“Let the human Mind loose.”

In the 1943 essay “On the Abolition of All Political Parties” (translated by Simon Leys), Simone Weil makes an observation that is relevant for our times too.

“Nearly everywhere – often even when dealing with purely technical problems – instead of thinking, one merely takes sides: for or against. Such a choice replaces the activity of the mind. This is an intellectual leprosy; it originated in the political world and then spread through the land, contaminating all forms of thinking.”

Elsewhere in the essay, as she argues against giving in to this “intellectual leprosy”, we also get a glimpse of the mysticism that sparkles in so much of her writings.

“It is when we desire truth with an empty soul and without attempting to guess its content that we receive the light. Therein resides the entire mechanism of attention.”

In a 1922 Talk titled “Free Thought and Official Propaganda”, Bertrand Russell speaks of cultivating a “critical undogmatic receptiveness.”

“What is wanted,” he tells us, “is not the will to believe, but the wish to find out, which is its exact opposite.”

In a letter to his son, dated 13th November 1816, one of the founding fathers of the USA and its second President, John Adams writes to his son: “Let the human Mind loose. It must be loose….”

Peace 😊

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