The Parenthood Religion

3 10 2014

“The origins of the parenthood religion are obscure, but one of its first manifestations may have been the “baby on board” placards that became popular in the mid-1980s. Nobody would have placed such a sign on a car if it were not already understood by society that the life of a human achieves its peak value at birth and declines thereafter. A toddler is almost as precious as a baby, but a teenager less so, and by the time that baby turns fifty, it seems that nobody cares much anymore if someone crashes into her car. You don’t see a lot of vehicles with placards that read, “Middle-aged accountant on board.

Another sign of the parenthood religion is that it has become totally unacceptable in our culture to say anything bad about our children, let alone admit that we don’t like them all of the time. We are allowed to say bad things about our spouses, our parents, our aunts and uncles, but try saying, “My kid doesn’t have a lot of friends because she’s not a super likable person,” and see how fast you get dropped from the PTA…”

– Danielle Teller & Astro Teller

http://qz.com/273255/how-american-parenting-is-killing-the-american-marriage/

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/27/fashion/27love.html?_ga=1.141143218.1449111010.1412327272&_r=0





LOVE in Greece: Piraeus’ Children

19 09 2014

 

The MELINA MERCOURI FOUNDATION, adopting the fundamental ideas of the policy that Melina Mercouri planned and implemented when she was Minister of Culture, aspires to contribute to the promotion and dissemination of Greek culture in Greece and abroad.

Already during the first days of her term of office, Melina Mercouri, setting her priorities, decided to strongly support the project of conservation of the Acropolis monuments and at the same time she undertook the initiative for the reunification of the Parthenon Marbles. These two essential choices Melina Mercouri made, relied upon a firm conviction: that the Acropolis monuments, as an integral entity of unique artistic value, convey the classical Greek spirit and as universal symbols, embody values, principles and ideals which contemporary societies strive to attain.

http://www.melinamercourifoundation.org.gr





AGAPE: Dancing a Waltz of Peace

18 09 2014




(higher) LOVE

15 09 2014

 

 

Think about it, there must be higher love
Down in the heart and in the stars above,
Without it, life is wasted time.
Look inside your heart, I’ll look inside mine

Things look so bad everywhere
In this whole world, what’s fair?
We walk blind and we try to see
Falling behind in what could be.

Bring me a higher love
Bring me a higher love,
Bring me a higher love
Where’s this higher love, I’ve been thinking of?

Worlds are turning and we’re just hanging on
Facing our fear, standing out there alone
Oh a yearning, and it’s real for me
There must be someone who’s feeling for me
Things look so bad everywhere

In this whole world, what’s fair?
We walk blind and we try to see
Falling behind in what could be

Bring me a higher love
Bring me a higher love,
Bring me a higher love
Where’s this higher love, I’ve been thinking of?

I will wait for it, I’m not too late for it
Until then, I’ll sing my song
To cheer the night along

I could light the night up with my soul on fire
I could make the sun shine from pure desire
Let me feel the love come over me
Let me feel how strong it can be

Bring me a higher love
Bring me a higher love, oh
Bring me a higher love
I could rise above for this higher love.





BEING HUMAN: The UK’s First Humanities Festival Nov 15-23, 2014

12 09 2014

institute of philosophy

What does it mean to be human? How do we understand ourselves, our relationship to others and our place in nature? For centuries the humanities have addressed these questions. Artists, writers, philosophers, theologians and historians have considered who we are, how we live and what we value most. But are these long-standing questions changing in 2014? We are more connected than ever, yet we spend more time with smart phones and computers than face to face. The world is becoming smaller, yet the digital information we can access and store, even about ourselves, is vast and growing.  Developments in science and technology are moving fast, challenging our understanding of the self and society. What sense can we make of these changes and what challenges do we face? We need the humanities more than ever to help us address these issues and provide the means to question, interpret and explain the human predicament.

The festival is held as part of the School of Advanced Study’s 20th anniversary celebrations and draws on the success of the 2013 King’s College Festival of the Humanities. Being Human will be the UK’s first national festival of the humanities. Led by the School of Advanced Study, University of London in partnership with the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the British Academy, and universities, arts and cultural organisations across the UK, it will demonstrate the value, vitality and relevance of the humanities in 2014. Find out more at www.beinghumanfestival.org or follow the festival on Twitter at @BeingHumanFest.

http://www.sas.ac.uk/about-us/news/uk-s-first-national-humanities-festival-unveils-rich-programme-events

 

 





LOVE: happiness is only real when shared, oh society

4 09 2014

 

 

 

 

I think one of the most frustrating aspects of becoming a mother is that so much of what we really experience on a daily basis remains an untold story.

‘Happiness is only real when shared.’

This was the last sentence written in the journal of a young man who decided to explore the depths of solitude by way of excluding himself from society; the poor guy ended up dying alone in the wilderness of Alaska. During his time in the wild, he learned skills that he never thought were in his capacity; he gained an intimacy with his environment by observing and analyzing the behaviour of the rough country that surrounded him. During the two years he spent in isolation, there were moments of spectacular significance. Life expressed itself time and time again in completely unexpected ways—there were beautiful as well as brutal surprises and harsh lessons learned.

Unfortunately, however—without anyone there to experience these moments with him—such significant moments invariably lost much of their unique importance. Sadly for him, it was only at the end of his journey when he realized that happiness is only real when shared.

Of course motherhood does not equate to living on one’s own in the Alaskan wilderness. But there is often an extreme sense of isolation that comes from staying at home with one’s children. There are playgroups, meeting up with friends in the park or at the local café for cappuccinos and babyccinos, but most mums we know never manage to string more than a few sentences together before being distracted by a child falling or screaming or hitting or putting something dangerous or dirty in its mouth.

Then there are the husbands/partners, who are (for the most part) eager to hear about the trials and tribulations of the day, eager to hear about these so-called significant moments that we experience with the children.  What we often find is that recounting these moments isn’t easy at the end of a long day.

No, that’s not right. Recounting the moments themselves isn’t difficult but explaining their significance is a much harder task.

Our explanations require the time and the space to philosophise and to add context, in order to provide greater meaning to our seemingly routine activities and linkages to the goings-on of the world around us. Perhaps we begin to doubt our ability to do this when even reading an occasional newspaper seems to be a near-impossible achievement.

But I believe there are concepts that do not require linkages to current affairs or to contexts that are implicitly understood by our partners. Our daily rituals and adventures contain universal concepts that we all relate to and that we all question. If we can harness what we learn and what we think about on a day-to-day basis—all those thoughts we currently allow to be only fleeting—if we can use and link these ideas to more universal concepts, than perhaps our moments of happiness can more easily be shared with others inevitably making our own happiness feel more real.

https://girlwithoutawatch.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=11&action=edit





LOVE-Apologia

18 08 2014

For a long time neither of us speaks. He turns to me and gives me a bow so deep I think he is going to topple over. Straightening up again, he says, ‘I am sorry, for what we did to you. I am deeply sorry.’

‘Your apology is meaningless,’I say, taking a step back from him. ‘It’s worth nothing to me.’

His shoulders stiffen. I expect him to walk away from the pavilion. But he stands there, not moving.

‘We had no idea what my country did,’ he says.

[Tan Twang Eng, The Garden of Evening Mists]

 

The Apologyhttp://downloads.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/worldservice/whyfactor/whyfactor_20140711-1830a.mp3

my Chinese education

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/15/opinion/learning-to-forget-tibet-in-china.html?_r=

IMG_2464

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/14/opinion/nicholas-kristof-dont-dismiss-the-humanities.html





GOD: The Gospel of Truth

4 08 2014

“Having knowledge, he does the will of the one who called him, he wishes to be pleasing to him, he receives rest. Each one’s name comes to him. He who is to have knowledge in this manner knows where he comes from and where he is going.”
The Gospel of Truth

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http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valentinianism





A Family Torn Apart

23 07 2014

“My mother is a daughter of Zion. One side of her family fled from Russian pogroms in the Pale of Settlement, the other was caught up in the rise of Nazism in the cauldron of 20th-century Europe… My father’s family belongs to the other camp. He was only a boy when the Irgun and Haganah came rolling into Jaffa on the waves of tanks and mortars… I have a daughter now who carries both bloodlines and must somehow learn to live at peace with the two sides of her heritage.” – Claire Hajaj

http://www.newsweek.com/2014/08/01/my-jewish-mother-my-palestinian-father-and-family-torn-apart-260422.html





LOVE: goes on forever

16 07 2014





Beauty is Sanskrit, the language that opens the heart

3 07 2014

– Luna (age 5)

Thank you St James for a wonderfully rich school year (and for giving my girls the gift of Sanskrit).

 

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Is it wrong to teach children to believe in God?

29 06 2014
 
– Mummy, do you believe in God?
– Yes.
– Which God? 
– All Gods.

“Plato was prepared to force people to believe even false things for the sake of societal harmony. In the Republic, it is clear that Plato did believe in a god, although he was probably iffy about the Mount Olympus gods. But he thought god-belief necessary to keep order in the ideal society he was sketching. In the Laws Plato suggested that non-believers should be imprisoned, subjected to extreme thought control, served only by slaves and, when dead, buried anonymously.” –  

http://aeon.co/magazine/world-views/is-it-wrong-to-teach-children-to-believe-in-god/

 

god





I LOVE Sushi: let children lead the way towards peace

20 06 2014

 

I LOVE Sushi





LOVE = FORGIVENESS

6 06 2014





Notes & Neurons: In search of the common chorus

3 06 2014




rock-mama on tour with an infant

1 06 2014
 
“You have to be 1000% on the side of humanity once you have a kid. You’re like rooting for the home team like you never have before.”
– Efrim Menuck

Violinist Jessica Moss and singer/guitarist Efrim Menuck are struggling to balance parenthood with making music in their internationally acclaimed Montreal-based band Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra. They are one of a growing number of bands to have accepted an infant/toddler into their touring life.

 

 

 





Plato’s love party

30 05 2014

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Jerusalem

28 05 2014





Time that you love

28 05 2014

 

 

 

 

Well the smart money’s on Harlow and the moon is in the street
And the shadow boys are breaking all the laws
And you’re east of East Saint Louis and the wind is making speeches
And the rain sounds like a round of applause
And Napoleon is weeping in a carnival saloon
His invisible fiancee’s in the mirror
And the band is going home, it’s raining hammers, it’s raining nails
And it’s true there’s nothing left for him down here

And it’s time time time, and it’s time time time
And it’s time time time that you love
And it’s time time time

And they all pretend they’re orphans and their memory’s like a train
You can see it getting smaller as it pulls away
And the things you can’t remember tell the things you can’t forget
That history puts a saint in every dream

Well she said she’d stick around until the bandages came off
But these mama’s boys just don’t know when to quit
And Mathilda asks the sailors “Are those dreams or are those prayers?”
So close your eyes, son, and this won’t hurt a bit

Oh it’s time time time, and it’s time time time
And it’s time time time that you love
And it’s time time time

Well things are pretty lousy for a calendar girl
The boys just dive right off the cars and splash into the street
And when they’re on a roll she pulls a razor from her boot
And a thousand pigeons fall around her feet

So put a candle in the window and a kiss upon his lips
As the dish outside the window fills with rain
Just like a stranger with the weeds in your heart
And pay the fiddler off ’til I come back again

Oh it’s time time time, and it’s time time time
And it’s time time time that you love
And it’s time time time
And it’s time time time, and it’s time time time

And it’s time time time that you love
And it’s time time time

– Tom Waits





Glimpses of Higher Truth

24 04 2014

It is written, “As the sun and its sheath, [so are the divine names] Havayah-Elokim” (Psalms 84:12).  God desired that the infinite light with which he creates the world (Havayah) should be sheathed and concealed within the definitive laws and patterns of nature (Elokim). . . . But seeing that the world could not endure an absolute concealment, God allowed glimmers of His infinite light to be glimpsed through the sheath. These glimmers are the souls of the righteous and the miracles recounted in the Torah. —Shaar Hayichud Veha’emunah (lessons in Tanya)

Since 1998, and after having experimented with various creative forms to highlight the relationship between art and science, TOBIA RAVA’ has been carrying out research into the mystic elements of Hebraism, ranging from the Kabbalah to Chassidism, suggesting a new symbolic approach through the infinite possibilities of numerical combinations. His research should in no way be seen as a reduction of mystic to mystery or esoterics but instead as a visualisation of a deep awareness that mystical theology, according to Plato’s definition and to its original, authentic meaning, signifies wisdom and knowledge of that which is universal. [http://www.etgallery.co.il/exhibition-seat/Telaviv/]


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http://www.tobiarava.com