Respect

RESPECT DOESN’T WEAR MIRRORED SUNGLASSES. RESPECT DOESN’T OPT FOR ROLE-PLAYING DETACHMENT. RESPECT DOESN’T PUNISH BECAUSE IT CAN. RESPECT DOESN’T ABUSE, ACCUSE OR ALLEGE. RESPECT DOESN’T START WITH FEAR, HATRED OR SUSPICION. It’s February 1969, the Bronx, New York City. A ten-year-old Oldsmobile has had its number plates removed and the bonnet/hood left slightly open to make it look ‘abandoned’. An … Continue reading Respect

Ethics

IN THAT MOMENT OF EYE-TO-EYE CONTACT, THERE IS RECOGNITION AND A REALISATION OCCURS. WE ARE MET BY ANOTHER PERSON. EACH OF US DESERVES CONSIDERATION, THOUGHT AND UNDERSTANDING.  EACH OF US DESERVES TO BE TREATED ETHICALLY. I want to draw attention to a thirst that needs to be quenched. There is a positive drought sweeping over us, which threatens to create … Continue reading Ethics

Respect

RESPECT DOESN’T WEAR MIRRORED SUNGLASSES. RESPECT DOESN’T OPT FOR ROLE-PLAYING DETACHMENT. RESPECT DOESN’T PUNISH BECAUSE IT CAN. RESPECT DOESN’T ABUSE, ACCUSE OR ALLEGE. RESPECT DOESN’T START WITH FEAR, HATRED OR SUSPICION. Read the extended version

Ethics

IN THAT MOMENT OF EYE-TO-EYE CONTACT, THERE IS RECOGNITION AND A REALISATION OCCURS. WE ARE MET BY ANOTHER PERSON. EACH OF US DESERVES CONSIDERATION, THOUGHT AND UNDERSTANDING.  EACH OF US DESERVES TO BE TREATED ETHICALLY. Read the extended version

Prejudices

WE OWN OUR PREJUDICES, BUT THEY DON’T HAVE TO OWN US. IF UNDERSTOOD, THEY CAN BE CHALLENGED AND OVERCOME. THEIR BAYING JUDGEMENTS CAN BE STEMMED AND QUIETENED. PREJUDICES DON’T HAVE TO STRIDE IMPULSIVELY THROUGH OUR THOUGHTS. HOW MANY OF US, THOUGH, HAVE SUCH SELF-CONTROL? Read the extended version

Respect

Respect doesn’t wear mirrored sunglasses. Respect doesn’t opt for role-playing detachment. Respect doesn’t punish because it can. Respect doesn’t abuse, accuse or allege. Respect doesn’t start with fear, hatred or suspicion. Of the twenty-four participants, twelve were assigned to be ‘guards’ by the simple act of tossing a coin to see whether each person would … Continue reading Respect

Ethics

In that moment of eye-to-eye contact, There is recognition and a realisation occurs. We are met by another person. Each of us deserves consideration, thought and understanding.  Each of us deserves to be treated ethically. Read the extended version

Understanding

The ear that floats on a melody, is the same that attends to language. It similarly startles when surprised by a scuffle. Our eyes, that we tune to culture, scan first for words and danger. Experiences and understanding are rarely met blankly. Evolutionary wiring orders survival and comprehension first, and then art. In Aesthetics and Hermeneutics, … Continue reading Understanding

Art

In the midst of the banal and over-eager, find the art that speaks directly to you. Let it linger, let it nourish. Once bitten by an artwork, it marks and changes you, as time ages wine. When walking around an art gallery we can experience the onset of a phenomenon. Amidst the plentiful supply of … Continue reading Art

Ourselves

Out of all the activities, deeds, pursuits and service we can concoct, there is one project above all others; ourselves. This project is yours, it’s mine, it’s everybody’s. We are each our own project, And, we are each free to propel ourselves into the future. Casting logic aside, Jean-Paul Sartre shaped the more positive side … Continue reading Ourselves

Horizons

Personal horizons maybe limited and finite. They can also be open, cordial and generous. Without absorbing them into ours, nor losing ourselves in theirs. we can embrace and meet with others. If we learn to share the air we breathe. One of Hans-Georg Gadamer’s realisations was that the level of consciousness we have been able … Continue reading Horizons

Becoming

Weighing up whether someone could be our exemplar, initiates the question, “How do we want to be in the world?” What is important? How we should live? Considering an exemplar helps us to see ourselves. We’re not fixed and finished, but always in the state of becoming. When examining Friedrich Nietzsche’s On the Genealogy of … Continue reading Becoming

Responsibility

Your own freedom has brought you to this position. You have chosen to be where you now find yourself. So, act in good faith by being fully present and engaged. Take responsibility and accept whatever comes. With pleasure, with humility, with love, with terror, own what is yours. As far as Jean-Paul Sartre was concerned, … Continue reading Responsibility

The Face

Complete avoidance or minute observation, allow for uncomplicated but ultimately empty lives. The face of the other is not an experience or an event. My features are not to pass the time with. With the face of the other life begins. In a dialogue with Philippe Nemo, Emmanuel Levinas gave an example of how we … Continue reading The Face

Conversation

When neither tries to impose their side. We gently ebb and flow with words and ideas. If entered into openly, without agendas, every conversation can create a common language. You and I can speak together, and be together. Hans-Georg Gadamer reasoned that there are conditions of participation in a dialogue: “To conduct a conversation means … Continue reading Conversation

Commitment

Take a piece of musicthat you abhor, with no aesthetic or subjective charms. And critical possibilities all thrown to the wall. Still some people like it. Why? They commit and treat it like a person. In Music Discomposed, Stanley Cavell set himself the task of grappling with the problem of avant-garde composition in the 1960s where, … Continue reading Commitment

Bad Faith

In the face of freedom can come anguish. This becomes bad faith if one flees or tries to hide. Hiding, surprisingly, can take place in many forms. Psychological determinism strains to stifle freedom, As do excuses or belief in one’s existence as necessary. A critical issue for Jean-Paul Sartre, is whether each of us can … Continue reading Bad Faith

Eyes

Don’t look, when you look into someone’s eyes. Go past their colour, see further. A moment occurs, as we recognise the other. The moment of recognition unveils humanity to itself. It is in that moment that we know we are not alone. When we look another person in the eye we don’t just see the … Continue reading Eyes

Experience

A minor experience is possessed. The major is undergone. It’s a matter of priority: subject or event. If you want to remain as you are, possess experiences. But, if you want to grow allow events into your life. Hans-Georg Gadamer was concerned with the term ‘experience.’ He discovered, it was once almost solely determined by … Continue reading Experience

Openness

By accepting your otherness, I also accept your infinite separation. You will act and speak of things beyond my world-view. You will be, and are, more than I can ever conceive. My acceptance throws off the chains and shackles of limits, as I watch you soar and glide, when I only allowed you to walk. … Continue reading Openness

Nothingness

The eternal questions, “Who am I?” and “What am I?” Reveal a gaping void at the centre of every one of us. Hollowed with the presence of nothingness, we persevere. Acceptance of emptiness, irks the ego and causes turmoil. Let go, dream anew, there is no schedule to fulfil. When the eternal questions “Who am … Continue reading Nothingness

The Gaze

With abstract art, a coherent, rational, visual universal order is disrupted to leave fragments or shards of material. The totalising gaze of the subject is cast adrift. Instead, something else needs to happen. Art, just as the stranger, demands an ethical response. In his mature work, Emmanuel Levinas concluded that art becomes that which cannot … Continue reading The Gaze

Play

When everyone else is doing the same thing, it reinforces feelings of personal integration. It is only when a dancer appears that such ways of being seem incomplete. Play, dance, swoop and glide. Live. When one is solely used to walking sedately from room to room and observing all those around conducting themselves in a … Continue reading Play

Spectatorship

What will we watch, what will we listen to, read or look at? Do we want the comfort of the known, or approved? Will we take the risk? And, dare to journey far from the canon? Travelling away from the known is daunting and unnerving. But, how else do we grow? How else do we … Continue reading Spectatorship

Consciousness

Consciousness is infinite, it is continually unbound. There are no edges, no limits, no prescribed patterns or paths. Lariat throws, droplets sinking. Being-for-itself, consciousness has no predetermined essence. It has to invent for itself, ever expanding, constantly flowing. In Being and Nothingness, Jean-Paul Sartre’s subject of enquiry started to shift and peel away from phenomenology, … Continue reading Consciousness

Otherness

Other people aren’t conjured from my imagination. They have a presence beyond fact or fancy. Just because ontology and phenomenology have their limits, It doesn’t then become a question of metaphysics or mysticism. Rather, otherness is the ethics of acceptance. In a nutshell, the problem of intersubjectivity is how can I really know that you … Continue reading Otherness

Self-forgetting

Cut the mooring ropes that bind you to the misery of cynical existence. Drift into the wonderment of engaging, participation and living. Cast aside regrets, desires, insecurities and presumptions. When spectating or attending a festival, be outside yourself. Allow the possibility to be wholly with something else. Something very important happens when we allow the … Continue reading Self-forgetting

Tenderness

Tenderness is the welcome that waits. Passive, but also active. Humble, but never servile. Always in the present, always selfless. Tenderness gives a direct and instant connection. For Silvia Benso, attention “becomes an essential component of the human side of the ethics of things.”[1] For her, attention is rooted in ad-tending, the moving toward; the concentrating … Continue reading Tenderness

Freedom

The me that was, is different to the me that I. Where yesterday I swam in the city, today I muse where tomorrow I fly. I am free to choose. There is nothing to abide. The shape and course of my future is always alive. By looking at what occurs when one’s consciousness moves through … Continue reading Freedom

The Self

Fascinated and enthralled by our own selves, and the meagre knowledge we have managed to grasp. We become lonely, empty, and wretched, if, with a frozen look, we slay those we encounter. The choice between cold knowledge or compassion awaits. According to Emmanuel Levinas, a loss or a death takes place if we freeze over … Continue reading The Self

Prejudices

We own our prejudices, but they don’t have to own us. If understood, they can be challenged and overcome. Their baying judgements can be stemmed and quietened. Prejudices don’t have to stride impulsively through our thoughts. How many of us, though, have such self-control? Within Truth and Method, Hans-Georg Gadamer questioned the self-assumed sufficiency and … Continue reading Prejudices

Respect

Respect doesn’t wear mirrored sunglasses. Respect doesn’t opt for role-playing detachment. Respect doesn’t punish because it can. Respect doesn’t abuse, accuse or allege. Respect doesn’t start with fear, hatred or suspicion. The Stanford Prison Experiment was conducted from 14th – 20th of August 1971. It was supposed to have a longer duration, but it had to be … Continue reading Respect

Ethics

In that moment of eye-to-eye contact, There is recognition and a realisation occurs. We are met by another person. Each of us deserves consideration, thought and understanding.  Each of us deserves to be treated ethically. Ethics is about allowing the humanity of the other person to have impact upon us. Rather than ignoring them as … Continue reading Ethics

VIII Jumping in with both feet and AC/DC

***** It is the ghost of ourselves that stands still in the midst of the tumult and watches, detached in eye and detached in body, as the struggles and joys of our fellow passengers float across the protective screen we have blown up around ourselves. ***** Let’s kick off with a quick flash-back. If you … Continue reading VIII Jumping in with both feet and AC/DC

IV The experience of art and Magritte

***** “The work of art has its true being in the fact it becomes an experience that changes the person who experiences it.”1 Hans-Georg Gadamer ***** One hundred and fifty years before Kant wrote his Critique of Judgement, Diego Velázquez painted his portrait of ‘Pope Innocent X’. Ever since, art connoisseurs have revered the work. For example, … Continue reading IV The experience of art and Magritte