"Scratching through the garbage, at the end of time"

Haarlem, today.  A positive (open, balanced, healthy, alert, empty, beginner's) mental attitude, setting achievable goals, deep breathing and pre-visualizing 'success'; this we practice trough training, over and over and over [ jumping in, crawling, stumbling, walking, running, climbing, smiling ]

"Nobody saw

The holy concubine

Scratching through the garbage

At the end of time"

"End of Time" , track 4 on Motörhead's twenty-first studio album 'Aftershock' . Released 18 October 2013, produced by Cameron Webb 

Learning by doing

Kennemer Dunes, today. Doing [ not 'education' ]

Above: This is our son Melle (2004) taking a break during family walk while a storm rages, shuddering the chestnut trees. Melle enjoys large freedom to discover the world outside of the school system. Non-testable according to standard IQ investigations¹ he was forced to move to a ZMLK school², a school for children with 'extreme learning difficulties'. To do exactly that: learn nothing. Degrading his morale. So we talked. And we found a way that much better suited his curiosity as the foundation to investigate, experience and learn. As parents we felt school did not contribute much to his development. His spontaneous, wilful, intuitive, emotional, sensitive, creative, qualities, on the other hand, run into danger of being pinched. This was not an angry condemnation from our side towards the school. We felt, most people, do their best, for Melle, though, the school, the pressure, led to negative stress and damaging results. Till one day, after a holiday-family-trip to Sicily, he refused to go to school. As he said, unwilling to go in on a voluntarily basis -- 10 minutes too late -- to receive punishment. Before going through the door, he turned around to cycle trough town, think things over -- to return home.

In the great (8/10) second hand store 'Het Pakuis' in Zandvoort I found a fantastic book by Arie de Geus, which will be discussed and quoted in the future on this website. In his book he re-introduces the thoughtful work of John Holt, which was a delight. Holt's book 'Instead of Education; ways to help people to do things better' is a feast of recognition. It talks about the stuff that we found out instinctively. He only went much further than we ever dared. Considering education, as we know it, trough schools, one of the worst inventions of mankind!

Min/max temperature: 14°C/18°C; humidity: 72%; visibility: 12.8 kilometres; precipitation: 2.0 mm; sea level pressure: 1006.70 hPa; clouds: mostly cloudy; wind: West 70 km/h. ; Moon: Waxing Gibbous, 96% illuminated

" [ Chapter I ] Doing, Not 'Education' […] This is a book in favour of doing -- self directed, purposeful, meaningful life and work -- and against 'education' -- learning cut off from active life and done under pressure of bribe or threat, greed and fear. […] You cannot have human liberty, and the sense of all persons' uniqueness, dignity, and worth on which it must rest, if you give to some people the right to tell other people what they must learn or know, or the right to say officially and 'objectively' that some people are more able and worthy than others. Let any who want to make such judgements make them privately, knowing that such judgements can only be personal and subjective. But do not give them any permanent or official sanction, or the liberty and dignity of your citizens will soon be gone. […]

Losers, […] can't make many choices; can't make plans for the future, can't do almost nothing to protect the security of their families, and have little or no control over their work, but must do what they are told. Eighty per cent of the jobs that will be filled during the next decade will be jobs for which a college degree is not needed. Most of those who will do these jobs will feel themselves losers, and even more so if (like many) they have first spent the time and money to get a college degree.

To be peaceful and stable, every society organised into winners and losers must persuade the losers that this state of affairs is necessary, and that its way of picking winners and losers is just, that the losers deserve to lose. At one time, winners and losers were picked by the accident of birth. Modern societies do this more and more with schools. But the people who control society naturally want schools to pick winners in such a way that the existing social order is not changed -- in short, so that most of the winners are children of winners, and the losers the children of losers. The schools, then, must run a race which mosty rich kids will run but which most poor people will accept as fair. On the whole they have done this very well.

Many educators will protest that ranking is not what grades and tests are for, but only to help children learn, and to help teachers help them to learn. No doubt many teachers sincerely believe it, as I did for many of my years as a T-eacher [ Holt differentiates between T-eachers and t-eachers, S-chools and s-chools, ed. ]. But it is not true. Any observant and thoughtful teacher soon learns in his work, as I did, that fear blocks learning. The skilful learner must trust the world, and himself to be able to cope with it. […] When they have lost confidence […] even 'bright' children […] instead of reaching out to new experience, they shrink back from it. Often they protect themselves from danger and shame of failure in the only way they can, by failing on purpose.

Not only does fear prevent children (and adults) from using their minds well, but it almost certainly, and at the most biological level, prevents the mind from working at all."

John Holt in 'Instead of Education; ways to help people to do things better' , page 7, 12, 13, 162, 163, first published in 1976 by Penguin Books, USA


¹ IQ testing merely measures cognitive intelligence. Compare that to a light meter. This is a useful device to measure light, not sound or -- for example -- temperature. Does that make sound inferior to light? Does that make a soundrecordist less valuable than a cinematographer? If you are training cinematographers only, at a workshop exlusively aimed at cinematographers, maybe. But a film school, which educates filmprofessionals, soundpersons and editors and directors and screenwriters and cinematographers, etcetera, would it select its students on the basis of their ability to read and interprete light with a meter only? I don't hope so and it is not what I remember, going trough those selections myself. As Ken Wilber has written, 'Human beings have a variety of intelligences, such as cognitive intelligence, emotional intelligence, musical intelligence, kinaesthetic intelligence, aesthetic intelligence and so on. Most people excel in one or two of those, but do poorly in the others. This is not necessarily or even usually a bad thing; part of Integral wisdom is finding where one excels and thus where one can best offer the world one’s deepest gifts.' If it -- everything ouside the measurable cognitive intelligence curve -- is not acknowledged, measured, to begin with, it will not be used to work with -- it will be unknown and maybe even turn out to be a disadvantage for the person who has it, leading to isolation. The good news is, with proper support this ignorance actualy can turn out to become an advantage...The present educational system with its worshipping of testing ('Thou shalt be tested') and the circumstances, the offices and factories it prepares people for, seem to equalize the input so the outcome is measured in productional value within economic terms. The (higher) diploma eventually is the ticket to (higher) education and (higher) salary and (higher) management positions. If you fail in IQ tests, you will be bummed in life! Convicted to work in a (social-) workplace, "shovelling shit in Louisiana", with some appointed supervisor telling you: " ... you are too late, again!" and punish you for that, with whatever means are available to them -- just as they are punished themselves by whatever means are available to their supervisiors... And for what? Because you failed fitting in measurable curves. So, if you have the advantage of being good at something, all opposition met along the way, is nothing but opportunity to get better! Nobody has the right to take it away, no matter how hard they believe in the justification to do that! As the Buddhists say, 'your biggest enemy is your greatest teacher.' If you take that attitude, you will be bend, gaining flexibility and endurance. Not broken trough infectious, devastating shame, fear and anger and its resulting preconceived stiffness!

² A hierarchical structured school -- as is seen so often, grown under healthy (public) leadership over the years, now part of an efficient umbrella organization, ruled like an empire, by kings and servants, by 'managers'  -- with an authoritarian board, governed from top down by dictation. Though and most importantly some of the people 'on the work-floor' we have dealt with, actually are remarkably open minded, experienced, social, clear thinking, collaborative and willing to co-organize change for the wellbeing of the children. In a communicative, daring, constructive, courageous and relaxed, professional manner. Through an open discussion. Structured -- there is a reason to come together -- but not one where the outcome is preconceived by personal interests -- jobs, career, status, stupidity, power -- which is so often the case! (I am sure these people know how to deal with reprimands from 'their' stubborn board(s) -- including those formed by power-hungry parents, who seem to operate in the same tenacious spirit -- when 'their number is up' to appear in front of them to receive a dose of 'scare' during a so called 'performance interview power play'; always 2, 3, or 4 of 'them' -- and always very friendly, "... you understand we mean only the best for you and all of us....you do understand that, don't you?" ). This has an effect upon the 'corporate identity', the atmosphere among the teachers and staff. Only the strongest know how to deal with stubborn 'bosses'. The weaker people, will get even more stressed out! Overall it leads to confusion, charging the daily atmosphere with fear, even cruelty, contradictions, frustrations and weariness. Sounds like the average organisation, doesn't it? But this is about schools, where children are forced to spent their childhood. At the bottom the children will pay the price! Is the purpose of schools to keep the board(s) happy, create employment for the teachers and staff and keep the children off the street so the parents can go to their work? (see also: 'Loin du 16e'). School(s) seem not to fully realise this (or somehow believe in the justice of it) as the law forces children to appear at school. The children have no choice! The children are punished when they don't obey the rules, but who 'corrects' the power hungry boards and the 'morale' they have forced upon the environment? The children, for sure, they don't stand a chance! Them -- the former -- are -- like politicians -- out for them selves and that daily free lunch. Unprocurable in their ivory tower. Puppeteers and puppets at the same time.

Parkour is where the heart is

Kennemer Dunes, today. Recoverytraining [run, bend, stretch, walk, move, rest ]

"Individuals raised in aggressive societies are prone to attribute fighting to man's biological makeup and have difficulty conceiving of people living peaceably. Researchers coming from these settings who subscribe to the belief that man possesses an aggressive drive requiring periodic discharge selectively search for evidence of psychological disorders when they study the people of [peaceful] societies. Considering the omnipresence of problems of living, the dubious validity of personality tests, and the elasticity of referents for psychiatric conditions, one who sets out to demonstrate that non combativeness is hazardous to mental health should have no difficulty in finding confirmatory evidence, regardless of the merits of the belief. The reinforcement customs and habits of aggressive societies are rarely, if ever, studied by observers from gentle cultures. Were they to conduct anthropological field research revealing that in societies in which aggressiveness is idealised and cultivated people recurrently humiliate, injure, and kill each other, they would undoubtedly be struck with how aggression is generated by man's social customs. From the social learning respective, human nature is characterised as a vast potentiality that can be fashioned by social influences into a variety of forms."

Albert Bandura in 'Agression, a social learning analysis', page 113. First published in 1973 by Prentice-Hall, Inc., USA

"The capacity to use symbols provides humans with a powerful means of dealing with their environment. Trough verbal and imagined symbols people process and preserve experiences in representational forms that serve as guides for future behaviour. […] Images of desirable futures foster courses of action designed to lead towards more distant goals. Trough the medium of symbols people can solve problems without having to enact all the various alternative solutions; and they can foresee the probable consequences of different actions and alter their behaviour accordingly. […] From a social learning perspective [social learning theory: the explanation of human behaviour in terms of a continuous reciprocal interaction between cognitive, behavioural, and environmental determants. This conception of human functioning then neither casts people into the role of powerless objects controlled by environmental forces nor free agents who can become whatever they choose. Both people and their environments are reciprocal determinants of each other], human nature is characterised as a vast potentiality that can be fashioned by direct and vicarious experience into a variety of forms within biological limits. The level of psychological and physiological development […] restricts what can be acquired at any given time."

Albert Bandura in 'Social Learning Theory', page 13. First published in 1977 by Prentice-Hall, Inc., USA 

"Pain is delight."

Jan Siebelink's 'Pijn is genot', title of excellent Dutch book with conversations with (among others) Erik Breukink, Wim van Est, Jan Janssen, Peter Post, Steven Rooks, Jan Siemons, Gert-Jan Theunisse, Johan van der Velde en Joop Zoetemelk


Above:  Todays footprint after 30K fresh-traning-day ('Come prepared'). Cloudy on the verge of sunny. Gentle wind.


Today's training carried by Miyamoto Musashi waka-poem and his drawing 'Floating Duck':


Having flown across the vast sky,

its wings now forgotten,

this duck sports serenly

as it entrusts itself to the waves

of endless mountain streams.


From 'Miyamoto Musashi, his life and writings', by Kenji Tokitsu



Above: Haarlem, 52° 24' 3.7656'' North and 4° 38' 22.7148'' East, today.

"So it is said, he who practices the Way does less every day, does less and goes on doing less, until he reaches the point where he does nothing, and yet there is nothing which is not done. [...] Wuwei does not produce by effort or force but accomplishes trough allowing what wants to happen." (1)

"[ Wuwei ] is [...] a course of action [ free from ] any purposeful motive, gain or striving [ it is ] 'inaction'. Zhuang Zi himself [...] repeatedly cautions against a misconception of wuwei. When people hear about wuwei, he says, some think that "laying down is better than walking". They have missed the point completely [...]" (2)

"One must be able to let things happen. I have learned from the East what it means by the phrase "Wu-wei": namely, not-doing, letting be, which is quite different from doing nothing. Some Occidentals, also, have known what this not-doing means; for instance, Meister Eckhart, who speaks of "sich lassen," to let oneself be. [ W ] ait for what the unconsciousness has to say about the situation [...] A way is only the way when one finds it and follows it oneself." (3)

"Laziness of which a man is conscious and laziness of which he is unconscious, are a thousand miles apart." (4)

"When you are learning something the universe keeps giving you opportunities [ for practice] [ Mark Divine: Every emotion has a corresponding breathing pattern, right? ] The breathing wants to click into this pattern; [ so ] why don't we just use this breathing pattern and see if it triggers the transformation? And voilà, the technique was invented! You don't need a psychotherapist or psychiatrist or some expert. We try to keep the process simple […] just stay with the breathing, keep relaxing until it [ the transformation, healing ] resolves itself." (5)

"I’m lazy in principle" (6)

Above: picture of Anne Frank, dated 10 October 1942, reads: "Dit is een foto zoals ik me zou wensen, altijd zo te zijn. Dan had ik nog wel een kans om naar Hol[l]ywood te komen. Anne Frank 10 Oct. 1942" (This is a photo as I would wish myself to look all the time. Then I would maybe have a chance to get to Hollywood). Learn about Anne Frank: http://www.annefrank.org/en/Anne-Frank/

Above: Haarlem, today. Clicking on Image will start sound: Dutch Anthem performed and recorded by The United States Navy Band. 

General Dwight D. Eisenhouwer's Proclammation: "Proclamatie. Nederlanders: De dag der bevrijding is aangebroken. Er ligt een lange harde weg achter u en ons. Tot nu toe hebben wij gescheiden van elkaar de strijd gevoerd Gij op uw wijze wij op de onze tezamen met onze heldhaftige Russische bondgenooten aan het Oostfront. […] Nu kunnen wij met Gods hulp gezamenlijk den vijand uit Uw land verdrijven en de eindoverwinning behalen. Onze soldaten zijn daartoe de Uwe en de Uwe zijn de onze." (Proclamation. To the people of The Netherlands: The day of liberation is close. There is a long, tough way behind you and us. Until now we have fought separately. You doing it your way and we on ours with our heroic Russian Allies on the Eastern front. […] With God's help we will join forces to defeat the enemy from your country and claim victory. Our soldiers will serve you, as yours will serve us.")

Above: Haarlem, May 4 (Remembrance Day), 2000 Hours.

See Original 1945 affiche: http://www.geheugenvannederland.nl/?/nl/items/NIOD01:48348

The United States Navy Band: http://www.navyband.navy.mil/national_anthems.shtml


(1) Zhuang  Zi, quoted by Michael M. Tophoff on page 31 in 'Chan Buddhism: Implications of Awereness and Mindfulness-Training for Managerial Functioning', published in 2003

(2) Ibid, page 31 

(3) C.G. Jung quoted by M. Esther Harding on page 44 of 'Psychic Energy', first published in 1947

(4) Ibid, page 45

(5) Dan Brulé, Unbeatable Mind Podcast with Mark Divine: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/unbeatable-mind-podcast-mark/id955637330

(6) From a conversation with Director of Photography Robby Müller: here (in English: here)