Cynicism

Cynicism: a nicely burning fire is no more. From its ditch of retreat, now and then another fire comes forth, meant to hurt and even destroy. Etymology of ‘cynic’: κυνικοι (kunikoi): ‘dogs’ in ancient Greek referring to ruthless behavior and simple lifestyle of a number of their followers, as exemplified by Diogenes, nicknamed ‘the dog’. Read the full article…

Equality?

Everybody knows we live in a world of huge inequality. Indeed. But inequality in what? Where lies importance? Thus, in what should we strive for more equality? In money? Thus: in the currency that can be traded for any other ‘goods’: a car, a house, even a wife in (many men’s) imagination? A strict focus Read the full article…

Work-Life (in the) Balance

Work-life balance may not be the best start if it brings more emphasis on a divide between both. For ages and until relatively recently people had only a ‘life’. ‘Work’ was what you had to do to stay alive within that life. At times, one had to work really hard… still it wasn’t ‘work’ as Read the full article…

Enlightenment, Kant, AURELIS, Growth

It’s time to bring things together. This is according to me the only way forward. ‘Western Enlightenment’ points to a historical period from +/- 1650 onwards, till +/- first part of 19th century. It was multifaceted, to say the least, and came in several waves from ‘moderate’ to ‘radical’… to even ‘totalitarian’ (à la Robespierre). Read the full article…

Everyday Mysticism

This doesn’t downgrade mysticism to everyday. It upgrades everyday to mysticism. Every day, fleeting moments of mysticism For example, a sense of deep wonder or awe for a beautiful sunrise, in the train from Antwerp to Brussels. For example, a beautiful song that carries me (much) further than usual. For example, a shared insight during Read the full article…

Excellence

One should not be apprehensive to excel as long as this does not interfere with human value. There is a natural drive to excel and that’s perfectly OKAY. [see also: ‘Being of Value’] ἄριστος (aristos) = ancient Greek for ‘excellent’ or ‘outstanding’, being apart / above the rest. You recognize it in the term ‘aristocracy’. Read the full article…

The Problem of the Skeptic

Typically human to run into such kind of problem… Well, we’ll have to deal with it. Hm, by throwing it out of the window? Let’s say you are a skeptic. That means you are a person wishing to you use rationality to ‘think for yourself’, as Kant admonished us all to do in order to Read the full article…

Group Thinking

The French term ‘pensée unique’ is frequently used for what is actually ‘pensée de groupe’ (group thinking). This is a human inclination with dire consequences but which can be overcome through proper support and personal effort. This is related to a quite natural human inclination. In many cases, your brain (thus: you) doesn’t readily like Read the full article…

Beyond Post-Truth

‘Getting beyond’ is as much related to meaning as it is to truth. [Please read before this: ‘Post-Truth’] Let’s get beyond it Which, I admit – without POMO-ing myself – may not be completely possible. There is always more ‘between heaven and earth’ [quoting Shakespeare] not to speak about ‘beyond heaven and earth’. But that’s Read the full article…

Post-Truth

“Not the facts are important but what works. The higher human purpose is to escape literalism and reach the essence, shaping one’s own reality.” No. I’ve not gone mad. And I’ve not gone POMO, fancy acronym for post-modernism. To assure you, the under-title of this blog is as abhorrent to me as I hope it Read the full article…

Humanism with a Vengeance

Humanism: ‘man is the measure of all things.’ Vengeance: this is about the total human being – partly conscious, mostly nonconscious. Many faces of humanism, yesterday and today Among them, I see ‘humanism’ as what puts human being at the forefront, thus not – apart from human being – any organization: no religion, no politics, Read the full article…

In-Group Creates Out-Group?

One frequently encounters the idea that a group gets formed by building defensive walls against other groups. Is this the best way? People are groupish. This is: we like to ‘be in a group’. Yes, with quote signs, because the group may be of very diverse kind. For instance, it may be quite abstract: a Read the full article…

The Real Power of a World Model

A world model is not only a model of the world. It is also a model that comes from the world (the world in a certain model) and that can act upon an individual in a very powerful way. First of all, dear reader, it can act upon you too. Allow me to be very Read the full article…

Peace

It’s the people who create the war. Of course. A similar cliché is: peace only starts within yourself, and nowhere else. But what does that mean, ‘peace within yourself’? Peace does not start at the enemy, but at the enemy of the enemy. At yourself, thus. And then also at the enemy. Because even that Read the full article…

Politics: Left, Right, Up, Down

We see a lot of confusion in present-day politics. This may indicate the need for a fundamental shift in direction, not of some party or system but of the very idea of politics itself. What is left and right in politics, tends to change a lot especially over a number of decennia. At present, one Read the full article…

‘Doing Good’: Not as Easy as It Seems

Imagine you are a ‘special kind of therapist’. Good. All kinds of people come by your place with a ‘problem’ and they leave with a sense of relief, glad they came along. After a while they come back and then the same phenomenon occurs. Friendly faces. Nothing to worry about. ‘Doing good’ seems evident. Is Read the full article…

Dissociation at World Level

In other words and at the same time as stated earlier: ‘soul’ getting lost. But then across the world. The first time that such a thing as AURELIS came to mind (in my mind, as a rather naive post-adolescent), was in the year 1984 in Brazil. In a pediatric hospital in a favela (slum) of Read the full article…

Zombification

Disclaimer: this text is not for overly sensitive readers. The term ‘zombie’ probably comes from the West African nzambi, which means: a dead person who is made alive again, but who has no own free will. In the Afro-Caribbean culture this is an essential part of voodoo (originally from West Africa). So, we are in Read the full article…

Object-Science Versus Subject-Science

Science about objects: physics, chemistry… Science about subjects: psychology, history… Both sciences are different and important. Alpha, beta, positive etc. Let’s skip that and simply talk about object- versus subject-science. This is related to, respectively, closed-world versus open-world phenomena. Explanatory analogy: A cloud (‘open world’ with lots of possible influences in all directions) doesn’t fit Read the full article…

Hooray it Works!

It seems like the basis of this culture. Not so much the phrase in itself but rather the direct stop at its end. It is a culture of minimal effort. If ‘it works’ … what more do you want? It is also a culture of ‘many’. Many things. Something works and off you go to Read the full article…

Possible Meaning of AURELIS in the World

AURELIS is a way of standing in the world, a way of ‘being’, or at least: an attempt to this end. Nobody is perfect, thank God. You could consider AURELIS as a form of ‘therapy’. Then it becomes a part of health care. People have problems/needs and they are trying to find a solution. On Read the full article…

Do Not Turn the Other Cheek…

… unless you think it’s worthwhile. I have a lot of respect for other-cheek-turners. If however, nothing gets learned from it, one may keep turning cheeks indefinitely. If someone slaps you on the cheek, then I think that it’s better to look at that person than to turn your gaze away while offering the other Read the full article…

From Identity Politics to Utopia

Identity politics = “based on or catering to the cultural, ethnic, gender, racial, religious, or social interests that characterize a group.” Gay versus straight, black versus white, Palestinians versus Israelis, Catholics versus Protestants, Englishmen versus immigrants (see Brexit)… To many, the own group is ‘the box that I and others think I belong to’. I Read the full article…

Two Racisms

At the surface, racism is simply about a feeling of superiority over people from another race or ethnicity. Here ends the easy part. Why do people rank other people as inferior or superior based on inherited characteristics? With due respect to those being racially discriminated, I want to make the distinction between explicit and implicit Read the full article…

Teen Spirit

An adolescent brain is not just an immature brain. There is a purpose: daring to experiment in an open quest for meaning. The term ‘adolescent,’ etymologically ‘one who is becoming an adult’ arguably puts the norm on adulthood: adolescence as a preparation for adult life, complexified by hormonal changes and an ongoing cognitive and emotional, Read the full article…

Against Aggression Against Terrorism

Aggressively fighting terrorism is putting fuel on terrorism. There are other ways. Relatively (!) seen, terrorism is not the biggest problem. Worldwide, there are 11.7K terrorism deaths per year – mostly in Africa, versus for instance 450K through homicide, 1.3M through traffic accidents, 184K through drinking sugary beverages… Of course, each premature death is one Read the full article…

The End of War

War is not inevitable. At some point in the future, there will be no war ever anymore. We can think about what is needed towards that. Let’s be reasonable. An argument against pacifism is that it leads aggressive opponents to seek their chances on war or economic invasion. Right. We don’t want that. Let’s be Read the full article…

How Green Is Your Mind?

Inner mind is pure nature. Therefore, a  true environmentalist to may heart sees nature outside and inside as worthy goals. They form a natural and logical synthesis. People who want to take care of the environment should also take care of themselves in-depth. It is their cause. It doesn’t matter whether they are rich or Read the full article…

About Conservatism

Conservatism – as seen by many – likes freedom and responsibility, based on a view upon human beings as free and responsible entities. According to a main viewpoint by ‘conservatives’ worldwide and which I adopt in this text, conservatism is generally about this one thing and then another: Individuals should be allowed as much personal Read the full article…

Deep Diplomacy

The highest standard in diplomacy leads to welfare for all. Getting the best deal? Diplomacy is not a commercial act! Far more than deal-making, deep diplomacy is about making a better world. Thus also understanding what an ethically better world should be. This is about aligning one’s side and ‘the other side’ through common goals, Read the full article…

Imagine – Peace and Unity on Earth

Peace and unity within you. Then: overflowing towards others and the planet. Back to flower power? Yes, with a twist through modern science. It starts and ends within you This is of course a huge statement. At first sight, it is quite individualistic. Is this not a Western bias? Perhaps. But ‘individualistic’ brings the connotation Read the full article…

A Deeper-Self Political Primer?

The ‘total human being’ is important not only to individual health but also to a lot of societal questions and domains. Let’s mind-game a political party that would stand for the total human being, with deep respect for the present situation as well as for a desired change towards a more open future… Are we Read the full article…

81. The war on terrorism is fought in the heart

OK folks. Let’s face it. We are, at the dawn of the third millennium, living the Third World War. As in every other World War, there is of course an enemy. Or at least we think so. Do we? ◊◊◊ Yeah! It’s the war against terrorism! Or is it against terrorists? Should it not be Read the full article…

From Sexual Harassment to Being a Gentleman

A ‘no’ is a no, even between quotation marks. In any ambivalent situation, you should not sexually harass any woman – or man – in any way. But we should start tackling this issue from a positive side… To me, ‘gentleman’ is still a nice word. I hope it will stay so forever. What it Read the full article…

Lady Justice’s Blindfold

Will in the future all criminals be seen as in need of coaching rather than punishment? Lady Justice, also known as Themis in ancient Greece As a goddess, she didn’t need a blindfold. She could see everything anyway. Themis also didn’t have a sword (of punishment). Both were added in the 15th century. The blindfold Read the full article…

44. Puberty: the time for respect

Children in their puberty ask (in many cases very loudly) for respect, although they can have a huge difficulty in giving it themselves. The voice of protest is never far away… and I think they are essentially right. I also think that to become a grown-up in a profound way means to keep one’s own Read the full article…

From deep meaning to post-capitalism

We seem to be stuck in capitalism, yet capitalism itself seems to be stuck. Can ‘deep meaning’ help us to get beyond? Monetary values are measurable. For pure-capitalism (!) to work perfectly, everything needs to get a value that is measurable, comparable, thereby making the valued thing tradable. The most abstract trade is of course Read the full article…

A Demagogue Is an Abuser

A demagogue is like a train, not stopped by things that would stop other people. Take care. In due time, he can go harder and faster. A resemblance strikes me with the Pied Piper of Hamelin, luring children away into a cave, to never be seen again. The tale’s pied piper did so out of revenge. Read the full article…

One Individual’s Euro-Take on US Politics

Democrats are losing in the US and together with them: rationality, empathy, tolerance, equality, freedom…?? I’m a progressive European. So I probably feel more ‘democratic’ than ‘republican’ in US parlance. In any case, it’s unfortunate that the divide between both becomes ever more pronounced. Worse still: This is a divide that more and more becomes Read the full article…