My great-grands in Axel had a front-row seat to a wide sweep of history. Maybe they weren’t sophisticated and citified, but they got caught up in the social movements and major battles of their time. They helped shape the country borders that exist to this day.
An apology is in order, and I owe it to my great-grands. So here it is: I’m sorry I thought the lot of them were a bunch of boring clayhoppers.
With its long history and despite its troubles, it’s hard for me to imagine Amsterdam without its Red Light District. It’d be like imagining Amsterdam without its coffee shops. But that’s another story.
Spinoza’s philosophy, with its insistence that everything has already been determined and none of us has free will, gives rise to a lot of Really Big Questions.
We are our stories, and our stories don’t just deserve to be told, they need to be heard. It’s more than a shame that so many of these stories were never heard during the time their storytellers were alive. But we have a chance to hear some of them today.
It’s really no testament to the man’s work skills or general camaraderie that no one cared that he had vanished from the office for six years. No one raised a stink until he failed to show up to get a longevity award for keeping the same job for so long. Which, you know, is makes this a masterwork of irony.
This philosophy isn’t a cure, or at least, it hasn’t been yet. But it is a help. Especially, I find, with things that are far beyond my influence, such as the upcoming election. It’s comforting to find a way to let go of some of that anxiety. And that, at least, is something.
What is Spinoza’s G-d up to, anyway? What’s G-d good for, if not meddling about in the affairs of mankind? If G-d’s not going to help me on my upcoming statistics test, what the heck do I need a G-d for, anyhow?