Biographical Log of Michael Furstner - Page 254

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The Martinshof Story - A Philosophy of Happiness - Life Awareness - Maps, Text & Photo series

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Wednesday - Friday, August 1 - 3 2012 (diary)

The Arch Rivals, August 2012 I am gradually getting back into the routine of life here and reconnecting with the Darwin and Palmerston bridge communities.
This includes our weekly lunch and bridge sessions at the Arch Rival Pub every Wednesday. Always a relaxed afternoon in pleasant company.
Since coming back I find I can get into several pairs of trousers I could not possibly fit in before I left for Europe, so I did lose some weight on that Camino.
I am determined to keep it that way and possibly even slim a bit further, so today (Friday) I started doing walks again.

The main problem is that around my area all the roads are dead straight and therefore very boring to walk on. However today I checked out the Marlow Lagoon Recreation Area, located on the Western outskirts of Palmerston, which is great for walking. The area consists of a large lagoon brimming with water lilies and teeming with bird life. The surrounding grass is green (apparently watered regularly) with shady clumps of various trees and bushes. Walking around the lagoon twice takes just on half an hour, so perfect for my purposes.
The only drawback is that all footpaths have been concreted which feels hard to walk on. I much prefer earth or grassy surfaces. I may therefore get a pair of quality sneakers (I do hate these things in general) to dampen the impact of each step.
There are quite a few other suitable walking routes on narrow elongated parks in the Palmerston township, so I will try some of those out as well. If I walk say 3 times a week this way I should stay in reasonable shape physically.

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Saturday - Monday, August 4 - 6 2012 (diary)

Marlow Lagoon, Palmerston NT I walked around the Marlow Lagoon for the past four days now and very much enjoy the walks. It makes such a difference when you walk through a beautiful environment.
The lagoon contains two small islands, the one in the background on adjacent photo has a bridge on either side so that you can walk across the lagoon from one side to the other.
Behind the far island the lagoon broadens out into a large circular lake on the far end of which is a fenced area where dogs are allowed to run free. Many dog owners gather here to let their dogs play and splash around in the water.

I had an email from Paul Jnr. (from Walks in Spain). He is doing the Camino del Norte on bicycle at present. I would not be surprised to see them adding a future walk along this route to their offerings. My University friend Ernest (on the right) keeps telling me it is a beautiful trail.

Camino del Norte, North Spain

I have in fact been checking out Walks in Spain's website again. They have several walks along Spain's East coast on offer which I might be interested in, running them in April, May and also in September, October.
This would fit in well with my next planned trip to Europe which I hope to do in 2014 during August and September. I really liked the way the two Pauls organised my Camino walk, with excellent accommodation, good support and beautiful walks at an affordable price. They are also two most likeable guys and it would be just great to see them again.

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Tuesday & Wednesday, August 7 & 8 2012 (diary)

We have a saying in Dutch : "Wie goed doet, goed ontmoet." (He/she who does good, encounters good.)

The 19th Century English novelist Henry James went even further. In a private letter (reputedly to fellow American writer Edith Wharton) James stated that the most important piece of wisdom he had gained over the years was to : "be friendly, . . . and then be friendly, . . . and then be friendly . . . "

Arthur Schopenhauer The philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer (who much preferred the company of his poodle over that of his fellow human beings) put it with a bit more grit : "We should be like porcupines : stay close enough to warm each other, but not so close that we hurt each other."

I go along with all three of these statements (the Bible's advise that one should turn the other cheek has never had any mileage with me!).
Come to think of it, each of them could apply to a different type of human interaction.

  1. To those we like, care about or feel compassionate about we should follow the Dutch advise and do good to them if we can.

  2. To those we are indifferent to or care little about we should follow Henry James and remain friendly.

  3. And with those we do appreciate but have very different views or attitudes to life than us we should listen to Schopenhauer : stay close, but not too close.

Occasionally we all get upset or angry with someone or something. But to voice this anger is in most cases an act of self-indulgence and rarely results in a positive outcome.
When I look back over my own life, I have been most successful in situations where I kept my cool and remained friendly, whereas decidedly negative outcomes have invariably followed my angry outbursts.
It is not always easy to remain calm and friendly, but it usually pays of.

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Thursday & Friday, August 9 & 10 2012 (diary)

In case you are wondering whether I enthusiastically read the private letters of Henry James (decidedly not amongst my favourite authors) or spend hours studying the philosophy of Schopenhauer, let me enlighten you.
Many novel writers include quotes or references from other sources in their texts. The bible (until the late 19th century) and Greek mythology have been extensively used for this purpose, but more recent sources are also increasingly popular these days.

Memory from December 1958 The Henry James quote from my previous Blog entry for example was taken from one of Donna Leon's novels (I forgot which one) I read (in German) a month ago.
And I came across Schopenhauer's little gem in Alfred Komarek's novel "Himmel, Polt und Hölle" I just finished.

Here is another one I like and read last night from the same book. Perhaps a common saying amongst the Southern Austrian wine growers or even a lovely creative thought of Komarek himself.

"Das Glas ist leer, aber die Seele vom Wein ist immer noch drin.
Die ersäuft erst später im Abwaschwasser."

The glass is empty but the spirit of the wine is still in it. The spirit only drowns during the washing up of the glass.
Just a fancy comment or is there perhaps a more fundamental principle involved here ? Yes, I believe so.
It correlates strongly with this statement :

"A relationship lives on until both partners have died."

In both above cases the memory lives on until all evidence of the event has been removed. This is why we go to reunions. By coming together we relive and revive the spirit of the event or time we had together at school, or Uni, or whatever.

The question then arises : what is reality ?   And is memory really a still existing reality we (with our limited human perceptions) have no longer access to ?

This questions is not as silly as you might think, as some contemporary scientists now consider that our perceived reality may be a multi-dimensional projection from a hologram located at the outer limits of our Universe. If so, is then our memory (of a past event) an extra dimension of the hologram we are no longer able to see or experience ?

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