Quotes

“People regard any attack on their religion almost as though I’m saying they’ve got an ugly face or something like that. It’s a personal attack on them. And I think that they feel cornered, and so they lash out with personal attacks that amount to personal dislike.”

Richard Dawkins

An attack on your religion

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“The worried look visible on so many city faces is more due to the constant witnessing than to the constant infliction of pain—though both most take their share in a competitive life. Those who are so happily free from this affliction have no need to travel; they can sit quietly and continue to be philosophers at home.”

Freya Stark in “The Philosophy of Travel” (‘The Spectator’, 1950).

The worried look

“Life is short. Don’t make the art too long for me, above all not longer than life. If it should cost an entire life to understand Hegel, then this philosophy would indeed contain the deepest contradiction”.

Søren Kierkegaard, “Preface VII”.

 

Life is short

«Gracias a Cézanne reconocemos que con la vida de cada persona empieza y acaba un mundo visible, que millones de estos mundos visibles coinciden en tantos aspectos que partiendo de esas coincidencias podemos construir ‘el’ mundo visible, pero que este mundo de apariencias es inseparable de cada uno de nosotros, y cada uno de nosotros constituye su centro.»

John Berger, «La visión de un hombre».

La visión de un hombre

«La fotografía es un registro automático, realizado con la medición de la luz, de un acontecimiento dado; sin embargo, utiliza ese acontecimiento ‘dado’ para ‘explicar’ el hecho de registrarlo. Denominamos así “fotografía” al proceso de hacer consciente la observación.»

John Berger, «Entender una fotografía».

La paradoja de la fotografía

«Los museos funcionan como si fueran mansiones de la nobleza abiertas al público durante unas horas. El grado de esa “nobleza” puede variar, pero en cuanto una obra se lleva al museo, adquiere el ‘misterio’ de un modo de vida que excluye a las masas.»

John Berger, «Entender una fotografía».

Los museos…

When you look at yourself in the mirror and ask, who am I?, what kind of an answer do you give yourself?

Our problem in the modern world is that as soon as we try to articulate who we are, we immediately run into the problem that there are many other people who share exactly the same characteristics that we do. When I say, for example, that I’m a person who enjoys reading about philosophy or a person who’s interested in the thought of Søren Kierkegaard, then I’ve not really said anything that could define anything I am as an individual since there are many other people in the world, probably most all of you thousands of online students, who share exactly these same properties. It then becomes a more urgent question to determine what it is that makes me uniquely who I am.

We often identify ourselves by our clothes, our styles and possessions. But take a moment consider this, when I look at myself, I see that I am wearing this shirt, these pants, these shoes. But none of these things is uniquely mine. All of these are mass produced, and if I were to go onto the street it probably wouldn’t take me too long to find people wearing exactly the same shirt, exactly the same pants, exactly the same shoes. In the old days before mass production, articles like this were made by craftsmen. Each one of these articles was unique, and individuals who possessed them had literally something that was one of a kind. By contrast, since the industrial revolution, virtually everything is made in mass quantities by machines. The world today is made, as it were, by cookie cutter machines, that produce everything around us, in preset forms. The danger is that each of us has become just one more product of this machine.

Think of Andy Warhol’s famous picture of the Campbell’s tomato soup cans lined up one on top of another. This is an image of modernity. The fear of many of us is that we might become like one of these soup cans. Some people have an urge, deep within to revolt against this and to assert their individuality in the face of this kind of conformity.

Think of all the ways people try to be different from everyone and express something unique about themselves. Some people dye their hair an odd or striking color or get a tattoo or pierce some unusual part of their body. But these gestures, while at first radical, also seem to fall short since, in a very short time, they are also copied by others, and soon a trend starts, and the result is again the same. So many people are doing the same thing that nothing unique or individual is really being expressed.

This is our problem in the 21st century, and one can see that the Romantics back in Kierkegaard’s time already saw it coming more than two centuries ago. They struggled to assert the value of the individual against the forces of conformity. But they couldn’t have imagined the challenges that would come. It is these challenges that we face today.

We feel quite convinced that there is something special and unique that makes us who we are. But what is this, and how can we express it? When we fail to answer these questions, we feel disoriented and lost in the world. We feel lost since we can take no consolation in the community or social groups since they undermine our individuality and make us into faceless members of a larger whole. This is the modern problem where each individual is left to him —or herself. So again ask yourself, who are you really? Of 7 billion human beings on the planet, what makes you that unique person you are?

Jon Stewart. PhD, Dr theol & phil, Associate Professor at the University of Copenhagen.

The Problem in our 21st Century

Volcán

Mía

«En los sueños no hay provisionalidad en vista a un final […], los sueños no se organizan así, en cada instante del sueño está todo el sueño, todo es igualmente importante, todo está dado en cada momento, y, por eso, no puede resumirse. […] El modelo de los sueños no es el cuento, un sueño no se parece a un cuento, el modelo de los sueños es la música. El sueño es la música nocturna, la serenata que oímos mientras estamos dormidos.»

Hugo Hiriart, Sobre la naturaleza de los sueños

Sobre la naturaleza de los sueños

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