Eros Agape Philia

Recently I got a gift in a clothing shop: three white soaps in the form of a heart, nicely packed in a red cardboard box with three words in white color printed on it: Eros Agape Philia. I remembered the Greeks and a quick look into Wikipedia affirmed my assumption that those three words are defining different variations of love. See: Greek words for love. Eros means “love, mostly of the sexual passion”. Agape in Greek philosophy is “love: esp. charity; the love of God for man and of man for God”. Philia would be “affectionate regard, friendship”. There is also a fourth kind of love:...
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Traditions versus Ethics

Often we follow tradition without thinking about it. If anyone asked us, why we are doing a certain thing, we would simply answer: »Because it’s tradition.« In general it is alright to follow traditions, if they are still functional in the present. It would be totally dis-functional to drive in coaches pulled by horses these days for instance. It would represent a hurdle in traffic. In addition to that, by taking up a lot of precious time it would deprive us of hours of sleep or some other spare-time activity, which makes it possible for us to fall asleep in the evening. Naturally today we...
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Vanishing Mandalas

I am sure you have come across the Tibetan Buddhist tradition called Sand Mandala. Buddhist monks spend several weeks to build mandalas from colored sand. Usually a team of monks work on the same mandala, for the picture entails great detail. And when they are finished, they sweep their work away. The sand is collected in a jar which is then wrapped in silk and transported to a river. This symbolizes the ephemerality of life and the world. I am also positive that you will share with me the feeling, when right after having vacuum-cleaned and wiped the floor in the whole flat you notice a brand new...
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The Growing Neck of the Giraffe

A story of natural selection for your kids. Here is a story about how the giraffe’s neck grew so long. A long long time ago giraffes had short necks. They could only reach bushes and the lower branches of trees. They ate those leaves on near branches and lived like that for centuries. They kept looking at the higher branches, but they could not get hold of them. It was all fine until one day there were too many giraffes grazing on too few leaves. They started to stretch their necks to higher branches, but they could not grab them. The famine grew more and more severe. Until a miracle happened. There...
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