Freedom

1. Many people who are actually imprisoned or in chains remain free in their conscience and so do not feel their imprisonment. Many others, however, do not taste the true meaning of freedom although they inhabit the grand spaces of palaces and gardens.

2. True freedom is civilized freedom. It wears the diamond chain of religion and morals, and the golden collar of sound thinking.

3. True freedom is the freedom of the human mind from all shackles that hinder it from making material and spiritual progress, as long as we do not fall into indifference and heedlessness.

4. Freedom allows people to do whatever they want, provided that they do not harm others and that they remain wholly devoted to the truth.

5. Freedom that does not acknowledge religious ideas and feelings, and that does not serve as the ground for virtue and morality, is like the desire to scratch oneself. Communities afflicted with this desire eventually become restless and wander off the common road of humanity.

6. Those who regard freedom as absolute liberty confuse human freedom with animal freedom. Animals have no moral questions asked of them, and so are free of moral constraints. Some people desire this kind of freedom and, if they can, use it to indulge their darkest desires. Such freedom is worse than bestial. True freedom, however, the freedom of moral responsibility, shows that one is human, for it motivates and enlivens the conscience and removes impediments to the spirit. Criteria or Lights of the Way, Izmir, 1998, Vol. 2, (12th edition), pp. 82-84

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