I am here but there
you can look but don’t come close
because I run you.
Behind no bars
leaning on the open door
and staring outside.
Beauty slowing down
gentle, a flower withers
swirling to the end.
Friedrich Nietzsche, The gay science
Book one – 26
What is life? Life-that is: continually shedding something that wants to die. Life-that is: being cruel and inexorable against everything about us that is growing old and weak-and not only about us. Life-that is, then: being without reverence for those who are dying, who are wretched, who are ancient? Constantly being a murderer? -And yet old Moses said: “Thou shalt not kill.”
Life for us human beings starts somewhere around the time we start to remember.
Feel too sensitive
if turbulent air directs
where the mind bends.
layered to embrace a flower
to spring in autumn.
Definition of communication: The imparting or exchanging of information by speaking, writing, or using some other medium. (Oxford dictionary)
If I ask for a sandwich with cheese to a person who speaks English and knows what bread and cheese is, they can probably make me that sandwich. In this case we had good communication and in these kinds of cases it’s no problem of talking about communication. If one of them doesn’t speak English we might still have communication in a formal way but it’s far from successful if the sandwich with cheese never appears.
Wikipedia defines communication better than the Oxford dictionary I think: Communication is the act of conveying meanings from one entity or group to another through the use of mutually understood signs and semiotic rules.
The part “mutually understood signs and semiotic rules.” Is important in my opinion. Can you communicate about the taste of red wine with someone who only tasted water before? How do you convey the different taste sensation in wine to someone that cannot recollect does tastes and experiences? If you never tasted bitter, how can someone explain that to you. If I start talking about lice there is a chance you start scratching your head even if you never had them, it’s just that you know that they are itchy from hearsay. If you never heard of lice you would not have that same itchy sensation.
A lack of experience can hamper in clear communication. A daughter explains how a computer works to her Grandfather is like seeing two people talking different languages, can you talk of communication in such a case? A Syrian refugee talking about war to a westerner in a safe place, is that communication? Black people feeling unsafe, woman on the work floor a veteran after the war. Maybe we al fit in our own unique little box of circumstances that prevents us from real communication with each other.
Communication doesn’t stop when the words leave your mouth, or the letter is sent.
The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place. George Bernard Shaw
starlight brightens the shadows
stirred in my mind.
Why do we feel free, unbounded when we make choices? What is it that moves our arm if we want to pick something up? Is it a soul or matter that gives us our identity? This is what we call the mind–body problem and it is still not satisfactory resolved.
Most people in this world believe that we have a soul and that the soul is you and makes the decisions separated from the physical body. The problem with a nonphysical soul is the way it interacts with our physical body, so it(you) can control what you do like making you walk and let you pick up things. Many philosophers have sought for solutions and others tried to find for a physical place in our body where the soul makes contact with our body, without success.
I am not in a position to disqualify the idea that we have a soul but the chance that we have one is minute if you look at all the knowledge we have now. The consensus between a wide variety of scientist is that our identity originates in the brain and disappears when we die. What chemicals, hormones and fluids are involved is now topic for debate between scientist but the rest of the world ignores this problem or dismisses it.
But imagine what it means for the world if we all believe that its over when we die, and religion is something you study in the history books.
Men are mistaken in thinking themselves free; their opinion is made up of consciousness of their own actions, and ignorance of the causes by which they are conditioned. Their idea of freedom, therefore, is simply their ignorance of any cause for their actions. As for their saying that human actions depend on the will, this is a mere phrase without any idea to correspond thereto.
Men believe themselves to be free, simply because they are conscious of their actions, and unconscious of the causes whereby those actions are determined.
I spread my fingers
trying to touch entirety
its hidden rhythm.
What do you think if you never heard words? If you have a languish can you than imagine what it is to think without the words that form your thoughts? If I think of a boat does my mind than take a picture of a boat from the folder labeled boats? How do you ask someone without language to think about a boat?
These questions bother me sometimes because it’s difficult to imagine it let alone answer them. But you can ask yourself also the (almost) opposite, do we use languish in our day to day thinking? Maybe the words we use, and think are only the top of the iceberg, a sugary coating to make it pretty. I can never recall why I got up to make some coffee. Did something in me say the words “make coffee” to…me…to who? Maybe our thoughts are formed by habits (the coffee), chemicals in our brain, hormones and functions like our hard and intestines do, independent from us.
Words are the afterthought.
Thoughts are the shadows of our feelings – always darker, emptier and simpler. Friedrich Nietzsche
Attract and reject
Echoing eternal needs
detested and blessed.
I am not a philosopher in the sense that I can quote famous philosophers or understand all the different chapters from the history of philosophy. I might have some insights, but I have no story to tell or a system to unfold. I have my preferences and I can get aroused by a good book but that’s about it.
I have many thick books on my bookshelf, I bought these books because I’m interested in them but also as an investment. I knew that I was not ready for these books with condensed thoughts in them. The people that wrote these books where good at their job and I can admire them for that. These books helped change the world but…how much? Did they?
Dignity does not consist in possessing honors, but in deserving them. Aristotle
This quote is more than 2000 years old and for me it says something about how you should treat other people and go through life opposed to living for material wealth and appearances.
I think that a lot of people could agree with this, but the reality is that the clear majority can’t or won’t live according to this suggestion of Aristotle. We westerners see goods, likes and freedom as ”honor” badges we wear, in religious minded people wearing a book, following the rules and prey is there badge as a sign of there piety. With these badges some people think they deserve praise, but they are often pined on an empty shell.
Aristotle told these words thousands of years ago, and around that time you could find, in countless different cultures, similar sentiments. He told these words and since then countless learned people have read these old works and refined them, and refined them but with what result?
We might not kill our neighbor, or raid the village next door as in the olden day’s but at the same time we praise our global economy and borderless internet, is our willingness to let thousands of children starve in poor countries not the same as letting your neighbor starve 2000 years ago? Did Aristotle let his neighbor die?
We wear our badges of material goods and pious behavior and think where good, but should we not throw these symbols away and act like the world is one small neighborhood? This is what (some/in general) philosophers are trying to tell but the massage is not understood. You might say that this has made all of philosophy pointless, but I hope that it is a fundament for future generations to finally find a way to tell the story that the ancient thinkers started in a languish that is understood by all.
What do you think?
Morning light true haze
the cold soil warms up again
harsh lights take over.
I am reading a book by Laura Secor, Children of paradise. I haven’t finished it yet but it’s about Iran and tells the story of different scholars, writers and poets and their connection with the Iranian revolution.
I knew already that Iran was a country with a long and rich history but if you had asked me last year how to describe Iran and its people than an image of Khomeini as an imposing person pops up in my mind that I saw every now an than growing up in the eighties. Modern Iran is for me a county where a lot of people want to live free and a modern life but can’t because of overbearing religious rulers.
After reading a book from Ray Takeyh, Guardians of the revolution I read the book mentioned above and Slowly the vail of ignorance begins to withdraw, but its still there. I will keep on reading because its an interesting story.
The thing that struck me earlier today while reading the book of Laura Secor was how active the people she described where in developing there understanding of the world they live in. I would die (they did sometimes) for some good conversation about philosophy, Popper, Heidegger, Marxism or determinism like they had. I live in a world where revolution is just a word, and no one feels the need to dive into these subjects beside some scholars.
Off coarse I wouldn’t like to live in a country in turmoil like Iran in the eighties. But from my perspective I sometimes feel like I live in a world where all life is drained out, where the dumbest person can become president and most people care more about likes and memes than honest reflection.
Philosophy and religion have never worked Serious and self-proclaimed important people might pretend it is important and it works but without our technology we would not be distinguishable from a person living in Rome 2000 years ago. Without our cushy lives we would still be barbarians, our own grandparents where that literally when the slaughtered each other in two world wars and if you look to close at what we do now in the west your stomach will turn to.
That’s why I like the idea of a society in discourse over the course of there future. And I know that even in Iran it was just a relatively small group of people that actually participated in these discussion, and it let to nothing but just the idea of people sensibly talking about the fundamentals of our society… imagine.
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.