Beyond ourselves and back: freedom and Eros

«So we call love the desire and the research for the wholeness»
(Platone, Simposio, 192e-193a, trad. it. Franco Ferrari)



According to Plato, the attempt of men to take the power from gods pushed Zeus to divide every human being, once one and indivisible, in two separate beings that will always struggle to have their unity back.
So to avoid our exinction, Zeus sent Eros in the world, to make possible trough the physical union of two people the rebirth of that lost unity, generating pleasure and life at the same time.
Since then the human body is a place where something is missing, something has to be completed, something has to be unified. And to do so, Eros is the bound we need.
That’s why for the ancient Greeks the union between two human being had a inner value that had nothing to do with the aim of procreation.
Eros, beyond the common meaning of sexual desire, is the force (and the willing) that unifies different and conflicting elements without nullifying them, but respecting their own properties.

We like to think about freedom trough art, reflecting about the links that our freedom has with eros and with us as individuals and a society at the same time.
You can be free in many ways: depending on your own culture or context freedom has always a relationship with different bonds that could come from nature or culture, from traditions or law and that can be broken or respected due to our own sensibility.
We mean freedom as a new vision, a new step in our life, that can make us happier and that make us discover that part of us that is still missing, even if we didn’t even know that was missing.

You are free as long as you partecipate to something that is yours, a process of discovery that is never ending and that could be summarize in the ancient greek saying “Know Yourself” (γνῶθι σαυτόν).
But to catch the real mening behind this phrase is necessary to respect our boundaries, to accept our finitude, and to be humble.
Going beyond, trespassing our limits is still the best way to know ourselves though, and after going out, the comeback always means a new knowledge for our souls.
Sometimes breaking limits make us weaker, or even slaves. It depends on the situations of course, but you can’t deny that there is always a polarity between freedom and our social, religious and cultural bonds.

Freedom is sometimes a simply going in an out from the borders. That’s because you can equally feel free (and happy) going toward and going away from something (no matter if is a tradition, a history, a place, one or more people, a family or a community, a way to be). Freedom is not, as most people say, breaking bonds, rather creating them and, once the bonds are created, being faithfully to them without loosing our balance. Freedom is finding a balance, a new dimension.

The freedom meant as going beyond boundaries and at the same time rejoining them seems to us an urgency for men, a necessity always powerful that start from our souls, our bodies. The voice of the body, as a reality and a truth that the humans could never deny.

Gianluca Poldi