O Independence, how mighty you are!

O Independence, how mighty you are!

In the third edition of the “Sivil İnisiyatif”, I had addressed, defined and explained the term “freedom” (özgürlük). Now we will talk about the term “independence” (hürriyet).
The shortest and brief definition of “independence” is “being independent”. Then what is “being independent”?
It is sometimes more easier and understandable to follow the other way around in order to explain some terms. This time we will prefer this method. Independent means “one who is not dependant”. Not being dependant has two phases. When these two phases are actualized, the person is really and exactly independent. The first phase is not being dependant (slave) to anyone else. Since this is very clear I am not going to explain it. The second phase is complex; it is not being a slave to oneself. Let me explain.
But before this, I would like to state that the word “independent” cannot be translated into other languages with a single word as Jean-François Lyotard’s word différend (Le Différend, Paris 1984). Although one can suggest the word enslavement for “hürriyet”, it is not sufficient because in word enslavement, the situation of being one’s own slave in other words self-enslavement is out of the context. In addition, it is also not possible to translate the word “hürriyet” as freedom (Freiheit) due to the connotations of the word freedom.
As I also mentioned in my article “Freedom”, human and animals have some common motives. As these motives become active the self becomes visible. As we classify many existing motives we see them classified under three headings:
1. Survival motive.
2. Reproduction motive.
3. Self construction motive.
Motives activate human and animals to be satisfied. The difference between man and animals comes out at this point. Man has been labeled as the “speaking animal (Ar. haywan al natiq), political, thinking, problem solving and etc. In fact none of these are exactly real. As a matter of fact, even though they do not have concrete concepts, we know that dolphins have a very developed communication; some other animals can think and solve problems. The main difference between man and animal lies behind the ability to cease their motives. The animals at this point are “slaves” of their motives. When and wherever their motives guide them, the animals are in a struggle to satisfy their motives. As for the human, since learn to use their mind in a way to overcome their motives and cease their motives since childhood, they are not directed by their motives. Shortly man is not a “slave” of the motives, as opposed to the animals. For instance, a person, for an activity or a set of activities, he/she does not want to miss, can relinquish from eating, drinking at certain amount and times (sometimes during entire life) or from motive of reproduction completely. Such a case is not possible for an animal (learning through conditioned reflexes is not an exception. The attitudes like stopping eating, which come out together with repining or attitudinizing, are not their choices, but rather results of the mental orders, which come out as a result of a trauma that they cannot block. As I stated earlier, this situation is not current since the birth of human. We may argue that a baby, until (s)he learns how to use mind to control motives, is a slave to his/her motives. So we may say that man born free and then starts being independent. After birth, as he/she starts to free his/her soul, after becoming capable enough to use mind superior to the motives, starts differentiating from animals and move on independence.
The equation can be briefly formulated as “our independence will increase as much as we control our motives”.
The meaning loaded on the concept of independence by social and political structures is as such:
Let’s imagine a really primitive place and period similar to that when I addressed the term “freedom”. A person who is strong enough to smash down everything on his way, starts a life journey to live his independence, not to lose it and increase it as much as possible in order not to be slave to others and also to increase his dominancy on his motives. When he meets someone during this journey, he tries not being overcome by this person to satisfy his motive of survival and not be a slave. To achieve this he either runs away or fights with the other person. At this point, the only way to stop himself from seizing the properties of the other person and making the person his slave is only possible to have full control over the motives guiding him. Otherwise he will move towards increasing the motives, which you know I call it freedom. When the human is not defeated by his motives at this point and does not crush the other person, he is accepted as having acted with human honor, different from being an animal. Acting such, he has used his “mind” as in freedom, but the main motive here is the human honor rather maximizing self interest as in freedom. As you may recall while in freedom the main point was to search after own interest by using own mind with the statement “I am not destroying you’re your essence so that some other does not destroy mine”, here it turns out to the statement of “I am not damaging or destroying your essence because I am not an animal and do not want to be a slave of my motives”. Here we also use the mind but at this point the main thought is the honor of being human. The action is not for harming others but for not being own slave. Right at this stage an immunity area (public sphere) different than the one built on freedom is constructed, and features and instruments, which will bind even the future beings, are preached to this area. At that space, man try to get away from being an animal by using their mind in order not be slaves of their motives. In case they do not, and continue to live alone, it is possible that someone living around and who is slave (free) of own motives will destroy that person living by himself/herself. Now a public sphere based on man’s honor has been established. The core of the state has been established (it should be noted that this is different than the “social contract” theory developed by Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778)). In order to protect this public sphere, legislation, execution and jurisdiction powers are established slowly. There is not any barrier before increasing the freedoms in the public sphere. In order to increase the independence in such a public sphere, the differentiation between the private property and public sphere become more obscure as opposed to what is seen in freedom. Furthermore, public sphere presents more appropriate facilities to increase and enjoy freedoms when compared to private property because public sphere is an area where one can meet beings more often than in private property. At this space, it will be possible to stop brutal directions of human motives with human honor and degree of independence.
In a culture and civilization based on the concept of independence, the criterion of superiority is no doubt the honor of being human. It is worth repeating that in such civilizations based on the concept of independence the definition of; “man only becomes man when he is able to control his motives and stop them at anytime” is accepted.
Here for independence, just as in freedom, we have to see how a man can reply to his motives to control them. To what extent and until what time should a man say “no” to his motives so that both his independence shall increase and show behaviors appropriate for social life?
It is not possible for people who reply the first two classes of motives mentioned above as “enough to survive” to live a social life and thus establish a cultural environment and civilization. The point of view, which we address here, is peaceful and balanced human and social life, therefore we are dealing with a manner to provide both of them. Otherwise, the excessive asceticism, piety and fasting in the disciplines are matter of another subject.
Therefore we face the questions of until what extent and what time shall we stop motives, how far shall we expand our independence.
As we had seen in the article “freedom”, men reply their motives in 3 ways. We should remind you that instincts are not among these: 1. Through their experiences and reasoning, 2. Experiences of others, 3. Obeying instructions of a power not experienced by anyone, but whose superiority is accepted. In addition, we should also mention here “saika” (motive, incentive), which occurs beyond our control or as used by Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961) “hiss-i kalbe’l-vuku/sevk-i kaderi” (foresee).
For instance man will consume food and drink when directed by survival motive. These three ways will tell him which food and drinks to consume. A man for instance might say: “I will not accept food from anyone else whether through buying, as a gift nor by force – even if there is no private property, even in communist ideology taking someone else’s property is theft and is a crime – and even I will never take a fruit from the nature. I will eat only what I have produced”. This is an action made towards controlling a part of the survival motive (being independent). In another example, actions of someone who is trying to satisfy the motive of self development, such as spending all day with physical worships, hanging hairs to ceiling to avoid sleeping, fasting for years with only a small piece eaten at breakfast, spitting oneself, walking on fire and broken glasses, lying on nailed beds are all aimed at trying to avoid being a slave of the motives and expanding borders of independence.
What should be argued here is how these manners can balance the human and social life.
It is accepted that when replying to motives, the second and third ways suggest lifestyles based on being balanced when replying to one’s own motives.
Briefly when a person can stop his/her motives and expand own independence, and manages this personally, he/she can expand independence by stopping his/her motives in public sphere.
The extend and limit of motives in public sphere depends on cultures and consciences. Accepting something directed by a motive is wrong is made via the three ways (feelings, admittances and obeys) stated above. When accepted wrong, man acting with the idea of independence relinquishes from satisfying those motives. However it is very clear that even though there common mistakes for all cultures, something accepted as a mistake in a certain culture/conscience might not be considered as such another culture/conscience. Someone brought up in a culture will reply his/her motives according to own conscience within such reasoning. The question of the limit for someone to draw himself/herself backwards is identified as such.
As a result, independence is obtained, lived and formulates a social integrity through not submitting to errors that come out through feeling, learning, accepting and obeying when replying to motives.
I wish you all a life full of independence.