Arquivo para October, 2023

A story from history

31 Oct

This is the name of the first chapter of the book Terra-Pátria (Ed. Sulina, 1995) by Edgar Morin, the author’s attempt at the time was to understand the various civilizing processes to guide the world towards a moment in which we would all see ourselves as citizens of the same house.

He writes there: “But, however diverse they may have been, they constituted a fundamental and primary type of Homo sapiens society. For several tens of millennia, this diaspora of archaic societies, ignoring each other, constituted humanity” (page 15) and this seems very current.

History “merciless towards defeated historical civilizations, was atrocious without remission in the face of everything prehistoric. The founders of the culture and society of Homo sapiens are today definitive victims of a genocide perpetrated by humanity itself, which progressed to parricide” (page 15), punctuating 10 thousand years in Mesopotamia (the Semites), four thousand years in Egypt , going east “from the Indus and into the Haung Po valley in China” (pg. 16) 2,500 years ago.

This early history is “the emergence, growth, multiplication and struggle to the death of States among themselves; it is conquest, invasion, enslavement, and also resistance, revolt, insurrection; they are battles, ruins, coups d’état and conspiracies […]” (pg. 16) and which seems to be repeated today.

Then this story “began to become ethnographic, polydimensional. Today, the event and eventuality, which erupted everywhere in the physical and biological sciences, appear in the historical sciences”, in which what Edgar Morin calls “homo sapiens-demens” appears.

This “homo sapiens-demens. I should consider the different forms of social organization that emerged in historical time, from Pharaonic Egypt, Periclean Athens, to contemporary democracies and totalitarianisms, as emergences of anthropo-social virtualities” (pg. 17), I return to this reflection because what should be rethought, repeats itself as a cruel cycle.

The author states: “Today, the destiny of humanity poses to us with extreme insistence the key question: can we get out of this History? Is this adventure our only future?” (p. 17).

Morin’s wise and prophetic spirit announces: “Thus, a multiple fermentation, in different points of the globe, prepares, announces, produces the instruments and ideas of what will be the planetary era” (pg. 18), but with serious and civilizational threats.

Your essential question remains: “can we get out of this History?”, it takes wisdom and a historical understanding that seems to escape the great world leaders.

MORIN, E. and Kern, A.B. Terra-Pátria. Trans. by Paulo Azevedo Neves da Silva. Brazil, Porto Alegre: Sulina, 2003.



Escalation of conflicts, the thought of peace

30 Oct

It is incredible that polarization takes over even the discourses of peace, such as the question of the Other and the meaning of what “terror” means, whereas anti-Semitic discourse is emptied and so is the idea of ​​“Nazi” forces, polarization has reached a global scale and can grow.

The war between Ukraine and Russia is also getting worse, with new long-range American military equipment and the arrival of winter makes it dramatic and could escalate from now on.

Praise and defense of Hamas have placed the UN itself in a position of polarity, there is also a discourse that tries to mischaracterize the killing of civilians and innocents as that which is carried out by the Other, so there is no space for dialogue and peace, everything can have a reverse narrative.

Humanitarian aid faces difficulties both from those who want to assist the population and from the governments themselves that make it difficult for civilians to cross and open borders. The land war in Gaza will only worsen humanitarian conditions.

Turkey’s position in favor of Hamas could also disturb the region and escalate the war. This position is very complicated because Turkey is part of NATO and has been important in its position on the passage of grains. Let us remember that in the Bosphorus Strait, the Passing through Istanbul, the city with territory in Europe and the Middle East, is strategic.

In war, it is civilians who lose, and the limits of civility are almost always exceeded on all sides, there are no agreements that can establish clear limits that are respected.

A true philosophy of peace must condemn the conflicting sides, each side’s misguided attempt to establish an acceptable narrative, polarization does not allow.

Which forces will be able to sue for peace? What will happen in a growing escalation of war, with Iran involved? and if China and eastern countries get involved, there will already be issues of tension between the countries.

The hope is that a stifled outcry from those who truly desire peace will come, the forces that are of true humanism could recover hope for a less dangerous world.


What is Love after all

27 Oct

Although Hannah Arendt’s work is not definitive regarding love, the advisor Karl Jaspers himself expressed this, developed and appropriated some fundamental categories in his doctoral thesis “Love in Saint Augustine”.

According to author George McKenna, in a review of her dissertation, Arendt tried to include a revision in her “The Human Condition”, but it is not very clear in the book (of the Arendt), which is excellent.

If we can also express an expression of this love in ancient Greek literature, such as agape love, the one that differs from eros and philia in this literature, from a Christian point of view the best development made is in fact that of Saint Augustine.

First because he separated this concept from good x evil Manichaeism, a dualism still present in almost all Western philosophy due to idealism and puritanism, then because he was in fact raptured upon discovering divine love, he wrote: “Late I loved you, O beauty so ancient and so young! Too late I loved you! Behold, you lived within me and I was looking for you outside!” (Confessions of Saint Augustine).

Then man must love his neighbor as God’s creation: […] man loves the world as God’s creation; in the world the creature loves the world just as God loves it. This is the realization of a self-denial in which everyone, including yourself, simultaneously reclaims your God-given importance. This achievement is love for others (ARENDT, 1996, p. 93).

Man can love his neighbor as a creation by returning to his origin: “It is only where I can be certain of my own being that I can love my neighbor in his true being, which is in his createdness.” (ARENDT, 1996, p. 95)

In this type of love, man loves the divine essence that exists in himself, in others, in the world, man “loves God in them” (ARENDT, 1996, 95).

The biblical reading also summarizes the law and the Christian prophets as follows (Mt 22, 38-40): “This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is similar to this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’. All the Law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”

Love contains all the virtues: it does not become conceited, it knows how to see where the true signs of happiness, balance and hope are found.


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



Love in western literature

26 Oct

In the previous post we commented on an unusual example in literature which is human love seen from a Christian narrative point of view, there are others of course, but this one is due to the repercussion of Francine Rivers’ work and its recent transformation into a film (2022) and the critics applauded.

In history we can remember some works that marked literature: The Banquet by Plato, The art of loving by Ovid and Sobre el Amor by Plutarco, highlighting in the medieval period The Romance of Tristan and Isolde and Correspondences of Abelard and Heloise.

The philosophical style of the Banquet where there is a predominance of mythological elements that explain or denote love, perhaps hence the idea of ​​platonic love, but which has nothing sublime or non-carnal, what commentators say is that there are homoerotic relationships that are part of the dialogue between partners in relationships.

If there is something elevated, it is in Socrates’ dialogue that defines the so-called philosophical love, which is outside the sentimental sphere and inserted in an idealism (I always remember here that it is for the Greeks to remember Being in its essence, and not something that lives only in mind), is a love that is related to beauty and good.

Ovid (45 BC – 18 AD) is not interested in achieving this asceticism towards a deified love, he seeks to find the necessary tools to realize a more sensual love in a carnal world.

Ovid does not restrict love to the conjugal sphere, Plutarch (45 – 120 AD) sees it within a social and political institution, it is a “path” within marriage towards happiness, like an asceticism of the type that the Greeks considered conceived, this is not a spiritual asceticism.

The romance of Tristan and Isolde and the Correspondences of Abelard and Heloise must be understood in a reality dominated by Christian philosophy in medieval Europe, where the Love of God is indisputable, but love as a union of two bodies is still subject to debate.

This type of romance, inserted in the troubadour tradition, is imbued with a “courtly” element; we find an interesting description of this love in the work of Denis de Rougemont:

What they love is love, it is the very fact of loving. And they act as if they had understood that what opposes love guarantees it and consecrates it in their hearts, to exalt it to infinity in the instant of the absolute obstacle that is death. Tristan likes to feel love, much more than he loves Isolde, the blonde. And Isolde does nothing to keep him close to her: a passionate dream is enough for her.

Among modern novels, I would highlight among the most characteristic: Eugénie Glandet by Honoré de Balzac, Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert and Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy, while Eugénie Grandet shows the reality of the material interest surrounding the novel, Madame Bovary will show the lack of lucidity, excess and human selfishness, Anna Karenina shows the tragic colors of her infidelity with her husband Vronsky, but there are two other marriages: a happy marriage (Levin and Kitty) and another that only supports each other (Stiva and Dolly).


ROUGEMONT, Denis de. (1983) Love in the Western World. Transl. Montgomery Belgion. USA: Princeton University Press.



Redemption Love

25 Oct

The book was inspired by the biblical narrative of the prophet Hosea, a woman, Angel, who considered herself ruined, with no chance of salvation, a disbeliever of human love, discovers the unshakable love of God, but the context is the gold rush in California in 1850 .

The time is when men sold their souls for a handful of gold and women sold their bodies for a place to sleep.

Angel sold as a prostitute since she was a child, hates the men who used her and is invaded by contempt and fear of herself, until she meets Michael Hosea, a man who seeks the divine in all things, and believes he has a calling from God to marry Angel.

Redemption Love is a timeless, romantic, epic or tragic classic, it is a story capable of transforming human feelings into an unconditional, redemptive and absolute love that is within the reach of everyone who still thinks about true, lasting and deep love.

But Angel, a victim of her story, as many are today of erotic ideology and contempt for true happiness, runs away and returns to the darkness, away from her husband’s resilient love, from the new that is her definitive cure from a world of shadows and contempt. for the life.

Francine Rivers’ book, far from being just Christian fiction, is an appeal to real human love, the one capable of filling the void of souls that do not accept the passenger, the use of the body as a mere commodity or “instrument” of pleasure, where it is possible to find peace and happiness, of course with all the natural tribulations of life: bills, accidents and getting old, etc.

The book was turned into a film in 2022, written and directed by D. J. Caruso, with the cast: Abigail Cowen, Famke Janssen and Logan Marshall-Green.

Rivers, Francine. Redeeming Love. San Francisco: Multinomah Books, 2007.



The concept of Love in Augustine of Hippona

24 Oct

Hanna Arendt’s thesis was a milestone in her philosophical development, from a foundational aspect, it is the first of her works and marks an involvement with Heidegger, her first advisor with whom she became emotionally involved, and Karl Jaspers, who influenced the choice of the theme.

The work can be divided into three thematic axes: love for others, or life in society, love in the relationship between man and God the creator and love as desire, called appetitus.

The author also states that the bishop never completely excluded the philosophical ideas of antiquity, notably Cicero, Plato and Plotinus in his thinking, and no matter how faithful and Christian he became, “he never completely lost the impulse to question philosophical.” (ARENDT, 1996, p. 3).

The first part of the author’s dissertation called “Love as desire: the anticipated future”, within a philosophical perspective and in continuity with Hellenic thought, could not have a better title, since it is not love in the present, but “ anticipated future”, something that one hopes to have as a means of achieving happiness.

This love called cupiditas is shaped by a “desirous desire, that is, appetitus”, but caritas also has this aspect of “future” desire, but it is a free love.

Augustine asks in Confessions: “What do I love when I love my God?” (Confessions own essence, finally finds eternal love in his own Being.

Love for others, or social love, was developed by the author: man must love his neighbor as God’s creation: […] man loves the world as God’s creation: “in the world the creature loves the world as how God loves. This is the realization of a self-denial in which everyone, including yourself, simultaneously reclaims your God-given importance. This fulfillment is love for others.” (ARENDT, 1996, p. 93)

Augustine differentiates the polis from the city of God, the name of another of his works, and clarifies Arendt: “This defense is the foundation of the new city, the city of God. […] This new social life, which is based on Christ, is defined by mutual love (diligire invicem)” (ARENDT, 1996, p. 108).

Thus, Augustine’s work is philosophical, theological and political, although this aspect is ignored.

ARENDT, Hannah. Love and Saint Augustine. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996.




Ukraine defends itself and Israel attacks

23 Oct

The two biggest war fronts in the world that threaten world peace, which could enter an even worse cycle, can be summarized as follows: Ukraine defends itself by responding to the only strong Russian advance in the town of Adviivka (photo) and bombing Russian military tactical airfields , while Israel attacks the Gaza strip and opens new fronts against Hezbollah and Syria.

American involvement is already total and unquestionable, which creates a global polarization, in which it could call Iran into the war in the Middle East, the sewing of peace treaties with the Arabs that was being made could fall apart and make the region the epicenter of a war.

Humanitarian forces finally managed to enter southern Gaza to send aid to Palestinian victims, Egypt and Israel finally agreed to open the border crossing at Raffah, which allows for both food and medical aid, but without any hint of peace.

Joe Biden’s flight to Israel helped this agreement, a delay after the explosion of a hospital in Gaza and the sending of more weapons makes its involvement in the war even more dangerous, in Europe there are fears of acts of terrorism, while Palestine, which is not Hamas, becomes the weak and victimized side of the war.

An escalation of the war in the Middle East is inevitable for now and a possible direct entry of Iran into the war, Hezbollah already at war with Israel is an ally and receives help from Iran, could give a dramatic turn to the conflict in the Middle East.

The world situation is getting worse, and despite apparent peace in the East, China and North Korea have conflicting interests with Taiwan, South Korea and Japan.

The security council, which tried two peace motions for the Middle East, appears divided and unable to identify short-term solutions for this war.




Your fathers rejected the prophets

20 Oct

After the period of the Judges, which was a truly theocratic period, ended, the people of Israel began to ask for Kings (Samuel 8,6-8), the kings ruled from 928 BC until the destruction of the first temple in Jerusalem (586 BC), but the people had already gone into captivity in Babylon in 722 BC, more than 100 years later the kingdom of Judah was destroyed.

Already in the last period of the judges, Samuel, who was also a prophet, saw the people going astray, and even his children no longer followed divine laws, the very division between Israel and Judah (it must be said that this is where the name of Jews), and was the second king of Israel, David, who unites the two kingdoms and names the capital Jerusalem, where his son Solomon will build the first temple.

It was the prophet Ezekiel who lived in Babylonian exile, between 593 BC and 571 BC, who prophesied the destruction of the temple and spoke of the infidelities of the Hebrew people, the prophet Isaiah had also preached that sin had reached Israel and Judah in such a way that the curse would hit the Hebrew people, the biggest of which, of course, was the exile from Babylon.

When Cyrus becomes king of Persia and takes Babylon in 538 BC, he allows the Hebrew people to return to their land and the possibility of rebuilding their temple, the second, but the people’s deviations continue to occur until the last and greatest of the prophets John the Baptist , the one whose head Herod asked for in exchange for Salome’s dance, which he asks for at his mother’s suggestion.

Jesus was rejected for challenging the Pharisees and teachers of the law of his time, there were also those who wanted a leading position in the war against the Roman empire, after the death and resurrection of Jesus in the year 70 AD, the second temple was destroyed by the general Roman Titus and only the wailing wall remained (photo).

Jerusalem was burned and the Jewish people were dispersed, the Jews who settled in Eastern Europe were called Ashkenazi and those from the Iberian Peninsula Sephardim.

Jesus’ position on the Roman empire was clear, since the Romans also feared him, Herod especially, and Pilate washed his hands at his crucifixion, when the Pharisees set a trap asking if it was fair to pay taxes, Jesus takes a coin and upon seeing the figure of Caesar he says: “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s” (Mt 22,34-40) this trap remains in religious circles to this day.


Israel’s first disputes

19 Oct

So Abram, who was a Chaldean, from the city of Ur in the south of Mesopotamia, under divine inspiration under the river Euphrates and goes to Haran, and then goes down to Canaan, passing through Sodom, where he separates from his nephew Lot, and leaving from there they should not look back, Lot’s wife looks and becomes a pillar of salt.

They arrive in Canaan and there were already inhabitants there (the Canaanites), there was a divine promise to give him a son, but with the consent of his wife Sarah (the original name Sarai was changed by God), Abram fathers the son Ishmael from the slave Hagar. , but later Sarah will also have her son Isaac.

God asks him for his son as a sacrifice, but when he is ready to do so, an angel appears to him and asks him to sacrifice a lamb instead, and then promises him infinite descendants and becomes called Abraham.

The site of this sacrifice is today a mosque, but there is an agreement between Muslims, Christians and Jews to be able to visit the place, today called Dome of the Rock (photo).

The family issue was important at the time, after all Abram was supposed to be the patriarch of the people chosen by God, so he wanted a woman from his lineage and not a Canaanite, he found Rebekah, daughter of Bethuel, sister of Laban, this one from a branch of the family who remained in Haran.

New drama, Rebeca has difficulty having children, but ends up having twins, Esau and Jacob, this one is born later and would lose his right to birthright, if it weren’t for a bad trick with his mother to prepare a supper to the liking of Isaac who was almost blind, and dressing his son in furs because his brother born minutes earlier, therefore older, was hairier, and Isaac blesses Jacob.

But Jacob knows that he needs God’s blessing, so going to meet his brother, one night he fights with an angel to obtain divine blessing, after that he will be called Israel, the suffix el in the bible means God, so he who fought with God, in fact, with a year Gabriel, “fortress of God” or Michael, which means “no one like God”, leader of the “armies”.

Jacob will have as his sons those who will give their name to the twelve tribes of Israel (see previous topic) and Joseph, sold as a slave to the Egyptians, having gifts of revelation, reveals to the Egyptian king what his dreams about “fat cows and lean cows” meant. ”, that a time of scarcity would come and receives a role from Pharaoh precisely to take care of the kingdom’s dispensations.

The brothers who sold him then leave Canaan and go to Egypt, where Joseph, after expressing his discontent (a scream was heard throughout the palace), welcomes the brothers, so Israel no longer has the lands and other peoples take their place. .

However, the next pharaoh, apparently Sethi, is not a friend of the Jews and wants all newborn babies to be killed, but Moses’ mother, Jochebed, throws him into a basket in the Nile River and he is welcomed by a princess and she takes him to reign in her care.

Moses is trained as a nobleman, but he wants to free his people who live as slaves, and in a certain mystical event, called the “burning bush”, God reveals his destiny and asks him to command his people back to Canaan, after several battles the kingdom of Israel is revived, but divided with Judah to the South, judges are appointed, rulers who were called by God.

This is the only true theocratic period of the Bible, the judges were appointed by divine inspiration, some were simple people, like Gideon (woodcutter) and Deborah, there were 14 judges, but the people later asked for kings “like other peoples” and they depended on the prophets



Between narratives and inner development

18 Oct

Before continuing with the history of Israel, which will also involve two exoduses until its attempted dissolution as a nation, a reading of the book “La crisis de la narración” (published by Herder, Argentina) clarifies an important aspect of modern narratives, or what the author calls it “post-narratives”, “telling stories is selling them”.

He clarifies that the “art of storytelling as a strategy to convey messages emotionally”, today everyone talks about narratives to justify their post-truth, has led us to a paradox “that the inflationary use of narratives can manifest a crisis in the narrative itself” , in other times, narratives “accommodated us in our being”, giving meaning and guidance to life.

There was an intrinsic truth, or at least a complete theory of solutions that included man as a whole, and unlike the current lightened narratives (distorting the original narrative, when based on any), “they are the description of the micronarratives of the present, which They lack all gravitation and all pretense of truth.”

True to its style, it is neither informative nor illustrative, examples and categorizations chaotically shape facts and ideas throughout the text, and when there is an original narrative, it is distorted.

Clarifies, now, to understand [a certain topic], there is nothing that explains, orders and one. There is no report, because there is no past. There is no community. Without history, then there is no hope for the future.

He concludes that “with current hyperactivity, which seeks to drive away boredom, we never reach a deep state of spiritual relaxation”, which is developed in other books of his such as “The Society of Fatigue” and “The Aroma of Time”.

He calls modern man “phono sapiens”, who does not know “the development of inner existence”.