Positive and negative freedom

Wat is het verschil tussen vrijheid van meningsuiting en vrijheid van mening? In de filosofie worden twee vormen van vrijheid onderscheiden: positieve en negatieve vrijheid. Negatieve vrijheid staat daarbij voor ‘vrij van belemmering van externe factoren’. Positieve vrijheid staat daarbij voor het vermogen om autonome keuzes te maken. In het Westen staan wij voor negatieve vrijheid: vrijheid van meningsuiting / het ons mogen uiten zoals wij willen. In het Oosten is er meer positieve vrijheid: je mag denken wat je wilt, maar het niet uitdragen. Misschien verklaart dit ook het dragen van de Boerka? Voor ons is dit onvrijheid en neigt het naar vrouwenonderdrukking. Maar misschien voelen de vrouwen zich toch nog vrij. Want ook al moeten de vrouwen zich buitenshuis conformeren, binnenshuis mogen ze zich in de prachtigste kleren hullen.


Wat mij intrigeerde was het verschil tussen vrijheid van mening en vrijheid van meningsuiting. In eerste instantie dacht ik: vrijheid van mening toch zou voldoende moeten zijn? Iedereen mag toch denken wat hij/zij wil? In het Westen is hier een principe aan gekoppeld van vrijheid van uiting en discussie. Alles mag ter discussie worden gesteld en niemand kan dat tegenhouden (ook al hoeft een machthebber zich er niets van aan te trekken). Volgens mij is het idee van vrijheid van meningsuiting in het Westen pas weer bij de Verlichting naar boven gekomen. Dit heeft ons veel vooruitgang gebracht met betrekking tot het vrij verspreiden van kennis d.m.v. boeken. Kennis werd bevrijd van het monopolie van de kerk en mede op die vooruitgang is onze Westerse samenleving gebouwd.

Unbreakable love

To me, love lives inside the heart. It is a magical energy which cannot be grabbed or caged. We can only love unconditionally for what is true to us. We cannot look back and investigate if it is still there or still of worth. It will be gone then. When you love here on earth, your love will be tested from many different angles. People may challenge, make jokes, and even insult something which you love dearly. The challenge is not between you and them. The challenge is inside you: how big is your love? Ideally, nothing which can happen or which someone can do can make you fatler in your love or can make you feel hurt. Yesterday we all have been tested greaty on this and personally I became angry. But our challenge now is to go to our hearts and see what love really means for us. Although we cannot touch it, can it really be challenged, harmed or hurt? When you realise that it cannot, then you will find the strength in yourself to forgive and feel pity for those who were not able to find this realisation.

Extreme laughter!

I call for the sense of humor! First, I was shocked, and now I am angry after hearing of the shootings at Charly Hebdo because of the Mohammed cartoons. I am angry because of the attack on the sense of humor by extremists. And these extremists can be from all religions / spiritual perspectives. To me humor is a precious open gift which can say the things which otherwise cannot be said. And as a result humor is a natural enemy of extremists. As a response to this attack I bought the DVD ‘ In the name of the Rose’ , as it is one of the clearest examples of extremism and humor. The best way to honor these victims is to keep our sense of humor: so keep on making jokes and keep on laughing!

Grow with the flow!

New Year resolutions – a Tarot perspective to grow with the flow.
Every year we are invited from all kinds of directions to make our New Year resolutions. A new year, a fresh start, a new me, right?! But most of us also have experienced that these initially optimistic resolutions often do not succeed. As a result, many people have become therefore sceptic about New Year resolutions. They won’t work anyway! From the Tarot there is an interesting view on this, which I would like to share with you. Many people know the Tarot cards merely as a fortune telling device. Less people know that the Tarot is a symbolic language of the subconscious which is deeply linked to the Hermetic tradition. For example, the small Arcana consisting of 36 cards is divided over the year basis, amongst others, planet and constellation attribution. These cards symbolically depict an energy which is dominant at a certain period of the year. What is interesting is that in the current period of the year, 31 Dec to 9 Jan, Three of Pentacles rules. This is the planet Mars under the constellation of Capricorn. Three of Pentacles is called Lord of Material Works and is THE card for manifestation. And as such changing your personal behaviour. In this sense this card connects remarkable well to New Year Resolutions. Personally, I experienced it this morning when out of the blue I took my running gear and started running (which was already a long time ago…🙂. So, if this is indeed a period for personal change, why do so many New Year resolutions fail? On the one hand, this card makes it easy to manifest behaviour: this can either be good or bad! So you might find in these days that bad / old habits also arise in your daily routine. This is a period of cleanup time for these habits. Changing your behaviour therefore also means choosing. If you make a choice for something new, you also need to face old habits. Secondly, making a first step does not mean that you will automatically be a changed person. You will need to work and integrate this new habit into your personal life. For this reason there are 35 more cards divided over the year! Every card has its own qualities, each of them symbolizing and utilising a dominant energy in that given period. When you work with them over the course of a year, you will find that you will be able to change your behaviour with remarkable ease and results. ‘Remarkable ease’, I hear you say? Of course! The ancients knew which energy flows were dominant at which times and symbolized this in the Tarot cards. By working with these energies, they were able to achieve great results. So don’t be scared to take on a New Year resolution and to grow with the flow!