Words for Freedom Day

Quotes on freedom by Nikolai Berdyaev

“I must insist on freedom, as the origin and the end of my religious life.

“He truly loves freedom who affirms it for his fellows.”

“Freedom is… turning outward and creativity, a way to discover the universe inside oneself.” 

“Egoism, self-seeking, self-conceit, pride, the will to power, hatred of others, violence, all become virtues when transferred from personality to the nation as a whole… National self-conceit and pride is a lie, just as much as it is by the way ludicrous and stupid…[nationalism precipitates] men into a fictitious and illusory life.”

“Bread for myself is a material question. Bread for my neighbor is a spiritual one.”

“The enslaving of the other is also the enslaving of the self.”

“Man’s freedom is indissolubly linked with his obligations. Man’s freedom is not a claim, but a duty, not so much what he demands as what is demanded of him. Man must be free. God demands and expects this of him.”

“They have no right to speak for freedom, who recognize freedom only for themselves and their friends.”

“Every freedom always predicates discipline and asceticism and always perishes if these are lacking. Freedom demands that man maintain his dignity and purity, that he control himself…”

 

 

 

 

See: http://www.seekingakingdom.com

what counts

“…being active is still wasting one’s time, if in doing one loses oneself…”

“Life is short, and it is sinful to waste one’s time. They say I’m active. But being active is still wasting one’s time, if in doing one loses oneself. Today is a resting time, and my heart goes off in search of itself. If an anguish still clutches me, it’s when I feel this impalpable moment slip through my fingers like quicksilver… At the moment, my whole kingdom is of this world. This sun and these shadows, this warmth and this cold rising from the depths of the air: why wonder if something is dying or if men suffer, since everything is written on this window where the sun sheds its plenty as a greeting to my pity? I can say and in a moment I shall say that what counts is to be human and simple. No, what counts is to be true, and then everything fits in, humanity and simplicity. When am I truer than when I am the world? My cup brims over before I have time to desire. Eternity is there and I was hoping for it. What I wish for now is no longer happiness but simply awareness.

[…]

The great courage is still to gaze as squarely at the light as at death. Besides, how can I define the link that leads from this all-consuming love of life to this secret despair? If I listen to the voice of irony, crouching underneath things, slowly it reveals itself. Winking its small, clear eye, it says: “Live as if …” In spite of much searching, this is all I know.”

Soren Kierkegaard

Travel robs us of refuge

“Without cafés and newspapers, it would be difficult to travel. A paper printed in our own language, a place to rub shoulders with others in the evenings enable us to imitate the familiar gestures of the man we were at home, who, seen from a distance, seems so much a stranger. For what gives value to travel is fear. It breaks down a kind of inner structure we have. One can no longer cheat — hide behind the hours spent at the office or at the plant (those hours we protest so loudly, which protect us so well from the pain of being alone) …Travel robs us of such refuge. Far from our own people, our own language, stripped of all our props, deprived of our masks (one doesn’t know the fare on the streetcars, or anything else), we are completely on the surface of ourselves. But also, soul-sick, we restore to every being and every object its miraculous value. A woman dancing without a thought in her head, a bottle on a table, glimpsed behind a curtain: each image becomes a symbol. The whole of life seems reflected in it, insofar as it summarizes our own life at the moment. When we are aware of every gift, the contradictory intoxications we can enjoy (including that of lucidity) are indescribable.”

– Albert Camus, from Brainpickings by Maria Popova, https://www.brainpickings.org/2015/11/30/albert-camus-travel-lyrical-critical-essays/

The barbarians

“During the past three centuries South Africa has been extensively settled by foreigners from Europe. But this circumstance should not be given undue importance. Africa has had barbarians before. What is of significance is that we can all learn. And Africa has much to teach us – of thought that is created in sand and ceremony and that life is an ancient ritual.” – Herman Charles Bosman

Death by plastic

Plastic facts

  • It takes over two hundred years for a plastic straw to degrade.
  • It takes over 400 years (five lifetimes!) for a single PET plastic drinking bottle to degrade.
  • By 2050 (at current rate of pollution) there will be more plastic than fish in the world’s oceans. At the moment, only 14% of global plastic packaging is collected for recycling and only 2% is reused as packaging.
  • Crisp packets have been found intact after 33 years.
  • Electronic waste is currently the fastest growing solid waste stream, increasing two to three times faster than other waste streams. More broadly, industrial activities currently generate nearly 7.6 billion tons of solid waste in the US each year – that’s 3000% of the total municipal waste generated by Americans annually.

References and further reading:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Pacific_garbage_patch

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/01/how-much-plastic-is-there-in-the-ocean/

https://edition-m.cnn.com/2018/04/11/health/sperm-whale-plastic-waste-trnd/index.html

https://edition-m.cnn.com/2018/04/22/health/microplastics-land-and-air-pollution-intl/index.html

Whale suffocation from plastic:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-44344468