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For a spiritual ascesis

14 Jan

What we see beyond the crisis and cultural night, beyond a deep social crisis without a thought that catalyses the real forces of society that point to the future, is also a night of God, educator Martin Buber describes it as God’s Eclipse.
Buber wrote in his book: “I later built for myself the meaning of the word ‘mismatch’, through which was roughly described the failure of a true encounter between human beings. When, after another 20 years, I saw my mother, who had come to visit me, my wife, and my children from afar, I couldn’t look into her still astonishingly beautiful eyes without hearing the word “mismatch” somewhere as if it were. tell me.
I suppose that everything I have experienced over the course of my life about the authentic encounter has its first origin at that time in the gallery. ”(BUBER, 1991, p. 8). Thus revealing the true face of the “silence of God” of Judaism in which it has its roots, will be in another book the “I-Thou” where he will reveal an aspect of his asceticism which is “the encounter with the Other”, which for Buber more. than one person, your Tu has a divine essence, God inhabits the other.
These days there are two strong tendencies, and in both asceses there is in fact no spirituality beyond transcendence, or the activism that Byung Chul condemns as the “active vita” that leads to tiredness, or the idealistic subjectivism that can It seems to be religion but it is not, what it arouses is nothing but sentimentality, and can lead to “faithful” tears, not necessarily to God, if they do discover Him they must seek another true asceticism.
Thus it is possible that they will find God in one way or another, but there is no other way to remain in the faith, not of the blind but of those who have found a clearing, if indeed meditation and prayer are to remain, they are indispensable.
For those who have no faith, a good reading, separating passages and thoughts, living the moment as we wrote in the previous post, is fundamental, that is, also for reading can follow the rule of doing it without “gluttony”, try put the soul in silence, making a true “epoché”.
To those who believe always reflect that Jesus prayed, and asked his disciples to pray with him, and not to lose this practice, Jesus will tell the parable of the bad judge who does not want to attend the widow, but by his insistence and so that she does not. he curses, he answers, says the opening passage: “Jesus told the disciples a parable to show them the need to pray always, and never give up…”, which is in Luke 18: 1.
BUBER, Martin. (1995) Eclipse de Dios. México: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1995.

 

What to expect in 2021

31 Dec

Judging by the year that ends, it is better not to make predictions, but be prepared for positive or negative surprises, we talk about resilience in 2020 and this means being prepared for adverse situations, stress and deprivation, of course always hoping for improvements.

I watched the movie The Midnight Sun and some thoughts about a possible dark future came to mind, it is based on the Lily Brook-Dalton and just like the film (which is on Netflix) they are very successful, although the critic does not praise, at least the performance of actor George Clooney is commendable, and there is a perfect combination of optimism and fiction.

I watched the movie The Midnight Sun and some thoughts about a possible dark future came to mind, but now with a touch of humanism and even optimism, it is based on the book Good Morning, Midnight (2016), written by Lily Brooks-Dalton.

The mixture of science fiction with feelings seems inadequate, this is one of the main criticisms, I think that in the case of a deep crisis on our planet this mixture is adequate, the second main criticism is the type of plot, undoubtedly very different, the Sometimes we lose the sequence and we need to think a little, at this point, success on Netflix is ​​curious, maybe people have learned to like this, reflection is good and leads us to questions.

The film led me to think about 2021 because it is a resilient attitude, on my part, to think if the worst happens, what can I do positive to help myself and help people.

Let the vaccine come, let us start a process of resuming life, but we hope that the new normality will be more human, with a more empathic look to those around us, and that we will have more solidarity among people, then the pandemic will have taught us something.

However, it is necessary to change attitudes, behaviors and mentalities, affirmative gestures by well-intentioned and altruistic people are not enough, we need to take more seriously what we can help us as humanity, as a society and as a person.

That this year come the vaccine, with a vaccine and a lot of solidarity and if necessary with a lot of resilience.

 

 

Possible pax

05 Dec

It is not social, political or ethical peace that is always in conflict, although there are integrative movements and a worldwide tendency towards global citizenship, living in the village (with communications is global) and feeling a citizen of the world.
The next generation will be able to accomplish this, the “mature” generation now has setbacks in reading the present, and this has caused fear and distrust by breaking feelings of respect and otherness.
The measures of force are discouraging and reprocessing of the social process, moving towards autocracies and arbitrariness, they are never democratic.
The pax roman was submission to the central power of Rome, the peace of Westphalia was a treaty of religious tolerance among Christians and eternal peace the idealistic dream in the power of the modern state.
Possible peace is tolerance of differences and acceptance of human limits in times of crisis, depends on some dose of the spiritual.

 

Routes and paths

01 Dec

While the West suffers from covid-19, the east in the midst of the crisis continues to show signs of vitality and strength, formed a bloc of 15 countries with China, South Korea, New Zealand, Japan and Australia ahead, called RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership) was signed at a regional summit in Hanoi on 11/15, although the conference was online.

One of the objectives is to progressively reduce tasks in key areas in the coming years, in addition to the countries that were part of the Asian ASEAN treaty, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, bloc has half the world population and almost 40% of the GDP of the entire planet.

In addition to the pandemic, the West is struggling with polarizations, crises with minority and racial rights, a degrading moral environment, in which corruption is only part of the whole structural gear around it, with an increasing presence of migrants from the whole planet, but especially the Arabs, who have a very different culture.

The Eurozone will have to strengthen ties to get out of the economic crisis imposed by the pandemic, the departure from England that ends in December, still has unpredictable effects also for England, but the conservative government has managed to impose itself in the midst of the pandemic and prepares the first mass vaccination in the west.

In Latin America, the step taken by Bolsonaro from Brazil and Fernandez from Argentina to hold the first bilateral meeting is still encouraging, but the call for cooperation from the Brazilian government’s armed forces and the request for collaboration on the environmental issue despite of the diplomatic touch also represent a provocation in what the presidents believe.

The elected government of Bolivia, supporter of the deposed Evo Morales, tries to break the isolation by inviting the opposition leader of Venezuela, but used the Bolivian flag and Whipala, symbol of the indigenous peoples’ congregation, in the liberation party of the state of Potosi.

The call for cooperation and the formation of a cohesive Mercosur bloc is difficult to leave the paper for concrete measures where cooperation, respect for political and cultural diversity, and cooperation across borders is a step taken as in the East or in the still fragile European Union, agreements of the Americas, as was the proposal of NAFTA, if they go forward with Joe Biden they must be a very slow process

 

The eschatological infinity

26 Nov

Transcendence as an idea of ​​the Infinite can be understood in Lévinas’ philosophy as “The presence of a being that does not enter the sphere of the Same, a presence that exceeds it, fixes its’ status” of infinity, this is how the idea will appear in Lévinas of Foreigner and there he in his own eschatology.

The term Foreigner is typical of the biblical tradition from which Emmanuel Lévinas feeds, as many feed on Greek mythology, it is present in the fourfold prophet Isaiah, a prophet as in the mode of the celebrated Greek poets Homer and Hesiod, is curious because it can if Lévinas’s part sees a convergence between Hellenic and Semitic culture, contrary to all fury against Judeo-Christian culture.

The quadratics are as follows: the poor (who have no economic resources), the widow (who has no husband to support her), the orphan (who has no shelter to collect him), the foreigner (who has no country to step on) . they are the synthesis of what we now call and excluded in biblical times, and we can see in a new “philosophical” eschatology by Lévinas the idea of ​​an eschatological “end” not as the end of time, but the end of poverty, of female helplessness (today more serious is femicide), the organs of wars and foreigners who walk around the world and which Bauman comes to irony (amazement) and then a new apocalypse.

It is thus that the infinite and the being-for-death can also have an eschatological interpretation, without any prejudice or presumption to the religious sense that may at some point occur, and from which the planet is not exempt, after all an eschatological end present in many non-Christian religions is what the earth itself (the mother-earth) rebels against, again a convergence with biblical prophecies.

The big reason why this idea was almost abolished in modernity, Leibniz already claimed it, is said by Lévinas: “My life and history do not form totality. The common that allows us to speak of objectified society, and by which man resembles the thing and individualizes himself as a thing, is not first ”(in Ethics and Infinite), and Lévinas will define this process as“ infinity ”(perhaps a better translation would be infinitation, but they did not translate this way), an inversion of modern subjectivity, because the subject is subjecting himself to Other, and thus lives his personal “in process” eschatology, subject to the Infinite.

On the social scale it is the foreigner, the poor and the one who suffers some kind of prejudice (the racist, for example, but there are others including the religious) and with this we are heading towards an authentic eschatological end, an apocalypse of the current world without brake and without a safe direction for all humanity.

 

A citizen planetary and prudence

06 Nov

The pandemic crisis showed that our most serious problems are global, affecting the entire planet, the second wave that is already in Europe will soon arrive in the different continents, if it has not arrived in small doses already, they lead us to think globally what it seems difficult with political polarization.

What is needed is to abandon old proposals, and make possible the coexistence of private freedom with the strong social urgencies, the proposal of the banker of the poor Mohanmmad Yunus goes in this direction, eliminating poverty, carbon emissions and guaranteeing jobs for all, has become the most urgent pandemic.

It is not the only proposal, of course, another such as solidarity, creative economy, groups of cooperatives of small farmers, can compose a productive ecosystem capable of adapting to local interests and vocations of production and human life, it is above all necessary to leave the excess consumption and social stress.

The cultural aspects in which the religions and beliefs (in the broadest sense of the word) of peoples and nations are included are not minor or negligible. I distinguish because many nations already have people of different cultural origins within them, what is called here original culture, which also includes indigenous peoples.

There is no clear agreement on how this can happen, a wide pan-national dialogue (which we have just said about “peoples”) is essential to organize a new social ecosystem where the foundation of social security combined with personal freedom are as premises for chart this future.

For the time being, as a family that has disorganized the accounts of the house, and reaps many troubles from this disorganization, there are still dictatorships of different ideologies on the planet, wars such as attempts at cultural submission, new types of colonialism, although a strong current of decolonization has emerged ( the term is this), what happens on the planet can be a rupture in serious situations and the “common home” itself can react, what we already call an aortic mutation.

A biblical passage talks about wisdom and those who seek it, it is a stage above simple intelligence, it is necessary to be open to the new and also leave what it “enters”, says the book of Wisdom (Sb 6,13-15 ): “It even anticipates itself, making itself known to those who desire it. Those who wake up early will not get tired, as they will find her sitting at their door. Meditating on it is the perfection of prudence; and whoever stays awake because of it, will soon live carefree”.

So wisdom is combined with the gift of “prudence”, and meditating on it is “the perfection of prudence”, ignorance creates only fanaticism and cruelty.

 
 

Happiness from beatitude, purity and love

30 Oct

All contemporary argument about happiness when it does not go down to the bottom of barbarism, is to link it to consumption, material goods and pleasure.

That is why beatitude has distanced itself from happiness, although in the western roots of classical antiquity (Eudaimonia) it is common, in “Ethics to Nicomachus” Aristoteles establishes: “As for his name, the majority is practically in agreement: happiness calls him, both like educated people, assuming that being happy consists of living well and being successful ”, but clarifies in another point that it is not wealth:“ Life (…) dedicated to trade is against nature, and it is evident that wealth is not the good we seek; in fact, it exists only for profit and is a means to something else ”, but at this point it will say that it is pleasure.

The question arises as to what is the end of this search, whether it is success, honor, recognition, in the end what we perceive is that “If, in fact, the good were one and predicable in general, and subsisted separately, it is evident that it would not be achievable or achievable by man; but that is precisely what we seek ”, what is this end.

In any eschatology we perish and if death is only a tragic and final end, it would be good to make the most of this life and even values ​​such as honor and success would be worthless, only if these resulted in the end of “pleasure”, and not it is then humility, compassion and participating in the happiness of others are beatitudes that also result in our own happiness.

Thus, those who seek only their own happiness in no way favor their own since they have no occasion to share and selfish pleasure is only partial happiness. hedonists try to deny it, but those who really experience it guarantee that there is a balanced and always present happiness, joy and peace for those who practice it.

The Sermon on the Mount is a classic for those who believe and may well serve as a meditation for those who seek effective and full happiness:

the poor in spirit

those who cry

the humble ones

those who are hungry and thirsty for justice

the merciful the pure in heart

the peacemakers

those persecuted for the sake of justice

For these will be comforted, they will receive the land as an inheritance, they will be fed up with the justice that will finally be achieved, they will have mercy and will be called “children of God”, for those who believe in the greatest beatitude, it was the central and eschatological truth announced for all the humanity.

History will either go there or we will have a crisis process much bigger than the current pandemic, than the horrific cycles of war, and not be happy.

 

 
 

Affliction and anguish

29 Oct

Those who have read The Being and Time attentively know that one of Heidegger’s important responses is what should be read in Kierkgaard were quick to witness the celebrated response of a thinker considered to be one of the most eminent philosophers of contemporary times.

It is, therefore, Heidegger himself who Kierkegaard separating him into so-called “edifying” teachings that would be more important than “theoretical” ones, except in one case that is anguish, in his treatise The concept of anguish, and that the “the forest philosopher” is keen to say that “from an ontological point of view” it remains “entirely tributary to Hegel and ancient philosophy seen through him”. (HEIDEGGER, 2012, p. 651, n. 6).

What Heidegger saw in this 1844 book, whose authorship is attributed to Vigilius Haufniensis, a Kierkegaardian pseudonym that translates as “Copenhagen Watcher”, since Kierkegaard was Danish and his first intention is to return Socratic wisdom, which for him contemplative knowledge (theory) with practical knowledge (phrónesis), the way of ancient Greek.

Although he called Socrates a “practical philosopher, he just wanted to focus the“ anguish ”dressing on the experience of what was reflected by the soul and this meant an approximation of psychology, it was“ the doctrine of the subjective spirit ”(KIERKEGAARD, 2010, p. 25), was one of the branches of Philosophy, and of a really dialectical philosophy in the Greek-Socratic sense since modern philosophy has fixed itself on the Kantian dualism thesis versus antithesis with an improbable synthesis.

The philosopher uses the expression “hereditary sin”, used by the author throughout the work, but as the one that corresponds to what theologians, called by him “dogmatic”, call the original sin, nomenclature apart, is the aspect that brings his theme closer to the anguish of that “soul” affliction, which can have a philosophical and psychological outline, but which is basically that affliction of those who feel outside a center, from a clear perspective of overcoming anguish.

What leads existence to a singular way, to a way of acting in such a way? This is where the notions of freedom and anguish emerge as “concepts” converge to this “anguish”, but without having a locus, neither in Aesthetics, in Metaphysics or even in Psychology, so the author does not say so, but there is something afflicted and tragic in this journey in this “anguish”.

Paul Ricoeur, reflecting on these expressions of Kierkegaard, establishes that evil is “what is the most opposite to the system”, precisely because it is absurd and scandalous, irrational and incomprehensible, situated on the margins of morality and reason, recalls Ricoeur (1996, p. 16), referring to the Kierkegaardian reflections, evil is “what is the most opposite to the system”, precisely because it is absurd and scandalous, irrational and incomprehensible, situated on the margins of morality and reason.

Ricoeur thus differentiates structural evil (we have already made a post), linked to anguish and sin and free will linked to personal decisions in the face of anguish.

The point that I consider essential in Kierkegaard’s thought on this existential aspect is that “only what has crossed the anguish of possibility, only this one is fully trained not to be distressed, not because it evades the horrors of life, but because they always become weak compared to those of possibility ”(KIERKEGAARD, 2010, p. 165-166), it is here that affliction can find its opposite and we can understand that there is a source of comfort in it.

Thus anguish and affliction are not exactly curses or sinful states or diseases of the “soul” or thoughts, they are phases of rupture or transition to other more mature phases when this stage involves reflection and overcoming.

 

HEIDEGGER, Martin (1957) Ser e tempo. Campinas: Editora da Unicamp, 2012. (Multilíngues de Filosofia Unicamp). JOLIVET, Régis. As doutrinas existencialistas: de Kierkegaard a Sartre. Portugal, Porto: Tavares Martins.

KIERKEGAARD, Sören (2010). O conceito de angústia: uma simples reflexão psicológico-demonstrativa direcionada ao problema dogmático do pecado hereditário de Vigilius Haufniensis. Tradução e notas Álvaro Luiz Montenegro Valls. 2. ed. Brazil, Petrópolis, RJ: Vozes.

 

 

Bliss and beatitude

27 Oct

Although the term is associated with Christian holiness, and is also one of its aspects, the term in classical antiquity had a more generic meaning, a permanent state of perfect satisfaction and fullness that only a wise man could achieve, so thought Aristotle, but today it is conditioned only to the religious sense, it is intended here to show that they can be closer than we think.

The religious meaning is also that of happiness, but in the sense of joy of balanced pleasure of the soul, which can only reach those who enjoy the presence of God, that its fullness can be achieved only in eternal life, but does not mean discarding earthly life, “I have come that everyone may have life, and life in abundance” (John 10:10), so proclaims the evangelist, but what is different between the two proposals for happiness.

Aristotle in the book “Of the causes” will say that the end of beatitude is relative to its desire, so the ultimate nature of this end moves mainly by desire and this is pleasure, so much so that it absorbs man’s will and reason to the point of make other goods despise.

Both Boethius, that the church also beatified him (that is, he proclaimed him happy, blessed and holy), and Aristotle dealt with the theme, and their question is what if pleasure is really the ultimate end of happiness, of beatitude and that it also Tomás de Aquino will argue the contrary.

What Boethius says is that the consequences of pleasures are sad, all those who want to remember their sensualities know it, because, if these could make them happy, there would be no reason why the brutes too would not be considered such, and this is very reminiscent of current cases of abuse and objectionable violence.

For Boethius: “The beatitude is the perfect state of the union of all goods”, and so it seems that through money you can acquire all things, because the Philosopher, in book V of Ethics, says that money was invented for to be the guarantor of everything that man wanted to possess, which today can be translated as money buys everything.

In addition, Boethius also says: “Riches shine more when they are distributed than when they are conserved. For this reason, greed makes men hateful, generosity makes them illustrious ”, and so wealth is not condemned, but its bad distribution.

In the representation above the painting “The cheerful violinist with a glass of wine” (1624) by Gerard van Honthorst (1590-1656).

 

 

What makes love loved

23 Oct

Hannah Arendt sought in Augustine of Hippo for her answers to Love, brought great contributions in the philosophical field to the theme, far beyond the classic division of the Greeks: agape, eros and filia; but as the contemporary philosopher Julia Kristeva observed, she went no further than the philosopher Augustine, for there is also the theologian.

In addition to the intelligent division of her doctoral thesis: “Love in Saint Augustine”, Arendt herself emphasized the philosophical character of the work of the Bishop of Hipona, by emphasizing: “he never completely lost the impulse of philosophical questioning” (Arendt, 1996), his bases of Cicero, Plato and Plotinus are noticeable in his work.

Arendt’s choice to divide his dissertation into three parts is due to a willingness to do justice to Augustinian thoughts and theories that run in parallel. So each part “will serve to show three conceptual contexts in which the problem of love plays a decisive role.”

She also realizes the importance of Amor Caritas, but as she sees it is not theological, but only within human possibilities, Julia Kristeva when talking about Love goes further by stating: “love is the time and space in which ´I´ give myself the right to be extraordinary“, while Arendt is clear that there is a difference between Caritas and Cupiditas, who loves the world, the things of the world.

But the question of Augustine that must also be answered by Christians is what “do I love when I love my God?” (Confessions X, 7, 11 apud Arendt p. 25), the fifth essence of my interior, it is true as Augustine thought that I find in me what connects me to eternity, but there is beyond the fifth essence or Other outside, not just God , but that Other that passes by me, the one whose identity is hidden in the human envelope of the Other that has God in him too.

What I love when I love God, is thus extended to Love humanity, concrete in each Other that I relate to, and is beyond the fifth essence of my “I”.

So Caritas is the extraordinary in me, both Arendt, Kristeva and Augustine himself are right in part, but the God I love is now also present in the Other, which is beyond my mirror and beyond my inner essence.

Perhaps the biggest trap made for Jesus by the Pharisees is in the question, after Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, it was in the question (Mt 22,36) “Master, what is the greatest commandment of the Law?”, And Jesus will answer (Mt 22, 37-39): “Jesus replied:“ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your understanding!’ That is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is similar to this: ‘You will love your neighbor as yourself’ ”, and concludes that this is the synthesis of the entire Law and of the prophets.

Hannah Arendt quotes this passage, but the sequence is clear you will love with all courage and soul, theological aspects and then with understanding, the philosophical.

However, the updated question is this of Augustine: “What do I love when I say that I love God?” and if the answer is also “The neighbor as yourself”, that is, with its inner essence directed to the Other, it means that I cannot say that I really love Love, which comes from God, if it is not the Love caritas.

Arendt, Hannah. (1996) Love and Saint Augustine. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Figure: Textures and acrylic on canvas. January, 2018. Eva-sas Gallery.