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"No. It's nonsense. We have to thinkbitcoin index symbol of the environment. I think we ought to build more railroads instead."

"I think Kierkegaard must have taken a few hefty swigs from that oeos crypto founderne. He certainly had a sharp eye for the significance of the individual. We are more than 'children of our time.' And moreover, every single one of us is a unique individual who only lives once.""And Hegel had not made much of that?"

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"No, he was more interested in the broad scope of history. This was just what made Kierkegaard so indignant. He thought that both the idealism of the Romantics and Hegel's 'historicism' had obscured the individual's responsibility for his own life. Therefore to Kierkegaard, Hegel and the Romantics were tarred with the same brush.""I can see why he was so mad.""S0ren Kierkegaard was born in 1813 and was subjected to a very severe upbringing by his father. His religious melancholia was a legacy from this father.""That sounds ominous.""It was because of this melancholia that he felt obliged to break off his engagement, something the Copenhagen bourgeoisie did not look kindly on. So from early on he became an outcast and an object of scorn. However, he gradually learned to give as good as he got, and he became increasingly what Ibsen later on described as 'an enemy of the people.' "

"All because of a broken engagement?""No, not only because of that. Toward the end of his life, especially, he became aggressively critical of society. 'The whole of Europe is on the road to bankruptcy,' he said. He believed he was living in an age utterly devoid of passion and commitment. He was particularly incensed by the vapidness of the established Danish Lutheran Church. He was merciless in his criticism of what you might call 'Sunday Christianity.' "Sophie didn't quite understand what Alberto meant. He went on: "Unfortunately, Aquinas also adopted Aristotle's view of women. You may perhaps recall that Aristotle thought a woman was more or less an incomplete man. He also thought that children only inherit the father's characteristics, since a woman was passive and receptive while the man was active and creative. According to Aquinas, these views harmonized with the message of the Bible--which, for example, tells us that woman was made out of Adam's rib."

"Nonsense!""It's interesting to note that the eggs of mammals were not discovered until 1827. It was therefore perhaps not so surprising that people thought it was the man who was the creative and lifegiving force in reproduction. We can moreover note that, according to Aquinas, it is only as nature-being that woman is inferior to man. Woman's soul is equal to man's soul. In Heaven there is complete equality of the sexes because all physical gender differences cease to exist.""That's cold comfort. Weren't there any women philosophers in the Middle Ages?""The life of the church in the Middle Ages was heavily dominated by men. But that did not mean that there were no women thinkers. One of them was Hildegard of Bingen..."

Sophie's eyes widened:"Does she have anything to do with Hilde?"

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"What a question! Hildegard lived as a nun in the Rhine Valley from 1098 to 1179. In spite of being a woman, she worked as preacher, author, physician, botanist, and naturalist. She is an example of the fact that women were often more practical, more scientific even, in the Middle Ages.""But what about Hilde?""It was an ancient Christian and Jewish belief that God was not only a man. He also had a female side, or 'mother nature.' Women, too, are created in God's likeness. In Greek, this female side of God is called Sophia. 'Sophia' or 'Sophie' means wisdom."Sophie shook her head resignedly. Why had nobody ever told her that? And why had she never asked?

Alberto continued: "Sophia, or God's mother nature, had a certain significance both for Jews and in the Greek Orthodox Church throughout the Middle Ages. In the west she was forgotten. But along comes Hildegard. Sophia appeared to her in a vision, dressed in a golden tunic adorned with costly jewels ..."Sophie stood up. Sophia had revealed herself to Hildegard in a vision ..."Maybe I will appear to Hilde."She sat down again. For the third time Alberto laid his hand on her shoulder.

"That is something we must look into. But now it is past eleven o'clock. You must go home, and we are approaching a new era. I shall summon you to a meeting on the Renaissance. Hermes will come get you in the garden."With that the strange monk rose and began to walk toward the church. Sophie stayed where she was, thinking about Hildegard and Sophia, Hilde and Sophie. Suddenly she jumped up and ran after the monk-robed philosopher, calling:

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"Was there also an Alberto in the Middle Ages?"Alberto slowed his pace somewhat, turned his head slightly and said, "Aquinas had a famous philosophy teacher called Albert the Great..."

With that he bowed his head and disappeared through the door of St. Mary's Church.Sophie was not satisfied with his answer. She followed him into the church. But now it was completely empty. Did he go through the floor?Just as she was leaving the church she noticed a picture of the Madonna. She went up to it and studied it closely. Suddenly she discovered a little drop of water under one of the Madonna's eyes. Was it a tear?Sophie rushed out of the church and hurried back to Joanna's.The RenaissanceO divine lineage in mortal guise

It was just twelve when Sophie reached Joanna's front gate, out of breath with running. Joanna was standing in the front yard outside her family's yellow house."You've been gone for five hours!" Joanna said sharply.

Sophie shook her head."No, I've been gone for more than a thousand years."

"Where on earth have you been? You're crazy. Your mom called half an hour ago.""What did you tell her?"

"I said you were at the drugstore. She said would you call her when you got back. But you should have seen my mom and dad when they came in with hot chocolate and rolls at ten this morning ... and your bed was empty.""What did you say to them?""It was really embarrassing. I told them you went home because we got mad at each other.""So we'd better hurry up and be friends again. And we have to make sure your parents don't talk to my mom for a few days. Do you think we can do that?"

Joanna shrugged. Just then her father came around the corner with a wheelbarrow. He had a pair of coveralls on and was busy clearing up last year's leaves and twigs."Aha--so you're friends again, I see. Well, there's not so much as a single leaf left on the basement steps now."

"Fine," said Sophie. "So perhaps we can have our hot chocolate there instead of in bed."Joanna's dad gave a forced laugh, but Joanna gasped. Verbal exchanges had always been more robust in Sophie's family than at the more well-to-do home of Mr. Ingebrigtsen, the financial adviser, and his wife.

"I'm sorry, Joanna, but I felt I ought to take part in this cover-up operation as well.""Are you going to tell me about it?"

"Sure, if you walk home with me. Because it's not for the ears of financial advisers or overgrown Barbie dolls.""That's a rotten thing to say! I suppose you think a rocky marriage that drives one of the partners away to sea is better?""Probably not. But I hardly slept last night. And another thing, I've begun to wonder whether Hilde can see everything we do."They began to walk toward Clover Close.

"You mean she might have second sight?""Maybe. Maybe not."

Joanna was clearly not enthusiastic about all this secrecy."But that doesn't explain why her father sent a lot of crazy postcards to an empty cabin in the woods."

"I admit that is a weak spot.""Do you want to tell me where you have been?"

Both Sides of the Table

Perspectives of a 2x entrepreneur turned VC at @UpfrontVC#

Mark Suster

Written by

2x entrepreneur. Sold both companies (last to salesforce.com). Turned VC looking to invest in passionate entrepreneurs 〞 I*m on Twitter at @msuster

Both Sides of the Table

Perspectives of a 2x entrepreneur turned VC at @UpfrontVC, the largest and most active early-stage fund in Southern California. Snapchat: msuster

Mark Suster

Written by

2x entrepreneur. Sold both companies (last to salesforce.com). Turned VC looking to invest in passionate entrepreneurs 〞 I*m on Twitter at @msuster

Both Sides of the Table

Perspectives of a 2x entrepreneur turned VC at @UpfrontVC, the largest and most active early-stage fund in Southern California. Snapchat: msuster