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Challenged by Nietzsche


Nietzsche challenges us and disturbs us but that’s a good thing to do with a new year ahead.

Nietzsche puts down the Idols of modernity:

1-Liberty:

For Nietzsche, Freedom is the will to embrace our own responsibility in leading our lives. Freedom is the ability to create a life according to our own special values (he warns us of our ability to assimilate values from external sources: family, society, system or in reaction to them). Freedom is based on our own strength, on our ability to escape conformity and not on the liberty that can be granted to us by a State or a Law, nor the liberty to live like everybody else!

Why would we want liberty if it only means the liberty to choose what has already been packed for us?

2-Equality & Progress:

If equality is the leveling of valleys and mountains… Why would we want equality? Wouldn’t we have more to loose than to gain? I thank Nietzsche to open my eyes on that: Why would we want no differences in our horizon? Why can’t we enjoy diversity? Is a mountain “better” than a valley or a valley “better” than a mountain? And if we level both, with what would we be left with? Why should one be “better” than the other one?

Comfort and uniformity kill creativity, kill inspiration for greatness.

Greatness is not “being better”, greatness is not about being rich, or famous, or powerful…Greatness is authenticity and spirit: any life lived with both ingredients is a great and meaningful life. Modernity has tried to make us believe that progress and money will always lead us to a greater good… is it really so?… at what cost?

There is no a unique universal recipe for happiness (like money or a nice house with a white fence), some people don’t even WANT to be happy, some other just want to live life upon THEIR values!

3-Reason:

Nietzsche believes reason will not allow us to live meaningful lives, that reason can’t grasp reality and that there are very different kinds of knowledge. He invites us to trust more our body and passions, to embrace the concreteness of our life, to identify our values, to be the hero of our own adventure of living. Even more: if living is an art, we shall put reason aside and boost our creativity.

He also attacks Spirituality: Nietzsche considers spirituality self-repudiating and I differ with him on that: I believe we can embrace spirituality without deprecating our own physical existence, I believe we can unify both and this is precisely the challenge of a meaningful life. Don’t we need the strength of our spirit to be the hero of our own concrete life? And, can our spirit grow without connection with the infinite?

So, what does Nietzsche leave us with?

Our responsibility to create our own authentic life, to fully engage in that task, not been neither a spectator nor a follower and not even a leader because a leader puts himself at the service of others. Be an artist in search of beauty and meaning.

I like Nietzsche’s disturbance, I like when he invites us to face our idols and question them. It is politically incorrect to have doubts about the sacred ideals of liberty, comfort and happiness… but I think we can grow and expand from his questioning and this vision of being the creative actor of our own adventure

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Action & Love


Florence and Sandra barely know each other’s but one is critically ill and the other is an open-heart person and a fan of music. That’s how yesterday we were invited to a concert to raise funds for Florence’s treatments. Sandra put together 5 bands and we had music for more than 4 hours. Good music, offered by musicians who believe music cures anything. They’re not wrong: Florence was almost losing the power of her legs and yesterday night she couldn’t help dancing… Her words resonated a lot with what I believe, she said to all of us:” You are here tonight thanks to what Sandra has been able to organize and because you were moved by your heart. I believe through Action and Love, any miracle can be achieved.” Thank you Sandra, you made an amazing job! Thank you Florence, you are an example of will and passion for life!

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Movie Making


A few days ago, at the Miami Art Studio Program where I volunteer every wednesday afternoon (see link on blogroll), the 4th grade kids made a movie. A specialist, Joseph, came several days at the school and guided the children through the 3 weeks process.

First the group thought about what they wanted to express, then the idea was put into scenes (how would the story look like, what would happen), then Joseph transcript that into a screen-play and the movie could start.

And here comes the great moment: THE TEAM CREATION: Who would do What? Functions are assigned.

The children chose what they wanted to do: the roles and tasks are as diverse and as many as you wish. So we had a director, an assistant director, a cameraman, 4 actors, a production assistant, an in-charge of the microphone, the one in-charge of calling “all quite on the set!” before each shot, a make-up assistant. Each children had his responsibility and place in the team, each one was necessary for the film to be made, each one chose the task that was more appealing to him/her. Everybody worked concentrated and happy until the movie was completed.

My reflection has been: THAT’S WHAT EVERYBODY WANTS: Be part of a group with a common goal in which each one have a specific task and responsibility according to ones abilities and interests.

And I thought that this kind of activity should be a normal curriculum activity in every school. It would be the place where even who has academic challenges could prove his skills and be effective and successful. Because that is the role of a school: Develop and strengthen each children’s abilities so they can have a useful role in the team called society and at the same time feel satisfiyed and happy with what they are doing.

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A nice video of simple drawings about a meaningful life… enjoy it…

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special woman


There was a woman at Alexandria named Hypatia, daughter of the philosopher Theon, who made such attainments in literature and science, as to far surpass all the philosophers of her own time. Having succeeded to the school of Plato and Plotinus, she explained the principles of philosophy to her auditors, many of whom came from a distance to receive her instructions. On account of the self-possession and ease of manner, which she had acquired in consequence of the cultivation of her mind, she not unfrequently appeared in public in presence of the magistrates. Neither did she feel abashed in going to an assembly of men. For all men on account of her extraordinary dignity and virtue admired her the more. Socrates Scholasticus (5th-century)

HYPATIA born between AD 350 and 370; died March 415.

See the movie: Agora

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This multifaceted brazilian physician tells us how to remain healthy: it is not about food, not about how much you exercise, it is about how you live your life!

Listen to your feelings (don t let them cloud you, ask them for help)

Make decisions (don t be afraid of decisions, decisions create yourself)

Don t leave by appearances 

Accept (Acceptance is relief, is joy, is strenght)

Find solutions (Reject passivity, be daring)

Trust (Trust others, trust yourself, trust your faith)

Do not live life sad (Enjoy the ride!…)

http://sharelife.wordpress.com/2007/10/16/the-art-of-being-well-dr-drauzio-varella/

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