Day 1752, tired.

I live in Trondheim, a normal city in the middle of Norway. If you look at the map you will see that it is only 600km from the polar circle, around the same height as Fairbanks in the middle of Alaska. We have more of a sea climate here so it is not as cold as in Fairbanks, today it was -13. The thing that is strange here, something I am used to, but also not. It is the lack of sunlight. The first ten years in Norway I lived above the polar circle , and there you have some light between 10:00 and 13:00, but we didn’t see the sun for almost two moths. Here in Trondheim we have more daylight, but because I am at work during the day I can only see the sun in the weekends. I think there is a reason why people that live in the North are more mellow, specially compared with the more vibrant people that live closer to the equator. This is just a long way of telling you that today, at the end of the week, I am pretty tired and monotone.

Today I am not gonna write about one of my old poems. When I have little inspiration I will pick one of the books from Friedrich Nietzsche and pick a random aphorism and let my brain chew on that for a while. You can see that I have a separate tab on my blog about Nietzsche. He is not the only philosopher I like to read, but he is the one that spoke to me the most. People sometimes ask me what I like about him, and I have to admit that I have a hard time explaining it, specially when the person that ask me knows only little about philosophy. The problem is that there are no philosophers that stand alone and isolated in history. Every thinker, scientist or inventor stands on the shoulders of his or her predecessors. Nietzsche is one of the first philosophers who also was a psychologist, he is really good in dissecting the mind and pointing at the reasons why we do the things we do. But giving this as a reason is only half the story because attached to Nietzsche are all these predecessors and the people that came after him. Nietzsche is the spill in my world of philosophy, and the spill is important but so is the rest around it.

 

There are a lot of things we know better now, then before. I rather go to the doctor now then 2000 years ago, the same goes for traveling or just living in a house. All these things have improved over the years. What Nietzsche, off course, talks about, are the so called thinkers and moralizers. If you just pickup a book about the history of philosophy, you will soon realize that the Greek, 2500 years ago, already where walking in the direction we are still going. Around that time there where also other places around the world where people started to think about, and explain the world. Because I am born in the so called west, I recognize more in what the ancient Greek where writing back then then I do with what the thinkers from India or China wrote for instance. You can read text from Greek philosophers that are so modern, that a lot of people today would have problems agreeing with it, because it is to progressive.

We live in modern times but the barbarians are still among us, some are even rulers.

Day 1704, purpose of it all.

Assume that there is no purpose in life, our life. Assume that our sun will slowly consume all of it’s fuel and at the end this rock we call earth. Assume that all of this has no purpose and that this being here, there and everywhere is all there is.

If we, thinking human beings don’t exist, would it than matter that life on earth has it’s rhythm of life and death? That the great ape’s go extinct and that the sun sets every evening and is nonetheless not remembered the next day. Are we, thinking and remembering human beings not the ones that give all of this “life” and death purpose, albeit only in our head.

This is a poem I wrote in may 2018, Day 777.

Objects

Without thought things are nothing

with our existence they get a purpose

Our being is their being.

First of all, we all can agree that we are thinking animals (I know, a lot of people don’t think… that.) Other animals might also think but we not only think with our feelings, emotions and instinct but also with words and reasoning. Even the smartest ape hasn’t written a book telling us we are wrong on this subject.

We think and that’s unique, and I thought: why am I thinking about this particular subject, if a call randomly a thousand people and ask what they think about, probably none of them would say to me that they thought about why the chair is a chair. I guess it is my way of knitting the 14th sweater, it keeps me warm and busy.

Back to the topic of this post: why is a chair a chair. If we wouldn’t be here the chair would just be a miraculously formed combination of metal and plastic. A dog doesn’t see a chair, it sees a nice flat surface raised from the floor where it can sleep safely and warm. It doesn’t say to other dog’s: hey, there is a chair to lie on. No, it says hey, there is a nice flat surface raised from the floor where you can sleep safely and warm. We humans not only create a lot of the things we see, we give it all also a name and with that a specific purpose, for as long as there are humans.

This “purpose” thing does not mean that all of this is for nothing and that it doesn’t matter that the gorilla goes extinct. All of this is created, is given a name and function because we think and that includes our morals and values. We created our morals and values because we think, or maybe better said: because they are a function of us thinking. The gorilla feels a loss when a close one dies, just like we feel it, but we are capable to reflect on the loss and write a poem or music about it. The gorilla morns but we have given what he does a name so we can think about it and value it if others do the same.

Day 1703, un-sorted thoughts.

In my mind I am still the kid that plays with Playmobil, the castles were real and the world not. I am often reminded of this, especially when I walk into a toy store, on purpose. I don’t mind getting older, it’s just a fact of life but I always thought that when I grow up the people around me would to.

I liked being a kid, like I said before, but I was a dreamer and the politics kids play, the teasing, bullying, the ranking of each other just was something I was not interested in, though I was part of it to. Luckily that is all in the past, I am 48 now and the world is filled with rational people who take care off each other and share the candy fairly.

I still feel like the kid of 12 stuck in a room with “grown-ups” when I am stuck in a room with grown-ups. It’s probably not fair of me, I don’t know what all these people do and what they think. They might as well be stuck in a grown-ups body like I am, playing with Playmobil, but now we are the plastic puppets ourselves with a hammer in the hand or a fireman’s cap on.

I was thinking of this, because I wanted to cheer myself up. My girlfriend is born in America and her skin is darker than other people and she has a brother who sometimes goes outside. Through her I feel the tension that racism brings about in people on the receiving end. And I don’t have to explain what is going on there if you follow the news, it is pathetic.

As a man with a child’s mind I don’t know what to do when I look at the world. I read a lot about the second world war and all that happened there. I realize that there are probably millions of people that would happily climb in to the watchtowers or sort at the end of the rails.

I live in Norway and I left the Netherlands in 2006. I didn’t leave because it was a bad place but the politics was poisoned by populism and the thought that every 10th person I met is in his or her hard a racist was something I couldn’t handle. Here in Norway people don’t talk about politics and I don’t follow the local news so I stuck my head comfortable in the sand.

The reason I have read so many philosophy, psychology and history books is not only because I am curious but because I want to understand when the kid in us get so bitter that it starts hating the other. If you have travelled the world a little bit you might have noticed that all the kids play and act the same, till a certain age.

It’s when we grow up, and stop playing a role and start believing the role we play where it goes wrong.

Day 1702, circle.

I sometimes blame people for not searching the net for an answer, but I now all to well that I’m to blame to. I realized that once again when I looked at my old poems to find one for today. For several weeks, or moths I was writing haiku’s or so I thought…then one night my girlfriend asked me: are you writing haiku’s? I say: yes, and then she said: you realize that haiku’s have 5-7-5 syllables and not words…

my character, off course blamed her first for not telling me sooner, but that happened internally and I was banging my head, also internally…I think…

The “haiku” is from Day 754

Being a brushstroke and shade’s

deep colors pressures sudden turns fading out

our hunger the blank canvas.

I like what I wanted to say but for the last year or so I like to break the sentences as to emphasizes the words and pauses. Since this isn’t a real haiku, it doesn’t even has a seasonal theme, I can now re write it in the style that I use lately.

Being

a brushstroke and shade’s

~

deep colors

pressures

sudden turns

fading out

 ~

our hunger

the blank canvas.

Sometimes I read poems from famous poets and feel intimidated by their use of words to describe emotion and other states of mind. English is not my mother tongue but even if I tried in my own languages I would not come close. But I like to try and in this case I wanted to describe our being as “a brushstroke and shade”. Sounds poetic and for me it opens up to a lot of different interpretations, like: we only have one life, or brushstroke and you can swirl it around in different direction and the light will form different shades. You can also go in a straight line and have less shades but you see less and looking back you might get bored by the shape you left…That’s the one that came to my mind now. It is of course not an original story but treating your life as a piece of art entails more than you might think.

The four other lines underneath the first two lines are refinements in the story I just made up, but the last two lines are more mysterious, for me.

Do we hunger for a blank canvas? Is, a nagging feeling of wanting to start over a thing we humans share? You understand by now that I am not looking for answers on question of our daily lives, I want to now what the rails is we ride on and not what the color of the train is.

I realize that wanting to start over entails that you are not satisfied with the live you had, have and live. But it is often mush easier to change the way you look at things and your life then to change it. Realizing that there are not so many things we have control over like accident, diseases, the people we meet or the opportunities we get. You have to conclude that you better find a why to live in piece with these circumstances. Starting over feels like a good idea, if you think that you are in control of what will happen to you. Did you had control over it before?

I was lucky in my life that I got my share of bad luck to try this theory out and I think I came a long way. But this feeling of content that I have is not reached at the end of a line but more a place on a circle close the point where I started, the feeling of despair…expect some interference.

Constructed memory.

cur7.jpg
Curacao, 1994

Why do I think we all build a structure, a narrative, that explains or bears our existence?

First of all, it’s a story I’ve been telling myself for many years, if I tell you about its origin, I guarantee you that it is…a structure. It probably started while reading a book, but I don’t know what book or where I read it.

We all been in situations where you are certain about a situation, certain facts you remember from the past. Till you meet someone that was with you at the time and recollects it totally different.

Continue reading “Constructed memory.”

Day 983, Fleeting.

Day 983-1.jpg

Connected with reality

Is what we are, at cross points

For a second, or a fraction

Cross points of past, future

attention, sleep…a day dream.

Reality is their where we just where

Fleeting.

Nochrisis

Day 981, our dreams.

Day 981-1.jpg

My friends, you dead writers, my hope.

You are recited by many, still not understood.

You have turned, ashamed, in your grave, your faith, your fate?

I understand…you, naïve believers.

This worlds reality is still not attached to our dreams.

Nochrisis

Though I live as far away as possible from society, “the world” I have to deal with it every now and then. For some reason, most people I interact with, have gotten some rule book in the past that told them how to behave. I always question everything, and I don’t know nothing about a rule book. It seems, for instance, that most people listen to there boss and try to stay in favor with him or her. Well I have a military background and I know when it is important to follow orders. But when there are no bullets flying around the world is in principal a playground where we have to try to make the best out of it. We can make the rules ourselves, together. As long that there are people that can question authority, those in authority have no…authority. It’s like scientific proof, ones you disprove only the littlest rule, or god forbid, assumption, the whole system collapses. A boss that states, or act like, that they know what they are doing invites my scrutiny. The best bosses I have ever head know what they know and what they don’t and are not hiding behind a shield of authority.

The little poem I wrote today goes more or less about this subject. If I talk to people about this I most of the times get weird looks and misunderstanding. But when I read in my (philosophy) books I get confirmed that we humans are fallible and not really that good in making decisions or organizing a society. As I said above, if the bullets are flying around, then there is now time for discussions and group hugs but the workplaces, compagnies and what not that we have created are not mush more than big toys for grownups. We should first try to work together to give everybody a decent meal on their plate and some prospects in life, after that we can start again with our useless consumer/ignorant society.

 

Life.

sun

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.

Continue reading “Life.”

Day 886, communication.

Day 886-1

 

Delicate armor

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

 

 

Day 884, free will.

Day 884-1

Wondering alone

starlight brightens the shadows

stirred in my mind.

 


Free will.

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.

Baruch Spinoza

Day 883, words.

Day 883-1

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

Day 882, pointless.

Day 882-1

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?

Day 881, Imagine.

Day 881-1

 

 

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.

 

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