Category: Consciousness

Books, coffee, knowing things (2) Auden’s pamphlet

A loving journey with a mother’s dementia… and occasional humour. Part Two (This post is 1000 words, a ten-minute read) The photo, below, shows my final attempt at an ‘ark’, as we came to call them: a place of refuge in times of extreme storms. The idea of the ark was born of the need to direct my mother to a point of safety … Read More Books, coffee, knowing things (2) Auden’s pamphlet

The Big Picture (5) : A glass of silver wine

One of the ancient mystical traditions that has turned out to be startlingly modern is that of the Sufis. We may be familiar with Sufi thought in the form of its often quoted poetry, such as that of Rumi, or the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, the ‘Astronomer-Poet of Persia’, whose work became widely-read in the west, following its translation by Edward Fitzgerald in 1859. … Read More The Big Picture (5) : A glass of silver wine

The Big Picture (4) : a kind of hammer

As children, we lose ourselves in play and the toys or games that give the play structure: a skipping rope, chalk to mark out a court, balls to kick and control… perhaps, now, a computer to enter a virtual world. As adults we inhabit a different world, and the entanglements of our earlier years may pay us a return visit… (1400 words; a ten … Read More The Big Picture (4) : a kind of hammer

Books, coffee, knowing things…

(This post is 600 words, a five-minute read) I loved the image… I’d credit its creator if I knew where it came from; but there it was in my in-tray. The cool black cat with the importantly steaming mug of coffee, and an engrossing book with covers in my favourite colour… all of it pushing back the awfulness of an English February. There’s a … Read More Books, coffee, knowing things…

The Big Picture (3) : objects of desire

The word ‘object’ has many meanings; but none more mysterious and potentially wonderful as the meeting of spirituality with the findings of psychology’s Object Relations Theory… (1400 words; a ten minute read) Everything in our daily world comes from them; they are the highs and lows, the anguish and the triumphs, the misery and the joy… and above all else, the overwhelming violence of … Read More The Big Picture (3) : objects of desire

The Art of Drowning

I’ve drowned before… Drowning comes in the form of waves. Eventually, when your ability to fight back has gone, even the smallest wave can make the difference and take you beneath the surface to a place of the unknown. Many years ago, I faced the inescapable collapse of the software business that we had spent eight years building from nothing. The business climate had … Read More The Art of Drowning

The Big Picture (2) : a portrait of the archer

If we’re going to set off in search of the spiritual – as seen in humanity’s ‘internal pictures’, we need to have a more modern definition of what ‘the spiritual’ actually is… Imagine we are reading a paragraph in an absorbing book – something like the image below. Normally, our brains would assemble a sequential stream of characters into recognised words, then meaning. The … Read More The Big Picture (2) : a portrait of the archer

Winter walks with camera (6) : the shape of drama

Drama comes in many forms, but those forms can be accentuated by the rigours of Winter (250 words, a two-minute read) The estuary to the west of Arnside has an ancient feel, and is filled with dramatic shapes and foliage. In Winter, some of these can look primeval, and the natural desaturation of colour caused by the lower levels of light play to the … Read More Winter walks with camera (6) : the shape of drama

The Big Picture (1) : life and the image

We don’t live ‘in the world’… an outrageous thing to say, and yet it’s true. Well, if we don’t live in the world, where do we live? We don’t live in the world; we live in a picture of the world… the ‘big picture’ of the blog’s title. If we actually lived in the world, we would go insane within a very short time … Read More The Big Picture (1) : life and the image

Winter walks with camera (5) : long-shadowed figures

A bright winter day brings a wonderful benefit: long shadows. Often a matter of being lucky and at the right place at the right time, the long shadow is at its best extending the movement of people… (300 words, a two-minute read) The opening shot was taken while walking behind a family. It was a Sunday afternoon and we had been strolling behind them … Read More Winter walks with camera (5) : long-shadowed figures

Winter walks with camera (4) : cold sunsets

Winter is not generally associated with clear skies, not in Cumbria, at least! But when when a period of high-pressure brings clear air, and everything begins to freeze, there can be found the most beautiful of sunsets… (300 words, a two-minute read) Sue Vincent, one of my fellow Directors of the Silent Eye, along with Stuart France, the third in our trio, are both … Read More Winter walks with camera (4) : cold sunsets

Winter walks with camera (3) : the fire in trees

I find a nobility in winter trees. They endure the brutal weather, but show us, in that endurance, their purpose in revealed structure… (140 words, a one-minute read) The inner process of leaf-life to come is laid bare as the rain howls and the wind tests whether this year will be the last. Below the ground, the vast spread of roots has a life … Read More Winter walks with camera (3) : the fire in trees

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