By Professor Peter P. Groumpos, Emeritus Professor, University of Patras, Greece
One may wonder what is the meaning of the question “what forces rule the world?” The sword or the spirit? And yet with the current situation in the Mediterranean, in the Balkans and an aggressive Turkey wielding the Ottoman sword, the question becomes very relevant. The answer to our question is given by Napoleon Bonaparte: “there are two forces in the world. The sword and the spirit. The sword wins first but temporarily, the spirit wins second but definitively: the sword is always defeated by the spirit “.
There is no need to remind everyone that no empire has been able to subdue peoples forever. The conqueror always left the lands he conquered with the sword and violence. The conqueror always left the lands he conquered with the sword and violence. An empire comes and goes irrevocably in stubbornness with those who disagree with this Historical reality.
But let’s look at things a little differently. And perhaps we finally understand better the general meaning of the “sword” and not its narrow meaning as Napoleon the Great means. Maybe it is misunderstood.
If we study the history and tradition of humankind, we observe that war is one of its main activities. In this rich war tradition, whose history is lost in the depths of the centuries, the warrior used various means to achieve his goal, the neutralization of the enemy. One of these tools is the “weapons”, which are evolving and perfecting along with the evolution of technology and culture itself. Today you also use the “economic war” to enslave peoples. The “economic sword” is much worse than the “sword of war”.
So “weapons” are the “tools of war”. However, tools with a special feature do not have the direct property of creation, as the common tools we know have, but they have the property of destruction. In the right hands and with their proper use they help in the destruction of the invader, the enemy-usurper and in general in the confrontation of the “evil”, whatever its form. In the wrong hands they lead to the destruction and disappearance of “Peoples” and groups of people.
It is worth studying the “sword”. One of the most effective and widely used weapons in the history of mankind is the “sword”, whose origin escapes us in the mists of the past. But the practical significance of the sword alone is not enough. First of all, it should be mentioned that the symbol in its traditional sense is the crystallized form of a higher idea. So a symbol is a bridge or a messenger between our perception and the idea that it carries within us and often helps us to understand much more about this idea than any other description and especially the meaning of destruction.
To understand its true value as an archetypal weapon and to penetrate its essence, we must delve into the various symbolisms that it took from the myths and legends of many traditional cultures.
In Britain, in the myth of King Arthur. He is the only one who possesses the pure virtue can take it out of the rock on which it was nailed. Only he who possesses the virtue of Will, Wisdom and Purity is able to free the Spirit from the shackles and through “Him” to perform feats in the service of Justice and Truth, defeating the forces of evil and restoring order and prosperity to people.
In Greek mythology we have Aegeas, Theseus’ father, who hid his sword and sandals under a rock, on the condition that his son take them, when he was able and had the mental and physical strength to lift the heavy rock and use them properly.
The sword as a symbol is not missing from the Christian tradition. Paradise is guarded by angels with fiery swords, who keep evil away and are a tool dedicated to the will of God.
Another important symbolism, which we find in the context of the Knightly tradition of the West, is the sword nailed to a black cube (something similar to the rock in the myth of Arthur). The black cube is a symbol of the material level, of the manifested visible world, while the sword is the divine spiritual will that penetrates the inert material level to shake it and shape it. It is essentially the marriage between Heaven and Earth, the union of the two main principles of the universe (Spirit and Matter respectively) from which all creation arises (because all creation in the world comes from the combination of these two Principles).
Unfortunately, the “Ottoman sword” as used through the centuries does not have any of the above remarkable and useful features. The Turkish-German historian and sociologist Taner Akcam tells us exactly what the Ottoman Empire and the “Turk” offered in the Balkans, the Mediterranean, the Middle East, and Europe. “In the Balkan Peninsula, with every step he takes, the Turk has trampled on the products of thousands of years of civilization.” It was no coincidence that all the peoples of the Balkans revolted many times, but the Turks suppressed them with the sword and drowned them in blood.
The Greeks started the revolution in 1821 which led them to the creation of the current Greek State. Greece is proudly celebrating today the 200th anniversary of this historic event which was the beginning of the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, which finally disintegrated in 1918-20 after the First World War.
Unfortunately, today’s Turkey does not seem to have learned the right lessons from history. Although we live in the 21st century, the mentality of Turkey is still the same as in 1453, when it occupied Constantinople. Even worse, today the great powers-COUNTRIES have not even been taught by history and are trying to enslave peoples with “economic war” making them poor and slaves of their trades. Who is able to understand, understands.
So, what is the question today for the peaceful coexistence of the Peoples?
What “represents” a sword with its symbolic face are principles and values forgotten in our culture, which stand far from our perception and way of life. But there is a great need for these values to awaken again in the hearts of the people and especially of the Rulers. It is a great need, especially today in the difficult times that all the peoples of the planet are going through, to return to a heroic way of life. The sword must once again be drawn from the rock, not by some mythical hero, but by ourselves and especially by the leaders of the great powers of the whole planet, in order to transform our “selves” into something better. To raise our Spirit, to free it from the matter to which it is committed, so that Justice may come again to our “selves” and to the world.
Let’s be clear. What is at stake today is nothing less than whether humanity will withstand the test of “civilization” under the weight of the question which forces rule it: the “evil sword” or the “human spirit”? There is no doubt that in the end, the “human spirit.” and God, the virtues of Honor, Will, Wisdom, Purity and the Duty of Leaders towards humanity.
Those who do not accept “this” will be held accountable for the sufferings that will come to humanity. History, however, will punish them and the leaders and great powers will remain with black spots as well as the previous ones who had the bad “swords” in their quiver. This will happen to today’s Turkey, which dreams of re-establishing an Ottoman Empire with the behavior of 1453. It will fail miserably.