The Cave: An Adaptation of Plato’s Allegory in Clay

An excerpt from Plato’s Republic, the ‘Allegory of the Cave’ is a classic commentary on the human condition. It is a story of open-mindedness and the power of possibility.

Brené Brown – The Power of Vulnerability – On Empathy vs Sympathy

Brene Brown studies human connection — our ability to empathize, belong, love. In a poignant, funny talk at TEDxHouston, she shares a deep insight from her research, one that sent her on a personal quest to know herself as well as to understand humanity. A talk to share.

David Whyte on the Nature of Forgiveness

David Whyte - Consolations
David WhyteConsolations. The Solace, Nourishment
and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words

FORGIVENESS is a heartache and difficult to achieve because strangely, it not only refuses to eliminate the original wound, but actually draws us closer to its source. To approach forgiveness is to close in on the nature of the hurt itself, the only remedy being, as we approach its raw center, to reimagine our relation to it.

Strangely, forgiveness never arises from the part of us that was actually wounded. The wounded self may be the part of us incapable of forgetting, and perhaps, not actually meant to forget, as if, like the foundational dynamics of the physiological immune system our psychological defenses must remember and organize against any future attacks — after all, the identity of the one who must forgive is actually founded on the very fact of having been wounded.

Stranger still, it is that wounded, branded, un-forgetting part of us that eventually makes forgiveness an act of compassion rather than one of simple forgetting. To forgive is to assume a larger identity than the person who was first hurt, to mature and bring to fruition an identity that can put its arm, not only around the afflicted one within but also around the memories seared within us by the original blow and through a kind of psychological virtuosity, extend our understanding to one who first delivered it. Forgiveness is a skill, a way of preserving clarity, sanity and generosity in an individual life, a beautiful way of shaping the mind to a future we want for ourselves; an admittance that if forgiveness comes through understanding, and if understanding is just a matter of time and application then we might as well begin forgiving right at the beginning of any drama rather than put ourselves through the full cycle of festering, incapacitation, reluctant healing and eventual blessing.

To forgive is to put oneself in a larger gravitational field of experience than the one that first seemed to hurt us. We reimagine ourselves in the light of our maturity and we reimagine the past in the light of our new identity, we allow ourselves to be gifted by a story larger than the story that first hurt us and left us bereft.

Source, Brain Pickings.)

 

 

 

Words of Wisdom

wisdom

1. Prayer is not a “spare wheel” that you pull out when in trouble, but it is a “steering wheel” that directs the right path throughout life.

2. Why is a car’s windshield so large & the rear view mirror so small? Because our PAST is not as important as our FUTURE. So, look ahead and move on.

3. Friendship is like a BOOK. It takes a few seconds to burn, but it takes years to write. Continue reading “Words of Wisdom”

Stephen R. Crosby – Christian Anti-Intellectualism: A Work of the Flesh

asimov - anti-intellectualism

Scholars Aren’t the Enemy

Whenever I bring up the topic of the importance of culture and context in understanding the Scriptures, folks sometimes respond with: “What about new converts, or uneducated people?” Aren’t you putting the gospel out of reach of the “non-scholar masses?”

EMPHATICALLY, NO.

However, Christian anti-intellectualism is a work of the flesh just as much as sexual immorality. Only it is more dangerous as it has been given tacit approval under a form of perceived superior spirituality in large segments of the Body of Christ.

From the first second of a REAL conversion a human is indwelt by the Spirit and that is good enough for kingdom fruitfulness!

I have the privilege of working with a church where new converts are present in good proportion and have seen this with my own eyes. This blog is not rhetoric and philosophy for me. They are amazingly effective, transformed, and empowered, operating in the gifts of the Spirit, and they don’t know Genesis from Revelation . . .  in the beginning of their walk. Continue reading “Stephen R. Crosby – Christian Anti-Intellectualism: A Work of the Flesh”

Brian Zahnd – Would You Choose Christ Over the Truth?

dostoyevski-1

“If someone proved to me that Christ is outside the truth and that in reality the truth were outside of Christ, then I should prefer to remain with Christ rather than with the truth.”
–Fyodor Dostoevsky

Dostoevsky said that if he were forced to choose, he would choose Christ over the truth. That is a very bold and provocative claim.

What do you say?

Yes, I know, we don’t have to choose. I get that. I agree. Of course.

But for a moment entertain the matter as Dostoevsky intends it — as a kind of thought experiment. If it were conclusively proven that the central claims regarding Jesus Christ were outside of the truth, what would you do? Would continue to worship and follow Jesus Christ or not?

I’ve pondered this question a lot and I have a few thoughts. Continue reading “Brian Zahnd – Would You Choose Christ Over the Truth?”

Joanna Macy – A Wild Love For the World


Joanna Macy

Joanna Macy is a philosopher of ecology and a scholar of Buddhism. Her translations include Rilke’s Book of Hours: Love Poems to God and A Year with Rilke. She is the author of Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We’re in without Going Crazy.

This is the latest interview that Krista Tippett made for her American public radio programme On Being.

Ypu can find HERE the audion programme and HERE the transcript of this interview.

And because the topic of the programme is the poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke, here is one of his poems found on the On Being site. Continue reading “Joanna Macy – A Wild Love For the World”

Kare Anderson – Be An Opportunity Maker

We all want to use our talents to create something meaningful with our lives. But how to get started? (And … what if you’re shy?) Writer Kare Anderson shares her own story of chronic shyness, and how she opened up her world by helping other people use their own talents and passions.

* * *

Here is the transcript of this motivational speech:

0:12 I grew up diagnosed as phobically shy, and, like at least 20 other people in a room of this size, I was a stutterer. Do you dare raise your hand?0:28 And it sticks with us. It really does stick with us, because when we are treated that way, we feel invisible sometimes, or talked around and at. And as I started to look at people, which is mostly all I did, I noticed that some people really wanted attention and recognition. Remember, I was young then. So what did they do? What we still do perhaps too often. We talk about ourselves. And yet there are other people I observed who had what I called a mutuality mindset. In each situation, they found a way to talk about us and create that “us” idea.

1:16 So my idea to reimagine the world is to see it one where we all become greater opportunity-makers with and for others. There’s no greater opportunity or call for action for us now than to become opportunity-makers who use best talents together more often for the greater good and accomplish things we couldn’t have done on our own. And I want to talk to you about that, because even more than giving, even more than giving, is the capacity for us to do something smarter together for the greater good that lifts us both up and that can scale. That’s why I’m sitting here. But I also want to point something else out: Each one of you is better than anybody else at something. That disproves that popular notion that if you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room. (Laughter)

2:23 So let me tell you about a Hollywood party I went to a couple years back, and I met this up-and-coming actress, and we were soon talking about something that we both felt passionately about: public art. And she had the fervent belief that every new building in Los Angeles should have public art in it. She wanted a regulation for it, and she fervently started — who is here from Chicago? — she fervently started talking about these bean-shaped reflective sculptures in Millennium Park, and people would walk up to it and they’d smile in the reflection of it, and they’d pose and they’d vamp and they’d take selfies together, and they’d laugh. And as she was talking, a thought came to my mind. I said, “I know someone you ought to meet. He’s getting out of San Quentin in a couple of weeks” — (Laughter) — “and he shares your fervent desire that art should engage and enable people to connect.” He spent five years in solitary, and I met him because I gave a speech at San Quentin, and he’s articulate and he’s rather easy on the eyes because he’s buff. He had workout regime he did every day. (Laughter) I think she was following me at that point. I said, “He’d be an unexpected ally.” And not just that. There’s James. He’s an architect and he’s a professor, and he loves place-making, and place-making is when you have those mini-plazas and those urban walkways and where they’re dotted with art, where people draw and come up and talk sometimes. I think they’d make good allies. And indeed they were. They met together. They prepared. They spoke in front of the Los Angeles City Council. And the council members not only passed the regulation, half of them came down and asked to pose with them afterwards. They were startling, compelling and credible. You can’t buy that.

4:29 What I’m asking you to consider is what kind of opportunity- makers we might become, because more than wealth or fancy titles or a lot of contacts, it’s our capacity to connect around each other’s better side and bring it out. And I’m not saying this is easy, and I’m sure many of you have made the wrong moves too about who you wanted to connect with, but what I want to suggest is, this is an opportunity. I started thinking about it way back when I was a Wall Street Journal reporter and I was in Europe and I was supposed to cover trends and trends that transcended business or politics or lifestyle. So I had to have contacts in different worlds very different than mine, because otherwise you couldn’t spot the trends. And third, I had to write the story in a way stepping into the reader’s shoes, so they could see how these trends could affect their lives. That’s what opportunity-makers do.

5:32 And here’s a strange thing: Unlike an increasing number of Americans who are working and living and playing with people who think exactly like them because we then become more rigid and extreme, opportunity-makers are actively seeking situations with people unlike them, and they’re building relationships, and because they do that, they have trusted relationships where they can bring the right team in and recruit them to solve a problem better and faster and seize more opportunities. They’re not affronted by differences, they’re fascinated by them, and that is a huge shift in mindset, and once you feel it, you want it to happen a lot more. This world is calling out for us to have a collective mindset, and I believe in doing that. It’s especially important now. Why is it important now? Because things can be devised like drones and drugs and data collection, and they can be devised by more people and cheaper ways for beneficial purposes and then, as we know from the news every day, they can be used for dangerous ones. It calls on us, each of us, to a higher calling.

7:00 But here’s the icing on the cake: It’s not just the first opportunity that you do with somebody else that’s probably your greatest, as an institution or an individual. It’s after you’ve had that experience and you trust each other. It’s the unexpected things that you devise later on you never could have predicted. For example, Marty is the husband of that actress I mentioned, and he watched them when they were practicing, and he was soon talking to Wally, my friend the ex-con, about that exercise regime. And he thought, I have a set of racquetball courts. That guy could teach it. A lot of people who work there are members at my courts. They’re frequent travelers. They could practice in their hotel room, no equipment provided. That’s how Wally got hired. Not only that, years later he was also teaching racquetball. Years after that, he was teaching the racquetball teachers. What I’m suggesting is, when you connect with people around a shared interest and action, you’re accustomed to serendipitous things happening into the future, and I think that’s what we’re looking at. We open ourselves up to those opportunities, and in this room are key players and technology, key players who are uniquely positioned to do this, to scale systems and projects together.

8:29 So here’s what I’m calling for you to do. Remember the three traits of opportunity-makers. Opportunity-makers keep honing their top strength and they become pattern seekers. They get involved in different worlds than their worlds so they’re trusted and they can see those patterns, and they communicate to connect around sweet spots of shared interest.

8:55 So what I’m asking you is, the world is hungry. I truly believe, in my firsthand experience, the world is hungry for us to unite together as opportunity-makers and to emulate those behaviors as so many of you already do — I know that firsthand — and to reimagine a world where we use our best talents together more often to accomplish greater things together than we could on our own. Just remember, as Dave Liniger once said, “You can’t succeed coming to the potluck with only a fork.” (Laughter)

9:38 Thank you very much. Thank you. (Applause)

 

Andrei Plesu – O tema inactuala: fericirea

Andrei_Plesu

Mă uit în jur, răsfoiesc ziare, stau la televizor şi constat că problemele dintotdeauna ale vieţii omeneşti au fost evacuate în spaţiul anonim al vieţii private, sau al culturii de nişă. Despre dramă se vorbeşte mai curînd în cheie telenovelistică, despre suferinţă – în cheie clinic profilactică, despre idealuri şi reuşită – în cheie pragmatic corporatistă. Avem puzderie de „manuale“ care ne învaţă (în doi, trei, sau zece paşi) cum să obţinem bunăstarea lăuntrică şi succesul profesional, avem nenumărate compendii de buzunar pentru deprinderea „tehnicilor“ zen, yoga, sufi, reiki etc., dar, în realitate, atenţia noastră, reflexivitatea noastră au alte priorităţi. Dincolo de o generală nevoie de „reţetar“, viaţa noastră interioară e pustie, amuţită de urgenţe, de oboseală, de gata-făcutul unei exteriorităţi sufocante, oferite, pînă la indigestie, de scena publică. Pe scurt: nu e zi să nu fiu întrebat cu cine votez, ce cred despre X sau Y, cum apreciez cutare sau cutare situaţie, dar nimeni nu mă întreabă dacă sînt fericit. „Bine“, mi se va răspunde, „dar ar fi o indiscreţie“. Nu vorbeşti despre lucruri de genul ăsta la colţ de stradă, cu primul venit. Păi, tocmai asta spun: am ajuns să evacuăm din spaţiul nostru de comunicare tot ce priveşte tulburarea noastră lăuntrică, zbaterea cotidiană, mereu nemărturisită, pe care suferinţele, iubirile, spaimele noastre o întreţin mocnit, dincoace de cuvinte. Nu ne ruşinăm să „consumăm“, la lumina zilei, secrete de alcov „dezvăluite“ de tabloide, sau de „picante“ emisiuni de divertisment, dar sîntem pudici cu sentimentele noastre, cu depresiile noastre, cu euforiile şi neliniştile noastre. Continue reading “Andrei Plesu – O tema inactuala: fericirea”

C.S. Lewis on True Friendship | Brain Pickings

C.S. Lewis on True Friendship | Brain Pickings.

A new text by Maria Popova on CS Lewis.

Andrei Plesu – Legea morala intre obedienta si dialog

Andrei-Plesu

Legea morala nu-i una de care asculti, ci una cu care comunici, care stie sa te asculte. Inainte de a cere obedienta, legile sunt sispuse a fi lasata sa fie puse in discutie, si eventual induplecate… Respectarea legii molare nu are sens devcit daca e precedata de o optiune libera, de libera recunoastere a validitatii si a suprematiei ei. Legitima e doar legea pe care o alegi, in cunostinta de cauza. Iar pentru a fi eligibila, ea trebuie, pe de o parte, sa ti se faca placuta… iar pe de alta parte sa-ti lase dreptul unei alte alegeri, (Andrei Plesu – Minima moralia)

Reflectii despre adevar

truth

Adevarul este pretutindeni, dar nu-l recunoaste decit acela care-l cauta. (Nicolae Iorga)

Adevarul este o faclie, dar una ingrozitoare; o privim clipindcind trecem pe linga easi ne e frica sa nu ne aprinda. (Goethe)

Nu e greu de gasit adevarul. E greu sa ai dorinta de a-l gasi. (Nicolae Iorga) Continue reading “Reflectii despre adevar”

Hellen Keller despre frumusetea vazuta cu inima

ikelleh001p1
Helen Keller

Cele mai bune și mai frumoase lucruri din viață
nu pot fi nici văzute, nici atinse;
ele trebuie să fie simțite cu inima.

(Helen Keller) Continue reading “Hellen Keller despre frumusetea vazuta cu inima”

Dave DeWitt despre (singurul) Mesia de care avem nevoie

Dave-DeWitt
David DeWitt

  • Nu permite nimănui să devină un Mesia pentru tine.
  • Nu permite nimănui să facă din tine un Mesia.
  • Nu fi un Mesia pentru tine însuți.

(David DeWitt)

* * *

Iata citeva informatii, in limba engleza) despre DaveDeWitt, un om care calatoreste de peste 30 si ceva de ani in Romania.

Dave DeWitt is the founder and President of Relational Concepts. After graduating from Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics, Dave moved to Dallas, Texas, where he received his Master of Theology degree from Dallas Theological Seminary in 1972. He began working for New Life in Knoxville, Tennessee where, after six years, he and some other Dallas Seminary grads began an adult evangelism ministry called Search. In 1983, Dave moved back to Michigan, his birthplace and home, where he started Relational Concepts, a discipleship ministry which operates both in west Michigan and Eastern Europe. At this time, he also completed his study and received a Doctorate of Ministry degree in Bible from Dallas Theological Seminary.

Since 1983, he and his wife Ellen have continued to travel twice a year to Poland, Czech Republic, and Romania, teaching the Bible and emphasizing discipleship. They also lead groups to Israel, a trip which emphasizes learning the layout and significance of the land of Israel as it relates to the Bible. 

In 1995 Dave began the Relational Concepts’ School of Discipleship to give men and women at home and in the marketplace a Bible college/seminary training in the Bible in a format that would encourage them to disciple and reproduce it with others.

Dave and Ellen have three married daughters and nine grandchildren.

Anton Dumitriu despre necesitatea antropologiei

Anton Dumitriu
Anton Dumitriu

…ne-am împrăștiat prea mult asupra lumii exterioare, și lumea interioară am părăsit-o. Azi știm prea puțin despre om și știm foarte mult despre lume. Poate că o întoarcere la studiul omului ar fi mai importantă.

(Anton Dumitriu – „Condiția umană”)

Simon Sinek – Why Good Leaders Make You Feel Safe

What makes a great leader? Management theorist Simon Sinek suggests, it’s someone who makes their employees feel secure, who draws staffers into a circle of trust. But creating trust and safety — especially in an uneven economy — means taking on big responsibility.

 

Charles de Foucauld despre vocatie

Charles de Foucault
Charles de Foucauld

Vocația fiind o chemare, expresia „alegerea vocației” este un nonsens.
Vocația nu se alege, ci se primește. Ș
i trebuie să încerci a o cunoaște, a-ți apleca urechea la vocea lui Dumnezeu.

(Charles de Foucaud)

Conformismul si imaginatia

Lake and Fog
Free Your Imagination (deviantart)

Conformismul este ultimul refugiu al celui lipsit de imaginație.

(Anonim)

Erich Fromm on Creativity

Erich Fromm
Erich Fromm

Most people die before they are fully born.
Creativeness means to be born before one dies.

(Erich Fromm)

* * *

Erich Seligmann Fromm (1900–1980) was a German social psychologist, psychoanalyst, sociologist, humanistic philosopher, and democratic socialist. He was associated with what became known as the Frankfurt School of critical theory.

Blaise Pascal despre cautarea lui Dumnezeu

Blaise Pascal
Blaise Pascal

Nu m-ai căuta, dacă nu m-ai fi găsit deja.

(Blaise Pascal – Cugetări)

Maurice Clavel sur les droits de l’homme

Maurice Clavel
Maurice Clavel

Les droits de l’homme sans Dieu ce sont les droits d’un homme mort, et du cadavre de l’homme.

(Maurice Clavel – Ce que je crois)

 

Francis Bacon despre carti

Francis Bacon
Francis Bacon

Unele cărți trebuie să fie gustate,
altele să fie înghițite, și
doar câteva trebuie să fie mestecate și digerate.

Adică,

unele trebuie să fie citite numai în parte,
altele trebuie să fie citite, însă fără curiozitate, și
doar câteva să fie citite în întregime, cu sârguință și atenție.

(Francis Bacon)

T.S. Elliot – Informatie, stiinta, intelepciune

T.S. Elliot
T.S. Elliot

Unde-i înțelepciunea pe care am pierdut-o în știință?
Unde-i știința pe care am pierdut-o în informație?

(T.S. Elliot)

Heidegger despre intrebari

Martin Heidegger
Martin Heidegger

Întrebările sunt o formă de smerenie a gândirii.

(Martin Heidegger)

Andrei Plesu despre talent si intelepciune

Andrei-Plesu

Talentul… este un narcotic, un euforizant,
anestezicul sub care se poate administra
leacul intelepciunii.

(Andrei Plesu, Minima moralia)

Charles de Foucauld despre natura si har

Charles de Foucault

Harul corectează natura, n-o abolește.

(Charles de Foucault)

* * *

Fericitul Charles Eugène de Foucauld (1858–1916) a fost un calugar si preot catolic francez care a trait printre tuaregii din Sahara, in Algeria. A fost asasinat in 1916 in fata portii fortului pe care l-a ridicat pentru protectia tuaregilor, si este considerat drept martir de catre Biserica Catolica. (Wikipedia)

Sf. Marcu Ascetul despre ucigasii sufletului – St. Marcus the Ascetic on the Killers of the Soul

Sf Marcu Ascetul

Trei sunt uriasii care ucid sufletul:

  • uitarea
  • ignoranta
  • lenea.

(Sf. Marcu Ascetul)

* * *

Three are the giants that are killing the soul:

  • forgetfulness
  • ignorance
  • idleness.

(St. Mark the Ascetic or Marcus Eremita) Continue reading “Sf. Marcu Ascetul despre ucigasii sufletului – St. Marcus the Ascetic on the Killers of the Soul”

Omar Kayyam despre cunoastere

Omar Kayyam

Sunt clipe cind imi pare ca tot ce-a trebuit

Sa aflu despre lume de mult am deslusit

Dar stelele ma mustra tacut din patru zari

‘N-ai dezlegat niciuna din marile-ntrebari!’

(Omar Kayyam)

* * *

Omar Kayyam (1048-1131) a fost un invatat persan: filosof, matematician, astronom, si poet.

Einstein despre mijloace si scopuri

Am impresia ca perfectiunea mijloacelor si confuzia scopurilor par sa caracterizeze epoca noastra.

(Albert Einstein)

Izvoare de intelepciune – Despre institutii

Cartela
Cam asa arata cartela mea ‘de intelepciune’
(a cam intrat nitel ‘la apa’, saraca; asta e cu vicisitudinile istoriei)

Astazi, facind ordine intre hirtiile de aruncat, am descoperit un set de cartele de calculator (va mai amintiti de ele? cu acestea incarcam programele in anii ’80) pe care in perioada aceea am transcris citate relevante din lectutile pe care le faceam atunci. Sursele sunt dintre cele mai diverse: Parinti ai pustiei, Parinti ai Bisericii, autori seculari, teologi, maestri ai spiritualitatii, din perioada antica pina in prezent. Nu totdeauna am identificat pe acele cartele sursa axacta a citatului. Daca cineva identifica sursa vreunuia dintre texte, ii sunt indatorat daca o impartaseste cu noi.

In perioada care urmeaza intentionez sa public aici din cind in cind citate din aceasta colectie. Sper sa le apreciati si sa va fie de folos pentru suflet. Primul citat, legat de traiectoria tipica a institutiilor umane, fie ele religioase ori nu, vine de la Eddie Gibbs.

* * *

Majoritatea institutiilor umane urmeaza un tipar previzibil:

Ele incep cu un vizionar,

se dezvolta intr-o miscare,

degenereaza intr-o masina

si, in final, devin un monument.

[funerar, as adauga eu]

Eddie Gibbs

Eddie Gibbs este profesor la Scoala de Studii Interculturale de la Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California (sursa, AICI).