I thought about Ernest Becker’s four levels of personal freedom: the basic personal level (the freedom to have your own hidden life), the social level (free to be yourself around friends, family), the secular level (free to have your devotion to science, art, etc) and the sacred level (devotion to a higher meaning).

It hit me since my own definition of freedom defined by circumstances of my birth and upbringing, consists of three quasi pragmatic levels: political freedom (the freedom to move about freely and to say what you think), economical freedom (being able to afford a certain standard of living you are comfortable with) and spiritual freedom (which coincidentally is comprised of Becker’s four levels briefly described above).

Up to the age of 18, political freedom was the first and foremost goal in my agenda. It never occurred to me then, that most people were born with it. I only felt like I had achieved this goal after I became a Canadian citizen.

Economical freedom never bothered me much, I was always able to find a way to have it in the free world.

The last aspect however, is the one that is the hardest to pin down. That’s what Becket is basically talking about, the concept of really finding a ‘Home’, in every sense of the word. If you truly feel at ‘Home’ that simply means that the four basic levels have found their physical support.

Still not there yet, but on my way.


Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton visited Albania today where she delivered a speech to the parliament on the occasion of 100 years of Albanian National Independence.

One of the most often mentioned words in the speech was the word: “Corruption.” This word even beat the word “God” by a ratio of 2-1.

Other oft used words were: “elections”, “Albania”, “leaders”, “politics”, “democracy.”

The full text of the speech is here.

It is also interesting to note that this word is absent from all the other pronouncements of Secretary Clinton in the other balkan nations she visited in the last two days (Kosovo, Croatia, Serbia).

On the other hand there was no mention of the failure to bring to justice the “guards” of the prime minister who shot to death 4 unarmed “anti-corruption” protesters in the boulevard outside his office in January 2011 (wounding many others as well, including the journalists reporting on that event). After all, Secretary Clinton needed to shake hands with this man after delivering her speech.

Now, that’s what I would call: “diplomacy.”