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!