Simplicity

Kennemer Dunes, today. "I always go forward with it" [ "To make clear what specific goals to achieve" ]

Min/max temperature: 3°C/10°C; humidity: 87%; precipitation: 0 mm; sea level pressure: 1013.09 hPa; wind WNW 9.7 km/h; visibility: 11.0 kilometres.

"When I am writing it is about the page. It is not about the movie. It is not about cinema. It is about literature, about me putting the pen to paper and writing a good page. And making it work completely as a literature document in itself. That is my first artistic contribution. And if I do my job right, by the end of the script, I should be having the thought, 'You know, if I were to just publish this now and not make it, I am done. I've done it. I could actually be okay, with just saying that's it. And whoever wants to read it, will read it, and I am done.' Now it is mine to F-up if, I go forward with it. Now, I always go forward with it, but I actually think, where I come from, I wanna love that script so much, I am tempted to stop. I am tempted to call myself a winner right then and there, before I climb the mountain. […] There is stuff in that script that will never ever make that movie, but it just makes the book, the piece of literature better. It is a better read, it is a better… more emotionally satisfying… Just like you are doing an adaptation, you peal a lot of that stuff away."

Quentin Tarentino in 'The Directors: Full Uncensored Interview', first published on 27 November 2012 by The Hollywood Reporter

"The lightfoot summer comes nigh us,
The branching trees and the bright unmindful grass
Do not forget their time,
They take no thought, yet remember
To show forth their colour in season."

From 'Kakitsubata' a Noh play by Motokiyo (b. 1374, d. 1455), published in Ezra Pound and Ernest Deollosa's 'The Classic Noh Theatre of Japan', page 123, first published in 1917 by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. USA

A [ leader ] can stimulate his [ people ] by seeing them, by talking to them. The old saying "management by walking around" is still valid. It is even more valid in the e-mail era that we are living at the moment. There is a risk, especially within staffs, that massages are sent without talking to or seeing each other anymore. Talking to the [ people ] is extremely important, especially when times are bad, people are tired and are under a lot of pressure. Frequent contact […] is then much needed. […] The [ leader ] should make clear what specific goals he wants to achieve. He should show […] that he has both high expectations and confidence [ He ] must also determine in what direction he wants to go with his unit. He must develop a vision. The next step is to make the whole unit enthusiastic about his vision. They must believe in his ideas. [ One ] can only do so by walking around, by talking to people, listening and discussing your ideas and theirs […] I had to praise and encourage [ them ], reassuring and reminding them of our commitment to the mission. Commitment is a necessary ingredient for that extra push sometimes needed to accomplish a dangerous and stressful mission."

P.C. Cammaert, in 'NL Arms', page 35, 36, first published in 1997 by RNMA, Breda

"Give up sainthood, renounce wisdom,
And it will be a hundred times better for everyone.

Give up kindness, renounce morality,
And people will rediscover filial piety and love.

Give up ingenuity, renounce profit,
And bandits and thieves will disappear.

These three are outward forms alone: They are not sufficient in themselves.
Its is more important
To see the simplicity,
To realise our true nature,
To cast off selfishness
And temper desire."

Lao Tsu in 'Tao Te Ching', page 21, translated by Gia-fu Feng and Jane English. Originaly published by Knopf, New York, 1972

Flow on demand

Kennemer Dunes, today. Flow [ on command ]

Min/max temperature: 3°C/10°C; humidity: 72%; precipitation: 0 mm; sea level pressure: 996 hPa; wind SW 25.7 km/h; visibility: 10.0 kilometres; Clouds: Few 701 m., Scattered Clouds 822 m., Mostly Cloudy 1341 m.

"The biomechanics of the foot is a complex subject. […] Unique characteristics are making it possible that the foot, when in need, is rigid, by adjusting the 26 bones into one unity, or, when in need, contrary to that into total flexibility, such as when climbing barefoot. Between these extremities the mobility of the feet is found during walking. The necessity for variation of the activities of the foot-structure comes from the fact that the surfaces we stand and move on differ substantially. From soft and slippery to hard and rough. […] In the western world the foot is more often than not dressed with a semi-regid shell, the shoe. Simply trough these circumstances certain conditions are available for the development of deviations. […] The foot is being formed during the development of the leg during the eighth week of pregnancy. After birth, growth, both with boys and girls, goes slow. There are two main periods with a clearly visible growth spurt, in the first two years and during puperty. On average a girl at the age of 1 and boys with the age of 18 months have feet half the size of adults. […] The relatively large size of the feet is important to provide a broad base on which the body rests. At times this is a compensation for lack of muscle-power and coordination of the child. […] The movement of the separate joints in the foot are rather difficult to describe, because the foot from time to time functions as one whole entity and on other moments is very flexible to adjust to different surfaces, both during standing as during movement. In particular are the possibilities demonstrated of the normal foot as a limb able to grab things, trough people without arms. These people dress their selves, eat, even write with their feet and toes. […] The reality of the saddening number of foot abnormalities and the numerous painful and perspiring feet, show that shoes oftentimes exercice harmful effects upon the feet. Uninjured feet usually are found only with young children and barefoot walking peoples."

Victor H. Frankel, Margraeta Noridn, Chris J. Snijders in 'Basic Biomechanics of the Skeletal System', page 110, 325, first published in 1980 by Lea & Febiger, Philadelphia

"Leadership […] means winning the hearts and minds of others to achieve a common purpose. […] There is a Dutch phrase that reads: A fish starts to stink first at the head. If the leadership at the top of the organisation is not performing up to scratch, then one cannot expect the rest of the organisation to perform well. Leading by example and charisma are of vital importance. This means that the person [ who leads ] takes responsibility especially at moments of confusion and doubt. [ He ] should praise loudly and reprimand softly. A pat on the back or a word of appreciation is extremely important for the confidence […] I once read a phrase of a wise man that said: A good carriage driver never lashes his whip. This wise man did not mean to imply that the carriage driver should not use his whip, but that he should manage his carriage in such a way that it was not necessary to use it. […] Job satisfaction is extremely important for people in any organisation in order to gain the best results. One can achieve that by creating the circumstances in which people can use their talents, their initiatives. They should feel […] respected […] in the organisation. If the people in the unit feel happy, i.e. have high morale, the performance of a unit will be first rate. That also helps to alleviate stress. […] Management of stress must start during preparations [...] A number of factors are to be considered  [ , 1 ] realistic training [ ; 2 ] unit cohesion [ ; 3 ]  good communication [ ; 4 ] to expect the unexpected. [ ; 5 ] time out. When a unit works hard […] it is necessary to give [ them ] a break from their stressful environment [ by ] providing an opportunity for rest and recuperation. […] I have learnt from the mistakes I made during my commands. Those lessons appeared to be very useful during the peace support operations in which I participated. The responsibilities of a commander are enormous. It is a lonely job. He cannot delegate responsibility. He can only delegate some powers. But he does not have to feel lonely when he puts his trust and his confidence in his subordinates. Make time for the people that are entrusted to your care and you will not be disappointed."

P.C. Cammaert, in 'NL Arms', page 31, 33, 37, 38, 39, first published in 1997 by RNMA, Breda

"Bolstered by mortar and artillery fire, the troopers, outnumbered sometimes five to one, fought all trough the morning to clear the zones. In the wild, chaotic fighting that ensued over a period of four hours on the zones, one of the most beloved officers in the 82nd, the heavyweight champion of the division, Captain Anthony Stefanich, was killed. "We've come a long way together," he told his men. "Tell the boys to do a good job." Then he died."

Cornelius Ryan in 'A Bridge Too Far', page 363, first published in 1974 by Simon and Schuster, New York

Next level

Kennemer Dunes, today. Focus on the task [ meditation ] 

Min/max temperature: 4°C/7°C; humidity: 99%; precipitation: 1 mm; sea level pressure: 997 hPa; wind West 15.9 km/h; visibility: 10.0 kilometres; Clouds: Few 335 m., Scattered Clouds 762 m., Mostly Cloudy 1188 m

"Perhaps the most powerful revolutions are the ones that deny they ever happened. They install a new approach and erase an earlier practice so successfully that we look at the world trough the structures they leave behind. The reinvention of money in early modern England was such an event. […] At first glance, money seems an odd place for a revolution. According to much of modern thought, money is an instrument, an empty signifier, a function. In economic terminology, it is a unit of account, a mode of payment, and a medium of exchange, more interesting for what it does than for what it is. [...]  That, in fact, is part of the revolution's vanishing act. […] Making an entity that can answer demands at once so intimate and so impersonal, so material and so artificial -- making money -- is a governance project, one of the most penetrating that societies undertake." […] "I heard a wise man compare the hammers of the Mint in the state unto the pulses of a natural body, […] For as these beat strongly, it argues health, but if faintly, weakness in the body is natural." From the medieval trough the early modern period, metaphors casting money as blood or another bodily fluid were common in Europe (it was early days, after all, in the science of the body and notions varied about exactly how blood, humors, or other flows worked) " [ Money ]… is to the body politic what blood is to the human body," the French Estates General noted in a 1484 communication to King Charles VIII […] At the end of the century, a critic of the bank of England used the traditional understanding to sound an alarm. "A wise state […] should constantly discourage a monopoly of cash and credit, they being to trade what the blood and spirits are to the body, which then thrives best, when every part receives its proportion, and there is a free unrestrained circulation throughout the whole…" The money as blood metaphor, "virtually a stock-in-trade for five hundred years," lingered trough the 18th century. " [It ] has seldom been used since." A new metaphor has replaced the old one. Money, wrote David Hume in 1752, would remain proportionate to the art and industry of a nation just as "water", wherever it communicates, remains always at a level. […] "Ask naturalists the reason; they tell you, were it to be raised in any place, the superior gravity of that part not being balanced, must depress it, till it meets a counterpoise." [ Capitalism ] constructed a money tuned by individual exchange for profit, institutionalising that motive as the heart of productivity. [ It ] identified that money as neutral, locating all value and judgements about value in the "real economy" it facilitated. […] There is no romantic baseline to the coming of capitalism. [ Looking ] at the history of money does suggest that the market is a matter of constitutional design, a political and legal creation. It is a governance project all the way down, starting with its money. That enterprise, rather than the space outside it, makes the economy real."

Christine Desan in  'Making Money', page 1, 422, 423, 424, 434, first published in 2014 by Oxford University Press, United KIngdom

"I hear stories about directors who scream at actors, or they trick them somehow to get a performance. And there are some people who try to run the whole business on fear. [ This ] is such a joke -- it's pathetic and stupid at the same time. When people are in fear, they don't want to go to work. So many people today have that feeling. Then the fear starts turning into hate, and they begin to hate going to work. Then the hate can turn into anger and people become angry at their boss and their work. If I ran my set with fear, I would get 1 percent, not 100 percent, of what I get. And there would be no fun in going down the road together. And it should be fun, like puppy dogs with our tails wagging. It's supposed to be great living; it's supposed to be fantastic. Instead of instilling fear, if a company offered a way for everyone in the business to dive within -- to start expanding energy and intelligence -- people would work overtime for free. They would be far more creative. And the company would just leap forward. This is the way it can be. It's not the way it is, but it could be that way so easily."

David Lynch in 'Catching the Big Fish, meditation, consciousness, and creativity', page 73, 74, first published in 2006 by Bobkind, Inc., USA

"Imagine being completely free of internal restraints and doing whatever you please. Imagine a mental state that entails no conscience. Imagine having no feelings of remorse or guilt, whatever unpleasant things you may be doing. Imagine caring only for number one, and having absolutely no concern for the well-being of others. Imagine responsibility being an empty term, having no conceptual meaning. Imagine giving no second thought to the shameful, harmful, or immoral actions you have taken. Wouldn't such an emotional deficit be a great blessing? Wouldn't life be much simpler and more pleasurable without inhibitions? A conscience is a nuisance; empathy a drag. Without the usual pangs of shame and guilt, you would be able to do anything. Nothing would hold you back. We tend to assume that a conscience is a universal human feature, which makes it hard (for most of us) to imagine that there are people with this kind of personality makeup. […] We don't recognise them. The presence or absence of conscience creates a deep divide between people. For the purpose of maintaining our own sanity, we had better accept that a small portion of the population has a psychological makeup and mindset very different from the rest of us. […] They assume a kind of stealth position within organisation and society […] Their lack of conscience means that the usual tools for societal control don't work and are irrelevant to them. […] These people can bring havoc to the lives of others and are often described as psychopaths. […] But only a small subset of psychopaths becomes the violent criminals so often fictionalised in films and novels. […] Not all psychopaths are destined for prison; some may even be in top executive positions. […] The power games that typify organisational life come naturally to them. […] They know how to blend in and conceal their difference in order to manipulate others more effectively. […] These people are unable to experience "normal" feelings of shame, guilt or remorse. And although their stealth behaviour makes them hard to recognise, there are plenty of them out there. According to Robert Hare, a major specialist in psychopathy, approximately one percent of the population falls within the psychopath category -- and a much larger number can be found in executive positions. Estimates vary, but approximately 3.9 percent of corporate professionals can be described as having psychopathic tendencies, a figure considerably higher than is found in the general population. [ Many ] people working in organisations have a fair chance of experiencing a pathological boss."

Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries in 'Mindful Leadership Coaching, Journeys into the interior', page 107, 108, 109, first published in 2014 by Palgrave Macmillan, USA

Never alone

Kennemer Dunes, today. The 'loneliness of the long distance runner' is a myth [ we come one with speed ]

Min/max temperature: 7°C/7°C; humidity: 91%; precipitation: 1 mm; sea level pressure: 996 hPa; wind SSW 19.0 km/h; visibility: 10.0 kilometres; Clouds: Few 1280 m.

"Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye. Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you."

Matthew the Apostle in 'The Gospel According to Matthew,7: 1-6',King James Bible, first published in 1611, Kingdom of England

"Silent pictures are hard work; very difficult to get a point over. You have to move the camera around so much. With talking pictures, I mean, just as you and I are talking, I mean, it's… it gets over I hope. As the soundman [ does ] ! [ Bodgdanovich: ] And yet the most important aspect of your pictures has always been the visual, wouldn't you agree? [ Ford: ] Perhaps."

John Ford in 'Directed by John Ford', a documentary by Peter Bogdanovich, first published in 1971, USA

Consolidation

Kennemer dunes, today. Consolidation [ together we know more ]

Min/max temperature: 3°C/10°C; humidity: 91%; precipitation: 9 mm; sea level pressure: 988 hPa; wind SE 33.8 km/h; visibility: 10.0 kilometres; Clouds: Few 609 m., Scattered Clouds 1249 m

"Our era is the individualistic one, and the myth of the happy single obscures our longing for the other in combination with our distrust of this other. This is strange. We live in one of the safest regions of the world and we have never been so afraid of one another! Why do we view the other as a possible threat? In my opinion, the explanation is to be found in the dominant nature of neoliberal ideology, setting the tone of the past thirty years or so. When it started , Margaret Thatcher produced a very prophetic formulation: ‘There is no such thing as society, there are only individuals’. In the meantime, neoliberalism has installed a society with isolated and ever competing individuals. An unexpected side effect was the growing need for top down control of everything and everyone. We have been turned into lonely hedgehogs filling in forms for every step we take. And we have to take it, that’s for sure. The golden goose is called success. Michael Douglas puts it quite clearly in one of 1987’s blockbusters ‘Wall street’: “Greed is good. Greed is right. Greed works.” Neoliberalism has realised its own principle, a ‘rational’ selfishness. We do no longer parent, or teach or love. We invest in parenthood, education and relations. And if the investment does not return satisfactorily, we dump the lot, and move on to the next. Get rid of the weakest links in order to boost productivity. The other is first of all a competitor. Team spirit has become rare and needs to be boosted by team building weekends, ironically enough filled with survival of the fittest games. In the early stages of neoliberalism the principle was limited to industry and trade, but today it dominates everyday life. An ironic example can be found in so called ‘reality shows’ on TV, with striking titles such as 'The Weakest Link', 'Temptation Island' or 'Top Starter'. The irony is that they pretend to show us who we really are, whilst they are dictating how we should behave. Their message is clear: the ideal human is a rat-raceloving player, always looking for number one. We have to score. In bed, at work, in life. The winner takes it all. Under the skin of our successful society, fear thrives, from fear of failure to a general distrust of the menacing other. Indeed, if everybody is only looking for number one, then no one is to be trusted. […] For the last thirty years, our neoliberal society has been promoting competitive individualism and top down control. Today, the smoke is clearing and we are left with a world of winners and losers, all of them on their own. The winner, swell but lonely at the top. No favours for the lady. The loser, lonely and ignored anyway. Both of them controlled by Big Brother, with almost no autonomy left. And we are sick of it, both literally and metaphorically."

Paul Verhaeghe 'Ted-X talk', first published in 2013. Transcript available as Pdf

" [ Jim: ] "I'll tell you one thing about growing up in Beverly Hills. Rich people are fucking weird. Money makes you weird. What I finally realised was these people worked their whole lives, a lot of times -- it's not old money, it's tons of new money -- worked their whole lives to get this stuff that's gonna fix 'em, that's gonna make everything okay, you know, the wife and the car and the house… and it doesn't work. So they get really pissed off and start acting out in really strange ways, like doing large amounts of cocaine and sleeping with prostitutes. People's fathers were doing things like that. […] It was really a trip growing up in this environment. Huge amounts of corruption and drugs and sex. I remember kids in fifth grade that were already in recovery. They had AA chips, but I didn't know what they were at the time. The moms are constantly on antidepressants -- these soccer moms. There are huge things of pills in everyone's house. They would take their kids to the doctor if they had a bad haircut. Everybody I knew was on some sort of allergy medicine, Ritalin or Valium or Percodan, something -- everybody was being treated."

David Weddle in 'Among the Mansions of Eden', Tales of love, Lust, and Land in Beverly Hills', page 231, 232, first published in 2003 by Harper Collins Publishers Inc., New York

"Let me repeat once more that identification is emotion. You might start gently to arouse emotion in us, but your success or failure will depend on whether you can sustain the rising emotion which also corresponds with rising suspense. […] Why has emotion such fatal power over our lives and, finally, why do other peoples' misfortunes arouse in us such thunderous reaction? Fear for their lives drove our forefathers to live in the trees and hunger and fear drove them down to the ground once more. Although we think of fear as a concept, something we cannot touch, the moment it permeates our consciousness it becomes a dreadful reality, causing real pain. Fear is a universal emotion and one of the deadliest of all human experiences. But this singular emotion is responsible for man's survival. It is paradoxical but true that hate or love, treachery or loyalty, spring from one and the same source -- insecurity. Emotion then is a thousand-pronged weapon to safeguard our lives. It spells out for our survival the basic tenet of our experience, insecurity, and now it has become a truism that life would be impossible without that insecurity of which we are so mortally afraid. Insecurity gives impetus to inventors to safeguard our existence. But insecurity […] can disguise itself as any one of an endless variety of things. It is almost impossible to recognise the naked fear behind the disguise of, let's say, philanthropy -- a beautiful gesture, a sign of understanding, love -- is the outgrowth of fear. [ All ] human emotion and conflict, whether personal, national, or international, spring from the same source -- insecurity. Logic doesn't always have a change to win against emotion, because emotion has the power to melt even granite and make prejudice blush with shame. It is the most potent weapon man can wield against man, the prime power behind all human conduct. Reason may triumph in the end but emotion will carry a project to success. […] Our emotions are aroused to the highest pitch whenever -- in reality or imagination -- our security is endangered. No reason or logic governs emotion. Most of the time it is spontaneous […] It is the forerunner of evil or happy tidings and the invisible guardian of our well-being. […] The spectre of danger haunting people in creative literature reminds us of our own safety. Whatever happened to others can happen to us. This is the reason then that even the shadow of danger panics us and our emotions are instantly aroused."

Lajos Egri in 'The Art of Creative Writing', page 26, 27, 28, first published in 1965 by Kensington Publishing Corp, New York