Philosophy on Kerbstones III – … and dance

And we want to know everything – but still, we just don’t want to know it, want to allow things and people carrying us away …; and we want to maintain the unknown as space to which we can send things: the pasha – Lord, the vizier – counsellor, minister. We want – in order to like it or in order to repudiate it – look at the ready product, in its unknown status, allowing us in its miraculous appearance …., yes, allowing us in that form to abstract from contradictions. We know ‘our’ counsellor: not being there to represent us, not being there to give us advise, not being a political bureaucrat, not being accessible to common sense outside of the standardised and standardising framework. With our own counsellor we have to deal as a reality. The vizier, even more so the وزير‎; (arabic for vizier) invites us to follow mystifications: tempting us to lift the veil and still also tempting to follow our ideals, prejudices, virtues. We may project them: the child in us, still dreaming being a prince or princess, a magician who can do , extramundane, out-worldly wonders or the genius engineer, able doing the worldly mysteries.

And so we enjoy strolling along the lanes of the pazar, feel attracted by the smells of oriental herbs, absorbed by the the fascinating colours, overwhelmed by the bizarre sounds of the music … – and complain about the marketisation evidenced by the shopping malls, the hubhub roaring from the speakers int he supermarkets …

As said on another occasion, we have in my current homeland so many ways to say Thank You, and even more ways to show gratefulness. And we have in another of my homelands 14 terms for snow, and in another again, trusting Fáilte Ireland, we find about 40 shades of green.

It is playing with these differences – and speaking of play, I a may come back to J. C. Friedrich von Schiller, again his Letters upon the Æsthetic Education of Man. Letter VIBut now it seems that playfulness disappeared when we read

I do not overlook the advantages to which the present race, regarded as a unity and in the balance of the understanding, may lay claim over what is best in the ancient world; but it is obliged to engage in the contest as a compact mass, and measure itself as a whole against a whole. Who among the moderns could step forth, man against man, and strive with an Athenian for the prize of higher humanity?

Whence comes this disadvantageous relation of individuals coupled with great advantages of the race? Why could the individual Greek be qualified as the type of his time? and why can no modern dare to offer himself as such? Because all-uniting nature imparted its forms to the Greek, and an all-dividing understanding gives our forms to us.

People so nice, ask for the way ….; and the shopkeeper, seeing in me the foreigner, the alien, showing his respect – respect for the other, and for him it means:

Je vous remercie Monsieur. Et une bonne journée.

At least I have to try:

Güneş parlıyor. Ve bu zaten iyi bir başlangıçtır.

Acknowledging the other – the magic around the other and the magic of being part; the temptation to know the standard, to delve into another world; and the temptation of leaving it afar. The tension we face, choosing between the small, local place in the alley way – sitting on a stool for a tea – and reducing our communication to those we know: limited by knowledge of language, of culture and the lack of a wireless internet connection – and the star pubs, the shamrock pub and the coffee shop we know from Barcelona, Munich, Helsinki, Budapest, Taipei, Melbourne, Rome – and even the Campus of the university in Cork: One world as we always wanted it, the security of knowledge, of knowing, of accessibility – the world present in this place, wherever it is located; and the rest of the world also present: free internet …

The temptation of looking at the beauty of a somewhat perfect: a standardised and streamlined world, united by an underlying though invisible law.

And knowing the standards and laws allowing us doing magnificent things [forget the name at the end ;-)]

Indeed,

it is simultaneously frightening and impressive!

And at the end it is about something very simple, so difficult to achieve

RESPONSIBILITY not least as courage to see how we answer the conditions of reality rather than obfuscate things – something I am looking at in one of the contributions of the book God, Rights, Law and a Good Society. Overcoming Religion and Moral as Social Policy Approach in a Godless and Amoral Society which is soon going to be published by Rozenberg.

And it surely is difficult to find the measure, the standard, the balance of difference in unity and unity in different – to find responsibility – res-ponsibility, an answer to realitiy: a reality in which we live and that is made by the way we live, the answers we give – and thinking about it, we should never forget the words by Martin Niemoller

First they came for the Communists …

First they came for the Communists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Communist

Then they came for the Socialists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist

Then they came for the trade unionists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a trade unionist

Then they came for the Jews
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew

Then they came for me
And there was no one left
To speak out for me.

Kerbstones – Stepping Stones  —  living between the known and the unknown — and aiming seeing the magic still inside of everyday’s life.

And so …, well a holiday does not mean not doing anything, it is, for me, not filled by strolling around – though this is surely part of it. And this is how I begin the day – its outdoor part: meeting Baerbel at Taksim Meydanı. While I am just looking for her telephone number – we never met before, somebody is waving at me: You are Peter? – I am, indeed. A short hesitation: But we never met or did we? – No, but your photo is on the website of the Jury-platform. – Of course. I remember now. And although we really never saw before it is – after a blink of an eye – a kind of immediately intimate relationship – I a not sure if this is the correct word. In any case it is strange that I am only getting after a while really aware of the fact that the reason I know her is actually the fact that I knew Joerg. We stroll around, a short way only, sit down in the European part of the city: a little bit Bohemian, the arts-quarter,the quarter of second-hand book shops, the quarter that may be called ‘scene’. Chatting about Paris, about Istanbul, about what brought her here: not least the tightness, the lack of space to breath freely, to find her own space now. And crossing the border: walking down the hill, looking at the tower of the old Venetian palace, the symbol of previous European stronghold …, taking the tram and ‘leaving Europe’. The Egyptian market, the old train station, made famous not least by Agatha Christie. The touristy part in the new – or the old? – world: the world across the Bosphorus. Of course, the obligatory visit: the Sultan Ahmed Mosque – the Aya Sofya, a short – arts, religion,comparison, the meaning of faith today and new searches for meaning – and …, we left these historical places behind, after a short walk we sit down in a very traditional hotel, an old timber building – the beguiling smell of the Turkish coffee, the refreshing water. Can we talk briefly about the price? She asks. Sure – not only briefly. And it follows a more or less lengthy conversation not just on the price – bringing also for me memories up, going at least 25 years back now, the work, the meetings during which we discussed memoranda on economic policies: in Germany, then in Europe … – and the need to develop right now …., a centre of the left in the realm of economic thinking.

It is about 5 o’clock – the call from the mosque is unmistakable. And the call from another world is not less unmistakable: We need another world, at least we have to look for instruments, … and the people, to build it. And if they are not there we have to educate them. Academic schools are and can only be schools of thought – not of administrative establishments. Indeed, you may say with John 1:1

In the beginning was the Word, …

But the word can only be the work of creating a world as response to the given reality – a response as matter of accepting responsibility, lifting the veil …

‘Write a draft, please. Your idea is really good. I will have a look as soon as I get it – and I find the time.’ – We get up, walk down the hill, walk across the Galata Köprüsü, the Tünel brings us up the hill. and we finally arrive again at the place where we met. A fleet of yellow taxis and Dolmuş.

Societies consist of communication, and communication is an extremely unlikely event – though it permanently happens. I do not remember exactly the words Niklas Luhmann used. I remember him saying them, and I remember our discussions: In the beginning had not been the word. And reality did not consist of words, but of a given reality which we, people, changed and are permanently changing.

Life as matter of exercise: pedantic and arduous work of bringing data, information and creative thinking together, aiming on merging the different veins – allowing us to explore the unknown in order to immerse in new realities. – Before joining Mathilde in Stenhdal’s Le Rouge et le Noir in saying

Ils sont parfaits, trop parfaits peut-être, enfin, ils m’ennuient.
(They are perfect, perhaps too perfect – they are boring (my translation,PH)

At the end, taking the title of a contribution for a book on Creative Research to which Ananata Giri invited me. It is about Research as Searching for Nescience: looking for what we do not know, accepting the worlds diversity in order to explore and explain it with PSS: powerful stepping stones in complex understanding rather than pruning reality, modelling the world so that it fits into PPP powerful presentations of …., peanuts, small nullities, perhaps tasting nice, but taken just on their own causing terrible stomachs.

We need them: complexities as stepping stones to a dance …..

– for Hurriyet Babacan – friendly, caring freedom.

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  1. […] back to the ‘global centre’. As I wrote on an earlier occasion – in the post PHILOSOPHY ON KERBSTONES III – … AND DANCE: The tension we face, choosing between the small, local place in the alley way – sitting on a […]



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