Makary Stasiak - strona prywatna polski english
Publications - The way to freedom: new dimensions of personhood

This book is an invitation to a spiritual journey through the realms of human consciousness and dilemmas of our existence, an invitation to discover new dimensions of personhood and a wide range of social, cultural, and political interactions. How do I function as a person and what is my place and role in this world? What can I do to enhance my potential and improve this functioning? How can the Other help me and what is the way I can support him in his personal development? Why is freedom inextricably connected with responsibility, and what is the morality of a freed person? These are the questions that I try to answer in the present book, while juxtaposing two models of a person, along with the motivations behind them and the implications they have for our both individual and social life. Traditionally, man perceives himself as a small element of this world, subject to all kinds of laws and restrictions. He accepts both his dependence and the limitations imposed on him. The model that I suggest differs considerably from this scientistic approach. It is a model of a person conscious of his or her subjectivity, who is not afraid to respond to challenges and cope with difficulties that life brings. Such a person is not only able to solve external problems he or she encounters, but is also ready to start working on developing his or her personality. Years of laborious work pay off, and he or she increases his or her potential to act and expands the space of freedom he or she lives in.

Such a person treats him- or herself as a raw material, and in a way creates him- or herself enriching his or her personality. Working intentionally on the process of his or her evolution he or she discovers new dimensions of personhood. This is a new style of life, a new way of acting upon the world and being its part, which the Reader my find intriguing and attractive enough to put into practice. Indeed, one of my main objectives is to encourage those who will reach for this book to verify the validity of the new solutions and interpretations described here in their own lives. Perhaps, it will help them to enjoy their freedom and discover the fullness of their existence.

The beginnings of this book are rather innocent. Each academic year, I prepare inaugural speeches. Having looked through some of these texts, I found it worthwhile to publish a collection of them. This is how the first book, Myślenie według wartości o kształceniu akademickim i sytuacjach społecznych, came into being in 2004, with its English version, Value-Oriented Thinking, published in 2005. Since that time, as the founder and president of the Academy of Humanities and Economics in Łódź, I have continued to deliver inaugural speeches. I prepare myself thoroughly for them, treating each inauguration ceremony with due seriousness, and regarding it as a unique opportunity to share my personal reflections. The ceremony is usually attended by around 700-800 people, including academic and administrative staff members of the Academy. I have a chance to talk to them for about 20-50 minutes. Being acutely aware of the fact that the next opportunity to do so will present itself in the following year, I do my best to use this precious time effectively. I give a lot of thought to the content of the speech and revise it several times, trying to include ideas and issues from new academic areas. Now, after the past five years of working at the Academy, and after adding new texts, it occurred to me that these texts are a sort of chronicle of my spiritual development, a record of my path of thinking about myself, the Academy and the social world surrounding us. This path has its own dynamics. The speeches from the subsequent years are a reflection of my spiritual maturity. Year after year, I have progressed in my development, in gaining deeper awareness of what I am doing. At the same time, the world around me has been changing, and so has the Academy. Each year, this work had a different form, size and tasks to perform. Each year brought new challenges I had to face.

The following chapters of this book are a record of numerous co-existing themes and changes. Firstly, I myself, along with my consciousness and my way of thinking, have changed. Secondly, the change has affected my Academy, which is the product of this evolving consciousness. Thirdly, the environment has changed ? other universities and ministerial authorities in control of higher education institutions. Fourthly, Polish society has undergone changes. Together with other Poles, I have learnt the social life and the life in the global village, which our Earth has come to be. I will refrain from describing the most significant changes in my personal life. Suffice it to say, it has been very tempestuous, and not because I wanted it to be like that, but because it is not possible to separate personal life from professional activity, especially that I spend on average 10-12 hours each day at the Academy. Besides, it is at home that very early in the morning, at weekends and on holidays, I write my texts, committing my reflections to paper.

Changes of my consciousness.
Changes of the work.