1. Journal 1975
This file is not about the crisis, but is in fact all of my -
remaining - journal of 1975, which is the first year that I spent in
Norway, in Dovre. There must have been considerably more, notably from
February and March of 1975, but I haven't seen it for decades, and
probably lost it long ago.
What I have is from November 11 to November 20, 1975, and consists of 8
1/2 handwritten pages. The main reason to reproduce it is that it is
mostly about mostly literary books I read or was reading, and
apart of that about my daily work, that was then mostly as a farmhand.
There is a lot more I could say about Dovre and Norway, but all I say
here is that my Norwegian girlfriend and I arrived in Dovre on January
3 or 4; lived in a primitive wooden house built in 1795 all year,
except in the summer, when we lived with ca. 18 cows rather high up in
the mountains, milking the cows; and that these pages were written in a
few weeks that I lived alone, because my girlfriend was in Lillehammer,
where she received some education for the job she had accepted the next
year as a journalist for a local
paper in Lom, where we moved to
in the beginning of January 1976.
But these pages are from November 1975, and I reproduce all I
have. They were written in English, because that was the usual language
my girlfriend and I used, though by that time we also both spoke good
Dutch and good Norwegian.
We were both 25.
that follows between the two lines was written in 1975, and has been
copied completely and without changes except for the following:
- the writers' names are in bold
- titles (also when partial) are in italics
- some paragraphs - i.e. empty lines - have been added
- the links are all added today
- the notes are all added today
Otherwise, it is all as was, except that it originally was handwritten.
2 hrs maths ]
2 hrs Norwegian ] 5=11
2 hrs typing ]
Clean-up : - 9.30
Things to be done:
Type out Notes &
11.XI. (Tuesday): Mainly wasted time on reading papers. 
Also bought a lot of shoppings, and made a deal with Hans about
woodcuttting. I help him, cut his wood, he helps me cut mine.
Friday-evening is the first Sveitser-duty. 
Am reading: Mann,
Zauberberg  (not bad, but too wordy (the
proportion words : effects is too high)); Gibbon, Decline
and Fall (good, but too many facts - one drowns in the amount
of murdered emperors, for example); Eckermann,
(very good, but too much attention is paid to literature for my taste -
amd what is excellent about Goethe one rather senses than reads, his
open mindedness, enormous comprehension & empathy and his
immorality.  And he was very untypically German
in putting, justifiedly, so much stress on practical experience. Koestler,
of Creation (very good, though my theories are better, although
along the same lines ); Koestler, Ghost
in the Machine (where his thinness of theory is shown in
Appendix I); Reich,
of America (unexpectedly good, except for R's incomprehensible
naivity re American youth, which leads to an almost ridiculous
idealization & optimism).
Otherwise not doing much, except yoga. Also, I've been (& am)
changing the last months - Buddhist philosophy starts to bear
experiential fruits. Such changes are both difficult to date & to
discuss, but one can try:
- 67 : (school-leave): increase of independence
- 69-70 : (Carolien & Sleep-In): increase of trust in capacities
relevance - important: one wonders how many people had the
possible experience of experiencing themselves as relevant to
themselves & others, unmediated by institutional roles).
- 70-72 : (Dijkstra): increase of philosophy, shift from Marxism to
of positivism with stress on language
- 72-74 : shift from language-based philosophy to experience-based
- 75 : increase of awareness.
This is not very revealing, nor is the definition of "change" = "shift
vectors of thought & emotion". 
12.XI. (Wednesday): Have been cleaning up, reading
some, typing a little. Evening books returned to Lee [2x G. Snyder, Hemingway,
Man & Hamsun,
Grode] who wasn't there. Picked up Ehrlich
from Sandy, and spoke a little to Ingebjorg, who said she found it
difficult to talk to me because of abstractedness.
13.XI. (Thursday): Chopped a little wood but got sick
with axe - use good tools or no tools. Tomorrow I'll buy one. 
Did some Norwegian - the book is stupid, and, I think, put
together in a hurry, for the money. Mistakes such as say at the
beginning of a list of irregular words that it best can be learned at second
reading, and use those words two pages later in translation exercises,
and the exercises themselves, which are as phantasy-less as possible.
Also did some maths [I think I'll try to get & do all Lang's
books] and typed some [Notes on Psychology]. Went to the Bj's
fjos in the evening, to see what needs to be done. 
14.XI. (Friday): Some reading & typing; to the
Bj's to see about the sheep - I forgot that Hans gave me 3 reindeer
skins yesterday. I looked into the dictionary and found that tanning is
done with oakbark, and since A. has oakbark as an experimental health
& herb cure against cystitis I put together a little experiment in
natural tanning: two pieces of skin in a pot with hot/warm water and
some oakbark. I'll wait for three days and then see how one of them is
doing.  [Something like tanning is
useful, since the skins are quite hard - bendable but stiff, not
flexible]. Ate with them.  A. phoned
& comes tomorrow. The job is OK but she has to pay rent (with an
amateur-philosopher & towns-character, or something) which she does
not want to protest about. I can't see why not - double rent = double
rent, and it is not necessary.
Went to the shop, bought axe (Saeterpilen) and returned old axe to
Aunsmoe. Played chess with Gunnar, Leif-Gunnar & Olaf, and won. L-G
is not so good in solving match-problems. 
15.XI. (Saturday): Agnethe came at 6, while I was
working in the barn. She had a fast hike (but I don't like her hiking -
the only remotely safe country for females to hitchhike is England, and
even there you'll better be a weightlifter, karate-expert and bearer of
a gas-gun. Norwegians are too fucked up & also dangerous drivers). 
Before that I cleaned up the dishes & the floor, frightened the
cats with the vacuumcleaner (which otherwise is not much use), chopped
wood & did the barn. The barn takes about an hour (except for
bringing hay to the sheep in the meadow). It's easy & can be done
in half the time.
The job is OK. 
16.XI. (Sunday): It was cold in the night.  A. had not brought her down, so I had to sleep
in the sleeping-bag, with the other sleeping-bag & a blanket on
top. I kept waking up. So I was sleepy all day. A. took the train of
2.25 which we only made by running fast & long.
It started to snow yesterday [Friday-evening, in fact] and now it is
winter. Much of the landscape qualifies for posters advertising
winter-holidays. (Part of that is the newness - it is striking how different
everything appears (same when the snow disappeared): contrasts
completely disappear, or arise from nowhere & all sounds get
People from the VU, says the NRC, have calculated that 10x more food
can be produced now, without much difficulty. And Addeke Boersma
(director FAO) says that much undernourishment is due to lack of money
- people can't pay the foodprices. When does someone influential
finally propose to guarantee everyone a basic income? 
Went to bed early (21.00).
17.XI. (Monday): Typed notes, something on Notes
on Psychology and Theses in Social Philosophy, excerpted
some more Weyl
(excellent) , and did some Norwegian &
maths. A. bought Heller's
Happened and Lessing's
Five. Most of my time goes to Heller. It is excellent.
18.XI. (Tuesday): Tried to ski today for a few
minutes, later repaired ski. Did mathematics & started a piece
called Theses in Social Philosophy, in which I finally want to
lay down my ideas on society, after this did not work out
satisfactorily in the pieces on Marx & Anarchism. 
In the evening returned book (Kina, Japan og Korea) to the
library & met Lee & Joe, the other American. Spent the evening
talking with both at Joe's, in the motel. He would want, he thinks, to
rent Ingelsgaard if we leave, for he pays 220 kroner, it's small &
noisy. Otherwise, he appears not stupid, but nervous, and it is
somewhat irritating to talk with him because he likes his own ideas too
much & tends to take your point up as soon as he agrees with it by
talking louder than you do. He travelled a lot. 
Walking back, I saw a good part of the - complete - moon eclipse:
first time I saw it was when I came out & then it just started to
shine again. When I arrived up, the eclipse was just over. The eclipsed
moon was dark red-brown - a bit dusty-looking, and rather difficult to
see, also because most of the time there were thin clouds in front of
One can easily imagine it must have been an awe-inspiring phenomenon to
those who did not have an explanation for it. (I think Anaxagoras
was the first known to guess the right cause - he also inferred from it
that the earth was round (the shadow)).
19.XI. (Wednesday): I have a tendency to sleep too
long - either I wake up very slowly, or I wake up very late, or both.
I finished Heller - it is one of those books of
literature which are worth 20 scientific treatises. It must be the type
of writer, for Catch-22
is similar & so are Kesey's
books. What other writers? Tolstoy, Dostoyevski
maybe, though I didn't like him when I read them. That may well be
different now. 
The characteristic, incidentally, is social diagnosis by description,
and the criterions are, of course, that the diagnosis must be true or
sensible, and new. Most "psychological novels" diagnose, but they do it
explicitly & morally, not by description. Also - therefore - they
never are true or sensible or new or informative. 
In Germany I can't think of anyone. Canetti
maybe, but I only know pieces of him. Nietzsche
wrote philosophy. I think Böll
is not good enough. Handke
I don't know, except for Der Hausierer, which I don't like. Lichtenberg
didn't describe - he would certainly have qualified. Mann and Hesse
don't - moralists. Brecht
is too moral. Well, anyway, I can't think of anyone I know. (Musil,
may be, an Austrian. Well, maybe Dürrenmatt's
plays qualify.) 
In France - Stendhal,
(too personal). Céline.
plays. (Not all: not Oreste. But Huis Clos and Les
Séquestrés d'Altona.) Genet, at
least his play "De
Meiden" (in Dutch). There may be more. 
In England: Swift,
whom I don't know. Dickens,
if you throw out his happy endings & higher class saints, and there
are more. (Maybe Germans are not ironical enough - too heavy-handed. Multatuli, of
course, is the only Dutch one. Though to some extent a moralist.) But Heller probably is the best in diagnosing, Kesey in describing. Oddly enough, they both
only wrote two books and one play derived from their first book. 
I tried to ski - but I did the repair wrong (my shoe can't be put
straight on the ski). Also, I can't find the faintest indication which
is the right resp. left one.
I forgot someone in the above list: Dylan. (I
borrowed his complete texts till New Morning from Joe. Also Thoreau, Walden
+ Civil Disobedience.) To quote, from Dylan p. 240-241:
i talk t'people every day
for the rest of my life
involved in some
i will never chase a livin' soul
good an' evil are but
into the prison grasp
of my own self-love
that are trapped in scenes
i can't believe that i have
on what grounds are
t' hate anybody
an' when i do
an' I think
it will only be out of fear
that there is not
an' i'll know it
one thing anyplace
anywhere that makes
i know no answers an' no truth
sense. there are only tears
for absolutely no soul alive
an' there is only
i will listen t' no one
there are no
who tells me morals
an' i dream a kot
i have seen what i've loved
slip away an' vanish. i still
love what i've lost but t' run
an' try t' catch it'd
|_________________________| READ ON
The reproduction is
literal. The above series is not fragmented. 
20.XI. (Thursday): Went to the shop, bank, postoffice.
Received theory-lessons for driving license. They look OK. But cost 82
kr. Which is less than the 200 kr they would cost if I were to take
them in person & not in writing.  Typed on
the Theses & read some Bateson.
Put my logic & general philosophy papers in a folder. I need more
folders. I believe the cat doesn't like the snow much - she is in most
of the time. 
The above is the full text of my Journal for 1975. The notes and links
are new and are all made today. The main reason to reproduce it here is
that I read it yesterday, I liked what I read, and I thought some of
you may want to know what sort of literary reading I had done at 25.
It turns out that it is more than I thought, for in fact I mainly read
philosophy and logic and science, and hardly any of that is mentioned
in the above.
Besides, the above also is a record of my two years and more than seven
months of living in Norway, that I very unwisely left in 1977.
29, 2013: I made some small corrections and additions.
I do not know the precise meaning of this schema anymore, but it does
roughly correspond to my days' activities. I was mainly preparing for a
state's exam in VWO, that would give me entry to the university, but
although I had paid everything and had written an express letter in May
that I could not come because
I lived in Norway and that Agnethe and I had accepted a three-months
job to milk cows in the summer, and therefore wanted it postponed to
the autumn, which was quite possible, the Dutch chief of the state
examinations took the trouble to only answer my letter four weeks
later, and merely mentioned that if I would not arrive at the exams two
weeks prior to his letter, I would have failed.
I did not know then, but this was and probably still is the
Dutch general attitude. This amounts to the general thesis that We Are
All Equivalent, and Anybody Abnormal Gets Damned. (This is all both
complete hypocrisy and maintained by the majority of the Dutch.
Two of the things that the Dutch do not like at all are critics
and people who differ in assumptions from the average. Then again, it
also is typically Dutch to complain about everything - provided most
other Dutchmen complain about them too.)
 My girlfriend Agnethe and I read a lot of papers:
At least three Norwegian ones, plus the international edition of the
NRC-Handelsblad (that I stopped reading in 2010, because it had changed
to something awful). One reason to read a lot of papers was that
Agnethe wanted to be a journalist, and indeed became one the end of
 Hans was our next door - 150 meters
walking - neighbor, and the owner of a farm, and a farmer. He was a
very friendly and nice man, then in his fifties, also of considerable
intelligence, but with hardly any education. A sveitser is a helper on
 I read Dutch, English, German, French, Norwegian,
Danish and Swedish quite easily, and generally prefer the original
works, if I can read the language.
 I probably meant: amorality.
 I still think so; I still did not publish any of it.
 This was probably the time I did most yoga and was
most interested in Buddhist philosophy, though the latter interest was
also fairly strong in the middle Eighties. But in either case, I was
never a believer, and I did not do much yoga, but I did some.
As to roles: Few people experience themselves as relevant to themselves &
others, unmediated by institutional roles. That is one of the great
lacks of the societies I lived in: Most things are dumb, most things
As to philosophy: I am quite proud that I changed from Marxism - which
I got from my parents - to positivism when 20, and left that within two
years for realism. Most academic philosophers remained stuck all their
lives in one of these, especially the first two, if of roughly my age.
Also, I still am a scientific realist.
 I did chop and saw a lot of wood in 1975:
We heated the house and also partially cooked on wood.
Serge Lang was a French-American mathematician, whose textbooks are
very good. I do not know what happened to my "Notes on Psychology". The
fjos (spelled with an o with a hyphen) is the barn, in which I spent
quite a lot of time in 1975. Note that by this time I had "proved
myself", by showing I could do all the necessary work in a stable,
namely by having done it in the summer of 1975 together with Agnethe,
and indeed in 1977 I also got a diploma that qualified me as a
livestock farmer and a jordbrukavloysar (= someone who can take over a
farm if the farmer gets ill or wishes to go on holiday).
 It didn't work.
That is, the Bjornsgaards. They were a very nice family, and our only
neighbors, for we lived half way up the mountains, rather than in the
 Leif-Gunnar was some 10-15 years older than I
was, and the agronomist in the village, and a quite intelligent and
 I changed my opinions in two respects:
Hitchhiking was also dangerous in England in the Seventies, and
Norwegians are good drivers.
 That is: Agnethe's job.
 This means: It was at least minus 15, and
probably considerably less.
 It is really striking how different the snow
makes things appear, and we had many kilometers of sight, living high
up against the mountains. Also, by "snow" I mean SNOW: A meter or more,
and at some places very much more, and also laying there from November
till March or April.
 Nothing was heared anymore from the "scientific"
publication of "people from the VU", and no one influential has
proposed a basic income for everyone, these 40 years, though that would
be eminently fair.
 This is almost certainly his Philosophy of Mathematics and Natural
Science, that I only know in the English edition of the 1960ies. I
do not know what happened to my own texts.
This was, at that time, Heller's second book. I did not read Lessing,
and can't find "Five".
Meanwhile, I could ski quite well. The "Theses on Social Philosophy"
disappeared, but something like it that was quite good, also written in
Norway in English, was a long letter I wrote in 1976, that I may
reproduce. The links to Marx and Anarchism are to my Philosophical
 I was reading Norwegian (and indeed
learned it mostly from reading the Norwegian papers and from talking)
and indeed in 1977 could pass for a Norwegian. Lee and Joe were
Americans taking some sort of agronomical education in Dovre, and were
in their early twenties. Ingelsgaard was the name of the house Agnethe
and I lived in, and was built in 1795.
In fact, that is the only time I saw a total eclipse. The picture in
the Wikipedia looks a lot like what I saw, but is clearer.
The reason is that I read Dostoyevski's "Crime and
Punishment" when I was around 12, and the same goes for Tolstoy's "War and Peace".
Both were in my parents' book cases.
 This is not very clear: It must be true or
sensible, new, informative. The least I should add is that is must be
critical, and that I like satire.
Maybe I should add that I read all I mention, and that, since I've
mostly educated myself, these writers were also found by myself. There
must be some German writers that classify, but even now I can only
think of Schopenhauer's
 These are the French. I knew and know less of
French than of English literature.
 The English and American, but treated
lightly here. I certainly could have mentioned more, but didn't, while
the reason I did not mention Henry Fielding,
Hazlitt and Mark
Twain is that I had not read them in 1975.
 For some reason, Dylan's text is
typed. The rest is handwritten. As to Dylan: I didn't much like Dylan
from John Wesly Harding onwards. Here are my reactions to his
evil are but words": words are but words, and so? That is: good and
evil are not just words. I agree it is difficult to give good answers,
but see Hume.
"on what grounds are the grounds
of judgment": Also
not relative. The grounds of judgment are expanded definitions:
Deductively valid judgments are such as to lead from true judgments
only to true judgments; inductively valid judgments are such as to lead
from true judgments to judgments that are more or less probable,
according to the calculus of probability; abductively valid judgments
are such as to lead from true judgments to plausible explanations.
"that there is not one thing anyplace anywhere that makes any sense": This is a cop out, or a statement by
someone in deep depression, that is also self- falsifying.
"i can't believe that i
have t' hate
anybody": Speak for yourself, and this depends a lot on one's
experiences. Those who survived concentration camps generally judge
differently, but I agree there is generally too much hate. (Then again,
there are no mountains - of love - without valleys - of hate.)
"i know no answers an'
no truth for
absolutely no soul alive": Another cop out. Of course one knows some
answers and some truths, but it is true that one generally
knows a lot less than one thinks and than one should. Also, theoretical
statements generally are probabilities only: only particular statements
are definitely true or false (and may be, and often are, untestable).
Anyway... I do not like Dylan much, but indeed I have read a whole lot
more than most listeners to pop music have.
 In fact, I did get my Norwegian driving license
by the end of December 1975, and the next 1 1/2 years drove a lot, for
my girl friend did not dare to drive, but covered a large territory as
a journalist. I since lost the license, and besides do not have the
money for a car, and never had. Also, I don't like driving, but I
really can do it, and most drivers, especially the Dutch, cannot really
drive (which I learned and mostly practised on frozen and small roads).
 The last note. I am sorry if I have
written too many notes, but I like to comment, and this is the only
journal text I still have for 1975, that in fact was a very
nice year for me. That is one reason to reproduce it; the other reason
is that I do mention quite a lot of literary writers that I had read by
1975, and that I also mostly had found myself, through my own efforts,
and not through school, which was mostly a dumb bummer, and also not
through university, for I was not yet allowed to attend it (and when I
did, it was another dumb bummer, though I did get an excellent M.A. in
psychology and a fine B.A. in philosophy).
ME/CFS (that I prefer
to call M.E.: The "/CFS" is added to facilitate search
is a disease I have since 1.1.1979: