I think that growing up in a crowded continent like Europe with an awful lot of competing claims, ideas... cultures... and systems of thought, we have, perforce, developed a more sophisticated notion of what the wordfreedommeans than I see much evidence of in America.
No one means all he says, and yet very few say all they mean, for words are slippery and thought is viscous.
Then you should say what you mean,the March Hare went on.I do,Alice hastily replied;at least - at least I mean what I say - that's the same thing, you know.Not the same thing a bit!said the Hatter.Why, you might just as well say that I see what I eat is the same thing as I eat what I see!
I say what I mean, you hear what I say. That is the end of it.
If a lady says No, she means Perhaps; if she says Perhaps, she means Yes; if she says Yes, she is no Lady. If a diplomat says Yes, he means Perhaps; if he says Perhaps, he means No; if he says No, he is no Diplomat.
Oh, if only it were possible to find understanding,Joseph exclaimed.
If only there were a dogma to believe in. Everything is contradictory, everything tangential; there are no certainties anywhere. Everything can be interpreted one way and then again interpreted in the opposite sense. The whole of world history can be explained as development and progress and can also be seen as nothing but decadence and meaninglessness. Isn't there any truth? Is there no real and valid doctrine?
There is truth, my boy. But the doctrine you desire, absolute, perfect dogma that alone provides wisdom, does not exist. Nor should you long for a perfect doctrine, my friend. Rather, you should long for the perfection of yourself. The deity is within you, not in ideas and books. Truth is lived, not taught. Be prepared for conflicts, Joseph Knecht - I can see that they already have begun.
A singer can shatter glass with the proper high note,he said,but the simplest way to break glass is simply to drop it on the floor.