Tag Archives: Philosophy

If we have loved well while we were alive..


“If we have loved well while we were alive, there is life after death here -our love will go on for generations” – Desmond Tutu.

“I am what I am because of what we all are” – Ubuntu.

“A time of crisis is not just a time of anxiety and worry. It gives a chance, an opportunity, to choose well or badly.” – Desmond Tutu

If we consider the will to live in and around us on this planet as part of a cosmic manifestation which started with extreme forces in the universe some multi billion years ago perhaps, one of the things we may wonder  is that we owe to the sun. Sounds strange perhaps. Without sun there would be no life on this planet. However the sun never asks what we can do in return, never asks for a favour. It is pure energy and light.

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Love in the will to live and to manifest in all our energies brightens the world, – like the sun brightens the sky.

Love is one of the major substances of nature,  human life, and the universe.  As human beings we can love far more than we ever did before. Love does not ask for favours.  What this love – of a different kind  – creates is positive energy which will one way or the other flow back to us,  – resolve problems and divisions and many more.

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As part of our creative abilities and being receptive to what is going on around us we can make the choice to look for the things we love, – what we love in other people, in events and circumstances.

Before we go to bed and fall asleep we may consider and feel what we love in all those little things and this on its own will lift our spirit. And obviously as proactive human beings we have to try to go for the things we love and like to do, – without wasting energy on pointless obstacles, if we are able to turn away from this.

If at bed time we are too exhausted and fail to have the energy to wonder about what we love or to realise what our gratitude requires, we can easily skip a few days, – as long as we try to make a habit to do this before bedtime at least once a week.

We can make the impossible possible for what we really love as we have our imagination and endless opportunities to dream things which were never before, with the conviction that it will happen (that it actually already happened).  Not always but often we can make things true of what we so strongly believe.

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The gift to play with our mind in the positive may have been lost for some who may say this belongs to childhood. But if we keep control over our mind, our mind and heart will never be our enemy. If we train our mind to feel love and give love on top of our gratitude to all those people who may have had an impact on our inner and outer life, – the implications can be life changing.

A “thank you” for the gifts we receive(d) under almost all circumstances and to others, may help us to give in the same measure as we did receive in both the past and the present. Neither the present nor the past can prevent both our gratitude and love for what we want and believe for the future, – as long as we don’t harm.

Whilst life is not without struggle or defeat in our perceptions, – through gratitude felt by our heart we may find compensation in the “trials” of life.

The more we give in terms of love and gratitude, the more we will receive as well, – as love is really the major part of our substance. Major part of nature and the universe as well and if we we don’t see things with our own restricted human eyes, – somehow it will reflect back to us from various directions. Our links with the universe are of an unseen nature, which does not mean that those links do not exist. Through the energy of love in which we take part as products of this universe, we may give in abundance and may receive in abundance. The more we give this way, the more we receive the other way in ways we don’t need to understand.

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The last only if we don’t give to receive, which is a subtle but important difference of our mindset. It does simply not work when you give to receive! I will reflect later on an early childhood experience.

Faith indeed is somehow trusting and believing and loving the things we don’t see, – and at some stage seeing the things we believed.

It requires a mindset of a different kind and love of a different kind.

It requires as well to say “thank you” for the things we received, – like Einstein did at least 50 times a day when he was asked what his major achievement was. He did thank the people who played a role in his life, people who had an impact on him and his circumstances. Perhaps this was one of the reasons that the universe provided him with the wisdom and the knowledge of the kind he received. It was Dr Albert Schweitzer as well who learnt to show his gratitude and his act to travel to Lambarene and start one of the first mission hospitals in Gabon was an act of love, – tough love. This mission started in the last century.

Let us never forget that Jesus said “thank you” before he performed a miracle.

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There is more going on than we can see or hear in the interactions between our planet and the universe, but if we harness us with the power of love with abundance and the right energy, we will receive with abundance and we may enjoy this, – even though the world as it is is far from perfect.

Just anecdotal, I learnt my first lessons the funny way when I was close to eight years old only, – spending the summer holidays in Haamstede (Zeeland) with my parents my brothers and some friends. It was a place close to the sea, dunes and forest with a large gliding airport. I loved playing with a kite as kids do.  My kite often crashed and the lifespan of that kite was often not longer than a week as the stronger the wind the stronger the crashes. On the 16th of July it was the birthday of grandma and I did send her a nice card with a biblical text which was suitable for her as she was a very Christian woman in her 80ties. This was a gesture without expectation as it was her birthday, – would have been different perhaps if it was my birthday at the age of eight. It was a very pleasant surprise to receive a few days later an envelope with lets say some $25,-.  I forgot to say “thank you” to grandma (she lived some distance away ) and bought straight away a new kite, – which  crashed various times as well. This kite was done within 10 days (lasted a bit longer) but there was no pocket-money left.  My dad gave not any further pocket-money and the local little “Foodland” refused to give me a loan kite. Well, – I decided to send grandma a new card with this time a better text of similar nature. A few days later an envelope came in with $10,=.  At this age I did not understand why the moneys were reduced, but anyhow,  again I forgot to say a genuine “thank you” and bought straight on a new kite which obviously was of less quality. My slightly older brother started unfortunately to send cards to grandma as well.  My new kite did not last longer than 3 days this time, which was bad luck and a new card with the right text did not receive any response. My brother did not receive anything and felt perhaps unfairly treated. Grandma was aware obviously what was starting to happen but she took everything in her later life with a loving smile.

Experiences of “right and wrong” or half “right and wrong”,  giving and taking etc  do start at early childhood in every human being.  As long as people learn and are able to take the next step.

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Some do from this point of view better than others. Most important is that a level will be reached of compassion, both love and gratitude, – the last  for what we received through the labour of others. Both in the spirit and the material things they provided for us. Both from people who already died and are still alive.

When I became a little older and in contact with people, – through circumstances and being engrossed at some lengths in the greater human spirits of our time,  I became to realise that what we give in love may live on, – and that the force of love and gratitude in life can make the impossible possible.

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Nothing in this world is impossible as some did show the way they gave to humanity.

Let’s be grateful for every human spirit who kept our inner life alight, for any situation which helped us further, for any joy which left us in the positive, and for the One external force in God which protects us,  whatever we have to face, –  in death or being alive, but foremost during our lifetime amidst the expressions  of life in and around us.

Love and gratitude are the most important ingredients for a life in abundance.

Thank you!

Paul Wolf

 

The Question Of Character And Courage


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“Courage is the discovery that you may not win, and trying when you know you can lose”
–Tom Krause

–>>

…We thought about it and we spoke about it for many years already and It has gone through our minds, perhaps someway for ages.

Not for everybody but for some.

Often we did see the examples in day to day life and we admired them wishing it could be our own, – less often we did read about it, in the papers or in some books perhaps, – besides from what we were able to see on TV, in documentaries or on DVD‘s

Do you remember the question going through your heart and mind as well?

Did we fail at times that we were running low and progress was slow, did we fail at the times we forgot about it as things seemed well, and there was perhaps no reason to ask again, – or to raise again the issue of character and courage?

We like to be of good character or want to be seen as such. We like to have courage and faith but there are moments we fail in both courage and good character. Not that those incidents give a fair assessment on the total of our actions, – but simply the fact is that we are never always good in character, or always good in showing courage.

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Is this an “open door”?

Yes, – it is, as trying to get to the bottom of the question of character and courage a fair assessment is required.

We like to be true to ourselves as well, but not always are we true to our real self. As I said once, freedom and choice are indivisible and need to be earned and conquered each day,each week and each month, – and the sum of those efforts may work in favour of both our character and our courage. Both courage and character are indivisible as well, – like so many things are related or interrelated.

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Whilst the secret of happiness is perhaps freedom, using the gift of choice the greatest potential, – the secret of freedom is courage. The last implying being able to make the right choice under any circumstances.

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A matter of character as well.

For sure any of us will have our weak moments as long as we raise when the storm sets in, – even when the storm imposes a strain or challenge on our position or principles, – when it imposes a risk for ourselves, our future and other things perhaps. When the storm comes the leaves may fly away as long as the tree stands firm, and when the storm settles, like so many storms, – the tree may start a new season as no storm will leave nature unmoved. It’s part of life, – it depends how we are grounded, being firm in our convictions or weak in our principles.

There are many small actions of character and courage, often shown when “we feel like it” or were “in the frame of mind” to do so.

Those actions are neither dramatic or huge as the actions of those leaders who at the right frame of mind, at both the right place and the right time in history, were able to turn events in favour of greater change for humanity, – nor are they as dramatic as the courage of the last moments when we are facing death.

Speaking about the very last, – this crossed my mind when a young woman in her 40ties got cancer. Her family around her and her older sister were there when her time came. They had their memories, laughter and sadness, but when she died it could be seen that she went back to her own Creator. She took her death with peace as she knew she went back where we all came from, despite the agony and pain at times. When this happens in your family, losing loved ones at young age, – you realise there are only a few things in life which really matter. It’s a small thing only to have been able in life to enjoy the sun, a small thing to have lived light in the spring, – to have both loved and done when we “leave our footprints on the sands of time.” And even those footprints will be wiped away as time evolves and little will be remembered, unless we showed both great love and courage. In this it’s all about the courage to love , the courage to live and the courage to leave a legacy, – besides the courage to face death when the last is facing us.

So courage again, in general, is important, – but the courage to love as well, the compassion of doing the things being both right and good at every point of testing. The courage to live life in such away as if every day could be the last one. This takes besides having a mental alertness to have courage, both in the simple things but in particular at times of adversity, at times meeting the facts of life, at times when it is required to go straight at things without dodging them. It means as well we have to pick up or seize the vital issue in a complex matter, without getting wounded by running away from it.

Long before he became US President, John F Kennedy did write a book about “Profiles in Courage“. A study of men in the historical and political arena of the US where they stood firm on their principles at times of challenge in either the US Senate or the House of Representatives (apart from some other area’s), – at times when crucial decisions were due to be made and the balance between conscious and public opinion or “public favour” were tense, at times when both the public and colleagues were hostile.

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Courage is not about the past, it is about the future, – and therefore the examples of courage are so important.

So many examples!

The soldiers who save their mates at the battlefield at risk for their own lives, the people fighting for human rights and going into areas and questioning the areas of controversy at risk for their lives, the courage to stand up when it is required for either a good cause or in a speech when the real issues need to be challenged. But also the people who stand out to help those at times of disaster, – bushfires, massive flooding and earthquakes etc, – all often not without risk for own life.

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The “New Frontiers” of Kennedy were neither East nor West, neither South nor North, – but in his own time as US President where he fronted the facts as they were. At the level of President Obama we find an untroubled spirit who tends to look at things in the face as how he meet them, and know them for what they are, – dealing with them at the right time and place.

Courage, – the combination of bravery at times, integrity more at times, – based on principles. And life is the arena where we are tested on those virtues, each of us at times under excessive pressure, rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation and constant in praying, – for those who pray within the silence of our Creator.

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This is one of the dimensions of courage.

As Bob Greene once said: “You need to know what life you want (as well as what life you don’t want), then you have to muster up the will and the drive to go after it.”

This is courage as well.

Courage is like a diamond, “unbreakable”, with a hardness and the sort of light dispensing, – allowing to show people the various dimension of the light it reflects. As a gemstone it is a highly valued commodity, but courage in human life is an essential commodity, – not as highly traded perhaps but being graded as the one and only virtue at each testing point in life’s endeavours.

As the Roman poet Horace once wrote more than 2000 years ago: “Tomorrow we take our course once more over the mighty seas.”

It takes courage to do this, it takes courage to be the housewife with 4 children and going every day over the mighty seas of friction and care for loved ones, when the income is low and the prices are high.

Courage is “grace under pressure” as Ernest Hemingway once said, but it takes courage to raise the sails if the winds of grace are blowing, – and they don’t blow every day. At times it is easier said than done when the oil of daily life is going through our troubled sea of thoughts, as life may face some of us this way, – preventing to keep our mind smooth and equable.

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Tough times can come when we are at our weakest point, and raising up to be the “unbreakable diamond” we want to be may arise at the worst possible times, as we may be discouraged as human beings as due to ongoing misery, – as due to staring at the water without being able to cross the sea.

Blessed are those who keep our hopes up in those circumstances.

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The circumstances when we can’t get into the mountain ranges as due to the desert where human feet can’t go, – as due to the ends of unknown seas when neither wind nor sails are the tools we normally use to find direction. Human life has those circumstances where there is neither boat nor sails, neither the morning breeze at a blue ocean nor the sight of a destiny.

Perhaps it was once there, but for some it has gone from their sight, – those being depressed under the most horrendous circumstances of both poverty and abuse, – deprived from education and diminished in self-destructive perceptions.

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That’s life, – a mixture of both tragedy and triumph, both with implications and expectations, both with dangers and failures all around.

But still, as once the 3rd  US President said: “One man with courage is a majority.”

From that point it is true that the courage of “one man standing up for an ideal” as Robert Kennedy once said, standing up to improve the lot of others, others who suffer the implications of injustice, – is an act of courage as well.

The courage of helping those with neither hope nor courage. The courage to send forth the implications of peace, against oppression and resistance. The courage to build up a current in which people can raise their tiny sails on restless boats, – to cross the barriers and waters they have to cross to build a life for their own, both with value and dignity.

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“The world is a lost place” as some would say, – however not for those who judge themselves on the contributions they have to make, and the goals they have to shape, – to improve the lot of others.

And then when we have to face death ourselves as part of an eternal cycle, – the question is not how much money we made. The question is whether we tried “to love our neighbour as ourselves” and whether we made a genuine effort to improve the lot of those who really needed this.

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Indeed, when we are going back from where we came, the only one Creator, – our time has gone, our attitude has gone, both our joy and abundance have gone, – but what stays in the twilight of memory, in the actions of people we had an impact on, is whether our private chart during our discovery on both the earth and the sea did contain the light of spring: that we have loved and done, that have done and loved.

This is what takes courage, – courage in sustained ways, but also the courage of the diamond with that single strong reflection which holds everything together, – by sharing it freely from our heart and spirit, in whatever life asks us to do in all those things we need to do.

This is a question of courage and character, a question of encouragement or discouragement, – the question or ask to be a sparkling light as we have the privilege of a free choice to be this way.

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This is what matters most, the question of character and courage, – the matter of grace under pressure and the ability to make the right distinctions when the heat is on, – all this with wisdom and perseverance.

Thank you!

 Paul 

Paul Alexander Wolf

https://paulalexanderwolf.wordpress.com/2013/01/06/we-dream-of-things-that-never-were-and-say-why-not/