Thursday 27 December 2018

Treas again

My blogs have been slowed recently, after me and my wife have been have getting ready for Christmas. The week has is more free, however, and I can walk in the Southampton Common again. It is "my place". I do not determine where I will go: it will guide me. And today I am walking across over smooth grass and trees, forgetting the problems of my brain (Alzheimer's syndrome). And the trees and the waters agreed me.

Wednesday 19 December 2018

I've been thinking about the fist time I got into being a Christian (a long time ago). I was to be one with Christ Some time later I discovered Islam, with its firmer sayings of how one shouid live, which has continually interest me. Both Jesus and Muhammad inspier the world though reciving the words of god, in both cases raising human thinking and creating  humanity. I happen to have Christianity first,

Wednesday 28 November 2018

I've bene reading  Karon Armstrong's excellent book on the development of Islam from start to now - in less than 170 pages!  I'm impressed  and enjoyed - but all the time I'm thinking "it's all missing the point". In my case I'm a Cristian, going to church, taking communion … but that is a matter of where I was born, not what I am. That  is about my inner feeling.

Sunday 11 November 2018

I'm thinking of angels: traditionally the assistances of God, and about whether they are, and from this, what is "being" when the are so flued".  Two events make me wonder. A long time ago when I was coming out of a church I was aware, without any seeing, a pure "Isness". And the seconds was recent, looking at flock of distant birds swirling in the distance, that seeming beyond normal being, as this moment had a seventh dimension.

Wednesday 31 October 2018

Much happening around Churches recently: Going to the building last week that was being violently re-organised, and yesterday walking a silent meditation in the old church that I used always to go to: bliss ! . It's good that there are different churches for different people. I always walk there from home, like a sort of ritual walking to a sacred shrine. Then I get back on the buss!  I think my daily walking in the woods is my most sacred action.

Tuesday 30 October 2018

More on Rubbish

 My daily walk thru the ruff parts of the Common had echoes of the 3rd October blog: "Rubbish". Walking in any path where there are people you see it on the ground. If it's trivial I pick it up and carry it until I pass a bin: it there, if it it's too much I'm afraid it leave there, unless I'm feeling very good.

Sunday 28 October 2018

My computer messed things out a few days ago. First I just randomly collapsed for a couple of days, then my wife helped me to pull myself up (and showed me what to do, including walking through the trees in the Common) .
Random action, which I do too often,  reminds me of the time when, in the Common, I saw an elderly woman (well, probably my age!)  walking in the Common and, on each tree, cutting the ivy from it's rings - which could also destroy crucial parts of the tree. She thought that the iv killed the tree. For this and, for many other spontaneous actions, the action is "let it be".  

Tuesday 16 October 2018

 15/10  Our churches have been re-organised and when I was there the main speaker focused only on my "closeness to Jesus". I'm worried that these may only be words. Along with many other people I've encountered, I have tried to follow Jesus's precepts, and once I had a hallucination of a person which at the time a thought was Jesus. I don't that sort of thing is helpful!        

16 / 10  There was a soft mist over everything today as I went to the Common, becoming clearer as I walked.  No other people, no visible animals . ..  Just a walking.  Even  as I write now, the mist has gone.

16 / 10 There was a soft mist over everything today as I went to the Common, becoming clearer as I walked.  No other people, no visible animals . ..  Just a waking. 

Even  as I write now, the mist has gone.

Thursday 11 October 2018

The leading dog

My regular walk on Southampton Common yesterday was pleasant, with a large portion of  dogs taking their human for a walk! I've never had a dog and would  never want one (far two much work and less of freedom). But I do appreciate them when they come to me to say a (doggy) "Hello". Some time ago I learnt dogism: behaving like the ancient wild dogs from which they came, when every dog obeyed the leading, tallest dog. In this case, I am the leader and I hold out a my regal back-of-hand to be licked.        

Wednesday 10 October 2018

The light

For a ling time I have been fascinated by the "light surah" in the Quran (Surah 24:33). Here is  a translation (I don't know any Arabic!).
"God is the light of the heavens and the earth. The parable of his light is, as it were that of a niche contained in glass, the glass like a radiant star."
  I am the niche and God offers light from his being, if I am willing and able.
As a reminder, in a our room there is a large glass, shining with a gentle blue.   

Wednesday 3 October 2018


Almost every day I walk at random in the woods in the common near us. And usually, in some places, I wonder at the rubbish around me - usually bear-cans, spoiling it's beauty. Today there was so much in one glade that I could not carry it all away. I suppose that chatting with friends with a bottle is more worthy than my solitary wondering?

Monday 1 October 2018

Yesterday we went to the church where we used to take part in a traditional christian service. Now, however, it had been turned into a very different place. The previous traditional service had  prayed for  the work of many Christians working for good in Southampton and beyond; the songs opened opened the depth of God; the ritual of the "The lords Supper", though the the presence of us all, connected us through Jesus to God.
Here, how ever, was nothing but a stream of assertions to every single person that they could be "healed by Jesus."

Wednesday 26 September 2018


As usual, today I was marveling at the trees around me. They seem as living beings as I am: born, moving though (in one place) and dying. The spiritual books (bible and Quran)  praise God's creation of trees and plants placed to support the animals, but I  place them all along side.  

Tuesday 18 September 2018

Today I decided to take a good long walk: "A quick coffee and I'll be off. Mm I've run out of coffee beans, and it would be a shame so spoil my start without that?", do I? ". I did, walking to the nearest shop that had my favorite beans ...  And then it was nice to write this blog ...!
I'm getting off now, I really am ...

Monday 10 September 2018

Most of the books I read are to do with spirituality; but usually my thoughts fade away as I read. Most of my encounters with trees show me a kind of spirituality: as a fleeting moment in which I and the tree seem to me to be as one. 

I was thinking this morning of  using my circle dance to to the song "Woodstock" in an a forthcoming event, with its words including  "We are stardust, we are golden.  And we've got to get ourselves back to the garden", here mean a "garden of Eden". It is said Mohamed started his work with flying to it. Not every one is charged for the rest of their life's work with a vision of perfection. Not every one knows how to use it.

Wednesday 5 September 2018

On Sunday we had used our garden for discussion of a group supporting Palestine, and yesterday I put out, for taking back, the unused beer bottles (please note the "unused", not the beer!). Later I wandered for a walk (no, the wandering is not to do with the beer, which was little used!) and I went out to sit on a fallen tree in the middle of a little known grove. The world seemed more real there.

Wednesday 29 August 2018

"God-bothering" again! About the meaning of "God". The original word Elohim for "God" in Hebrew should mean "Gods", but the theologians have sorted that own satisfactorily. The problem for me is, what/who does it mean? The book of John's oxymoron, of god as both creator and created:  "In the beginning the word already was" is a start, but it doesn't really help. Perhaps perhaps it's not meant to.
Physicists propose a point "flaring forth" of the initial universe, within a physics in which space and time are mixed and action is fluid. Some how, God is both the making firm and, through quantum physics, always fluid.      

Sunday 26 August 2018

Southampton Common

(It's perhaps worth mentioning that I've got Alzheimer syndrome -a progressive degeneration of the brain. In my case its making it hard to recall words, and very often events. So I have to write this very slowly!)
Daily walking, starting from Southampton Common, is a vital activity - reminding me that what now is what matters.
Yesterday I encountered at least 3 "How-you-do"s from dogs - (that is, me putting out my hand to the dog for it to give me a quick lick on it, to that I am the top dog). This then open's a smile from the owner - or some times for the owner to yank the dog away from me - which I think is "a bit off". 

Saturday 25 August 2018

I've not been blogging

I've not been blogging because, for the past two days or so, I was floundering in trying to create a grand compendium of my blogs on paper - to wow friends!? I was finding it more and more difficult.  My wife Isabel swiftly sorted me out when I told her. (What hubris on my part- Sorry: that's a posh word for pretending you're more clever that you are!).
 It's good to be normal again. I went to a nearby church that's usually always open and empty. It's atmosphere of what it stands for usually sorts me out, as it further helped today.

Friday 3 August 2018

Hey! I've just drunk coffee using "Cuba Cumanaygua" coffee beans. It's grate! From Waitrose.
I walk almost every day, but this time I just followed my liking. I wandered out, as often, to the grove of beech trees nearby and sat down, breathing the presence of each tree.
After a while I recalled that there was a larger grove concealed just off the golf field not long from here, with a plane tree dominating it, more concealed than the beech grove tree. I went there. I seem to like symbols.

Tuesday 17 July 2018

I have two books about God on my book-shelf: the Bible and the Quran. The latter is put higher than any other book, following tradition. I had once read the first of these all the way through in my young enthusiastic period, but not for the Qur'an. Thinking of these sacred books, as it were from a distance, they present a path for the world, to move from violence and greed to love. A path, but from which  so many are twisted.  

Walking with a differnce

Today I was walking to the usual tree-grove - but there came a difference.
Many years ago  I realised that tree-hugging was improper to the tree, which is fare greater than I. But today I did hold to that great central tree, and felt my own heart-beat reverberate within the tree. And I turned to the smaller, path from the farther gap among the shrubs ahead with silent thought. 

Wednesday 4 July 2018

"Flaring forth" and being

From a discussion group the other day: it seems that we now have a plausible account of the start of the universe. First is the initial "flaring forth" of primordial energy. Then, as it it expands, some parts collect into clumps of various sises, appearing as scattering. Some clump into arrangements that we label "galaxy", "stars", "planets".
But it occurred to me that this movement is not mechanical  (in the sense of Newton's physics). The flaring was, like all things, is a quantum event, holding many possibilities for the next step. How does a definite outcome occur?  Surly I am thinking in a wrong way?  May be in my searching for the "how", I forget the "what is?  That is, "what is the universe for itself?. "Yet I can only obtain through letting part of my being become part of the all.

Thursday 21 June 2018

After a short gap, I have returned to the nearby beach-grove. This time it held only trees and slight marks animals. - unlike a few humans who leave their beer cans!
On the returning the path, with it's surrounding greenery and the light of the of the sun, showed me, without thought, that all this can expand with out end. I thank what is given to me. (Sorry! Hope this isn't too pompous!)

Thursday 7 June 2018

I'm intrigued by "deja vu": the sense of thinking that something that I have just seen had been seen by me earlier, although that was not the case.
This happened yesterday (or did it?) when I was taking a fairly long and somewhat devious walk.
As I think of it now, soon after my start, while on a good path I was rapidly (some what furiously) passed by a young man on a bright red bicycle. An hour or so later, after walking through rough ground, and returning to a road, the (or 'a'?) man on a red bike passed me again! 
All very odd.

Wednesday 6 June 2018

Weaving the cosmos

  As my eye wondered today over my books, I noticed "Eye To Eye" by Ken Wilber, 1996, exploring the "weaving" in the universe between physics and spirit. Today it is, in a sense, taken for granted: physics, including the cosmos, is based on quantum theory, which has an element of randomness that makes the universe more dynamic.
    But what this really mean? The universe "flares" out from a single point that in itself is entirely symmetric; but some how the symmetry brakes and the universe that we know appears. How? "God" is too human a term for this flaring. At this level I think of "isness": that which we suddenly encounter as the pure being of something, before us and within us.

Byond phisics

    As my eye wondered today over my books, I noticed "Eye To Eye" by Ken Wilber, 1996, exploring the "weaving" in the universe between physics and spirit. Today it is, in a sense, taken for granted: physics, including the cosmos, is based on quantum theory, which has an element of randomness that makes the universe more dynamic.
    But what this really mean? The universe "flares" out from a single point that in itself is entirely symmetric; but some how the symmetry brakes and the universe that we know appears. How? "God" is too human a term for this flaring. At this level I think of "isness": that which we suddenly encounter as the pure being of something, before us and within us.  

Thursday 3 May 2018

I have had a period filled with activities other than blogging: organising the re-painting of a wall in our dining room, planing an imminent trip to Greece on land and sea only, and so on. (Though I must confess that most of the work for this was done by my wife) But this afternoon I visited my old friend the beech-tree grove, 15 minutes or so from my house. Recently it hard been for me to get across the brook that blocked it, but now there were 3 convenient tree-trunks placed over side by side. As I came to the central beech I could relax in the feeling of an old friend.
P.S. many thanks to whoever it was who hauled the trucks together!

Monday 30 April 2018

I think that one of our human attributes is our creativity. Other animals can be creative, but we create par excellence. Perhaps we have gone too far, constantly shifting from one idea to another; or perhaps in our activity we focus only on our selves, ignoring our surroundings. What matters is the shining wonder of the whole.

Wednesday 25 April 2018

When reading yesterday a very worthy magazine, there came to mind the phrase (among some friends we knew) "Effing the ineffable". That is, trying to speak in words something that goes beyond words. (I probably do this in these blogs!) It's a tricky balance. The philosopher Wittgenstein famously ended his first, revolutionary, book with the line "Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent" (though in German). He softened this in later books however!
 The main deficiency in this sort of thinking is it's focus on words. A true connection with a person is not merely a string of words, though they can invoke deeper things: it is a state of combined being. Words can spark this, but they are not the real thing.

Monday 23 April 2018


Walking this morning, for no reason, I found myself recalling the Gayatri , a widely used Mantra in which one expands ones awareness to the basic aspects of the universe and one's own being. And, a little bit later, I gratefully returned to the here and now. This is where I belong.
But in the afternoon there was another shift: my regular session of circle-dancing, using dance to express a huge range of the joys and the sorrows of all of us: all we versatile humans!

Sunday 22 April 2018

Join the rubbish grabbers

I think we're winning in stopping the dropping of trash! As with many people who go for walks, I pick up rubbish that has been thrown to the side of the path, or into the edge of a wood - providing there's likely to be a rubbish bin within a reasonable distance, and the item is not too disgusting! Today was a bit worse than usual (about 5 items), but things are better than they used to be.

Wednesday 18 April 2018

A lament for all that is going on

I received this from "Zuhair" via Doug Constable, a friend of mine: a lament for the Iraq that Zuhair knew as a young man. Here is my acknowledgement of his poem

To say my heart is bleeding isn’t true;
not for the nations over there at least,
whose peoples I call mine, siblings oppressed
by monstrous force: it’s they who bleed, who rue
the callous hands that deal out death and shame,
who grieve rape of their hopes, their trampled pride.
Theirs are the cries of need heard far and wide
for rescue from foul force and terror’s flame.
I do not bleed like they, but yet I ache,
if honestly not with, then truly for them;
though loved, I am not saved; for God, who bore them
from the first bleeds to the last with each.
My power to change their fate hangs crucified,
entombed, till Love shall evil over-ride.

Monday 16 April 2018

 My last blog mentioned the Biblical account of God creating "the heavens and the earth". But when that was written, at the earliest around 1445 B.C., the writers knew nothing of the time between the creation of the earth and themselves - let alone (here I'm now digging out memories from when I was a physicist!) the time in the past, some 5 billion years ago, when the sun emerged and, later on, produced the earth.
It is speculated that the universe emerged from an initial "flaring forth" of energy and substance. If anywhere, this is the Hand of God. But what, then, of the 'God' whose son is Jesus, the Jesus who is the only begotten son of this god? I am inclined to miss out this statement, while recognising that Jesus had a receptivity, unique as far as we know, to that part of the whole that concerns we humans, a receptivity like that between a father and his son.   

Sunday 15 April 2018


The first words of the Bible ("God created the heavens and the earth", followed by a reminder of the deatails) now seem rather flat in the light of modern knowledge. But the question "why is there something rather than nothing", usually regarded as meaningless, still nags me. It calls for a different way of thinking, or rather a way of  "meta-thinking", of moving from thinking to inner awareness. 

Friday 13 April 2018


I have never been good at smoothly integrating with people en.mass - that is, with more people than about two. My word "mass" itself indicates my feelings! I think all this stems from my first school, in which I was "posh" in relation to the "normal" others. Probably, this is why I so often write about trees, animals and grass-lands.    

Wednesday 11 April 2018

Snakes slide, birds fly, lions tear ... and humans??  perhaps they enquire.
The main strand of discussion with our grandchildren is driven by their "Why?".  My activity when I was a physicist was pushing the "why"s, along with it's brother "how". Perhaps that's what drives humanity, for good or ill.

Tuesday 10 April 2018

On the last two days I wrote a number of blogs, but getting myself progressively scrambled! So lets start again...
While Isabel and our son's offspring went off to a nearby music park, I wandered along a lane looking at the trees along side it. Suddenly, looking up for a tiny moment into a niche in the tangled branches, I found myself as if I was that tangle and that it flared red light. In retrospect it seemed like the time, 40 or more years ago, when I asked of a leaf, what it was like to be that leaf: and, for a tiny, indescribable moment, my request was fulfilled. Very rare moments like these, though less dramatic, convince me that Being is vastly beyond all time and space. 

Monday 9 April 2018

Gurdwara Nanaksar

A few days ago, while walking home on a road I rarely used, I found myself face to face with the closed door of a gourdwara (the worship place for Sikhs). I was reminded of an earlier time when, as part of an event celebrating the various religions in Southampton, we were taken round a different
gourdwara and was impressed by the commitment and practicality of this way of being.
I spend quite a lot of time reading and thinking about religion/religions. It seems to be a fundamental of human beings, flowering from the earliest times, to be aware of what we need for humanity to survive and flourish (or to have it taken it away) and from this, striving to understand its deeper origin.
But over the last few days the earth and the trees took precedence. The trees started to look different. They were inviting my mind to enter them. And, surprisingly, for a short time, it did! Nothing dramatic, no words, nothing that could be called thought. Just the upper branches of a tree. 

Tuesday 3 April 2018

English weather

Woke up to a grey day, with little encouragement to leave the house. But the pull of life demanded a few minutes outside, in the drizzle: just a walk along Lovers' Lane and back ... picking up the rubbish on the path that had accumulated since two days ago, walking as I steered round the black muddy pools that had accumulated. Then back to home!        

Saturday 31 March 2018

In an earlier blog I suggested that "Surly the God of the universe is not restricted to our own tiny speck?"  In support of this I've just been reminded that John Eriugena, who lived between, roughly, 815 and 877 CE, wrote that "God is beyond the dimensions of time ... and space". So, I would think, the presence of God is universal and, among the almost infinite entities in the universe, there will be creatures that have a string connection with God.
So what about Christ, and the declaration that Jesus is "the only-begotten Son of god", suggesting that Christ, and this world, is totally unique?. Wikipedia (ēs) reveals that the word for "only" in "only begotten" is not the only sense of the Greek word monogenēs, which can mean "unique and special" as well as "the only one that there is".
The presence of God, in innumerable forms, is more vast than we can imagine. 

Wednesday 28 March 2018

Am I a christian?

         Every so often, out of curiosity, I ask myself "Am I a christian?" ( I sometime think this during the christian discussion groups that I sometimes go to!). The problem for me is in particular expressed by some words in the the Lord's prayer: "our father ...maker of heaven and earth..." in juntion with Jeus' central speaking of God as "my father": e.g. Mark.14.36 'Abba, Father [abba is some times translated as "daddy"] Jesus's life was continually in the presence of the Father of which he spoke.
But there is a fundamental difference between this said father of Jesus and my own father. I knew about, and was aware of, a significant proportion of all that constituted my father. Whereas Jesus, in so far as he was a man, surely only had the capacity to grasp the minute extent of the God that embraces the entire universe.

Tuesday 20 March 2018

Today I headed to the short walk along the path leading the "Beech Grove": a secluded patch of grass surrounded entirely by trees, entered only by a wooden plank laid across the stream that rang alongside the path.  As I had suspected, however, the path was mostly water-logged, so I entered from the other end, only to find that the plank, usually usually placed to walk across, was no more: I succeeded a running jump! Then on to the end of the base and home. Good fun, but not to do often.

Monday 19 March 2018

The fluffy snow that had covered everything the previous days had started to disappear, and I took a walk around its edge, looking for paths I had not noticed. Everything was in the shades of dark trees and the white snow, obliterating any paths that others had trodden, so I set off through a rarely visited part where the trees and branches were fairly widely spaced, walking in a direction likely to take me home. To my surprise, I saw another man wandering in a vaguely opposite direction, smoking a cigarette. We greeted, commenting on the weather (what else!) and I continued on. But I had the impression, from his appearance, that he had nowhere to go - while I had a wife and home. 

Saturday 17 March 2018

To be aware only of nothing

My last blog, about being our aware with our whole body, reminded me (no I don't know why!) of a related event, when I was quite young, at my first dental operation, under full anesthetic. I retained awareness all the time, but its contents became steadily less, until I was aware of absolutely nothing ... except for a tine distant light. It was an uncanny and disturbing event. Reflecting on it now, I recalled T.S. Eliot's "When the evening is spread out against the sky, Like a patient etherized upon a table". He probably never felt it!

Thursday 15 March 2018

Today I was on my way to the common. As often, I walked through a path sloping downward by about 40 degrees, between closely branched trees on either side. There had been rain for several days, covering a rich mud over the path that settled around the tree-roots, and I was accordingly walked looking cautiously downwards as I walked so to avoid slipping. But soon, however, I found could again lookup: my entire body had taking care of my movements - a lesson for "letting-go". 

Monday 12 March 2018

My study is full of books: no reason to get them out, though they are a bit scattered. Are words so important? Humanity lives on action, creation, development - very rightly, to give everyone their well-being. But when I open to the night sky, or the trees,  it is these that have the greater reality.

Saturday 10 March 2018

Mechanisation of the spirit

Poor words, but the best I can get. By "spirit" I mean the inner being of an entity: that which holds its isness. When I am overwhelmed by a landscape or a flying bird, it is not their picture that draws me to them, but a sort of connection with their being. It is so fragile: I start thinking, and it is gone. The birds themselves know only spirit. We humans, including me, usually crush it. 

Thursday 8 March 2018

An instrument of peace

After a gap, today I returned to the beech grove that is my main "church". Sometimes I had stood there singing the first line of "St.Francis`s song": "Oh Signore, fa' di me uno strumento della tua pace": That is: "Lord, make me an instrument of your peace". On this occasion I turned to the path feeling somewhat low. What can I, with my frequent struggles to discover words (because of Alzheimer's  syndrome) be an instrument of God's peace? But as I stood in the grove it seemed to me that this weakness perhaps more strongly shows me those things that really matter: my wife, the trees and much more, which can find peace.

The big universe

A few days ago I was again wondering about "all that is" (i.e the Universe), and the possibility  that the "flaring forth" which created "our" universe, could in itself create infinite universes. Douglas Adams, in  "A hitchhiker's guide to the universe" warns us: the universe: "The universe is big! I mean really big. If you think that walking to get your daily papers from the news-agent and back again is  long, it's absolutely nothing to the universe"  (I quote from memory!). Probably the first of those who realized that things were a lot bigger than reached by a very long camel ride was, perhaps, the Greek thinker Eratosthenes, who released that the earth curved, and measured quite a good shot its size. And it took until to 1653 for Huygens to estimate our distance from the Sun. Now we reach out with distances whose very means of measurement have repeatedly been recreated (see But where remains the question "why is there something, not nothing?".

Saturday 24 February 2018

Yesterday, as I often do, I took a walk from my house in Southampton to Eastleigh, about two to three hours. As usual I followed the rout of the "Itchen navigation": the canal along which most of the goods from the sea-boats were carried inland. I was walking along side the ditch, almost all that is left of it admiring the reeds and plants. On the other side is the fencing of the grassland, with some openings, and I wandered there for a while and returned. Pleasantly, after a while a man (young by my standards) came in from the grasslands. A gentle chat, and we carried on. Such places can make wonders.

Wednesday 21 February 2018

The universe

This afternoon I'd run out of books, and started wandering through my shelves, lighting on Nancey Murphy and George Ellis's "On the moral nature of the Universe", written 22 years ago (1996). I had known George Ellis well and, probably, I had then read (or scanned) a fair amount of the book .
Now, however, it seems a very dry and mechanical approach to God and the universe (George and I were both physicists!). Now I feel the irreducible isness of the universe, from it's initial "flaring forth" to the multitudes of its consequences, as something that in its depth is felt, not calculable. 

Sunday 18 February 2018

Today I again went to Southampton Common in the evening, as the light was starting to fade. The birds were starting to roost. It had been many weeks since I last viewed this. But my main action turned out to be at the beautiful secluded "beech grove", on the way to the common. Earlier, other users had collected its fallen tree-branches for their convenience for a pic-nick, gathered around the center for a fire. Since then, I had put up with it, but now was a time to open the grove's former beauty. So I settled down to drag the branches to their previous stands at the edge of the grove (taking care not damage myself with the heavy ones!).  A satisfying evening.      

Wednesday 14 February 2018

I am sitting in the Church of St. Michael in Southampton – presently deserted.
To my left is a large stained glass window above the main door that depicts
St Michael, leader of a hundred Angels in battle, slaying with his lance
the dragon-shaped leader of evil – a splendid picture for all its naiveté.
To my right, tucked away between the side door and the lady -chapel, is 
a statue of a very different St. Michael, carved from the steely trunk of 
a yew tree. His body has half emerged from the core of the tree. He is 
supporting himself on his lance, twisting his head to look upward, displaying
both power and uncertainty. His mission is as yet unformed.
Both these pictures depict St Michael bringing good into the world.
In the stained glass picture it is by unremitting action, in the sculpture 
it is by working deeply within the total situation, discerning what evil really 
is in this world that he is entering. This quality of discernment lies at the 
core of what is called in the Bible “Wisdom” - the capital letter used because 
in many places Wisdom is presented as a kind of person. Action without wisdom 
can be dangerous, and as our world becomes more complex, so Wisdom must reach

Tuesday 13 February 2018

I'm "God-bothering" again. On my own, I am drown to the wonder of 
the universe (or even universes). Among the church community I come "down
to earth" - the earth on which Jesus walked. Christianity
holds he is the "only begotten son of the Father" (John 1:14 - with Platonic tinges!)
So who is/was Jesus? For me, he is a revelation of the aspect, comprehensible for all
on our planet, of the living universes.
Given the vastness this, it seems absurd that Jesus is the only one.

Relativity and Alzheimer's syndrome

When I was young, I was fascinated by Einstein's (special) theory of gravity
(known as 'relativity') based on the idea that the four 'dimensions'
of "north-south", "east-west", "up-down" and past-future should be treated
together as a single entity: space-time. I used to try to visualize them mentally
in a kind of super-space - with minimal success!
My thinking was, as it were, mechanical - and I was became a mathematical 
physicist for my later work. A strand of spirituality was there, but
only occasionally did I bring in spirituality, which now, in various forms,
is the sea in which I swim.
Came down to breakfast, and looked out of the window to see even the largest trees in our garden swaying in bursts of wind. Later I dashed out under the gray sky to the end of the garden, to throw out vegetable rubbish: and came back shivering! Now, reflecting, I acknowledge, rather wryly, the importance all the many weathers of this planet.   

Friday 26 January 2018


This morning I was digging a path along the side of a wall, and as I started
I noticed a robin sitting on the tree behind me. He shortly dropped down and
golloped the worm that my vibrations had produced. Then the two of us proceed
along the wall, me digging, he (or she) eating, until it was done: when he flew
up, without saying "thank you"!   

Thursday 25 January 2018

Multiple Christs

In the time of Jesus, in Palestine, the idea that the earth was a very big sphere was unknown. Now we are aware of a universe of galaxies, each of inconceivable sizes. So those most well-known words "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" now display a very different vision than when spoken in ancient Palestine.
So what does this mean for Jesus' relationship as "the son of God"? Surly the God of the universe is not restricted to our tiny speck? So the true "Holy Trinity" is in fact the Holy Infinity, with endless Christian incarnations beyond anything that we can know.

Tuesday 23 January 2018

The Golf Course Circuit

 When I'm restless I often take my "standard walk" encircling Southampton Golf course:  North along Lordswood Lane (past the mound that once supported the Castle), East under Chilworth Common, and finally to the Golf area, from which I get a bus home. The weather was fine, but heavy rain had only just stopped, and the earth was black-muddied with many deep pot-holes. As always, I was well booted and, with strategic jumps, my feet didn't get wet.
Occasionally I encounter someone else on my walk: on this occasion a younger man (as, of course, are most men!) in rather neat clothes, coming in the opposite direction. I warned him there was a lot of mud, but he continued ... I wonder how he got on!  
Early in the morning: the Beech Grove. As usual, but gently. No chants or prostrations: letting the grove speak for itself. I am at peace.

Monday 22 January 2018

God-bothering again

(Sorry, this one is a bit rambling and heavy!)
Yesterday, as frequently, we went to Church. As I mentioned, I'm prepared to pronounce the Creed ("We believe in God ...") as a general whole of the people, but I can't myself agree with quite a lot of this document. So what do I think about it?
I'm getting closer to Christianity through recognizing human beings' various "ways of knowing" (to quote a multi-authored book* that I edited). The idea came from work by Teasdale and Barnard in 1993: that the mind operated through two interacting systems, which they named "Propositional", working things out,  and "Implicational",  the total response to the situation. 
Rather conveniently - or perhaps linked with our evolution - the world as whole seems to be not a rigid mechanism, as Newton proclaimed, but a combination of a randomness at the smallest level and general laws over the whole, which together open out the world. As a result of this, "God is", and we encounter Gods, total is-ness, in many ways.     
*Ways of Knowing, Imprint Academic, almost certainly out of print! 

Saturday 20 January 2018

Today I had a pleasant wander in Winchester - though I was unable to get inside the cathedral because of the dense pack of people in the entrance! Back at home, I went to St. Edmond's church, a short distance from our house, which (as I had expected) was open but empty.  The silence and peace is always valuable. There I felt the thought: Be open to God in all things. Not through awareness of some sort of signal, but in openness to whatever goodness may come.

Friday 19 January 2018

Common ecstasy

On Southampton Common, under a shining blue sky and a pure cold air, everything was amazing. The minute wren, hopping on the tree where I entered; the small flying gulls that came sweeping down around me then sweeping up high. Two dogs chased down to me with a swift doggy-hello from all three of us, and then up to their master ... and over all that, wonderful sky.

Yet another

The walk in my last blog moved from the sublime to the ridiculous. I was well after lunch-time, and I had nothing to eat, so I bought some biscuits: to be precise: "Nairn's Dark Chocolate Chipoat biscuits". Sounds good! but  totally dry and almost inedible - though I was hungry enough to eat one of them. The reason for their being inedible was printed on the corner: "40% Less sugar" (so that you couldn't taste it), and "oil" (no idea what oil) which presumably used to avoid any taste.
I'll stick to my one home-made baking! 

Two days ago my walk along the Itchen way was very satisfying. St Denys Church was open and empty, so I could sing "O Signore, fa' di me uno strumento della tua Pace:" (Lord, make me an instrument of your peace - the first line of a song that is usually attributed to St. Francis, despite that it is seems to have first arrived in Germany - in German!). The acoustics of the church were very good!
And then was there was a beautiful sky, and a gentle wind as I walked along the side of the river Itchen in its breadth, soon to reach the sea. The sun continued as I crossed over the Itchen, to walk along the Itchen way, once the Itchen canal, leading to Eastleigh.

Monday 8 January 2018

Yesterday (8th Jan)  I started walking, as often, along side of the river Itchen, and soon continued on the "Itchen way": the old canal rout from Southampton to Eastleigh. I feel as if a friend to it, some times, for instance, reporting blocks in its path. On this occasion a large tree had fallen across, but it was easy to crawl underneath its upward curve. Unusually, I encountered four other people: a couple walked past looking firmly ahead - but the others had a chat. 
I arrived in Eastleigh as the sun was descending in a rich orange light: a very satisfying afternoon!

Thursday 4 January 2018


Walking from my house to green fields abutting the River Itchen, I usually walk past St Denys Church: a large, conventional 1970 construction. The name 'St Denys' comes from a tenth century Priory dedicated to St Denys, close by my St Denys Church.
I've always been intrigued by this less-than-dubious Saint!  The name "Denys" is a shortening of  "Dionysius", an important Council member in Athens converted to Christianity by St Paul.
Around the 5th-7th century writings appeared attributed to him. They were strongly influenced by mystical neo-Platonism: a pretty unreadable bunch, but I rather like the one "On "The Celestial Hierarchy", about Angels.