Freed Speech

Featured in The Burning Block Issue 4

‘Free speech,' as a subject, concerns nothing more than one's propensity to act on oaths. Freely offered oaths, unkept, have caused mankind to turn to lawgivers to administer justice. Accelerate forward, and the law is not enough. One regulates the types of oaths others can utter, and soon, man is in fetters. He saves himself with the narcotic of psychology, political and identity-theory, religious dogma, insurance. One is free to speak if one is unafraid of getting a rifle-butt to one's face. One is free to speak if one is unafraid of losing one's job or incarceration.

Who is it who grants free speech? Those who control the trajectory of oaths? Surely not, for no speech is truly free in its given configuration. That speech is free which is not concerned with the outcome (karma). Speak against walls and through walls or into the open air; it makes no difference.

Freedom of speech is freedom itself. It is the freedom of association. It is the war resulting from free association, it is peace as well. It is righteousness and sin, God and Satan, and man's choice between them. Those who silence others speak freely, but in doing so incarcerate themselves. Freedom of speech is the very key to all liberation.

Who can stop the song of the soul? Even when the tongue is severed, the heart can still rejoice. One can no more stop a person from making internal oaths than one can stop an infant from defecating by simply taking its diaper away. All laws are only words. Words certainly bind, but they free as much as they bind. For everything they reveal, they hide and likewise, for everything they hide, they reveal. One hide's oneself best through speech, as if performing a spell. Everything that goes unspoken is distributed to the eyes, the muscles, the very inflection of the voice when other words are spoken.

Speech cannot be silenced. It is echoed through the halls of prisons as men and women rattle their cages. It is uttered in locker rooms out of earshot from masters. It is chanted in slogans, it is preached in truths, it is cursed in blasphemes. It is inanely delivered from the lips of crusty old men and women in congresses and parliaments and monarchies. It ornaments trivialities and it sweetens lies. It is shouted between breaths and it is traded in debate and polite conversation alike.

Who can stop free speech? Who can truly forever stop heinous things from being uttered, and who is ever in the position to consider the heinousness and the righteousness of each word? Let people come to the truth on their own, in their own time, that words are nothing, that words are all equally powerful and all, paradoxically, of no value in themselves.

Do not be silent! Let no one tell you that speech can be abused, for it then follows that someone has the secret potion, the remedy for all evil, the proper language for the proper, universal world. Let no one blaspheme nature with arbitrary distinctions. Let no one enslave you with their own repression. Be not timid in the face of violence. Be as silent as others are loud and as loud as others are silent. Do not be subject to the weakness of others, falling for the cheap tricks of intellectual conjecture. The emptiness of silence determines the path of speech, just as speech makes hallowed the silence. You are free to enslave yourself, trapped forever in your own freedom. Be a slave only to freedom itself!