Socrates has a question for you

I read one day that Socrates asked to a master of ballet :

“Who are you and… how do you know?“.

There are many questions you can ask to someone you’re interested in, where do you come from? or what happened in your life? or what’s new? or what are you working on? or tell me what’s difficult? or what did you learn? or who is important in your life?, etc, but :

How do you “know” means a lot. How do you increase your knowledge? What is your package, your bond to reality, your system, your measures? Do you read? Do you watch things, people, actions? Do you think? Do you remember? In what way? What do you seek? What is the nature or the knowledges you pile up in your brain? Do you have models? How is it cleared up? What for? Are you curious, where, how, and why? What are you weary of? Senses? Interpretations? Where could we be mistaken, why? Do you need to understand or to change something?

It could seem pointless, but I don’t think it is. Because these questions ask about this :

What is your out/in interface with the world, and how does it work?

Just an example : memory. We all know that our memory is not perfect, and THAT is interesting : it doesn’t work properly, this is why we can work, interpret, metathink, analyse, retry, write, rethink, etc…

You’re a photographer : how do you know? You have your technical skills, right? And then? How do you know what to photograph? How do you know when to trigger? How do you know if the frame or the light is OK? How do you… make progress?

Now play this game with others :

Tool : How do you KNOW?

…when you’re a poet, a photographer, a teacher, a priest, a spouse, a journalist, a blogger, a writer, an architect.

And yesss, haecceity : you can be all of them, right?

Thanks for reading!

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Let us enrich ourselves with our mutual differences.

Paul Valéry

 

 

#Antonioni #quote

We know that behind every image revealed there is another image more faithful to reality, and in the back of that image there is another, and yet another behind the last one, and so on, up to the true image of that absolute, mysterious reality that no one will ever see.

Michelangelo Antonioni

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“Oh Fabiola!” – Tremendous Love & Speechless Shock are two Stendhal’s Syndromes

Stendhal was a French writer (1783-1842 – let’s say it was the time of Napoleon). He wrote great novels, but I want to talk today about two stendhalian concepts : Cristallization and what we call the Stendhal Syndrome.

The Stendhal Syndrome happens when a human being becomes speechless in front of too much beauty : overcome, overwhelmed by emotion in front, for example, of Art.

Wikipedia : The staff at Florence’s Santa Maria Nuova hospital are accustomed to dealing with tourists suffering from dizzy spells and disorientation after admiring the statue of David, the masterpieces of the Uffizi Gallery and other treasures of the Tuscan city.

There is a Paris Syndrome too, of course, mostly happening to Japanese visitors, crushed by the City and its beauties (but also by the differences they find between their “idealized” vision of France and the reality). Yes, it’s like a “mega culture shock”. There’s a book (“Les Fous de l’Inde”) about a similar shock for India, felt by people from the whole Occident. A oceanic feeling leading to craziness. Embassies know this very well : they take care of people, and put them in planes to go back to normal life.

It’s interesting to study this and its source : Expectations? Tension between reason and feelings? Between brain and reality? What do you think? Have you been crushed by beauty one day? In front of a painting? A place? A light?

Cristallization has also been described by Stendhal. It is about love, of course! It’s when, in the beginning of a love story, the “marvellous” feeling cristallizes around every characteristic of the loved person, who is seen as perfect in every way, or as they say in wiki : a mental metamorphosis, in which unattractive characteristics of a new love are transformed into perceptual diamonds of shimmering beauty.

We have all probably been there : when we’re ready to love someone, when our “love” chooses a person, we open some gates and a big lake of sweet sugary love is poured, unleashed on the poor chosen “other”. Admiration, Acknowledgement, Hope and Delight are steps of the journey.

Of course, this is far from a balanced process of inventing a couple! You can watch out for disillusion. Cristallization often grows when the loved person is far (great for perfection, right?). This “love” generally explodes like a multicolor comet in front of reality.

Then remains possibilities : nothing, a friendship, a real love, an impetus to build something stronger, etc.

Thanks for reading!

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Proust & les Hirondelles : Chronicle 4

Absolutely no cunning could prevent a man
from being smashed against his dreams

 

I’m French, I’m sorry : my english is clumsy these days…

Have you ever visited the school you were in as a very little child, now you’re an adult? Among all the memories and the heartbeats you feel, you also find that… everything around is very little, right? You’re taller, now… you’re different. Perspective.

Today is the “braderie” in the city of La Madeleine. We love braderies in the North of France. It’s like your US garage sales, all along some streets : today was about 1.200 exhibitors (or displayers, how to say that?). I took a cool picture of motorbikes toys, you like it?

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I’ve been asked one day about my “goals in life“. I have been very disturbed by this question, which is so… all about efficiency. I couldn’t think of a goal, even one. I feel like Cioran, in shock and in anger, after being asked about what he was “preparing”. If a French says he has “goals” in life, he sounds ridiculously Action Man, that’s it. The idea itself is a nightmare – at least when you’re more than 22 years old. I don’t want to be efficient, I just try to live, right? Dreams, maybe… Dreams, OK.

Absolutely no cunning could… etc…

I’m too lazy to find it, but the stupidest quote ever is something like “Give yourself a very high goal, then maybe you’ll reach a lower but good stage”. Of course there’s a more accurate one, saying that while you try to do that, you fail choosing the right path to achievement, you stay blind to feedbacks, etc. Typical Wrong Way Up. Well yes, these are words only, I know.

I have no goal, not one. It could be “to be happy” or “to be creative” or “to be a better human” or “to help others”, but I already failed in all these fields, obviously! And who will feed my cat, while I John Wayne?

If you want some fun, though, Google Image “Goals Quotes”. Plenty of orders in capitals. Like : <<DON’T LET ANYTHING STOP YOU FROM REACHING YOUR GOAL>>. Ohlalalaa, my French eyes are hurt! I need a beer, I think.

So I found a goal : stay zen in front of bullsh*t 🙂

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It’s when the weather change (warmer air, higher sun, sudden showers) than you can have a rush of childhood memories. Or teenhood, say. Suddenly it’s HERE, you feel the same feeling you had in your mother’s arms, or at school when you were loving some shy redhead in silence, or when you were gathering interesting rocks under open sky. The idea of memories in Madeleines de Proust come from the food, but also from a smell (freshly cut grass, chocolate cake baking, little pot of white glue in kindergarten) or a sound (of swallows flying hunting between streets, or the familiar engine’s roar of you’re father’s car), but also from the light in the air, the clouds, a coming thunderstorm…

Marguerite Duras says somewhere that she can NOT write if the bed is not made. Strange thing is : I never forgot that, because… that’s true.

I bought a Raymond Carver book, “The American Chekhov”, as they say. I know Carver’s work pretty well, but I never read him in English. Good exercise. I can’t resist to a blurb on a book saying “The (Italian, Canadian, whatever country you choose) Chekhov”…

They have something in common, that’s right : they watch meticulously our little renunciations, our microscopic failures, our rushes never said, our words, spoken and immediately regretted, our love silliness, our boredom. But it’s not “laments”. It’s more like : “This is it, brother human, and it not even THAT dramatic”.

I found a rose, there. Is a rose, is a rose, Mrs Stein. Look where she is (“une rose”) :

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In the shades of break-up moods, you have the yellow poison of jealousy, the dark corners of loneliness, the twinge of uncertainty and many more. The invisible bitterness of “having being loved and then not” is sometimes like swimming against the cold current of a long deep river.

In the shades of illness… Oh, another time, OK?

You can read books (or see a therapist, it depends on how you’re made), self help or philosophy : you’ll read everywhere that you have to find your happiness inside you, right? Again? I “have to”? The capitalized ORDER quote is <<BE HAPPY AND SMILE>>. Yes, each time, you want to punch the author in the face! Bim! Paf! Pouf!

Give birth to a dancing star from the chaos you have within

Strange star, but that could be my Nietzsche goal, maybe… Well, see?

Thanks for reading! Merci!

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Wealthy Valet

A few days ago I talked with an aged funny married couple, who explained that they have two divorced daughters, in their thirties, complaining that they don’t find any suitable guy to date.

Both told me something like : “OK, the guy must be : handsome, interesting, wealthy, great in bed, protective, obedient, kind-hearted, with feminine qualities, while giving them big space when then need it”.

“Where is my Prince?”

Then they finished by : “Well, my dear, this kind of wealthy valet doesn’t even exist!”.

Who knows, though? How to lower expectations in love or marriage? What kind of doors/choices are dancing here? Can we cross out some qualities in the list? Why? What if the wealthy valet type says “No”? Why would men be frightened by such a program?

By the way, is “to make do” really a verb?? (question from the French). I found :

“We’re striving to make do with less”.

Bonne journée !

“A model is a lie that helps you see the truth” – H. Skipper

“A model is a lie that helps you see the truth” is a quote by Howard Skipper, an American doctor.

Here I try to extend this pattern, replacing “model” by cousin ideas : “pattern”, “structure”, “map”, etc.

So what? A “model” is not the real world, it’s a construction made to help us to understand the real world.

A MAP IS NOT THE TERRITORY, right? A map is a LIE, it doesn’t give you changes, colors, moods, light, temperature and life. But it’s a useful, thought, for a purpose…

You can be very serious while modeling things (in Science) and an architect will build models (in cardboard or on computers), but you can also be a little casual “just to see what you’ll see”.

For example you can see each of these things : a school, a couple, or a battle, as : a machine, a living creature, a computer, a kingdom or a business company. If you “apply” your model, you’ll rule out something, but you’ll find interesting things too. Then, trash the model. Because it’s a LIE, of course!

A model is a construction made to help us to understand the real world.

It can be using a structure and also “a way to explain how it works”, moves and evolves. Let’s use the model of “a business company” to study “a married couple”. Who’s the CEO, how does the money flow, what are the goals, etc…

It can be more like a skeleton, a complex map of “what it is”, or a single archetypal word :

  • Mauss studied suicide or gift and made entire books about these. A way to search for “what is common”, the “fundamental characteristics”.
  • Simmel studied the bridge : it links two territories, it is a territory itself, it “shows itself” as a bridge, and it is a “will of connection” (over a river, for example).

Yes, this leads to Archetypes (Jung)

a statement, pattern of behavior, or prototype (model) which other statements, patterns of behavior, and objects copy or emulate

To Forms in philosophy (Plato)

pure forms which embody the fundamental characteristics of a thing in Platonism

and to the most precious diamond : the Symbol.

a symbol is a mark, sign, or word that indicates, signifies, or is understood as representing an idea, object, or relationship. Symbols allow people to go beyond what is known or seen by creating linkages between otherwise very different concepts and experiences.

(All quotes from Wikipedia – I bolded some words)

Questions :

Who’s right? Skipper who uses the word “lie”, or Plato and Jung who seem to seek a “pure form”? Is all this a search for a link, common aspects in different things, or are these just tools to explore a concept , moving aside difficulties and details? Are you more interested in details, or structures? Why do we say that there are only a few ways to tell a story (Google : Seven Basic Plots)? What are the “order” games like MBTI, Zodiac or Enneagrams? Is a symbol the tiniest and more radioactive possible model?

Let’s say you’re introvert, fast, jealous, a father, a murderer or a valet. Is it a lie, because it’s true but way too simple (and a label on your face) – then you list the subtilities, the movements, the reasons, etc -, or is it a funny truth which could lead you to make decisions, or find other archetypes to think about?

You can also read : Ecceity

Yeahh, overthinking, I know…

Thanks for reading!

#angel

 

 

 

Drunk texts/Sad texts/Angry texts/Sleepy texts

The idea of texting (which is : “words, on phones, between two persons, in real time”) has some consequences.

Emojis help you to color/read sentences, but not all the time.

Beware of arguments in textings!

Texting contains a whole bag of possible problems.

It’s fast : you write and send, you don’t have the quiet comfort of emails, which you can polish for hours or days before sending.

You miss the context, the sound of voice, the eyes, the gestures.

Emojis are false friends. They indicate when it’s humor, for example, but they don’t say about the subtilities. Is the fun colored by sarcasm? Alcohol? Nonsense?

So, as a reader, you often guess well where’s your conversation partner – “He’s drunk, let’s take this in consideration”, or “it’s 3 AM there, I suppose she’s sleepy”. But sometimes, you don’t, you just DON’T!

Someone’s sad. Or had a drink. Or just learned really bad news (but can’t tell you). Etc.

You just have to guess. Build, in real time, your own dials.

The tools are easy to define :

  • Don’t have long serious conversations in texting, it’s dangerous.
  • If you can’t avoid it, be both aware. Meta-communicate around it.
  • If you have to, or if you have to argue, call. Voice.
  • Don’t forget you don’t have the gesture and the eyes and expression of your friend.
  • Therefore, don’t put the other’s speech in serious boxes. These boxes are probably inaccurate. Or invent them alive, moving, mutating, fragile.
  • Listen to your intelligence and to your guts : If you feel that something is wide of the mark, pay closer attention.
  • Never hesitate to ask details, a time to think, or an explanation.
  • Ask for a change of media : email, voice, real meeting.
  • Meta-Communicate again, if you’re hesitating, ask about the mood of your partner.

Etc. Have a nice day! Follow me!

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