• Vincenzo Vinciguerra

Inner Freedom

Recent events force us to reflect aloud on the concept of freedom, an overused word especially in democracies where everyone believes themselves to be free, but few realize that the freedom to eat, sleep, work, procreate, defecate exists even in totalitarian countries and, therefore, in this respect there does not exist in the world a man who is deprived of his liberty.

Conversely, if we evaluate political freedoms we see that, in a democracy, all are theoretically free to say what they think but a man can never divulge his thoughts because publishers do not publish his books, distributors do not sell them, he cannot make television shows, journalists do not agree to do interviews, critics will not review writings, so he must be silenced. The tools used in power are different from those used in totalitarian states, where it is preferred to use the political police, but the result is identical. In democracy, a hundred, a thousand different newspapers, theoretically independent, all reporting the same information, make the same comments, operate quietly without any censorship and refuse to publish what may raise questions among the public and damage the ruling caste. In totalitarian states there is often only one official newspaper but the result with what happens in a democracy is the same.

In a country like Italy, as a governor of the Bank of Italy who knew a few close friends managed to become a minister, President of the Council and, finally, President of the Republic without ever appearing for the Italians which, conversely, was imposed by the parties and by the written press and television; where a convict like Silvio Berlusconi can be the Prime Minister, and a deluge of unknown Italians become parliamentarians which the Italians never elected but were chosen by the political parties. To speak of freedom is grotesque.

Instead of a dictator, we have a hundred tyrants, the criminal record and with a guilty conscience, that make and unmake in the name of the sovereign people, adding insult to injury of derision against sixty million citizens, who may, in fact, only to suffer a power that does not come from them and that does not belong.

But there is another freedom, the kind that cannot be suppressed not by force, or by deceit, which is defined within, because everything has to do with conscience and not the need to look like the others.

The concept of inner freedom has been lost. Fewer and fewer are the men and women who sacrifice joy, and external freedom.

Who today favors the search for the divine rejecting everything which is human, escaping from reality to remain in constant and daily meditation with the "self" and his conscience?

Today, the Catholic Church has lost the sense of religiosity, it prefers to organize beauty contests for the sisters, showing that it no longer knows what is inner beauty and, above all, the freedom of the soul, the mind and consciousness.

If all that was deleted in the religious field, very few are able to understand that the concept of inner freedom can exist in the secular camp, even in political, incredibly in the political world where you recognize - and it is practiced - a war waged as part of public policy. Imagine, then, if you agree that this inner freedom can exist in a prisoner of the State, free in his consciousness, in his actions, in his choices and in his thoughts.

Can you be free in a prison?

The only question which undermines the interlocutors, who feel cheated because it is, for them, inconceivable that freedom, true, genuine, real, can exist in an ugly cell of an Italian prison. No, even people of considerable cultural thickness reject the idea that prison and freedom are compatible.

The prisoner, as we're pleased to call him, lives dreaming of the freedom to eat, sleep, procreate, work (sometimes) and defecate outside the walls of a prison. For society it is not acceptable that they choose to live and die in a prison, giving up all the pleasures of life, his own comfort, freedom of movement, to live in their own house, to establish a loving relationship.

What is a man in prison for society, if not a body that suffers the restrictions of detention? And what else can he ever be? Someone with a soul, a conscience, a mind, an ideal, they wouldn’t even suspect it.

If a man kills for the cause of winning becomes Nobel laureate for peace and prime minister, perhaps of Israel (the reference to the known mass murderer of Arab women and children, Menachem Begin, intended), but if it kills soldiers for a losing cause is a murderess.

And can a "murderess" have an inner freedom which is not known to exist even for Cardinal Bagnasco? No, of course not. So they think the little men who have, perhaps, but many degrees from that set of confused notions have been able to get anything to understanding the mystery of who lives daydreaming the advent of an era in which the word man can finally be written with a capital M, as it should be for those who will have the reflection of the divine on earth.

Vincenzo Vinciguerra