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Martin Heidegger is the greatest philosopher of the twentieth-century. Now there are plenty of people who would laugh out loud at that statement, among them many academic philosophers. To them Heidegger is merely a double-talking mystifier who philosophizes in a meaningless, incoherent language of his own making. In other words, a philosophical charlatan of the first degree.

There is one pronouncement of Heidegger’s particularly that these scoffers will howl in laughter at and which to them demonstrates the sheer and utter nonsense they believe to be Heidegger’s raison d’être. And that is: “The Nothing nothings.

On first hearing this phrase…

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Photo by Brian Yurasits on Unsplash

Fruitless expressions
the source of emanation.

Nothing being everything … a nearly vegan diet
and no driving or flying … at the very least.

There nearly always is some 1 to whom everything is happening.

A radical transformation

The Infinite is not waiting for us … it is difficult to abstract suffering
Ah … the state of dreaming … dreaming the dreaming dream of dreams

loop DA loop!

The scenery evaporates and the characters leave the stage … nothing
being everything being nothing … once upon again.

I suppose every poet finds it with economic gifts of the…

Freewriting as spiritual practice

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Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Write. Don’t think. — Henry Miller

Everybody knew I wanted to be a writer.

So for Christmas 1985 I got a lot of pens and notebooks and about a half-a-dozen guidebooks on writing. I can’t remember any of those books today except for one, Becoming A Writer, by Dorothea Brande.

That same slim copy, published originally in 1934, is on my desk as I write this. I have used Dorothea’s primary exercise of freewriting almost everyday since I first opened the book thirty-five years ago.

However it has only been in the last couple of years…

There are three reasons why I write: money ... and I forgot the other two.

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Last week I received a payment of $36.37 for stories that I had written for Medium. I almost cried. Seriously.

I suppose it seems such a paltry amount to most people. But I was ready to break out the champagne and it was only 7am.

I was getting paid to write … again. You see thirty ago I received my first ever payment for my writing and it was a lot of money … but I’ll tell you about that in a bit.

I think…

Let no man or woman be your master.

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Photo by Максим Степаненко on Unsplash

We might think of the philosophy of anarchism as a development of modern Western political theory; however, the earliest expression of anarchist thought can be found in China over two-thousand years ago in a Taoist text called the Tao Te Ching, written — presumed but never definitely proven — by Lao Tzu.

Lao Tzu was born in 604 BCE , China was still a feudal society but was in the midst of a long project to develop and expand its laws and government. It was Confucius, also alive at this time, who…

I came to realize clearly that mind is no other than mountains, rivers, and the great wide earth, the sun and the moon and the stars — Dogen

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Photo by Sayan Nath on Unsplash

For the vast majority of the philosophies and religions of Asia — particularly Taoism, Buddhism, and Advaita Vedanta — the concept of nonduality is at their very core. There may be some differences of interpretation and/or emphasis, but on the fundamental understanding of what is meant by nondualism, they are in agreement: that our common dualistic understanding and experience of the world is ultimately unsatisfactory, and is dominated by pain and suffering…

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Photo by David Matos on Unsplash

The Vanishing, a Dutch horror film released in 1988, tells the story of a young Dutch couple holidaying in France. At a rest stop, she, for no apparent reason, disappears into thin air. He spends years, almost driven to madness, trying to find her. He cannot rest or let it go until he knows what happened to her. He would give anything to know. Her killer gives him the opportunity to find out. *Spoiler Alert* After being drugged, he wakes in a wooden box. He has been buried alive. He now knows what happened to her.

The final scene of…

It sounds too good to be true, but honestly it’s a lot more doable than you might imagine …

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Image by Michelle Maria

In 2003, I decided to go to Thailand for two months. I had been studying philosophy at university for the last 8 years and I had just broken up with my partner of 10 years. I wasn’t in the greatest shape emotionally and I thought a trip to Thailand might get me out of a serious case of the blahs. I didn’t have much cash and, after paying for the airfare, I only had around two-thousand dollars left. …

Matt Mackane

I write about culture, philosophy, books, poetry, art, history, cities, travel, & Southeast Asia.

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