Christiaan van Gaal
This blog is for me a way to organize some of my thoughts. I have written for many years on and off, nothing special, just my thoughts. Lately I was writing more and more little notes, little reminders off what I can write about. So, in October 2017 I started this blog. Why a blog and not just write for myself you might ask. I asked myself that question to, I think it’s the extra step you take by knowing it’s out there. I will censor myself somewhat because it is out there that and I also like the pressure of trying to write better. If I write for myself I wouldn’t care so much how I write but now that others can read it, I want to do my best and learn to write better because English is not my first leagues and I write about philosophy and other difficult subjects.
I write about Philosophy, the mind, history and sometimes about contemporary society. All subject that are among the least popular subjects you can bother people with. I’m not someone that like to chitchat, stick my head in the ground and ignore the tough questions. I also take some time each day to make a nice picture, I do this more to keep my beloved hobby of photography alive and to do something creative every day. All pictures, writings and poems on this site are made by me if you see no credits.
Cambodia: Many years after I’ve worked in Cambodia I started telling people that: “the children in Cambodia are the same as here, they play the same games and are as open and curious as most kids are. Society makes them into the corrupt beings we are as grownups.” and “these people have nothing, but their lives and they show more spirit than us rich westerners” I had other worries when I was in Cambodia, but it showed me another world, a whole other perspective towards life. I have to admit that that picture of happy children and people just comes from what I saw there in the village I was stationed. Life in Cambodia is and was always hard but I have read many accounts from people with similar observations.
Depression: In my twenties I suffered from a couple of heavy depressions that turned my life upside down every time they hit me. Girlfriends lost, jobs lost, education gone, it’s not nice but it also helped me a lot. The destruction moved me on, climbing out of those holes taught me a lot. The most important one for me was to realize that you can think yourself out of it. From when I was young I always liked to dismantle thing, to the dismay of my parents, I was curious. So, when I got these depressions I wanted to know why we as humans have them, and not how to get rid of them. It’s the story of giving someone a fish to eat or teach them how to fish so he can eat the rest of his life. Depression taught me that the world is full of people that want a cure but not a manual of how we work as human beings. I haven’t had a heavy depression in 20 years
Friedrich Nietzsche: Philosophy is a complex and large world where you can wonder around for ever and ever. I have read a lot of and about philosophy, but I don’t come close to a good overview. Like in real life’s wanderings you are attracted to different sights and you might not even know why, the same goes for me and how I got involved with Friedrich Nietzsche. I spend probably a third of my “philosophy time” studying him, and still I have a lot to learn. I started reading the book Human all too Human again and I dissect it here on this blog. I rewrite every aphorism of him to force myself to think about every sentence, and you need that. That is probably a reason why Philosophy is not popular, you have to do something for it.
Who am I?
I grew up in the Netherlands, I didn’t study when I was 18 but joined the Dutch Marines for 3 Years, I was stationed in the Caribbean and in Cambodia for the UN. After that, for the next couple of years I moved on average every year to another place in Holland. I worked as a surveyor, postman, waiter and studied unsuccessfully History and Journalism. Then, in 2000 I started working at the Batavia werf in Lelystad and became a wooden boat builder and I still do that job. And to answer the rest of the question “who am I” …that’s up to you, I am probably the least qualified to answer that question.
I moved to Norway In 2006. Because I am so infested in studying philosophy and history, I have a hard time relating to people that…just live their life and don’t want to waste their time on the past or on what and who we are. Because it’s not ok to criticize the people that “just live their lives” I decided to move. If a Norwegian, or anybody else, asked me why I came to Norway I explain them that in Holland there are 17 million people that annoy me, here in this village only a 1000. I live now at the end of a gravel road, far away from society, like a good anthropologist in the jungle, I keep my distance.