You've just reached a general English homepage of Titus Rivas
I'm a researcher and author with a formal university degree in both philosophy and psychology, comparable to the English titles of MA and MSc respectively. I was born on June 20th 1964 at Nijmegen, at 7:00 AM. Here's a picture of me and my dog Takkie at the site Spiritual Pre-existence, to which I'm a regular contributor.
I head Athanasia, a serious foundation for the philosophical and parapsychological study of personal survival after death, personal reincarnation and the personal evolution of the soul or spirit. Its terrains include the philosophy of mind, general metaphysics, general parapsychology, survival research, reincarnation research, general psychology, animal psychology, and meta-axiology. Athanasia Foundation is really important for me as it embodies all these interests that are central to my positive, personalist philosophy. Against popular ideas about a completely impersonal survival after death, we stress arguments in favor of a personal afterlife and a personal evolution on earth or elsewhere.
At present, my main assistants are Anny Dirven, Abhijat van Bilsen and AndreRozendaal. Our graphics assistant is Bert van der Meulen.
In philosophy I majored in systematic philosophy and wrote a MA thesis about the philosophical bases of scholarly investigations into personal survival after death. In psychology I wrote a research paper on animal consciousness, together with my brother Esteban Rivas, PhD.
Please note that my academic title is Drs. (doctorandus), i.e. the former Dutch equivalent of MSc or MA, not to be confused with Dr., though I would like to get a PhD one day.
Since 2004 I also have a personal column about survival after death, reincarnation and personal evolution for the popular Dutch magazine Paravisie, entitled Zielenreis (journey of the soul) and I regularly write articles for spiritual magazines such as Koorddanser and Paraview.
(design: Bert van der Meulen)
Apart from my activities for Athanasia Foundation I'm also an author about ethical and social issues. As a vegan and anti-speciesist, I regularly write articles about animal rights for Vega! and of Bert Stoop. In 2003, I published a book of such essays, entitled Onrechtvaardig diergebruik.
I've also written several liberal articles about sexual and relational controversies.
Politically, I consider myself a libertarian socialist. In general I really hate the shameless cynicism and lack of scruples of the right and of capitalism, and sometimes worry about fashionable political developments. I have really liberal, leftist convictions, though obviously not in the collectivist 'communist' sense. The only type of 'conservatism' I'm able to accept is a 'conservatism' that stresses the validity of the conservation of progressive universal human and humane values and of rationality, and that tries to preserve a broad education, a good social system and the flourishing of culture.
Spiritually, I'm in favour of a tolerant, non-dogmatic, personalist spirituality that focuses on personal growth, personal love and solidarity.
My full name is Titus Petrus Maria Rivas, a truly Catholic name composed of three christian names + my surname.
I was named after a Roman Catholic priest from Nijmegen, my birth town, (although he was born in Fryslan) called Pater Titus Brandsma. He was well-known as a local scholar and journalist who criticised the Nazi occupation. He was deported to Dachau where he ultimately was killed. I'm aware that Titus was a common Roman name (praenomen), but it reached me through the monastic name of Pater Titus.
My other Christian names refer to my maternal grandfather Piet Wols and to Maria, the mother of Jesus.
Though I honour my names, I'm not a Roman Catholic anymore. For example, I don't believe in the Holy Trinity. Nevertheless, I've been heavily influenced by Catholic doctrine for the first 19 years of this life and received my highschool education at the Jesuit highschool of Canisius College/Mater Dei
, also at Nijmegen.
My direct cultural background is a mixture of Dutch and Spanish culture. My mother Corrie Rivas-Wols, a former school teacher of biology, Dutch and history, is Dutch (from Alphen aan den Rijn) and I was raised here in Holland and my mother tongue is Dutch. However, my late father Jose Rivas Rivas, very popular among the Spanish immigrants in the Netherlands, was a Spaniard from Colmenar de Montemayor (Salamanca) and I've visited Spain many times. I also speak and write Spanish quite well (though not perfectly), read and understand it very well, and especially like Spain'sflamenco music, mainly the kinds that are sung by 'Gitanos' or Calé(Spanish Roma) and singers who were strongly influenced by their traditions (e.g. Antonio Mairena, Agujetas de Jerez, El Chocolate, Nina de los Peines, Jose Merce, El Lebrijano, Pepe el de la Matrona, Camaron de la Isla, Tia Anica la Pirinaca, Tio Gregorio el Borrico, Carmen Linares, Terremoto de Jerez, etc.) (but certainly not its corridas, for obvious reasons). By the way, my love of flamenco is not related to any Andalusian roots, because my paternal family is originally from the Spanish region of Castilla y Leon.
Unfortunately, my father, a social worker and former seminarist (who came to Holland for health reasons - rheumatism -, rather than in search of a job), died in 1997 at the absurdly young age of 63. My mother (1933) is still alive and she lives in Leidschendam and Granada intermittently.
Genealogically speaking I have Spanish, Dutch and German ancestors. Among the Spanish ancestors there may well have been converted Jews, as there have been one or more large Sephardic families that adopted Rivas and Ribas as their converso name, to the extent that the name was considered a clear sign of a Jewish background by the Holy Inquisition. In that case, the possible converso Rivas ancestors may have been refugees from the town of Bejar, renowned for its Jewish inhabitants. If so, there might be a historical link to the famous Jewish and converso Bejarano (also spelled as Bidjerano, Bejerano, etc.) families. Please note that we're talking about 500 years ago here. Fascinating though it all is, it certainly does not mean I approve of Israel's policies towards the Palestinians, because I (obviously) don't.
On the side of my Dutch family side there is an interesting tradition of a Spanish ancestor of some centuries ago, which might explain the dark hair of some of my Dutch relatives. On my mother's side there also was a German ancestor several generations ago. Her maiden name Wols is probably derived from a protestant Dutchman with the personal name Wolf (Wols meaning son of Wolf) and she's part of a Catholic branch which derives from one of his descendants who converted to Catholicism for amorous reasons.
The history of my parents is quite romantic as well, as they first met in a monastery! My father stayed there while he sought medical help for his rheumatism and worked in the guest room where my mother visited her brother Piet, also known as Friar Bavo.
As I believe in personal reincarnation, I don't derive my personal identity from my possible ancestry, but I do find it interesting for historical and narrative reasons. I consider myself a cosmopolitan and an internationalist, and in the 1990s, I was involved in the foundation of the International Students Association Nijmegen (ISAN)
As to previous incarnations, I don't have any clear conscious memories of my previous lives, but I do believe that I might have been an intellectual in my former life. As a young boy of 4, my mother already called me the family's philosopher and I was known for my love of 'reading' books. For me, reincarnation is a rational concept and simply part of the facts of life.
I'm very fond of my human friends and my pets; my dog Moortje and my cats Cica and Guusje; and my mother Corrie. Unfortunately, Takkie died in 2006 from a kidney dysfunction and my cat Jerry passed away in 2008.
I love intelligent, friendly conversation and corespondence, and playing and walking with my pets (including my cats). As a philosopher I'm not attracted to living a normal, conformist life and I only have friends who accept this of me.
Some believe that I can be rather quick tempered when confronted with personal or ideological disrespect, but I try to be proportionate in my response and like to think of myself as tolerant and forgiving. Though, of course, nobody is perfect!
I naturally have a strong interest in all the topics studied by Athanasia, and also in the topics of my ethical and social essays. Apart from these, I'm also interested in languages, literature, history, archeology, anthropology, music (world music [like cante jondo & flamenco, Celtic folk, fado, Gypsy music from Central and Eastern Europe, and classical world music from India, such as Girija Devi, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Arabic world, Turkey, Persia, China and Japan, but also music from Mali or Indonesia], classical music (e.g. Bach, Beethoven, Shostakovitch, Purcell, Mahler, Arvo Part), Medieval music (for example Hildegard von Bingen, especially with organ) good pop music (e.g. U2, The Police, Sting,
Susan Vega, Simple Minds, Michael Jackson, Metallica, Olivia Newton-John, Victor Manuel, Amy Grant, Ne-yo) and good chansons, and great songs from The Netherlands, Germany or Latin America), movies (drama [for example: Le Silence de la Mer, Der Untergang, La Haine, The Others, etc.], suspense [The Sixth Sense, etc.], science fiction [especially Star Trek - all the series, Back to the Future, Sliders], House [with Hugh Laurie], fantasy [for example The Lord of the Rings] and comedies [e.g. British comedies, Sanford and Son, Laurel and Hardy, Little Rascals, and many more]), art [Antiquity, Renaissance, etc.], the philosophy of religion, and the philosophy of the physical and biological realms. I would like to broaden my knowledge of all these subjects. Concerning creative cultural ambitions, I'd mainly like to write cultural reviews, poetry and short stories.
Finally I like some outdoor games, computer games and pinball machines.
I also greatly enjoy comic books, cartoons, comedies and comedy shows and generally value humour a lot.