He had an attic in a castle with 10,000 books hidden under plastic. He also had a number of icons hidden in a room. Both of them not for display on book shelves or walls. He was rich but lived as an ascetic. At the age of 78 he died alone in Albania leaving behind the 'A.A. Bredius Foundation' as his inheritance. This foundation aims to unlock the Byzantine culture in all its richness and versatility. Not for academic scientists only!
He is Arnold ("Ar") Bredius (1903-1982). A member of a Dutch patrician non-noble family who made their fortune selling (gun)powder. He studied theology but never became a priest. He was on his own. Socially awkward with a communitarian deficit. He was non-communicative about what was on his mind. He was married to Olga with whom he had a relation as brother and sister. Both of them were not interested in lust for sex. Both injured souls. Olga: "Bredius was a child, more childlike than a child".
Was he happy? No, he regarded his life as a burden. A life of duty and obligation. At the same time his life was successful because he left behind his Foundation as the climax of a life in which he was content with himself.
He regarded life as Whole and One. He enjoyed beautiful things. He was interested in the magic ("connectedness") of books, icons, music and places. Things outside himself. It seems that he was not interested in "knowing" himself spiritually.
I think the author and I disagree on this. I personally think that Bredius had had his moments of enlightenment but that he had a hard time to communicate about these in spoken or written words. Was he a mystic? It seems only partly. Is that possible when it comes to propagate enlightenment? The bottomline, for me, is that his Foundation is exactly that: propagate that there is more than senses getting input and that there is magic. Stuff of mystics ...
P.S. Book: Theo Jansen, 'Arnoldus Anthonie Bredius, Schetsen van een leven' (2012).
You might be surprised to hear this from me. Are you? But ... I am very very fond of these posts.
It's me time. It's time for you ... of that what was, what could and should have been. Making up my mind as honest as I can in public. As you know there is a lot of private stuff that you and I only share in our private garden. Noone needs to know! Private versus public garden.
Next to our private garden, I like this public garden too. Make up my mind. Share my dreams, fears, what I read, what I think, ... - there must be more. In a way it is for me a kind of meditation. It cleans up my mind. It sharpens my soul and gives me peace. The older I get the more fond I am that I stored all my public letters in this blog.
What do you think should I publish my blog in a printed book? All posts? By subject? By date of publishing? With index?
P.S. Painting is from David Hockney, 'Autumn Trees' (2008).
When I was eight years young I had two episodes of dreams with wolves.
Episodes one. I was a young wolf in a wolfpack. I ran as they ran. I slept as they slept in the open field on the ground. I ate when they ate. I was one of the pack but young and I had to listen. I felt comfortable being one of the pack but I missed time for my own and I missed human-talking.
I can't remember which episodes were first but I feel more comfortable if one was before two in time.
Episodes two. I was a human being and alone. I had to run for the wolfpack who was after me. There was no place to hide. One of the nights I realized it was a dream so I told myself - me as magician - add a stick into the dream and use it. All the nights thereafter I still dreamed about wolves hunting for me but this time I had a stick in my hand. Ready to use if necessary! I never was afraid again and they never caught me again.
Why am I telling you this? Because in a way I am still that magician.