My first travels

The first time travelling was to Paris on a Gazelle bike, with my brother Willem on a Raleigh. Father drove us by car to Rozendaal near the Dutch-Belgium border where he said goodbye, after telling me to listen to my older brother who had the money. But he did more. He also told us not to return home, to our village in North-Holland, in case the war would start again, but to bike through France into Spain where the Americans had built their final European stronghold. Why did my father make this demand? The answer: 1950. The Korean war had begun.


Europe, the 60s and 70s

The journey of 1963 was for me an eye-opener to Europe’s recent history, a stimulant for a process of exploration by study, conferences and travels. To observe how Europeans turn a blind eye to their past in its double role of Prometheus and Hermes, is both painful and fateful. They seem to prefer to stand with one foot in the Mosaic legacy and with the other foot on the moon, instead of in the common heritage of Prometheus and Hermes. Prometheus without Hermes is dangerous, but so are Narcissus or Dionysus.


Old Russia – February ’96

Mensen kussen een icoon onder een glasplaat; een priester zingt. De verhalen van de monnik uit het klooster Het Heilige Dormition in Pskov-Pechersky, 50 km ten westen van Pskov en 340 km van Petersburg, zijn waarschijnlijk gemeengoed in Rusland. Op mijn vraag naar de periode onder het Sovjet regime, antwoordt hij dat het de kerk niet uitmaakt wie er aan de macht is, om te eindigen met de opmerking dat een monarchie de beste staatsvorm is, naar analogie van de monarch Christus.


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