personalscience

on creativity, science and tolerance

Love the poor, the humble, the oppressed

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Father the-tree-of-lifeMother The_tree_of_life

The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick, 2011)

About my mother and father, my brother. The two of them have been wrestling inside me for ages. This struggle has lasted my whole life -I want you to realize that. They make take on different names -spirit and flesh, good and bad, light and darkness- but they always remain my mother and father. My father cries within me: “Earn money, get rich, use your gold to buy a coat of arms, become a nobleman. Only the rich and the nobility deserve to live in the world. Don ´t be good; once good, you´re finished! If someone chips one tooth in your mouth, break his whole jaw in return. Do not try to make people to love you; try to make them fear you. Do not forgive: strike!”… And my mother, her voice trembling within me, says to me softly, fearfully, lest my father hear her: “Be good, dear Francis, and you shall have my blessing. You must love the poor, the humble, the oppressed. If someone injures you, forgive him!” My mother and my father wrestle within me, and all my life I have been struggling to reconcile them. But they refuse to become reconciled; they refuse to become reconciled, and because of that, I suffer.

Nikos Kazantzakis, Saint Francis. Ed. Simon&Schuster, 1962

the-tree-of-life

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septiembre 30, 2014 at 12:24 pm

Breaking the waves

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image

Ordet – The Word (Carl Theodor Drayer, 1955)

“One of the most beautiful and uplifting movies ever made”

Therefore, reader, in these pages you will find the red track made by drops of my blood, the track which marks my journey among men, passions and ideas. Every man worthy of being called a son of man bears his cross and mounts his Golgotha. Many, indeed most, reach the first or second step, collapse pantingly in the middle of the journey, and do not attain the summit of Golgotha, in other words the summit of their duty: to be crucified, resurrected, and to save their souls. Afraid of crucifixion, they grow fainthearted: they do not know that the cross is the only path to resurrection. There is no other path.

Nikos KAZANTZAKIS, The Greek Passion.

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Ordet

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septiembre 30, 2014 at 11:54 am

Gabriel Marcel in America

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Gabriel Marcel

El elemento dinàmico en mi filosofía, en su conjunto, puede considerarse como una obstinada e incansable lucha contra el espíritu de abstraccion. 

During these American travels I had opportunities to meet many men whom I was able to appreciate not only for their high intellect, but also for something even more important in my eyes; their nobility, their kindness, and their spirit of hospitality, of which I have scarcely found the equivalent in my own country. These experiences warrant my saying that the best American is perhaps superior to the European of the same social milieu.


Gabriel Marcel, Autobiography

The age of innocence

The Age of Innocence

“May is a darling; I’ve seen no young girl in New York so handsome and so intelligent. Are you very much in love with her?” Newland Archer reddened and laughed. “As much as a man can be.”

She continued to consider him thoughtfully, as if not to miss any shade of meaning in what he said, “Do you think, then, there is a limit?”

“To being in love? If there is, I haven’t found it!”

She glowed with sympathy. “Ah—it’s really and truly a romance?”

 

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septiembre 20, 2014 at 9:16 pm

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Prisons of finitude!

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bound_for_glory

Bound for Glory (Hal Ashby, 1976)

Pauline: I am very sorry that there are so many people who have nothing.
Woody Guthrie: Sure. Course you are. Sorry don’t get the hay in. So you ladle ‘em up the soup and dish out a little charity?
Pauline: Well, we’re not all as gifted as you are. Some of us just do the best we can.
Woody Guthrie: Pauline, let me tell you somethin’. When I. . .well, when I was on the road, I met a lot of different kinds of people. There was bums and freeloaders. There was families that was torn apart. And poor people that just was achin’ for some kind of work. And men that are just tryin’ to get somewhere. Anywhere. They all got somethin’ in common, that every one of them had somethin’ to give me. Then you meet some man that’s got some money, and he’ll be… tied up and anxious. The human thing is just gone. It’s just gone, cos he’s afraid. Afraid that he’s gonna lose somethin’. He’s afraid to smile, cos somebody’s gonna swipe his teeth out his mouth.

You yourself are in flow. You are the river.

And it is only in the water that you yourself can learn how to swim. The wise among men seek to fathom the foundations of existence, but all they can do is to describe one wave of the current. In their portrayal, the flowing has congealed and can again become true only if they repeatedly release the picture they have painted back into change. The greedy among them have launched many projects: they have thrown rocks into the water in order ot dam up the stream; in their system, they contrived to invent an Isle of Eternity, and then they puffed up their hearts like balloons, all of it so as to catch eternity in the trap of one blissful Now. But they caught only air and they burst, or, turned as if by witchery into an Imaginary Idea, they wholly forgot to live, and the stream calmly washed over their corpses. No: the law is in the river and only by running you seize it. Perfection lies in fullness of journey. For this reason, never think you have arrived. Forget what lies behind you; reach out for what lies before you. Through the very change in which you lose what you have snatched up you will at last be transformed into what you crave for with such longing.

Hans Ur Von Balthasar, Heart of the World

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septiembre 15, 2014 at 1:03 am

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The Sickness of the Medical System

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 the verdict

 The Verdict (Sidney Lumet, 1982)

Kaitlin:  [testifying why she kept a copy of the admittance form] After the operation, when that poor girl she went into a coma, Dr. Towler called me in. He told me that he’d had five difficult deliveries in a row and he was tired… and he never looked at the admittance form. And he told me to change the form. He told me to change the ‘1’ to a ‘9’… or else… or else he said, he said he’d fire me. He said I’d never work again. Who were these men? Who were these men? I wanted to be a nurse!

I wouldn´t do it again, and it has nothing to do with the money, I get too little respect from patients, physician colleagues, and administrators, despite good clinical judgment, hard work, and compassion for my patients. Working up patients in the ER these days involves shotguning multiple unnecessary tests (everybody gets a CT!) despite the fact that we know they don´t need them, and being aware of the wastefulness of it all really sucks the love out what you do (from

Sermo, a community of more than 270,000 physicians)

 

People used to talk about “my doctor” (…) Insensitivity in patient-doctor interactions has become almost normal.

 

A congressional investigation found that in 1974, surgeons performed 2.4 million unnecessary operations, costing nearly $4 billion and resulting in nearly 12,000 deaths.

 

Sandeep JAUHAR (WSJ, August 30 – 31, 2014), In: Why Doctors are sick in their profession.

 

Forty years later, are we better off? A close look at the profession reveals that the humanness has been forgotten in the Health-care profession. What needs to be fixed? Since “Medicine is about taking care of people in their most vulnerable states” (nothing about predicting diseases) “and making yourself somewhat vulnerable in the process”, Medicine would improve by bringing to life those human moments of the weak.

The obstacles to overcome are the corporate structure of the medical system; and the managing care that is being ruled by the moneymaking game of administrators. Ultimately, the medical system needs to overcome the suffocating constraints of its own system. A healthy Medicine has always been personal: doctor and patient. In the end of the day, we are all just one family.

 

 

 

 

A radical idea

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Every human being has an impact on another. Why don’t we want that in a patient/doctor relationship? That’s why I’ve listened to your teachings, and I believe they’re wrong. A doctor’s mission should be not just to prevent death but also to improve the quality of life. That’s why you treat a disease, you win, you lose. You treat a person, I guarantee you, you win, no matter what the outcome.

Patch Adams (Tom Shadayac, 1998)

don t stop believing

New York, Aug 12 2014

 

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agosto 12, 2014 at 6:57 pm

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A Rossellini Tale (on Feyerabend)

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Paul K. FEYERABEND

   Paul K. Feyerabend (Vienna, Jan. 13 1924 – Genolier, Feb. 11 1994)

¿Sabéis cómo se me ocurrió la idea [The Greatest Love]? Estaba rodando Francesco y contaba las Florecillas a Fabrizi; después de escucharme bien, se volvió hacia su secretario y dijo: “Era un loco”. Y el otro: “Un loco absoluto”. De ahí me vino la primera idea.

Me inspiré también en un hecho que ocurrió en Roma durante la guerra: un comerciante de la Piazza Venezia vendía telas en el mercado negro; un día que su mujer servía a una cliente, se le acercó y dijo: “Señora, tome esta tela, se la regalo, porque no quiero participar en este crimen; la guerra me parece una cosa horrible”. (…) Fue a denunciarse a la policía: “He hecho tal y cual, necesito descargarme de todo esto”. La policía lo mandó al hospital psiquiátrico. El psiquiatra me dijo una cosa muy inquietante: “Le examiné y me di cuenta de que este hombre tenía sólo un problema moral; me quedé tan perplejo que por la noche reflexioné y me dije: Debo juzgarlo como sabio y no como hombre. Como sabio debo ver si este hombre se comporta como la media de los hombres; no se comporta como la media de los hombres. Lo encerré, pues, en el manicomio”.

Es un hecho real y callaré por discreción el nombre de este gran sabio. A menudo he discutido con él sobre ello y me ha dicho: “Debo disociar en mí mismo el ser humano del sabio; la ciencia tiene sus límites, debe calcular, ver, medir, ajustarse a lo que ha conquistado, a lo que conoce. Todo lo que está fuera de sus límites, hay que olvidarlo por completo”. En un siglo dominado por la ciencia -y sabemos que es imperfecta, que tiene límites tan atroces- sabes, no sé hasta qué punto es bueno confiarse a ella. Este es el tema de la película.

Roberto Rossellini, On The Greatest Love.

 

Al igual que este sencillo comerciante de la Piazza Venezia, Paul Feyerabend sintió la inhumanidad derivada del cálculo y la abstracción del sabio. Consciente de los límites de un conocimiento dirigido por sentidos externos y reglas de la razón, Feyerabend señaló además el abismo creado entre la esfera intelectual dominante (el conocimiento científico) con la existencial (el ser humano). En idéntica disyuntiva se encuentra también quien busca abrazar simultáneamente tiempo y eternidad; quien busca gozar con la belleza del conocimiento sensible y trascendente en todo su esplendor. A semejante ser humano se le señala como loco que ha perdido la razón (como lo pareciera Feyerabend), o “un loco absoluto” igual que Francesco.

El cambio de paradigma desvelado por Feyerabend, la completa transmutación de un conocimiento identificado antes con el progreso del hombre, sigue vigente. El control rígido de la razón impide dar sentido a la sabiduría para integrar las vías del conocimiento: intuitiva, sensible, racional, relacional, de la persona, del corazón.

El conocimiento científico estrecha entonces la humanidad[1]; y su orientación personal, el conocimiento de Dios que se resuelve existiendo[2] y amando, detiene su avance. Porque ¿no pierde claridad la existencia del hombre cuando observa la luz de la realidad bajo el único prisma del método de la ciencia? Feyerabend piensa que este es el caso: la debilidad del método como origen de la disociación bipolar entre el ser humano y el sabio. Con un realismo humanizador reconoce además que no se trata de un método sino de conocer viviendo en plena libertad, superando su comprensión instrumental: “Para la mayoría de científicos el eslogan «libertad de la ciencia» significa la libertad de adoctrinar no sólo a los que se asocian con ellos, sino también al resto de la sociedad[3].”

(…)

Más que perseguir una posición privilegiada en el mundo académico, antepone la filosofía como un conocer la Realidad, en búsqueda de sus valores permanentes. Su espíritu abierto tan propio en todo amante de la libertad anhelaba que la existencia fuera plena –con  vida– mediante el despliegue de una ciencia más pura y, por tanto, más real. Y maravillado por la cultura de civilizaciones antiguas, así como de las abundantes manifestaciones del espíritu humano, ansiaba una íntima integración entre conocimiento y existencia, en armonía de gnosis y logos, en fusión de agape y eros. Porque si, para Platón, eros es la fuerza que mueve a descubrir el mundo, en Feyerabend se aprecia un protagonismo del agape. Y hacia esa deseada unidad eros-agape se dirigía Feyerabend.

 

 

[1] Cfr. Paul K. FEYERABEND, La Conquista de la Abundancia: La abstracción frente a la riqueza del ser, Paidós: Barcelona y Buenos Aires 2001

[2] “Tenemos los ojos para ver. Para conocer a Dios tenemos nuestra existencia” (Frank KAFKA: citado en Eusebi COLOMER, El pensamiento alemán de Kant a Heidegger, volumen 3, Ed. Herder: Barcelona 1990)

[3] Paul K. FEYERABEND, Tratado contra el método: Esquema de una teoría anarquista del conocimiento, Ed. Tecnos: Madrid 1986, p. 301

 

FUENTE: El fundamento antropológico del conocimiento científico en Paul K. Feyerabend, Roma, 2014.

 

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