the idea

Which events and which circumstances, what ideas and what coincidences led us to revitalize the idea and create the “Free & Real” team?

…there are many stories and facts…

Free and Real

«Freedom of Resources for Everyone, Everywhere & Respect, Equality, Awareness and Learning»

 «Ελευθερία Πόρων για Όλους Παντού & Σεβασμός, Ισότητα, Αντίληψη και Γνώση»

Welcome … let’s get acquainted!

The reality and the environment in which we grow up, our family, our teachers and coaches, our behaviors and dreams, our principles and “beliefs” , the technology and our access to information, our financial situation and the social structure, the opportunities, our experiences, pictures and music, relationships and friendships, our acquaintances and even strangers, the shades of gray around us, the joys and sorrows that both make us cry, the cold light of a winter morning, the quiet time that flows, the secrets that are revealed by a mirror, air, memories, light and darkness, the past and the future, youth and old age, your dreams and my dreams, you and me and a bunch of other pieces of the puzzle called life, contributed to a “conspiracy” for us to meet, in the winter of 2008 in a gathering, full of hopes and ideas, a gathering of the members of a forum, a gathering of people who shared a common aspiration : to become the change they want to see in the world.

Within this promising group, four people from different backgrounds, with different thoughts, attitudes and concerns, four different worlds but with a common dream, were meant to “collide” in an explosion of ideas, will and courage and for a moment, the gray nuances of everyday life disappeared behind colored smiles and sparkling eyes.

Our meetings were established and the first ideas for action and change were already set when quite a lot of people, friends and acquaintances, relatives and groups began to take an interest in this idea of change that was born. Our encounters became ever more frequent, and in less than two months, more than 100 people had contacted us, who offered willingly their time, their space, their professional qualities, their ideas, their energy, smile, knowledge and abilities, even their constructive contradiction, that this effort needed to take its first steps.

In January 2009 the name “Free and Real” was born and in the spring of that year, after many discussions, suggestions, spiritual fermentation, shouting and smiling, we established the non-profit, non-governmental organization “FREE & REAL – Really Free“, located in Athens, in order to be able to have access to municipalities, communities, organizations, universities, foundations, government and international agencies – that without any legal status would not be easy – and with the goal to explore and put into practice all that we would like to see in the world around us.

..and so what do you research και what are your actions;  ..and really who are you and what is your goals?;

In a fairly distant past, just before the end of the Middle Ages,most areas of the world were full of torture chambers, unjust prosecuting & penal authorities,prejudices against minorities, inequality and fear between the people.

The inhumane treatment of the lower classes, the felonies and the slave trade were still the rule. Despite all that chaos though, a person known as Ethrieus, a Greek man, born in a small mountain village on Dirfys, chose to fight a great battle against this anachronistic evolutionary delay.

Although born in difficult times, in a society that offered more hardships than opportunities, coming from a family that had to struggle -sometimes on the edge of impoverishment- in order to gain food, Ethrieus was a truly kind and fair figure on the inside, having great reserves of fortitude and a strong sense of conscience & duty towards his fellow men, and nature alike.

It was during a journey to Athens that he lost his loyalty to the crown and his faith to society’s future, out of repulsion towards the corruption of the royal family and church alike. During that same journey, he met a well-off middle-aged man, around his 50s, a lone hiker and hermit. A traveled figure, with a deep voice and an empowering fist, who asked Ethrieus to join him on his journey to Chalkis. Ethrieus accepted the offer and during a trekking where there was not much else to do other than never-ending conversations, his traveling companion affected greatly the way he viewed the world after all.. “.. against regality, and demonstrated that all humans are born free and have as much of a right to the goods that constitute basic needs as to the air that they breathe. Through his words, he made it crystal clear that the only difference between a person dripping in gold and another that lived with just the absolutely necessary was that the exact same thing (note: money) caused greed to one and a cowardice submission to the other..”

After this journey next to the lone hiker, with new ideas and perception, through a new motive of the “simply freely” thought and a spiral as his coat of arms, he changed route; instead of returning to his homeland to the life he already knew, he decided to find like-minded “pirates” of consciousness throughout Greece. At the very first month of his onshore hike he managed to find 8 other people, men and women, who made the decision to actively support the values and ideology that Ethrieus awoke and reminded them, by relaying the mental and sentient stimuli, that he received during his travel next to the middle-aged man.

This is how a nucleus of willingness was created, full of dreams and energy; traveling altogether, they practiced these values and ideas, spreading them against the accumulated and unjust authority of clergy and legislators alike, freeing slaves, sharing material goods and helping the destitute. They were calling themselves “free” and followed an unwritten regulation, ignoring the untimely laws and the narrow minded institutions of the state; an informal organizational structure which could -in our days- be characterized as a “pirate partnership”.

In a year of journeys on Greece’s mainland and islands, “Free”, having as their mark the nautilus spiral, also known as the golden spiral, amounted to 40 dedicated traveling companions and thousands of supporters. Among other fundamental values was also that “the trade of humans (slaves) would never be able to be considered acceptable under a fair conscience’s judgment” or “no person has authority over another person’s freedom” or even that “for the unfree, there is a death prior to dying”. On every stop at villages and cities, they found ways to share not only their abilities by helping families and farmers, but their ideology as well, explaining that every action is followed by an equal and opposite reaction, and every choice is followed by the corresponding consequences, so the unscrupulous actions of the royal family not only would be unforgotten, but the people would one day return united and strong to remove the arrogant elite and their suffocating pressure, gaining not only supporters but real smiles.

In the end of 1401 and as their biennial tour throughout Greece was reaching its end,at a route on the foothills of mount Telethrion in North Euboea, Ethrieus found a large area of fertile soil, drinkable running water and fairly friendly villages in the wider area, so, along with the “free”, he decided to establish “Freedom”; a small community of people that, as later history says, was constructed and organized in such a way that both coexistence and survival, even decision making, were uniquely self-sufficient and robust.

Even the land they were using was under no possession, because “ river, no ridge and no rock defines a land that belongs to a specific person. Nature doesn’t belong to man, it was there before him and it’ll be there even when man leaves”. They lived so symbiotically with each other and so harmoniously with the environment that their ways overwhelmed the hearts of those that visited them, and fellow men -mostly from middle or lower social classes- loved them for real. They shared their scarce savings, since they decided that “practicality and utility of objects was common for all”, all their decisions went through the “Creative Differential Summit”, a meeting of consciousness, dare, creativity and application of practical knowledge -an ancestor of our current, meaningless bureaucratic Boards- and so they set sail to a “free life”, through actions of provocative straightforwardness, rational and prudent audacity, nevertheless showered with a great dose of truth and freedom. They were almost immediately characterized as “abruptly alive” by the local and wider area and soon followed the creation of both their first dedicated supporters who embraced their ways & ideas, and their first enemies who were looking at the whole effort through suspicious eyes and an unsociable approach. During the second half of the 14th century, the population had many complaints about the king and his domineering decisions.

The imposed taxation, the poll-taxes and the emergency “contributions” made the regal family even more powerful and rich, turning the citizens and the farmers even poorer, and since the existence of money served exactly this accumulation of power, the gap between social classes became even greater.

For an awful lot of people and distressed families, the “free” and their ideas formed a new perspective of things, of a more self-sufficient & real life, and a new more substantial everyday-living. The royal family saw its influence on the citizens to be gradually decreasing and after it was brought to their attention that there exists a small utopian community named “Freedom”, it found in this effort the apple of discord that it was looking for, immediately baptizing the “free” as “underground”, spreading rumors for their incentives. The direct resource based economy, the cashless offer of services, as well as the openhearted and lively way of being of the “Free” were cases of organizational management that caused mixed feelings, especially to such a narrow minded social structure of that era and even more so, to the unsociable & suspicious who refused to hear a thing. The noble of that era tried to excommunicate the “Free” way of life, saying that their lives were an offense to all that the crown represented, even said that they insulted the Divine by using the spiral as their coat of arms. When this effort of tainting the “Free” failed, the crown started using more desperate measures to regain its lost influence.

The motto they used was the “Devilfree” and the members were accused of being tricksters, children of witches and even crazy or possessed. But this phrase had the opposite result and the sound of the word “freedom” was meant to become more powerful than ever, a word filled with an eternal energy. The outraged members of the clergy, started threatening everyone, that whoever supported the “crusade” of the “free”, would immediately be considered an enemy of the crown and would face the proportional consequences.

When this effort proved to be fruitless as well, the crown incriminated the members of Freedom, for a series of alleged murders and kidnaps, resulting in a merciless manhunt against them. The residents of “Freedom” exiled themselves away from their community and organized in smaller nuclei, so that it would be more difficult to find them and increase chances for survival. For the next 2 years they lived as nomads, since their persecution made them move frequently and spread their knowledge & ways secretly and less extensively. Luckily for them, not only many of their supporters deliberately painted spirals on the walls of large cities and villages to disrupt the Authorities’ search, but many other kindhearted people offered them food and shelter during this nomadic (r)evolution. Unfortunately, some of “Freedom’s” core residents were caught by the royal guard and were tortured to submit themselves to the crown. Ethrieus along with 4 other of the initial members of the free Formed on of the 3 nuclei that even 2 years after their self-exile, kept hiking to many mountain villages and lowland farms of the geographical area known today as Greece, keeping the idea of freedom alive.. The king, aiming to finish off the last members of the “freely alive”, announced a bounty to whomever could provide information,which would lead to their arrest,especially that of Ethrieus.

The amount was so big that the “Freely alive”, tired and downtrodden by life, having been fugitives for more than 2 years, understood that their end was essentially approaching and that sooner or later someone would reveal them, so they decided to fall, gloriously, on their own way.

Before their “swan song”, the members of the core of the “Freely Alive” that had lasted, signed an agreement, which said that in 500 years after that night, their progeny would re-establish the “Free” and would continue their project of spreading a lively society of real people with a free spirit.

Twenty files were sealed and given to loyal followers so that they could be delivered to their descendants, members of their families. Afterwards, Ethrieus, old by that time, sent letters to all the villages and the communities from which the Free had passed at some point and asked for the support of the citizens and the presence of all, 4 months later, outside Athens’ palace to rise up against the regal dictatorship and make their final choice for or against freedom, declaring this way the place of their last appearance and speech. Through this invitation, Ethrieus planned to unite the indignation and anger of the people against the clergy, so that they would be finally freed.

Thousands of people showed up, so many that rumor has it a lot of them were so far from the stand where the speech was given that they couldn’t even see. Almost everyone had sewed on their coats and aprons, the fabric spirals that Ethrieus had sent along with the announcement of that gathering. Others had made spirals out of bendy branches of oleaster, while some had spirals painted on their cheeks using adobe.

The gathering turned quickly into a celebration of sorts, as some were donating handicrafts and domestic products as a symbol of money’s uselessness in human relationships, others were offering seeds, herbs and cereals in sacks and others were cooking, singing or dancing in spiral formations, children were running carefree around. The sun was at its zenith, while the cries “freely, freely..” reverberated so loudly out of all people’s lungs, that this gathering would make history as the free-est meeting that ever was. Due to the great amount of gatherers, the “Free” or “Freely alive” managed to conclude their effusive speech till the end, when armed guards made it to the stand after all and arrested Ethrieus and the rest of the members of that core of the Free, who were imprisoned and later sentenced to execution by hanging. ..the idea stayed alive though.. Athens, December of 2008. After an unbelievable coincidence, four descendants of the former founding members of the Free, meet at a forum’s gathering of members and start discussing about a society different than the current one. During this conversation it is revealed that all of them had received a weird letter from some ancestor of theirs that provided instructions on the agreement to reconnect and reestablish the “Freely Alive”. All four of them were excited about this event and managed in a short period of time -after a genealogical research- to reconnect with more of the progeny of the original members.

Unfortunately all authentic letters, except for one, had been confiscated and burnt by the church in 1487, so the new “free” didn’t have exact instructions as to the course of action and the means to implement a free society. After detailed conversations, it was agreed that their manifesto would have to be a modern version of the old “free” and they should always remain open to the possibility of evolution through the coming of new people, ideas, thoughts, information etc. This is how the “Free and Real” idea was reborn from its ashes. ..and then what did you do, and what are you dealing with? ..and bottom line is, who are you and what is your purpose?

..and so what do you research και what are your actions;  ..and really who are you and what is your goals?;

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