Panta Rhei

moving into the next stage, the eksoc-fellowship in Lodz ….

Time of Departure and Arrival


Charles BAUDELAIRE   (1821-1867)


– Qui aimes-tu le mieux, homme énigmatique, dis ?

ton père, ta mère, ta sœur ou ton frère ?

– Je n’ai ni père, ni mère, ni sœur, ni frère.

– Tes amis ?

– Vous vous servez là d’une parole dont le sens m’est

resté jusqu’à ce jour inconnu.

– Ta patrie ?

– J’ignore sous quelle latitude elle est située.

– La beauté ?

– Je l’aimerais volontiers, déesse et immortelle.

– L’or ?

– Je le hais comme vous haïssez Dieu.

– Eh ! qu’aimes-tu donc, extraordinaire étranger ?

– J’aime les nuages… les nuages qui passent… là-bas…

là-bas… les merveilleux nuages !

Der Fremde

Wer, rätselhafter Mensch, ist deinem Herzen am liebsten? Sprich!

Dein Vater, deine Mutter, deine Schwester oder dein Bruder?

Ich habe weder Vater, noch Mutter, noch Bruder, noch Schwester. –

Deine Freunde? –

Du brauchst ein Wort, dessen Sinn ich bis heute nie verstand. –

Deine Heimat? –

Ich weiß nicht, auf welchem Breitengrad sie liegt. –

Die Schönheit? –

Ich möchte sie lieben, die göttlich unsterbliche. –

Das Gold? –

Hasse ich, wie du Gott hassest. –

Was also liebst du, staunenswerter Fremder? –

Ich liebe die Wolken … die ziehenden Wolken … dort … die wundervollen Wolken.

The Stranger

Tell me, enigmatic man, whom do you love best? Your father, your mother, your sister, or your brother?

– I have neither father, nor mother, nor sister, nor brother.

– Your friends?

– You are using a word whose meaning to this day remains unknown to me.

-Your country?

– I do not know in which latitude it lies.

– Beauty?

– I would love her gladly, goddess and immortal.

– Gold?

– I hate it as you hate God.

– Well then! What do you love, unfathomable stranger?

– I love the clouds… the passing clouds … up there … up there … the marvelous clouds!

—Translated by Sam Taylor


For the pcs:


World Teachers’ Day

The 5th of October, since 1994, the World Teachers’ Day commemorates the anniversary of the signing of the 1966 UNESCO/ILO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers. The 1966 Recommendation provides the main reference when it comes to teachers’ rights and responsibilities on a global scale.


Worthwhile to remember what Alfred Marshall said in 1890.

The schoolmaster must learn that his main duty is not to impart knowledge, for a few shillings will buy more printed knowledge than a man’s brain can hold. It is to educate character, faculties and activities; so that the children even of those parents who are not thoughtful themselves, may have a better chance of being trained up to become thoughtful parents of the next generation. To this end public money must flow freely. And it must flow freely to provide fresh air and space for wholesome play for the children in all working class quarters. (Marshall, Alfred, 1890: Principles of Economics; MacMillan and Co., London, 1930: 718)

It seems that with the “refeudalisation of society” we face the situation that the positions of the revolutionaries of the olden times, whose authors had been yesterday’s conservatives, are becoming joining on the side of the revolutionaries again. In this light there is also something about the illustration, ensuring to sin – surely not catholic-literally but to accept that pupils and students are partners.


Worthwhile a note on the world and China: on September the 10th I received a mail from 张伟, a former student of mine – well, she would say “a student of mine”, skipping the word “former”. She sent her congrats and best wishes for the teachers day. First I was puzzled – did she mix up the date? 2018, the Chinese teachers’ day is on the 10th of September, the world teachers’ day on October 5th, a simple explanation. I checked later on the web and found something that is … – well, I leave it up to you to think about it:

10 September is an official holiday in China. This day the whole country fetes educators and teachers. This holiday, in its different interpretations, has been existed in China as early as the Middle Ages. Teachers and coaches have always been honored and respected in China. Very often teachers acted as mentors throughout the whole life; especially it is true for the traditional Chinese martial arts.

It also says something on the reason of making it a public holiday: the official acknowledgment of teachers – as intellectuals – and their important role in boosting the development of the country. Also

Since the school system in China is based on the Western model, many old traditions in honor of teachers have not been preserved today.

One may have different opinions on this, the political background …, well. But at least it seems to be worthwhile to mention that there is a deed in the one part of the world, and that there are just words, probably widely unspoken, unwritten, unheard, unread … in another part of the world.


Worthwhile a personal note:
Only recently, visiting with a friend the Kunsthalle in Munich, I remembered one point of all this, when standing with her in front of one of Emmanuel Maignan’s works, the “Anamorfosi San Francesco di Paola”. A pleasure to experience the amazement of both of us. Though it had not been about a visit with a student, it is very similar anyway: Something of learning together and admitting that it is about the experience of being caught by what one sees – in this case actually being caught by what one does not see: the praying person only visible from two specified angles, the sides. It reminded me of having used Holbein’s equally magnificent  work “Gli Ambasciatori” for showing the same effect: the hiding of something, the fact of leaving something invisible for those who lack the enlightenment – an enlightenment that is emerging from the standpoint, the perspective. Never having seen the original of Holbein’s work, seeing something similar entailed still the experience of being amazed. – What foolish teacher would say s/he knows the one and only perspective. Doesn’t such perspective emerge only from putting together experiences, that may at some stage get stuck, paralyse the experienced if it goes together with closing the eyes, blocking off, not allowing new experiences to be made; and even more: not allowing looking at something “known” through new spectacles and of course forcing looking at the new through the old glasses.

Teachers’ Day – an opportunity to congratulate students, and to thank my students for allowing me to learning together with them.

The Most Dangerous Game

This is the title of an exhibition, showing the

Situational International en route for May ’68.

Earlier this week, well, actually already the week before, before I went to the EuroMemo conference in Helsinki last week, I was reminded of today’s understanding of occupying the streets and the meaning of the spectacle – though entirely different from the S.I.’s understanding
Germany’s “largest Festival of the Year”
showing its vedettes: So many roads closed, even part of the park between the Victory-Column and the Brandenburg Gate, the intangible power
provoking the question: what do they mean stating that this festival is
only together with you
There can, in some way, only be one answer: it is about the continuation and replication of how the former East had been and still is treated, prolonging the tradition of the East when that part served as corn-chamber of the West. That is what had been established also in 1989, though it isn’t about corn anymore; the new debates on the floors where the CEOs of the large national and international corporations meet in their offices and meeting rooms had been concerned with the division of work and influence and living conditions within Gemany and between Germany, the other “old Europeans” and the “newcomers”. Those years I travelled a bit across countries as Poland, Czech Republic, Ukraine, Moldova …, clearly witnessing the “occupation of the streets”, clearly witnessing a strict pattern of the positioning of the different enterprises in a well-ordered fashion, clearly showing that competition can well be about the friendly distribution of market power.
I suppose it had been around those years that I wrote on page 232 in the
– ‘We are the people’, this phrase still sounds in my ears – and I see the crumbling of ‘the wall’, socialism had been building – rightly or wrongly – to protect itself against… ‘We are the people’ they say now – and the walls of Tesco, Aldi, Mango, Springfield, Dell, MAC, BMW and all the others make it difficult to hear the real voices of many who are just following their own way, now whispering for instance in the thermal bath of Hajdubösösmerny.
Well, there are these two worlds, within Germany, within EUrope and Europe and globally: the one attend “happenings” and their spectacles are about spectacular money; others see
The first of October … – it took me much longer to go to the House of the Cultures of the World then it took me “those years” to cross at Bahnhof Friedrich Strasse – the German State needs much protection, a huge contingent of police and private security when switching to circenses while limiting panem …  
The third of October … will it ever be a day of celebrating globalism, cosmopolitan spirit and life instead of supporting strengthened nationalism?
These days in October, very often, my experience with the police, when passing the security points to enter the gated areas “outside office hours”, may be mentionable – one example: I referred to the “Nur mit Euch” (only with you) on the poster depicted above, stating something like “it is an interesting concept: ‘Only with you’, and we are all screwed …” – Comment by the officer, though surely not an official one: “I do not have a clue what they meant by this.”

The no-problem-society V – is there really no right life in the wrong one?

[the no-problem-society (I, II, III, IV)]


Adorno coined the phrase
Though without referring to him, we had been chatting about this topic, Yi wondering why “you in the West have this strange attitude: not living, working and then condensing life in a brief period called holidays …”
A few days after our chat this came back to me, 8:30, taking a morning-train to the German capital: eleven man, not too young, entering the passenger compartment, loud enough to entertain a train station, occasionally quietened by reading the famous boulevard journal … . After a short while I saw one of them sitting there with a bottle of sparkled wine, only minutes later he got a little box of Kuemmerling, the herb liqueur – don’t get misled by the name, it is not going back to any worries (the German term “Kummer” can be translated as worry).
Obviously they went for a weekend to live, forgetting existing during unbalanced work, caught in alienation.
I pointed it out to my companion: people, clearly showing the meaning of what Marx stated 1844 in the Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts:
What, then, constitutes the alienation of labor? First, in the fact that labor is external to the worker, that is, that it does not belong to his essential being; that in his work, therefore, he does not affirm himself but denies himself, does not feel well but unhappy, does not freely develop his physical and mental energy but mortifies his body and ruins his mind. The worker, therefore, feels himself only outside his work, and feels beside himself in his work. He is at home when he is not working, and when he is working he is not at home. His work therefore is not voluntary, but coerced; it is forced labor. It is therefore not the satisfaction of a need, but only a means for satisfying needs external to it. Its alien character emerges clearly in the fact that labor is shunned like the plague as soon as there is no physical or other compulsion.
It has nothing to do with what is called intelligence, it is nothing that can easily be overcome, by nobody and nowhere – again Marx, again the first volume of Capital:
If money, according to Augier, “comes into the world with a congenital blood-stain on one cheek,” capital comes dripping from head to foot, from every pore, with blood and dirt.
And more or less the same kind of blood-stain:
to the development of productivity and the more economic use of the conditions of production. It imposes on the worker an increased expenditure of labour within a time which remains constant, a heightened tension of labour-power, and a closer filling-up of the pores of the working day, i.e. a condensation of labour … the denser hour of the 10-hour working day contains more labour.
And as commodity consumption becomes “production”, the act of buying itself becomes a means of satisfaction, it is the emergence of the real life becoming itself a wrong life.
Yes, Yi, we know and still we do not fully grasp it, we remain caught with the two souls you talked about. Still … as much as we now … a stone know as well a lot, is there on the ground, condensed, the impressions of hundreds of years ingrained – but it is unable thinking to think even a nanosecond, as unable as it is to feel …, to love, to acknowledge and eve enjoy the madness of everyday’s life. No way for it to escape, to start thinking, no way to make it thinking …
The answer is prompt:
Poor stone –
And turning towards me:
If you are angry against the stone; I feel sympathetic with him.
Looking into the eyes, the face, I would like to have a stone in front of me, touching it, comforting it, softening it …
No, I am not angry with him, I feel sorry for him … There is a chapter in one of the books I wrote for children, it is about a person wo had been like a stone …. But actually he had been cured one day.
Followed by her question:
Cured by a Mr. Hammer?
Of course:
No, a hammer can only make things worse; after using it you only have more stones … wait, just a sec …
While searching the file of “Phanresias Geschichten von der Freundschaft” and the chapters dealing with Mr. Messerscharf, the train attendant walks through the train offering a cookie.
Well, it seems that there can be some realm right life in the wrong one – but looking into her face, the frozen smile of the person offering the DB-present …that thought meaning to stay for a long time with us …
Isn’t it also linked to the point mentioned earlier, the West and the East: yes, there is on the one side this egoism, hedonism, egocentrism … – living for oneself – it means for a social being: not living at all. Freedom is not only the freedom of those who think differently (Luxemburg), not only the insight in necessities. It is also the lived “ubuntu” – the knowledge of and acceptance and appreciation of living ho one lives in dependency of the other. On the other hand it is also the trap in which we easily may end – with every lament concerning the “you in the West” I hear and see also the ambiguity of the other side: ubuntu as “I do not live my own life”, at times expressed as satisfaction, at times expressed as melancholy and even sadness, the feeling of loss, though never denying the devotion … – freedom brings us back to the dilemma of the right life in a wrong one, in a wring society — the price to be paid is surely high …
… Those days I listend to an interview, or better to say a TV-discussion: Rudi Dutschke, Daniel Cohn-Bendit, Matthias Walden and Kurt Sontheimer (recording: 13. Juni 1978) – I do not remember exactly, was it Daniel or Rudi, talking about bottomless hatred? – The flint-stone comes to mind …, the brother of Mr. Messerscharf. And the question of directing explosions. And that would be the real end of comedians on the political stage, not only in Italy under the five “guiding stars” …

Actually the plan was a different one …

– it had been early in February, and the plan was to enjoy the ease of a Jazz-concert. But it should not be that way, the venue was cramped when we arrived – trotting along for a while, not knowing what to do … .

‘The Pinakothek, is it still open?’

She asked and I replied I would think so …, until eight. So it gave us about one hour. We entered the Neue Pinakothek …

You enter at the end?

the man from the security service asked.

It does not really matter

I replied when we showed the annual tickets

We can come any time, and we can come often. In this way there is no real beginning, no real end. Coming here is a kind of never ending story.

Walking into the first room I had been asked

Which paintings do like especially?

I went directly to some favourites – favourites this day, this time, this hour …Claude Monet’s La Seine à Argenteuil [1874]; Édouard Manet’s Claude Monet in Argenteuil [1874]. We talked about forms and ways of detachment and engagement – and even detachment as engagement. We talked about the here and there – wasn’t detachment, as understood by the late realists/early impressionists, so very different from the detachment by the Nazareni, we had seen the other day when looking at F.W. von Schadow’s Die Heilige Familie unter dem Portikus.

We moved on – I wanted to point on another difference – that between the Monet/Manet and here now to Liebermann, and Menzel. But again, it should not be that way. – Gotthard Kuehl’s Vor der Schicht [ca 1895/99] caught her attention. After a while, talking, looking for appropriate terms that would make it accrues the language hurdle, I stepped back – we stepped back … .

If you can chose, which one will you take with you?

Asking this question, I pointed on Kuehl’s painting, Liebermann’s Münchner Biergarten [1884] and his Badende Jungen [1898]. But I did not strictly oppose when my friend was cheating a bit, turning around and finally drew me to Fritz von Uhde’s Schwerer Gang [1890].

Such dark, grey painting?

There was not much hesitation

Yes, overall, sad and dark, but because they are together, and … There is a far-flung looking light.

I like it because it’s not sad

Much later, after a chat over a Bavarian Pils, we walked together to the Metro – when we parted, she left me with a thought … – her thought? my thought? or our thought? A thought which is too large for one, even fore two people alone and still has to be dealt with by each of us – alone and in being together. I had been Andre Vltchek’s thought of being Scared, Therefore I am Brave!

When the desire for knowledge becomes truly overwhelming, one simply cannot stop, or slow down. The only way is to go forward, to absorb knowledge, to fight for attaining knowledge, to see the world, to understand, to feel, to listen; passionately and consistently. No fear can deter us, when we are avidly searching for truth. It is so proud, so brave, this desire to know!

When we feel ‘unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind’, when we witness how unjust is the arrangement of this world, when we truly internalize the suffering of others, of our fellow human beings living on all the continents of this beautiful but battered planet, then almost all of us, or at least those who are humanists in their core, become courageous, and brave. They suddenly know what has to be done.

As for ‘the longing for love’, it is there, it is always there, in all of us, in all human beings. To fight for love, when it comes, is brave, and to die for it, if risking all is the only way to save it, is courageous. That ‘longing for love’ is the most humble, most sacred, the most essential part of our nature, so rarely satisfied. It takes courage to love; it takes tremendous, indescribable courage!

I am wondering if there is anything like ‘energising paralysis’ – Mia Eta …. – At least there is now the time to say goodbye, moving on …, and sadly leaving, having lost sight of light since a while in the frictions of different excise – and only seeing glimpses, sparkling and floating for some time, only striving to overcome numerification.

… We can come any time, and we can come often. In this way there is no real beginning, no real end. Coming here is a kind of never ending story … – and this means at the end to stay even if parting. Good Bye, Farewell, See you …- thirteen minutes until the train leaves …

windmills – small and large, without allowing to see an end

One of last week’s joy – one of the last weeks …

Is there a mission, a vision ….?

O Ja! Einfach wie Einstmals heiter aus dem Überflusse schöpfend!  O beglückende Zeit, O Zeitalter voll Glück, von unseren Altvorderen das goldene genannt, nicht, weil man damals Gold ohne Müh und Not gewann, nein, sondern weil all jene, die damals lebten, die Wörter Mein und Dein nicht kannten. In dieser segensreichen Zeit waren alle Dinge gemein. Alles damals war Friede, Liebe, Eintracht.

Oh yes! Simply like once cheerfully drawing from abundance!  O joyful time, O age of happiness, called the golden one by our ancestors – not because gold was at hand at easy, without hardship; no, it had been called thus because all those who lived at that time did not know the words Mine and Thine. In this blessed time, everything was common. Everything then was peace, love, harmony.

Ach, Nichtchen, weisst Du denn nicht, wie verhängnisvoll mein Zuhausebleiben fuer die Welt wäre, wenn man an all das Unrecht denkt, das ich zu richten habe, an all die Bosheit, die ich Gutmachen muss und an all die Sünden, die ich zu sühnen auserwählt bin.

Oh, little niece, don’t you know how disastrous it would be for the world if I stay at home – think of all the injustice I have to judge, think of all the evil for which I have to make good for and of all the sins, I have been chosen to atone for.

(From the leaflet Koenigsplatz – Theaterspiele Glyptothek im Innenhof: Miguel de Cervantes: Don Quijote – 17. July to 15th of September – own translation -P.H.)

Well, yes, soon moving on, indeed ….


John, we met on occasion of a couple of conferences, frequently said:

I always see you sitting with you work in the hotel lounge or in the reception area.

And indeed, for many parts of my work I like an inspiring atmosphere as I can find it in hotel lounges or …

…, yes in some cases it is a privilege, being able to sit in a spot like this
It had been a year ago, near Amsterdam, children playing nearby did not really disturb me – more the other way round: I found it even motivating as it is a bit like having the “dedication of my work” directly as motivation and appeal around:
this work is dedicated to the future generations, aiming on contributing to a society that is worth living in
Such privilege can easily reverse – an adult abruptly dragging one of the kids at the arm, shouting at him
Just leave here, don’t play while we are sitting here.
 – I felt paralyzed, I had to leave soon after this “incidence”. Because of this old fellow’s misbehavior towards the children, but also as I felt disturbed by the permanently incoming beep-sound of incoming messages and swoosh-sound of outgoing messages on his phone.
Two days later, I went there again – I urgently needed a place that provides quietness and inspiration. I was a bit …, no, I was not really surprised that nobody calls the group of adults to order: about fifteen to twenty people, sitting in one of the corners, chatting and laughing loudly, cheering at each other with the beer and wine glasses, and walking around – each of them wanted to take a photo – about about fifteen to twenty people wanted to have more or less the same photo.
I left, feeling guilty that I did not make the point there, both days – the point of difference and sameness. And I left with the confirmation of the position of a lecturer and researcher: there is no such thing as value freedom, the place, any lecturer and researcher has to look for, is the place of the future, not a future ’that happens’ but a future that we have to develop. – Well, the value-judgement dispute should never be reduced on an abstract issue of academics disputing in an ivory tower.