A to Z Freedom R

Freedom R

 I’m using quotes here as in their way they relate to freedom as I see it –

Most of them are about rebellion –

‘I freed a thousand slaves. I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were  slaves’. Harriet Tubman.

Born Maryland, USA, died March 1913: Harriet Tubman was an American abolitionist and political activist. Born into slavery, Tubman escaped and subsequently made some thirteen missions to rescue approximately seventy enslaved people, family and friends, using the network of antislavery activists and safe houses known as the Underground Railroad (wikipedia).

‘A little rebellion now and then is a medicine necessary for the sound health of government’.  Thomas Jefferson

‘Art is fuelled by rebellion: the need, in some amounting to obsessions, to resist what is, to defy one’s elders, even to the point of ostracism; to define oneself, and by extension one’s generation, as new, novel, ungovernable’.   Joyce Carol Oates 

‘Rebellion cannot exist without a strange form of love’. Albert Camus

‘The right to rebellion is the right to seek a higher rule, and not to wander in mere lawlessness’. George Eliot

‘The spirit of rebellion which animated lovers of liberty from the 13th century onwards need to be reignited, so that the new generations assuming responsibility for the future understand that freedom is not just another word’. Frank Furedi, sociologist, commentator, author (in Spiked, May 2015).

I reckon it’s worth rebelling against any form or structure that seeks to limit our freedoms. Within the rule of law. But whose law is the greater? The inner one or the outer one?

Thank you for reading and I so appreciate your comments.






32 Comments on A to Z Freedom R

  1. Wow! The Harriet Tubman quote is powerful. I hadn’t heard it before. Thank you.

    In college in the 1960s, I participated in anti-war and equality demonstrations. I risked and was threatened with arrest a few times, but trusted I would be protected even if jailed. I don’t trust that anymore. Rebellion seemed a natural, sometimes scary part of life, but I feel more cautious now and more hopeless. We don’t seem to have the political will to change things legally, even things as obvious and in our self-interest as climate change.

    • What we ‘trusted’ before now seems to be on shaky ground I agree Elaine. Maybe we need a shake-up every now and then so that we can truly see the shadows of corporations and institutions and their self interest ie profit at all costs. These days, protests in my country get unruly and ugly in their violence and looting which makes me feel pretty hopeless even if the initial motive for protest is authentic – mob behaviour takes over ..

    • It is a powerful quote isn’t it Kaddu – thank you for coming by. I like The Matrix analogy … are we bonded and bounded by it? I think we are –

  2. For me, the whole point of living is to consciously “make the inner like the outer and the outer like the inner and the above like the below. . .”

      • Susan ~ I’m not sure I understand your question, but the quote is part of a longer passage taken from the Gnostic Gospel of Thomas. It’s hard to put into words all that it means to me, better to let the passage speak for itself.

        • I know what it means and it is a lovely passage and one in which I personally hold great store – the integration of the inner and the outer (from the micro to the macro and vice versa), and as above so below … thank you …

  3. I agree that “first do no harm” to any sentient being forms the ethical baseline to which I try to adhere.
    Upon reflection the following question came to mind ” Is rebellion possible without doing harm”

    • Thanks Lorraine for coming by. Your following question is a necessary one – I wonder.
      I guess some will be hurt or angered or discomfited by an action of rebellion against them. But a rebellion may be a necessary one if it prevents eg further harm to one’s self or to the larger environment? What can kill can also cure comes to mind .. e.g. the serpent. Hopefully if and when we rebel, we’ll be rebels with a cause .. 🙂

  4. Thank you Sue……your post made me reflect on art circle…..
    Art is rebellion… it seems to be born of the wrestle between inner landscapes, personal his/herstory, external politics and the medium itself… . the very choice to create something and render an authentic mark requires an act of rebellion. xxT

    • So lovely to see you at art circle this morning Tina! Wrestling with our rebellion in art is a great depiction. All art stretches boundaries or even breaks them when we put our own ‘mark’ on them. Your painting of Lucien Freud was wonderful All art works this morning were … thank you for coming by 🙂 …

  5. Great quotes.Thank you.
    Rebellion doesn’t make for a comfortable life, but where authenticity prevails there are inner rewards, no matter that they are often invisible.

    • Thanks Ashen – the rewards are great if we listen with a keen ear! We were never promised a rose garden – or maybe we were but we have to accept the thorns that come with them …

  6. A wonderful collection of quotes today, but I love Tubman’s the most. Your question about which being more important inner or outer law brought to mind an old toy/contemplation object – a flexible wire globe that collapses and can be pulled into different shapes. Are you familiar with it? Folding in on itself and opening up again – that’s sort of how I think about inner/outer law – sometimes we are held by both containers, and sometimes we grown in different directions/speeds than the containers and so they can no longer contain us. But I think it the containers change as well, and we are wise to keep checking the fit. Your series is helping me do that. Thanks Susan!

    • Your analogy is lovely Deborah .. is this wire globe of the world? But bending and changing, bending and changing some more and being flexible and feeling contained sometimes and sometimes not and sometimes outgrowing the container to see if it still fits, is a lovely thought thank you 🙂 I’ll use it in those moments when I question whether I’m within or without.

  7. Excellent quotes, Susan. I truly wish we could rebel, here in the states and kick our President and Vice President out. Actually, there are a LOT of changes that should take place in our government to provide us with freedom.

    • All acts of protest are a rebellion of sorts Gwynn. I know that many protest about much in the US .. Standing Rock, your president, the Mueller report , the hacking of funds for medical care etc – these are kept in the forefront of your minds and very many protest against this …

    • I guess we can’t rebel against something we are not aware of Susan. But stirrings of rebelliousness within, even if not articulated as such, can lead to a questioning of what it is that causes these stirrings? If we’re in the world, we are surely aware of much that is not right and we can wonder about our role in this – how much we are complicit. And the larger picture of unfair practice is not hard to see. But yes, if we remain unconscious of being caught or in a trap or being overly conditioned or overly fixed in a ‘position’- whether in our way of thinking and feeling, automatic responses without any awareness of why we make them, etc then we are trapped without knowing so ..

  8. Coincidentally, I have resonated deeply with the word “rebellion” this past week. For as much as I enjoy saying “yes” to others, I enjoy saying “no” too. In fact last week I found myself saying “no” several times where I could’ve, for peace and quiet, just agreed and gone along with others agendas which would’ve left my own self worth and self esteem on the floor.

    Hmm, I am deeply curious about Camus’ brilliant quote … a strange sort of love? Strange yet familiar I would guess. I think in general I’m attracted to quotes that hold the tension of the opposites. Therein often lays for me the deepest wisdom and truth. As always much to ponder and reflect on Susan, many thanks. Love and light, Deborah.

    • Thanks Deborah … good on your rebelliousness! Too often when I’ve said yes, I’ve resented it, resented myself for being weak and not saying no, and resented the other for putting me in a yes no situation – where’s the maybe? 🙂

      Camus’ quote is wonderfully strange! Does it refer to an excitation somewhere in the belly, another way of looking at things, the blood corpuscles expanding a bit, a stirring? Those stirrings make us feel alive, a strangely lovely feeling? Saying ‘no’ is an act of rebellion sometimes – maybe that refers to some form of self-love?

      O – on my way back from a quick walk, I met with our chairlady of the complex who is having a very hard time with some of the people living here. I said I was sorry for all of this (others are being madly horrible) she is going through and said we could start the revolution! I felt very very rebellious …

      Love & light to you too! Susan

      • “You could start the revolution!” Oh that did make me smile. It’s amazing how much easier life becomes for us when we learn to include the word “no” more often in our vocabularies. 🙂

  9. You raise provocative questions, Susan. Rebellions and civil disobedience mean breaking laws, but one hopes it is in favor of a moral law. That, of course, is tricky–as there are some, who, for example, would want us to follow some sort of theocracy, citing their own moral law within a usually restricted religious framework–and almost always limiting what women are allowed to do. But the quest for freedom sometimes means opposing laws. Slavery was legal. The American colonies were colonies of England (and irony, the many founding fathers who owned slaves). Apartheid was legal. . .and on and on.

    • Thanks Merril. I’m just back from a very swift walk to avoid the rain and lightning and I was thinking about your response which I’d seen earlier. A Moral law? One based on Ethics? An Absolute law – ? Any ‘law’ that restricts women’s freedom is suspect. I suppose laws are culturally and historically determined to a certain extent. And allowing a period of time points out that ‘laws’ can be changed and written into the Constitution.

      There are some that seem absolute to me eg First, do no harm. I can think of plenty others! Moses’ commandments are a good guide. Jesus’ too. Though I have heard it said that when Moses came down from the mountain and proclaimed them, he thereafter shattered the tablet – as he saw this as an idol –

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: