Never in my wildest imagination did I ever expect a notice which said: “Nathaniel Branden wants to be friends with you,” but there it was this morning. Now I know signing others on as “friends” on Facebook, is just a click of the mouse. But seeing the name Nathaniel Branden reminded me of so many things of the past.
That which led me to read all of Nathaniel Branden books about self-esteem began in the mid-fifties, while living in Japan, and suddenly finding myself in jail being questioned by Japanese police, in the prefecture where the movie “Sayaonara” was filmed. In other articles I have described that experience. It was because of that experience I began my search for answers to many unanswered questions.
In 1957 the book “Atlas Shrugged” by Ayn Rand was on the news stands, and it was that book which was a real turning point in my life. Following that, I read all of her books, beginning with “We The Living,” her “Objectivist Philosophy” newsletters and her famous Playboy interview.
I read anything and everything about Ayn Rand, including her much-publicized relationship with her number one student and protegé, Nathaniel Branden, who eventually became a well-known author and lecturer on his own, writing a number of books on self-esteem and individualism. I read all his writings, and still have them stored in boxes, from my last move.
Reading all the writings by Ayn Rand and Nathaniel, along with a number of other prolific writers of the sixties, laid the groundwork for my further study of the Philosophy of Freedom.
Therefore, it was particularly meaningful this morning, to see in my email box, “Nathaniel Branden wants to be friends with you,” lo these many years later. So many of my teachers, I never knew personally. And it’s a joy to have contact with them, to tell them how much their work impacted on my life in a very positive, meaningful way.
Much about things I write about on my blog, octogenariansblog.com, relates to personal experiences, conversely much relates to things I have learned from others. And it’s very interesting how through this medium of the internet, periodically things crop up that remind one of the connection with those who were so influential in the foundational formation of ideas and philosophy.
One such encounter happened recently, when I saw on the Libertarian blogsite, an advertisement about a contest about R.C. Hoiles philosophy. Another great writer and founder of the chain of Freedom newspapers on the west coast, I read so much about in the sixties that I felt I knew him, despite the fact I never met him. And I decided to enter the contest.
There’s a “Law of the Circle” which brings us in contact with teachers, relative to that which we desire to learn. And the timeworn statement, “When the student is ready the teacher appears,” is such a truism, as evidenced in my own life.
In retrospect, my desire to learn began much earlier than my concerted route to find teachers to teach me, and distinctly recall in high school, telling a high school friend, I wanted to know where I came from, why I’m here and where I’m going. Never dreaming at that time that the real beginning, which would set my feet upon the path I chose, would actually begin from landing in jail in a foreign country, in the fifties. And never realizing at that time, I had so many lessons to learn which continue to this day. Because it was that experience which motivated me to seek teachers and writings, from those much wiser than I, who contributed to the shaping of my fundamental beliefs I have today.
Today the accessibility to knowledge is so easily available via the internet, it’s not necessary to leave home to be informed about any subject we choose, which leaves no excuse for ignorance about anything we desire to know about. It only takes a few minutes and a click to order books on any subject that is of interest to us. Plus the fact there’s so much available gratis, in the thousands of articles posted daily by a number of prolific writers.
On the other hand, there’s a great deal of propagandized misinformation. But Truth always has a strange ring to it. Truth is that which is, and the absence of a lie. Readily available to anyone who sincerely seeks.
For me personally, there’s still much I don’t know, but it is this journey of seeking to know, which has been such an exciting journey!!
LET FREEDOM RING