An exercise in expression


Cue ⇒ Introduction mode

What are the modes one can resort to when faced with the challenges of life? Here is a possible scenario:

Asher Lev

Cue ⇒ Artistic / Literary mode

“Art is whether or not there is a scream in him wanting to get out in a special way.”

― Chaim Potok, My Name Is Asher Lev

Cue ⇒ Law case mode

Slightly balding, middle-aged man
The Accused:
Fate, God and Randomness
It’s unfair
(hire some extras)
– Father(s). (Its place taken instead by various role models; from comic book heroes to musicians, movie stars and writers.)
– Judge & jury, shining in absence (you’re on your own).
Case remains open, free will applies.

Cue ⇒ Biblical mode

Christoph Waltz in The Zero Theorem, Terry Gilliam's film based on Ecclesiastes

Christoph Waltz in The Zero Theorem, Terry Gilliam’s film based on Ecclesiastes

Yes, I experienced a great deal of wisdom and knowledge; yet when I applied myself to understanding wisdom and knowledge, as well as stupidity and folly, I came to see that this too was merely feeding on wind. For in much wisdom is much grief; the more knowledge, the more suffering.

– from Ecclesiastes

Cue ⇒ Graphic novel mode

Illustration by Asaf Hanuka for Waltz with Bashir

Illustration by Asaf Hanuka for Waltz with Bashir

Take an insane amount of time to write and draw a story that no one will ever “read”.


Cue ⇒ Scientific mode

Disruptions in life and work
(Possible) cause(s):
Invisible trauma (nature/nurture?), human (r)evolution, migration, complexity of society/information overload, wear of time
First rule of physics applies:

A body at rest tends to stay at rest, and a body in motion tends to stay in motion, unless acted on by a net external force.

What is the external force? What caused the disruption? Address it.

Needy Man

Needy Man

Cue ⇒ Psychoanalytic mode

Short attention span, idly staring at screens
Spoiled brat, hypochondria
Methods of approach:
Let’s talk about your parents (find them first).
Read, talk, listen to other stories and to music (= the language of the soul).

1998, Photo by Mario Z.

1998, Photo by Mario Z.

Cue ⇒ Ego mode

– Author of 21 books, including the trilogy “I”
– Professor of the University of Life
– Unlocked the Grand Mystery of the Universe


als ik uitga ben ik een fotograaf
en ik ben schrijver als ik vrienden bezoek
op het ogenblik zit ik heel even zonder werk
maar binnenkort begin ik aan m’n eerste boek
in de spiegel neem ik soms alvast de pose aan
voor de foto op de achterkant
dromen zijn een raadsel en het gaat als volgt:
het smelt in je hoofd en niet in je hand

– Spinvis, Smalfilm

Magritte, Not to be reproduced

Magritte, Not to be reproduced

Cue ⇒ Surreal mode

Who am I, really?

I am you, and you are me.

Things are not what they seem.

Perception is relative.

It’s all a matter of perspective.

Laurence Olivier as Hamlet

Laurence Olivier as Hamlet

Cue ⇒ Existential mode



Or is it just me, frustrated at my own death?

Cue ⇒ Eastern Wisdom mode

Thoughts that arise are just that, thoughts. It’s all ego. See your (true, inner) self as part of a greater force.



Pursue knowledge, daily gain
Pursue Tao, daily loss

Loss and more loss
Until one reaches unattached action
With unattached action, there is nothing one cannot do

Take the world by constantly applying non-interference
The one who interferes is not qualified to take the world

– Chapter 38, Tao Te Ching