On when to cause offence

There is something that has bothered me for years.

Different groups of people who live by the idea that doing their best is good enough, but who actually fail to be good enough. Teachers, family, bahá’ís, friends, co-workers, academics, authors, activists. Many people whose heart is in the right place.

If I’ve learned anything in 2016, travelling in the United States, in China, in Japan and in Europe, it is that people mean well, but expect that change comes about through intentions alone. Continue reading “On when to cause offence”

Prologue to publishing the dissertation

It is because of the inner calling to reach for a new that is unrelated to the present, for that which lies beyond the realm of the possible, that I started out on this path and will continue to do so, in order to search for some form of truth while facing evidence that truth does not exist, to search for meaning in a meaningless world, to search for change in a world that is nothing more than eternal repetition.

At some point you’re ready to start working on it. The publication of what you’ve worked at for so many years. But rereading the prologue, I feel I’m finally ready to part with it. It has taken some time, some distance, it has taken writing another book in the meantime. But I’m ready to look into the long and arduous road of publishing The necessity of the impossible…

Here the prologue for your consideration: (And publishers are welcome, of course!)

“By choosing to write about the desire to reach the impossible and the closely related illusion of change, I have chosen to fail. To fail in life. And synonymously to fail in thinking.

Continue reading “Prologue to publishing the dissertation”

Podcast – “Don’t know. Ask!”

For those interested to know (hear) a little bit about what I think about now and again… I was interviewed and the resulting podcast by Nadja Schnetzler is now online!

For those interested to know (hear) a little bit about what I think about now and again… I was interviewed and the resulting podcast by Nadja Schnetzler is now online!

Some of the topics discussed:
What are good ‪#‎questions‬? True friendship is with those who are different from yourself. How we don’t see the other for what they have to offer us: their otherness. The importance of boring questions. Collaboration and Bahá’í consultation. And about the need for humbleness.

This link takes you directly to the podcast: http://word-and-deed.org/…/collaboration-booster-episode-4…/

To create something new we need the radical other

Recensie: Judas van Amos Oz

Een wonderlijke verteller die je meeneemt naar het Jeruzalem van begin jaren ’60. Je voelt de stralen van de maan en ziet de reflectie er van op de stenen, je voelt de warmte van de petroleumkachel op zolder, en je vraagt je af of er verder nog iets nodig is. Is dat niet wat verhalenvertellers zouden moeten doen, je een stukje mee laten leven met fictieve levens. Hun pijn en vreugdes delen. Hoewel, in dit boek meer pijn. De pijn van verlies, van omgaan met verraad, met dood, en liefde. Een prachtig boek, met ook nog eens een bijzondere kijk op het leven van Jezus als door de ogen van de joden er door heen geweven. Zo natuurlijk dat je het zo uit hebt, alle 400 bladzijdes. Door Nicole des Bouvrie, eerder verschenen op Zinweb.

Continue reading “Recensie: Judas van Amos Oz”

Vrouwelijke filosofe

Als vrouwelijke filosofe behoor ik tot meerdere minderheden. Dat merkte ik al op de filosofische faculteit die vol met testosteron de meningen die het hardst over de tafel vliegen toch altijd weer hogere cijfers geven. Dat ik op een keer een 10 kreeg bij een vak politieke filosofie leek mij een foute zaak, waarom kreeg die jongen die altijd overal bij was en de grootste mond had niet zoals altijd het hoogste cijfer? Tsja, er was zowaar een vrouwelijke docent die de antwoorden en mijn zoektocht naar de waarheid en het goede wel op waarde kon schatten. Misschien had ik toen iets door moeten hebben. Continue reading “Vrouwelijke filosofe”

I am that other

(I wonder…

… is there a limit to what can happen before we revolt
(and we continue to blame refugees)
… can truth only be mentioned in irony
(and we continue to vote out of fear for the unknown)
… who is this grand hero that ends this dark fairy tale called reality
(and we continue to put our faith in financial institutions that profit from loss)
… what can I do that does not add to suffering and misery
(and we continue to distinguish between them and us)

…) Continue reading “I am that other”

How to respond to the horror of #Paris?

It is still too early to know exactly what happened, who what where and perhaps the most important question: why? What is clear is that something terrible has happened. Response from all over the world is pouring in, and besides the initiatives where the people from Paris open their doors for stranded fellow-Parisians to find a shelter for the night, there are also possible violent reactions. Which is what this event is also the beginning or continuation of, fear of violence and revenge. Which response is appropriate now?

It is still too early to know exactly what happened, who what where and perhaps the most important question: why? What is clear is that something terrible has happened. Response from all over the world is pouring in, and besides the initiatives where the people from Paris open their doors for stranded fellow-Parisians to find a shelter for the night, there are also possible violent reactions. Which is what this event is also the beginning or continuation of, fear of violence and revenge. Which response is appropriate now? A reflection by Nicole des Bouvrie. First published on Zinweb.nl (in Dutch).

Continue reading “How to respond to the horror of #Paris?”