Rene Descartes was a 17th century French philosopher known for his concept of consciousness and the emancipation of man through thinking when he wrote: “Cogito ergo sum”, “I think therefore I am “.
Descartes was in Plato’s dualistic theory of the body and mind. According to Descartes, humans are made of two dimensions, the body and the mind, unlike nature and animals who are one-dimensional as pure machines. However, the human body in itself is a machine. Bodies are submitted to physical and mechanical laws; this is Descartes’ theory of the animal-machine.
The question is: is the muscle-centric approach to fitness mechanistic?
Fitness’ muscle-centric approach is focused on muscles as types, categories, functions, performance and their respective related types of exercises and nutrition. Although being direct consequences, fat loss and general health are not the main target in the muscle-centric fitness. The main target is optimizing muscles with strength and performance. In other words, this approach is very much cartesian mechanism.
Muscle-centric paradigm is thought of as new because it is applied now in some types of fitness but it is rooted in the 17th century philosophy. Whether one likes it or not, it is very efficient.
“The World is My Idea” this is a truth which holds good for everything that lives and knows To Schopenhauer’s masterpiece the world as will and idea Schopenhauer is more closer to me than my father Schopenhauer is the essence of my soul I read and re-read his first page of the volume world as […]
There is nothing called natural in itself. Any given repetitive behaviour is perceived as natural by its subject and by others. Therefore, is natural the synonym of repetition?
Rituals and habits are referred to as a second nature. Then, what is the first nature? Speaking of human nature, perhaps the first nature (the core human nature) is the ability to learn, to adapt, to repeat and to evolve. The Swiss philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau defines human nature as “perfectibility”, the capacity of becoming perfect.
This is the reason why breaking habits isn’t an easy task. It is shedding an “old nature”. The brain is a ritual machine, functioning with schemes and patterns followed by rewards if well repeated. Addiction is in this picture. To change habits, to shed the “old nature” requires thought changing and new habits.
Whether animals do think remains a subject work within the science community. It is more known that animals operate by instinct if such word alone refers to those animal behaviours outside the operation of mere instinct, such as some behaviours displayed by common animals like the dog. To think like a goat is a metaphor […]
People have spent the last few months, since multiple lockdowns taking place all over the world, on self wellbeing. Social media is flooded with videos on yoga, meditation, routines, diets, fitness, wellbeing. For this is very helpful, however isn’t the time to redirect this energy on kindness and empathy towards others?
One can’t be happy alone. It has been said centuries ago, happiness is not solely an individualistic purpose as much as it is also a collective one. Greek philosophers for example thought of politics as eudemonistic (eudemonia, in Greek, means happiness). According to them, politics should aim for high moral values, the highest being the city’s happiness or well being.
Politics these days is far from it’s original definition. Perhaps it is time, people take themselves and others in charge by being empathetic and kind to one another, for empathy is a natural human tendency. After at least a century of praising completion and ambition, it is hard for everyone to be empathetic and less selfish again.
Below, the philosopher and economist Adam Smith wrote about empathy as the main pillar of social cohesion:
The world is on a survival mode; on a quiet survival mode, fighting an invisible enemy by being, paradoxically, locked down. Surviving this strange war requires different strategies including new habits.
Routines from all types have become the new survival kit. Practices and immunity strengthening foods and methods are the need of soldiers who we are now. This is also a paradox since strategy and routine don’t always fit in battles. Routines should be the preparation for battles. The pandemic was predicted but little did anyone listen or care. On the contrary, we built up to failure: human concentration and massive commuting, consuming and polluting, running in circles and stressing, producing more than selling. All this frenetic hyperactivity gave birth to a hyperobject, the pandemic. And it feels we are in a hyperreality as Baudrillard points out, different from what we have been through, from what caused our current struggling.
Remember back then, routine was synonymous to boredom. Remember back then, creativity was synonymous to a great life. Remember, in Nietzsche’s words, after playing the lion for a long time, we have gone backward and become the camel instead of being the joyful child. The world danced the dance of arrogance and not the dance of joy.
Another year, another lockdown, another bad news, the ambiance is apocalyptic. With the outbreak of new variants and economical cataclysm, one can’t help asking what would come next. Oddly though, Covid19 being this unfortunate event, imposes spiritual practices.
It is a scientific truth now that the coronavirus spreads through sneezing and speaking droplets. If the world shuts up for fifteen days won’t we be able to win over the virus? Silence is a spiritual discipline.
Another scientific truth goes about social distancing, another wrong word for physical distancing. Learning to be alone is a spiritual discipline.
Lastly, we know that overeating leads to chronic diseases. Since the virus outbreak, food awareness was spread; less is more. Here is also the importance of fasting, known with the fancy word intermittent fasting or simply IF. Fasting has been around for thousands of years as a spiritual practice in all religions.
Being alone, quiet and in a fasted state is a meditative spiritual practice.
Biopolitics is made of bio meaning life in a vital sense and politics. The word politics comes from Greek polis, city or State. Combining these two words, biopolitics is the power of the State over people’s health as shown in public heath policies, sanitary strategies, awareness, ministries and so on. Biopolitics is an intersectional field between human biology and politics. It is a political wisdom taking into consideration the administration of life and a locality’s populations as its subject. To quote Michel Foucault, it is “to ensure, sustain, and multiply life, to put this life in order.”
2020 was by far the year of biopolitics since the outbreak of covid19 and the vaccines strategies and race between countries as a new type of international politics: whoever produced the most efficient vaccine wins internationally. In other words, a strong country is defined by a strong vaccine. Politicians have become the marketers. However, many people around the world are reluctant towards the vaccine; did anyone analyze this new phenomenon of global mistrust?
Furthermore, does anyone have answers about the origins of covid19? Once, the bat was blamed. Then, it is said it was man made. Then, it was about global warming and massive deforestation. Then… Then….
Should we expect from now on that wars and politics to be defined by pandemics?
Needless to say that freedom of speech is in danger. Needless to say that freedom of speech is misunderstood. Shaming, bullying, harassing, insulting, humiliating are no freedom of speech but a boiling violence. For anyone who is familiar with this issue, it is known that violence is the opposite of freedom. Violence is enslaving and therefore a sign of weakness. Obviously, the main issue is to understand what causes violence everywhere. However, for this post, the topic is about the new phenomenon of “cancel culture”, a direct consequence of violence. So what is cancel culture?
According to the dictionary, “Cancel culture refers to the popular practice of withdrawing support for (canceling) public figures and companies after they have done or said something considered objectionable or offensive. It is generally discussed as being performed on social media”. But as we witness on daily news, cancel culture can become “cancel physically” by kidnapping or killing a disturbing opponent. Here, there are two different levels of analyzing the problem.
The first one is theoretical. When cancel culture is applied with common sense, it can become a way to shut down violent people, harassers, offensive statements and all the ugly things that we can watch and see or perhaps be victim of. The theory itself is good.
However, the second way is less positive. For example, who decides what is offensive and what’s not? People in charge, usually people of power, do this, but on their own terms. So there is a high risk that decision makers are subjective in their decisions. Hence, journalists being threatened, opponents kept silent, Julian Assange under surveillance for revealing the truth, George Floyd murdered and so on.
Cancel culture is a bitter reminiscence of Nazi, Soviet and Fascist regimes.
I am afraid that these regimes have been globalized.
As Christmas holidays are couple of days away, I can’t help but thinking about the phenomenon of life flipping and inverting spaces and time. Holidays are better spent away from home because home has become an office. Hence the title of this post.
Suddenly, a new wave of meanings and ideas are invading our lives, even to its private intimate core shelter that is home. Suddenly, many of us realize that we don’t have a work place in our houses. Basically, we work, eat and sleep in the same place; eyes glued to the screen and haven’t we all fell sometimes on the keyboard?
The utopian fantasy of creating a disciplined society, something history books witnessed in Nazism and Soviet Union, has never been better executed than these days worldwide. The scenery of lockdowns, social distancing and masks reminds us of science-fiction movies. However, on the inside, things are shaky. Being completely submissive to a monitoring system (or systems) is a wink to George Orwell’s 1984, where pasta can taste like emails. The utopia turned to a dystopia.
The name of the game is : biopolitics. Biopolitics is a concept invented by French philosopher Michel Foucault in which he explained how the State has power over our health, bodies, the social body and now through covid19 patients tracking apps, vaccine, climate change and so on.
On this Christmas eve, I really wish to all of us, less confusion and more clarity and peace to the soul.