He died when I was thirteen; but none of us knew his full story, which he refused to glorify. He lied about his age to join the Army. He survived WW1, including the Battle of the Somme, and enlisted again, for WW2. The fact that he was an Irish citizen gifted me an Irish passport, allowing me to have dual citizenship and remain a … Read More Within the mud, that narrow eye…
It’s a thought that began after I’d spent a full day writing in various forms: email correspondence, working on journals from our students in the Silent Eye, and preparing blogs for the week. Each of these involved an intense degree of ‘connection’ – via the internet, of course; that universal highway of data and opinion. It got me wondering at what point ordinary connectedness … Read More How connected do we need to be?
As the years pass, I continue to wonder at the marvel of human communication, and the sadness of how little we use its potential… The world appears to be full of conflict and strife. But much of it is happening at the psychological level. The Trump era in America and the Brexit ‘civil war’ in the UK were both fuelled by similar (if not … Read More Tango in the key of sorry
We seem to be wrestling with the recognition that an age is coming to an end, and that strange forms are filling the world with casual madness, behaving as though nothing hangs over, us; no piper calling for the line to the clifftop. The word ‘wisdom’ is to be used cautiously. It is subjective. One person’s wisdom is another’s folly. And yet, looking back … Read More Wisdom breathes out?
We’re visiting relatives. It’s friendly. We have a light meal and some cake to follow. But then someone mentions Brexit and a cold frost descends on the room… My wife and I bite our tongues, knowing our hosts are firm believers that Britain’s post-colonial destiny lies in a renewed ‘Little England’ reborn from some poster of decades ago. Until my wife’s uncle says, “Besides, … Read More Vexed by the Tribe (part two) – the fabrication of complexity
I am vexed… It’s a word you don’t hear much, now. Old English, I believe. It describes an agitated state of mind – and possibly body – when something nagging can’t be solved. What I’m vexed about is the entrenchment of nationalistic opinion across the world, in the face of much more important issues – like the world’s climate problems and the undermining of … Read More Vexed by the Tribe (part one)
Somewhere in the frontal cortex of our brains there’s a very special junction – a place where we learned to do something truly different with our minds… Let’s call it the Primal Screen… Our spines can be considered the highway of our historical evolution: the inherited paths of form and energy that developed from single cells in oceans, through fish, lizards and apes. At … Read More Primal screen
An idea: invisibly potent A watery creek A new and gentle breeze of ripeness Felt by few A red propeller spinning in the soil? A sail – unfurled and flapping Held fast with thin steel ropes which ‘clack’, dull metal, at its imprisonment … Whose time: like the now-revealed spinning toy Whirring in the wind Unwraps, revealing shining teeth Rotating gear, synchro-meshed Engages, beneath … Read More An idea whose time has come
We began this series by looking at how, at certain times in the life of civilisations, a ‘perfect storm’ of events overtakes and paralyses the forces of commonly perceived ‘good’ and cohesion; a state established over a long period of time. We can consider that, in the case of America and the UK, this former consensus is in decline, and the shift of extreme … Read More The Faces of Shiva (3) The Colour of Kin
The ‘perfect storm’ is a phrase that has entered our common vocabulary; that coming together of events to create a maelstrom of change and, often, terror – the terrorist attack of ‘9/11’ was a vivid example. These events change our world. We need a new word that describes the way we can look back at catastrophes and dissect them with great insight, yet … Read More The Faces of Shiva (2) Twisting Democracy
Brahma creates the world. Vishnu sustains it so that it might achieve its potential. Shiva destroys it when its positive energy has been exhausted. The ‘world’ might be everything, or, for the initiate of old, it might just as well apply to anything created by the mind – large or small. In other words a system. It should make us think… The ancient … Read More The Faces of Shiva (1)
If, a decade ago, someone had described the present state of world power, politics and economics, I would have concluded that the picture painted was one of a dystopian fantasy. For example, I am a passionate pro-European, believing that the stability and prosperity of Europe was hard-won by those who came through World War II, and vowed that the mistakes of the post World War … Read More Authoritarian Crash