Arquivo para July, 2021

Man will not live on bread alone

30 Jul

We wrote in last week’s post, we are the “multiplication of loaves”, which undoubtedly has the aspect of sharing, but that the supernatural aspect was forgotten by many, reducing something “ineffable” to a situation of solidarity, and this is what we are developing around lack of spirituality, and or de-spiritualized ascesis, the term is from Peter Sloterdijk, of course.

Sloterdijk’s definition is clear: “As an exercise I define any operation that preserves or improves the actor’s qualification to perform the same operation next time, whether it is declared as an exercise or not” (Sloterdijk, 2009, p. 14), and if applies our interpretation because he speaks and personal trainers, but they can also be eloquent preachers, media philosophers or any other type that does “exercises” to motivate and pull people out of sameness, but it’s only momentary.

He announces in his book an anthropotechnic turn, and what we are here is to demonstrate an ontoanthropotechnic clearing, that is, that it is not incompatible with the ontology of Being, here in the sense of asceticism and spirituality, it is explained here by a passage biblical

Let’s go back to biblical hermeneutics, after the biblical one that is in the synoptic gospels (Mt 14:13-21, Mk 6:31-44, Lk 9:10-17 and John 6:5-15), Jesus wants to get away from the crowd because they wanted to make him a human “king” (it’s in the passages), the crowd comes back and goes after him, and the Master inquires (John, 26-27):

“Verily, verily, I say to you: you are looking for me not because you saw signs, but because you ate bread and were satisfied. Strive not for the food that is lost, but for the food that lasts until eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For this is who the Father marked with his seal”.

There is no condemnation because they wanted to eat, but Jesus asks for an “ascesis”, an effort for food that is not lost, and this is “who the Father marked the seal”, ascesis finds spirituality, it demands more food: “the bread of heaven,” that which nourishes the soul.

If only a human and earthly interpretation was possible in the passage of the multiplication of the loaves, now the pedagogy of Jesus performs the necessary hermeneutics to understand it.


SLOTERDIJK, Peter. (2009) Du musst Dein Leben ändern. Über Antropotechnik Frankfurt, Suhrkamp.



Spirituality and ascesis

29 Jul

There is no deep spirituality without an ascesis and true spiritual elevation takes time and training, the Buddhist master Dalai Lama stated: “Developing strength, courage and inner peace takes time. Don’t expect quick and immediate results under the pretext that you’ve decided to change. Every action you take allows that decision to become effective within your heart.”

It is therefore necessary to develop a virtuous circle where some sacrifices and abstinence are necessary, it does not mean abandoning material issues, but the balanced and conscious use of what is being desired, whether it is a simple inner peace or a high degree of religiosity, the detachment of affections must be done in steps and with balance.

Communication with the transcendent Being is also a good relationship with human beings who go through our lives, from the most complicated to the most generous, all are our neighbors.

Meditation, physical and mental balance, harmony of the environment in which we live, can and should be simple, sensible and daily communication of what we want to donate as our thinking, the study and research of great masters of thought and spirituality and finally what is the highest desire of a spirituality: the ascesis to the divine, the supernatural and the Whole.

Ascesis is a path like this, not without falls and never without difficulties, if it is without difficulties, the great spiritual masters teach, perhaps it is not a true ascesis (Picture of Rembrandt´s Frame).

Finally, there can be ascesis without spirituality, they can improve health, enrich and beautify the environment around us, but they do not really mean an elevation of the soul.

Praying, meditating and dialoguing with everyone and everything around us, it is not crazy to dialog with nature, with animals and with the universe, everything is divine creation and everything “speaks” of the divine.



Between spirit and spirituality

28 Jul

Henri Bergson was looking for a new philosophy of life, one that goes beyond what intelligence can meet, the psychological and creative dimension of evolution, complementing this philosophy with Teilhard Chardin’s idea of ​​the noosphere, it is not a simple collage, but convergence between philosophy, religion and a spirituality that fosters a dialogue with cultural worldviews.

The different theories of life intend to reach knowledge through categories developed by intelligence, wisdom and intuition can go further, what Bergson says, intelligence itself is a product of evolution, we know more than primitive man knew.

The intelligence created by the needs of life to act on objects, nature, acting itself and the wisdom necessary for this, was initially based on matter, but when replacing the whole with the part, it became illegitimate, to understand life and the direction of evolution, a new method of thinking is needed that understands the natural sense of intelligence, with the help of intuition, is not contradictory with the wisdom present in various worldviews.

For Bergson, what characterizes intelligence is what he calls “duration”, starting from their own existence as living beings, to learn what life is as a perpetual and continuous variation of our spirit, then raises the duration of the universe that is formed incessantly, and in every minimal form that he reveals his creative impulse, this state of change goes beyond mathematics and physics that can only model each change in a short “duration”.

Teilhard de Chardin, when characterizing the “human phenomenon” sees it as a complexification of matter, then unlike Bergson he will not separate what he calls inert “matter”, and for Teilhard de Chardin it is a “living” body of everything that exists , for which he was accused of pantheism, and sees in the existence of the Universe like Bergson something that cannot be separated from a creative evolution, which changes forms and mechanisms of interaction, “wisdom” also evolves.

Also the problem of duration here Bergson distances himself from science, at least from the current one that sees time not as a “duration” but as a “fold”, Chardin is closer to Science when he sees in evolution the approximation of creation and the complexity of the universe, nature and man the approximation of the Creator and eternity.

Bergson’s evolution then moves towards the evolution of the life of consciousness, thus returning to subjectivism and the abstract consciousness of the idealists, for Chardin, when he called man a “human phenomenon” (it is not contradictory with the fact that the “likeness” of God goes along for eternity), says what kind of consciousness is the human, the consciousness of its physical existence that does not separate from the spiritual.

BERGSON, Henri. (2005) A evolução criativa (The Creative Evolution). Brazil: SP: Martins Fontes.

CHARDIN, Teilhard. (2001) O fenômeno humano (The human phenomenon). Trans. Armando Pereira da Silva. Brazil,SP: Cultrix.



Spirituality and Worldview

27 Jul

Spirituality is the search for meaning in life, it can stop at the physis, which for the Greeks was nature, or it can go beyond and contemplate the meta-physis, which means μετα (metà) = after, beyond all; and Φυσις [physis], that is, beyond nature and physics.

Thus, a spirituality that stops in nature, the explanation for example of the origin of the universe, even if it is a physical worldview, lacks an eschatological worldview that explains the origin and end of everything, will at some point fall into sophistry and nihilism, as the sophist Gorgias (485-380 BC) nothing exists.

If nothing exists, the meaning of life is meaningless, much is superficially explored the meaning of life, for many it is just being happy, it is still a limited worldview, pain and suffering are part of life, so it is necessary to go through them for the life actually makes sense.

Spirituality needs a worldview, or if you prefer the more philosophical term, a worldview (Weltanschauung), used in an almost opposite way by Kant and Heidegger, while Kant uses it as idealistic transcendence (from subject to object), Heidegger it returns to the metaphysical tradition, with the purpose of distancing itself from it.

The concept of eidos (in Greek is form and essence) transformed into an idea, and the separation of the subject from the object, relegated the questions of the spirit (not even spirituality can be called) to the field of subjectivity, the starting point of the philosophical movement called German idealism it was the publication of the Critique of Pure Reason in 1781 by Immanuel Kant (1724-1804), ending fifty years later with the death of Hegel (1770-1831).

Martin Heidegger starts by questioning the meaning of being of being-there. This is because “this term does not mean only the conception of the connection between natural things, but, at the same time, an interpretation of the meaning and purpose of the human being there and, therefore, of history [Geschichte]” (HEIDEGGER, 2012, p. 13).

Much of what is called spirituality is actually just a search for meaning in life, a mental exercise that is different from the spiritual, lacks an ascesis, a true “ascension”, so it always returns to physis, nature or to the ground.

A complete worldview must go beyond the fact and reach intentionality, everything exists with an intention, to be aware is “to be aware of something”, as Husserl’s phenomenology thinks, so awareness of the “universe” therefore has an intention of the existence of the universe , which is part metaphysical and part spirituality, something or someone has (and didn’t have) a primary intention, something big, infinite, superior to nature, the universe and everything we know, something ineffable.


HEIDEGGER, Martin. (2012) O problema fundamental da fenomenologia. (The fundamental problems of phenomenology(. Trans.: Marco Antônio Casanova. Petrópolis, Brazil: Vozes.



Vaccines and the delta variant

26 Jul

The number of people vaccinated in Brazil approaches 50% in the first dose (46.7%) and 20% in the total vaccination (17.6%) however the effectiveness of vaccines for the delta variant is being studied in the last week of the Institute Butantan started a study to see the effectiveness of CoronaVac.

The delta variant may cause a fourth wave, the warning is from the WHO, which asks that the measures of distance, use of masks and control of social gatherings not be relaxed.

Monitoring carried out in the country registered and located 145 confirmed cases of this variant in the Federal District and in the states: Maranhã, Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina and São Paulo.

The death curve continues to fall slowly in Brazil (see photo).

An article published in the scientific journal New England Journal of Medicine points out that the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines protect against the Alpha and Delta variants, especially after the second dose, according to the article, Pfizer avoided 88% of symptomatic cases and AstraZeneca 67%.

The Department of Health of the United Kingdom (PHE in English) released a study made with more than 1 million people in risk groups and pointed out that with two doses the effectiveness of these two vaccines rise to 93% and 78% respectively, when treats people aged 16 to 64 years.

In the Netherlands, the government announced that it will re-impose restrictions on nightclubs, festivals and restaurants, these restrictions had been lifted in June, but the infection picture freaked out with 7,000 records of the disease in the last week, before the cases were already less than thousand.

The picture is a setback for Spain and Portugal, who wanted the resumption of tourism.


The ineffable and the interpretation

23 Jul

Before making today’s post, we can’t fail to register the Tokyo Olympics, whose opening takes place today and some protests: five teams: United States, Sweden, Chile, New Zealand and, surprisingly, the United Kingdom, knelt before their football matches in anti-racist protest, Australia’s women’s players have embraced, remembering the Aboriginal nation that lives there and signifying national unity.

But perhaps the most important demonstration was relegated to the background, the protesters are called “ultranationalists”, which is not true, as 43% of the population was in favor of postponing the Olympics, 40% were against it and only 14% are favorable.

The Pandemic was ineffable and it is there still showing signs of resistance despite the struggle of science for vaccines and their overcoming, exactly the most resilient people did not renounce an event, and this is also of course a problem of interpretation of what actually occurs right now.

Something ineffable that is not subject to interpretation and even metaphors would be little to try to explain them are the great questions of humanity: what we are in the universe, where we are going and now more than ever: where we are going.

There are many cosmogonies that try to give an eschatological interpretation to these issues, what is certain is that we exist and not because we think (I think, therefore I am), but we exist and this allows us to think and language (I am, therefore I think) and with it interpretation is possible.

Christian cosmogony, there are many others in different cultures, is the one whose metaphor of the seed grain transforms into life: the seed that falls among thorns, that falls on shallow soil and that falls by the wayside, the good soil will make it germinate and bear fruit, is an interpretation of the ineffable.

The biblical text of the multiplication of the loaves, whose earthly interpretation only sees the distribution of goods (Mk 6,1-15), does not observe the ineffable interpretation because it is Jesus who asks Philip (Mk 6,5): “Jesus told Philip : “Where are we going to buy bread so they can eat?”, and after multiplying the 5 barley loaves and two fish.

The ineffable divine, men wanted to give him an earthly power and the reading says (Mk 6,15) : “But when he noticed that they were trying to take him to proclaim him king, Jesus withdrew again, alone, to the mountain.”, is a divine interpretation made by the Master himself.


The ineffable that exists and the metaphor

22 Jul

Many phenomena in nature and in a broader sense of the universe, although they may have explanations, are ineffable, that is, because even when described, they have limitations due to their complexity and not obviousness.

One of these phenomena is the quantum tunneling of quantum mechanics in which particles transpose energy states that “logically” would be prohibited, they escape from regions surrounded by potential barriers even though they have a kinetic energy lower than the barrier.

Einstein, Podolski and Rosen (EPR) wrote an article in the 1920s calling this effect “ghostly” but in the 1970s it was proven and also breaks with the classical thinking that there is A and non-A, there can be no third hypothesis, it exists and it is proven, at least in physics.

The ineffable in everyday life are human phenomena that cross the imaginary barrier and are physically realized, they are mysteries and they exist not only to demonstrate tricks that are convincing to deify this or that group, or to make a “magic”, that is, field of charlatans, but for a clear phenomenological awareness of something beyond the human.

One of the functions of the metaphor is to be able to describe this phenomenon without resorting to a very complex logic for common sense, and to allow many people to understand these mysteries.

The figure in the parable enters into this aspect, with a small difference from the metaphor by using examples from everyday life and common sense, it is pedagogical in explaining how the mystery of life (and also death) can be seen in order to understand the fate of humanity and what life is.

Far from explaining its origin in the physical sense, Genesis for example, refers to Adam and Eve, the fact that man came from some complex aspect of nature is explained as being made of clay, the metaphor is that man came from organic compounds of nature, and of course, after God blew his nostrils and gave “life” in the spiritual sense, it is not difficult to understand that this life exists.



Language beyond logic

21 Jul

In the entire history of philosophy and even science, there are three concepts that surpass in many aspects the concepts of logic, among them, the truth, the good and the justice are the most common, already in

Plato go beyond being logical principles, they embody cosmological principles and as such must resort to metaphysics, analogy and metaphor.

Thus, in Book VI of the Republic, the great metaphysical analogy falls on the idea of ​​good, homonymous to justice and truth: the sun is the son and progeny of good itself, and is still its visible analogue, there it is placed in the shadows of shapes in the cave, the contrast with the real and perfect world of shapes and the analogy of the sun to “lighten” objects.

In the absence of knowledge, they confuse mere shadows with reality, and philosophy is for Plato the pedagogical bridge that serves to pass from complete obscurity to the light of knowledge.

The use of language can also be only logical, in the 1930s, Wittgenstein said that as we know that in language there are only propositions, and surprises only occur in the world, so there are no surprises in mathematics: mathematics is totally “grammatical”, right -se-ia today is just syntactic.

In the context of semantics, and of meaning, language acquires other properties and in them that the metaphor makes sense, when saying José is brave as a lion, the analogy serves to increase what it means brave, giving new semantics to the syntax: José is very angry.

But the metaphor is also contextual, the beautiful poem by Fernando Pessoa “The poet is a pretender” is only understood if we know that “rope train” refers to a child’s play in the 20s and 30s of the last century and that “wheel rails” refer to the tracks, there:

And so on the wheel rails

It turns, to entertain the reason,

that rope train

Which is called the heart.

There is also the penetration of the metaphor into the mystery, the ineffable as we have already posted, and being able to affirm it.



The ineffable and the metaphor

20 Jul

The linguistic turn is one of the hypotheses of interpretation of post-modernity, not the only one, but something beyond idealistic modernity was already emerging in the crisis of the beginning of the last century: the crisis of thought, of society (two world wars), the cold war and now polarization.

We have already posted about the link between metaphor and the ineffable in Paul Ricoeur and for him metaphor is a reagent (réactif) that reveals the symbolic in language, which leads us to think because of its excess of meaning and thus is a way of understanding available to the hermeneutician.

But there is something beyond the possibility of a hypothesis, how many scientific questions need to resort to metaphor before a final explanation, in John Searle’s work on Expression and Meaning asks an important question about what it means when we say S is P and we mean To be? And that actually the listener between S is P.

His question at heart is to know “how metaphorical emissions work, that is, how is it possible for speakers to communicate something to listeners speaking metaphorically, since they do not say what they mean? And why do some metaphors work and others not? (SEARLE, 2002, p.112).

According to the author, when thinking we should not dispense with different ways of understanding (myth, allegory, metaphor, analogy) and even less different methods to interpret them: exegesis, history, psychoanalysis, anthropology, linguistics and others, in my view, it seems like a principle more the universal because it is not confined in some methodological field and subject to its “vices”.

But the ineffable is an inherent part of the progress of human knowledge, and it means to be beyond the logical and the physical, being in that field whose most appropriate name is the ineffable.

The way in which this understanding can be reached is called the “short track”, and it was based on the hermeneutics proposed by Martin Heidegger, it consists of the way he intends to base his hermeneutics by deviating from what he calls the “short track”, proposed by Martin Heidegger, he consists in not seeking the methods or conditions of understanding, but from the being of man, his Dasein, whose existence consists in understanding, if something is ineffable there is always limitation


Answering Searle’s question, it doesn’t matter if the listener understood exactly S is P or S is R, because if S is P and this was what a source said, the recipient understood it exactly or not, it is due to its existence as a being that understands, your worldview, which may be limited.

Admitting the ineffable, which at a certain moment can only be said metaphorically, analogously or even exegetically, is to admit the coexistence of different worldviews, and this may be more palpable than the understanding of that phenomenon at a certain moment is only possible through metaphor.


Accelerated vaccination and new concerns

19 Jul

Vaccination accelerated in July as was the optimistic expectation, the fall in infections and deaths is still very slow and the new waves of infection in countries in the region such as Chile and Argentina light a warning sign, Peru was already in high numbers and some countries in Europe, such as Russia, also show that the Epidemic is far from over.

Argentina reached on Wednesday (14/7) the symbolic mark of 100,000 deaths, high for a population of 44.5 million inhabitants, and entered a new lockdown, with results already containing the new high, the numbers in week fell again.

Brazil like Argentina reaches the number of vaccinated 16% and 11% respectively, while the first dose in Brazil reaches 44.5% and Argentina 45% (see chart above), the next numbers suggest greater attention to the possibility of a new ascending curve, it would be a greater expansion of the delta variant, climatic factors (Chile and Argentina are colder) or even a variant called lambda , and the effectiveness of the Russian Sputnik is questioned.

The lambda variant detected in Peru is frightening, called C.37, its preliminary studies indicate greater lethality and the ability to circumvent vaccines is serious. Researcher Pablo Tsukayama, coordinator of the Microbial Genetics laboratory at the Cayetano Heredia de Lima University, detected that the variant it is already 100% of the infected cases in Peru as of April 2021.

The lack of open data hinders the research, the Ministry of Health of Peru does not disclose it and Professor Tsukayama is one of those protesting this lack of access.

Another issue of concern is the lack of scientific data on the effectiveness of vaccination for the new variants, there are many people who make statements trying to compromise, but do not present clear scientific studies, for example, on new variants such as lambda.

One of these studies, reported by the newspaper El País on July 11, is by Chilean virology Ricardo Soto Rifo, who focused on the CoronaVac vaccine, the main one used in Chile, in a group of volunteer health workers who discovered that lambda presents “increased capacity for infection and immune escape against neutralizing antibodies”, the extent of such loss remains to be clarified.

Another study pointing out in El País is that of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine, from the University of New York, pointing out that the results were “relatively lower”, but Professor Tsukayma makes a less than encouraging observation: “It is practically impossible to predict how a virus will suffer mutation”, but reducing transmission is possible through vaccines and this is effective.