Category Archives: Being and Feeling

Summer or Autumn-time in September or in Lifetime

At the moment I am in the Ardeche-Lozère region enjoying my Summer holiday with long walks but also feeling that at a certain age we have come in the autumn of our life, not so able any more to climb the rocks. One moment, the day before yesterday, we were pleased the climbing cables were already provided on the rocks. But with our 13 year old Sheltie it was not such an easy thing to hold him in one hand using the other to keep me safe close to the steep cliff, facing 400 metres down. Much too dangerous at our age.

Sometimes we love to stay young, and it may be hard to feel we are not able any more to do those things we could do some twenty or forty years ago. We are confronted with autumn in life, no matter we want to stay in the Summer.

Suzette B lets us think about the yearly returning seasons and reflects on the beauty of autumn. For some it might be one of the most attractive colourful seasons of the year. For Lauren Destafano autumn has always been her favourite season, whilst for Suzette B fall has a lot to offer, but she sometimes finds that dull days of fall and the looming days of night (aka winter) tends to give the fall season seemingly less favour than the other seasons.

Suzette B writes:

It champions the journey of life.

It celebrates the color of change.

It announces the bounty of the harvest. It reminds us that life has promise – hope.

No matter how much we would love to resist, we shall have to face that particular moment in our life, before the winter part or end part of our life shall come to us.

Perhaps she has good reason to say:

It symbolizes courage. It takes courage to say “goodbye” to one thing and not know what is to come.

But often it is not so easy to say goodbye to the things one loves and one loves to do. With the seasons of the yearly calendar one knows the Summer will come back? With life, we know there is no way back. The new season is the point of no return.

Though:

Fall is a reminder that one journey has come and gone. Another begins.

All people who have to face the days, after the hands of the clock have gone over half or over 6, I wish happy remembrance days. Taking the courage to come to see the better parts we were lucky to have had, and nobody can take them away. Let it be the point where we can enjoy now a new journey in life with beautiful colours of autumn. The golden leaves of our years of the past.

Like Suzette B I would say:

To new beginnings everyone.

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All love is expansion, all selfishness is contraction.

Dutch translation / Nederlandse vertaling: Alle liefde is expansie, alle egoïsme is samentrekking.

Purplerays

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“All love is expansion, all selfishness is contraction.
Love is therefore the only law of life.
He who loves lives, he who is selfish is dying.
Therefore love for love’s sake, because it is the only law of life,
just as you breathe to live.”

― Swami Vivekananda

Text & image source: Mystic Path to Cosmic Consciousness https://web.facebook.com/Mystic-Path-to-Cosmic-Consciousness-143005819116554/

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Joden in Ijsland Uitkijkend naar synagoge

In 1625 vestigde zich de eerste Jood in IJsland. Het was een Poolse handelaar die zich tot het christendom bekeerde. In de achttiende en negentiende eeuw kwamen er meerdere Joden naar IJsland, vooral Deense handelaren. Aan het begin van de Tweede Wereldoorlog zocht een handjevol vluchtelingen zijn toevlucht op het vulkanische eiland. Later voegden zich daar ook Britse, Canadese en Amerikaanse soldaten bij, die er gelegerd werden. Een Amerikaanse veldrabbi kwam in 1941 naar IJsland voor de zielzorg van de Joodse soldaten. Aan het einde van de oorlog waren er zo’n tweeduizend Joden, verdeeld over twee Joodse gemeenschappen, waaronder een orthodoxe. Rond 1955 was het Jodendom nagenoeg verdwenen. De meeste Joden hadden, zoals de IJslandse wet toen voorschreef, IJslandse namen aangenomen en assimileerden in de samenleving.

Het handjevol overgebleven Joden die vasthielden aan hun Joodse identiteit kwam pas in 2011 tijdens een cedermaaltijd in Reykjavik voor het eerst officieel weer bij elkaar. Deze was georganiseerd door rabbi Berel Pewzner van de Chabat-beweging. In de jaren die volgden, organiseerde de gemeenschap met enige regelmaat bijeenkomsten om gezamenlijk Joodse feestdagen te vieren. Hiervoor werden zaaltjes gehuurd.

Gaandeweg werd de gemeenschap hechter en ontstond er behoefte aan geestelijke en praktische leiding. Het echtpaar Feldman bezocht de gemeenschap in 2017 enkele keren, om zich in het voorjaar van 2018 permanent in IJsland te vestigen. Het echtpaar is oecumenisch ingesteld en heeft niet als missie het gedachtegoed van de Chabat-beweging uit te dragen, maar de gemengde Joodse gemeenschap tot steun te zijn.

Een 250 zielen willende gelegenheid krijgen om samen in een synagoge hun geloof te beleiden.

Een eigen synagoge heeft de Joodse gemeenschap nog niet. Tot nu toe huurt men telkens een zaaltje. „Maar we hopen in de nabije toekomst een eigen cultureel centrum te openen, waar we onze feestdagen en sabbatten kunnen vieren” zegt rabbi Feldman enthousiast.

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Willful Blindness

There is a scientific term for ignoring the obvious, in psychology it is called ‘willful blindness.’  Psychologist, author, CEO and part-time lecturer Margaret Heffernan explains:

“Willful blindness is a human phenomenon to which we all succumb in matters little and large.
We can’t notice and know everything.
So, this means that we train our brain to filter or edit the information we want to let in.
Consequently, what we choose to let out is crucial.
The tendency is for us to let in information that makes us feel good about ourselves, whilst conveniently filtering out whatever unsettles our fragile ego and most vital beliefs.
Fear of conflicts and fear of change keep us that way.
The problem with this is that everything outside that warm, safe circle is in our blind spot, making us willfully blind!”

The good news is that willful blindness, or ‘channel-thinking’ isn’t a fatal diagnosis of the human condition. Margaret Heffernan also explains:

“Willful blindness may be our natural evolutionary cultivated tendency,
but the plasticity and responsiveness of our minds is what makes each of us most remarkable and our capability to change can never be underestimated.”

 

From: 20/20 Vision and the Psychology of Willful Blindness

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You choose your atitude.

In this world of internet and social media lots of people like to present themselves better than they are in real life. They create a virtual “I”” or a “Self” they would love to be, instead of trying to find themselves happy with the being they are.

The one who chooses to be himself or herself in the end is the stronger one who shall be happier at the end of this race, being content with what he or she could reach by himself or herself, without having fooled the self.

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Betterself

Nobody has the power to make you feel any type of way you choose your own feelings focus on the positive even when everything is negative.

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Happiness is …..

Happiness is our willingness to accept ourselves for what and who we are and to be willing to see the beauty of the world around us.

Indians Abroad Desi Videsh Me

Happiness is a Choice.

happiness2happiness.JPG

https://pin.it/jznvsojpppqv5z

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Francis Fukuyama and ‘The End of History?’

image from BloggingHeads.tv podcast

American political scientist, political economist, and author Yoshihiro Francis Fukuyama in 2015

The American writer and political theorist Francis Fukuyama wrote

“Human beings never existed in a pre-­social state. The idea that human beings at one time existed as isolated individuals is not correct.”

In his seminal 1989 essay ‘The End of History?’ he also wrote

‘What we may be witnessing is the end point of mankind’s ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government.’

Fukuyama trying to convey silent messages through stories about the evolution of democratic societies he continued

‘With the fall of the Soviet Union the struggle for recognition, the willingness to risk one’s life for a purely abstract goal, the worldwide ideological struggle that called forth daring, courage, imagination, and idealism will be replaced by economic calculation, the endless solving of technical problems, environmental concerns, and the satisfaction of sophisticated consumer demands.’

The End of History and the Last Man.jpg

The End of History and the Last Man is a 1992 book by Francis Fukuyama, expanding on his 1989 essay “The End of History?”, published in the international affairs journal The National Interest.

Fukuyama did not suggest that the end of history meant the end of wars or conflicts, but rather that capitalism and Western-style liberal democracy were the culmination of human political development and would not, and could not, be transcended. He beliefs that the triumph of liberal democracy at the end of the Cold War marked the last ideological stage in the progression of human history. The initial political challenge having to escape beyond tribalism and the “tyranny of cousins”.

For Fukuyama, tribal organisation responds to structural imperatives in social evolution but also blocks the path to further development. The early account of the origins of state-like forms relies heavily on Lawrence Keeley’s military-focused argument in War Before Civilisation (1996) and does not consider the evidence assembled by Keith Otterbein in How War Began (2004): that warfare greatly declined in importance following the hunting to extinction of the larger mammals. Keeley himself grants that early settlement cultures, such as the Natufian,

“furnish no indication of warfare at all”. {Robin BlackburnThe Origins of Political Order: From Pre-Human Times to the French Revolution, By Francis Fukuyama}

We can see that in the West the majority prefers a capitalist system and in several industrialised countries people are a lot afraid of what smells social or communist. Fukuyama thinks that all states are going to adopt a form of capitalist liberal democracy. It was an argument contested from almost the moment he finished writing his essay.
The rise of Islamism, the unleashing of ethnic conflicts, the challenge posed by China – a myriad developments, his critics suggested, questioned the presumption of an end of history.

Donald Trump’s Presidential victory was one of the signs how politicians would easily be able to lure people in false ideas, by their words. The last few years we have seen a seemingly unstoppable rise of populist forces throughout Europe.

Many will probably see how in the quarter of a century since Fukuyama wrote his essay, politics, particularly in the West, has indeed shifted away from ‘ideological struggle’ towards

‘the endless solving of technical problems’.

The broad ideological divides that characterized politics for much of the past two hundred years have been eroded. Politics has become less about competing visions of the kinds of society people want than a debate about how best to manage the existing political system, a question more of technocratic management rather than of social transformation.

What might more come to an end is the believe of people in political systems and in politicians. Lots of people are convinced that politicians are not listening to them and are mostly just working for themselves and trying to get the best paid job.
The majority of politicians have lost connection with the ordinary people who want to feel as if they are justly recognised and that their voice can be heard. The last few years they feel more they are mocked at, nobody taking their voice seriously. Politicians should come to know that this desire to experience both personal and collective recognition is inescapable to the modern human condition.

Liberal democratic states that Fukuyama so vigorously defended in “The End of History” have not responded well to the challenges of pluralism.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, few believed in an alternative to capitalism, not seeing that the Soviet Union was not really the best representative of communism, because it had more dictators than real communist leaders. Communist parties crumbled, while social democratic parties remade themselves, cutting ties to their traditional working class constituencies while reorienting themselves as technocratic parties. Trade unions weakened and social justice campaigns eroded.

It seemed that not only in Europe social movements and political organizations eroded,  and the far-right movements gained space. Local people wanted to become recognised and wanted to look upon social change through the lens of their own cultures, identities, goals and ideals.

Many sections of the working class have found themselves politically voiceless at the very time their lives have become more precarious, as jobs have declined, public services savaged, austerity imposed, and inequality risen. Many also came to see all those immigrants as a danger for their own position, their jobs and income as well as being afraid of loosing their culture.

Having their world coming to an end.

Lots of people in charge of the working of society did not see the discontent many their votes expressed.

Prominent alt-rightists were instrumental in organising the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in August 2017. Here, rally participants carry Confederate battle flags, Gadsden flags and a Nazi flag.

In Europe and America, people have become disaffected with the old order and felt more attraction for those who promised heaven on earth and for them “a great nation” again. Many of the opposition movements that give voice to that disaffection of the labourers, are shaped not by progressive ideals but by sectarian politics, and rooted in religious or ethnic identity. The Islamist AKP in Turkey or the Hindu nationalist BJP in India are the equivalents of the Front National in France or the alt right, far-right, white supremacist, white nationalist, white separatist, anti-immigration and antisemitic movement in America and Europe.

Those growing right-wing and far- or extreme-right-wing groups should make us aware of the severity of the present political situation. We are witnessing a globally disinformation movement which is creating more hatred and racism as well setting up people against others for wrong reasons.

The current tumult is the result of struggles for recognition that remain unshaped by progressive movements, of ideological struggles in a post-ideological world.

Demand for recognition of one’s identity is a master concept that unifies much of what is going on in world politics today. In his new book: Identity: The Demand for Dignity and the Politics of Resentment Francis Fukuyama looks at the new layers of meaning of the voters or citizen’s identity.

Fukuyama believes that the focus on self separates people from their communities. The demand for identity cannot be transcended and therefore people must begin to shape identity in a way that supports rather than undermines democracy.
When coming to know the self one can not ignore the connection with religious feelings. One aspect of wisdom is recognizing your need for The One Being outside man.

Christianity succeeds in diminishing family ties when the Church takes a strong stand against practices which enhanced the power of lineages such as cousin marriage, divorce, adoption and marriage to the widows of dead relatives. The looser family pattern favoured by the practices of Latin Christianity have the effect of channelling assets to the Church itself (eg through widows’ bequests). Fukuyama further urges that “contrary to Marx, capitalism was the consequence rather than the cause of a change in social relationships”. Yet he soon acknowledges that

“the most convincing argument for the shift has been given by the social anthropologist Jack Goody“,

an authority whose work could be seen as a distinctive fruit of Cambridge Marxism. {Robin BlackburnThe Origins of Political Order: From Pre-Human Times to the French Revolution, By Francis Fukuyama}

Fukuyama has the idea that the individualistic sense of identity comes to the fore during periods of modernisation in which people fled from rural areas into the cities and were confronted with a mass of different dialects or languages, religions and cultures and were aware of a sense of the difference between where they were and where they are now. Today in some way many people seem to be lost or are so much afraid of such confrontation they do hope their politicians can solve that problem of difference between the inhabitants of their villages, cities and countries.

Fukuyama notes the ways in which questions of identity politics have come to be regarded as synonymous with the right. Donald Trump supporters are animated around the removal of Confederate statues and the president’s lack of defence to political correctness is a significant mobilising force on the right.

Intimidation and efforts to control people have become the present day norm for many politicians, who gain a lot of popularity because many fall for their lies. That virus threatening democracy has not only infected the United States but also the European Union. As such we may see that identity politics has become the political form of cultural fragmentation of these days, and is corrosive of some features of an effective democracy – social cohesion, talking with strangers and working across the aisle.

According to me the politicians do have to give an identity to the people again and have to show them that we all have more in common with each other than what divides us.

It is a “we” who are the same, and not a “we” who are strangers dwelling together despite our differences. {Jeff RichIdentity Crisis – some theses on identity politics}

The End of the End of History?

History shall continue and show how man tries to find different political solutions and ways to govern a country. Man shall have to find a way to make it that by the globalisation more and more people would be going to see the richness of a multicultural society, instead of fearing it.

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Read also

  1. Our political systems and juggling with human laws
  2. Declaration of war against Islam and Christianity
  3. Declining commitment to democracy : What’s going on around the world ?
  4. Collision course of socialist and capitalist worlds
  5. Subcutaneous power for humanity 2 1950-2010 Post war generations
  6. The Free Market (and all that) did not bring down the Berlin Wall
  7. Common Goods, people and the Market
  8. Pushing people in a corner danger for indoctrination and loss of democratic values
  9. Populism endangering democracy
  10. An European alliance or a populist alliance
  11. British Parliament hostage its citizens for even more months
  12. American social perception, classes and fear mongering
  13. United in an open society relying not on command and control but on freedom
  14. Capitalism and economic policy and Christian survey

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Further related

  1. The Origins of Political Order: From Pre-Human Times to the French Revolution, By Francis Fukuyama
  2. What Do We Mean When We Say Something Is Political? — Recommended Readings
  3. The Sisyphean Task at the Core of Identity Politics
  4. Fukuyama has a new book on identity
  5. Little Theories
  6. The Decline of Liberalism
  7. Identity
  8. Identity Crisis – some theses on identity politics
  9. We’re in This Together Now 
  10. Two Books by Francis Fukuyama
  11. What Fukuyama got right.
  12. From ‘End Of History’ To ‘End Of Democracy’ – Why Fukuyama Now Likes China
  13. “Echoing Margaret Thatcher’s dictum that ‘there is no alternative’ …
  14. Social Psychology and Religious Behavior
  15. Francis Fukuyama and technology
  16. Eurasianism: The Struggle For The Multi-Polar World

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The meaning of life – Finding purpose

To remember

  • When little feeling unless I was there to perceive it, the world did not exist => ended & was created anew every time
  • thought myself to be creator + center of the universe
  • when child > feeling so much more important than a rational thought.
  • India > Landing in multicultural & multicolored chaos = landed on a different planet =>. India must surely seize to exist when I am not there.
  • consecutive conclusion that every single human being must feel the same way > each & every one of us = universe all on our own, made up of silently verbalized thoughts, feelings, mental images, and subconscious impulses.
  • Charles Dickens = master of tapping into all these different universes > each human being that lives, has lived and will live, is a story, a uniquely fantastic story with a unique plot and characters.
  • all made up of the same stardust => one = beautiful human paradox > both sameness, oneness, unity, + absolute + irrevocably unique.
  •  all of us relevant to history of life of human kind
  • When there is not two of the same in a circumstance =>each part important + unconditionally valuable => all have unique creativity, thoughts, imagination, insights +  talents, => important to human kind + its history => gives meaning
  • individualism = selfishness + self-centeredness = opposite of cooperation, generosity +  compassion.
  •  Abraham Maslow psychologist who gave us famous pyramid of human needs > bottom solid foundation of life > cannot live without (food, water + shelter) > top > self-actualization.
  • learned to pin-point our strengths + weaknesses, explore our talents + analyze our personality traits + learned to use this self-insight to expand our empathy =>mental health determined by outer circumstances = key to why individualism is not just a big ego-trip <= believe in oneself & value of one’s life in the world 1°learn to trust  something valuable to bring = self-actualization.

=> the more uniqueness = the more difference to make in the world.

The Paths of the Spirit

When I was little I had a feeling that unless I was there to perceive it, the world did not exist. It ended and was created anew every time I closed and opened my eyes. In other words, I thought myself to be the center of the universe, and not only that, but also its creator. Self-absorbed much? Of course, I knew intellectually, with my rational mind, that this was not the truth. But when you are a child, a feeling is so much more important than a rational thought.

I remember the first time I visited India. I was 17 and had never been outside Europe before. Landing in the multicultural and multicolored chaos that is India was a violent attack on my Norway-adjusted senses, to say it mildly. It felt as though I had landed on a different planet. This could not possibly be the same world I…

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A heart full of dreams in a world that has turned to stone


Nothing is more precious than a heart full of dreams
in a world that has turned to stone.

From a blog with very nice photographs with not always related long texts: The Island of Truth and Lies.


Above the hypnotic waves,
on a lingering cloud, the ghost of a rainbow appears.
A promise.


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A Quote on Kindness

“We may, if we choose, make the worst of one another.
Every one has his weak points; every one has his faults;
we may make the worst of these;
we may fix our attention constantly upon these.
But we may also make the best of one another.

We may forgive, even as we hope to be forgiven.
We may put ourselves in the place of others,
and ask what we should wish to be done to us, and thought of us,
were we in their place.

By loving whatever is lovable in those around us,
love will flow back from them to us,
and life will become a pleasure instead of a pain;
and earth will become like heaven;
and we shall become not unworthy followers of Him whose name is love.”

 

Arthur Penrhyn Stanley by John Watkins.jpgA Quote on Kindness from the The Lutheran Ladies Connection blog daily devotional. The author is A.P. Stanley(1815–1881) who was an English churchman and academic, Dean of Westminster, from 1864 to 1881, author of a number of works on Church History.

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Related

  1. Asking Questions
  2. Who Needs You?
  3. small Kindnesses and Big Impacts
  4. Pay It Forward
  5. Let kindness ripple
  6. How Can We Create a Culture of Inclusion at Church?
  7. Do Small Things with Great Love
  8. Be Generous
  9. Social media, the good and the bad… and a rant.
  10. Words to live by
  11. Lifes litte complications ~
  12. motivating with kindness
  13. Balak- Torah Portion
  14. Anger
  15. Love the Kindness, Hate Racism
  16. Led Of The Holy Spirit (Psalm 143:10)

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