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Magic mushrooms, brain patterns and (running)(thinking)(just about)(everything!)

Posted by Torr | Chess,Marathon,Music,Spirituality | Wednesday 15 October 2014 20:30

Magic mushrooms - Tor Rønnow

Recently, a scientific study has indicated that the human brain is capable of entering a variety of altered states if given “magic mushrooms” (psychedelic drugs !). These findings may seem obvious and expected, however, I do believe that both the philosophical and practical extrapolations are extremely interesting, and, if handled in the right manner, potentially life-changing.

Most importantly, the study indicates that a number of otherwise “unavailable” brain states may come into play. Philosophically, to me, this translates into that a number of personality traits and skill sets just await our personal discoveries.

Our experiences in life both create and define our lives and personalities, and, importantly, vice versa ! The magic mushroom implication here is that our lives, skill sets and types of experiences could be so many other “personally unthinkable” things. You are so much more than you think you are. At least, potentially.  It is there, in your brain !

Personal Development
We  do indeed learn so many things during our lives, and we can further develop and refine the skills we already master. Brain-wise this corresponds to entering either new or known brain trails / patterns and to strengthen these trails. The more trained a brain pattern is, the better you master the particular skill on a subconscious level. This is probably the brain equivalent to the 10.000 hours training principle. The cultivation and repetition of a particular skill/brain trail is indeed the cornerstone of all learning and personal development. It starts when we are infants and if you are a wise parent, you buy your baby toys targeted for brain development.

Magic mushrooms - Tor Rønnow
We can all benefit from the brain sciences, babies, children, teenagers, adults

We humans are both blessed and victimized by the (limited) number of brain states known to us. It may not necessarily be enough to “think positive” or in a new manner to change habits, to break diseases (including depression) or alter unwanted personality traits such as compulsive eating (or – disorders), low self esteem or what have you. It may require a magic mushroom, metaphorically speaking, to get in contact of these new states. This line of thinking support the essence of various of the New Age philosophies/schools, the practice of meditation (indeed, the powerful healing states of meditation are well described) and personal development stuff such as NLP, the latter being firmly based on the brains connection and involvement in our human experiences as a whole.  Below is a list of suggested activities (“safe mushrooms”) to explore.

1. NLP – Advanced tools for self development; [short into to NLP]
2. Meditation and self-hypnosis – Your body’s own healing and relaxation methods and states
3. Go into therapy. You send your car to a garage when it needs fixing. You need healing of your soul. We all do
4. Get a personal Psychological Profile (eg. the extremely detailed Identity Blueprint)  to identify relevant “issues”
5. Physical exercise – Creating hormones and BDNF to grow your brain [eg. by running]
6. Study something new to you, eg. the works of an artist, a new language, some unfamiliar music (preferably classical)
7. Off-line activities in the Nature
8. Do Charity ! Help someone without asking anything in return. Just help !
9. Love. Yourself. Your family. Your friends. Life itself.  Odds are you have this one chance. Love deeply !

In the Trails of Brain Science
Without going too much into academic references I do believe that all of the above suggestions have been “proved” scientifically to do good things for your brain and thus for your potential to explore new assets in yourself. There are actually a number of tools and activities that you can exploit that have even closer bonds to Science. I will list a few below and also add some book suggestions. I am pretty sure we will be hearing a lot more on the said issues in the years to come, the art being how to take real advantage of the ever increasing outputs from the areas of brain research and the related disciplines.

A. Use drawing tools like mind maps to capture and explore your ideas, concepts and universes
B. Use brain targeted music and programs like the Monroe products (eg.  Hemi-Sync music, Mind-Food tools) [youtube  it !]
C. Read up on the latest scientific findings within the vast field of brain research, popular books include
C1. “Making a Good Brain Great”, Daniel G. Amen
C2. “Change your Brain, Change your Body”, D.G. Amen
C3. “Super Brain”, Deepak Chopra, Rudolph E. Tanzi
C4. “Thinking, Fast and Slow”, Daniel Kahneman
C5. “smart thinking”, Art Markman

These books reveal the latest on issues like learning, problem solving, creativity, smart habits (including eating and sleeping habits) and a lot more, all based on our current knowledge on how the brain and the mind work. As stated by two of Daniel Amens brain-centered principles: “Your brain is involved in everything you do” <alas the Title of this post>, therefore “when your brain works right, you work right”. These principles convey one of my core intentions with this post, however, YOU must make the difference for you ! Every change  and experience in your life resides in your brain. You decide your moves and the World is not to blame (but of course some people live under circumstances where these thoughts are simply not possible to exercise due to extreme poverty, war, diseases,”regimes” and the like).

Magic mushrooms - Tor Rønnow
Creating Mind Maps is an incredibly effective way to use and train your brain, to learn and innovate. Check up on the books by Tony Buzan. You find my Mind Map on my London Marathon 2005 here.

Leonardo Da Vinci and the Renaissance Man
For me, the ideal of brain and potential utilization reached its very peak with the life and works by the great masters of the renaissance, ie. artists like Bernini and Michelangelo and the universal genius Leonardo Da Vinci.

Magic mushrooms - Tor Rønnow
A sketch by Leonardo Da Vinci, the ultimate brain of all time

There is actually a book on peak performance called “How to think like Leonardo Da Vinci [by Michael J. Gelb]” and it is very much similar to mind mapping and to utilizing all your senses  and putting a variety of skills into play (at the same time). Kind of the same goes for the De Bono Six Thinking Hats approach to brainstorming and problem solving forcing you to approach the same problem from six different angles (it’s fun to do, actually !). You find similar “advice” in the famous Disney Principles, or, to change the game slightly, in LEAN or Six Sixma approaches to optimization within production systems and organisations. The common denominator for all these things is: applied pattern recognition (plus, perhaps, rigor and systematic). Pattern recognition is en passant one of the key skills in playing chess and playing chess may in fact increase your overall IQ according to recent studies.

The reason I mention this in this section of the post here is based on the thought that patterns and brain usages are (or may be) similar to or “transportable” from one type of thinking/skill to another. Like my oldest son is a “genius” with a ball in any type of such sport (soccer, table tennis, basket ball, etc.), just the same  ease Leonardo had with the arts, with sculpturing and with “the sciences” (which he founded in many ways).

In conclusion: strive to make your brain work  beneficial to several areas of your life. Take your pride and talents from one set of skills and apply them (if possible) to other, perhaps for you, new areas. If you can learn one language, you can learn ten. If you ever learned anything, you can learn again. Your efforts (and, obviously, in some countries your opportunities) define the limits. Not your brain – it is (for all practical purposes) limitless ! Just imagine, your brain can make up a picture of Mick Jagger sitting on the moon in a pink tuxedo with Scarlett Johansson on the left and Megan Fox on the right them all listening to “Over the Rainbow” sung by Elvis on his old days. Tell me:  your brain just produced exactly that, yes ? See ?!

Visualisation, Peak Performance and Running
It has been known for quite a while that visualization is a powerful tool for eg. athletes with respect to their *physical* performances / skills, this again translates into sets of “activated” brain patterns in these individuals. One might even speculate that it may be the very availability of these particular brain patterns that provide the assets to these athletes, and if you extrapolate, that particular skills have their corresponding brain patterns.

You could speculate that a “talent” for something is a natural or maybe even a genetically given preference or availability to a particular brain pattern / sets of neurological trails. It may be such that certain patterns by default are just not available to everyone, explaining why some few are “naturals” and  most of us not. However, this is where the implications of the Magic Mushrooms become so interesting: the default can be circumvented ! It requires, however, brain work.

In some contexts brain work is actually achieved “by proxy” by the body’s physical movements. Babies learn to walk during numerous repetitions of the copied behavior of their parents or siblings, and what actually happens is that the brain patterns connected to “walking” are being established and sufficiently strengthened until the skill of walking is mastered.

Babies also train speech long before action [according to this brain research study]. The same can be said about so many other physical skills, including running. It is thus tempting to speculate that one could dramatically improve ones running abilities / performance by eating Magic Mushrooms in the metaphorical sense: can we get reach of “new” brain states that unlock such awesome running skills ? I think the answer univocally must be : Yes ! Indeed, this is what much training of eg. running style is all about: finding and enforcing the brain trails to support an efficient/desired running style. The alluring thought here is whether we by visualization/pure brain work can discover mushroom running states which we then afterwards can transform into actual movements ? I take delight into thinking so. Obviously, we would need to bring our body into the shape to be able to carry out this awesome running and this shaping could itself require various kind of work such as weight loss, training if core and leg muscles etc. The point is: the mushroom awesomeness is there, available if you go for it and put in the hours. Your brain decides.

Magic mushrooms - Tor Rønnow
Bring Running to your Mind and your Mind will make you run !

So – how ? Well, you could start out by studying videos teaching a particular running style. You could read up. You could take notes and make personal posters to remind you of the new stuff. Mushroom posters, running motivational posters. Your first thought each morning should be on your running style, and your last one each evening. The more your mind focuses on reaching your goal, the closer you get to it. Use your mind to create your Reality, NOW and your Future. This applies to Running as to everything else in your life.

Your Brain, Your Health, Your Spirit and God
During the reading of the above you might have thought “but I believe in God”, or “I am a spiritual person” or “I believe in Science “only”" or whatever, so all this does not apply to me.

Magic mushrooms - Tor Rønnow
David, Transfiguration of Christ; coronal section of human brain
From Paluzzi et al., Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 2007

Well: Wrong ! Brain research has indeed established that “believing” is a brain-state itself, a very healthy and positive one by the way [A.Newberg, M.R.Waldman, "How God changes your brain"], and that the brains of believers change such that the objects of their beliefs become as real to them as “real” verifiable experiences/objects. The mentioned book also points out that religious extremism damage the brain and leads to destructive behavior. (Just take 5 minutes think about the content of the last sentence and what it actually means and implies !)

Magic mushrooms - Tor Rønnow
Did Michelangelo hint the God-Spirit-Brain connection in the Sixtine Chapel ?

Surely, “healthy” and “constructive” are the key-words we like, and what could be more important to any person – and thus families and whole communities – than a prosperous health, both mentally and physically ? Again, your brain is the key player, and you may by the powers of your brain and will-power govern your  daily health by meditation, and, in case of disease, apply your mind to heal via the Placebo Effect [J. Dispenza, "You are the Placebo"]. It is time to step up to the fact that our minds can heal, and that disruptive, non-constructive behaviors may be the results of brain-damages, literally, and thus need treatments as such. The latter has been proven over and over again at the Amen Clinics by capturing and analyzing thousands of brain SPECT images (cf. the books mentioned above). Healthy is (involving) a series of brain patterns and so is unhealthy. Same goes for the experience of “God”.

Disclaimers and Conclusions
Please note that I am not trying to reduce neither Religion nor diseases to “a brain thing” only, I am just pointing out that our brains a involved no matter what and that we can benefit from this knowledge itself.

I am also not prescribing  ”development” as an exquisite positive by definition, indeed, in many matters of life just keeping a blissful status quo is just fine ! Change should be initiated by your own motivation and desire, which again can be propelled by either lust or need. If you have already found the brain states and activities that bring grace and happiness to your life, you may need no change. At the end of the day, authenticity may prove to be one of the most important things in a persons life and well-being, casting ropes to the psyche, feelings, aspirations, sexuality and personal, unique life-stories and fates.

Ok, to wrap it up: this write is a somewhat long “brainstorm” (!) / series of associations upon the mentioned Mushroom Study, and the key point is this: your brain can take you to new places. You may add; if so desired. Indeed, identifying what you want and what is good for you is a key and life-long process. My speculation on the Mushrooms is: your goal/state may be completely out-of-box with your current normal thinking. Or it may be applying your skill-set from one area in another (a touching and telling example is found in the movie “The Blind Side” where the All American football player Michael Oher sets on fire when protecting [the "other" skill-set] his team).

Magic mushrooms - Tor Rønnow
The Blind Side: Michal Oher finds his transferable skill. What is yours ?

I believe we will hear a lot about this in the future as the research in these matters continue to evolve and refine our understanding of the magnificent human brain. The techniques of tomorrow is already here, perhaps in somewhat rudiment forms, it is up to us to utilize them, both for our personal endeavors and for out loved ones, colleagues, friends, people we meet, communities. Striving for a better tomorrow will benefit the entire mankind and the future generations to come.

The Force is within us all – our brains.

Powerade Copenhagen Half Marathon 2014

Posted by Torr | Marathon | Thursday 25 September 2014 19:58

Everything is not about marathon.

Indeed, half the distance is a challenge of it’s own and for new runners a half marathon is one of the major milestones proudly to achieve. So why not come to beautiful and historic Copenhagen to box a truly scenic experience at the recurring Powerade Copenhagen Half Marathon arranged by Sparta each September. As you can infer from the pictures below the route takes you past a vast array of historically important spots in the danish capital, the climate is usually perfect for running and you will love the relaxed atmosphere. Copenhagen has established itself as a renown city for fine dining and if you care for art and exhibitions, you’ll find plenty of top-notch museums to keep you busy for a weekend.

But hey, let’s concentrate on the race: you will love the Powerade Copenhagen Half Marathon !

See or relive the scenic Powerade Copenhagen Half Marathon (PCHM) 2014 here:

Powerade Copenhagen Half Marathon 2014 – billeder/fotos af Tor Rønnow (Danish)

Powerade Copenhagen Half Marathon 2014 – pictures by Tor Rønnow (English)

Powerade Copenhagen Half Marathon 2014 – bilder von Tor Rønnow (Deutsch)

Powerade Copenhagen Half Marathon 2014 – foto di Tor Rønnow (Italiano)

Powerade Copenhagen Half Marathon 2014 – fotos del Tor Rønnow (Español)

NYKREDIT Copenhagen Marathon 2014

Posted by Torr | Marathon | Monday 26 May 2014 22:14

Sunday May 18th I managed to book my 10th NYKREDIT Copenhagen Marathon easily making this event the most numerous of large marathon appearances on my part. The race is not only in my “home city” but also in the Capital of Denmark and organized by the running club Sparta already fathering so many of important and memorable events during mine – and I guess many others’ – running career. So thank you so much for yet a great day !

NYKREDIT Copenhagen Marathon is the largest marathon in Denmark and the race has ambitions for growth to + 15.000 participants with in the next few years. I have alwas stressed the quality of the route, it being very representative for Copenhagen City. Runners from all around the world are highly encouraged to run this beautiful Capital Marathon. Come join us !

Below you find a series of the best pictures of the day and the full story is in the links. Enjoy.

See or relive the unique and spectacular NYKREDIT Copenhagen Marathon 2014 here:

NYKREDIT Copenhagen Marathon 2014 – billeder/fotos af Tor Rønnow (Danish)

NYKREDIT Copenhagen Marathon 2014 – pictures by Tor Rønnow (English)

NYKREDIT Copenhagen Marathon 2014 – bilder von Tor Rønnow (Deutsch)

NYKREDIT Copenhagen Marathon 2014 – foto di Tor Rønnow (Italiano)

NYKREDIT Copenhagen Marathon 2014 – fotos del Tor Rønnow (Español)

Hamburg Marathon 2014

Posted by Torr | Marathon | Thursday 8 May 2014 15:19

I booked my fourth completion of Hamburg Marathon this past Sunday. The weather was good for running, less good for photographing but luckily many spectators ignored the cold and grey conditions and showed up cheering in the streets, thus securing one of the trademarks of the Hamburg Marathon: the great atmosphere along the route!

Hamburg Marathon 2014 – by the harbour

See or relive Hamburg Marathon 2014 here:

Hamborg Marathon 2014 – billeder/fotos af Tor Rønnow (Danish)

Hamburg Marathon 2014 – pictures by Tor Rønnow (English)

Hamburg Marathon 2014 – bilder von Tor Rønnow (Deutsch)

IAAF/AL-Bank World Half Marathon 2014

Posted by Torr | Marathon | Thursday 3 April 2014 15:06

For the first time in history an IAAF World Half Marathon Championship has been held as an event open to the general public and this happened this past Saturday in my home town Copenhagen, Denmark! This was, of course, an opportunity not to be missed and the day turned out to become one of the most memorable running feasts ever. The logistics and the efforts by the Danish Athletic Organization headed by Director Jakob Larsen were flawless, the weather was perfect (almost unreal for a late day in March in Denmark) and the atmosphere all over Copenhagen was electric.

The runners were sent off by the Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt and his Royal Excellecy Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark all to start and end at the square of the Danish Parlament, Christiansborg at the very heart of Copenhagen. Truly, this day was a fairy tale far beyond the imagination of even Hans Christian Andersen!

Below you find a series of the best pictures of the day and the full story is in the links. Enjoy.

See or relive the unique and spectacular IAAF/AL-Bank World Half Marathon 2014 here:

IAAF/AL-Bank World Half Marathon 2014 – billeder/fotos af Tor Rønnow (Danish)

IAAF/AL-Bank World Half Marathon 2014 – pictures by Tor Rønnow (English)

IAAF/AL-Bank World Half Marathon 2014 – bilder von Tor Rønnow (Deutsch)

Tel Aviv Marathon 2014

Posted by Torr | Marathon | Monday 10 March 2014 16:01

I turned 25 – again !

This past Friday I completed the spectacular Tel Aviv Marathon in Israel.  The weather was beautifully sunny much in contrast to this past winter here in Denmark. See more on the race below.

My list of 25′s look like this:

25 27.08.2006 Landskrona (Sweden) Pictures
50 30.06.2007 Kristianopel (Sweden) Pictures
75 20.04.2008 Zürich (Switerzerland) Pictures
100 02.11.2008 Skovmaren (Denmark) Pictures
125 26.04.2009 London (England) Pictures
150 19.09.2009 Vänersborg (Sweden) Pictures
175 21.03.2010 Rome (Italy) Pictures
200 22.08.2010 Blokhus (Denmark) Pictures
225 24.07.2011 Skinnermarathon (Denmark) Pictures
250 20.05.2012 Copenhagen Marathon (Denmark) Pictures
275 28.02.2014 Tel Aviv Marathon (Israel) Pictures

Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv is a very modern, “western” city with an impressive skyline and all the things you would expect of an international metropol. However, the “poor orient” is always just a few blocks away, and the israelean security context is an immanent shadow everywhere in the infrastructure including accesses to e.g. shopping centers.

If a single point of interest should be singled out, it must definately be the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, the collection of paintings is simply breathtaking! Visiting this museum alone justifies a visit to Tel Aviv. Go there!

Jerusalem and The Dead Sea Experience

The Holy City Jerusalem is in the proximity of only an hours drive away from Tel Aviv. Visiting Jerusalem was a mindblowing experience, seeing the place where Jesus was crucified and the wailing Wall cannot be described in words. Also, taking the Dead Sea Experience is something only the body understands, however, the pictures might hint the fun.

Tel Aviv Marathon 2014

The Tel Aviv Marathon 2014 started at 06.30 in the morning on the 28th of Feb. and the day and the event turned out to be so classy with soothing views on the Mediterranean Sea and many key points in Tel Aviv. The course was not deprived of hills/”bumps” so it suited me well to merge with the half-marathon runners when hitting midtown going home from Old Jaffa. In conclusion, Tel Aviv Marathon is definately your time worth while as is Israel as a turist/traveller experience.

See or relive Tel Aviv Marathon 2014 here:

Tel Aviv Marathon 2014 – billeder/fotos af Tor Rønnow (Danish)

Tel Aviv Marathon 2014 – pictures by Tor Rønnow (English)

מרתון תל אביב 2014 – תמונות על ידי טור Rønnow (עברית)

Outlook 2014

Posted by Torr | Marathon | Monday 30 December 2013 23:43

And a Happy New Year to you too !

I eagerly look forward to 2014 and to hopefully a much better running year than this past 2013, which turned out to be a bit of a nightmare for me personally. My left foot was in pain for most of the year, actually I have not been able to perform a proper “run stride” since August 2012 ! So I really beg for a miracle to happen to bring me back into the game, I miss the daily training and I miss to “try my best” at the marathons. Performing a sub-4 hour marathon again in 2014 would be a dream come true !


H.C. Andersen Marathon

There are a number of events that I look forward to in 2014. Obviously, participating in the World Half Marathon Championships in Copenhagen will be a unique experience. Shy of two months later I will celebrate my marathon 10-years anniversary in the annual NYKREDIT Copenhagen Marathon, as you know one of my favorite events. And in the autumn I hope to revisit Odense and the H.C. Andersen Marathon, the second-largest marathon in Denmark and a class act for sure !

You will find other classy races in my list for 2014, and only class events will appear on my list !  I sincerly hope that 2014 will be the year where people realize that quality is essential to, yes, everything, also running events. I think the current trend towards e.g. trail and natural running are proofs hereof . See you out there !

Firenze Marathon 2013

Posted by Torr | Marathon | Monday 9 December 2013 22:30

The City of Florence
As you might know, the author Dan Brown choose Florence as the main city in which to unfold his plot in the thriller “Inferno”.

The choice is probably not accidential when you consider the historical importance and reputation of Florence, not to mention the divene “sons” of the city, the renaissance artists like Botticelli, Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci. So surely, having a marathon in this beautiful city is a must, and such has in fact existed now for 30 years ! Below you find my entire race report, however, let’s start with a few impressions of the city of Florence.

The Art in Florenze
The biggest attraction in Florence must be the incredible David statue by Michelangelo. You have to stand before this 4 meter high masterpiece in marble to understand why. It is simply beyond words, yes, beyond this world !  Add the fact that it was finished in the year 1504 B.C. and you’re left with one of the most incredible pieces of  art you will ever see.

A trip to Florence is justified alone by seeing David, but once there you’d obviously pay visits to the Duomo Church and to the Accademia and the Uffizi Galleries (amongst other attractions).

Firenze Marathon 2013
Ok, the race itself, Firenze Marathon was a very nice experience ! The route was extremely scenic, the event was well organized, and the weather turned out just perfect this late Sunday in November 2013.

In conclusion, it’s pretty easy to recommend a visit to both Florence and it’s marathon race. When I re-visit the marathon through my pictures here, I’m not one second in doubt: Firenze Marathon was my best this year 2013 !

See or relive Firenze Marathon 2013 here:

Firenze Marathon 2013 – billeder/fotos af Tor Rønnow (Danish)

Firenze Marathon 2013 – pictures by Tor Rønnow (English)

Firenze Marathon 2013 – foto di Tor Rønnow (Italiano)

BMW Berlin Marathon 2013

Posted by Torr | Marathon | Thursday 3 October 2013 21:49

For the second year in a row and the fourth time in toto I have had the priviledge and pleasure to participate in one of the biggest sport events on the planet, the majestic BMW Berlin Marathon.

Once again, we runners were blessed by a day with perfect weather for running, 5-15 degrees Celcius, no wind. The Kenyan Wilson Kipsang was not only the fastest of all but the fastest ever, thus booking a new world record: 2.03.23 ! What a feat – my biggest congratulations !

Below you find a series of the best pictures of the day and the full story is in the links. Enjoy.

See or relive BMW Berlin Marathon 2013 here:

BMW Berlin Marathon 2013 – billeder/fotos af Tor Rønnow (Danish)

BMW Berlin Marathon 2013 – pictures by Tor Rønnow (English)

BMW Berlin Marathon 2013 – bilder von Tor Rønnow (Deutsch)

Norwegian Adventures !

Posted by Torr | Spirituality | Saturday 10 August 2013 16:52

Long before I started to run marathons, I was first – and always – a mountain hiker. Few things in the world can compete with the soothing solitude, the vast valeys and views, and the fresh air in the Norwegian mountains. This summer 2013 came to contain a pack of the best of my beloved second country.

Dalseter

As written in my July posts in 2009, 2010 and 2012, this hotel Dalster and its surroundings is a very, very special place for me. This year I managed to climb a few of the peaks nearby (Ruten and Sprengpiggen) and also tried something new, namely to ride on horse through these marvelous landscapes, to cut it short an absolutely fantastic and breathtaking experience ! Even this very day of writing I miss my white companion, Dari, of Åsli Ridecenter. Below you find a collection of the finest impressions from the Dalseter days 2013, click each picture to see in larger scale (opens in a new window/tab). In the horisonts you have the mountain chains Jotunheimen and Rondane, I have hiked a lot in these areas when I was younger. Pure love.

Jotunheimen and Besseggen

The perhaps most renowed hike in Norway is the airy climb over Besseggen, a quite demanding trip but still no harder that both kids and elderly can manage it within 8-10 hours.  You sure feel walking in the footprints of Peer Gynt and in companionship with the Norwegian “mountain” poets such as Aasmund Olavsson Vinje and Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson (Nobel Prize Laureate 1903). Toss in some tunes of Grieg and the norwegain experience is total ! The trip is often done by taking the ferry from the nice hut Gjendesheim and thereafter walking back from Memurubu.

The Old Strynefjell Mountain Road and Videseter

The next experience was mainly in the car. I know what you might think. However, I am talking about the trip from Gjendesheim to Videseter passing through on the Old Strynefjell Mountain Road and in very rough and remote landscapes.

Aurland, The Nærøy Fjord and Gudvangen

The danish writer Karen Blixen made the mysterious Nærøy Fjord known through her poetry. The fjord has in recent times been added to the list of UNESCO Heritage sites and the nature is indeed as breathtaking as the pictures you see. We took the car ferry boat from Flåm to Gudvangen – passing lovely Aurland [in proximity of the incredible Aurlandsdalen], probably the most scenic fjord trip in Norway, possibly the world. We were not too lukcy with the weather, though, however, we still enjoyed coffee at the Stalheim Hotel with the spectacular view onto the Gudvangen Valley.

Haukeliseter, Hardangervidda and the meaning of Life

The last part of the trip was spend at Haukeliseter on Hardangervidda, another of the larger norwegian mountain areas. The weather was phenomenal and we managed to climb yet another peak. I have hiked in the norwegian mountains since I was 4 and days and landscapes like these bring me back to the thoughts and feelings I have had since I was that little reflective kid in the vast Nature. The intuitive feeling of the shortness of a human life span. The recognition of Nature and Life itself being so much bigger, richer and outlasting than a single individual, a community, an era in the civilization, even a geological era. So what is a Life ? It is just the days passing by, the feelings you have, the stuff you do. A human life has no real extension or span after we die, and to have a real Legacy is first of all not LIFE and secondly entirely an artificial construct based on the willingness of the hereafter. Basically, we human individuals will be remembered through two or three generations – at best – and will most likely be entirely forgotten after just 20-30 years after we die. This may sound depressing but it leaves an important point for how to live our life: DO NOT CARE ! Do you feel this or that, do you do this or that, are you rich or poor, skinny or a fat ass, nobody really cares. The important thing is that YOU care.
Unfortunately, we live in times where the media and the Internet may seduce us to think that all kinds of crap is “important” and will have “lasting effects” and what not, however, this line of thinking and living is hysteric and completely out of proportions if you ask me. No, the mountions and the Nature teach and reconnects us to the profound wisdom of living: The important thing is that you just live and let the days pass by, hopefully in happyness and with your loved ones around you, doing stuff you like. It is that simple.

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