FREEDOM - ÆLEFTHÆRÍA - ΕΛΕΥΘΕΡΙΑ

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"Has not Zeus given you directions? Has he not given to you what is your own, free from hindrance and free from impediment, and what is not your own subject to hindrance and impediment?"  
(Æpíktitos (Epictetus, ἘπίκτητοςDisc. 1:25, trans. George Long 1877.)


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Ælefthæría (Eleutheria; Gr. Ἐλευθερία, ΕΛΕΥΘΕΡΙΑ. Pronounced ĕh-lef-thĕh-REE-ah) 

Freedom is instinctual in all sentient beings and beloved of the Gods. It is a major principle in Ællinismόs (Hellenismos, Ἑλληνισμός), the ancient Greek religion. As such, Ællinismόs is tolerant of a vast multitude of viewpoints. All the glorious Gods are free and they desire and promote this freedom for all. Since the Gods desire us to have the same freedom they possess, they never violate our freedom. As practitioners of this religion, we attempt to imitate the Gods and live with a like discipline towards our fellows. 

Since freedom is so fundamental to our religion, Ællinismόs does not and has never supported institutions such as slavery or the domination of peoples, despite the behavior of ancient civilizations. Slavery and any effort to impose bondage on others, is completely incompatible with the Hellenic religion. The foundation of Ællinismόs is securely grounded in freedom and tolerance. This can be demonstrated even in the manner in which we worship: we do not kneel or prostrate (προσκύνησις) as they do in other religions. 

Justice, the means to rectify imbalances of freedom in society, is upheld by all the Gods and is overseen by Zefs (Ζεὺς) himself. Justice is so highly esteemed that it is viewed as one of the Four Cardinal Virtues. The imposition of injustice is a violation of freedom and a transgression against the will of the Gods. Many other examples can be drawn where lack of virtue imposes bondage, not only on others, but on oneself as well.

Freedom is a Natural Law and is particularly the dominion of Apóllohn (Apollo, Ἀπόλλων). Freedom is also very much associated with Diónysos (Διόνυσος), both who share the epithet Ælefthæréfs (Eleutherius, Ἐλευθερεύς) meaning liberatorhe who makes free

In the Orphic theogony we learn that Zefs established a new generation of creatures --- our generation --- beings endowed with immortal souls like the Gods themselves, but whose bodies are subject to sickness, violence, and death. Through the process of reincarnation (παλιγγενεσία), our souls return in new bodies in an involuntary circle of births (κύκλος γενέσεως) replete with sorrows. Although we experience much beauty in our lives, the mortal condition is also inherently painful. This is the best possible world which could be created due to constraints of nature. Zefs is aware of this and devised a great plan to alleviate us from our misery; he conceived a mighty son, Diónysos, who is the fulfillment of his providence. Through his Mysteries, Diónysos frees us from the endless circle of births.

In the second epilogue of War and Peace by Lev Tolstoy, the author gives us a brilliant discussion of the interplay of Necessity and freedom or free-will. It is well worth your time to examine his essay. His arguments are well thought out and extensive and, of course, he is talking about huge movement in history, but from the perspective of religion and one's personal life, freedom and free-will are a matter of conscience, despite the constraints of Necessity.


 

It is not that I adulate the people:

   Without me, there are demagogues enough,
And infidels, to pull down every steeple,
   And set up in their stead some proper stuff.
Whether they may sow scepticism to reap hell,
   As is the Christian dogma rather rough,
I do not know; --- I wish men to be free
As much from mobs as kings --- from you as me.

Lord Byron Don Juan Canto the Ninth XXV 



The story of the birth of the GodsOrphic Rhapsodic Theogony.
We know the various qualities and characteristics of the Gods based on metaphorical stories: Mythology
Dictionary of terms related to ancient Greek mythology: Glossary of Hellenic Mythology.

Introduction to the Thæí (the Gods): The Nature of the Gods.
How do we know there are Gods? Experiencing Gods.



The logo to the left is the principal symbol of this website. It is called the CESS logo, i.e. the Children of the Earth and the Starry Sky. The Pætilía (Petelia, Πετηλία) and other golden tablets having this phrase (Γῆς παῖς εἰμί καὶ Οὐρανοῦ ἀστερόεντος) are the inspiration for the symbol. The image represents this idea: Earth (divisible substance) and the Sky (continuous substance) are the two kozmogonic substances. The twelve stars represent the Natural Laws, the dominions of the Olympian Gods. In front of these symbols is the seven-stringed kithára (cithara, κιθάρα), the lyre of Apóllohn (Apollo, Ἀπόλλων). It (here) represents the bond between Gods and mortals and is representative that we are the children of Orphéfs (Orpheus, Ὀρφεύς).


PLEASE NOTE: Throughout the pages of this website, you will find fascinating stories about our Gods. These narratives are known as mythology, the traditional stories of the Gods and Heroes. While these tales are great mystical vehicles containing transcendent truth, they are symbolic and should not be taken literally. A literal reading will frequently yield an erroneous result.  The meaning of the myths is concealed in code. To understand them requires a key. For instance, when a God kills someone, this usually means a transformation of the soul to a higher level.  Similarly, sexual union with a God is a transformation.


The story of the birth of the Gods: Orphic Rhapsodic Theogony.
We know the various qualities and characteristics of the Gods based on metaphorical stories: Mythology
Dictionary of terms related to ancient Greek mythology: Glossary of Hellenic Mythology.

SPELLING: HellenicGods.org uses the Reuchlinian method of pronouncing ancient Greek, the system preferred by scholars from Greece itself. An approach was developed to enable the student to easily approximate the Greek words. Consequently, the way we spell words is unique, as this method of transliteration is exclusive to this website. For more information, visit these three pages: 

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