This is the motto of the Greek Nation. It is taken to mean that one would rather die than live under the yoke of foreign occupation, so that risking or even losing one’s life fighting to that end would not only be heroic but an obvious choice.
However, this is a reactive interpretation. An assumption that we are victims of circumstance to the extent that ultimate victimhood, i.e. death, is a preferable, more honourable and more acceptable way of experiencing one’s victimhood.
This is reflected in religious rhetoric, with all the suffering, from those in the Old Testament, to Jesus dying for us and martyrdom of the saints.
Seen from a creative, self empowering perspective, however, “Freedom or Death” becomes more than a motto to live by, but a statement of unavoidable truth.
It links in with my first article on “Gratitude” which I suggest you read as an introduction to see how obvious the relationship between freedom, death and gratitude really is.
Firstly let’s look at the word ‘freedom’. In Greek the word ‘eleutheria’ is far more meaningful. The word “freedom” alludes to a state of non dependence or subservience to anyone or anything. In truth, there is no such state. Even an anarchistic atheist is subservient to his “god”, his commitment to opposing the status quo and his belief that his philosophy is ‘correct’ and demands subservience. “Eleutheria”, by contrast, is not an assertion of negation of attachment such as ‘freedom’, but a positive statement of connection. It literally means “attraction and free flow of sacred/source energy”, so that such a person is aligned with universal energy beyond time and space, and thus not limited in our three dimensional temporality, or the illusion of time and space which our limited physical senses betray us into believing and being subservient to.
It is an ability to say “flip it” to any and all life circumstances and, with head up high, experience even the most uncomfortable, and most horrific life circumstances firstly with unconditional gratitude(not necessarily gratefulness- see Why Gratitude? for the difference). Only then do we allow ourselves the freedom to choose between dwelling on the terrible circumstance, like experiencing potential, imminent and unavoidable or unpreventable loss or danger or physical death to ourselves and/or loved ones or not. I have lived through poverty, homelessness, loss of all my most precious possessions. Being overrun by rats and not even being able to sleep. Others have lived through loss of their homes and family members in war and experienced horrendous concentration camp conditions and genocides, of whom the most known in the west in our time is Viktor Frankl.
The difference between ‘masters,’ ‘survivors’ and ‘victims’ of life is to what degree we are eleutheri/free, that is, connected primarily with “sacred (life) energy” or in other words our spiritual reality (source/cause) or the physical ‘reality’ we are going through (result/effect). The masters will experience ‘gratitude’ (great attitude) and power, regardless of physical circumstance, (literally things that stand around us in our lives) the survivors, being the great majority of us, will unconsciously drift between spiritual and physical realities without being aware of it, while victims identify fully with the material state of life, and are cut off from any sense of creative power, reacting unconsciously to the same circumstances, not realizing that circumstance is a state of effect of what we consciously or unconsciously create.
The tendency to increased ‘victim’ mentality needs to be acknowledged in all levels of our society, so that we can become aware of our own programming as we in turn reinforce this programming in a vicious self reinforcing cycle.
The institutions that own us and that we serve cut us off even further from our source than the identification with our physical reality. Physical reality is created from Source, and our nations and religions are created by ‘our’ egos, the egos of our physicality. In truth, you cannot identify with, and serve Source and at the same time identify with and be in bondage with such abstractions as nation states and religions which by definition stand between us and our spiritual reality, and as a consequence fellow humans and the rest of Creation.
The likes of Jesus and Socrates were neither victims or put to death, because as free spirits (eleutheri) they identified with their primary/Source reality which is not limited by time or space of the three dimensional world. They understood that in reality death is merely a belief of the body-bound ego. Real death is identifying with the body instead of owning it.
And that is really scary, as our bodies and the personality we have created around it is a temporary (meaning in time) creation designed to ‘die’ any how sooner or later.
They chose to let go of their bodies instead of their serene understanding of who they really were and are. The same applies to saints and martyrs who chose to let go of their bodies in the way that we let go of an old car. The vehicle no longer serves its owner. The operating costs outweigh any benefits it offers. The metal used in its making is best served recycled into a new car, as do the spiritual and physical/material components of a body which has served its purpose, irrespective of its age. The image of a Jesus pinned on a cross only serves to foster the illusion of death and suffering, whereas He chose to rather illustrate how the sacrifice (sacred fee) of His physical body bought the promise of eternal Life, together with the promise that we shall (at some point, not might) do better than He had in our own lives.
We are, indeed Spiritual Beings having a physical experience. And true ‘freedom’ is not the pursuit of total detachment, but of misidentification only with all things temporary (which by definition, die), things, people, ideologies, beliefs….. and re-membering our Source, allowing it to guide us in its service, and vice versa. After all, serving our Source is the best way to serve ourselves, and likewise Source/God serves itself best by serving us. Something that is as easy to do as our willingness to do it.
Apollo Pampallis is a Life Mentor and can be contacted on Apollo@discoveringthenow.com. He is establishing new web pages in an exciting new alliance. For ongoing information, upcoming webinars, consultations, ebooks and other news please contact him on the above email