to mind:
Individuality is an undeniable fact of life, that is, everyone is different. But we can enjoy the fruits of these trillions of differences only as they are free to flow. This fact, and this alone, is all the light I need to love liberty.
Never lend support or give encouragement to any—not one—man-concocted restraint against the release of creative energy.
Keep an eye on highly energetic individuals. If they employ their energy to run their own lives, to brighten their own light—learning—they will be our benefactors. Failing this, they will use their energy to run our lives, make us carbon copies of themselves—malefactors.
Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works—Matthew 5:16
Lead Kindly Light, amid the encircling gloom. Lead Thou me on!—Cardinal Newman
May our eyes be more and more attuned to freedom: the private ownership, free market, limited government way of life—the flowing and the good life!