Man Leben – modular building

Seelenspiegel – das Spiel daβ man Leben nennt

Soul mirror – the game one calls life

You continues the story of your life:

“In the beginning of the autumn in 1993, I returned from my trip to Auschwitz. At the funeral of my aunt and godmother, my best study friend asked for a business meeting. We agreed to meet each other in the autumn holiday, after my trip to Auschwitz.

Before the autumn holiday I started my everyday life again. In the beginning it was not easy. I already told that after my visit to Auschwitz I saw the reflections of the world in mirrors and in standing water. The image was sad, angry, guilty and acquiesced. With twigs and stones I disrupted the surface for a short time, but the images came back – bleak, cold, inhospitable. At the same time, the mirror and the water were empty inside and outside. After several days in Amsterdam, I wondered how the mirror and the water would see me [1]. All of a sudden the image in the mirror and I were a manifestation of life reciprocal interconnected in all Her glory. The universe is the medicine [2].


After my return, life had three surprises before we started our Odyssey.

The first surprise was the proposal of my best study friend to start a design office. With my best study friend I always kept in touch. When I returned to South Limburg our contact was rather intensive. With his architectural office, he had several important projects in Limburg. We also developed ideas for the continuation of the farm of my godparents. Then the farm served for him as rest place for several hours, a meal or an overnight stay. In the course of 1993, he came to the conclusion that in the future his office was too small to survive independently and too big to let it run its course. The merger with another office was almost finished.

My friend had the vision to introduce a modular industrial way of building in the last phase of his working life. He needed knowledge of building materials and construction of utility building; in these areas, an industrial way of building was already applied. For this knowledge and contacts he would like to have me as a partner. Another study friend was asked for knowledge of housing in an urban environment.


He himself would like to focus on the modular design of luxury residential houses, to obtain sufficient income.


We started the new office. After a short start-up phase, we prospered. Our Audi A8 years arrived. I did not need the exposure of this car – I always went by bike or by tram to the office, but the construction world expected visibility of success. The agency owned one car for visits and if necessary, we hired a second car.


From the revenue I have bought a small apartment in Amsterdam. My friends where I use to live until that moment, preferred to move to a smaller house. In this small apartment I still live.

The office took a lot of my time and energy. In order to have sufficient time for study and contemplation, I followed the “Sabbath”, well I spent Saturday and Sunday morning on study and contemplation. In the vacations I visited the monastery for longer periods of contemplation. At that time the convent only consisted of old monks and an abbot. They transferred the convent in a foundation with religious objectives in order to prepare the convent for another form in the future. In 2002, the second surprise occurred in my life. The following post is about this second surprise”, you say.

The next post is about the beginning of your retirement.

[1] See also case 52 in: Wick, Gerry Shishin, The Book of Equanimity – Illuminating Classic Zen Koans. Somerville MA: Wisdom Publications, 2005, p. 161

[2] See post: Man Leben – back to Limburg – 10 Oktober 2011, including the sentence: “Illness and medicine help each other. The medicine is the universe. Who are you?” This sentence is a free rendering of case 87 from the Hekiganroku. see also: Yamada Kôun Roshi, Hekiganroku, Die Niederschrift vom blauen Fels – Band 2. München: Kösel-Verlag, 2002 p. 321

[3] Source image:

[4] The design office is fictive. Example of a modular building in an urban environment. Source image:

[5] The design office is fictive. Example of a modular building of a luxurious house. Source image:

[6] Source image:


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