This week I encountered an amazing book “Mut zum Gaiazän” (a possible translation of the German title would be “Let’s embrace the Gaiacene”). The book didn’t amaze me because I found its contents particularly new or exciting. Quite the opposite. It seemed familiar to me from the start because it deals with just about all the issues that have preoccupied myself over the past thirty years. The parallels between my own spiritual biography and that of Mr. Finke are unmistakable – but so are the enormous differences. Continue reading Peter Finke – Gero Jenner. A case of doppelgangerism?
For the longest time in history, this question was rather easy to answer. The highest prestige was enjoyed by people who explained the meaning of world and life. These were mainly priests and wise men, because such meaning lay in the decree of the gods or the eternal orders of nature, which in turn conditioned correct moral action on the part of man. Continue reading Oh Mirror Mirror on the wall – Who is the fairest of them all?
Every time, every people lives by ideas that they strive for, that are worth living for. Our epoch has lived for about two hundred years on the guiding idea that man, by his own intellectual power, will not only be able to decipher the world completely, but also to master it to any degree of perfection. Continue reading (3) Shadows of the Miraculous
The “Clash of Cultures” due to irreconcilable religions and ideologies belongs to the past. In contrast, the “Clash of Civilizations”, i.e. the worldwide struggle for an equally high and, if possible, ever higher material standard of living, is darkening our common future, since the last resources are being plundered and nature increasingly poisoned in the name of progress. Mankind will only escape this struggle against itself and against nature by submitting to a global authority that demands the same restrictions from all of us.Continue reading Nation state or Homo technicus universalis?
When studying and trying to understand the past, we always do so in order to cope with the present and be better equipped for the future – that’s a truism. But our endeavors become difficult when the past provides us with contradictory signals so that the future turns into mystery. Then it can happen that our certainties waver and we look for completely new orientations and even concepts. Continue reading Future – God’s eighth Day of Creation?
Until the twenties of the last century, German was still the most common language of science. By 1933 Germany had won more Nobel Prizes than any other nation, more than England and the United States combined. Then came Hitler and his policy of systematic lies (and crimes). After the Second World War, German was just one language among others, and German science lost much of its former significance.
Aldous Huxley: Did I not make sufficiently clear what I think about principled optimists and ideological perfectionism when I wrote a masterpiece of world literature on the subject? Don’t believe that a man of the mind ever takes leave of thinking and simply retires. Instead I’m anxiously following what you’re doing down there – and certainly that gives me no rest. Coronavirus is only one among many threatening forebodings. Homo sapiens insapientissimus seems to do everything in his power in order to put himself on the red list of species without a future. And you don’t even know what you are doing! *0*
As human beings we are controlled by emotions and by our intellect – at any time both are invariably involved, even if it sometimes seems as if we are dealing with either purely emotional people or pure intellectuals. A mathematic formula, for example, which to an average person may seem as cold, lifeless and repellent as a prison wall, may produce enchantment and ecstasy in a mathematician who perceives it something extremely beautiful and elegant. In other words, he experiences much the same feelings as a musician who is playing Mozart or Bach. Feelings and the intellect don’t present themselves to us with an either-or, but we may definitely speak of prevailing tendencies.
An important, perhaps the most important, task of a good teacher is to dissuade students from making hasty judgments, for it is with this craving that we come into the world, while on the contrary reason only develops very slowly. Infants immediately start crying when they feel unwell and they smile when being treated kindly. But the vocabulary of pubescent young people still contains mainly expressions like super, cool, great or negative ones like poo, disgusting, evil etc. The aversion to independent thinking and the tendency to replace arguments with hasty values and judgments remains in later life – for many people throughout their lives.
Technician are used to thinking, poets also give free reign to feelings, sometimes they only express their feelings without caring much about thinking. Continue reading The Technician and the Poet – ferocious arguments, half-hearted reconciliation
Steven Pinker’s book „The Language Instinct“ is certainly still one of the best books ever written on the rather elusive subject of language: comprehensive in its wealth of facts, intelligent in its argumentation and fascinating in the refreshing wealth of ideas. Continue reading Psycholinguist Steven Pinker: How a great scientist turned into an enemy of himself – and of truth