Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does. Everything has been figured out, except how to live. One always dies too soon or too late. And yet, life is there, finished. The line is drawn, and it must all be added up. You are nothing other than your life. There is only one day left, always starting over. It is given to us at dawn and taken away from us at dusk. We do not know what we want and yet we are responsible for what we are, that is the fact. When you live alone you no longer know what it is to tell a story: the plausible disappears at the same time as the friends. You let events flow by too.Suddenly you see people appear who speak and then go away; you plunge into stories of which you can't make head or tail. You'd make a terrible witness. It is true that people who live in society have learned how to see themselves in mirrors as they appear to their friends. Luckily, I only have a few...

Dr Shaw is a lecturer in Further Education at Edge Hill University, Ormskirk. She also offers philosophy courses at the School of Continuing Education, Lifelong learning, at the University of Liverpool. In 2015, she has completed her Doctorate in philosophy with a focus on existentialism, the equilibrium doctrine and narrative. She has worked as a teacher of English and Comparative literature and Philosophy at The American University in Cairo, Egypt where she also obtained her BA (Hons). Dr Shaw has an MA in Philosophy and Literature from the University of East Anglia where she also taught on a number of humanities subjects. Whilst working in North Wales in Further education, she gained a PGCE aimed at teaching in FE and HE sectors. Dr Shaw moved to Liverpool in 2010 where she now resides.

Interests: Existentialism, Narrative, Comparative Literature, Feminist Thought, Public Speaking, Arab Existentialism, Philosophy of Education, Art, Music, Film and Theatre, Greek Mythology, Existential counsellor and psychotherapist.


Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Borders of the mind

Dear Public This is a note addressed to you specifically to tell you about an idea that has always been there and yet unnoticed, that is the idea of the borders of the mind. We live by rules, norms and traditions that were passed down to us from past generations. It is likely that we never question them till we die. Those who stop and question these borders may or may not survive the attacks of the others. It is unfortunate that we have so much power on each other to alter if not cease someone else's ideas. The borders I am referring to are those that hinder our progress. They are borders that are man-made. Who is it to say that one one group of people or better or worthy than another? Who is it to say that we are the "chosen ones"? And if so, chosen by who? God? Well, God "supposedly" created us equal...or has he?! Why do we say this faith is the "right" or "wrong" faith? Isn't it about time to cross the border of the mind towards a universal way of thinking? The borders of the mind force us to stay where we are wanting to believe so much that the state that we are on is true, correct, righteous and real. This feeling is chattered with the realization that one needs to leave the past behind and look forward to the future with its new challenges and opportunities. Through human history we can see that we were once all the same, all together and nothing else mattered. So what has changed I wonder?! Image: Muslim brotherhood demonstration in Cairo's streets, August 2013

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