A couple of years ago I spent some time writing with a philosopher about things that have nothing to do with daily life. No small talk. He would write down a phrase and I would send hem my ideas on the matter and the other way around. It was very interesting not having to talk about the everyday items you talk about with the people around you and it gave me the opportunity to get deeper into what's moving the world.
We talked about Plotino and his view on 'us', simplified. That meant thinking about the All and 'Nous', us! Not the religious All but as in: 'All is Visible because the light reflects on us, which makes us visible as well'. We have written long and short mails, have never agreed completely and then he all of the sudden died of a heart attack, so we never got to the bottom of it. That's how things work in Philosophers land.
I don't mind picking up that Plotino idea again with someone else for an intense discussion of the matter. But not now!
We also would exchange phrases like 'Cogito ergo sum', 'I think, therefore I am', Descartes' philosophy-puzzle, which confuses quite a lot of us. Or the more positive thought: 'Risas abundat en cor homini': there is abundant laughter in a human's heart. And there is! Just try to make a sore person smile with the simple phrase: 'Smiling sets your face in a golden glow', and they'll smile, everybody can do with a golden glow! I wouldn't mind exchanging ideas like these again with who ever would like to spend a thought on it.....
One of my phrases kept us writing for over a year. I've used it quite a lot ever since:
To be a perfect mensch is a burden,
to be a normal mensch is boring and
to be yourself, a perfectly normal mensch, is difficult but totally satisfying!
If we take into consideration that a mensch is a complete human being, complete in every sense of the word, with all the good and the bad stuff we carry along, trying to give life a chance…….would it be difficult for some people to be a mensch and act like one?
Of course I can't and will not exclude anyone, nobody at all, we can only exclude ourselves.
So, if there is someone out there who would like to spend an afternoon on writing a mail or comment on it, please do. It doesn't have to be in English, I think I can handle a discussion in Spanish as well and of course it would be nice and easy to do so in Dutch.
I remind you of my email address: email@example.com and it could also be nice to respond on short discussions on Twitter@GaviMensch , it would be a change from some of the regular comments over there: I'm not very interested in where one goes after lunch or what one does before dinner.
Let's give it a try!