The Sphere of Freedom

I hope for nothing. I fear nothing. I am free.

Nikos Kazantzakis

At the beginning of the third decade of our century, instead of all the peoples, races, and generally people all over the world, without distinction of origin, colour, or gender, enjoying the absolute freedom of – if nothing else – self-management, unfortunately even more intense is the concern and bitterness that results from the brutal and highly blatant violation of human rights. Especially of the weak, the women and children, as well as the different… The unconventional… Beyond that, however, the discussion concerns freedom per se as a concept in itself. Is there what we all seek, namely “absolute freedom”, or is it just a chimaera, a utopia?

Freedom, this supreme good, the value of insurmountable importance, is, unfortunately, as it seems, completely relevant. When one wishes to live free, one actually means undisturbed by an external factor, in the case of, for example, a state, an occupying force. Unfortunately, our planet is plagued by wars between peoples, even compatriots and all kinds of conflicts and riots…

In a society, and especially one that is well-governed, every human being desires and demands their stated right to be free to express themselves, to live, to move, and to act freely. Not only to think and dream freely, nor only to imagine that they are free… To be truly free. But how truly free is one, even one who is fortunate to have been born into a state of complete freedom, that is, in a democratic regime, in their daily life? Because even in a democracy there are rules, conditions, regulations, and laws applied. In fact, as the greatest philosopher, Aristotle said, “complete freedom involves dangers. “If one does not respect the freedom of others, then freedom easily becomes impunity.” We all know the relative noticeable difference between a crowd that first demonstrates peacefully and then with the slightest incendiary intervention (usually through provocations) turns into a roaring uncontrollable mob. So must even freedom be subject to laws, legislative conditions, and norms? Of course, laws are laws, even the hard ones are often necessary (dura lex, sed lex); so that depends on the laws actually. There are laws that from time to time and under conditions are deemed extremely necessary by the respective legislative power, but also others that circumvent human freedoms (see the cases of dictatorial, authoritarian, and other regimes).

Nonetheless, even in a society where everything works smoothly, even then the individual’s freedoms are called into question. No one can be a member of society if they are not registered from birth, if they do not receive a social security number, an identity card, a tax registration number, etc., in order to be subject to their various social, state, among other, obligations. Therefore there are clear obligations (parallel of course to rights) arising from the integration of the individual into a society and a state from the beginning of their life until their death, which if they do not fulfil, there will be disastrous consequences.

At this point we return to the original question: “After all, is even freedom subject to laws?” From what it seems, so it is, unfortunately, or fortunately… And the question extends even further: Is “freedom under conditions” really freedom? Does it, indeed, deserve its name despite having lost part of its essence?

Finally, what is freedom? The definitions abound, but here a more visualized approach will be given. Based mainly on nature itself, and on the many findings of scientists, who discovered that all living things need their own personal space of freedom. Observing rare species in distant tropical paradises, they concluded that every living being (hereinafter referred to as “individual”) tries, within a larger number than usual, to distance itself from other individuals in order to regain its original state; i.e. to acquire more freedom.

According to this approach, freedom would be considered a kind of transparent, invisible sphere that surrounds us, much like our aura, but of course, its extent is much larger. This sphere is our personal space, the vital sphere which gives us the necessary empty space in order to be able to live – that is, to move, to act comfortably and without restrictions. It is the empty space that is given to us and separates us from that of other people or other living beings that are also surrounded by their respective natural sphere of freedom…

As one can easily understand, the sphere of freedom that surrounds us can only be relevant, as each person cannot and should not go beyond their own sphere and enter – always violently – into the sphere of freedom of another fellow human being or some other living being… Because other living beings each have their own space, their living space, which we call the “ecosystem”, in which they live and act, and usually, man comes to trample with their destructive expansiveness. It is well known that man destroys the way of life of every other being with their reckless actions, which we have seen many times happen with the ecosystems of endangered animal species. Precisely because man enters violently into the sphere of freedom of these beings, violating the implicit laws of nature.

In our case now, of the violent entry of one person into that sphere of another, it is a blatant violation of human rights – or worse, of invading and infringing on the individual or collective freedoms of another. Unfortunately, this violation and abuse is not always punishable, and this is due to many factors, which we will not go into at the moment (some of which are the ignorance of one or both parties, the society in which these people live, their educational and economic background, even their religious beliefs, among many others).

To better understand the theory of the sphere of freedom, let us consider as an example ourselves who live in societies of the western way of thinking and living. Caught up, because of our own needs, in an invisible cobweb that wraps itself around us from the day we are born until the day we finally leave this life. The socio-economic-political conditions that surround us create even more needs and therefore obligations, tying us even more to this web. Debts arising from the growing need for a higher – but not necessarily better – standard of living are a form of such commitment, as are tax and other obligations. Social cheques are also payable upon demand. Confined in our small houses, in an urban densely populated area, we are obliged to tolerate our neighbours as they will be obliged to tolerate us as well. Especially in big cities, people live as if we were beings enclosed in a cocoon, which we have wrapped around ourselves, for our own protection. Driven by an external or merely internal need to shut ourselves in our microcosm, for our own “safety”. And we are not even talking about cases like the pandemic that has plagued the planet in recent years, we are simply taking the example of the “normal state”, normalcy – as we used to know it before the confinement, before the quarantine and the lockdowns.

So let us imagine the picture as follows: We are enclosed (others would say more intensely, in fact, “trapped”) each in a separate microcosm, our own sphere of freedom, in the hope that one sphere does not collide with that of the others. This microcosm lies within the society that has welcomed us, elsewhere more or less more hospitably, which in turn tends to collide with other social and other types of structures, within a city that has its own unbroken or non-boundaries, a country that has to maintain after suffering and often following wars its internal or external borders by domestic intrigue or foreign occupation, in a continent that often even the “tricks” of tectonic plates cause seismic and negative economic implications – let alone if we come to consider all those geopolitical-geostrategic, socio-political, economic, religious, etc. games and interests, which even in times of peace cause tensions and conflicts on a planet where the West is constantly in conflict with the East, the North with the South… And at the same time the planet is constantly on the move – in a perpetual course (as “everything flows and all perishes – Heraclitus») – in an uninterrupted equally flowing and the immovable universe, which in turn surrounds it, delimits it, defines it, compresses it, limits it …
The conclusion that can be drawn following the thread of the few thoughts mentioned above is that one cannot be completely free, and no one and nothing can escape their predetermined frameworks… Without entering into the theory or discussion of our predetermined life by fate, destiny or karma…

Therefore, are we all doomed to live in a state of non-freedom? In a state of subservience? It is possible, though, that man’s “free will” and selfless and unconditional love for fellow human beings and nature in general, could bring about a change for the better, and especially in the interest of mankind and Nature, and therefore all of us. Through the change of the hitherto mentality, through the collapse of the falsely established walls and prejudices, through the deconstruction of entrenched perceptions that separate us as a human race and alienate us from our human nature and Nature itself as a whole.

We will feel free during this life and not after we pass Acheron only when we voluntarily open each of us – individually and all together – the sphere of our freedom to our fellow man or to any living being. If we open up the sphere that surrounds us to embrace our fellow man with love and understanding of their own need for freedom, then and only then will we all together be able to shape the collective “universal freedom” that will surround us all as a single sphere, in a harmonious coexistence on a planet where all living beings will live in conditions of celestial spheres of absolute purity, clarity and peace…

Article by Irene Doura-Kavadia

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