Reading Notebook #33: Enlightenment (and Love) Taste of Freedom

From “How to Know It’s Real Love” by Martha Beck, in Oprah magazine.

Buddha once said that just as we can know the ocean because it always tastes of salt, we can recognize enlightenment because it always tastes of freedom. There’s no essential difference between real love and enlightenment. While many people see commitment as a trap, its healthy versions actually free both lovers, bring out the flavor of their true selves, and build a love that is satisfying, lasting, and altogether delicious.


A nice companion piece, also by Martha Beck: “How to Love More By Caring Less” (very Buddhist in its approach as well).

Posted in Life Philosophy, Love, Reading.

Jane Friedman (@JaneFriedman) has 20 years of experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in digital media strategy for authors and publishers. She is the publisher of The Hot Sheet, the essential newsletter on the publishing industry for authors, and was named Publishing Commentator of the Year by Digital Book World in 2019.

In addition to being a columnist for Publishers Weekly, Jane is a professor with The Great Courses, which released her 24-lecture series, How to Publish Your Book. Her book for creative writers, The Business of Being a Writer (University of Chicago Press), received a starred review from Library Journal.

Jane speaks regularly at conferences and industry events such as BookExpo America, Digital Book World, and the AWP Conference, and has served on panels with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Creative Work Fund. Find out more.

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Jane FriedmanIrving PodolskyDave MaloneJuliarachelbarrett Recent comment authors

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Interesting perspective.  I agree to a certain extent.  Yes, to emotionally detach, especially from a dysfunctional situation, has it’s advantages, but then so does living life with a grand passion.  I think there can be a balance between the two.
My take on Nirvana?  You find your way to the highest heights and you come back and live your life.

Dave Malone

I love this post, Jane. I like the juxtaposition of these two sentiments/lifestyles.  “Authors are part of a creative community.” It’s so true, and so easily does go unnoticed. Fairly recently, I rushed on a deadline for a poetry chapbook I was working on, and a very kind writer and magazine editor offered to provide a blurb. When she received the manuscript, she was blunt (but kind) and said she couldn’t blurb it. She was quite right that the manuscript was not ready. To quote Wordsworth, poems need to be “emotion recollected in tranquility.” I had not recollected or tranquill-ed… Read more »

Dave Malone

FYI–I suppose in my last comment I’m mostly responding to the “Lone Creative Genius” post, but these last two posts were perfectly placed as consecutive posts–for both are about genuine freedom. 🙂 

Dave Malone

Oh my god, yes. I told her, “You saved my ass.” For she truly did. We have to have those people in our lives. Raymond Carver and Gordon Lish–what a story: 

Irving Podolsky

Hello Jane,  I’m new to your site, so here’s my first comment. I read both linked articles and I agree that implementing the approximation of unconditional love (I don’t think it exists in its pure form) along with total expression of truth within a relationship (that’s a big reach too) can help make love and “marriage” functional. As I see it though, the stumbling blocks to being a supporter in love, rather than one who NEEDS love, is just that. It is difficult for the heart to supply affirmation and trust if one is looking for validation to begin with.… Read more »