Wie eine Ratte meine Weltsicht ver├Ąndert hat

Dies ist ein Brief, den ich einer Freundin nach dem Besuch der (wirklich tollen) Faust-Ausstellung in der Kunsthalle M├╝nchen 2018 geschrieben habe. Vorgeschichte: sie hatte hochaufl├Âsende Fotos von Saturn und Jupiter gesehen, und sie hatte gefragt “Unglaublich sch├Ân! Wer hat die gemacht?”

Liebe Julia,

wer das fotografiert hat, ist die falsche Frage, weil kein Mensch soweit reisen k├Ânnte. Aus der Sicht des Universums befinden sich Jupiter und Saturn keinesfalls “direkt vor unserer Haust├╝r”, sondern sie sind praktisch in der Mitte unseres Wohnzimmers lokalisiert. Jupiter ist (nur!) 800 Millionen Kilometer entfernt, und Saturn (der mit den Ringen) ist nur wenig weiter weg, n├Ąmlich 1,5 Milliarden Kilometer. Ein Raumschiff (das ├╝brigens mit mindestens elfeinhalb Kilometern pro Sekunde fliegen mu├č, f├╝nfzehn mal so schnell wie eine Gewehrkugel) braucht Jahre bis zu diesen Riesenplaneten, und hat keine M├Âglichkeit, einen Menschen zu transportieren. Deshalb sind diese Fotos von automatischen Raumfahrzeugen aus gemacht worden, die wir (die Menschen) seit den Siebziger Jahren dort hinaus geschickt haben. Wie solch ein Ding aussieht, siehst Du im Anhang.

Immer wieder habe ich von Tieren gelernt. Beispielsweise haben mir Katzen gezeigt, wie man es dauerhaft verhindert, jemals R├╝ckenschmerzen zu bekommen, unter denen ja fast alle Menschen leiden. Und eine Ratte hat mir endg├╝ltig klargemacht, warum wir solchen Aufwand betreiben, das Weltall zu erforschen. Und, warum wir solchen Aufwand betreiben m├╝ssen:

Mitte der Achtziger hatte meine Freundin Christine f├╝r einige Zeit eine Laborratte, die ihr unsere Vermieterin aufschwatzte, welche eine professionelle Rattenfarm in Brunnthal (bei M├╝nchen) betrieb; eine junge Ratte war aus dem K├Ąfig gesprungen, und h├Ątte deshalb get├Âtet werden sollen, weil diese f├╝r medizinische Zwecke gez├╝chteten Tiere absolut steril gehalten werden. Ich hatte monatelang Gelegenheit, dieses Tier zu studieren, was ├╝berraschend unterhaltsam und lehrreich war. Es gab einige sehr, sehr witzige Momente, etwa, als wir entdeckten, da├č sie sich unter der K├╝chensp├╝le in einem toten Winkel einen riesigen “Vorrat” an “n├╝tzlichen” Sachen angelegt hatte; alles, was aus Rattensicht f├╝r Notzeiten h├Ątte brauchbar sein k├Ânnen, wie gestohlene Toastbrot-Scheiben, Geschirrt├╝cher, verschiedenste Gegenst├Ąnde, die wir schon vermi├čt, aber einfach nicht mehr gefunden hatten, und sogar eine Socke, die sie im Badezimmer stibitzt hatte. Was mich aber nachdr├╝cklich beeindruckte, war ihr unb├Ąndiger Welterforschungsdrang. Jeden, auch den allerkleinsten und unbedeutendsten Winkel in der Wohnung erforschte sie systematisch; mit einem ganz offensichtlich in ihrem Genom fest eingebrannten Plan, alles, aber auch wirklich alles, was an Weltwissen zu erwerben ihr m├Âglich war, in sich aufzunehmen. Sie ging dabei mit regelrechter Akribie zu Werke; au├čerdem mit ├Ąu├čerster Vorsicht, da man ja nie wissen kann, wo welche Gefahren lauern.

W├Ąhrend der Beobachtung dieser “Rattenabenteuer” ├╝berkam mich die tiefe Erkenntnis, da├č wir Menschen uns viel weniger von den Tieren unterscheiden, als wir uns immer einbilden. Okay, wir unterscheiden uns mittlerweile darin, da├č wir unsere uns angestammten Urtriebe immer mehr (mit “zivilisatorischen Mitteln”) unterdr├╝cken, und somit (bei Lichte besehen) immer mehr degenerieren. Beispiele hatte ich Dir schon erw├Ąhnt, wie etwa die groteske ├ťberbewertung der “Hygiene” (bis hin zu dem ‘modernen’ Wahn der Frauen, ihren Intimbereich so zu verunstalten, da├č eine Plastikpuppe erotischer erscheint). In diesen mich in meiner humanen Weltsicht pr├Ągenden Achtzigern hatte ich einige “einschl├Ągige” und elementare, und, wenn man sie ‘voreingenommen’ betrachtet, auch sehr peinliche Schl├╝sselmomente, von denen ich Dir gelegentlich berichten werde…

Aber diese Ratte hat mir gezeigt, da├č in Bezug auf Grundlagenforschung immer gern gestellte Fragen, wie beispielsweise, warum die Menschheit Milliarden Dollar f├╝r die Erforschung des Universums “verschwendet”, anstatt damit die armen verhungernden Menschen in der dritten Welt zu f├╝ttern, vollkommen irrelevant, ja geradezu idiotisch sind:

Wir sind nichts als eine spezielle Rattenart, die ihrem Urtrieb folgt; wie die ersten aus Afrika auswandernden Vorfahren von Christopher Columbus wollen wir wissen und erforschen, “was die Welt im Innersten zusammenh├Ąlt“.

Und damit schlie├čt sich der Kreis: Wir sind wieder bei Goethes Faust angelangt. Deshalb hast Du mich so begeistert durch diese Ausstellung gehen sehen. Und sicher verstehst Du durch solche Erlebnisse mich (und meine merkw├╝rdige, aber starke tierische Komponente) nach und nach immer besser…

Jupiter

A nomad threw a thousand books in the trash can

At the end of 2014, I decided to live a ‘minimalist’ life in the future. I was in my late fifties at the time. This decision had no ‘catastrophic’ reasons (such as traumatic private experiences, or whatever), but this idea had grown over decades, culminating then at the time of a business change and a related move to a completely different area of Germany (namely to Bavaria) in this change of my lifestyle. I know and love the Bavarian culture and the mentality of this people there for decades, and believe that I will spend the rest of my (so far extremely interesting) life there. Of course I don’t really know that. Who knows what else will happen in life? Maybe I’ll live in NYC later, which I love very much now? Or even in China (I’ve got really good friends there)? Or in Italy (for example in Venice, which is practically my second homeland)? Or wherever! I am, as they say, an ‘outlawed’ man. In fact, I’m even a ‘nomad’, as my last (the second) great love in life has made clear to me. She, an absolutely wonderful woman by the way, which for truly tragic reasons I lost forever after only a quarter of a year, is just like me a real nomad (as she calls herself in her blog); actually in the true sense of the word. It’s useless here to talk about this woman; she is (like me) a writer, and I adore her very, very much.
If you want to live ‘minimalist’ in the age of smartphones (and even Kindle), you don’t need ‘physical’ books anymore. “Fie”, say all older contemporaries. What about the ‘haptic’ experience! What about the feeling of turning over ‘real’ pages of paper and feeling the paper at the tips of your fingers? What about the wonderful smell of this paper? Especially the paper from older books that has spent a few decades in antiquarian bookshops? That was one of the smells that accompanied my childhood. What about this irreplaceable experience? Electronic media can never replace this! No way!
Life, and in this case I mean life with books in particular (and what would it be worth without them?) may only be comparable with a very long journey, which can be done either on the back of a horse or in a brand new luxury car. The smell of the horse, the feeling of the wind, the rain, the air, the elemental movement; the feeling of being part of the sphere of this unique planet; the basic feeling of life, so to speak, is of course totally lost if you choose to ride in a car. But: you also win something: in my new BMW, for example, you feel warm and secure when it’s very cold outside; and when it’s extremely hot outside, you don’t like to get out. And, if a wonderful woman is sitting next to you then you can touch her. And you can kiss her. You can feel, smell and taste her. Whenever you want. She can touch your nose with her intimate smell, so that you almost lose your senses, and immediately have to stop at the next parking lot. Then you can forget the best old book shop for a while!
Well, I thought I could give my innumerable books (there were a lot more than a thousand) to somebody, or maybe a second-hand bookshop. I didn’t want to earn any money with it (although some of them was very nice old books). I would have given these books to anyone who picked them up, and I tried it for many weeks; with newspaper ads, and via eBay. But not a single person was interested. One person contacted me and offered to “dispose of my books”. I had to pay a few hundred Euros to get this company to dump my books. Isn’t that a shame?
Later I got used to the electronic media; and now I constantly have a lot of books in my smartphone with me. This is really comfortable. And when I’m sitting alone in a restaurant, no gust of wind can turn the pages when I read. On one occasion I even had a very funny experience: I read in a very old-fashioned paper book and watched myself as I “clicked” a strange word for a long time to find out its meaning. It took me seconds to realize that there is no link from a paper book to the global world.
The smell of an antique bookstore will forever be the best thing a book lover can smell. Okay, I have to correct myself: the second best! The smell of a woman who loves this book lover is of course infinitely much better !!
Do you know what I mean?
Wolf.

A few words about love

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This is a letter I wrote to a woman named Lola after she asked me to describe in detail what love is. And by the way: I was very much in love with this woman.
[Update: I’ve added some additions and comments to the original letter for a better understanding]

Dear Lola,

now I want to tell you something about the real “Great Love”; not about the love between siblings, parents and their children, or the love between very, very good friends (like between you and John).

Love is an animal thing (I mentioned it several times). It’s about chemistry (especially smell), and about “feeling” in general (but especially the feeling that is caused by very close contact between the two humans); and, of course, sex (that’s the main thing, even if that’s always publicly denied). All other matters associated with love (e.g. appearance, or social rank) are insignificant and serve only as exclusionary criteria.
[Before, I told Lola that we humans are divided into two parts: we consist of the human part with its intellect and its ratio, and an animal part that is not ‘subordinated’ to the mind. This ‘animal’ is responsible for the elemental feelings.]

So it is totally clear that the animal alone decides whether it loves another person. A human with his mind has not the slightest influence on this decision, because he can’t directly communicate with this animal; it acts completely independently. The only influence a person can have on the animal is to lock it in a dark, narrow cage (you know that from your previous life).

In the other direction (from the animal to the human) however, there is a very strong communication. If, for example, the animal finds something interesting (or dangerous, etc.), it informs the human immediately. And if the animal falls in love, then there is an extremely violent and incredibly strong communication (but, as I said, only one-way).

Love can not be forced. No chance, that can never work. The animal decides completely alone if and whom it loves. That’s why it’s totally nonsensical to say “I want to learn to love this person more” if that person is not in your immediate vicinity. It doesn’t work because animals have to smell and to feel directly to make such decisions.

If the animal has fallen in love, as mentioned above, the intellect can’t do anything about it. It’s useless to say “Hey you beast, what did you do, this is a poor boy, and I’d rather have a rich guy!”. This woman could use this boy’s social status as an ‘exclusion criterion’, and decide to marry an attractive millionaire. But never she will be really happy and she will always dream of this mythical ‘Great Love’. Until the end (or until she finds the real Love, which is very, very rare).

If you’re not sure, you can try out if a person is “the right one”. The method is quite simple: you have to make sex with this person as often as possible. That doesn’t sound really romantic, but it’s the only reliable way. The animal way. After some time, there will be one of these five results:

(1) It’s not really good. More and more things are bothering me and it is getting boring. He’s a really good boy, but that doesn’t work. Maybe we will stay very good friends.

(2) This man is wonderful, he makes me laugh and cry, it never gets boring with him; he is a really great person. But: the sex is a bit difficult and not really great. Alright, but I already had better lovers. In the long run, that’s probably not the ‘Great Love’.

(3) The sex with him is and remains great. He makes me so horny, like no other man before. But never could I spend more than a few days with him; many things bother me about him. Thinking of having sex with him, makes me wet, but if I think of that person, I tend to stay cool. I could use him as the best “sex toy”, but that’s definitely not ‘Love’.

(4) This man is wonderful, and the sex with him is great. It could turn into a love very quickly. But if the animal is not really interested in him, then even in these favorable circumstances it won’t work in the long run.

(5) The animal has fallen in love with him. There’s no way against it (except the dark, tight cage).

However, once the animal has made its decision, it is love. But this love can and must be ‘maintained’. Because animals are impatient, and you have to play around with them again and again, and keep them in a good mood, otherwise they gradually lose interest.

How to handle this (not really easy) task, I tell you at a later date.

I love you.
Your Wolf.