Freedom Of Thought

by Timothy Lusch

The Thoughtful Liberty Of A Captive Mind

The Captive Mind by Czeslaw Milosz

Czeslaw  Milosz, Lithuanian by birth, Polish by nationality, dissident by nature, was a poet, essayist, and Nobel Laureate. He defected from behind the Iron Curtain and over a lifetime of writing and teaching spoke to the fundamental freedom of the human spirit. In his poetry especially, Milosz captures the tension and torsion of life. In the contrast and conflict of every line, Milosz comes closest to the Truth without distorting it with ideological limitations. Having spent many years under the boot of Stalinism, he knew the danger and death of the totalitarian mind. Socialists, all the rage (literally) in our politics today, ignore the hard lessons of Soviet Russia (and Venezuela now), and disregard the experience of a captive mind like Milosz who actually lived in that hell. Milosz is worth reading for his own sake, but to understand freedom and the unceasing temptation of totalitarianism (be it the Islamic Iranian kind or the soft sell of Bernie Sanders), Milosz must fill our bookshelves and our minds.

Vulgarized knowledge characteristically gives birth to a feeling that everything is understandable and explained. It is like a system of bridges built over chasms. One can travel boldly ahead over these bridges, ignoring the chasms. It is forbidden to look down into them; but that, alas, does not alter the fact that they exist.