Castiel: You got what you asked for Dean. No Paradise. No Hell. Just more of the same. I mean it Dean. What would you rather have? Peace - or freedom?
Besides the fact that Castiel here is about as comforting as a snuggie full of bedbugs, this was a really significant moment in Swan Song because I think it was setting up one of the major themes for Season 6.
The phrase “What would you rather have? Peace - or freedom?” has stayed with me like a bit of popcorn between my teeth that I forget about and them go back to worry over.
It’s a bit of a koan – you know those Zen sayings like “what is the sound of one hand clapping?" – riddles that can only be solved by intuition not reason.
Peace and freedom are keystone concepts in the American psyche; words used, misused and certainly overused in public discourse. They are both heartfelt values, and cheap slogans emblazoned on tacky nicknacks. It s also important to remember that alongside peace and freedom – as embodied in the American Seal to the Statue of freedom on the Capitol building, is always war.
(I’ll also add here that freedom, and the struggle for it, is also a theme integral to Judaism, and one day I will write my meta on how SPN is a tale told with a very Jewish sensibility and POV).
Peace and freedom are not usually thought of as mutually exclusive; in fact they are more often used almost interchangeably. The idea that there is a choice between them is quite a profound one. What exactly is it that Supernatural is suggesting we choose between?
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