Musings: On Being a Philosophical Libertine

Credit: Mountain Stream, LJ Frank

by LJ Frank

How exactly are the eyes a mirror to the soul? The word soul is rooted in the proto – Germanic word “saiwalo” meaning from the sea – a place of birth and death. Among ancient cultures the “soul” was rooted in blood and water and today that “soul” may be flushed from a funeral “home” into the sewer system. How ignoble is that? Metaphors can be misleading for my eyes are not actually mirror to my soul nor is the strength of my jaw an indication of my bearing, nor is my nose a symbol of noblesse oblige, perhaps there’s a deeper meaning to our countenance when open to thought.

With each passing minute my face and body evolves. And the situations in which  I have found myself do not fit well into any structured philosophy or ideology. Nor do I find comfort in the pure forms of laissez faire capitalism, socialism, objectivism, nationalism, populism, totalitarianism  or other isms that are scattered across the human landscape. Nor am I enamored with praise or sin or guilt among so many other symbolic words concocted into rituals, all are ill-fitted for the circumstances in which I have experienced my life. 

 My everyday free-will is not freely chosen as much as I might like to think or espoused from the stage as if I was my own filmmaker; rather it is impeded by the context of my situation and circumstances of which I am product. I appreciate my so-called free-will is seldom unimpeded; how much free will can I identify and say yes that’s an example of my free-will for I must also ask, what is the cost of the illusory packaged as a practical choice? Perhaps, I am an agnostic when such concepts are applied. 

 Unless one is born into wealth or has the emotional and physical capacity to manipulate others as well as objects on a regular basis and possess the mental wherewithal to move beyond the boundaries created by the structures both in government and the private sector, which includes the factor of who you know, the silver spoon, if one seeks it, can’t be placed in one’s mouth. Are such matters a deception meant for the mass conscience that affects the pocketbook of the self-help guru or those who are masters of persuasion?

 Still, I know my “free-thinking” attitude acknowledges my neurolinguistic tracings are to be found in select Eastern and Western readings while sitting in a lotus position or walking alone. I find my philosophy is a form of adaptation as a given situation may require being mindfully flexible as it is advantageous to putting food on the table and having an affordable roof over my head.

 I do know my thoughts can change my body’s chemistry to some degree as I try to self-heal, but I also know the self-medication will not give me the physical liberty I desire within the context of existing philosophical structures. Though I am financially un-wealthy I realize the network of those in the category of the privileged have no need for allegiance to a particular country or state unless it affects their bank account; and so the philosophical freedom I have comes from within and not outside in the street.

 And so I find grace in the thought of being faithful to my libertine philosophy for I have an abiding respect for the intellectual whore who is not tethered to a dogma or set of rules and rituals. And I do not limit myself to the sub-categories of dispute and explore my existence beyond the deluge of messages my brain is bombarded with each day in all their diverse formats, for my mind is my own cascading mountain stream.