“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 […]A Tribute to Schopenhauer “The World is my Idea”
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:
People often feel the urge to express their opinion on a subject, on people. They often do this with a level of apparent conviction which is at odds with the “data set” from which they have drawn their opinion. Others rely on this dodgy thing called opinion. For example, there are loads of people discussing […]Is Opinion Real?
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.
When did we stop dancing? We never really danced!
Talking again about the lockdown is not a pleasant subject; what else can be said? What more advices can be given to overcome it? None of us saw the lockdown coming again.
The lockdown is in between fighting the pandemic and the full control of the State over people. Whilst the quarantine is necessary for saving people, it is at the same time a political act. So, it is health versus freedom. According to a study done by the Kennedy Institute of Ethics of the Georgetown University in 2014:
“Implementation of medical quarantines in America brings into conflict various legitimate arguments regarding who, if anyone, should have the authority to restrict movements of citizens. Quarantines are not new, but they exist now in a world with new dangers and new opportunities for abuse”.
How to fight the pandemic without individual freedom restriction?
The full study is on link below:
As much as provocation is less needed nowadays due to sensitive issues, the politically correct attitude is nevertheless as harmful. When a cat for example can’t be called a cat but “a furry four-legged domestic feline” then there is a problem.
The problem is that the purpose of discourse or art is deviated from its original objectives: expression, communication, truth. We are then left with sugar coated words and art that is lifeless.
Music can tell readdress the dilemma here. Let’s go back musically to not farfetched decades: the 80s and the 90s. Artists back then promoted all types of passions: love was a lot of love, anger was brutal, and sadness was depressive; joy was more than joyful and darkness was terrifying. Along this musical, poetic and visual process, all those passions (especially dark ones) went through sublimation. In Freudian terms, sublimation is a defense mechanism that reduces anxiety through the transformation of aggressive impulses into artistic, intellectual and spiritual activities.
Look at music now. Apart from happy few artists, music has become politically correct. Is it the result of our anxious world or did it help in provoking anxiety and violence?
Street Photographer and Visual Artist Federico Righi is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this photo essay. From the project ‘Covid 19 — The Social Distancing’. To see Federico ’s body of work, click on any image. My daughter had to learn to use a six-computer when she hardly reads and writes. […]COVID-19’s Unfading Presence Hovering Like A Ghost | Coronavirus’ Days
Modern capitalism has ignored the lessons of history in the ignorant and short-sighted pursuit of individual wealth. See for example the article Economics for the People by economic historian Dirk Philipsen in Aeon magazine, from which I quote at length, due to its eloquence: In preindustrial societies, cooperation represented naked necessity for survival. Yet the […]We are tired of this blindness
As I wrote in an older post, I belong to the paper generation. Typing a post on the computer requires from me some scratching on a paper. I believe there is a mechanism which goes from the hand to the brain making my ideas flow much better than typing on the cold keyboard.
Putting aside the romantic in me or the child in me who loves stationary shops, the writer in me is blocked. I tried to focus but there is so much going on in the world that I can’t grasp nor process.
While the world has eyes on the U.S presidential elections, while a french history teacher was slaughtered for bringing up a delicate subject, the freedom of speech, while racist and anti racist dialogues have been everywhere on the news, while feminism is becoming an extreme feminism, while wars are on a bit everywhere, while #covid19 still striking… I found myself drawing with my blue inked pen.
In fact, I love drawing with a pen. It is more difficult because erasing is not possible. Anyway, there was something liberating about doing it. My mind was clearer: the world is a mad men place! The clearer this idea was, the more I drew lines.
It didn’t solve the problems of the world and it certainly didn’t make people more aware but it surely made me happy for a while.
I hope you will like my drawings!
It is peculiar to put the words philosophy and doormat in one sentence. But the truth of a doormat goes deeper to what meets the eye.
A doormat is a mat placed in a doorway, on which people can wipe their shoes on entering a building. They wipe their shoes from dust, mud and bacteria or viruses brought back from the outside. A doormat is then a cleaning mat; that’s the superficial way to understand what it is. However, a doormat is way beyond its wiping function.
A doormat is the separation between the inside and the outside, the private and the public. At the start, the public meant nature where people used to work or spend their days. If we praise nature now, it was not the case longtime ago. Back then and still to this day, nature was synonymous to dirt, dust and dangerous creatures. Residents in houses with gardens know exactly that definition, a doormat in every doorway, daily swiping the floor from sand and dead leaves, tracking insects and spraying pesticides. The same goes for all the daily hygiene because the idea of nature is dirt. Deodorant smells better than natural body odor.
Humans built culture as opposed to nature. They built a world that stands between nature and them, a world that is a mirror to humans. A doormat separates culture from nature.