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a kafka a day
my "a kafka a day" book notes and adventure.
not all books are meant for a fleeting glance, and "a kafka a day" stands testament to this. filled with cryptic tales and profound thought, it's a testament to the intricate mind of franz kafka, a man shrouded in as much mystery as his narratives. intriguingly, kafka once implored his close friend, max brod, to destroy his works after his demise – a plea brod thankfully chose to ignore. this collection, then, is not just stories but fragments of a soul that almost remained concealed from the world. delving into these pages is more than reading; it's an exploration into the labyrinthine corridors of kafka's psyche. as readers weave through the tales, they're encouraged to find resonances in their own experiences, evoking deep reflection and perhaps prompting profound action.
the history of humanity consists of the time between the two steps of a traveler.
all humans can experience different rebirths, failures, setbacks, and new discoveries within a single being.
everything in life can be thought, tried, and actualized.
we should not think that we can survive on 'love and air'.
just loving is not enough. in order to live for or with someone, you must first learn to live for yourself.
you think it's the end of everything, but new forces emerge. this means that you are alive.
being resilient; it is our ability to overcome adversity and come out of it stronger.
traumas are not caused by mental deterioration, but by a lack of love and interaction.
alzheimer's patients do not forget the beauty or interaction of music.
interaction is the best tool and the balm of our life. because, thanks to interaction, no matter what language or culture, humanity establishes valuable communication.
the ordinary in itself is already perfect.
keeping our things organized will also help us bring order to our inner selves.
if we turn a simple routine into a ceremony, we have a more complete life.
we never know the value of small pleasures. in fact, they are the spice of happiness.
a belief is like a guillotine, just as heavy, just as light.
there is no one independent of their prejudices.
even the freest minds have had their fair share of filters and stereotypes of conceived ideas. the reason is cultural, familial, and biographical, because all we experience creates a filter between us and reality.
our own prejudices:
belief that comes from thinking we can't do it because we haven't tried to do it before.
the doubts of other people who censor us or don't value us even though they have no idea about us.
the tendency to think that continued failures will be repeated without taking into account that there will be no two times the same or two equally equal situations.
if a person has the whole world in front of him, then it is necessary to be on the side of the world.
there are two types of people; those who swim against the stream and those who swim with the stream, which is a taoist approach.
according to the thousand-year-old chinese philosophy, those who get out of the flow of life also do move away from the wise and reality.
to live is to be exposed to the ups and downs and transformations that emerge from the dynamic character of existence.
something that does not move is dead.
to deal with change wisely, it is necessary to fulfill 4 conditions:
waiting for the right time to take action.
taking action while respecting other beings and avoiding exploitation and exaggeration.
avoiding selfish and bizarre goals.
knowing when change is necessary and when it is not.
the wise person wants to change, to make a revolution; learns to get rid of dependence on people, objects or places.
it is necessary to know how to say goodbye to difficult times.
‘in order for nothing to change, everything must be changed.’
there are many places to hide, but there is only one escape, yet the possibilities of escape are just as great as there are places to hide.
we desire freedom but fear being free.
what would it be like if we lived forever?
none of us are immortal, but we do have days full of possibilities.
if we are sad today, we should look to tomorrow with hope, because every new day is a new possibility to be happy.
decisions that change people are inexhaustible.
like stagnant and moldy water that doesn't move; an undeveloped mind is caught in the midst of prejudices, negative prophecies, and illogical ideas.
change is indispensable for the survival of the human spirit.
kafka thought that evolution was beyond the mutation of their species, because evolution continually engulfs the minds and souls of all humans, from all beings to all beings.
darwin was passionate about his faith, but although he was agnostic, he never thought of criticizing religion.
‘while i am a strong advocate of freedom of thought on all matters, true or not, writings on the existence of god and anti-christianity have made little or no impression on people, and that the best thing to do is to mobilize freedom of thought through the little enlightenment of the social mentality that is disconnected from scientific developments. i think it is. that is why i have set myself the goal of avoiding writing on religion by limiting myself to science.’ - charles darwin
sometimes being imprisoned is more reliable than being free.
the animal instinct that helps him survive.
the capacity to adapt to the society in which they have to live
we must respect the freedom of others without denying the most precious thing in us, our instincts.
if we can achieve this in love, we will not limit our partner. we must move on to the freedom of walking together, without skipping every instinct and perspective.
the answers to all questions are hidden in the eyes of dogs.
in addition to being man's inseparable companion, dogs also teach us virtues that many of us have stopped doing:
loyalty. it's important to be loyal not just to a partner or an ideal, but to yourself as well.
love. we must openly express the love we feel for others.
bravery. especially when defending our loved ones, you must be brave and succumb to fear.
happiness. we should 'wake the tail' a little more often in order to enjoy everyday life.
honesty. dogs are reliable: we know that they come to us when we need them, relieving our tiredness and frustration.
in order to become human again, we must learn from dogs what we have forgotten as we move forward on the path of life.
my essence is nothing but fear, and that's probably the best part of me.
fear protects us when it works with our survival instinct.
the greatest example of this is those who suffer from urb ach-wiethe syndrome. those who suffer from this syndrome make unnecessary prowess or try to face great dangers when it is not necessary. there is only one logical reason for this; they feel no fear.
fear without being overly timid is a defense system that saves us from possible aggression. in other words, it informs us.
so we must learn from him and be equally brave and careful.
if there's anything more deadly than the sounds of the sirens, it's silence.
the expression 'listening to the sirens' is used for individuals who are quickly influenced by words and impossible outcomes.
silence is even worse for a sailor who knows exactly where he is going, as, according to kafka, because he knows the way, he can sleep while his ship is in motion.
being influenced by imagination can be just as deadly as being distant from it.
literature is always the love of truth.
bibliotherapy has reached its peak in the united states in the modern era because it proved effective for returning wounded soldiers from the front during world war ii.
considering another writer's perspective on a problem for which we may not know the solution.
escaping from the world we live in to find some relief in the world presented to us by the book.
it preserves our well-being as it offers reflections that we can share with others and enriches us.
the whole mistake of humanity lies in impatience, intervening prematurely in a process that is already working, and born from virtual barriers woven with virtual reality.
patience is a rational and pragmatic action, and through it, we protect ourselves from endless conflicts.
observing is, in its simplest form, an act of patience. - guru osho
to observe what is happening around us without getting involved in the events is part of the "science of patience.”
patience is heavy, but its fruits are sweet. - jean-jacques rousseau
it will be beneficial to remember this virtue every time we are about to write a hurtful email, argue with our partner, or make a hasty decision.
there are problems that we really can never resolve when they are our own problems.
perspective issue: distance enables us to see every problem with a more balanced perspective.
through inconsistency, we have the ability to question, explore new paths, and seek new solutions to old problems.
inconsistency is beneficial for groups that work on mixed understanding. here, inconsistency has many advantages in communication among group members.
inconsistency is beneficial for groups that work on mutual understanding. here, inconsistency has many advantages in communication among group members.
writing itself is a form pray.
writing is not only beneficial for healing psychological pain and gaining insights, but it can also be helpful in healing diseases like cancer.
many patients require not only physical healing but also psychological healing, as their well-being is influenced by both aspects.
there are two things you need to do right from the start of life: not deviating from your trajectory and narrowing your orbit even further.
sometimes fate is like a small sandstorm that changes direction. you can change your course, but the sandstorm will catch up with you. you want to change your direction, but the storm makes you lose your way. why? because this storm is not something blowing from a distance, it is something that has nothing to do with you. this storm is you. something inside you. (free-will)
but one thing is clear. once you emerge from the storm, you are no longer the same person who entered it. that is the essence of the storm.
books should be the axe that breaks the frozen sea within us.
when we experience the death or suicide of someone we love more than ourselves, or when we get lost in a distant forest, we need books that deeply wound us, just as we feel in those moments.
indeed, without the mentioned hardships, we would be much calmer, but life would also become monotonous.
if the books we read do not have a punch-like impact on our minds, then why should we bother reading them? - kafka
living is constantly losing our way. it is through the chaos that prevents us from knowing why we have lost our path that we actually lose our way.
one of the contagious diseases of our time is chaos.
everyone thinks that the shortest way from one point to another is to go straight, but it is much harder to follow the right path in life.
there may be events we expect to change our lives, and ostensibly these seem to waste our time. however, if we can cope with these unpredictable events and their side effects, our personality develops further.
making a mistake early on may not seem good, but if we can learn from it, we become stronger.
walking against the wind always teaches more than walking with the wind at our back.
we can learn much more from the detours that surprise us and make us change direction than from our usual path.
everything that happens to us has a meaning.
a real enemy gives you unlimited courage.
your enemy is your best teacher because you have to use all your intelligence and knowledge to confront them.
a good friend can abandon us, disappoint us, or replace us with someone else. but a good enemy stays by our side throughout our lives.
your enemy, no matter how painful it may be, always speaks the truth.
you never know what to expect from a friend, but you always expect the worst from an enemy.
according to vidal, the worst thing that can happen to you is when your enemy becomes your friend.
the higher the quality of your enemy, the greater you are.
the void created by a magnificent work provides a good space for igniting our small light. from this space, inspiration is born, which nourishes geniuses and is not merely directed towards imitation but towards universal inspiration.
creativity emerges from void.
to make our lives more beautiful, we must rid ourselves of excesses in our lives.
when we keep bad habits, prejudice, hatred, revenge, comparisons, and other mental parasites outside of our minds, we find the space we need to reach the beauty.
start with what is right before settling for what is acceptable.
the purpose of being human is happiness, and to achieve happiness, one must work on understanding human nature.
volunteering. when we look at our actions, we often see that we are inclined towards doing what is right instead of what is merely acceptable, because we make decisions with a sense of responsibility.
courage. aristotle says, "courage is the mean between fear and confidence. the courageous person takes action despite being afraid, but that does not mean they are without fear." excessive fear is cowardice, while excessive confidence is recklessness.
moderation. your desires should lie in the middle. this is especially important in areas where we share common traits with animals, such as eating and sex.
no matter how much you sweep the path in autumn, it will be covered with the leaves again.
sometimes, we fear the pain we might endure more than the problem itself. in reality, problems will always arise, regardless of our fears.
the idea of living a life without difficulties, like a monk who always desires a perfectly clean path, is itself a form of torment. indeed, a life without problems is not a natural state; challenges are inherent to life itself.
the formula for happiness lies in finding joy in challenges.
the misfortune of don quixote was not his dreams but sancho panza.
in the real world, sancho panzas appear as energy vampires who try to convince us that we cannot achieve our dreams, even suggesting that attempting to do so is unnecessary.
those who have confidence in their projects should distance themselves from these inept messengers who have nothing positive to say to us.
an animal takes the whip from its owner and, without knowing that all of this is a fantasy that creates a new dent in the whip of its owner, self-flagellates in order to become its own owner.
there are people who, no matter how strange it may seem, fear success and do their best to limit themselves.
one of the beliefs is that once we achieve success in one area, we must always be successful in everything, and that we lose the right to fail or make mistakes. it is the belief that we always have to stay at the top.
the second belief is that success also brings more responsibility, more work, and increased worry.
the third reason could be due to low self-confidence, which leads the person to believe they don't deserve this victory.
the fourth reason is the fear that success will create feelings of envy and admiration in the people around us. we may worry that this will ruin all our social relationships.
the final reason is the belief that once we reach the summit, we will have no purpose left to strive for. we may fear that our life will become stagnant and boring thereafter.
all these reasons may be exaggerated little hills, and often we don't even realize their existence.
it is better to have and not need than to need and not have.
being a multimillionaire or famous does not necessarily mean being extravagant, excessive, or whimsical.
we have two great sins: impatience and laziness.
it is believed that impatience led to the expulsion of humans from heaven, and their inability to return is due to laziness.
perhaps impatience is the only great sin, and there are no other sins.
impatience caused the expulsion from heaven and also prevented the return due to the same impatience.
due to impatience, we tend to think about our goals in a short timeframe, and as a result, we may not achieve good results within that short period. being impatient, we can only enter cardboard heavens, chasing superficial and temporary gratifications.
due to time pressure, we often fail to enjoy the journey towards our goals. in reality, we should have found more pleasure in this journey.
impatience increases anxiety and, indirectly, the number of mistakes. as a result, we waste the time that could have been dedicated to self-improvement.
reality is always like a precipice.
we may conclude that revealing reality is challenging, but those who search for it are enlightened at the depths of the precipice.
dreams and motivations. they are the dreams and motivations that crush us under the weight of passing days and obligations.
our neglected priorities are the ones we never seem to address because emergency situations consume all our time and energy.
a mirror that reflects who we are and what we do.
the ground you stand on cannot be larger than the space covered by your two feet. if you are aware of this, it means you have reached a great treasure.
even if the opportunities opening up in front of you seem beyond your capabilities, never think they are outside of human power. if something is within the limits of human power, know that it is also within your possibilities.
the success of one person is proof that others can also walk this path.
if you don't lose the ability to see the beauty, you don't age.
kafka believes that young people are happy due to their capacity to appreciate the beautiful things.
many people are suffering from dehydration and they don't even know it. they're not aware that they are dehydrated. they're not drinking enough water, their bodies desperately need water, and they are drying out.
then they start to feel bad in different ways, not from dehydration though. the same happens with beauty. the unmet need for beauty can lead to depression, anxiety, a deep sense of monotony, unprovoked aggression, and various other pathological cases.
as an antidote to the negativities that drag us into a bland world, we can go to museums, to music that moves us, good books, and places that touch the depths of our soul.
just because we believe in the process doesn't mean this will happen.
are there personal utopias? even though changing the world can be a rather passionate field, one way or another we can change ourselves.
while passionately believing in something that never existed, we are creating it. what doesn't exist is something we just didn't want enough.
our prejudices and expectations alter our own reality.
even though we may pass the buck and see third parties as the cause of this bad situation, we are the producers of most things that happen to us.
observer behavior is the chosen path of people who prefer others to play an active role in their lives and do not meddle much in their own affairs. these people are negative profile individuals who are prone to believe that they don't have control over their own experiences.
critical behavior is a path followed by those who complain about everything and never take the blame for the bad course of events. these are people who do not have control over their own lives.
active behavior, on the other hand, is the path of those who learn something from everything that surrounds them. they are positive and enthusiastic individuals and, of course, they hold the reins of their own lives.
you are the lesson, unfortunately, there are no students around.
'authority corrupts both the student and the teacher' - jiddu krishnamurti
we are dependent on authority because, as we saw in the previous section, it is easier for us to have others make decisions on our behalf and take responsibility for our own lives.
authority is obeyed without any doubt. thus, we do not question whether what we do is good or bad, and we believe that we will not suffer thanks to this uncertainty.
authority is also a barrier to our spiritual and intellectual development. to learn means having the freedom to make choices and the freedom to make mistakes. if we are governed by an authority, a guru, a political party, a team, or anything outside of us, we can learn nothing. by adhering to doctrines, we keep repeating the things we know by rote. we continue our lives without the right to learn.
‘all rivers merely serve to get us to another shore.’ - buda
there is no point in being filled with it (river). the same thing happens to teachers: they carry us to the shore, but it's up to us to explore the new lands.
i have completed my duties, not my personal responsibilities, and every unfulfilled personal responsibility of mine is turning into a permanent unhappiness.
we can have no other duty but to be happy.
i am a novel. i am from my own story.
write your own novel, not someone else's.
with this, the teacher wants to say that there is no point in imitating what others think, feel, or experience.
living is definitely an individual thing.
we can admire many people who contribute to us in developing our own projects, use them as examples. we can discuss our ideas with them, listen to their suggestions, but everyone makes their important decisions themselves.
nobody walks the path for you.
you don't have to leave your room. force yourself to sit at the table and listen.
according to franz kafka, what we need to do to be wise is 'to listen, to be calm, quiet, and helpful.’
according to pascal, we don't know what it means to sit quietly alone in a closed room.
there is a terrifying contradiction between what a person is and the reality they're pursuing.
one chases after happiness and just when they have obtained it, they fear it.
one seeks true justice and when found, it's not justice.
one seeks eternity, and when found, sees its fragility.
one finds separation and life becomes a constant tragedy.
pascal says that humans live with the longing for lost happiness. the human soul is an infinite abyss that only eternity can fill.
kafka knew that he found this connection with eternity at the end of a troubled workday, by being alone and surrendering to silence.
everything of true value is always within you.
there are things that you cannot find anywhere in the world, not even in the house of a sage. but despite this, these are the places you need to find.
the smartest way to escape some situations is to infect others with our own emotions.
we are accustomed to releasing our mental tension on others, but the good news is that the opposite is also possible. we can also spread positive emotions like happiness, smiles, or calmness.
i used to not understand why i couldn't get an answer to my question, today i can't understand how i was deceived until i came to the limit of asking questions. but it wasn't because i deceived myself, i was just asking questions.
kafka's words focus on our mental confusion that keeps asking questions without even knowing why we ask. this is seen in couples who argue a lot. for them, questions have strayed from the purpose of gathering information, they have now become weapons to fight.
perhaps we get lost in the sea of doubt and mistrust because we ask unnecessary questions.
children generally ask adults the best questions; like 'why is there a sky?' or 'what are cows saying when they moo?'. perhaps these are more transparent than the questions adults ask, like 'why didn't you call?' or 'who is your lawyer?'.
after bursts of arrogance and satisfaction, always get fresh air.
when under the influence of an exaggerated emotion, such as arrogance, pride, satisfaction, low self-esteem, or any other negative energy consuming us, the best solution is to return to the source of life.
he was very afraid of death because he hadn't lived yet.
the expression of anger and contempt is also to act like an enemy.
today, i will encounter a chatterbox, an ungrateful person, a rude person, a liar, a jealous person, and an antisocial person. all of these will come our way due to the ignorance of good and evil.
even if the time for liberation has not come, i want to be worthy of it every minute.
even in the worst difficulties, a person has the right to choose because the traces of spiritual freedom are always within him.
they can take everything from us except one thing; they can never take away our freedom to choose our own path.
even in the worst situations, we cannot leave our fate to chance. we can make our honor and inner freedom inviolable.
believing means to get rid of what's not indestructible by itself or, better yet, to be liberated; even better, to become indestructible; or even better, to simply be.
believing. if we believe in our own existence and our resources, then we can lead a meaningful life and create awareness.
liberation. to free ourselves from all ties that are not necessary for our living, to break away from all chains that are not based on influence or collaboration, and to not be dependent on the opinions of third parties.
to be indestructible. what is it that is within us and cannot be destroyed? 'we only own what we cannot lose in a disaster.’
to be. it is more important than anything else because human life is like a lightning in the darkness; it follows us and we follow it. we should enjoy the light.
no one loves change as much as children do.
he always thought that his family stole his happiness when he was a child (kafka).
‘getting married, starting a family, accepting all future children, supporting them in this uncertain world, and sometimes guiding them, even if just a little, is surely the peak that no one can endure.’
‘parents who expect gratitude from their children (some even insist on this) are like usurers who believe they will get a higher return and risk their capital.’
‘our lesson is to love just for the sake of loving and to give others the freedom to live.’
there is nothing that will make us happier than believing in the household god.
sometimes i feel like we are in a room with two doors facing each other. one of us holds the handle of one of the doors. one of us winks, and the other goes behind the door. just one word from the first is enough for the second to stay behind the door. if one of them stayed as calm and relaxed as the other, didn't try to look at the other, and left the room leaving everything in order, it would seem as if we were in an entirely different place... but instead, one does the same as the other at the door, and sometimes both of us stay behind the door, leaving the beautiful room empty.
her response to the claim that 'maybe you have things, but you don't have your own existence' was just a shiver and a heartbeat.
he thought that after facing so much pressure, a person starts to feel like a product that needs to be invested in.
he had seen that people, by surrendering themselves to the control of others, gave up their freedoms for either ideals or products, and as a result, became submissive and obedient.
beyond major social movements, the last revolution that humanity will achieve is to give up having possessions and taking orders to own something, and instead, draw the course of their own life.
no one who believes in reality can witness a miracle. stars are not visible in the morning.
the splendor of life is entirely imaginable; in its fullness, around each of us, covered only by a veil, deep, invisible, distant. yet it's there, it's not hostile, it doesn't scorn, it's not deaf, and it is the essence of the miracle that can be summoned with the right name in the right moment.
love doesn't create more problems than an ordinary car. the problematic ones are the driver, the passengers, and the road.
sometimes the function of love is this: it sweeps our feet away from an excessively monotonous and gray reality just to feel alive.
and despite this, if i say i miss you, i'd be lying. this is one of the most perfect and painful enchantments. you are here, just like me, and still so intensely; there, i am present, you are there, just like me, and even more intensely.
one shouldn't blame anyone or the world for what they have or for their victory.
the greatest sign of spiritual maturity is to know how to recognize others by momentarily forgetting our own interests and our need for attention.
the greatest leaders, whether they are managing a sports team or a company, are those who can make others feel important.
they don't feel their positions are threatened just because those around them are doing their jobs well.
they recognize different talents and make everyone clearly feel that they are valuable.
they see teamwork not as an ego competition but as a sum of qualities to achieve a greater, common purpose.
they constantly encourage their employees, whom they see as people they collaborate with, to freely express their ideas.
the same attitude is also very beneficial when dealing with parents, spouses, or groups of friends. instead of constantly digging at their shortcomings, seeing the good in others is the key to empathy.
a picture of my existence... you see a stake covered in snow... driven into a dark winter night, leaning and not standing upright, amidst an endless crowd.
loneliness is often mentioned in a negative way because many of us associate it with the emptiness and unhappiness inside us. however, thanks to loneliness, great artists have produced great works, and great thinkers have found new ideas for a better world.
moreover, one needs to know how to be alone in order to serve others.
in fact, it's through loneliness that we get to know ourselves better, and those who know how to enjoy solitude appreciate it more when someone comes into their lives. those less worn out from social relations value friendship much more.
this is why, as kafka depicted the artist's seclusion, sometimes we don't have to fear being a stake stuck in the midst of a massive crowd, because through this we can gain a greater perspective on the world.
only someone who can let go of the presence of others can communicate with them without dependence and harmful emotions.
the statement suggests that true, unencumbered communication with others can only be achieved when one is not overly attached to or dependent on the presence or validation of others. in other words, if you're too reliant on others or too affected by their presence, it can cloud genuine interactions. being emotionally independent allows for clearer and more genuine communication, free from harmful or dependent emotions.
when i can't even bear the weight of my coat, i can't carry the whole world on my shoulders.
franz kafka has legitimized failure here because he couldn't get rid of the past.
our past belongs to us. when asked who we are, our answer is the sum of all our memories. our name is the name given by our family. to get rid of the past, we should look ahead and believe that no matter what, we don't have to be tied to the past.
alan watts says that the present moment determines our past. time flows from the present to the past. the present moment determines our past.
in theory, if we don't believe in and rely on the indestructible within us, we can achieve perfect happiness.
sometimes, we don't value things that we have, simply because they are so close to us that we can't see them.
just like the concise saying in the title of this section by kafka, as long as we try to delve deeper and stay true to our pure inner self, the treasure within us is ourselves.
our salvation is death, but not like this.
this quote from Kafka indicates that we have the possibility of death and rebirth on the path of life. what's meant here are the 'small deaths', that is, an opportunity to rediscover ourselves and enjoy the moment.
jean leon's life shows us that no matter our circumstances, even if we feel as though we're dead, we can be reborn from our ashes.
there can be knowledge about what is devilish, but there can't be belief in the devilish; there can't be anything more devilish than what is happening here.
many people with discontented and contrary characters think that they work in jobs that don't align with themselves, which is why it gives them a feeling of wasting time.
when we realize this, we should strive to find an alternative within our means, even if it means losing our strength. in English, this is expressed with the word '
downshifting': we can work in a less demanding job to find more time and ease our minds.
sometimes you see, even if you don't intend to.
a coincidence is a positive outcome resulting from a mistake. it's like finding a different discovery while trying to make one. therefore, one should never underestimate any accident because sometimes valuable results can be achieved from them.
we should pay more attention to the mistakes or accidents we encounter day by day, because there's a good chance they might carry useful messages for our own lives or the lives of others.
there is a destination, but there is no path; what we call a path is hesitation.
from this, one cannot conclude that indecision is a negative thing; on the contrary, it is positive.
thanks to hesitation, we sometimes discover things on side paths that are more important than the main path itself. just like students who find their profession through a second course.
thanks to hesitation, our eyes and other senses open up, so we don't have to proceed blindly or with numbness and stagnation.
not knowing the outcomes of our next steps is like a spur for creativity that craves an empty space, or for creating different possibilities.
thanks to all of this, we shouldn't feel sorrow from the aimless path of the events surrounding us. on the contrary, this is the guarantee of freedom.
how much effort it takes to keep on living! even lifting a heavy monument doesn't require that much strength.
having no boundaries in your mind, being full of alternatives and challenges allows you to fully re-engage with life.
generally, nothing is achieved during times of peace.
when an argument erupts, it's easiest to focus on the negative aspects of our partner without considering their positive sides. but at that moment, we either don't see it or don't want to see it.
one of the keys to coming out of an argument advantageously is to highlight the good sides of our partner and to realize that if the conflict isn't resolved, we will lose them.
seeing the problems we cause is a way of knowing ourselves. emotional intelligence also depends on recognizing our own emotions as much as those of others.
some couples feel relieved after breaking up. in such a situation, in your solitude, you can see how your relationship was with a third-eye perspective. you can evaluate how your relationship was and appreciate positive aspects that you hadn't even thought of before.
every crisis allows a relationship to surpass itself by strengthening its weak aspects, because it deepens the understanding of oneself, one's partner, and the challenges faced on the path they have traveled together.
just because we were expelled from heaven, it doesn't mean heaven ceased to exist.
for some masters, shambhala is a mental state that can be reached after purification. heaven, that is, the calm mind, is always there. we just need to rid ourselves of all the negative habits that prevent us from returning to the kingdom of happiness.
one who doesn't desire the world doesn't desire their own world either.
the donkey asks him what he did to leave the noisy world in search of solitude in the mountains. in response, he says that he had a job with great responsibilities in the place he was born, but the greatest challenge was choosing to live isolated from the world. the donkey's reply to this is, "you are lying.”
there is no greater spiritual challenge than living with those who are different from us.
if there is a messiah somewhere, it means he is not needed there.
‘kf there is a mediator, there is no meditation.’ - jiddu krishnamurti
things that truly hold value cannot be found through intermediary means.
there is no messiah in our daily lives because everyone knows what they need and why they need it.
faith is the denial of truth. believing in god is not finding god. neither the believer nor the non-believer encounters god because the truth is unknowable, and your belief or disbelief in the unknown is just a reflection of yourself, and therefore it is not real.
god, or truth, or however you express it, comes from moment to moment; and this happens not after the mind is disciplined according to a norm, but only when it is free or spontaneously arises from within. god is not a product of the mind, does not emerge through the reflection of someone; it only appears when there is virtue, that is, freedom. only when the mind is happy, peaceful, making no movement either consciously or unconsciously, only then does the infinite come.
some deny the existence of suffering by pointing to the sun; yet he denies the existence of the sun by pointing to suffering.
people are divided into two: optimistic or pessimistic.
the optimist believes that bad times will always pass and that happy times are permanent. mistakes or defeats are momentary and remain in the past.
the pessimist, on the other hand, thinks entirely the opposite.
according to seligman, whether we are optimistic or pessimistic is determined by three things:
permanence: if we perceive bad experiences as if they will last forever, it means we have a pessimistic tendency. if someone says 'i can never do it' or 'everyone hates me', this makes the situation seem more permanent.
pervasiveness (generalize or specify): when talking about a negative experience, the pessimist tends to generalize while the optimist tends to specify (everything is going wrong / it went wrong this time). conversely, when discussing a positive experience, the opposite happens; the pessimist specifies the situation, while the optimist generalizes.
personalization (internalize or externalize): pessimists internalize their negative experiences in a traumatic form, while optimists are accustomed to externalizing them, sharing the situation with others to accelerate the process and put it into perspective.
you adorned yourself in a ridiculous manner for this world.
"the world is growing smaller every day. at the beginning, it was so large that i was frightened, i kept running and running, and i was glad when i saw walls far away to the right and left, but these long walls have narrowed so quickly that i am in the last chamber already, and there in the corner stands the trap that i must run into," said the mouse. the cat said, "you only need to change your direction," and ate it up.
we grew up, but our surroundings remained just as narrow. (solution: find an environment that fits our measurements.)
we didn't decide on the role we've taken on in life or the place we occupy. (solution: we should question ourselves about the life we want to live.)
either the world is too small or we are too big. in any case, we completely fill the world.
ego is humanity's greatest ailment. the greater the attention we give to our own goals and needs, the greater the suffering we endure, because the world never seems enough for us.
every person carries an arrogant attitude and an inherent sense of superiority within themselves. what we need to do is to minimize it as much as possible because completely eliminating it isn't feasible. even nearly erasing our ego can become a source of pride and vanity. it's a double-edged sword.
i know that i still make many mistakes in certain areas of my life. with one group of friends, i have a certain demeanor, while with another group, i am entirely different. why is that? why can't i treat everyone the same way? why can't i just be myself? because i still carry a mask and armor that maintain my distance and protect me from a distressing end. - dario munaikan
i assure you that this happens in all people. it still represents a flaw and a situation of not accepting oneself. this is a weakness that needs to be defined and a problem that needs to be addressed at its root as soon as possible (or slowly started to be resolved).
what's important is to embed passion into character.
the main idea of the kybalion is 'the universe is mental.' in other words, everything starts in the mind.
regarding this, kafka thinks 'we must take the strings of our fate into our hands'.
follow your ideas, they will turn into words. follow your words, they will turn into attitudes. follow your attitudes, they will become habits. follow your habits, they will form your character. follow your character, it will shape your destiny.
we cannot say that we lack faith. just the act of living alone builds an endless source of belief.
what did kafka mean when he said "endless faith for life"?
every problem, whether good or bad, ends by finding its own solution.
bad days have an end, and better days will come afterwards.
most worries are prophecies that never come true.
all mistakes or difficulties can sometimes serve as a springboard to move into a better situation.
if we can perceive the ups and downs as part of the game, we can enjoy existence even more.
the matters that cause us sorrow are not as important as they seem to us.
love is a drama filled with contrasts.
three fundamental rules explaining why love projects fail:
each couple is looking for something different (for example; one is looking for a stable life while the other is seeking another adventure).
one of the partners is trying to mold and fit the other according to their own standards.
even though relationships are not always symmetrical, there's often a significant level difference in the effort shown by both sides of the couple.
god gives us walnuts, but he doesn't crack them open for us.
this kafkaesque nature gives us walnuts which are the very possibilities themselves. they are everywhere, yet very few people know how to benefit from them. we all walk under a path filled with walnut trees, where the fruits hanging from their branches are opportunities waiting to be seized.
we have three options ahead of us:
proactive: we break the walnut to reach it, meaning we access the new possibility.
passive: we wait for someone else to break the walnut, thus we become spectators of the opportunities that others seize.
anxious: there are so many different walnuts on the tree that we constantly worry about which one we should choose.
the most honest of fathers, cronus, even ate his own children.
time devours us, so we must make the most of every moment. each bold action we take daily is a stone in the throat of the old god (chronos) because for those who want to just let it pass, time flows in vain.
there's no point in these revolutionary intellectual movements deeming their predecessors as insignificant because, in reality, nothing truly exists
there's still so much to do: sweep the path, water the daisies, open our wings and repaint with the colors the day speaks to us in. sing a song with a guitar and scatter the seeds to the wind, and retreat into a secret worship, facing the new troubles the day kept for us. there's much that needs doing: sing the old, forgotten song again, drink water, walk on the earth knowing the day is still ours. and trap the shadow (that distressed shadow from dreadful dreams) full of nostalgia and madness; giving us sorrow in the middle of the day. there's so much left to do! open up to the sun, lift our curtains for we still have enough time to drink in the shadows as the day ends.
when i feel unbearably unhappy, i experience a genuine emotion about myself.
there are a few valuable aspects to sadness:
it enhances our capacity for empathy because we become more compassionate towards others who are going through a tough process like ours.
it allows us to love the things we've lost even more, and therefore heightens our emotional sensitivity.
we communicate with those around us because when we find ourselves in such a situation, it's not that hard for us to ask for help from others.
as long as it doesn't drag on too long and we don't pity ourselves, sadness is welcome.
freedom is a fragile flower to us today; but one way or another, freedom is our inheritance.
in one of his writings, franz kafka stated that above all, humans have free will because "in this life, one can carve out their own path and walk it as they wish.”
to choose one's own path. that is, to find a purpose in our lives that gives us meaning and value. but... what happens to people who cannot find the purpose of their lives? viktor frankl has a clear answer to this: 'if you don't know the purpose of your life, now you've found one: to discover the purpose of your life.’
to choose the path you will follow. there are many ways to live life: calmly, hastily, alone or with a partner, with grand objectives or small pleasures, with pain or contentment. it's up to us to decide. in the end, as cervantes said, 'the journey is more important than the inn itself'.
we are sinners not only because we feed from the tree of knowledge, but also because we haven't yet fed from the tree of life.
if i could live my life again, this time, i would make many more mistakes. i wouldn't try so hard to be perfect; i would be more relaxed. i would be sillier than i've been, in fact, i would take very few things seriously. i would be less sanitary. i would take more risks, travel more, watch more sunsets, climb more mountains, swim in more rivers. i would go places i've never been, eat more ice cream and fewer beans, i would have more real problems and fewer imaginary ones. i was one of those people who lived sensibly and productively every minute of their lives, of course, i had moments of happiness. but if i could go back, i would try to have only good moments. if you don't know, life is made of moments; don't miss the now. i was one of those who never went anywhere without a thermometer, a bottle of hot water, an umbrella, and a parachute. if i could live again, i would travel lighter.
if i could live again, i would start walking barefoot from the beginning of spring until autumn ends. i would ride more merry-go-rounds, watch more dawns, and play more with children, if i had another life ahead of me. but now i'm 85 years old, and i know i'm dying.
written kisses never reach their destination; the ghosts on the road drink them.
‘writing letters is communicating with ghosts, not just the ghost of the receiver, but also your own soul. they emerge from between the lines you write…’
listening to the sound of raindrops hitting the window fills you with melancholy.
melancholy plays a significant role in the creation and interpretation of art.
in "against happiness," literature professor wilson distinguishes melancholy from depression:
"what differentiates the two is the impulse to act. both are more or less chronic forms of sorrow that carry a continuous unease. in response to this unease, depression leads to a numbness close to complete paralysis, indifference, and an inability to feel good in any way. in contrast, melancholy, tied to anxiety, offers a deep emotion, an active questioning of the present moment, a heartbeat that gives the opportunity to create a new way of existing and seeing, and generates a constant desire to create.”
in melancholic states, the greatest symphonies, invigorating poems, and immortal paintings have been created.
for those who cannot cope with this emotion through art, melancholy provides an opportunity to delve deep into ourselves, revealing the most delicate feelings that make us human.
what's bad is what distracts our attention.
digital distractions (emails, social networks, messages, etc.) are the primary culprits of our dissatisfaction and low performance in our work. - berto pena (think wasabi)
it is recommended to create a 'mental firewall' to protect ourselves from the deluge of stimuli that consume and render us inefficient, blocking these distractions from getting through:
turn off your email or the (annoying) notification for new messages.
no chats, no tweets. the 'real time' necessary for your work is now and here.
close all applications that have nothing to do with what you're currently working on.
if you need to do research on the internet, do it before starting your day and copy the information.
if your job allows, work in full screen mode.
silence your phone and turn its screen face down.
there is no purer song than the one sung at the depths of hell.
the hell franz kafka refers to here is the mental space where our mistakes turn to ashes, and this grants us the ability to be reborn from our ashes like the phoenix.
great personal projects emerge after long periods of recovery.
this is the reward of mistakes and suffering: if we hit rock bottom a thousand times, we attain the absolute freedom of reaching levels we could not achieve in any other situation.
as we move forward into the future, we should savor our fleeting visit to hell.
all problems are solved when there's a bite in your mouth.
eating is about more than just keeping the machine called 'human' functioning. while nourishing ourselves, what we choose to eat and the respect we show to our food indicates how we live.
eating is routine, but it is also life, much like many other things we don't value.
the cage went to look for a bird.
one day, the cage wakes up and sees its door left open and that the finch inside has disappeared. the cage feels an emptiness between its bars and loneliness brings it sorrow. it misses the chirping of the bird that used to dwell in it.
in the end, a sparrow finds and enters the cage. just as it's about to close and trap it, the sparrow starts chirping in such a sorrowful way that the cage takes pity on it and opens the lid to let it escape, remembering that sparrows die of sadness when their freedom is taken away. pleased by this gesture, the sparrow does a kindness to the cage: every day, along with its friends, they will keep it company and seek shelter in it during rainy days.
from then on, the cage is never alone; it sees that love lies in respecting the freedom of others.
i had to warm up with a fire i hadn't even started looking for yet.
‘we act as if it has happened, and finish it as if it's done.’
the fire is not here yet, but the perspective we've gained alone provides warmth for the soul, for it's that light we sought which guides us.
this is a situation we experience when we encounter the following events:
when we shape a dream idea and set small goals to reach it.
after an emotional detachment, when we realize what kind of people those who are close to us should be.
when working in a job that is in harmony with our innate talent and inclination.
when we realize that the tough times we are going through are the precursors to the good times that are coming.
we already possess the knowledge. but while seeking it, we might also be moving away from it.
according to eastern philosophers, 'forgetting what you know' liberates us from most of the prejudices and cliché-acquired information that cloud our perception, allowing us to see the truth without distorting filters, leading us to profound insights.
‘knowledge is power, but only wisdom is freedom.’ - will durant
‘science is organized knowledge, wisdom is organized life.’ - immanuel kant
what should we forget to reach wisdom?
predictions about what will happen or who will do what.
opinions of third parties that we naturally accept as if they were our own.
the mistaken belief that we have acquired all the necessary knowledge about a part of life.
especially, don't fall into despair just because you feel hopeless.
‘we resemble train passengers who have had an accident inside a tunnel: from the point of the accident, the light at the end of the tunnel is not discernible, that light is so faint that one needs to gaze continuously to distinguish it, and furthermore, it's uncertain whether there even is an end to the tunnel.’
‘isn't the moment when new certainties are born the time of deepest doubt? in this sense, perhaps despair is a nourishment for hope, maybe we can never understand the meaning of life without first experiencing absurd situations.’ - vaclav havel
through the snake's mediation, evil was necessary: evil can differentiate man; but it cannot make him.
on a scorching summer day, a traveler who had been walking for days gets robbed, down to his last few pennies. as he begins to feel the pangs of hunger, he spots an apple tree in the distance. as he approaches, he sees only one ripe apple. just as he reaches out for it, a shepherd appears and says:
"that fruit will cost you dearly. the owner took many precautions until that apple matured because this tree's first apple was meant for someone very special."
the traveler, hungry and distraught, explains that he's been robbed.
"if you take this apple, you'll be a thief, just like those who robbed you. do you think that's a small price to pay?"
the saddened traveler understands and continues on his way.
just then, the shepherd stops him:
"wait! you forgot your apple."
as the traveler looks at him in surprise, the shepherd explains:
"you are the special person this apple was waiting for, the one who would not resort to stealing it."
the different forms of despair are actually different stages on the same path.
‘even with our darkest troubles, the dark clouds leave behind pure and nourishing waters.’ - miguel de unamuno
there is always a reason to hope.
‘despair is built on what we know, which is nothing; but hope is built on what we don't know, which is everything.’ - maeterlinck
i carry thick iron bars inside me.
addiction is synonymous with unhappiness because capturing something, especially leads to suffering.
if we have an addiction towards someone, like our spouse, we possess them, always fear losing them, feel jealous when someone talks to them or when someone smiles at them. we always have trust issues.
we can love someone without possessing them. loving someone doesn't mean owning them.
the same applies in material possessions as well. if we become attached to our belongings, we fear losing them and cannot enjoy them. we cannot be free; we feel fear and suffer.
if we learn to break free from our dependencies, live simply without attachment, we won't feel fear, and our jealousies will disappear. we won't worry about acquiring unnecessary possessions, and we can replace the verbs "want" or "have" with "love." we can share our love with our partner without them feeling imprisoned.
if we choose such a life, we free ourselves from carrying thick iron bars within us.
pain is a positive element of this world, or rather, it is the only connection with what is positive in this world.
according to anthony de mello, unfortunately, traumatic experiences happen to all people, and no one can escape from these experiences.
what we can change is how we deal with pain.
there are people who turn their pains into suffering, and there are also those who transform them into profound lessons.
‘pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.’
the positive pain that Kafka mentioned is not suffering; on the contrary, it is a lesson. those who experience the deepest pains are the ones who value life more and use the depth of their pain to expand their perspective.
sometimes, i solve the problems that i allow to consume me.
when a conflict is important enough to be examined and understood, we take it to the edge so that we can reach the shore efficiently.
‘zen sometimes advises to amplify unresolved problems until a certain time. as the chinese proverb says: the greater the chaos, the closer the solution.’
as humans, we are very different animals.
what has happened has happened, but only what could have happened happens.
everything in life happens for a reason. nothing is random or by chance, illnesses, injuries, love, and even moments of pure foolishness all happen to test the limits of our souls.
without these small trials, life would be like a newly paved road, smooth and straight, but it would lead nowhere, monotonous, comfortable, and safe yet dull and meaningless.
the people you know will influence your life, and the experiences of both falls and victories will shape who you become.
you can still learn something from bad experiences.
perhaps these could even be the most important moments in our lives.
thank them for showing you the importance of forgiveness, trust, and being more careful with the person you open your heart to, if someone hurts you, betrays you, or breaks your heart.
to fear unity is to fear flowing into another direction.
it manifests itself through symptoms such as irresponsibility, denial of aging, fear of commitment, and rebellion. those afflicted by it live inside a kind of bubble where they try not to see the passage of time.
in reality, we are dealing with individuals who have deep-seated insecurities and struggle to adapt to their personal or social environment. their mental state is one of constant dissatisfaction, and they are like a trapped child in the body of an adult, filled with fear of the future and loneliness.
to love, one must have the courage to flow into another direction, a courage kafka did not possess.
collaborating with others inevitably allows you to observe yourself.
if our social circle trusts us, our self-confidence strengthens and we draw courage from this to accomplish things beyond our means. naturally, in a hostile environment, the exact opposite occurs.
this effect on our self-confidence is called the 'pygmalion effect'.
kafka speaks of others as an opportunity to observe ourselves because they are mirrors that tell us how we look at the world. as shakespeare said, "if it appears so to you, then it is so.”
eternal youth is impossible, even if there were no other obstacles, introspection makes eternal youth unattainable.
thought, when it cannot directly lead to action, sometimes forms a filter between us and reality. this is a thick filter through which we can see ill intentions and events before they happen.
in this sense, there is nothing that ages us more than the mental focus that underlies thoughts like the following:
the thought that others might deceive us, want to trip us up, or not give us the value we deserve.
negative predictions about events that have not yet occurred.
exaggerated expectations about what life - and the living - owe us.
when burdened with excessive responsibility, you can destroy yourself with all that responsibility.
as kafka pointed out, aiming for a challenge beyond our capabilities can crush us. however, setting too low a goal can also disarm us because we need challenges to expand and become aware of our limits.
the wise does not learn great things, all greatness is already in this. those who pin hopes on the trivial earn little. for those who find everything easy, everything becomes hard. thus, the wise think there is difficulty in everything, and nothing becomes difficult.
criminals always say this.
this passage from kafka teaches us three things about feeling guilty:
everyone's strictest priest, the harshest punisher is always themselves.
judging others is another way of punishing ourselves because almost all judgments fill us with negative emotions, such as envy or desire for revenge.
the only way to erase all the guilt we feel about the past is to use all our energy in making the most of today.
in the end of the novel "the trial":
i am not guilty. how can a person be guilty just by being human?
that's exactly how criminals talk.
the perspective of art and life is even different in the same artist.
change is a necessary requirement in all areas of life.
eduard punset says that what matters is to change and to do this in the face of the challenges that arise.
even the structure of matter changes from solid to liquid or from liquid to gas, how can you not change your mind? without changing our minds, we cannot survive crises! they say, 'to correct is wise,' but they do the opposite, and despite scientists showing that some primates' brains are a bit too complex to correct, humans, even if they can do it, hate having to.
if you ask a group of people, "what is the most challenging thing in your life?" undoubtedly, a vast majority would answer, "changing my mind. letting go of the person i am.”
people think changing one's mind is flightiness. on the contrary, it is a sign of courage and loyalty. the brain hates to change its habits because it is engaged in a battle for survival.
he who seeks cannot find, but he who does not seek is found.
alex rovira once said that good luck is not fate, it's behavior.
the fruits of our labor do not come by chance; they come as a result of our effort.
synchronicities are not mere coincidences; rather, they always contain deep messages that we may not always understand.
a person's sorrowful disposition often stems from the embarrassment of the petrified child within.
in return, the wounded child manifests in our lives when we are overly submissive and obedient, unable to free ourselves from a rule we find absurd, and are forced to comply with it only out of fear of retaliation.
he who does not answer questions will pass the exam.
‘sometimes silence is also an answer.’ - zen
‘don't call it a cane. if you do, you affirm it. don't deny that it's a cane. if you do, you reject it. without affirming or denying, only then can you speak.’ - zen master
therefore, koans are used to understand by removing the mind's boundaries and purifying from cliches, prejudices, and dogmas that prevent us from seeing the truth.
the meaning of life will stop one day.
my father used to say: life is incredibly short. looking back, life seems so terrifying to me that, for example, a young man might decide to ride a horse to a neighboring village without ever considering that a happy and normal life could end one day, without taking accidents into account.
kafka invites us to embrace "carpe diem" here. that is, he means to say, "enjoy the moment, don't waste it poorly." "don't put off today's work for tomorrow" is said for happiness.
the life we've borrowed has the possibility of ending, and today is a treasure that we cannot ruin in anticipation of future days that might never come. therefore, we should place all our bets on today.
beyond a certain point, there is no return. this point has to be reached.
existence is a journey like a traveler leaving behind all the good and bad moments; it has only one meaning, and it is always forward.
no matter how much we try to understand the paths we chose back then in our minds, we cannot return to the past. what we've done well will be our legacy.
the only thing we have is the path of life, and fortunately, it is a path with no return because it forces us to make brave decisions.
‘you only come to this world once, and if you do it right, once is enough.’ - mae west
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