Showing posts from October, 2014

Ah! Sunflower

Eight lines only, but of such power - and much of it in that 'ah!'... is it surprise on encountering the sunflower, is it an expression of delight or more sadly, one of pity..? And although the sunflower is of course rooted, this is a poem of rootlessness, of movement, or perhaps of desire of movement - seeking after, the traveller's journey - and 'where' is repeated three times, the desire for somewhere else, perhaps. Or perhaps the where is the where of the imagination, not only in space, but in time. I feel so for that sunflower, for it reminds me of somebody I was once very close to, that yearning, that sense of wanting something undefined and the frustration that life brings to deny that undefined something, persistence and frustration, lost innocence and corrupted love, desire and the inevitable end of desire. And now, over to The Fugs and "Ah, Sunflower Weary Of Time":

Heidegger, animals, kitchens and spending more time in graveyards.

I was quite excited to watch the video (pointed out by the wonderful Brain Pickings) on 'Heidegger in the Kitchen' - but was a bit grossed out by multiple use of animal corpses - what were they thinking! Bleugh. Nice attempt at metaphor to illustrate Heidegger, but not quite getting there. And the music's annoyingly inauthentic! However, the text/voice-over is pretty good at showing the very things that make Heidegger's take on Being so powerful - how our full and frank awareness of death allows us to live authentically, developing empathy from the recognition that our fragility is the fragility of all living things. Here's an extract from it:
Existence, or Being, is finite, fragile, and very temporary — but we rarely appreciate our temporary existences. Much of Heidegger’s philosophy is devoted to trying to wake us up to the fragility of our life and the strangeness of existing on this delicate, exhaustible planet, spinning in an otherwise seemingly silent, alien…

Freedom to Learn Section I: Difficulties and Opportunities (part two)

(This section follows on from the first part)1.As a Teacher, Can I be Myself?1.1Can we be human in the classroom? A teacher friend of Rogers’ said “of course not!” – the reasons following… 1.1.1The Usual Class It is risky – better to play safe, keep a distance. She has been conditioned to think of herself as “the expert, the information giver, the keeper of order, the evaluator of products, the examination giver, the one who, at the end, formulates that goal of all ‘education’, the grade.She firmly believes she would be destroyed if she let herself emerge as the human being she really is” - the consequences of ‘letting her mask slip’. And students also have their fa├žade to maintain, too, a similarly protective way of being that will help them simply pass the course – and not risk being themselves, showing their true feelings. In such an ‘educational’ atmosphere, students become passive, apathetic, bored. Teachers become case-hardened stereotypes, and eventually burn out. Rogers asks “…

Carl Rogers: Freedom Freak

The Curator made me aware of a book called "Carl Rogers: Control Freak" yesterday and the blurb claims the following:How To Save the Method of Carl RogersHow To Use the Rogerian MethodSave Counseling's Greatest Technique Now! I'm not fucking reading it, life's too short and it's bullshit :-)
How do I know? And without reading it!!! Soooo unscientific! Well, bollocks - I know because I KNOW, you know! I've experienced 'the method' (it's not a method, or a technique, Kevin - it's a way of being, oh, and while I'm at it, Rogers declined the tribute of 'Rogerian' - find your own way, baby...). I don't know enough about counselling generally, but I know how the realness and empathy and love of Carl Rogers reached me from beyond the grave and liberated me to be me and this is perhaps the most important thing that ever happened to me. 
I was reading Rogers' Freedom to Learn just now and came across the accounts of people who h…

Chimpanzee beings, dog beings, human beings and the importance of empathy

It's all one, we're all one!

After blogging about Michael Pollan's sensible approach to diet yesterday, I did and still do feel a bit shitty about his attitude to animals - travelling such distance in thinking outside the off-the-shelf thinking bubble and you still want to murder animals. Honestly, it's piss-poor, Michael! So, I'm especially moved today by this short video "Being with Jane Goodall" (thanks to Brain Pickings) which really encapsulates my own feelings towards our amazing and beautiful animal friends - our empathy for animals brings us humans to our highest potential...