Tag Archives: 1970s

Looking at an Utopism which has not ended

Marcus Ampe wrote a few days ago on WordPressUtopism has not ended” giving more clarification on his way of thinking and about his “Utopian Dreams“. In  a series of articles on his WordPress blog he continues to look at reasons why we should not give up hope for a better world and how some Christians and certain people are too much afraid for matters of social protection.

The Thousand-Year View from N.S. Palmer wants to apply time-tested ideas to the problems of our modern era and also took a look at Mr. Ampe‘s writing. N.S. Palmer preaches that we shouldn’t worry about things we can’t control, but it’s easier to say than to do. On that point we seem to differ. We cannot escape being in this system and having to live in this world at a certain time. But how we live and what we are willing to accept to happen plays an important role in our life. When people, living in this world, believe it could be very well possible to make it a better place for many, to some that might be an unreachable goal, to others it should be something to work at.

Trying to get a perfect society is something which we all should be doing. Though we agree only partly with Mr. Palmer who says

No society ever has been or ever will be perfect. {Utopia’s Biggest Problem}

him forgetting that one day Jesus Christ shall return and install the Kingdom of God here on earth. The Nazarene rabbi his government will be the most perfect governing body and shall give all its inhabitants the most perfect system to live in.

Mr Palmer further finds that

utopians waste their time and cause great harm by rejecting possible goals and pursuing an impossible goal. {Utopia’s Biggest Problem}

It is true that the goal set by utopians might be very unreachable, hence their name “utopists”, or followers of utopian dreams, thinking of utopia (1500-1600) being the imaginary perfect country in the book Utopia (1516) by the English humanist and statesman, chancellor of England (1529–32) Sir Thomas More, from Greek ou not, no + topos place”.

Because their goal can never be achieved, nothing will ever be enough. They think we should keep doing the same things, just do them harder. Spend more money. Take away more freedom. Police more speech. {Utopia’s Biggest Problem}

Such an imagined community or society that possesses highly desirable or nearly perfect qualities for its citizens may be presented in several authors their stories. A utopia focuses on equality in such categories as economics, government and justice (a non-exhaustive list), and does not focus on “spending more money” like Mr. Palmer seems to give the impression. Neither do utopians want to take away the freedom of people. Just the opposite they want to secure that there is freedom on all sorts of levels: freedom of life, freedom of thought, freedom of expression, a.o. but most importantly also freedom of choice under the condition not to limit others. That utopians want to have more control on those freedoms and perhaps would want to see more control of having all people receiving the same liberties and same equalities, may demand a controlling apparatus or police, but does not have to mean we have to go to become a police-state or a state of repression. That is the wrong vision a lot of people who are against socialism, utopianism and communism want to send into the world.

There are many debates about what constitutes a utopia. Many who are against any social feeling, what they call part of the “left” consider utopians and their world or societies they want to build, “utopias” benign or dangerous. Concerning utopia fitting or not, or being essential to a Christian world lots of contradictory ideas go round. Many ask

Is the idea of utopianism essential to Christianity or heretical? What is the relationship between utopia and ideology?

One of the leading scholars in the field of utopian studies, Lyman Tower Sargent argues that utopia’s nature is inherently contradictory because societies are not homogeneous and have desires which conflict and therefore cannot simultaneously be satisfied. Sargent notes that some thinkers see a trajectory from utopia to totalitarianism, with violence an inevitable part of the mix, and we have the impression Mr. Palmer might do so also.

According to Sargent:

There are socialist, capitalist, monarchical, democratic, anarchist, ecological, feminist, patriarchal, egalitarian, hierarchical, racist, left-wing, right-wing, reformist, free love, nuclear family, extended family, gay, lesbian and many more utopias [ Naturism, Nude Christians, …] Utopianism, some argue, is essential for the improvement of the human condition. But if used wrongly, it becomes dangerous. Utopia has an inherent contradictory nature here.

And that describes very well the difficulty of that utopian world for which Mr. Ampe puts his hand in the fire. He as several other Christians believes in the purity man can come to reach, in which innocence is in the heart of that person, enabling people to walk freely in nature naked, without others having bad ideas. In such a free world naturism would for example never be a problem, because all people would abstain from wrong thinking and wrong acts. In an utopian world there is no place for sexual offensive acts to the public sense of decency. There being no place for obscenity by people keeping themselves to pure thought the same as the first people in the Garden of Eden had. It was only after they had done wrong and came to know good and evil that they became afraid of the other and wanted to protect themselves by covering their body. Such covering in an ideal world would not be necessary, the same as it was not a matter to cover oneself in the 1970ies and hippies could share their places freely with others without having to fear something to go wrong. Nakedness was no problem at that time, whilst now we see again a lot of shyness and fear of nudity among many young people as well as some elderly people.

We do agree many of the boom children tried to create a perfect society in the 196070ies but failed terribly. Though we are not ashamed that we tried to stimulate others to step on the wagon with us (dreamers). Many of our generation might have betrayed their ideas, but Mr. Ampe like several others, as a follower of the Nazarene Jeshua (Jesus Christ) believes the teachings of that rebbe are still worth going for.

Utopians just ask people to take the responsibility for others and to respect everybody and everybody around them. They would never stimulate capitalism, like N.S. Palmer gives the impression.

 

At the moment we can grow unto more tolerance by learning to agree to disagree, as well by not being afraid to dare to engage in thoughtful political discussions. Though at the moment we still face the difficulty that not everyone involved is really interested in finding out the truth. An other problem these days is also that lots of people do not realise that disagreement does not imply evil. On that fact Mr. Palmer seems to agree and writes:

Calm, rational debate helps them see the underlying assumptions, strengths, and weaknesses of each person’s viewpoint. That helps everyone understand the issues better. It also helps them understand each other better. Screaming, hysteria, and emotional theatrics do not. {Dialogue Is Not Harmful}

We believe the Bible offers a way to live together peaceful and gives us a nice picture in the Book of Isaiah, what that world can and shall be. We might be utopians or dreamers for many, but Mr. Ampe with his brethren and sisters in Christ do believe those prophesies are going to become true, and as such shall their utopian dream once become a reality, though it still may take some time.

Mr. Ampe also believes we can be united and should try to convince those who hate certain people, to have them to accept them as co-living citizens with the same rights as them. It is for mutual benefit and the common good that people must be rational enough to set aside their differences and come closer to each other with full respect for each other and for other cultures.

Big problem today to come to such an utopian world is the egocentric and egoistic attitude of the present population.

We believe the Bible gives enough directions to come to a better world already now in our lifetime, even before the return of Christ. We do not have to wait until the wars to expect or the Big Battle or Armageddon, before we shall come to think about that better world. Already today, in our lifetime, we can show others fundamental truths of life.

Some might think utopians want all to become “puppets” handled by someone in charge of everything. But that is a wrong thought about the world envisioned by us. We are against any dictatorial system. It is a world whereby people freely agree to follow certain ethics and moral laws. We also do not say everybody has to do the same thing in the same manner. In our ‘utopian world’, there is enough freedom to act freely. Already now we can try to come to agreements to live a certain way, and this without any force or violence.

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Find also to read:

  1. Misleading world, stress, technique, superficiality, past, future and positivism
  2. Subcutaneous power for humanity 2 1950-2010 Post war generations
  3. Are people willing to take the responsibility for others
  4. Baby Boomers reaching retirement age, Demographic trends and New blood from abroad
  5. Lower and middle-class youth becoming tiny cogs in a larger whole that they cannot control
  6. Intellectual servility a curse of mankind
  7. the Bible – God’s guide for life #3 Fast food or staple diet
  8. the Bible – God’s guide for life #4 Not to get the best from our diet– or from ourselves
  9. Determine the drive
  10. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #4 Transitoriness #3 Rejoicing in the insistence
  11. The Scensual World – Mission & Vision
  12. Are Christianity and Capitalism Compatible?
  13. Francis Fukuyama and ‘The End of History?’
  14. The Upbringing of Ideas and the Extrapolation of Capitalism
  15. Utopism has not ended
  16. A famous individual by the name of Jesus of Nazareth

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Further related

  1. Utopia! 
    Utopia basically means paradise. And, in these times of social, political and ecological upheaval, to dream of a utopian world in which these problems cease to exist is completely natural.
  2. Utopia – Thomas More ****
  3. Broaden the Narratives: Mistaken Orders<
  4. Humanities Retribution
  5. Anarchy, State and Utopia
  6. Leon Trotzky
  7. Globalism: a Letter
  8. Money-Free World
  9. Alternative Earth
  10. The Citizen’s Convention on Climate: utopia or step towards change?
  11. Utopia….State of bliss!
  12. Technology, Utopia, and Horizon Zero Dawn
  13. Are We There, Yet?
  14. History Bends Toward Chaos
  15. “How will i get a cappuccino in your political utopia?”
  16. Why Common Sense Is So Uncommon
  17. Nothing Learned
  18. We Can Have Unity Without Unanimity
  19. How to Get a Healthy Society
  20. Rebecca Solnit on Hope
  21. The Blank Slate of Outer Space
  22. The Climate Crisis and the Need for Utopian Thinking
  23. And The Greatest Of These…Is Love
  24. An Ode Of Utopia

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Bij het overlijden van Liesbeth List

Woensdag is Liesbeth List op 78-jarige leeftijd overleden. Veel collega’s uit het vak en andere bekenden deelden hun condoleances en herinneringen aan de zangeres.

Op 18 augustus 2017 gaf Liesbeth List aan te stoppen met optreden, als gevolg van een vorm van dementie veroorzaakt door hersenletsel. De dementie eiste toen al zijn tol. Haar dochter dat Elisah wilde dat haar moeder werd opgenomen in een verzorgingstehuis in Soest. Vredig mocht zij daar overlijden in haar slaap.

Het licht is gedoofd. Liesbeth List, de dochter van de vuurtorenwachter is niet meer. De Grande Dame van het Nederlandse chanson had het leven lief en wij hadden haar lief. Daarom: een ode aan deze bijzondere chansonnière.

Velen van de boom-children kregen in hun na-oorlogse jaren opwekkende ondersteunende gedachten in de toen ook niet altijd makkelijke jaren waarin hun generatie botste met de Grote Oorlog en tweede vooroorlogse generatie.

Voor velen openden de jaren 60 en 70 van vorige eeuw een heel andere wereld dan waarin hun voorgaande familieleden waren opgegroeid. Het was een tijd van ‘vechten voor eigen en vrije rechten’.

Naast de verscheidene protestzangers waren er Liesbeth List met Ramses Shaffy en andere luisterliedjes zangers die ons op de been hielden wanneer wij verdrietig door de conflictsituaties hier en daar toch een lichtpuntje wensten te zien.

Zo vaak door moeilijke momenten konden mensen zich laten trekken uit die somtijds uitzichtloze put. Zij was een gedreven inspiratiebron voor vele Nederlandse, Belgisch maar ook Franse artiesten die haar boodschap van het leven lief te hebben graag mee wilden delen en verkondigen met hun liederen.

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Heb het leven lief – Liesbeth List  – Titel van dit lied is het Levensmotto van Liesbeth List L.Florence/H. Kooreneef/P.Obispo – Pilotes – Templar Music

Vervolg: Zing, vecht, huil, bid, lach, werk en bewonder

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Filed under Culturele aangelegenheden, Levensstijl, Nederlandse teksten - Dutch writings, Nieuwsgebeurtenissen - Journaal, Positieve gedachten, Video, Voelen en Welzijn

Words of Jesus preached with authority and conviction and fishes to fry

In the 1970ies our Baptist church went with a motor-coach to a huge stadium to hear the American preacher Billy Graham. It was incredible how he could move the auditory. The audience was incredibly enthusiastic and weeks after we were still talking about what we got to hear and how that man could burn fire in the hearts of the listeners.

The ALS-patient of the blog “Unshakable Hope”, also has the picture in his mind of thousands of people at a Billy Graham crusade walking down to the front after hearing the words of Jesus preached with authority and conviction. Bill Sweeney writes

Even two thousand years after Peter and Andrew dropped their fishing nets to follow Christ, His words still have the power to change the hearts and minds of millions of people. {I’ve Got Bigger Fish To Fry}

At the beginning of our contemporary era, it must have been very special around Jerusalem, the Dead Sea and Palestine. That young man who could speak so well and who did such miraculous things, that many wondered how he could do that. Though he never claimed honour for himself. He knew very well that he could not do such things without his heavenly Father Who is much greater than him. He was happy that he received the power from God and that way could help people so that they too might come to know the Most High God.

“17  And it came to pass on one of those days, that he was teaching; and there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by, who were come out of every village of Galilee and Judaea and Jerusalem: and the power of the Lord was with him {1 } to heal. {1) Gr that he should heal; Many ancient authorities read that he should heal them }18 And behold, men bring on a bed a man that was palsied: and they sought to bring him in, and to lay him before him. 19 And not finding by what way they might bring him in because of the multitude, they went up to the housetop, and let him down through the tiles with his couch into the midst before Jesus. 20 And seeing their faith, he said, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee. 21 And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, Who is this that speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone? 22 But Jesus perceiving their {1 } reasonings, answered and said unto them, {2 } Why reason ye in your hearts? {1) Or questionings 2) Or What }23 Which is easier, to say, Thy sins are forgiven thee; or to say, Arise and walk? 24 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath authority on earth to forgive sins (he said unto him that was palsied), I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go unto thy house. 25 And immediately he rose up before them, and took up that whereon he lay, and departed to his house, glorifying God.” (Lu 5:17-25 ASV)

“ Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father doing: for what things soever he doeth, these the Son also doeth in like manner.” (Joh 5:19 ASV)

“ Ye heard how I said to you, I go away, and I come unto you. If ye loved me, ye would have rejoiced, because I go unto the Father: for the Father is greater than I.” (Joh 14:28 ASV)

Though Jesus came to bring the Truth, lots of people did not want to know it. Also today lots of people refuse to accept the biblical truth and do not see that Jesus is the way to God. Lots of people have made Jesus into their god instead of accepting him as the mediator between them and the Only One True God, the Elohim Hashem Jehovah.

“5 For there is one God, one mediator also between God and men, himself man, Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself a ransom for all; the testimony to be borne in its own times;” (1Ti 2:5-6 ASV)

Living on this globe with all its difficulties and our daily pains and problems we can see the light in the darkness by the hope that man has offered the world. With the knowledge that no single man can do what Jesus did, none bringing salvation to us, we can share that hope with those around us, showing that all other sent ones from God, the prophets, witnessed about him who is the Lamb of God and as such suffered also a lot and even gave his life as a ransom for many (including us).

“ To him bear all the prophets witness, that through his name every one that believeth on him shall receive remission of sins.” (Ac 10:43 ASV)

“ And in none other is there salvation: for neither is there any other name under heaven, that is given among men, wherein we must be saved.” (Ac 4:12 ASV)

“ On the morrow he seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold, the Lamb of God, that {1 } taketh away the sin of the world! {1) Or beareth the sin } (Joh 1:29 ASV)

Bill Sweeney writes

Maybe we’re at our best, our most compassionate, our most empathetic and our kindest when we’re in the midst of these difficult times. Maybe this is when we are most like Christ. Yes, I am convinced that this is when we’re most like Christ.

Instead of trying to avoid thinking about these difficult times, I think we should purposely reflect on them and remember all of the things that seemed so trivial. Those things are still trivial in the good times. And, the things that still mattered to us in the hard times, are, I’m convinced, the very things that Christ wants us to build our lives around; these are the bigger fish.

Can you have joy and happiness building your life around these bigger fish?

Yes!

Through all of my really difficult times, especially battling ALS for the last 21+ years, I’ve discovered that building my life around these things that matter, these “bigger fish,” is the secret to true and lasting joy.


But, I still leave room for sports, mindless movies and other little fish.

{I’ve Got Bigger Fish To Fry}

 

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Filed under Being and Feeling, Positive thoughts, Reflection Texts, Religious affairs, Welfare matters

Sensitive trees for insensitive man

even, dense and old stand of beech trees (Fagu...

even, dense and old stand of beech trees (Fagus sylvatica) prepared to be regenerated (watch the young trees underneath the old ones) in the Brussels part of the Sonian Forest (Forêt de Soignes – Zoniënwoud) in Belgium (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For years already, I claim we should treat plants and animals as subjects but also as living beings created by the Divine Creator, who has given them for our use but not mis-use or maltreatment. I always claimed they too have feelings and ways of communicating. In the 1970ies I followed many scientists who tried to proof and did proof how plants also have feelings and communicate with each other.

Though at regular times people seem to be reminded of it. Because too often man forgets that he is not alone having feelings and able to communicate with others of their own sort properly.

It is long known to biologists that trees in the forest are social beings. They can count, learn and remember; nurse sick neighbours; warn each other of danger by sending electrical signals across a fungal network known as the “Wood Wide Web”; and, for reasons unknown, keep the ancient stumps of long-felled companions alive for centuries by feeding them a sugar solution through their roots.

The German Peter Wohlleben studied forestry and spent over twenty years as a civil servant in the forestry commission. For him trees are his life and for that reason he also gave up his job by the state forestry because he wanted to put his ideas of ecology into practice. He now runs an environmentally friendly municipal piece of woodland in the village of Huemmel, holds lectures and seminars and has written books on subjects pertaining to woodlands and nature protection so those interested can accompany him through the forests of his homeland and the whole world.

The Hidden Life of Trees describes how trees are like human families. We as human beings only think of ourselves being able to make a nice family, though many make a mess of it, and when watching Danish television series I even wonder if there are normal Danish people walking around in the North, who can have a normal family life. In the series we come to see they all seem to be unfaithful.
In nature we see better build ups. Tree parents living together with their children, communicating with them, and supporting them as they grow, sharing nutrients with those who are sick or struggling, and even warning each other of impending dangers. With their newfound understanding of the delightfully complex life of trees, readers will never be able to look at a walk.
English: The deep dark forest One of the track...

The deep dark forest One of the tracks through Pantmaenog Forest. There are prehistoric tumuli marked on the map here but they are difficult to find among the dense conifers. The trees here were planted after Bellstone quarry closed in 1908 and some of the old quarry workings are also concealed by the forest: human beings making their mark on the landscape in a variety of ways. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Since it first topped best-seller lists last year, Mr. Wohlleben has been spending more time on the media trail and less on the forest variety, making the case for a popular reimagination of trees, which, he says, contemporary society tends to look at as “organic robots” designed to produce oxygen and wood.

Though duly impressed with Mr. Wohlleben’s ability to capture the public’s attention, some German biologists question his use of words, like “talk” rather than the more standard “communicate,” to describe what goes on between trees in the forest. But no matter how you want to call that communication we should come to understand that it is really communicating, no matter if you want to call it talking or something else.
It is also different with human beings who think they communicate and are on social media, thinking they have so many friends, but in reality do not have many friends nor comrades and do not really have any real communication going on between all those people. We did not mind to run around in that what God had created us and did not have to hide anything for others, always able to keep faithful to the one we loved and where we choose for. But to day they want to shine and glitter in fashion clothes but are fast to take those cloths of in the hidden to do things we would have found inappropriate when there was not a strong connection with each other. But to day they seem to change of girl like they change of underpants, and often there is not much conversation going on and lots of time it is just a one night stand with no further communication at all. They have become worse than animals. (Are am I looking at it too pessimistic?)
Whilst I do believe those trees have much more communication going on than their human counterparts who are not afraid to kill more and more of those air-cleaners, not seeing that they are polluting more and more their own environment, making it poorer and poorer. Even those Germans who are reputed to have a special relationship with the forest are a kind of a cliché and it can well be that those Germans do not love their forest more than Swedes or Norwegians or Finns.
When I lived and worked in Germany, for relaxation I went into the woods around Köln and went swimming in open air. Then I could encounter many like minded nature lovers who wanted to be one with it and, like me searched for ways to respect it and to make properly use of feeding us in a clean and appropriate way. No chemicals, no additives, all pure whole grain and pure natural food.

Young musicians living in a shared community in Amsterdam.

Though when I look at how enthusiast we where in the 196070ies and had so many dreams, being called ‘flower power‘ people, many not understanding our idea of sharing and love and making a collective community, kibbutz or commune, many of them have gone far away from their idealism and the last few months we see many things we fought for, being undone in a very short time.

Though might we see somewhere some light shining in the dark, perhaps getting back some younger ones again being interested in nature and how we should behave in it? Can it be that there are again seeds planted for people willing to reconsider our human behaviour in the big universe?
For sure it is high time that people are going to understand the need of forests and green spaces around our busy roads and living estates. Yesterday it was again on the news that in the Kempen 122 ha of woods has to be offered for sand-winning, as if it is nothing. Man also thinks it is alright to artificially space out trees, but forget that shall not give the same intensification as wooded areas. The plantation forests that make up most of West Europe’s woods ensure that trees get more sunlight and grow faster. But, naturalists say, creating too much space between trees can disconnect them from their networks, stymieing some of their inborn resilience mechanisms.

Intrigued, Mr. Wohlleben began investigating alternate approaches to forestry. Visiting a handful of private forests in Switzerland and Germany, he was impressed.

“They had really thick, old trees,”

he said.

“They treated their forest much more lovingly, and the wood they produced was more valuable. In one forest, they said, when they wanted to buy a car, they cut two trees. For us, at the time, two trees would buy you a pizza.”

But where are all those very thick trees gone, I wonder. In Belgium some years ago you could find also many places where you could enjoy the view of masterly or kingly majestic trees. The last two years , in the region where I live now (Leefdaal, Flemish Brabant), we have seen hundreds of trees being cut and not replaced.

English: Deep in the forest something stirred ...

Deep in the forest something stirred Go Ape, a series of aerial walkways, swings and zip slides in the forestry land north of Aberfoyle. Note – human beings included for a sense of scale. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mr Wohlleben had also difficulties with the ministry of forestry but it turned out that Mr. Wohlleben had won over the forest’s municipal owners. 10 years ago, the municipality took a chance. It ended its contract with the state forestry administration, and hired Mr. Wohlleben directly. He brought in horses, eliminated insecticides and began experimenting with letting the woods grow wilder. Within two years, the forest went from loss to profit, in part by eliminating expensive machinery and chemicals.

We should enjoy those trees going to grow in all sorts of shapes, creating all sorts of designs in the air. When we look at ourselves, we should see that we also do not have a life going in straight lines. We also not all grow up straight. Why should trees have to grow up in those particular straight lines indicated by people in the office. The same as the right 25 cm cucumbers, the bananas with the drawn out moon shape, the tomatoes and apples which may not be too big or flat… everything should be according to the book and numbers indicated,  … but life is not according the book of man … but should be according the Book of life …. with not everything exactly the same, and not always according to the books of man….
When is man going to see we should come back to being close to nature and to be part of nature again? And when is he going to understand we do need much more green around us … to have a colourful life full of health and joy?
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Please also find to read:

  1. World Agenda for Sustainability
  2. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #1 Up to 21st century
  3. 2nd Half 20th Century Generations pressure to achieve

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Filed under Ecological affairs, History, Lifestyle, Nature, Welfare matters, World affairs