Author Archives Helena Roth

What is it you found so funny?

What is it you found so funny?

January 19, 2020
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What is it you find so funny, the man in the car asked, as he stuck his head out the open window by the driver’s seat.

What he wondered about was me and my three friends, busy taking pictures of a dilapidated shed, locked down, closed, with no activities anywhere near it.

The name, we said, and he nodded.

The name was God’s favour cafe, and the shed might have been three times three meters, the front of the building (if it can be called a building? What is the actual definition of a building, I wonder…) painted a lovely turquoise color, and above the sturdy (?) and padlocked door, handpainted: God’s favour cafe.

I’d seen the shed the day before when we arrived at the Ideal Palace Hotel in Mwingi, while visiting tree plantations, partner farmers and a microfinance institute supported by my savings in trees, in the rural areas of Kenya, NorthEast of Nairobi. I’d seen it, and a bunch of other absolutely hilarious and funny and often surprisingly witty and imaginative names, on everything from hardware stores (Paradise Hardware), to hotels about the size of God’s favour cafe, like Glorious Hotel, making me wonder where potential guests stay. Perhaps room only for one guest?

Tipsy Wines & Spirits. Investment City. New Age Electricals. Plan B Bar & Restaurant. Grace of God shop.

So many wonderful names, spotted off the side of the road, as I crisscross the countryside by bus. Too quick for me to manage to snap photos of them all, which somewhat takes away part of the full experience of the combination of these glorious names with the buildings themselves.

So while on foot in Mwingi, me snapping a picture of God’s favour cafe was a given.

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Why hold back?

January 10, 2020
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Why hold back?

Let those tears flow. Freely.

Tears of joy. Of sorrow. Of gratitude. Of despair. Of fond memories. Of all that is and has been. Of all that never was and never will be. 

Here I am. On the train. Watching an episode from the third season of I am Anne (of Greengables) on Netflix and I am letting those tears flow. Freely. Because why not? What do I care if others think me odd or weird? I don’t. 

What is it to me if others think me brave for showing my emotions (without drama. No intrusion unto others bar the fact that I may be sniveling a wee bit, dabbing my eyes dry now and again)? A gift. From me. 

What do I care that I will be going to work with slightly puffed eyes? Well. I don’t. I am human. And proud of it. What better way to show my humanity than letting my tears flow in a moment when tears are what I have, what I am?

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Big love-meditation

January 9, 2020
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A friend asks me how to be a support to someone close, in dire need of just that. It reminds me of the Big love-meditation my coach Carla gave me in the fall of 2014. I practiced it for months on end and remember–now that I look back at it–on how great it felt to start every day with five minutes of channeling love to myself and my nearest family.

This was my set up:

Minute one: Channeling the love of the universe to me, letting it fill me. 

Minute two: Channeling the love of the universe to my loved one, letting it fill me.

Minute three: Channeling the love of the universe to my oldest child, letting it fill me.  

Minute four: Channeling the love of the universe to my youngest child, letting it fill me. 

Minute five: Channeling the love of the universe to the family, to us all, to our relationships, letting it fill me. 

No expectations on anyone or anything. Just do it.

Try it. Replace my set up with whatever suits your specific situation, and try it. Five minutes… less, or more, depending on the number of people dear to your heart, to include in your Big love-meditation.

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Follow up – December 2019 – As I am.

January 7, 2020
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I intend to go through my intentions for the year at the end of each month. This gives me a monthly reminder of my intentions as well as ample space for reflection and possible adjustment.

December. The time of Advent, Christmas, New Year’s. A month filled with all sorts of undertakings, a new job assignment taking off properly in conjunction with other assignments to put to rest over the holidays.

2019. The year when I will…

* have my bodily wellbeing in focus by:

  • continuing with my daily Seven accompanied by burpees: ✅
  • Headspace Meditate daily: ✅ 159 days with Wim Hof deep breathing.
  • run a minimum of  75 runs –> run-when-I-feel-like-it-intention: Not even once.
  • take cold (outdoors) baths as often as I can – and add to this by taking cold showers: Finishing off strong with 8 days of colkd bathing in a row, and with a total of 13 cold baths (or showers) in December.
  • dance Lindy hop as often as I can (taking a class during the spring, and then there’s the social dancing as well!): No dancing in December, but have been accepted to the D-class beginning in February.
  • continuing to ride my bike and walk as much as possible: walked 55 and biked barely 400 kilometers. 77 days with “at least 10 kilometers in my body” at that!

* have my mental and spiritual wellbeing in focus by:

  • reading at least 75 books, of which 12 in Swedish and 12 in English already have been chosen. These 12 + 12 I will be blogging about: When December came aknocking on my door, I had ten books left to read, which honestly gave me a bit of a fright… but, I made it, amongst other things thanks to finding a few classics as audiobooks on Spotidy to listen to. 76 books under my belt in the goodreadschallenge for 2019. I also managed to finish my twelweth Swedish book Du sköna nya värld (book 12 of 12 in Swedish) as well as the remaining two English ones Homo Deus (book 11 of 12) and Cosmos and Psyche: Intimations of a New World View (book 12 of 12).
  • learn at least five songs by heart including lyrics on the guitar, which will be made possible by my aim at ten minutes of guitar playing on a daily basis: Have played every day, for a total of 67 days in a row.
  • I will let the wonderful book The book of Awakening by Mark Nepo be my daily companion: Yes! The book is finished, and I even brought it on my New Year’s retreat in the woods outside Motala.
  • hold digital 24-hour sabbats at least twice a month: In December I held two digital sabbats, on 13-14th and 24-25th.

* have creation in focus by:

  • booking at least four two-day writing retreats during the year: These are the dates: 13-14 September, 28-28 October, 11-12 November, 9-10 December. Here I am, in the forest outside Motala, not really writing anything more than the usual ”fare the well” and ”welcome” blog posts for the year that has passed and the year that is commencing. But on the other hand I am writing them. And on a spiritual level, it’s most definitely a retreat well worth its weight in gold, thanks to my wonderful friends C and D.
  • keeping up with daily Facebook Lives for as long as there’s energy in doing it:
  • blog daily: YES! I was in a dismay after November, but on the first of Advent, I came up with the idea to do an English Advent Calendar here, with images and stories from my trip to Kenya, and since then I just kept going, so I’ve actually blogged every day in December.
  • start to pod: I recommend that you check out the pod Fria Barn (in Swedish), and wait until January for the other pod I am a part of. When it comes to Doing gentle with an edge I will simply have to get back on track in 2020.
  • release (at least) 4 e-books in 2019: There is a started ebook on my computer, but nothing else has happened.

* have financial husbandry in focus by:

  • sowing, sowing and sowing a little bit more; on a weekly basis intentionally work on my various income streams: ✅
  • keep tabs on my set invoicing goal on a monthly basis: ✅I reached my set goals in January, March, August, October, November and in December! Whoop! Did not in February, April, May, June, July or September.
  • keep an accounts book on private income and expenses: Remains to be done for December, but I will. 

And finally – on all levels – experiment and play, experience pleasure and exploring and challenging myself, all the while being gentle to myself: A month with the Advent calendar here that’s been very rewarding for me, a way to revisit my summer trip to Kenya. My youngest surprised me with making home made ravioli, while the oldes has been a sheer joy to have at home (imagine, a kid who helps around the house without any nudges. If ever there’s proof for a kid being ready to leave the nest, that’s it!). Wonderful nature experiences, with cold baths as well as ocean- and forest walks, the Stina Wollter-exhibition in Borstahusen with Heléne, and a lovely Christmas holiday. And to top it all off, a retreat in the woods outside Motala with C and D. What a lovely month!

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12 English books to read in 2020

January 4, 2020
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Third time’s a charm, so here I go, having chosen a given number of books in English and Swedish books I had at home around New Year’s, to read and blog about in 2020. Besides this sub-challenge, my overall reading challenge for 2020 is to read (a minimum of) 65 books, and you can tag along on my reading journey over on my Goodreads-profile.

Tess sent me the Wolves-book that I am really looking forward to reading, Goldratt and Mathiesssen have warmed my bookshelves for decades, Pernilla lent me the Buddhist book, Caspian the Pooh-book, and at least another three of them (Schulz, Eker and Priestley; possibly Friedman too?) have also been gifted to me. Anderson, Kostova and Liedman are books I’ve bought second hand (even though they are in more or less pristine condition).

Have you read any of the books above, and if so, what did you think of it/them?

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2020 – with my body in focus

January 1, 2020
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These past years, the intention of the coming year has come to mind around New Years, when I’ve been busy gathering my thoughts on the experiences of the year past, high’s and low’s alike, to sum up, and clean my slate for what is to come. The intention for 2020 came to me a couple of months ago, when I, in a moment of total clarity, just knew that it is with my body in focus that I will start off the new decade.

With my body in focus Is as yet undefined. I will not write a detailed list of exactly what I will be doing this year, like a minimum of x runs/bike trips/swims/walks/gym sessions per week/month/year and so on. No. Not like that. Because I do not know. Instead, I will play around with my body as the theme, the challenge is (being gentle with myself, not to worry about that) to develop more strength, suppleness, endurance. I want to better my ability to stand on one leg, to squat, to get a stronger and supple back that can sleep in beds not my own without causing me pain, want to be able to do proper and more sit-ups and push-ups, chin-ups och pull-ups, want to build strength and movement in my feet and get rid of the big toe joint pains I suffer since biking into a rock foot first, November 2018. I will dance lindy hop as much and often as I can, both taking classes and attending social dance’s, and more than anything, I will take regular movement-breaks when I do what I am doing right now: sitting in front of the computer.

Last year’s intention As I am was easy to follow up on a monthly basis, precisely because I’d written it so detailed and specific. Even though this intention is far from just that, I still want to commit to a monthly follow up on with my body in focus because it’s such a good way to keep the intention top of mind. I will surely reflect on the actual facts of what I’ve done each month, the number of kilometers on my bike and on foot I’ve been logging since September 2009, so that type of data (and habit!) is easily accessible. But I want to compliment my monthly reflections with what I experience, the feelings the theme awakens within, the differences I observe and what it means to me.

So.
With my body in focus, I start 2020 by taking a walk down to lake Boren for the first cold bath of the year as well as the decade.

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Good bye 2019!

December 31, 2019
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This year with the intention As I am has truly been a most wonderful, challenging and rich year. So much has happened, so many meetings have taken place, so many insights and lessons have come my way. 

Monthly follow-up of the intention of the year: As I am
Continuously following up on the fairly detailed ambitions I set within four areas (bodily, mental and spiritual wellbeing, creativity and financial husbandry) has been a very interesting activity, helping me to remain focused, as it has given me at least (!) a monthly reminder on what it is I want to focus on.

Timetravel
The invite to T and Hs 100-year party in Stockholm gave me a day (or two) of time-travelling. The theme of the party was the 1920s, and with my soul sister S and A I was given a chance to truly travel in time. As if I simply stepped outside of my ordinary life during these days… magical!

Cold baths
I started taking cold baths at the end of November 2018, and took it to new heights during 2019, ending on a high with 8 days of cold bathing in a row. Thanks to the deep breathing-practice that’s taken a firm place in my life during 2019, I’ve given up the quick ”in and out”-dips of before, in favor of five-ten minute submersions in cold water, thanks in large part of breathing and focus. It’s absolutely amazing and definitely something I will continue doing!

Coach Dave
In December 2018 I hired coach Dave for a year’s worth of coaching, at substantial cost, a tad more than 100% more than I’ve ever invested in myself before. When the time came to pay the second installment, my Jenny (who does my company finances) if Dave was worth it. My answer was fairly illuminating: No, Dave isn’t worth it, but I am! It’s been a fantastic journey and I have learned a lot, but perhaps the most important insight is just that one. I am worth investing in!

Podcasting
I have released one round of my own pod Doing gentle with an edge, and have twice as many episodes recorded but as yet unreleased. I will, in due time! I have taken part in Caspians Ett samtal (for the second time round; in Swedish) and have, thanks to Caspian, moderated the pod Fria Barn (in Swedish) released in the fall of 2019. Together with Caspian and Mr D I am also busy recording a number of episodes of a new pod in English which will be released in January. Finishing of the year with a couple of days of New Years retreat with those two gentlemen – what a wonderful way to end a year and a decade in!

60 hours of tankespjärn
For many years, tankespjärn has been my companion, as a word, as a concept, even, when I started to reflect upon it, as my life philosophy, since long before the word revealed itself to me. During the year the idea to host 60 hours of tankespjärn was born in a conversation with coach Dave. That’s what happened and there will be more, mark my word, in years to come.

Pecha Kucha and TEDxSlottsparken
As I so often do, once again I say: Thanks to Caspian I did a Pecha Kucha in Lund in April headlined How I broke up with my inner dictator, and that experience in contrast with my June experience as a moderator at TEDxSlottsparken was enormous. I was very nervous to do the Pecha Kucha, whereas I, moderating TEDx felt calm and collected. The difference? My Pecha Kucha was written in advance, and had me timing speech with 20 slides for 20 seconds each, while as a moderator I could act in the moment from what was, which (apparently) suits me much better!

Kenya
Nine days in Kenya after midsummer turned into one of the most rewarding experiences of the year. It’s given me so much, in so many aspects, such as an increased understanding of the tree-savings-scheme I have as a part of my (and the kids) long-term savings since 2015, to an increased network and a very close friendship with my roommate Lena. I finished the blog-year with a 25-days advent calendar here, with images and stories from the trip, something which deepened my gratefulness for going, even more.

Mastermind-pilot
Another thing was born during a coaching conversation with Dave, when he gave me 15 minutes to “do something”, which resulted in my sending out an invite on the fly, to a handful of chosen people, to participate in a Mastermind-pilot. During thirteen Tuesday evenings starting in August, had me spending an hour with four participants and me as the facilitator. What a journey that turned into. A pilot that definitely has me wanting more!

Culture
It’s been a year of many lovely cultural experiences of all kinds. With Heléne I have experienced Patricia Piccininis A World of LoveGuds olydiga revben, sing-a-long to Rocketman på Spegeln as well as Stina Wollters exhibition in Borstahusen. Add to that a fantastic production of Mozart’s Requiem at Malmö Opera with Skånes Dansteater, yet another sing-a-long with Dirty Dancing on the big screen and last but not least, performing Stabat Mater over Easter, the first-ever performance of Missa Brevis at All hallows eve and the choir trip to Jämtland.

Goodreads reading challenge
I set a goal to read 75 books during 2019, and finished my 76th book on New Year’s Eve, so mission accomplished. I also have the 12 Swedish och 12 English books I chose at the start of the year, to read and blog about on a monthly basis. Ever since I invented this challenge in 2018, when I chose 26 + 26 (which was a bit too much) I have realized this to be an excellent way for me to ensure that the books I buy “in order to read” which then end up unread on a bookshelf, actually get read. So I will do the same for 2020, 12 + 12.

Ready to leave the nest
My firstborn headed off to Australia on adventures in January, coming home end November, just having turned twenty. 10,5 months on the other side of the planet, and if I had any doubt before the trip, by now I am 100% certain this kid is ready to leave the nest. This makes me very happy and grateful because this is what parenting is really about, making kids ready to fly on their own!

The year that has passed has, of course, been loaded with a huge number of things besides the few I display here, but in general, it’s been a fabulous year with up’s and down’s, with tears of joy as well as sorrow, with amazing moments in solitude as well as in togetherness, and I am thankful to each and everyone and everything–including myself–that’s participated in making this year so rich.

Finally, I wish for you and yours to have a truly wonderful new year, in joy and love, with warmth and light–take good care of yourself!

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Cosmos and Psyche: Intimations of a New World View (book 12 of 12)

December 29, 2019
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At long last… I started reading Richard Tarnas’s Cosmos and Psyche: Intimations of a New World View end of February, and just finished it, completing my Goodreads reading challenge of 2019 (75 books read, this is my 75th) as well as my “12 Swedish and 12 English books to read and blog about” of the year.

Cosmos and Psyche opens doors in the reader’s mind, doors towards the future. Yes, it records, analyzes, and interprets events of the past, but its primary relevance points towards the future. Its thorough research fulfills a function that is central to the genuine, hard-nosed pursuit of human knowledge: ‘the elicitation of disbelief and the celebration of surprise’ (Lewis Thomas). Richard Tarnas dares to be far ahead of conventional thought. He broadens our horizons until we suddenly see with delight vistas and connections we never expected. Here at last is a world view which – in contrast to prevailing ones – has a future.” – David Steindl-Rast

The first half of the book I read with no sense of urgency. The latter… Knowing here’s a book preferably read a chapter at a time, and not one iota more, as it is amongst the densest and rich writings I’ve as yet encountered, and knowing the five-hundred pages had to be read come new years…  Well. Let’s just say, I will be re-reading this book, and I will be mining gold-nuggets and jewels from it that I totally overlooked this first time, of that I am certain. You see, it’s easy to get cheesecaked out when reading Cosmos and Psyche which I think Tarnas (or his editor?) was very much aware of, as the chapters are mostly 8-12 pages long or so; just perfect!

“[One is reminded here of] Niels Bohr’s axiom in quantum physics, ‘The opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth’, or Oscar Wilde’s ‘A Truth in art is that whose contradiction is also true’. What is difficult, of course, is to see both images, both truths, simultaneously: to suppress nothing, to remain open to the paradox, to maintain the tension of opposites. Wisdom, like compassion, often seems to require of us that we hold multiple realities in our consciousness at once.”

Cosmos.
Psyche.

Outer.
Inner.

Without.
Within.

Tarnas gives me tankespjärn to last me a lifetime or two, in the most beautiful language. I am stunned, aha-ed, confused and confounded, at times chocked, now and again in total disbelief and throughout it all, flabbergasted at the amount of meticulous work that has gone into the makings of this work. It’s far from an easy read, one I would never have picked up had it not been for the one and only Mr D (who else…). How lucky I am!

“One is unlikely to discover what one is certain cannot possibly exist.”

Being open – in mind, in heart – is perhaps the single most important insight I take with me, from reading Cosmos and Psyche. With openness, the possibility increases to discover that which does exist, however unaware I am of it.


The book I am blogging about is part of the book-reading challenge I’ve set for myself during 2019, to read and blog about 12 Swedish and 12 English books, one every other week, books that I already own.

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Follow up – November 2019 – As I am.

December 27, 2019
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I intend to go through my intentions for the year at the end of each month. This gives me a monthly reminder of my intentions as well as ample space for reflection and possible adjustment.

November. Another jampacked month that ended in a crescendo of emotions.
[On account of the Advent Calendar this post following up on November is much delayed.]

2019. The year when I will…

* have my bodily wellbeing in focus by:

  • continuing with my daily Seven accompanied by burpees: ✅
  • Headspace Meditate daily: ✅ 129 days with Wim Hof deep breathing.
  • run a minimum of  75 runs –> run-when-I-feel-like-it-intention: Not even once.
  • take cold (outdoors) baths as often as I can – and add to this by taking cold showers: 7 cold baths (or showers) in November. Have been to the open-air swimming-bath at Ribersborg a few times, and every time I go into the water for a swim, I stay in at least two minutes. That is quite the conversation starter I’ve noticed, many people comments and ask with curiosity “How on earth do you stay in so long?”. I enjoy that, ‘cuz it gives me a chance to talk about how I’ve come to love cold baths.
  • dance Lindy hop as often as I can (taking a class during the spring, and then there’s the social dancing as well!): Lindy hop-class ended mid-November and on Wednesdays after that I’ve been busy so haven’t been to the social dances either.
  • continuing to ride my bike and walk as much as possible: walked just short of 40 and biked barely 400 kilometers. I have 47 days with “at least 10 kilometers in my body” at that!

* have my mental and spiritual wellbeing in focus by:

  • reading at least 75 books, of which 12 in Swedish and 12 in English already have been chosen. These 12 + 12 I will be blogging about: Jampacked month indeed, have only finished reading three books during November. It’s been quite some time since I read that little! At the end of the month, I was on 65/75 books, and am still short the English book for the month (I did finish the one for October though!). Don’t panic (bokk 10 of 12 in English) and Utan invandring stannar Sverige (book 11 of 12 in Swedish).
  • learn at least five songs by heart including lyrics on the guitar, which will be made possible by my aim at ten minutes of guitar playing on a daily basis: Whoop whoop – have upped my game as a guitar student, because I’ve played my guitar every day in November, which hasn’t happened in a long time!
  • I will let the wonderful book The book of Awakening by Mark Nepo be my daily companion: Well… no. Even Mark has been hit by this month’s jam-packedness.
  • hold digital 24-hour sabbats at least twice a month: October turned into a weird month in relation to digital sabbat. I had one for the choir trip to Åre/Östersund on October 3-6, and 25-26 at that, and possibly 11-12th… but I am not 100% certain. So… I know one thing. I have not been as observant on this as I usually am. Perhaps that’s why I have been missing my digital sabbats these last few weeks? In November, I plan on digital sabbats on 8-9, 15-16 and 29-30th.
  • 12-13 (sabbat from pleasure-screen time, even though I went to visit a machine manufacturer in Germany these two days, so I did have quite some work-screen time), 15-16th and 29-30th of November. In December I plan for digital sabbats on 15-16, 19-20 and 30-31.

* have creation in focus by:

  • booking at least four two-day writing retreats during the year: These are the dates: 13-14 September, 28-28 October, 11-12 November, 9-10 December.I would have needed my soul sister Sara at home in November to make that writing retreat happen… On the other hand, it was very beneficial for me with two days of blocked time in my calendar, because I could use that time to deal with one emergency after another. And, as a bonus, I have a writing retreat booked for New Years!
  • keeping up with daily Facebook Lives for as long as there’s energy in doing it:
  • blog daily: No. Not even close. 3 Swedish and 3 English posts in November. 🤐
  • start to pod: Have cut 7 episodes with 15 to go… so I had better block off some calendar time for this work as well. The jampacked calendar had me make other priorities. October looks even worse, so I will block off 4th and 15th of November to get my pod up and running again. That didn’t help. Oh well, it will be, in due time. But, let’s not forget that I am moderating the pod Fria Barn which was released in November, and in December a couple of episodes of another pod I am a part of will also be released. [Note December 27th when this blog will be published in English: Nope, will be in January.] So I am podding, just not on my own Doing gentle with an edge.
  • release (at least) 4 e-books in 2019: There is now a started ebook on my computer, but nothing else has happened during November.

* have financial husbandry in focus by:

  • sowing, sowing and sowing a little bit more; on a weekly basis intentionally work on my various income streams: ✅
  • keep tabs on my set invoicing goal on a monthly basis: ✅I reached my set goals in January, March, August, October and in November! Whoop! Did not in February, April, May, June, July or September.
  • keep an accounts book on private income and expenses: ✅

And finally – on all levels – experiment and play, experience pleasure and exploring and challenging myself, all the while being gentle to myself: The few photos I’ve taken in November bear witness to the jam-packedness of November. I did finish off the Mastermind-group I’ve been facilitating since August, I have had quite a few cold baths with magnificent view’s, I’ve been darning socks with Pop the cat for company, attended Mozart’s Requiem with Skånes Dansteater at Malmö Opera (what a performance!), Rocketman sing-a-long-movie and restorative gong-baths at Yoga Kendra with H and finally, that emotional crescendo: Alma coming home after 10,5 months in Australia. I cried when she walked through customs at the airport and I was finally allowed to hug my firstborn. What a sensation!

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Homo Deus (book 11 of 12)

December 26, 2019
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“I encourage all of us, whatever our beliefs, to question the basic narratives of our world, to connect past developments with present concerns, and not to be afraid of controversial issues.” 

Thus Yuval Noah Harari starts Homo Deus, the book after Sapiens, followed by 21 lessons for the 21st century, a book I plan to read next year.

“The physicist Max Plank famously said that science advances one funeral at a time. He meant that only when one generation passes away do new theories have a chance to root out old ones. This is true not only of science.”

Homo Deus gave me some good tankespjärn I must admit. The historical retrospection into religion and science is thought-provoking and aha-generating at the same time, and the way Harari shines a light on the past, present and future make this a book well worth reading.

“Science is not just about predicting the future, though. Scholars in all fields often seek to broaden our horizons, thereby opening before us new and unknown futures. This is especially true of history. Though historians occasionally try their hand at prophecy (without notable success), the study of history aims above all to make us aware of possibilities we don’t normally consider. Historians study the past not in order to repeat it, but in order to be liberated from it.”

My copy of the book is filled with my notes in the margins, pertaining to many a different subject.
School. Religion in juxtaposition to science. Humanism. Artificial Intelligence.
Colonialism. Spirituality. Terrorism. Energy consumption.

“People are usually afraid of change because they fear the unknown. But the single greatest constant of history is that everything changes.”

Everything does change. And so I greatly enjoy reading books such as this one, that span the longer arcs of history and connects dots that I’ve not connected on my own. Helping me point out changes that I’ve not perceived.

“Fiction isn’t bad. It is vital. Without commonly accepted stories about things like money, states or corporations, no complex human society can function. […] But the stories are just tools. They should not become our goals or our yardsticks. When we forget that they are mere fiction, we lose touch with reality. Then we begin entire wars ‘to make a lot of money for the corporation’ or ‘to protect the national interests’. Corporations, money and nations exist only in our imagination. We invented them to serve us; why do we find ourselves sacrificing our lives in their service?”

Stories.
Personal stories. Communal stories. Cultural stories.
The stories I tell, the stories I listen to.
They all play a part in shaping me, making me into the person I am.

“Paradoxically, the more sacrifices we make for an imaginary story, the more tenaciously we hold on to it, because we desperately want to give meaning to these sacrifices and to the suffering we have caused.”

The greater my awareness is to their content and message, the more I am able to lead the life I want to.
I have a choice as to which stories I perpetuate, and so do you.


The book I am blogging about is part of the book-reading challenge I’ve set for myself during 2019, to read and blog about 12 Swedish and 12 English books, one every other week, books that I already own.

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