Wide Open Windows

[ ps ]
Post Scriptum
Ton Haarmans

I was born in Utrecht, the Netherlands in 1953 and studied philosophy at the University of Amsterdam for five years.

I have been seeking knowledge, and especially 'ultimate' knowledge for most of my life. That always felt as the ground and motivation of my being. But I am finding out there is a limit to human knowledge. We can never step out of our mind (whatever that is!) and know the origin and meaning of life, death and the universe. I still find that shocking, but I am learning to live with this simple fact and enjoy the wide open windows of not-knowing.

The only thing I really do know is the experience I am having at this very moment. I can not be absolutely sure of the contents of that experience, but the fact that I am experiencing can not be denied by me. What experiencing itself is I cannot know, only live. In fact 'experiencing' and 'knowing' are two words for the same happening, whatever it is.

“And THIS is it. As simple as that. And I don't have to do anything for it to happen. Nor can I do anything about it. I find the world, this life, ready and waiting. The clock ticks above the mantelpiece. I watch my hands typing keys. Sometimes the hands wait a moment and then continue. Oops, spelling mistake. Tick, tick, tick.”

The fact that I can really only know this experiencing does not mean that relative knowledge is not possible, or otherwise (normal) life would be insuperably difficult. Common sense, the scientific method and logical reasoning do produce results and make sense most of the time. What is not making much sense, at least to me, is speculation; especially philosophical or spiritual speculation. At the most it can be entertainment, not truth. 'Life after death' or 'Universal Consciousness', nobody knows or can know if these are real or not, whatever they tell you. I can choose to belief these things. But belief is not knowledge, not even 'relative' knowledge, which makes these propositions completely irrelevant. In other words: who cares?

Anyway, I am not a teacher, I am not different from anybody else, I do not have any 'special' knowledge and I am definitely not 'enlightened' (just ask my partner Asti, she knows). I sometimes feel clueless, delusional and depressed or lonely, bored or angry, but that's just what happens.

This website is not more then a means to express and enjoy myself and to pay tribute to authors I love to read. And I do hope some people like it and [ let me know ]. After all I have been a web designer for a big part of my life and the Wide Open Windows website has been around since 1997. It started on the domain of 'wideopenwin.com', accomodating what I then called the 'Awakened Teacher List', which had dozens, later hundreds, of links to websites of people who claimed to have ultimate knowledge. Later, the site also became a portfolio for my work as a web and graphic designer.

All that is processed now and behind me.

In the present I enjoy my retirement from being a designer (except for this website) and graphic software teacher and live with my partner Asti, ten chickens and the dog Angie in the interior of the Costa Blanca, Spain.


“The world is an overwhelming and amazing experience. The night sky, all the plants and animals, the towns and villages, the mountains around me. The functioning of my body, the dreams in my sleep, the people I meet, that damn itch on my arms. Loneliness. Memories of my childhood...

So ordinary, so extraordinary.

I'm hungry again.”