A barer of life
broke at the end of summer
gathering some rain.
Taking away the mystery of understanding.
David Hume wrote in his famous book “an enquiry concerning human understanding” that the things we think about are made of the things we have seen earlier. Like the golden mountain we can imagine, it’s made of the gold and a mountain we have seen before. The book goes mush deeper than this and is recognized as an important book in the world of philosophy. I don’t do it justice by highlighting this particular idea and taking it out of its context, but still I do.
Have you ever thought about where your thoughts come from? Do they just appear? Does something in you make those thoughts out of nothing? Where were your thought that you have now when you were 5 years old? Do we collect the parts of our thoughts over time? Are we just combining bits and pieces, things we gathered, into our thoughts?
I think it is difficult to be an original thinker. No matter what we do we have to use the things we learned to form our own thoughts and only the exceptional person can combine the things he or she has learned into something truly original. It is not for nothing that thinkers like Plato or Aristoteles are still studied. They had drawn such profound conclusions from their experiences that hardly anybody since has come close to them.
If I look around in the bookstore or at social media, it seems that everybody has an opinion and often put it on the same level as …someone that has made it its life work. Climate chance springs to mind as an obvious example where so many people seem to now the answer where even the experts struggle and work hard to understand it and find an answer. As if they, the opinionated modern man, know the answer without the experience necessary.
We can not imagine a golden mountain without seeing a mountain and gold beforehand, the opinionated modern man can dismiss climate change without ever study biogeochemical cycles, ecological and agroecological systems, human-environment interactions. Do does people question there dentist or car mechanic with the same certainty?
Its humility we need, I don’t know anything about climate change so I trust the people that do just like I listen to my doctor or trust Hume more than myself if he talks about our mind.
What a peculiar privilege has this little agitation of the brain which we call ‘thought’.
Wall of thoughts in front
echoing sentences fall
frightened I look up.
Martin Heidegger, a German philosopher (1889-1976), introduced the concept of “geworfenheit” or often translated as thrownness. It’s the idea that we as human beings are thrown into this life in certain circumstances out of our control like family ties and social conventions.
This idea is related with another concept of Heidegger, “dasein”, most common translated as existence. Dasein is the human experience of being (there) and the specific human experience of understanding our mortality and our personality.
Dasein or existence has been used by other philosophers, but Heidegger had a particular meaning which is hard to understand and demands some study of his work. Reading philosophy and learning about our human experience is not a priority for most people but I can recommend it because an unexamined life is not worth living (Socrates).
Warum ist überhaupt Seiendes und nicht vielmehr Nichts? Das ist die Frage.
(Why are there beings at all, and why not rather nothing? That is the question.)
New life sprouts and sees
a vast maze and little sun
a view looking back.
What is it that defines us?
Or, what is “us”? Are we not all formed by our surrounding? Is it not our parents, school, city and country that forms us? Don’t we speak the language of our neighbors and follow their customs?
Or would you be the same person if you were born in a different time and place? Is their a soul that contains our personality?
I ask these questions because I hear people often claim that their way of doing things is the best way and sometimes even that it is the only way. How can you claim that your way is the right way if it is spoon-fed to you? Can they not imagine that the other side has contradicting ideas because they are raised in a world where their ideas where spoon-fed to them and thus prevalent?
My conclusion for now is that it is hard for us human beings to live in constant doubt about our own identity where we constantly ask ourselfs if our opinion is given to us or is somehow original.
The world is ruled by people that claim that they know, but we all know that they don’t. Is humankind still in its adolescent face?
scene from a distend valley
a hand in moist grass.
I like writing poetry, but I have no clue what I am doing. The only judge is in my head and in that sense it’s a pure self-centered creation.
Within photography there are certain rules, and I tell myself that I know those rules even when I go more “artsy” where the line between just a picture and art is thin and open for endless discussions.
With poetry I have no boundaries besides that it must “feel” nice or that it must fit within a few unconscious grammatical rules. It’s a story in my head that gets realized whilst writing and juggling with words. If the words tell the story that was created simultaneously I smile, read it one more time and go on. It’s not an act or a thing I do, it just happens like any other creative process.
Because it’s not a skill I learned like carpentry I cannot judge myself, I have to rely on the judgment of others, a teacher and that’s difficult.
There are only a few good teachers and many more students that think they can teach. The chance I meet on is small, that I would recognize him or her is even smaller.