There is no freedom without mutual understanding. – Albert Camus

´What does freedom mean to you?`, I recently asked in a school class and I asked the students to have a silent dialogue on the blackboard: at the end you could find terms such as, ´no discrimination`, democracy, fundamental rights, no face masks, health, holidays, summer, freedom of speech and freedom to travel, political liberty, financial independence etc., as a results on the blackboard.

Abraham Lincoln once said `The world has never found a good definition for the word freedom”. I almost have to agree with him on this, because really every person feels his or her own individual sense of freedom and the feeling of freedom is not comparable with the feelings of freedom of others.
However, one thing seems to be true – when freedom is lost, we humans only become aware of the value and meaning of freedom. This may explain the inflationary development of the term ‘freedom’ since the beginning of the pandemic – the word was and is almost misused, used in a distorted historical context, ‘distorted’ in its meaning and used in completely ‘confused’ contexts.

“The freer we are, the more responsibility we have to bear”, says the writer and musician Hans Platzgumer. He describes in an article of the Austrian Newspaper “Der Standard” , dated December 19, 2021, what freedom demands of us if we take it seriously – further Platzgumer says, “Every freedom we claim, we must understand as a valuable and fragile good, as a task. With our freedom, we put ourselves and others in danger, and precisely from this arises the obligation to handle it prudently. If we ignore this fact, we confuse freedom with negligence. For the personal freedom of the individual, ethical values are essential in addition to awareness. Not only must I recognize what I am doing with my freedom, I must also integrate my actions into the context of the world community. Freedom is not compatible with egoism, otherwise one person’s freedom is immediately nullified by another’s.
A truly wonderful presentation of the meaning and value of freedom for our coexistence on this planet – This reflection gives me personally hope for our societies and humanity.
And what does ‘freedom’ mean to me personally? I feel freedom when I am grateful for my life on this wonderful planet Earth, when I realize how rich in gifts I am and how much it is in my hands to make my life worth living, when I support other people to find themselves.

JU’s 3 Fragen für Dezember lauten 👇

👉How would you describe your personal sense of freedom?

👉Do you remember situations where you felt ‘unfree’ and how could you ‘free’ yourself from this situation?

👉’There is no limit’- how do you experience this realization on a spiritual level?

👱🏻🇦🇹🇩🇪 Lena Könighofer
From March 2020 to January 2022, Lena and I only knew each other ‘online’ – our first, face-to-face meeting was a true ‘New Year’s gift’ for me – KT brought us together in a professional context and since 03/20 Lena has also been working for JU_nique.
Lena studies MultiMediaArt/Media Design in Salzburg, loves illustration, motion graphics, choir singing, long walks and Munich, because she found her dream job there.
I admire Lena for her artistic and drawing talent, for her precision and empathy, it is a real pleasure for me to have such a creative and likeable young woman in my team.

👩🏻🇦🇹🇦🇺🇦🇷 Roswitha Schaubmeier
From the Upper Austrian Mühlviertel to Linz out into the wide world – Roswitha is a medical-technical specialist and at the age of 33 she went to Buenos Aires for 4 years and then to Canberra/Australia where she lived until the end of 2004. With a heavy heart Roswitha came back to Austria/Vienna and only recently returned to her roots in the Mühlviertel. It is not surprising that traveling to remote areas, like Antarctica or Easter Island is one of Roswitha’s hobbies besides her love for nature and animals.
I first met Roswitha at a retreat hosted by Victor Barron in 2008 and since 2017 we have been ‘spiritual healer colleagues’.
I appreciate in Roswitha her elegance, subtlety and thoughtfulness, her courage to discover new things and her big heart for Mother Earth.

👩‍🦳🇦🇹Nicole Scheibenreif
What a joy that Nicole and I ran into each other again on FB/Insta after what felt like 20 years. Nicole was one of my first students at the Business Academy, Vienna 22 and I remember very well that Nicole was very courageous, self-determined, communicative and curious even at a young age.
In ‘changing times’ Nicole is also changing professionally – she has a son and spends her free time with music, crocheting, discovering nature and reading.
What I appreciate about Nicole is that her volunteer work with refugee assistance and mobile learning assistance makes such a valuable contribution to our society – thank you 🙏🏻.

👱🏻Lena Könighofer 🇦🇹🇩🇪

Answer 1

Freedom has become a big topic for me especially since actively realizing my professional goals. I feel free when I live out my interests and passions, knowing that I am at peace with myself and with the world. In my eyes, true personal freedom is not only characterized by the fact that it does not endanger others: Its fruits equally benefit fellow human beings – in my case in the form of creative works, good words and inspiring encounters. Because only when I am allowed to be the person I am, can the world also benefit from my abilities.

Answer 2

As an empathic person, I have a sense for the ideas and expectations of people around me and often feel the desire to meet those expectations. Unfortunately, I often pay too little attention to my own needs in the effort to be there for others – and suddenly I find myself entangled in obligations that exceed my own capacities. While it is certainly good will and empathy for one another that create community and cohesion, everyone must be aware that they also have a responsibility to themselves. Consulting with oneself and drawing boundaries is essential for this.

Answer 3

At Sunday Mass, there is often talk of a life of freedom – and yet for many it seems as if God has only imposed prohibitions on humanity. St. Augustine (354-430 A.D.) wrote an universal as well as timeless prescription for life on the subject in a single sentence (and in the process revealed God’s true intentions): “Love, and then do what you will!” Because whoever lives with a loving view of his fellow men and of his own person does not have to answer to anyone except to himself and is free to do all that his heart desires.

👩🏻Roswitha Schaubmeier 🇦🇹🇦🇺🇦🇷

Answer 1

There are several levels of freedom for me, depending on which area of life they relate to.
In everyday life, I basically feel free. I have a roof over my head and more than enough to eat. I have family and friends I can always count on and I am blessed with health. There are almost countless possibilities open to me in terms of how I can live my life.
As for “absolute freedom,” I felt like I came close to it a few times. They were minutes when I was alone and felt completely at one with nature. In these moments – on my travels and in Austria – I felt connected on all levels with the earth, the animals and the plants.

Answer 2

There were always situations where I felt somehow unfree or trapped. Often they had to do with my workplace. But it doesn’t mean that the work or the environment were so terrible. In retrospect, I can say that this feeling of unfreedom originated in my head. I had a completely different idea of freedom. When the internal pressure became too great, I quit and looked for another job.

Individual freedom is always embedded in the freedom of society. Peaceful coexistence only works through laws and rules. A society without rules would quickly degenerate into anarchy and that would be the end of individual freedom.

Answer 3

In my spiritual work, I often experience that I initially had a certain idea of how the treatment should proceed. But then it comes out completely different. Because I am only an instrument and God does the cleansing/treatment. In these moments I feel little limitation – for God everything is possible. It is only my thoughts and my physical body that impose limitations on me. The level of trust and security I experience when I entrust myself to God’s guidance is hard to put into words. No, it’s not always easy, because I like to take control of my life. But it makes my life easier.
I call this new form of freedom “the freedom of the heart.”

👩‍🦳Nicole Scheibenreif🇦🇹

Answer 1

I feel freedom in nature, in music, in my volunteer work with young people as a mobile learning assistant. I feel free when I can pursue manual labor and in my interactions with animals. I feel I am a very freedom loving person, more desirous of it than the majority of people. Lately, I have found it a great liberation that my now pubescent son is good with responsibility and independence. I’ve also been enjoying financial freedom for a few months now, having finally discovered a sensible way to handle money after nearly 44 years.

Antwort 2

In puberty I felt unfree, locked up between incomprehensible rules and obligations, such as in the household and school related. It was liberating for me to go regularly to volleyball practice and to spend the weekend with my best friend.
After my mother’s untimely death almost 25 years ago, I felt like I was being locked away, surrounded by more obligations than was reasonable for a young woman. I then discovered my love for music, gradually freed myself from the constraints imposed on me by too much responsibility, accompanied by several feelings of guilt that I have worked out therapeutically over the years.
In the first Lockdown 2020, I felt unfree for the first two weeks, accompanied by anxiety. I then listened to my gut and my mind and tried to let the media get ahead of me as much as possible and make up my own mind about the circumstances.

Antwort 3

In music I have experienced that there is no limit, initially fascinated by the technoid sounds until then the chillout with its diverse sounds got my attention. For quite some time haven’t listened to almost no music and yet I have the feeling of boundless sounds in my head and me around on a very subtle level to perceive until I then discovered the book “The world is sound” and I got my confirmation of what I have guessed. During walks in nature, I also have the feeling that the universe is boundlessly beautiful and is reflected in the animal and plant world in different colors and species.