Tag Archives: Carla Drift

Iconoclasm and the word

Before the tourist flow will start, Carla, Man and Narrator visit the Begijnhof in Amsterdam. They are looking at the Sacred Heart statue in the middle of the lawn.
Begijnhof Amsterdam[1]
Begijnhof - Heilighartbeeld[2]
“This Begijnhof – founded before 1346 AC in the Middle Ages – is the only inner court that exist in the Amsterdam within the Singel. Originally the Begijnhof was entirely surrounded by water with the Nieuwezijdsvoorburgwal, Spui and Begijnensloot; the only access was a bridge over the Begijnensloot at Begijnensteeg. The Begijnhof was not a retirement provision founded by private individuals; it was a sort of nunnery – with patron saint St. Ursula – where beguines lived with more freedom. They had made a vow of chastity and they had felt obliged to daily visit Holy Mass and to perform prayers during fixed moment every day, but they were allowed to leave the inner court at any time to get married.

After the Alteration in 1578 AC – wherein the Catholic administration in Amsterdam was replaced by a Calvinist administration – the Begijnhof was the only Roman Catholic institution that was allowed to continue its existence because the houses were private property of the beguines. The chapel, however, was closed to be allocated in 1607 AC to the English Presbyterian church in Amsterdam. Since that time, the chapel is named the English Reformed Church [3].

In September 1898, Piet Mondrian – an iconoclast in modern art – was commissioned to make four wooden relief panels for the pulpit in the English Reformed [4]. It is interesting to see the development in the work of Piet Mondrian; starting with these panels in the pulpit, via the painting of the tree in gray/blue, to abstract paintings with coloured surfaces, to – like Gerrit Rietveld – determine the painting with white, perhaps because he was one of the few who wished to create paintings by undistorted light. After his iconoclasm Piet Mondrian had kept to the strict rules of abstract paintings according Neoplasticism [5] and he only used horizontal and vertical lines to divide the surface of the painting; lines that enclose and lines that exclude, although in the last paintings both lines no longer enclose and exclusion. Piet Mondrian never used diagonal lines like Theo van Doesburg [6].
Preekstoel - Engelse Kerk - Mondriaan[7]
Boom Mondriaan[8]
Schilderij vlakken Mondriaan[9]
Schilderij Grijs Wit Mondriaan[10]

Via this contemporary iconoclasm by “De Stijl” movement, it may be good to continue with your introduction of iconoclasm of more than 2500 years ago”, says Narrator.

Carla, Man and Narrator sit against the wall around the lawn in the Begijnhof.

“Thanks you for this fascinating introduction to the Begijnhof and its history. Before I will start with the iconoclasm of 2500 years ago in the early Jewish history, I would like to bring to mind Moses’ effort to get the One – Yahweh – recognised as the only God without a picture by the Jewish people. After Moses had receive the Ten Commandments from the One (written with the finger of Yahweh) – including the first two commandments: “I am the eternal God and Thou shalt have no other gods before me” – and returned again to his people, he saw the chosen people worshiping a golden calf: the chosen people had completely forgotten Yahweh. Furiously Moses threw the tables of the Ten Commandments in pieces. Hereafter he had to climb the mountain again to receive new tables of the covenant from the One. These tables were carried in the ark of the covenant; probably the ark was destroyed in the destruction of the first temple in Jerusalem [11]. Since that time, the tables of the covenant including the first books of the Tanakh [12] are carried as Torah [13] by a Jewish community on a roll – made of parchment from the skin of a kosher animal – wherever they go. The text of the Torah is overwritten and copied by hand on parchment for every Jewish community wherever they live. Because of these roles the covenant with the One is no longer physically bound to the original tables in an ark of the covenant.
Around 600 BC the first temple in Jerusalem – built around 1000 BC under the reign of King Solomon – had been destroyed and a large part of the chosen people had been taken to Babylon in three groups between 597 and 582 BC. A small group of the people had remained and they lived as shepherds among the ruins of Jerusalem [15]. A generation later, the part of the chosen people in Babylon could return to Jerusalem, and many of them returned. With the group that had stayed behind in Babylon, a close relationship remained that almost two thousand years later is still in place, because after the chosen people spread all over the earth, the descendants of this group staying behind in Babylon were still consulted on the interpretation of religious matters. After the return of the exiles the rebuilding of the new smaller – second – Temple started in Jerusalem; this second temple had been finished in 515 BC. At that time, there was a high degree of literacy among the chosen people in Palestine; this is shown in correspondence between Jewish soldiers and their officers from that period [16].

In 445 BC Jerusalem – with the second new temple – is still a city of half-ruined walls where people lived among the weeds and the rubble. In that year Nehemia – the deputy governor of the Persian king – decided to rebuild the walls around Jerusalem; walls that enclose and walls that exclude. During the construction, the weapons were ever ready to repel sudden attacks of opponents; trowel in one hand, sword in the other hand.

After the building of the walls had finished, all the chosen people gathered one month later – in the seventh month of the year – near the restored Watergate. The chosen people asked Ezra – the high priest and scribe – to get the Torah including the law of Moses. Before the gathered crowd in Jerusalem, Ezra opened the Torah and everyone stood up. The native language of many of the attendees was Aramaic; during the reading of the Hebrew text of the law of Moses, the Levites [17] – the tribe of my ancestors [18] – gave explanation in order that the people understood the text. The next day Ezra, the Levites and Elders assembled to study the Law. They read that in the seventh month of the year, the chosen people had to build tabernacles. Hereafter the chosen people gathered foliage from the environment to build huts [19]. A month later, the chosen people entered a new covenant with the One; a covenant that connects and a covenant that excludes. Herewith the chosen people promised to read these laws regularly and they committed themselves to maintain the covenant including e.g. the commandment to refrain from marriages with outsiders .

This call of the chosen people to read the laws was a revolution in the ancient Near East, where usually the people were called by rulers to hear the power, the sacred majesty and the words of the local king, and to worship the king and his images.

The worship of the chosen people was centred around scrolls with words; it was a worship without a king, and it was a covenant within the whole community of the chosen people with the One. Through this public reading, the old habit of loudly reciting the Torah at fixed times was restored and today this practice is still carried out by the chosen people [20].

This iconoclasm of more than 2500 years ago is very similar to the iconoclasm of 1566 AC during the Reformation in the western part of the Netherlands. In 1566 AC on Walcheren in the dunes of Dishoek the first so-called “hedge sermon” [21 ] took place in the open air. From that moment, and the next few years many sermons had been held in the open air held by Protestants since overt religious practice outside the Catholic Church had been banned. Partly because of these sermons and the reading of the Bible itself – the Holy book given to chosen people by the One – created a mutual bond between believers. They would have experienced this as a worship without a king and as renewed covenant between the One and the whole community whereby they surely had read the book of Nehemiah about the covenant between the One and the chosen people 2000 years before. And still in Reformed families in the western part of the Netherland a next passage from the Bible is read at every meal; this usage is derived from the Reformation in the western part of the Netherlands, but it is also a result of the renewed covenant that the chosen people entered with the One more than 2,500 years ago”, says Man.

“With this explanation of the iconoclasm from the Jewish history in relation to the iconoclasm in the Golden Age of Holland, you fulfil the role of the Levites again; the same role that your ancestors had fulfilled 2500 years ago. Obviously at that time this covenant had been a revolution as far as a commitment to the One concerned, but I have my reservations about the walls that enclose and the walls that exclude. A revolution that wishes to separate the elect from outsiders and/or dissenters is of all time. According to Bakunin [22], many revolutionaries become worse than the former ruler after a short time. How did this revolution of 2500 years ago via a renewed covenant with the One continue?”, asks Carla.

“Nature flows where is cannot flow anymore. This also applies to my role as a Levite [23]; this certainly applies to the development and the continuation of the renewal of the covenant with the One. Less than a month later, a document of this covenant had been prepared containing a large number of provisions , including the names of the elect, marrying within their own circle, and exclusion of populations in the vicinity [24]. In the western part of the Netherlands, the Reformation had followed a similar path . In London in 1550 AC the first Reformed church service had been held; in Emden in northern Germany a first Synod had been held; then in Dordrecht during the Eighty Years’ War– whereby several key persons could not be present – the two Synods of 1574 and 1578 AC had been held, and in Middelburg in 1581 and in The Hague in 1586 AC two other Synods had followed. These Synods had aimed at mutual agreement within the Reformed churches, but also to ward off foreign elements; also here walls that enclose and walls that exclude. During the pillarisation after the time of Napoleon, faith groups married in their own circles and lived in their own circles. During the school struggles in the 19th century there has been fought hard for freedom of education within their circles with an equal financial footing by the Government; this freedom of education – and equality in public financial contribution of private schools with public education – is enshrined in the Constitution of the Netherlands [25].

Due to my life course, I could never feel at home at religious walls that enclose and exclude; I have always sought and found the interconnectedness – with hope and consolation [26] – of the many ways of religion”, says Man.

“Not intentionally, but intuitively I have asked you to visit this Begijnhof as a way of interconnectedness within the separation in history between Catholic Beguines and the English Presbyterian church in the Protestant area of Amsterdam”, says Narrator.

“Shall we visit both churches?”, says Man.

“That is good”, say Carla and Narrator.


[1] Source image: http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Begijnhof_(Amsterdam)
[2] Sacred Heart statue made by Johannes Petrus Maas in 1920 AC in the middle of the lawn in the Begijnhof in Amsterdam. Due to the pillarisation in the Nederland at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th Century these statues were allowed within their own circle. Source image: http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heilig_Hartbeeld_(Amsterdam)
[3] See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_Reformed_Church,_Amsterdam
[4] Source for the description of the Begijnhof in Amsterdam: http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Begijnhof_(Amsterdam) en http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Begijnhof,_Amsterdam
[5] See also: http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nieuwe_Beelding
[6] Zie ook: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theo_van_Doesburg
[7] Source image: http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Engelse_Hervormde_Kerk_(Amsterdam)
[8] Source image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piet_Mondrian
[9] Source image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piet_Mondrian
[10] Source image: http://www.dekunsten.net/01+.html (fair use)
[11] See also: Origo, Jan van, Who are you – A survey into our existence, Part 1. Amsterdam: Omnia – Amsterdam Publisher, 2012, p. 104 – 106 and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ark_of_the_Covenant
[12] The Bible of the Jews. See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tanakh
[13] See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torah
[14] Source image: http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thora
[15] Source: Potok, Chaim, Omzwervingen, ‘s-Gravenhage: BZZTôH 1999, p. 175 – 182
[16] Source: Schama, Simon, De geschiedenis van de Joden – Deel 1: De woorden vinden 1000 v.C. – 1492. Amsterdam: Uitgeverij Atlas Contact, 2013, p. 81, 82
[17] See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Levite
[18] The original name of Man Leben is Levi Hermann. See: Drift, Carla, Man Leben – One life. Amsterdam: Omnia – Amsterdam Publisher, 2012, p. 127 – 129
[19] See: Nehemia 7,72-8,18 from the Tanakh
[20] Source: Schama, Simon, De geschiedenis van de Joden – Deel 1: De woorden vinden 1000 v.C. – 1492. Amsterdam: Uitgeverij Atlas Contact, 2013, p. 59, 60
[21] See also: http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hagenpreek
[22] See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mikhail_Bakunin
[23] See also: Drift, Carla, Man Leben – One life. Amsterdam: Omnia – Amsterdam Publisher, 2012, p. 127 – 128
[24] See: Nehemia 9 – 13 from the Tanakh
[25] See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/School_struggle_(Netherlands)
[26] Last words in de film “Offret – The Sacrifice” by Andrei Tarkovsky


Five common realities – facts and logic 6

The next morning Carla, Man and Narrator drink a cup of coffee on a terrace in front of the Baptisterium San Giovanni [1] opposite the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence.


“This morning I have thought about your introduction to the development of science. It is an impressive summary in brevity and in depth. At one point I would wish to make an addition; in my opinion human science had started much earlier than the moment people started giving meaning and perceiving meaning within rituals to increase survival. I think human science had started at the first conscious creative act during giving meaning and taking meaning to sound, to feeling, during love and raising children. Do you agree?”, Narrator asks Carla.

“Fully. Besides I have also ignored the difference between atomism [3] – wherein all facts are based on the smallest possible basic elements, particularism [4] – wherein facts and logic serve to promote our own interests above (and, if necessary, at the expense of) the interests of others, pluralism [5] – wherein different systems of facts and logic co-exist within a certain balance, and holism [6] – wherein facts and logic form a coherent whole. I hope to be able to include particularism in an introduction on the mind-set of the warrior. Also, I have ignored the many wrong representations of facts and the fallacies to serve a certain interest. Shall I now proceed with the orderly chaos – both fragmented and universal?”, says Carla.

“I am curious about your remark “both fragmented and universal”. Last night I had read in a different context a chapter on the coherence of both subject”, says Man.

“Please add information where you see fit. Actually from the beginning of science, people have usually tried to create an order out of chaos by looking at reality as an ideal. Facts that didn’t fit within the ideal frame of mind – such as friction, air resistance and unwelcome religions and cultures – were neglected as being irrelevant, or were fiercely contested during religious wars. By the end of the third scientific revolution, scientists thought that only a few obstacles within the basic elements of scientific knowledge had to be overcome, such as knowledge about the transfer of the gravity and the nature of light, before the paradise of the omniscience could be accessed within which everything would be known and may be explained by the application of the basic elements. The East doors of the Baptistry – or Porta del Paradiso [7] – are a beautiful metaphor for this way of thinking.

feiten en logica 62[8]

With knowledge of these panels and of the interrelationship between these panels, scientists had thought to obtain the doors the heavenly omniscience.

feiten en logica 63[9]

The organised chaos – fragmented and universal – prevented access to the paradisiacal omniscience with unambiguous repeatable predictability of facts in our world.

With “organised chaos” I mean that within certain limits every possible fact has a certain chance to manifest itself at a certain moment. As example I take a grazing cow in a delimited field with just enough food for the cow: the cow will graze within certain limits (the field and the edge that the cow can just reach with her mouth); each clump of grass in the field has a certain chance to be eaten at a certain moment; a butterfly – flying-by – can change the grazing of the cow after which the cow wil use another grazing pattern; this other grazing pattern has no influence on overall grazing of the total field in the long run, but it makes a huge difference for the life of several clumps of grass in the proximity of the cow [10].

With “fragmented and universal” I try to explain that the fragmented organised chaos manifests itself within a particular environment – such as the delimited field for the cow and such as the grasshopper in a matchbox [11] – and that the universal organised chaos takes place within the overall universe. “Fragmented and universal” relate to each other as the clouds, waves and ocean to the universal organised interplay and chaos within the total universe. The clouds, waves and the ocean are manifestations of the universal organised chaos, such as the weather – in the short term with a good predictability up to 4 days, and with good predictability over the long term – is also a manifestation of the universal organised chaos in space.

feiten en logica 64[12]

With “unambiguous repeatable predictability of facts” I mean that the course of facts has the same outcome at identical starting positions. In everyday life, there is rarely an identical starting position, so a “uniform repeatable predictability of facts” arises rarely. Well there are many starting positions with similar characteristics: these situations often show a similar predictability of facts, but with minor differences in the starting positions the progress of the facts can show an organised chaotic behaviour in specific situations.

Under ideal conditions the constant of Heisenberg [13] limits accuracy of the determination of the starting position and of observations within the quantum mechanics [14].

In 1931 Gödel has published [15] the formal proof of the two incompleteness theorems [16]:

  • If a system – for example, a system (or grasshopper) in a matchbox – is consistent, then the system cannot be complete.
  • The consistency of the axioms cannot be proven from within the own system.

The combination of the “organized chaos”, the “limitation of observation within quantum mechanics” and “observations that – within the theory of relativity – depend on the way of observing” limit the “unambiguous repeatable predictability of facts”. The consistency of logic is seriously limited by the Gödel’s second incompleteness theorem.

By both restrictions, the ambition of the third revolution in science to unambiguously know and describe our world, was basically stalled. Part of the logic took distance from the organised chaos of daily life: this intuitionistic [17] logic only focused itself on symbol. Another part of the logic connected symbols with assumptions of reality as an extension of the intuitionistic logic – this extension was also called superintuitionistic logic. Classical logic was regarded in the superintuitionistic logic as the most strongly coherent system, which was seen as an intermediary – or intermediate [18] – between classical and intuitionistic logic. In a detour within another framework – symbols instead of rituals – the impact of the first revolution in the scientific development of mankind is demonstrated once again.

This is my introduction to the organised chaos; I hope you were able to follow me”, says Carla.

“Impressive in all respects. If I understand you correctly, then according to Gödel’s second incompleteness theorem the cohesion within a holistic system cannot be proven from its own system. This means that the cohesion of the “All-encompassing One” cannot be shown within itself”, says Man.

“That’s right within the conceptual framework of Gödel. I should add that Gödel proved his incompleteness theorems in a mathematical manner, using symbols that do not necessarily have an interpretation within our daily life. Some technical scientists only recognise symbols and ideal conditions as pure science. In the late 1970s, Prof. Dr. W. Luijpen – professor of philosophy of science at Delft University of Technology – had made the following statement during his lecturers: “Solely recognising symbols and ideal scientific conditions as the only scientific reality is a religious statement. Religion is not the area of expertise of technical scientists: this recognition is, until now, no scientific statement“. In line with Popper and Kuhn I do not rule out that outside mathematics – with its world of symbols – the two incompleteness theorem of Gödel may not be applicable under certain circumstances”, says Carla.

“Fascinating thoughts. Let us visit the Baptisterium San Giovanni. I suggest to come back to your introduction later on”, says Narrator.

“That’s good”, say Carla and Man.

[1] See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florence

[2] Source image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florence_Baptistery

[3] See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atomism

[4] See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_particularism

[5] See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultural_pluralism

[6] See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holism

[7] See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florence_Baptistery

[8] Source image: http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baptisterium_(Florence)

[9] Source image: http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baptisterium_(Florence)

[10] Source metaphor: Stewart, Ian, Does God Play Dice? London: Penguin Books, 1992², p. 132

[11] See also: Nārāyana, Narrator, Carla Drift – An Outlier, A Biography. Omnia – Amsterdam Publisher, 2012, p. 15 en p. 151 – 156

[12] Source image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ocean

[13] See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heisenberg_uncertainty_principle

[14] See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_mechanics

[15] Zie ook: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurt_G%C3%B6del

[16] Zie ook: Nārāyana, Narrator, Carla Drift – An Outlier, A Biography. Omnia – Amsterdam Publisher, 2012, p. 154

[17] Zie ook: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intuitionism and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intermediate_logic

[18] Zie ook: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intermediate_logic

Five common realities – facts and logic 4

“May I come back to our discussion of last night before you will tell us more about organized chaos and the mind of the warrior?”, asks Man to Carla.

“All right, it’s better to finish a topic before starting a new subject”, says Carla.

“Last night I read in a book with Buddhist questions (a recent copy of the bundle that Narrator received from his American friend as farewell gift) the passage “All sentient beings just have active consciousness, boundless and unclear with no foundation to rely on“. As example is given:

When a monk passes and he is addressed with “Hey, you”, then right away this monk will turn his head towards the caller. When this monk hesitates upon the second question “Who are you?”, then this monk has an active consciousness, boundless and unclear without foundation to rely on”.

This fundamental affliction of ignorance in itself is – according to this question – the immutable knowledge of all Buddha’s. The verse accompanying this question is:

One call and one turns her/his head –Do you know the self/Self or not?

Vaguely, like the moon [1] through ivy, a crescent at that.

The child of riches, as soon as she/he falls

On the boundless road of destitution, has many sorrows. [2]

feiten en logica 41.jpg[3]

Upon reading this question and verse, I thought of our last discussion about God as “another, a stranger”, who is separated from “the Unspeakable”, ” the Supreme Astonishment”, “the ultimate question that exceeds words”. Before the separation [4] were God, the people and everything around us in this fundamental affliction of ignorance, as a healthy human body without ailments also forms a coherent entity without separate parts? Had they a foundation to rely upon and what foundation was it, or was the lack of a foundation the source of an active consciousness, boundless and unclear? I don’t know the answer to these questions. And – after the fall, after the separation – wherefrom arrives the boundless road of destitution with many sorrows? Heschel continues his essay “Man is not alone” [5] with the topics: “faith”, “one God”, “beyond faith”, “strive for oneness”, and “common actions are adventures”. Would Heschel have seen “One call” and “One turns her/his head” in the category “common actions are adventures”? I think so; but would he finally have seen “One call” and “One turns her/his head” as “one” or as “separate”? I see it vaguely as a crescent Moon through ivy”, says Man.   

“At the strophe “boundless and vague without foundation to rely upon” from the Buddhist question, I was reminded of “śūnya” – meaning “empty” – from the Heart Sūtra [6] in which “form is emptiness as emptiness is equal to form”; in emptiness is no Dharma – or world order or duty. Now I invite you to visit the Cappelle Medicee [7] in the Basilica of San Lorenzo [8]. This Chapel – located behind the Basilica – is a symbolic mausoleum of the family De Medici. This family was a “child of riches in the Renaissance that has known many sorrows once it had fallen on the boundless road of destitutions“. In my opinion the mausoleum superbly shows the immensity of the sorrows and the coldness of the destitution of this family”, says Narrator.

Carla, Man and Narrator visit the Cappelle Medicee.

feiten en logica 42.png[9]

They continue their discussion outside seated on a bench in the Piazza di Madonna degli Aldobrandini.

“Everything in the Cappelle Medicee aims to create distance to the spectator. I expect that in the past visits to this mausoleum were only allowed on invitation by the family. I think this mausoleum sought to remind the descendants of the Medici wherefrom they owed their wealth and to show visitors which “children of wealth” were commemorated here. At each grave in the mausoleum, I wondered “Who are you?” and “Do you know the self/self or not?”. I think “Vaguely, like the moon through the ivy”, but the abundance of the many types of “Ivy” will not be helpful to see the Moon”, says Man.

“May we visit the Basilica of San Lorenzo now? This building is austere outside, but the Basilica will show its beauty inside”, says Narrator.

feiten en logica 43[10]

feiten en logica 44[11]

“I am pleased that we have continued the discussion, as this – and certainly the visit to the Basilica – creates a nice stepping stone to the separation between science and religion in the Renaissance. The transition in style of the choir dome toward the ceiling of the main and side aisles nicely showed the wish to change science – emerged from the Medieval Scholasticism – toward an orderly science that explains everything in case we know and apply the basics. May I continue on this subject the next time, because now I need to rest?”, says Carla.

feiten en logica 45[12]

“Please do”, says Man.

“During dinner?”, says Narrator.

“That’s fine”, says Carla.

[1] See also: Drift, Carla, Man Leben – One Life, A Biography. Omnia – Amsterdam Publisher, 2012, p. 71 – 72

[2] Free rendering of a part of the Zen dialogue “Guishan’s Active Consiousness” from: Cleary, Thomas, Book of Serenity – One Hundred Zen Dialogues. Bosten: Shambhala, 1998 p. 163 – 166.

[3] Source image: http://www.shambhala.com/book-of-serenity.html

[4] See also: The parable of Adam en Eve expelled from paradise after the fall in Chapter 3 of Genesis in the Old Testament.

[5] See: Heschel, Abraham Joshua, Man is not alone – A Philosophy of Religion. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1951. See also: http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abraham_Joshua_Heschel. In “The Long Discourses of the Buddha. Massachusetts: Wisdom Publications, 1995 p. 38-39”, 32 abodes are mentioned for sentient beings; including 22 abodes for Gods. Are Gods also “children of riches” within this frame of mind?

[6] See: Leben, Man, Narrator – One Way. Amsterdam: Omnia – Amsterdam Publisher, 2013, p. 110 – 112

[7] See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medici_Chapel

[8] See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basilica_of_San_Lorenzo,_Florence

[9] Source image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medici_Chapel

[10] Source image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basilica_of_San_Lorenzo,_Florence

[11] Source image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basilica_of_San_Lorenzo,_Florence

[12] Source image: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basilica_di_San_Lorenzo_di_Firenze

Five common realities – introduction

The quest for “Who are you” in the form of a “survey into our existence” is a contemporary Odyssey with 17 stages. At the end, we will look back on our journey. We will notice that everything is fulfilled in one sigh.

Before we resume our Odyssey by entering the world of everyday life, we will give a brief summary of the journey so far.

At the first stage you and I have experienced the perfect oneness from where we travelled via “Solipsism”, “The universe is but a dream”, “Pantheism” and “Indra’s net” to the second stage.


At the second stage the perfect oneness is disintegrated after the initial division of air and earth [2] in innumerable particles. Also you and I were completely disintegrated in an awful lot minimal particles. After a first organisation within these particles we – the main characters Carla Drift, Man Leben and Narrator – returned in human form on our earth after an immense long time.


At the third stage, we saw how mutual trust and reciprocal connectedness between people was realised and perpetuated by placing “people, objects, offerings and the word in the middle” between people and/or between the mutual uncertainty and people.

kroning van karel de grote[4]

As preparation for the continuation of our Odyssey – in which we will enter everyday life – there followed an interlude and afterwards the three main characters described each other’s biography. The report of the first part of our Odyssey and the three biographies are available on the website of the Publisher.

carla drift VK

VK1Carla Drift - een buitenbeentje voorkantNarrator-Nordic1


During the second part of our Odyssey we will visit the following five common realities as stages for everyday life, because these points of view provide a good impression of human daily experience:

o Facts and logic

o Intensities and associations

o Void

o Change

o Interconnectedness

Do these five common realities offer everything we need on our quest for “Who are you?” [5]. We once read that:

“If you use the five common realities in a correct way, then you are completely included in the perfect universe. Do you use this accesses in a wrong way, then you will stay a mortal being.” [6]

At the end of these common realities we will look back to see if we still are normal mortals and/or if we are included in the perfect universe.

[1] Source image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indra’s_net

[2] According to Genesis 1:1 – the first book of Old Testament – God created/separated the sky and earth at the beginning of time. The Hebrew verb core “bara” in the Hebrew version of Genesis 1:1 has four meanings: “creation”, “cleave”, “selection” and “feed”.  Source: http://www.qbible.com/hebrew-old-testament/genesis/1.html

In the Western translations of the Hebrew version of the Old Testament, the word “shamayim” is translated as “Heaven”. Probably “sky” or “firmament” is a better translation for the Hebrew word “shamayim”. See also: http://www.qbible.com/hebrew-old-testament/genesis/1.html and http://www.ancient-hebrew.org/35_home.html and Benner, Jeff A.A Mechanical Translation of the Book of Genesis – The Hebrew text literally translated word for word. 2007

[3] Source image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atom

[4] Source image: http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlemagne

[5] According Buddhism, the five skandhas provide everything that we need for our spiritual development. See also: Origo, Jan van, Who are you – a survey into our existence –part 1. Amsterdam: Omnia – Amsterdam Publisher, 2012 p. 172 – 183

[6] Source: The Sixth Patriarch’s Dharma Jewel Platform Sutra. San Francisco: Buddhist Text Translation Society, 2002, p. 381 – 382. Remark: “Buddha–use” and “Store enveloping consciousness” are rendered by your Narrator as “perfect universe”.

Narrator – A Nordic Cycle, A year from a biography

If you want to avoid misery, rely on your own lot.


As free E-Book available via the website of the publisher:


Carla Drift, Narrator Nārāyana and Man Leben are the three main characters on this part of the Odyssey “Who are you – A survey into our existence”.

“A Nordic Cycle” is one year from the biography on the life of Narrator so far. In this year Narrator fled his existence as idol in Amsterdam by living with his beloved in. Together they made a trip to the North Cape in midsummer; they returned via the Norwegian fjords, the Hardangervidda, and Oslo. There they heared that acquaintances and friends in Amsterdam suffered from a mysterious disease; the beloved of Narrator receives a letter with the news that his mother was seriously ill. The following spring Narrator’s beloved returned to America and Narrator decided to live in Copenhagen. At the end of the spring he visited Amsterdam to attend the funeral of a former lover who is deceased by AIDS.

The Odyssey to “Who are you – survey into our existence” is an quest with many stages. The search for “Who are you” is about you and me and all that is in connection with us. Nothing is on beforehand excluded. Are you and I connected or are we separated? What makes you to the person who you are? Who are you before your birth and who will you be after your death? The answer to these questions is currently unknown, but nevertheless we raise these questions.

The progress of this quest to “Who are you” can be read on the weblog of Jan van Origo: www.janvanorigo.com

The following two part of “Who are you” will include the chapters 5, 7 and 0 of this quest.

This work is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Photos, images, renderings and quotations in the text may be copyrighted by third parties.

Printing of this Ebook is allowed for your own use or for educational purposes. Readers and users of publications by Omnia – Amsterdam Publisher may show their gratefulness by donations to charities of their choice.

Narrator – my origin

Unimaginably long ago I arose from the sound of falling rain in the blowing wind and the clattering of tumbling pebbles. With the rain the rhythm was created, by the wind my voice arose and with the tumbling pebbles the applause started. Stories emerged from the rhythm and the wind. Esteem started by the applause with the urge to seek the attention again and again.

My entire life I tell stories about life and death, about wars, greed, courage and loyalty, about love, revenge, honour, glory and wrath, icy wrath that brought countless horrors.

Since I was saved by Carla Drift from a dream in which I almost slipped to another world, I tell stories for improving discussions and insights on the interfaces between philosophy, literature and religion. Thus, I hope to contribute to a better world, peace and happiness for everyone and everything. This is the summary of the biography of my life.

In this summary my first remembrance is missing in which I heard my father singing in a language from the country from where he had left to Africa. This song sounds so familiar as if I already knew it  from the beginning of time. My father has told me that this chant is called the īśāvāsya [1] upaniṣad or the Isha Upanishad [2] in his country of origin. When I was four years old, my father taught me the text while I sat beside him [3].

ॐ पूर्णमदः पूर्णमिदं पूर्णात् पूर्णमुदच्यते।
पूर्णस्य पूर्णमादाय पूर्णमेवावशिष्यते॥
ॐ शांतिः शांतिः शांतिः॥

Ôm, Purnamadah Purnamidam Purnat Purnamudachyate;
Purnasya Purnamadaya Purnameva Vashishyate.
Ôm shanti, shanti, shanti

Ôm, that is overall. This is overall. Overall comes from overall.

Take overall from overall and thus remains overall.

Ôm peace, peace, peace.

The chant of the  īśāvāsya upaniṣad can be listened via an annex to this post on the website of the publisher: http://www.omnia-amsterdam.com [4].

My father is dark as the night. He was born and raised in a poor southern part of India. At school he fluently learned Sanskrit: the language of the Gods in the world of women/men. All my grandparents and grand-grandparents spoke this language. As a young adult man my father travelled to Kenya in Africa to wander as storyteller and to have a better life. In this country he met my mother.

My mother is a proud woman from the Maasai nomads tribe. She does not know any borders; all the land is for everyone and the cattle needs food and care. She met my father as a young woman. He was starving and she took pity on him. Between them a love arose that transcends our existence. They go together through life; my father remains wandering as storyteller and my mother gives care and shelter when he is passing by. Here-from I came on Earth.

My first name is Kṛṣṇa [5] because I am dark as the night like my father with my black blue skin and because I was born during the dark period of the moon. My parents expressed the hope that I may awake every night again like the Moon and may not die like all other people [6]. Later in my life I changed my first name in Narrator, because I wish to belong to the mortals. My family name from my father’s side is Nārāyana. This means in the language of my ancestors: “Son of the original man”. [7]


Around my sixth year, my father brought me to school. There I learned to read and write. I never ceased reading. I read Gilgamesh, Iliad, Odyssey, Mahābhārata, Shakespeare in the last classes of school while the other students played warrior. Many of my stories stem from this time.


Until my 16th birth day I stayed at school. Then stark dark pages came into my life.

[1] Īśa means among others in Sanskrit “God in the heaven of the Gods”, “one with almightiness”. “Avāsya” means “putting down”. Hereby īśāvāsya can be understood as a description of God in the heaven of Gods. Source: electronic version of the dictionary Monier-Williams – MWDDS V1.5 Beta

[2] A literal translation of the Isha Upanishad in Dutch can be obtained via the following hyperlink: http://www.arsfloreat.nl/documents/Isa.pdf

[3] Upanishad literally means: “Sitting down near”. See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Upanishads

[4] The author doesn’t know the origin of this mp3 file. When the owner makes her-/himself known to the author, the post will be amended to the wishes of the right holders in this question.

[5] Kṛṣṇa means amongst others “black”, “black blue”, “the dark period of the moon cycle”. Source electronic version of the dictionary Monier-Williams – MWDDS V1.5 Beta

[6] According to a Maasai myth the God Engaï gives cattle to the people and he brings people to life after their death and each day he lets the Moon die. After a sin wherein an opponent was desired death, Engaï lets people die and each night he brought the Moon to life. Source:  http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masa%C3%AF_(volk)

[7] Source electronic version of the dictionary Monier-Williams – MWDDS V1.5 Beta

[8] A Maasai woman. Source image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maasai_people

[9] Source image: http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maasa%C3%AF

Weblog available on website Omnia – Amsterdam Publisher

The Weblog “Who are you – an survey into our existence” by Jan of Origo is available via the website of Omnia – Amsterdam Publisher www.omnia-amsterdam.com

This weblog “Who are you” refers to you, me and everything around us. Nothing is excluded in advance. The quest for “you, me and everything around us” takes the form of a modern Odyssey. We will approach the question from different points of view; eventually this Odyssey will guide us to our home. Whether we will succeed? We don’t know yet. But the voyage is definitely worthwhile.

The Odyssey “Who are you – a survey into our existence” will be published in separate parts.

The first part of the report of this survey is published in April 2012. This part is includes amongst others Monism, Atomism and Indra’s Net as a synthesis of both views.

The biography “Man Lives – One Life” – of the second main characters in this quest – is published in March 2012.

Soon the biography “Carla Drift – An outlier” about the first protagonist during this modern Odyssey will be published.

The Netherlands version of the weblog “Who are you” can be read via the website of Omnia – Amsterdam Uitgeverij www.omnia-amsterdam.nl .