It's been a week since I came back from our seminar on entrepreneurship and open markets in Germany, and I finally have this quiet Friday night to sit still and process it all. There's much I want to write down (the people were exceptional), but particularly relevant to this site is how I'd synthesize it all in the eyes of zen.
So what do zen, entrepreneurship, and liberalism have in common? Simply: Freedom.
Zen is about self-liberation--the only way to truly know and be who you really are is to break free from beliefs, habits, identities imposed on you instead of freely chosen. It is breaking the mental chains that stand in the way of your true self. Zen, as famously quoted from Morpheus of The Matrix, is to free your mind. It is to master yourself, instead of the external material world becoming your master.
Entrepreneurship is to take one's economic position into his/her own hands. Related is innovation that breaks away from the status quo. Entrepreneurs want to solve problems, create new and better ways of life, and shape our future. It stimulates economic activity. It is, ideally, the freedom to pursue and realize a vision.
Liberalism, as a political and social philosophy, stands for individual freedom, autonomy, and equality. I'm not an expert on politics and philosophy, but having learned from one of our amazing facilitators, Sven Gerst, political views and discourse become necessary when dealing with disagreements of values. Liberal view puts value on liberty, that "you are the master of your own life." Politics, while often misused, is our way to design the frameworks, policies, laws, that enable the way of life we choose.
Personally, I'm all about freedom, seeing how things I'm involved with come together.