There Are No Educators

As a thinker, one should only think of self-education.  The education of youth by others is either an experiment, conducted on one yet unknown and unknowable, or a leveling on principle, to make the new character, whatever it may be, conform to the habits and cutoms that prevail: in both cases, therefore, something unworthy of the thinker – the work of parents and teachers, whom an audaciously honest person has called nos ennemis naturels.

One day, when in the opinion of the world one has long been educated, one discovers onself: that is where the task of the thinker begins; now the time has come to invoke his aid – not as an educator but as one who has educated himself and thus has experience.

Friedrich Nietzsche
from The Wanderer And His Shadow

Simple Pleasures

Simple pleasures in life make the big difference.  Take, for example, my first bike ride with my son last night around our little town.  It was good exercise, we enjoyed the ride & the weather was perfect.  We saw a few of our neighbours along the way.  We spotted some amazing wild animals (including a bald eagle pearched atop a birch tree overlooking the small waterfall located down the road from our house).  And it is a memory we can cherish forever.

So take the time to slow down, do something you like to do with a friend or a loved one.  Enjoy the moments – the simplicity of life at a particular time.  And cherish the memories it creates.

Tell me about some of your own simple pleasures in life.  Leave me a comment below & let me know how you enjoy those simpler times & the memories you’ve created.  Until next time…

Where Poppies Blow…

Yesterday was Rememberance Day here in Canada.  At the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month we pause for two minutes of silence to remember all those who have sacrificed themselves in times of war so that we may enjoy our freedom.  From the Boar War at the turn of the 20th Century to the current conflict against ISIS in Syria & Iraq, our Armed forces have fought to uphold the principals of our country & to keep our way of life safe from tyranny & terror.

It is also the 100th anniversary of the writting & publishing of John McCræ’s famous poem In Flanders Fields:

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Three incredible stanzas that powerfully capture the terror, honour & bravery of soldiers at war.  The poem is recited by school children every Rememberance Day & is even used as inspiration by sports teams (most notably by the Montreal Canadians). However, I have always felt that the last three lines are the most important – especially in the context of Rememberance Day & remembering the sacrifices made by soldiers of the past & soldiers of the present.  “If ye break faith with us who die//We shall not sleep, though poppies grow//In Flanders fields.”  If we forget the sacrifices, bravery & the horrors of war – as well as what our brave men & women fought for our freedom is hallow.  Though we wear poppies above our hearts every November, we must understand their symbolism & their significance.  We cannot break faith, we cannot take freedom for granted.  Lest we forget…

Sanity

“In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations, and epochs it is the rule.”

from: Beyond Good And Evil
Friedrich Nietzsche

Sometimes I look out into the world, observing all there is to see & experience.  I often wonder, does sanity even truly exist?  Or is it simply an illusion manifesting out of a psychologist’s hopes?

The Journey: First Steps

I am currently about half way through writing a short little book entittled “The Journey” that I hope to publish in order to get this project going.   I want this book to be short, to the point & work as a first step to get Individuals interested in a community whose sole goal & raison-d’être is to help everyone lead an happier & more fulfilled life.  It is the first step to achieving this goal.

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Uniqueness

At bottom every man knows well enough that he is a unique being, only once on this earth; and by no extraordinary chance will such a marvelously picturesque piece of diversity in unity as he is, ever be put together a second time.
Friedrich Nietzsche
The uniqueness of our own Individuality.  It is something to be celebrated.  Something that gives life on this plane of existence meaning.  If we were all the same, would existence not be dull? Continue reading

Angst

Angst means fear or anxiety (anguish is its Latinate equivalent, and anxious, anxiety are of similar origin). The word angst was introduced into English from the Danish, Norwegian and Dutch word angst and the German word Angst. It is attested since the 19th century in English translations of the works of Kierkegaard and Freud.[1][2][3] It is used in English to describe an intense feeling of apprehension, anxiety, or inner turmoil.

In German, the technical terminology of psychology and philosophy distinguishes between Angst and Furcht in that Furcht is a negative anticipation regarding a concrete threat, while Angst is a non-directional and unmotivated emotion. In common language, however, Angst is the normal word for “fear”, while Furcht is an elevated synonym.[4]

In other languages having the meaning of the Latin word pavor for “fear”, the derived words differ in meaning, e.g. as in the French anxiété and peur. The word Angst has existed since the 8th century, from the Proto-Indo-European root*anghu-, “restraint” from which Old High German angust developed.[5] It is pre-cognate with the Latin angustia, “tensity, tightness” and angor, “choking, clogging”; compare to the Ancient Greek ἄγχω (ankho) “strangle”.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angst

I am one who counts myself a part of Generation X.  As such, perhaps I have had a generational predisposition toward “Angst”.  In so many of the cultural endeavours & thoughts of my generation – not to mention the Philosophies I studied at University – this idea of “Angst” has predominated.  From the Grunge music I listened to, to the philosophical ideas of the Existentialists – this idea coursed through my final years of formal education.

So am I filled with Angst?

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Scarecrow

Do you take me as a scarecrow?
Do I not yearn to fly?
Crucified and stuffed with straw, condemned to live a lie

from Dirge For A Mutinous Philosopher
Captain Vulpine

The image of a lonely Scarecrow protecting a farmer’s field is an archetype most of us can envision instantly.  There they stand, lonely & protective – yet ultimately powerless.  As Captain Vulpine says in his amazing song: “condemned to live a lie”

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Talking Theology With My Son…

Children have the ability to amaze & to inspire us beyond the bounds of what we think is possible.  Take for example my eight year old son.  We were on our way home from our weekly Beaver meeting & he started asking me about God.  Now, we have talked about God before, a subject that he is keenly interested in.  My wife & I have him enrolled in a Catholic school, even though neither of us are Catholic.  The reason why he is enrolled in a Catholic school is because it was the only school in town at the time that offered French Immersion education.

Anyway, about this Theological discussion.  I can’t quite remember how it all started, but I do know that he brought up the subject…

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