The Buddhist view of freedom is misinterpreted a great deal. According to an encyclopedia from 1937, “nirvana” is freedom from all pain, all suffering, and the total extinction of emotions. (It is very interesting they had the word “nirvana” in the encyclopedia at all!) According to this view, the Buddhist version of freedom is to be like a statue of the Buddha made out of cast iron. Well, I think you see the humor of that. Actual freedom is the complete opposite of that. You’re awake, and you’re in a state of wakefulness. You expand yourself, open yourself constantly to the notion of imprisonment as well as to the notion of freedom.
From “Freedom,” in Cynicism and Magic: Intelligence and Intuition on the Buddhist Path, condensed from pages 131 to 132.
Recent Comments: from Michael Imperioli (actor and occasional writer on The Sopranos) at Far Out Magazine:
“I practice Buddhism, which is about dismantling the ego. The book I’m reading now is Cynicism and Magic by Chögyam Trungpa. He talks about the ego. What I learned through Buddhism is you can relate to the ego as something separate. Ego, if you look at it in a healthy way, can be about confidence. I’ve dedicated my life to being an artist, be it writing or music. I’ve been doing all of this stuff since the beginning. It just wasn’t public until later.”