Tag Archives: philosophy

Quote of the day

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The tragedy of modern man is not that he knows less and less about the meaning of his own life, but that it bothers him less and less.

  • Vaclav Havel – Letters to Olga (1988), p. 237
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Perspectives for personal development

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When the road to change seems full of roadblocks, adopt a different perspective.

Just like a photographer circling his subject to find her best side, just like a writer looking for the revelation of something strikingly original and true, to reach awareness, look at things from a different angle. Ask the right questions.

Sometimes we are so wrapped up in what we want to become, that we forget who we want to become or even who we are and why we are here.

I think the who is much more important than the what. Who is the subject, what is the object. Do we really want to be objects? (And yes, you see, grammar does help later in life…)

What you are is a label glued on your exterior, a tag on a product up for sale, a business card, a title that is yours today and might become somebody else’s tomorrow. Who you are is personal and true, it is in-depth and unique. It is that distinctive, non-interchangeable combination of traits and values which gives you authenticity, direction, a purpose on the planet, and which nobody can take away from you.

Too obsessed with the what you no longer have time for the who-s around you. Drowning in your self-centered or job-related cognitive processes, you no longer have resources for empathy and giving.

To find meaning, sometimes all it takes is to change the angle and ask the right questions.

PS: A couple of days after publishing this post, I came across this article in the New York Times. Really worth the read!!!
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/20/opinion/sunday/arthur-c-brooks-love-people-not-pleasure.html

Paradox of our existence

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That you cannot keep any of it. That is the most sadistic part of life, its sardonic grin. That you cannot keep that which you hang on to the most, that which you love the most, that which is most said to be yours. You cannot keep that which you are held most responsible for, and you cannot keep it no matter how hard you try. That you are just a vessel for a fluid, but forced to act your part in life’s charade like the most individualized and concrete of selves, to love and to hurt and to save other illusory selves who are nothing but vessels for the same fluid, and whose only significantly different feature is their outer shell.

And then comes Jesus, and this man is suddenly no shell, but the concentrated, godly, glittering fluid itself. And even then the world spins round the same as before, and you cannot hold on to anything, not even a corpse, longer than three days, and yet you are made responsible to love and to save.

That you aren’t even aware what goes on behind you or inside you; that you were born with a legacy you don’t know and don’t get to choose; that you can’t even explain why people do things to you and you to them, and that you have to feel your way in the dark and stand judgement for even the slightest misstep. That this obsession with judgement leads to an obsession with control – control yourself, control your environment, control other people – and all this horrible stress of not actually being able to control anything builds up into an explosive heap of even more bad deeds…

That you don’t really own yourself. That as much as you would like to, it would be wrong. You cannot own that which you did not create.  It was given to you. You did not exist and then, suddenly, one day you were. You just were. Your life isn’t essentially yours. Your life does belong to other people, annoying as that may seem, your life is interconnected and interwoven with a million fine threads with the life of who knows what stranger in the street. Your life is the fluid you received from above, and which is essentially just a lease on life, never full ownership, and most of the time you lose the weightless glitter along the way.

That you are a short-lived butterfly, a leaden butterfly at times, but a butterfly nevertheless, and one which used to be full of color and full of beauty and waft in the sun. That all these “horrible” people around you used to be pure and smell like milk. That we make each other horrible.

That your spirit often feels heavier than your body.