Friedrich Nietzsche’s Thoughts on Becoming Who We Are

il_570xN.1158556750_t9hdNietzsche’s notion of “becoming who we are” is a criticism of our lack of critical engagement and self-consciousness, as well as our inability to reflect on our life as a whole. This process of becoming, as Nietzsche encourages his readers to think, is not geared towards a final destination or goal. The key of the process is the ongoing engagement, the re-examination and re-challenging of one’s beliefs, rather than a system of achieving a certain state of being. Nietzsche attacks the staleness and “sickness” that results from the lack of change, as well as the regression or corruption that comes from interrupting the process of becoming.


Gloria todayGloria Steinem – Happy 80th Birthday and Thank you!

When Gloria Steinem turned 80, on March 25th, 2014, the organizers of the Ms. Foundation for Women, which Steinem founded, asked everyone to submit messages about how Gloria has influenced their lives and work. I’ve been wanting to write a post about Steinem and her work for a long time now, so this was a good incentive.


Rocky posterRocky

Stallone had not only written the script for the first film, but also had to fight hard to be able to star in it. Then he wrote and directed the three following films, and finally one more after Rocky V to close off the series. As it turns out, he performed these artistic achievements on top of transforming his body into that of an athlete and boxer, almost literally embodying the title character’s struggle from oblivion and poverty to athletic discipline and international stardom.


To my nephew

Today you turned one week, and it will be a while before you can read this, but it’s a well-known fact that “days are long, but years fly by too fast.” Before long you’ll be reading and writing and clicking away and multi-tasking, and using gadgets and programs that have not even been invented yet. I’m excited and honoured to watch you do all that and to help you in every way I can, teach you what I know, inspire your curiosity to know even more and to be an inspiration to others around you!


These are a few of my favourite things

Here are some things that inspire me, some jam (to use my favourite metaphor), compiled in an archive of goodness, and accompanied by some stories and quotes that I hope will, in some way, inspire you too.

Separation and Detachment

Another lecture by Dr. Wilfried Reuter (medical doctor and Buddhist teacher in Berlin) from March 20, 2011 deals with separation, relationships, and detachment. What prevents us from being in relationships? Mental obstructions? Fear? Unresolved issues from old relationships? We need trust to let someone close to us.

Love and Buddhism – Dr. Wilfried Reuter

Dr. Wilfried Reuter, a medical doctor practicing in Berlin-Kreuzberg, and a Buddhist teacher at the Lotos-Vihara meditation center in Berlin presented his lecture entitled: “Liebe ohne Leiden – buddhistische Hilfen für glückliche Beziehungen” (Love without Suffering – Buddhist help for happy relationships) at Urania. The lecture was completely sold out, the large auditorium was filled with men and women of all ages, who came to get an answer to the key question: “Is love even possible without suffering?”

Google: Building the Digital Future

The future according to Google is an exciting place, yet convincing a room full of American and German intellectuals, visiting scholars, as well as business, finance, politics and media representatives proved to be a welcomed challenge for Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt. The American Academy in Berlin hosted Schmidt’s lecture, “Building the Digital Future” tonight at its mansion on lake Wannsee.


Susan Sontag – Inspiration

The Berlin premiere of a new documentary about Susan Sontag: Thinker and Diva (dir. Birgitta Ashoff, ARTE, 2010, 52min) took place at the Literaturhaus Berlin with the film maker in attendance. The director met with Susan Sontag before her death in New York in 2003, and then went back again after her death in 2010 to interview people who were close to her


Happiness Research

Sooner or later we all stumble over questions of happiness. What exactly is it? What makes us happy? Why is it so elusive? Usually, when things are going well, we tend to take it for granted; when things are not going so well, we begin our research and analysis, and design our own happiness projects.


Susan Buck-Morss in Toronto

A few weeks ago I was in Toronto and had the pleasure to attend a lecture by Susan Buck-Morss, Professor of Political Philosophy and Social Theory at Cornell University, entitled “Inheriting Culture: History in a Communist Mode“at Ryerson University. It was the second time I got to hear Susan Buck-Morss speak in Toronto (the first time was her talk “Global Imagination Against Global Power” at York University in 2004).


Feminist Inventory

If we were to imagine a post-feminist (or a fourth wave feminist) woman, who would she be? How would she be different from the feminist revolutionaries (second wave)? And what would she teach us about being / becoming a woman today? What would we call her?



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