October 4th. Notes taken at the Indian embassy.

Germany has united nineteen years ago. Festivities on the overcrowded streets: giants that symbolize that unity. There are some special moments today. Not that I’ve experienced them, I was working because I must make my project famous. Dozens of internet sites, registrations, half-hearted help, walls of disinterest, bored well-fed Western citizens. It fills a chamber of my heart with disgust, having to promote my “good” humanitarian project amidst the shouting of the marketeers of man’s “lowest” cravings. Buy silk Spears-underwear! Drive a convertible! Try shoes that breathe! Eat big fat pizza! Have a look at Charity Travel. I will torture myself with this necessary popularization for two more weeks, then finally this thing gets going.

I’ve taken care of everything. E-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g. Malaria prevention, plaster, desinfection spray, and mental health. I visit a psychotherapist a very good friend has recommended me. She turns out to be a reincarnation theorist, which in fact more amused me than made me shout “I want my money back”. The amount of which, by the way, she tries to establish by means of a small dangling chain from which she doesn’t receive an answer. Then I speak my mind, as I’ve seen it on tv. Going through dirty details of my entire social matrix. Portraying myself as openly and perversely as possible, it was not bad. The result being that I am a ripe soul, having gone through the cycle of reincarnation some sixty times already. Wow! My soul has been growing and growing and is now about to be ripe. That’s obvious from my hatred towards the bureaucracy. Yeah. I can leave with a light feeling, and when I am not mistaken that feeling is not caused by the weight loss of my wallet. But what I want to tell you: it seems to be all about “my” soul, or the “I” that comes back again and again, or the “mind” that is growing towards its superlative be it in the ultimate caste or in the Nirvana. Here are now, entertain “us”. In our tradition, and this is just a wild thought, not dangerous since not backed by quotations, in our tradition it is a crime not to be interested in the inner self. In our tradition, most powerfully introduced by Socrates, St. Paul and Augustine, the biggest heresy is to be disinterested in this superb self. The result is that obvious egoism has to be blamed because it might cover things up. The secret conspiracy, that does not even need to be a conspiracy, is the inescapable obsession with the inner self we are expected to indulge in. Heralded by all our history. As soon as we rely on her to build our identity, we are inevitably slaves of this inner self. Du spinnst ja wohl. If you say “no, look, frankly, this inner self might be a nice instance and all, but, hey, could we concentrate on something else for example those poor children over there look! or that starving boy, or those utterly unhappy creatures roaming our cities, could we just change fucking focus?” then you get a smile. But of course! Of course! And you should concentrate on those humanitarian catastrophes, you should, oh yeah, because you know, in the end your inner self will be rewarded. I stop here; Nietzsche has analysed the issue to the bloody bone already.

Another thing. The German voter has spoken. The new coalition will make the state smaller (at least they’ll try; outcome will probably be the opposite). Perhaps lessen bureaucracy, how utopian that seems to me. I don’t believe that. Economy might revive a bit, solidarity might decline and against the proclaimed social goals of the new government the gap might widen. When I come back next year, I’ll bring some curiosity for the “change” in Germany. Politics and change! Has a Caesar been discarded? Has a Pericles died in battle? Change is the language of the campaigning season, change sounds good as long as we can keep the same perspective to judge change. Medicare and Medicaid, to jump the ocean, are not even a fundamental change in the system, but even this technical optimization of the US welfare state seems to be impossible and blocked in several houses. Enough. Change is sexy, how many married couples would not dream in silence about a change of position? On top, from the side, in the shower, outside. And the good thing is: in sex we can experience radical change without having to change the sheets. Everything can remain the same: barley breakfast cereals drowned in low-fat milk, black espresso in two porcelain cups, newspaper’s headlines. Now that’s the kind of change we can believe in!

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Kamiel Choi

Dutch philosopher and poet, sometimes sharing thoughts on the internet.

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