Monday, September 19, 2011

Nationalistic 'idiology'

Lately people have started to exhibit the very tiring habit of wanting to (in the best case) talk to me about the Greek crisis and get some insider's information, or (in the worst case) pass some condescending comment on the Greek population through me... I happen to be born half-Greek and this apparently justifies for people directing their fear and frustration towards me.

When people do this I always wonder: “what do you really want from me?”
I am just a simple human being like you.
Just like you I don't know how this crisis came to be.
Just like you I don't know what the best solution is.
Just like you I feel powerless.
Just like you I think it sucks.
Just like you I wish things were different.

But no, apparently I am not just like you.... Cause you want me to listen to your indignation. You want me to listen to how you good, hardworking and generous Dutch are going to loose money and how you might need to compromise some of your luxuries.
Apparently I am not just another human being anymore.

I am the lazy and corrupt Greek and you of course are the good, Dutch Samaritan who is being exploited.
I am, at that moment, just a representative of the Greek nation, to be interrogated and to be punished, while you don't even know that I in fact hate the concept of nations.

What tune would you be singing if you were born Greek? Would you still talk with the same air of indignation and would you not be the hardworking and honest person that you are today?

Beside the fact that you are passing simplistic judgments upon a whole population (didn't World War 2 teach us the dangers of doing this?) you are also forgetting that all what you claim to be rightfully yours (your country's wealth and prosperity) has nothing to do with you. You talk as if it were created by your own sweat and tears but all you ever did was to be born in a country called the Netherlands. I am sure it must have been excruciatingly difficult for you to crawl out of your mother's belly in a country with such bad weather (;p) but seriously do you think that you therefore, more than others, deserve a lifelong of comfort and prosperity?
“Yes, but my parents/ancestors worked hard!” Well, whose parents didn't!? Would you rather trade places with a family living off the e-waste in Ghana? And then again, did you choose your parents?
All you ever did was to effortlessly receive the result of centuries of human history and bloodshed. And now here you are, shamelessly taking it and making it your own; protecting it with all your strength so that others may famine while you flourish...

When will we stop thinking about nations and start putting humans first?

PS: Feel free to substitute Dutch and Greek with any nations you like.... This happens everywhere...

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Goodbye philosophy (Philo arrĂȘte sa philo...)

“What is matter made of?” , “How did our universe came to be?”, “Is this reality or a dream?”, “Do we have a soul?”, “Do we even exist?”

I've spent the 25 first years of my life trying to understand the nature of our reality. I was mightily intrigued by these kind of questions and passionatelly tried to educate myself on all sorts of matters. I read and read and read, and thought and thought and thought, all the time having the illusion that I am on a quest towards understanding.

What naive an idea... These questions have been the same since Aristotle and although their form might have changed, and some possible answers are excluded (you probably do not believe that rain is poured from the clouds by people with buckets ) we will never have the ultimate question to these answers.

But let's assume it is possible to fin answers and let's even assume that we know the answers today..

Imagine that you are convinced that we are living in a dream and what is more, you have in fact proved it. Ok, great. A true breakthrough! Now, if I were to slap you hard on your face, would your conviction about reality make the pain go away? See what I am heading at? The answers to these “grand questions” about life and reality do not matter much. We are here today, there is no escaping that. All you have to do is try to survive.

I have hit a wall, I just realised that my “quest” is not really leading me anywhere. When I think about how I used to judge people who did not share my passion about these “grand questions” I feel deeply ashamed. I used to think: “How can you just live on like that without asking yourself these questions?”. Well today my answer is: “Very well, thank you. In fact I started to enjoy life more since I gave up trying to do the impossible and focused my energy on more tangible things”.

But the old self still has a reproach: “If everyone thought like you there would be no philosophy and no science and none of all progress we made! If no one were curious about understanding reality we would not have gotten anywhere...!”

New self:
“First: You are exaggerating, that is not the only motivation for technological and medical progress. Second: Even if it were so, what has this “progress” really achieved? Sure it's great that today we have all this technology and medical care. Yes, we do live longer and don't have to shiver in the cold, but are we happier? The things that make people happy or miserable have not changed since the first humans walked the earth. Happiness is more than physical well-being. The way our loved ones treat us, the way we treat them, how we feel and think about ourselves and others, that is what makes or breaks a life. Sure, death does too, but that is an inevitable part of life. Third: this is my life and if I do not want to contribute to science or participate in this intellectual sport called philosophy then this is my choice.”

So philosophy, here we are. It's time to say goodbye. After so many years it hurts to let go, but I have truly had it with you. I have better things to do than waste my time and energy on questions that have no answers. At 25 I am finally free, I can go ahead and just live.

Goodbye philosophy.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Why search for God?

There are many guides on "how to seek union with the Divine". Anything from prayer, to meditation, to trance, to DMT is suggested. Each religion has their own method of course but suprisingly all seem to agree that this "search for God" is a good thing, something to be encouraged...

What I never understood is why...? Why is it such a good thing to search for God?

Let's assume that we do have an eternal soul and that we can attain union with the Divine....
If our purpose were to be "one with the Divine" then we would not have been put on earth in a material body in the first place, right?

Ok, so if being one with God is not the purpose of our earthly life then what is? The experience of desperately trying to attain the immaterial with our physical bodies? Why even try when we will be immaterial once we die anyway?

So, what is our purpose then? Perhaps to focus on the material...? That would make "seeking the Divine" obsolete and in fact counterproductive...

And still, where you or I ever to find the 'divine', what would really change? (instead of having a mental assurance that our life is probably purposeful although no one can really tell us why exactly). I would still need to feed my stomach and drag my sad, fat ass over to the toilet afterwards...

I guess then that it is has no "higher purpose"... It is just good if you like it, that's all.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Being invisible

All of a sudden, the strangest thought came to me last night.
It would seem to me that there are two ways that others can make you feel invisible (and vice-versa):

1) By plainly ignoring you. You feel ignored, alone, invisible. This one is quiet obvious.
2) By adapting themselves too much to you. And this is what is a new/strange thought for me.

The logic is the following: When the people around you entirely mold themselves around your wishes and desires, they virtually create no resistance in the decisions you make and your path in life (and thus also have no influence on it). It is as if there was nobody. No solid human being. Just thin air enveloping you... No matter how hard you wave your arms you will feel at most a slight breeze.

Once more you will feel alone, and invisible... How ironic (and funny).