An ordinary man. ‘Mine is a most peaceable disposition. My wishes are: a humble cottage with a thatched roof, but a good bed, good food, the freshest milk and butter, flowers before my window, and a few fine trees before my door; and if God wants to make my happiness complete, he will grant me the joy of seeing some six or seven of my enemies hanging from those trees. Before their death I shall, moved in my heart, forgive them all the wrong they did me in their lifetime. One must, it is true, forgive one’s enemies—but not before they have been hanged.’

Tomasz Goetel - About image
This isn’t a photo of me. This is a photo of a protagonist who I have an affinity for. He is played by Scott Ryan in the Australian TV series Mr. Inbetween.

Hello, fish-eaters and those who don’t eat fish. (I hope that covers everyone.) Welcome.

My name is Tomasz Goetel. I write about what bothers me—I air my grievances.

If you would like to contact me, please send an email.

A fifty-something-year-old man of flesh and bone born and raised in Poland. The man who is born, suffers, and dies—above all, who dies; the man who eats and drinks and plays and sleeps and thinks and wills; the man who is seen and heard; the brother, the real brother (de Unamuno). Sometimes I feel I understand the Fall of Man better than anyone (Kafka). After so many adventures, it is time to contemplate finishing with life as little badly as possible (Stendhal); the ‘finishing’ being contingent on whenever it’d be that The Boss calls me to Himself. Thy Will be done, Thy Kingdom come.

Vain, with a vexed spirit, a sinful, wretched man who due to his tragic sense of life doesn’t want to allow himself to be a lifelong liar arrogant asshole—that is me.

When I grow up, may I please be a good Christian and, if it’s not asking too much, may I please be a good friend to my neighbor.

Why the flying fish?

I see ‘a flying fish’ as an ancient symbol of a simultaneously of-this-world and out-of-this-world creature. A flying fish is simultaneously real and unreal, she is a paradox, an absurd, an oxymoron, a metaphor—and I relate to the possibility of being all those myself.

Being in water and being in flight. The former is a destiny that is imposed on one, the latter a destiny that is identical with the essence of one’s soul. A flying fish is the fish that has a soul. The soul is ungovernable.

What if one was to break with worldliness but not break with his life as a citizen, not break with beauties of the arts, not break with intellectual culture, therefore not performing an entire saltus in aliud genus (“leap into another kind of being”)? One would be a flying fish.

A flying fish is a Christian creature. As Jacques Ellul tells me, “If the Christian is necessarily in the world, he is not of it. This means that his thought, his life, and his heart are not controlled by the world, and do not depend on the world, for they belong to another Master.”

May I, by God’s Good Grace, not neglect the Most Important. May I not perish. “For of what use is existence to the creature if it cannot know his Maker?”

“Spiritual war”, Bob’s Cartoon

In the dark times

In the dark times
Will there also be singing?
Yes, there will also be singing
About the dark times.
~Bertolt Brecht, Motto (fragment)

In my writing, may the Good Lord please not allow me to become that kind of writer who a philosopher ironically called a “beautiful soul”—the one who denounces chaos present in the world while forgetting to include himself in it.

Write out of necessity. Cannot not write. Need to express whatever it is that bothers me. Must take something simple and complicate it. Sometimes, must write to express my gratitude. Other times, there’s a burning desire to find an answer to a question or two.

Well. Where I wrote in the previous paragraph that sometimes I “must write to express my gratitude”… That isn’t true. I mean I probably lied. Not that I’m ungrateful, it’s just that writing out of gratitude would be so dreadfully boring. Boring to write. Boring to read. I’m sorry for being unreliable. Writing is very, very difficult for me.

Now, what is this Substack about? Please read my first “welcome” post where you are asked for your attention so that my self-publications on the internets may be explained—and there’s another bit about the little me.

A few years ago, I wrote and published a small book for yoga teachers and everyone who speaks for a living, you can see more about that book if you want to. As a two-year now-defunct project called Save Me From Ruin, I edited and published to Amazon (yeah, I know) and Kobo over 40 books, usually in both paperback and electronic versions, from the public domain. Among those books, the bestseller has been one insane Irishman’s Ulysses.

Where I am

It is very hard to leave Thailand. I accomplished that difficult departure in July 2020, after I had lived in the Kingdom since 2006, working as a yoga studio and teacher academy owner, with the final five years spent as a detox counsellor in a Phuket clinic. It was also in July 2020 that after a 20-year long marriage with haṭhayoga, I filed for divorce.

My fate has something to do with the sea and islands; I’ve been partial to Hvar, Hawaii, Bermuda, The Bahamas, Sint Maarten, Bali, West Java, and Phuket. Today, I live in on the Mediterranean island of Ibiza.

Ibiza? Ah, nothing but a bloody babalonic Abbey of Thelema anti-monastery, if you ask me (but I won’t explain). Suffice to say that telluric worldviews, tattooed-up neo-feminists and their chemically caustic shadows cast onto cacao ceremonies, Reiki “healing”, crystal fetishism, astrological ramblings, and general paganism worn on a sleeve with leathers and feathers are not my thing. (New Age has got old and may need a face lift.)

Where was I? . . . My Lord, how badly this is written. I’m sitting in a cafe as I write this and I’m distracted. Look at the fine shoulders of this young woman who has just walked in, a holiday aura around her. Oh, yes. Ibiza. Why am I here? I work as a farmer in privately-owned experimental cultivation of a certain magnificent herb which on this island grows like there’s no tomorrow.

What next? I do not know. I keep on going, that’s about all there is to say.

Ibiza, Spain
Ibiza, Balearic Islands, Spain. The graphic by Frédéric Pajak, a Swiss-French writer and artist

Why subscribe?

Subscribe, in order to have new posts go directly to your inbox. (No spam, ever.)

Comment on my posts, or not (I hope you would). Or, like me, read quietly, read alone.

“Ryba po polsku”

Please notice that within “The Flying Fish”, there’s “Ryba po polsku” (a tab, at the top menu) where my posts in the Polish language are collected.

“Is yoga dead?”

There’s also another tab above at the top menu, the “Yoga varia”. There, I am asking whether yoga is dead because I’ve noticed a ghost called ‘online yoga’ that haunts the internet in limbo. Have other yoga-related questions, too, and I muse about those over there in that separate category of posts.

the flying fish tomasz goetel

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“The soul—this enigmatic something which we feel when we hear the word used, but of which the essence baffles all science, the divine spark in this living body which in this divinely cruel, divinely indifferent world has either to rule or to submit —is the counter-pole of the light-world about us (…) The more solitary the being and the more resolute it is in forming its own world against all other conjunctures of worlds in the environment, the more definite and strong the cast of its soul.”—Oswald Spengler

“To be governed means to be, in every transaction, in every movement, noted, recorded, counted, valued, stamped, quoted, patented, licensed, authorized, postulated, admonished, prevented, reformed, rectified, corrected by beings who have neither title, nor science, nor virtue.”—Pierre-Joseph Proudhon


Ellul, J., The Presence of the Kingdom, (1989).


Athanasius: On the Incarnation (‘De Incarnatione Verbi Dei’), III, 11.

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I write about what bothers me.


Tomasz Goetel

I write about what bothers me.