“perdu quelque part entre “je suis” et “je m’en fous”

There are thousands of writings and books about happiness. How to get happiness, how to keep it if you have found it, why you have not found it before, and the promise that if you do your homework with conscientiousness then you will definitely find it, if not on the earth then necessarily when you land on the other side. For advice and tips, no one surpasses us! But is that really the way it is?
Heaven, Eden, Paradise (call it as you wish) was solemnly imagined in all holy and secular books as an unrealistic utopian grace of silence, a feelingless place where there was no gentleness or anger and no sighs. It was dogmatically simplified by the fear that the slightest shadow introduced into this space could overshadow the brilliance of the promised happiness. Later, people discovered boredom, maliciously discovered the monotony of this landscape, and took dangerous precautions against this eternal and monotonous state of apathy! For it seems that without dramatic landmarks, happiness ceases to exist; a linear, ungraded, unrelated joy is not desirable, it is not good.
In our understanding and conception, self-conscious happiness is nothing but the silence between two crises. The crisis, therefore, would be the cause and effect of happiness, and at the limit of paradox, the suspicion arises that; we can live without happiness, but it seems that not without crisis.
Originally the word “crisis” comes from the Greek “krisis-krinein” – to judge, to think, to reason. Where there is thinking, crisis is possible and where a crisis is pulsating, thinking will automatically pulsate. Happiness can be unconscious, but the crisis is self-thinking. Analytical thinking and doubt are what delineate our very rare state of beatitude, which, undefined by these veritable markings, would sneak past us and would go unnoticed. Not crises but contentment should worry us. Storms, it is true, can be destructive, but the absence of wind means lack of rain and automatically the absence of life.
Young trees should not be housed in the wind, and, above all, they should not be taught that the wind does not exist.
When crisis means change, sinidisis and living, then why decorate our windows and walls with boring paradises?
We are born to think, reason and research, why then, tolerate our cowardliness and apprehension in believing that perfection is somewhere near? We are unhappy not because we would miss happiness, but because its absence does not depend on us. As far as I understand, to me happiness seems to be a matter of free will. Free will is the right to decide your own destiny and fate, in itself it is an indispensable and often sufficient condition of happiness. We can give up on anything, proudly, even happily, as long as we are not forced to do it! It seems that the presence of freedom is sufficient to determine and change the properties of states and situations, a paradoxical human condition, but strictly necessary! It turns out that we need so little to be happy!
But to move between two points, it is necessary to be convinced that the two points exist. To aspire to happiness, we must believe that happiness is possible, in order to get closer to the truth, we must believe that the truth can be said. And mankind has never lacked faith, doubt itself is merely a form of it, a form strictly necessary, a life-giving form; “A faith that does not doubt is a dead faith”, wrote Unamuno. This is, in fact, the path chosen by most beliefs to die.
We are always on our way, moving slowly, taking a step towards the goal, and the second to convince us that the goal exists. And between these two steps, in that gap between the second that dies and the one who knocks at the door, choosing consciously where we go, what we feel and what we are, is our freedom, our happiness.

the color of happiness…

With a bit of luck and humor, each of us has at least one pair of glasses with pink lenses in his/her wardrobe. Ideal would be to have two pairs in case you often match your purse with the color of your shoes, or you are the happy owner of a blonde secretary with intense and assumed concupiscence that you have to calm down on the full moon nights. 🙂

Glasses with pink lenses help us see life in pink shades. However, when we dare to put down these glasses, real life gets different nuances from the full spectrum of visible light, even from the hidden, invisible light.

But that requires courage.

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When you discover that the glasses (the illusion) on your nose are “liars,” you are implacably confronted with the anxiety of death or helplessness, misery or smallness, sickness or aging. When we take off the glasses we become realistic, that is, vulnerable. It’s the moment when we become aware of our fragility and precariousness in front of reality and nature. It isn’t advisable at all to give up the pink lenses through which we see the world, not even to put our glasses down. Only sometimes it is desirable to take a realistic look over them. To be tangent with reality implies an unaltered position that we only reach if we use reason to avoid perceptive and cognitive bias as much as possible.

The glasses with pink lenses are the positive illusions needed as adaptive mechanisms in an insecure and unpredictable world. Realism and the absence of pink lenses represent the depressed position with a high risk of suicide.

Pink lenses make the world more beautiful and life easier to live and therefore can increase happiness and well-being. Healthy people have at least one pair of such glasses.

If you are the owner of such glasses, consider yourself lucky at the “cortical lottery”. There seems to be a genetic determination on the pink lenses.

So some of us are luckier and benefit from lenses with pink shades, and less fortunate people have received lenses with pale pink shades. There are also the unfortunate ones in the “lenses cortical lottery”, who are struggling with severe depression or manic-depressive syndrome.

The lenses of the glasses are colored in pink by the following three illusions:

– The self is amplified positively. In relation to your own self, you perceive yourself as important, beautiful, competent and other positive attributes.

– The illusion that you have control over the environment. In relation to the world, you feel in control, that you have the freedom and the power to change or act on the environment to fulfill your desires.

– Unrealistic optimism in relation to the future. When you imagine your future, you have an unrealistic optimist perspective, living in the emotional register as joy and trust – you think everything will be fine.

Why are they illusions to us? Because our glasses are altering reality, it colors it with pink shades, even if they apply a bit of gray every now and then. Naturally, the reality is unpredictable and indifferent to our prayers, desires, and actions. And the future is still unwritten.

Reality does not support anyone’s side. Reality doesn’t favor anyone as a result of a plan because there are no plans and goals (unless you imagine the presence of a divine entity orchestrating the universe). Reality is spontaneous. But that doesn’t mean we’re helpless. We have control over our actions, but not over the results; which may be desirable or expected only in terms of probability.

In this “insensitive and indifferent” reality, we can be our own artists who paint our own world and our own character in pink shades, or we can be our own narrator and novelist who writes his/her personal history with humor. But do not forget, to take a look at reality over your glasses with pink lenses from time to time just to balance your wheels.

***

Taylor, Shelley E. (1989). Positive Illusions. Creative Self-Deception and The Healthy Mind. Basic Books, New York

The Madonna-Whore Syndrome…

In 1912, when S. Freud elaborated the theory of sexuality, he introduced a psychoanalytic concept on the relational stage, which in literature is called “Madonna-Whore Syndrome” and managed to hystericize at least half of the people on the planet. And he continues to do it today, only in another way. Today, psychoanalysis is blamed for the importance of percentages given to sexuality in the individual’s mental life (before, it simply denied the presence of sexuality or its importance). The fact that what is obvious in everyday life is not to be found in psychoanalysis is a dichotomy. I mean, why should Freud’s value be interpreted as abuse in explaining neurosis? If we are still so concerned by the subject of “sex,” why would we then wonder that inhibiting sexual function generates problems? (Actually, it does!)
Madonna / Whore syndrome brings the idea that men (and women) classify women into two categories to the forefront, dividing them into two camps: “Madonna” and degraded women, “Whores.”
The good girls – the Madonnas – are virtuous, innocent, pure and virginal, almost to the point of asexuality (like angels that fly through the heads of some). The bad girls – the whores – are sexually voracious, indiscriminate and aggressive … in fact, they are often depicted acting in a way traditionally defined by male sexuality.
Freud had many brilliant insights (obviously he also had many mistakes in his theories, genius is not guaranteed, nor absolute at anyone), but the dichotomy he exhibited in Madonna / Whore syndrome is brilliant.
This dichotomy had existed for centuries long before Freud’s theory of sexuality before he began to have strange thoughts about cigars and see penises everywhere 🙂 Sexuality is a central theme in our lives. Primitive societies, archaic cultures everywhere have put sexuality under control, invented rules, precepts, taboos, or specific laws. Sexuality is most often forbidden – and “the most forbidden practice,” then it is no wonder that the mythologies of peoples grant absolute liberty in this field only to supernatural gods and beings. For Hindu people, for example, styles of sexual intercourse between mythical beings are carved on temples. Very good :), at least they can enjoy it. Or coming closer to our day, when archaeologists discovered the ancient city of Pompeii, which under the pressure of the lava was kept intact, seeing the mosaics with explicit sexual scenes in the houses of the Romans made them wonder if they did not arrive in Las Vegas 🙂 somehow by mistake. Today we can see this manifested in pop culture: “the blond girl,” virgin and even repressed (usually a blonde) and ” la femme fatale”, the immoral woman (usually a brunette) for whom sex is a weapon and men are just tools. It can be clearly distinguished from the way men – and women – refer to women’s behavior and how men treat women in their lives.
And this faith hurts them all.
Madonna or Whore – a dilemma for the modern woman who wants to reconcile all roles and a more emotional and erotic dichotomy for men who cannot combine both roles of a woman: the serious woman and the “easy” woman.
How does the Madonna-Whore Syndrome actually manifest?
By the man’s inability to maintain a passionate erotic relationship with the woman he loves and with whom he is in an assumed relationship. When he develops a deep sense of romantic attachment, he can even experience episodes of temporary impotence. He will avoid starting hot sex parties, feeling castrated in the relationship with that woman. That’s because in his mind women are split into two categories: women they admire and women they want to have sex with and the loved woman with whom they are in a relationship cannot be both. His sexuality will be inhibited by the emotion of love, and he, not rarely, will decide to satisfy it beyond the relationship but without any intention to leave his lover or wife.
From a certain point on, a man can look at his beloved woman as the woman he wants to have children with, and as such he unconsciously passes her into the category of “saints.” His sexuality can be affected because he does not see her as a woman with whom she can have erotic pleasures with but as a woman who will raise his children. And if there are issues about Oedipus’ complex (suppression of sexuality to his mother, and competition with his father for mother’s affection), romantic-erotic failure is a certainty. Sometimes the fixation of the Madonna-Whore complex can also be facilitated by an accentuous religiosity that divides love into the divine sacrifice and the profane-animalistic. Unfortunately, even today, some families consider the sexual impulse as coming from “the ancestral reptilian brain” (referring to Adam and Eve and the belief that the woman introduced the primal sin), or even being “devil’s work” which is good to protect yourself from as much as you can. The sex sphere thus divided during childhood remains dissociated in two directions that are excluded from each other and fail to reach a unitary sexual pattern.

The truth behind this complex “simple learning ” is much more; it’s not just sex. Both roles are insulting to women. The suggestion that a woman is a sexual being implies that it is otherwise worthless because it is sexual. The concept of “shing-shaming” – mocking or insulting a woman to be a sexual being – also springs from this dichotomy. Because a woman doesn’t follow the role of restricted sexuality that culture creates for her (the way of Madonna), she must be scorned and scared. The guilt of the treatment of a whore is focused only on her. If she were docile, innocent and pure, it would not attract judgment on her.
On the other hand, “Madonna / Virgin” represents the fear of unrestricted sexuality, Madonna is equally patronizing and insulting to women. Putting Madonna on the pedestal of holiness and purity becomes something “protected.” Her role is to be submissive to men as well; just as “Whore / Prostitute” is meant to be punished, Madonna must be preserved and worshiped. Her personality is completely ignored.
It’s About More Than Just Sex.
The difference between Madonna and the Whore goes beyond just sexual expression. The division of “good girl” from “bad girl” covers societal codes for behavior as well. The Good Girl is submissive. She does not act too forward or aggressive for fear of offending others. She’s quiet. She goes along to get along. The Bad Girl, on the other hand, is a bitch. She’s brassy. She’s loud. She stands her ground or even pushes for more. She makes a fuss.

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The first step for men who are still under moral pressure (unconscious or taught) of the Madonna / Whore Syndrome is to accept that all women are sexual beings. The division between the “good girls” who do not and the “bad girls” that do is a remanence of time, religion, and culture that no longer exists. A woman who has sex, enjoys sex and radiates sexuality is still a woman who is as capable of being a loving and responsible parent for your future children (perhaps even more successful because she is not repressed). Similarly, the girlfriend or wife you love is still a sexual being; the fact that you’re in a relationship or putting a ring on her finger does not mean she still does not want the wild sex that you two had in the first few days when you burned through every page of Kama Sutra.
The authenticity and congruence of a relationship are more than finding a maternal figure that will grow your future descendants. You want a partner, yes, but a partner in crime too. You both signed a contract to share an adventure together, and that means sharing and experimenting with the crazy fantasies that you have. Remember that she is a sexual bearer just like you and enjoys the adventure together (yes, even on the “transgressive, borderline illegal stuff” section), that you dream of having once.
Appreciate that (your girlfriend, your wife) your angel has her side of the devil inside of her or that your devil has that angelic part and embraces them all.

to live life in its midst…

The way we live our lives, the way we love and perhaps the way we die, mirrors perfectly in our everyday emotional stories. Though having a perishable existence, the human being is always trying to fly higher to the eternal blue, then levitate at an accessible height – in a permanent dual state: half agony half utopia and aspiration, descending on the earth, metamorphosed and reshuffled in the eternal Sinidisis of the Stardus later. In fact, the human’s relationship with time is an essential drama. Time is intimately linked to the feeling of our own existence. No matter how long-lasting anything is, however, there are boundaries in time: every human, house, political regime, pyramid or other such constructions designed to face the ages, stars, and galaxies, even love will find its end at some point. I have always liked correlation, a comparison between the existence and the death of a relationship and a person. A relationship really dies when you don’t think about it, when you don’t remember it anymore, I think a person really dies with the last memory of him/her. Only then, with the last memory of a person, can the transition from the collective consciousness towards the collective unconsciousness be made.

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Heraclitus from Ephesus was the first Greek philosopher to have correlated our converting to time. Thus, the philosopher said that we could not sink twice in the same river, because between the two moments the river has changed and is no longer identical to the one in the first moment. There are dozens and dozens of types of time: chronological time, physical time, biological time, subjective time, morphological time, quantum time, relativistic time, etc. Therefore, any attempt to define time is a trap without an exit. My perspective is that time needs metaphors. Without the metaphor, the understanding of the world is crippled. And it is not about the metaphors learned in a literature class or the “rhetorical metaphor of beauty,” but about a cognitive and creative metaphor. Because when we talk about time metaphors, we do not refer to time as a preexisting entity. Besides these metaphors, time does not exist.

To understand time like a wave, sometimes maybe a tsunami that comes over us, or rather we come as a wave over time. These are two extremes, and everyday life is somewhere between those two. There is a lot of inadequacy between our hopes and what we are given to live, being anchored here under the circle sign, but that does not prevent us from living every moment fully. What is the charm of the passing of time? To catch a magical moment to enthrall you, to remain in your memory, to attach yourself to it. That makes all of time! The beauty of time is to enjoy the moment. The encounter with good people, few in number, is at the firm boundary between blessing and revelation.

As far as I am concerned, I will not escape from anything that is human in living, as a vehicle towards myself. I will hope, I will get excited, I will celebrate, I will be sad, I will be disappointed, but I will always choose to live life in its midst.

 

Double-mindedness!

Not a few times in our lives we are going to see how similar things, even almost identical, are judged with double-mindedness: people, situations, attitudes, etc.
I am concerned that some people are attributed a certain image in the world, and if everyone is silent, no one objects, no one fights, no one tries to change the perception of them, to educate, to explain, those people in time will be condemned to go into society with a stigma crueler than they have today. Yes, often silence is golden, you pretend that it’s raining outside, pretending to be Zen is preferable, but sometimes it’s really the opposite because silence can perpetuate something wrong to infinity. And today it’s one wrong thing, two things tomorrow, it will be three after tomorrow, and later all of them.
But maybe one of the most charming stories but full of wisdom I read is about frogs, and no, not the one with the prince … Here is the story:
“How can you talk about the ocean with a frog that lives in a well?
A frog lived in a well all its life. One day it was surprised to find another frog.
– Where did you come from? It asked the newly arrived guest.
– From the sea. That’s where I live.
– How’s the sea? Is it as big as my fountain?
The other frog began to laugh:
– There’s no comparison.
The host frog pretended to be interested in the stories of the newcomer, but in its mind, it thought: “Of all the liars I have met in my life, this is definitely the biggest and the rudest one.”

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Fortunate are those who have the luxury of always being relaxed in some chapters of life. I honestly envy those who can do that. Of course, the fancy walls in which they live protect them from questions they have no arguments for, but those thick walls that keep them safe are directly proportional to the size of their own ignorance …
No one is born knowing everything, but no one has an excuse to die ignorant ( Except if you were born with a cognitive handicap.)!
Ignorance is not a blessing (even if this is what the Pope in Rome said), ignorance kills!

“We think too small. Like the frog at the bottom of the well. He thinks the sky is only as big as the top of the well. If he surfaced, he would have an entirely different view.”

– Mao Tse Tung

The truth, mon cher, hurts!

People usually appreciate sincerity, or at least that’s what everyone advocates. That, until you tell them the truth, your truth of course. Yes, the truth as you perceive it, as you observe an event, the weather, the gesture or the expression of someone. Then, being wounded, they punish you by turning away from sincerity. They seek honesty, up to the truth expressed in sincerity (yes, I know, almost a pleonasm). Emotional pain becomes intolerable, and sincerity becomes vulgar or insensitive. In some cases, it really gets like this; you even have to deal with it.
You can express truth in delicate shades. Not brutally. But what you declare as truth, sincere in your statement, inevitably has a hint of brutality.
Either if you want it or not, you will cut into the living flesh of the deep need for acceptance of the other. The thicker the need, the deeper and more painful the cut.
Sincerity is a two-edged knife. With one of the edges, you can cut into the flesh of lies and pretense, to the bones of truth. With the other edge, you’ll cut off the branch you’re standing on.

elderly«s home / kathmandu / nepal / 2011
The value of sincerity, as I mentioned earlier, can cut into the emotional flesh. Your body, where the knife of sincerity was jammed into, reacts. An emotional wound hurts like any wound. Either you depress yourself, or you get infuriated. Between these two entirely emotional registers, your answer will be automatically entered. It’s the emotional reaction that appears inside of you spontaneously. The one who values sincerity will assume the confrontation with such responses from the other. What follows is the reaction or retreat. Personally, I don’t see how you can reach another person unless you are honest.
The truth will release you, but before that, it will hurt you. It will hurt you badly!
Sincerity, as value, lies beyond the psychological plan. It’s a kind of guide that keeps you away from the tangled paths of lies and hypocrisy, keeping you on the way of truth. But on its own, it seems to be a brutal guide. I have always liked a story about truth, a story that shows us the syncope, in which we each live when we practice truth and sincerity. And now let me tell you the story, and then you decide!
“A young man thirsty for knowledge started to look for the truth.
He crossed many countries, and crossed many seas, he descended to the deepest cliffs, and he climbed the highest mountains.
And then, when he lost all hope, in a forgotten village, his search was over. In an almost collapsed house, sitting in front of the fire was the truth.
In all his life he has never seen an older and uglier man.
– Are you the Truth?
The old man shook his head as if he was to say yes.
– Tell me, what do I have to tell the world? What news do I have to give them?
The old man spat at the fire and replied:
– Tell them I’m young and beautiful! “

The Möbius band…

As in chemistry: “Nothing is lost, nothing is added, but everything is transformed,” so the human being passes through the world. We are the puppets of the cyclical time, of the archetype, which throws us into the seemingly unordered world, precisely to respect the Order. We are faithful children of the universal matrix, people created in the image and its resemblance, which each of us refreshes and resumes.
The idea of cyclicity of the time that resumes, of the spiral, is strongly emphasized by the Möbius band. The seasons are cyclical, a “tour of the band” equates to a new year. The leaf could best emphasize this infinite repetition. The spring becomes a bud, the summer is green and full of life, the autumn is painted in warm colors, the winter falls, it disappears in spring, because Möbius’s band leaves nothing to lose, and the road once passed will be resumed to infinity . Each leaf, like every human being, has its own band, it’s born, it blooms, withers and dies to revive, then to resume the cycle. An eventual exit would never be possible, the band condemns to repeatability, to the “endless end” that G. Bacovia speaks of.

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The archetype also gives man a dual character. The human being has both good and evil. Thus, like his/her band, which apparently has only two faces, so man is defined by good parts and evil parts. We are beautiful and ugly, happy and sad, white and black at the same time, our soul being, in fact, gray. So, although we have two faces, what defines us is the FACE created by them, the balance between them, their joining, the way they mix. The Yin-Yang Circle, Möbius’s band, is essentially a self-portrait of the human being, who lives by and due to contradictions.
Möbius’s band is a metaphor for everything that’s simple, but surprising and difficult to predict. It is the product of magic and the symbol of dreams. It is everywhere. It can be considered a symbol of self-turning transformation, miracle, overturning, and restoration. It is an image of immortality!