“The Gospel of Thomas” translated by Svein Woje & Kari Klepp.

A “new-age” relative of mine was very eager to lend me this non-canonical gospel, once she figured out that I was reading The Holy Bible.

After having read “The Gender Agenda” by Lis Goddard & Clare Hendry., I decided to take a look at it before publishing my Old Testament review.

If you are going to write about religious texts you should preferably know what you are talking about since religion is so vital to those who believe and can be potentially life-changing for those who discover the power of it.

Yet in today’s political and cultural environment you can easily find yourself confused, which is probably the point. This morning I read a very good interview with Bishop Rachel, the 1st female bishop in the church of England, and even though the interview was very good, I couldn’t help but wonder about the presence of women in such high positions. This has nothing to do with my personal preferences; it has everything to do with the Bible texts themselves. Before you know it I’ll re-read the entire Bible just to double-check, since modern church practises clashes so monumentality with what the Bible is explicitly saying. Of course it will make you wonder what you’ve potentially missed. Yet when I re-opened my Bible while reading The Gender Agenda, my impression of what the Bible actually states, was not changed.

It would probably be better for people who fundamentally disagree with Christianity to find some other outlet for their spirituality rather than trying to change the Christian faith to fit with their own preferences….

I do posses a gigantic book about the history of Christianity, which I will certainly read soon I believe. I have too many questions, and a lot of times you can find what you are looking for by going back into the past…

“The Gospel of Thomas” has its relevancy in a very popular conspiracy, where it is claimed that women were especially targeted by the Christian church in the name of oppression. I have debunked parts of that myth as old pre-Christian mythology/spiritual practises do not come across as particularly egalitarian.

Yet it seems like there are forces so desperate to establish a certain new-ideology and/or political order, that history has to be re-written, especially anything that has to do with religious practices. In that spirit I recommend reading this: Ancient Greek Myths – The Universe, The Gods, And Mortals told by Jean-Pierre Vernant.

I guess the reason as to why my “new-age/spiritualist” relative was so very eager to lend me “The Gospel of Thomas” is that it undermines the very structures of the Church and can therefore be seen as a good document for subversion.

She also appears to have some big problems with the Church herself, due to her own fixation on gay’s rights. Last time we visited her she proclaimed that the greatest perpetrators in history have been “white Christian men.”

On that note I’ll zoom in on the gospel itself…

The story goes that this gospel among others was cut out of The New Testament to cover up the social egalitarianism in the early churches and throw women under the bus in order to establish the “evil-Christian-patriarchy.” The non-canonical gospels were excluded in order to hijack Jesus and keep the real-truth from the world, such as Mary Magdalene being his favourite disciple.

The foreword/preface to this translated edition is repetitive but very informative and good. It creates a great built up, addressing the controversy surrounding this non-canonical text, but it all falls flat when you finally get to the actual gospel.

To call it a dethronement of Jesus would be laughable, as you’ll feel like you’ve just read the words of a fortune-cookie-prophet reminiscent of Jaden Smith.

It is all in all a pretty bland text, so I sincerely hope that this is indeed “ancient-fake-news.”

If they do reflect the truth they are evidence of the greatest fraud in history, where an average prophet or cult leader, had some of his quotes inserted into an epic fantasy story, creating division and controversy in the Jewish world and eventually re-setting the spirituality meter all across Europe…

Considering the enormous personal sacrifice and hardships that his disciples put themselves under though, I sincerely doubt that. There is a thread that can be followed, historically speaking, and this in combination with the quality of the writing in The New Testament refutes the “conspiracy.”

It is of great importance to address it though, because this is what critics of the Christian faith will hold on to and bring up in order to debunk and ridicule the faith.

In “The Gospel of Thomas” Jesus speaks of duality coming to an end with “women becoming men, while men become women, so that all can become one” to paraphrase.

Jesus will lead Mary Magdalene “to turn her into a man, so that she can become a living spirit, that is like the spirit of men, for any woman who makes herself a man shall be allowed entry into the Kingdom of Heaven.

“The Gospel of Thomas” is a quick read and is not the bombshell that people will have you believe. The text itself is mediocre at best, but it is still worth a read, so that you know what “the haters” are going on about!

More about faith:

“Simply Christian” by Tom Wright.

The Slippery Slope Of Religious Liberty.

Live Footage From My Benefit Concert To Raise Funds For A Norman Church In The Cotswolds, England.

Spirituality & Archangels.

I Just Finished The Old Testament!

Love Thy Neighbour As Thyself………

Chambers “ghosts and spirits.”

Why The Bible Is Dangerous & Why The Political Correctness Brigade Wants To Keep It Away From You.

“Answers from Heaven” by Theresa Cheung & Claire Broad.

Why so many Christians still literally believe in demons and Satan

Lent for the 1st time.

“An Angel Saved Me” by Theresa Cheung.

Petitions To Sign & Share.

The Lion Encyclopaedia of Jesus.

\m/ Spiritus Gladius \m/

“The Gender Agenda” by Lis Goddard & Clare Hendry.

This book came into my possession courtesy of our local vicar, who lent it to me after having read my review of “Simply Christian” by Tom Wright.

The work is a discussion between two Christian women regarding female leadership and involvement in the Church.

I can hardly think of a topic more relevant in this day and age where female priests seem to be the only vicars left, in addition to female bishops, even female lesbian bishops!

With the emphasis on LGBTQ and egalitarianism it is certainly surprising to read the actual Holy Bible and see how the texts contrast with our “modern values. ”

In my review of “Simply Christian” I wrote among other things this:

“I’m also questioning the presence of female priests and authority figures within Northern European churches when it is explicitly said in 1 Timothy 2 (12) : “I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over men; she is to keep silent.” I guess it can be counter-argued that women are keeping the faith alive and that it is better with female priests than no priests.”

That is probably a good place to start, because the Holy Bible does certainly not come across as a feminist manifesto, to put it that way, even though Lis Goddard seems to think so.

Her interpretation of The Holy Bible hinges on our Bibles being translated wrong … which means that both my copy of the Bible and Clare Hendry’s copy are faulty.

Lis Goddard zooms in on what could have been the intended or original meaning of certain words in the texts and she also seem to believe that Genesis depicts a gender-neutral Utopia of sorts, before the Fall….

Eve is created from Adam’s rib and God first turns to Adam when Eve has not only been disobedient but has brought her man into disobedience as well. A great deal of people will read this as follows: God created the man first, gave him a companion “of him,” and was upset with Adam when he failed in his leadership, punishing both parties (even the snake).

Lis Goddard and those who agree with her, would claim that there was no such thing as any leadership to begin with. That Adam and Eve were equals, that both were leaders in their own right, but that the Fall distorted this Utopia leading to gender-unbalance, which was finally corrected with the arrival of Jesus Christ and the Kingdom.

My impression after reading “The Gender Agenda” is that joining a Bible reading group might put you into a situation where after staring at certain passages in the Bible for a prolonged period of time, you’ll start seeing all sorts of strange things…Everything that is all of a sudden isn’t and everything that isn’t is.

In other words: if you analyse something long enough you’ll eventually get whatever you desire, seeing your own reflection after turning what you are reading into a mirror.

The same can be observed in a lot of modern journalism.

I’m not saying this to be rude, but the book certainly gives off this vibe and as I result I opened up my Bible again to read Genesis to see what I had missed.

The passage that Goddard and Hendry constantly fall back on doesn’t even occupy a full-page. It is a remarkably short section spanning from Genesis 2 (18)  up until the Fall in Genesis 3. After reading this section again, a couple of times, I find it difficult to agree with Goddard’s interpretation.

A good point made by Hendry is that if a woman is supposed to listen to her husband, and he is the head of the household, then how does that work out if a woman is to be the head of a Church? This might be the reason as to why there were supposed to be male monarchs back in the day. Will a female Queen be “King enough”? Or will she be swayed by her husband as “the head,” in effect meaning that the man is ruling the territory rather than the actual Queen?

Yet with all of this said; it is written in the Bible that women should study, prophesy, and pray, not to forget that there are important female characters present in the Biblical texts which is something that anti-Christian critics wouldn’t acknowledge or downplay. Women are to have a role and be active, the question is how.

An interesting point made in “The Gender Agenda” is that Paul was writing to different Churches, helping them with whatever issues that they were facing. It was also mentioned that women and men were probably seated according to their gender, just like in the synagogues, which can explain why Paul says that women need to be quiet in Church. No gossiping and chit-chat in other words. Here is an interesting quote from 1 Corinthians 9 (22):

“To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.”

That quote might shed some light on Paul’s letters. It is also of interest to note that disagreements was a factor from the very beginning of the establishment of the various Churches:

“I appeal to you brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree and that there be no dissensions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgement. For it has been reported to me by Chloe’e’s people that there is quarrelling among you, my brethren.” 1 Corinthians 1 (10)

I would recommend reading Goddard & Hendry’s book as it is extremely relevant in today’s Church environment. If you’ve attended any Church services in Scandinavia or the U.K., then you’ll know what I mean.

Reading the Old & New Testament will instantly put you in a situation where you’ll be worried that you’re supporting heresy, which is probably why young people turn to Islam or Orthodox Christianity.

Pluralism and political correctness is hurting Northern churches, who would probably gain more by proclaiming God as the God and the Holy Bible as the Truth. If you start doubting yourself, then others will do as well and in today’s political and spiritual environment, I don’t know if that’s the best way forward.

To conclude; it is certainly at odds with everything in our modern pop-culture to be a practising Christian, especially if you are a woman, since being: argumentative, loud, not modestly dressed and especially having authority over men are all characteristics that are currently being celebrated, in addition to abortion. Nothing gains wider praise than women involved with the military, ministry or politics. So if you are looking at the Bible and Christianity through a conservative lens you’ll probably think that you’ve woken up in Hell, or at least in a world that is in a state of absolute chaos.

I Just Finished The Old Testament!

Why The Bible Is Dangerous & Why The Political Correctness Brigade Wants To Keep It Away From You.

The Lion Encyclopaedia of Jesus.

 

Why I Don’t Go To The Library…

This household is filled to the brim with books. Everyone is just as curious and everyone is a bit of a collector.

I myself have plenty of unread books such as: Shakespeare’s works, Viking texts, Norwegian classics, all sorts of other more modern works covering everything from the entertainment industry, to spirituality, history and whatnot. In addition there are piles of Magazines, newspapers, and little reminders to check out digital articles, recommended to me by others, or that I’ve stumbled into myself.

Add unto to this all of the other books that are around the house belonging to others, and you start looking at quite a lot of reading material.

I therefore found myself in a familiar situation when I earlier this year acquired a library card and brought with me a pile of books that remained largely unread……

The catch of course is that you’ll be billed once your books are overdue, and when you then pay the bill and re-new your “lease” you’ll only be billed again, and again, as you forget to read whatever it was that you were going to read in whatever pile stationed somewhere, wherever that was…

What I gathered from my reading about ancient England was that people sometimes created false charters to feign legitimacy to certain territory. Total tribalism was the norm before unification, which means that one excavation site cannot be held up as “national” evidence when it comes to customs and practises! People have been looking for clues regarding religious activity sometimes regarding “house placement” as an indicator of spiritual affairs.

There have been instances of tons of weapons being thrown into water and researches have been hypothesising that this had to deal with religious rituals, my gut feeling was that maybe this was an act of disarmament. Much like those who are lobbying for gun control in the U.S.A., and have successfully done so across Europe.

Ancestry worship of bones, turning into “Saint-worship” and tribes fighting among themselves for control over the English territory, all made for interesting reading, until I actually had to abort my mission and give the books back.

I never managed to finish the pile and was reminded once again of why I don’t go to the library.

“Simply Christian” by Tom Wright.

“Nobody was expecting anyone, least of all a Messiah, to rise from the dead. A crucified Messiah was a failed Messiah. When Simeon ben Kosiba was killed by the Romans in AD 135, nobody went around afterwards saying he really was the Messiah after all,…” (p.96)

This book was lent to me by my local priest who recommended it when I told him that I was reading the Holy Bible.

After I was done reading the scriptures in its entirety (which took me over a year), I ventured into Wright’s work, which is a very straightforward and easy read.

The book is very enjoyable and explains Christianity and what it really is and what it really means.

Nothing beats having the source material though and it is vital to always keep in mind that the Bible is the number one “document” or more fittingly “Testament,” to which believers are to stay true.

“Once we glimpse this vision of the Holy Spirit coming to live within human beings, …” (p.111)

I therefore recommend people who are either turning to Christianity or becoming practising Christians to actually read the Holy Bible rather than not reading at all, or only reading Church approved interpretations of the Holy works.

It is not an easy undertaking reading the scriptures, because a lot of the Old Testament make for repetitive reading, but it is worth it due to those parts that aren’t, and especially since it exposes you to all of that which is normally excluded from pop-culture and mainstream Church services. It is quite staggering how much that has been left out and how limited modern Christianity is when it comes to what it quotes….

I’ve written before that I was going to review the New and Old Testament, and that I’m working on a very long entry for the Old, this is all true, but I wanted to read what our priest had recommended first.

I’m glad that I did because there were certain aspects of the Christian faith that I hadn’t quite figured out, such as “God-time,” meaning that the past, present and future isn’t linear when dealing with God.

“Somehow, God’s dimension and our dimension, heaven and earth, overlap and interlock.” (p.110)

I choose to start my Testament reviews with “Simply Christian” so that others too can read and enjoy this work, hopefully avoiding misconceptions and confusion. My reviews of the Old and the New Testament are based on my reading of the uncensored source text and is not based on politically correct, modern-Church approved, filtered, interpretations. I intend to address: slavery, the role of women, the fact that you should not rebel against your government, the early persecution of Christians, and the divisiveness that Jesus’ presence brings into this world, all of which is based on the Holy texts themselves, but aspects that modern-churchians and pop-culture never mention.

On that note it might be fitting to reveal that Wright’s work is not particularly politically correct, and that I was somewhat surprised that my local vicar would recommend something that must surely stand opposed to a great deal of what is being promoted within Church communities today.

“But setting it out in this way feels a bit like trying to describe my best friend by offering a biochemical analysis of his genetic makeup. It is important. Indeed, if he didn’t have that makeup he wouldn’t be the same person.” (p.154)

It was a relief that the book wasn’t filled with post-modernist falsities, yet there were some conclusions that Wright arrived at that puzzled me, and his digestible promotion of Christianity appears very mild, if re-visiting the New Testament after having read “Simply Christian.”

Wright concludes that global economic justice must be one of the many goals of Christians today but the Holy Bible itself states that: “If any one does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his own family, he has disowned the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” 1 Timothy 5 (8)

I’m also questioning the presence of female priests and authority figures within Northern European churches when it is explicitly said in 1 Timothy 2 (12) : “I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over men; she is to keep silent.” I guess it can be counter-argued that women are keeping the faith alive and that it is better with female priests than no priests.

I also think it is important to quote James 2 (17) & (26) since it is written that: “So faith by itself, if it has no works; is dead.” “For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so faith apart from works is dead.”

“You become like what you worship.” (p.127)

“How many times have I been grateful, faced with nightfalls both metaphorical and literal, for the old Anglican Collect which runs:

Lighten our darkness, we beseech thee, O Lord;

and by thy great mercy

defend us from all perils and dangers of this night;

for the love of thy only Son,

our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.” (p.142)

“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” (p.144)

 

Memed, My Hawk by Jasjar Kemal.

After having read so much serious and factual material it felt strange to embark on a work of fiction. In many ways it reminded me of watching a piece of drama while downing popcorn which is something I seldom do. The book feels long and is probably of interest to those who enjoy easy escapism into a distant slightly altered reality. Kemal offers a very amusing portrayal of “the people;” meaning the wavering of opinions and general dodging of uncomfortable confrontations – even if it results in the imprisonment of an innocent. The work features a villain who abuses the villagers under his command; rather than a cry for political reform (which could have been his intent), the author offers an excellent assortment of different characters with opposing temperaments and traits, a talent that will always stand the test of time as social structures and how they are applied are merely a reflection of “the tribe” inhabiting and operating said system rather than a total result of “capitalism” or “feudalism”or any other structure in and of itself – unless the social construct is the design of said group in addition. In which case the whole package reflects the ethnicity behind it a 100%. One must be careful to blame religion for example as the sole catalyst for warfare historically, which is an absolute incorrect assumption many hold. The only way that war, conflicts or suffering could potentially/theoretically be avoided would be through the drastic genetic alteration of “man,” which goes to show you how awkward it is to believe in a “peaceful state of nature.” The State of Nature is violent and brutal;  injustice is therefore something that we should expect, as even a “just society” where everyone reaps what they’ve sown will be fundamentally unequal. Something to think about for those who believe that the simple removal of capitalism, for example, with the introduction of absolute communism will create some sort of utopian state….

This book came into my possession thanks to my grandfather, who insisted that I had to take it with me last time I visited him. The work literally smells like my granddad’s old apartment so it has a personal, nostalgic value for sure. My copy of “Memed, My Hawk” has been translated from its original Turkish to Norwegian – which is important for me obviously, since I live abroad speaking and writing in another language! My copy was published in 1971 by Aschehoug. There seems to be some text missing in the middle of the work, I assume this must have fallen out during the translation/printing. There are also some very apparent typos in this section as well, but these obvious flaws are reserved for a relatively small portion of the book.

Some quotes I enjoyed from these 294 pages:

“Ethvert menneske vokser til og utvikler seg i overensstemmelse med den jordbunn det er født på.”

“Bare drømmene levde. Den menneskelige innbilningskraft kjenner ingen grenser, uansett hvor snevert synsfeltet er.”

“Når et menneske snakker, er faren at det skal gå til grunne av sorg, allerede halvveis overvunnet.”

“Mennesket går med åpne øyne i døden.”

“Og da tankene hans først hadde sprengt den trange livssirkelen som den skjebnebestemte maktesløsheten satte opp, så ble det også lidenskapeligere.”

Gi Aldri Opp! “Never Give Up!” by Heidi Løke.

This was a very straightforward and easy read authored or co-authored by one of the world’s best handball players. Heidi comes from a very atypical Norwegian family by today’s standards. If I remember correctly they were 7 siblings in total, raised by very religious and traditionalist parents. Maybe it was to counter this that the opening of the work was so very vulgar … the book is off to a shocking start where it is described how Løke was trying to make her genitalia more like a penis, as a child, in order to be more like her brothers … (straight up the alley of any post-modernist in other words)….after this opening the book goes on to reveal a “good Christian girl” from a very respectable family of good standing in the community without neither divorce or any other official scandals.

Her brother played on the National team for male handball players and is refered to as her big hero; she writes about all of her siblings in detail and ultimately dedicates her book and her victories to her parents who were very involved with all of their children, despite her father working several jobs. I’m assuming that her mother was a homemaker as no profession is mentioned. It is described how she would cook several meals from scratch everyday, to provide every child with what he or she wanted. According to Løke, they were fed to be sturdy sportsmen/women.

Heidi describes an ideal Norwegian upbringing … before technology made us all too busy to just go and knock on the door of our peers …. They were not wealthy, but were certainly an extremely close-knit family, with Heidi moving home to her mum and dad on several occasions despite being in her 20s. Considering how Norwegian society emphasises independence at all costs, it is certainly encouraging to read about a more old-fashioned family.

Heidi reveals some of the hardships that professional athletes have to cope with,  but I regret that she doesn’t go more in-depth in regards to her injuries, etc; It is especially shocking to read the sequence dealing with her coach in Hungary, where yelling at the players and weighting them in front of the entire team was the norm. Abusing athletes psychologically goes against anything I’ve ever read about successful coaching, Heidi also writes in her book that the experience certainly made her aware of how well you are treated as a sports person in Scandinavia. Still it certainly raised my eyebrows when I read about how she was treated as “replaceable” by her Norwegian club before she went on to become a living legend. It is especially interesting that she had to supplement her income when playing for a professional team in Norway and that she was pretty much “taken for a ride,” since her value as a player increased without her salary reflecting this until she fought for a raise….

One would think that athletes would be treated with a little bit more respect…especially if active on the national team……

As I said the book was extremely easy to get through. It only took me an evening. It would have been interesting if the book went a bit deeper, describing in detail how she prepares herself for her matches, etc; It gives off the air of being a superficial read, but I’m guessing that she didn’t want to bore her fans with too many “geeky” details.

If anything, the book could be used as an argument as to how important it is to have the support of a close-knit family and how family values needs to be more prioritized in our “fractured” modern progressive society.

 

 

Continental Philosophy – A Graphic Guide.

So last week, when I had my guitar holiday, I had plenty of time to read through various material and even better, 4 books. Reading proper books is something we should all do more of, myself included. I decided to finish reading “Continental Philosophy – A Graphic Guide” by Christopher Kul-Want & Piero.

It was an interesting read, with many intriguing ideas being mentioned briefly. A proper pop-science book, tailor-made for the masses I would assume.

The impression that I was left with is that Continental Philosophy has been allowed way too much influence in modern Europe. The idea of grammar being an eternal evil that forces human beings into perpetual slavery, is quite something.

Jul-Want’s book describes  Continental Philosophy’s end goal as breaking down the pillars that holds society together in order for human beings to finally attain freedom, regardless of the consequences.  The truth though is that we are all born into specific “matrixes” where you have to submit to certain rules of conduct in order to be “operative” within that specific system. Reject these “laws” and you have the most isolated of men, completely cut off from their fellow humans, due to a complete inability to function within the “system”.

You can think about Snapchat for example, how it allows us to communicate through pictures and facial expressions, well, we are taught that various facial expressions have certain meanings, which means that this could also be seen as “enslavement”. Since we’ve been “programmed” from infancy to allocate specific meanings to such and such. Sign language also follow certain rules, so if  you are to use any kind of communication, you need to use specific symbols, that have been allocated a specific meaning. In other words, there is no escape.

Jaques Lacan felt that “without some artificial system of symbolic order by which to organise “reality”, the individual would cease to exist” Slavoj Zizek also said ” Fictions structure our reality. If you take away from reality the symbolic fictions that regulate it, you lose reality itself”.

The idea on “breaking free from the chains” of standards created to uphold society and rules created to make interaction between the “players” within this system possible, can truly be observed in all its glory in Norway. Yes you read that right.

It doesn’t matter if you can spell right in my country of origin, putting an emphasis on correct language might “traumatized” little children, so not only have we abolished grades in elementary schools we are also trying our best to destroy the language. There has been a systematic move towards a school system, where you can write in your own dialect and where correct grammar isn’t really that important. This of course results in teachers who a) I have no idea what they are doing or b) teachers of a foreign background who cannot even talk Norwegian properly. This has of course also resulted in news articles and magazine editors being given the green light for ludicrous grammar use, sentence structures and words that don’t even exist. Printing and digitally publishing articles that could be more eloquently delivered by me – An international Norwegian ( I’ve lived the majority of my life abroad and only attended Norwegian schools during brief stays in my home country on 4 separate occasions).

The fact that I spot the sorry state of the Norwegian language, when it comes to articles and statements written by everyone from magazine editors, politicians, journalists and independent bloggers, really says it all.

This is the sort of culture you get if you are to “break free” from the shackles of grammar and sentence structure. Not that my grammar is perfect by any means, but it is a hell of a lot better than a lot of people who actually get paid to write, especially in my home country. I guess that the goal of Continental Philosophy is communication through grunts.

In Norway you are now also allowed by law, to define your own gender, as gender apparently is only a concept created by society. It is quite easy to know what you are, by…ehm..looking between your legs, unless you are a modern “liberal” or practise a philosophy of “breaking free” regardless of how “mongo” your society turns out.

Don’t get me wrong, a lot of the thinkers “sorted” under the Continental Philosophy umbrella are very interesting indeed. But as exciting as it can be to lose oneself in abstract discussion quotes such as these cannot possibly be set to proper use in terms of building or maintaining a social construct ” certain aspects of modern and postmodern art and literature reflects this view that knowledge is irreducible and lacks rules”.

I quite liked the quotes from/about Jaques Lacan , regarding his critique towards the 1968 movement ” you demand a new master, you will get it!”.

“Lacan sensed that underlying the students desire for change was a naive idea that freedom is to do as one pleases, thus elevating enjoyment to the level of an authoritarian imperative. In a similar critical vein, Slavoj Zizek has argued that the hedonistic tendencies of the generation of 1968 helped pave the way of the consumerist culture in the West of the late 20th century.”

I also took a liking to Sartre‘s ideas about freedom” The French people were never so free as when they were under Nazi occupation”. His reason for stating something that controversial, was that the French people were made acutely aware of the question of freedom while under occupation as said in the book ” For Sartre, freedom didn’t simply mean freedom of the will or freedom of action, as in the kind of freedom that a prisoner is deprived of. He meant freedom of conscience, the freedom to make decisions in whatever situation we find ourselves.” According to Sartre ” Man is condemned to be free”due to freedom of choice.

Albert Camus viewpoint that “life and existence are absurd” and that we “continually tell false stories to ourselves about ourselves” to function, fits well with modern books such as “You Are Not So Smart” and other current psychological articles.

The idea of whether or not we actually exist is also a good one, that took up a lot of my attention when I first read philosophy years ago.

Walter Benjamin appealed to me enormously when I read Kul-Want’s book and is a philosopher that I have to check out more closely. ” During the 1930s Benjamin compiled a massive dossier known as the “Arcades Project” recording the new inventions (photography, steel and glass arcades, gas lighting) and forms of consumption and the subjective experiences associated with modernity – of alienation, boredom and commodity fetishism – that developed during Napoleon III’s reign.”

“Benjamin asks whether there is specifically a revolutionary form of violence that does not re-institute the violence of the law?”.

” Benjamin claimed that through modern technological changes the narrative of humankind’s progress,far from achieving a utopian conclusion, results in eventual destruction”.

I found the short section about Theodor Adorno quite interesting as well ” For Adorno, the idea of happiness in art accommodates the status quo. Rather, he argued, the work of art should be oppositional, focusing the individual on the true inequalities and horrors of the world”. Walter Benjamin also believed that art could be used to shock people into action or be used as a source for people to live out destructive tendencies, without acting on them in the real world.

My conclusion? “Continental Philosophy” is an interesting read since the after shocks of its radical thinkers can be clearly felt today. The radicals of yesterday shaped the world into its current form of today. We are now feeling the repercussion of their bold philosophies and one can argue that it hasn’t exactly made us any stronger. Just like modern art was an attack on rules, it was equally an attack on everything beautiful and the idea that one should strive for mastery and perfection. Standards are mercilessly crushed and smashed into the ground by radical thinkers, as standards can be seen as the death of individualism and free thinking. The radicals laid dead the celebration of personal mastery as the ultimate goal, and equally laid dead its greatest victor – the individual who has exploited their personal potential to its fullest; rising above the standard. “In the absence of standards, emerges a degenerate edifice of social and cultural dysfunction” to quote my brother.