Why is there something rather than nothing, he mused. Does life have any purpose.
And here you are, at the center of eternity, the end point of all. You are out of the physical realm here, all is pure thought.
In a perfectly manicured estate beside the Thames in Central London, he came to the conclusion that life, as such, did not matter so very much.
Some weeks after their adventures with the Book of Ways, Polly and Eustace sat enjoying a breakfast of boiled eggs and generously buttered toast in their little sitting room…
Wouldn’t you if you were living in the Third World on 10 cents a day?
The urge to write seems to be a purge, to be taken from time to time to express what it is one believes one has learnt.
“There are more things in heaven and earth than most people would dream of” chuckled Septimus. “If my dealings with Mages and their ways are anything to go by, you have both been called and must not be found wanting. Some great adventure awaits you.”
An air of deep unusualness greeted him, as he opened his door on a blustery autumn morning and set out to walk through the woods.
Some consider it a compliment to be described as “worldly”. To others of a more reflective disposition, such a description might be considered as unfortunate.
Has it ever known peace, this sad and beautiful land.
Can you count the stars in the sky, the grains of sand on a beach. Can you hear a voice in the infinite Sea of Words unleashed by an age of digits and silicon.
Woe to him that buildeth a town with blood and stablisheth a city by iniquity.
As a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more.
What a difference a few weeks can make and how powerful the influence of the season upon the mood. If ever evidence were needed that we are mere creatures of nature, there be it.
Rumination, or call it reflection perhaps. Free of the destructive connotations of the former, the latter seems more wholesome. A liberating appraisal of a life lived less well than it could have been.
Will you listen, perchance, to a holy man or prophet. Does philosopher or mage have the answers you seek, a fool even.
Does it work?
While some may appear to lead a life unperturbed by fear and doubt, many are driven by forces less benign.
The soon to be ex President of the USA represents everything that is wrong with our species and yet what must it be like to live inside that shell of violent emotion? We should pity the man and people like him.
Recently, gardening has become more than a metaphor for me. I have followed Candide in a literal sense and found great peace in our garden.
I have not found it any easier to accept uncertainty in recent years despite my intellectual acceptance that it is unavoidable.
Many eons back and countless light years from anything, in another dimension and another universe, a voice cried out in the cold darkness.
I find it hard to criticize any of the aims of Extinction Rebellion. Almost all of what they advocate accords with my own deeply felt convictions on what is wrong with our world.
Where he came from or where he went, none knew, and no one could guess. On Arkady, he was simply known as the Traveler.
Back on the Good Ship Lollipop, Aeolus sat on a beach by the sea listening to gentle waves lapping the shore.
Above you will find the audio version of Chapter 2 of The Traveler. I fear there are a few mistakes and I have made no effort to edit the track. And so, apologies.
The Good Ship Lollipop hung in geo stationary orbit above Arkady, positioned directly over Alomkik. Were it not cloaked in invisibility, the Arcadians would have seen wondrous things indeed in the heavens.
To write fiction, for the first time in my entire life, has been a revelation.
I have been profoundly moved by religion my entire life. I have always believed in the “Good” even though I may not always have done it.
How many lives lost in competition for scarce resources.
What now I wonder.
Will we make a better world for all, a different universe. Or will the wheel of samsara never be broken.
Release from the shackles of a mind made prison, sought for so many years and yet so recently achieved.
Equanimity, the acceptance of unity and seeing through duality.
Sitting in the garden listening to the rain.
To sit in dappled shade in the late summer sunshine. To breathe the soft cool wind, to close eyes and let the mind wander where it will.
I find myself wondering how much the historical Jesus billed Lazarus for his resurrection.
Gene Kelly may have danced; I just sat but with equal pleasure no doubt.
My mind drifted this morning, far from the algorithm I was working on. Was I old I wondered or had I simply changed.
Deep in meditative trance a voice, my own perhaps, told me that I sought a god and had always done so.
Last night was a night of my soul, but not a dark one.
While there may be no god and no objective morality, we may act as if there were. Some of us find that we must.
While mesmerized by the beauty of nature and the past, naive Luddism is not a philosophy I espouse or admire.
I felt it as soon as I sat down, the presence. Or was it a smell, a feeling a sound of silence.
They do things differently there. Or do they? Man’s real fear is of the unknowable future.
Imagine a resource based economy, where we revert to nature and make our planet a shared resource rather than one dominated by crooked politicians and greedy capitalists.
Lost is often a good thing. Thought may not be so good.
The happiest mind is the empty mind. The mind of pure experience. Empty of though but full of what is.
We overlook everyday beauty dogged by anxiety about the future.
What does achievement mean? What have you achieved and by what standards will you be judged? Will you be found wanting and if so should you care?
If you are tempted to envy the wealth, power and influence once wielded by this famous Florentine dynasty, consider what it took to achieve and maintain it.
Hard as they are to describe, if I had to use one word to paint a picture of a mystical…
It is very disappointing to have given in to anger, which in retrospect could easily have been averted by withdrawing from the scene.
Slowness is a vital ingredient, in my case at least, in encouraging me along the path I wish to follow.
There are certain activities or states of mind which trigger in me what Abraham Maslow calls “peak experiences”. Reading Keith Hancock’s Mystical Experience of Reality does just that.
My 26 year old son is clearly a perceptive fellow and he hit the nail on the head when describing his father as “a funny old monk”.
Silence is not the absence of sound but the absence of noise. Noise is not simply the presence of undesired sound.
A while back I found myself disturbed that a blogger could crusade in favor of violence and dissension and against ecumenism.
Can we ever know ourselves? And what is there to know?
If we seek reality, I am told that we look in the wrong direction by obsessing over the human condition. I think that is right.
I was sad to come across a post on the internet entitled “The Ecumenical Slope” whose author is both anti ecumenism and pacifism and who appears to believe that such doctrines destroy “character”.
When it comes to parallel universes, it does not get much better than Narnia. Where better to escape the troubles of a world which at times feel overwhelming.
Enjoying the cool spring sunshine this morning, I had a moment of truth as my eye was caught by dew drops in the long grass. I was sitting in our beautiful patch of wild meadow at the bottom of the garden.
I wonder if this is what it felt like during the phoney war in 1939? A period of almost surrealistic calm before the horrors of world War II really began.
I’m pretty relaxed about the whole thing and since I have self isolated now for nigh on 30 years, I’m not too bothered about keeping myself to myself. If the writing is on the wall, so be it.
I decided to read and record two poems from William Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Experience. I chose the Lamb from the Songs of Innocence and its counterpart the Tyger from the Songs of Experience.
I am starting a podcast and those who are in the know tell me I must introduce myself. So here goes.
Breaking up my routine seems to add enormously to my well-being. While I might not persuade my wife to let me go trekking in the Empty Quarter, even mild change can be very beneficial.
There is nothing more sobering than a great deal of time spent in a hospital with the critically ill. Nothing more rewarding either.
It is finished – yes I think I know just what the poor fellow meant.
Most of us have developed a worldview but I wonder how many of us let doubt destroy it?
Nor multicultural, nor multi gender, nor am I trans….and, odd to relate nor am I a bigot or a racist.
Many now hold that consciousness is a trick, wrought upon an illusory “us” by physics and you may therefore wish to contemplate whether you exist at all.
I was struck today when looking at my collection of Blog “Tags” just how much they reveal about my character and obsessions.
No, I am minded to believe you should remain firmly rooted in the present, making new experiences.
All too often public “servants” come to serve nothing but their own interests. When entrusted with the property of the…
Only the Church of England would sign its own death warrant.
I believe on any number of counts, including personal experience, that we have the power to choose to be happy but the road is not altogether straightforward.
While the repressed prude may find Sex Education distasteful, those with a more discerning eye will value its gentle humour and shrewd commentary on human nature.
Countless words have been written about mysticism but only direct experience will ever be able to convey what it is “like”.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Profound and beautiful would be my best shot at describing this wonderful new series Messiah from the creative genius that is Netflix.
The parallels between Taoism and the Algorithm are unmistakable, comforting and instructive.
I had a curious sensation of fading, being absorbed into the background, while walking along a country lane in glorious winter sunshine.
Can or should you remain in a state or place of “silence” or must or ought you return to the world?
I hadn’t quite realized until very recently just how damaging the human ego is.
Let the world go by and you may find yourself at peace.
Fascinated by the concept of transcendence I have started to conceptualize what I believe such states of existence could be.
Figuratively speaking I suspect the meek are indeed blessed and that in a sense they shall inherit, if not the earth, then at least a life of peace.
A day in Rye in East Sussex does not sound every-man’s idea of excitement but it is change which is important to the psyche, not distance traveled.
Is there anything so wondrous as a man truly happy in his own skin and content with his life and…
How much better you feel when you focus on the good and ignore the bad.
The internet is colonized by those who do not know that they do not know. Fools to put it less politely. Why?
There is nothing quite so odd as an elderly, fat, aggressive pig driving a white Porsche.
Imagine yourself, if you will, in a world post the apocalypse to come.
For the miserable, moody and mercurial, one’s outlook can swivel on a sixpence. Or dime, if you prefer. Not so…
There can be few greater attractions than sitting on a country railway station.
I found myself transported back to the time of Cardinal Newman this evening, sitting in a glum old seaman’s church on the coast at Walmer.
Do we need economic growth? I find myself answering “no”.
What makes a cynic? Reason and experience in life or the cold hand of genetic inheritance? Are cynics just born?…
It is easy enough to empathize with addicts if, for large chunks of your existence, you have had an overwhelming need to get out of your own head.
A kind friend sent me what I took to be a flyer for ChristianMingle.com, which appears to be a sex…
“What Am I” is the most important question I can ask and yet the answer may have to be discovered not by reasoning but by experience.
I spent the week incarcerated in Calais. It lead me to contemplate the unimaginable horror of prison life.
Objectively, as a mere means of reproduction, it is hard to see how sex can be considered disgusting. And yet many humans consider it so.
Should sore points be discussed and settled in the open or be buried in the hope they will go away?
Dream on Paul of Tarsus. Who are you kidding?
There can be few callings which I hold is such low esteem as that of the “Influencer”.
The Margate of my youth was a poorer place without Ms Emin but I am nonetheless delighted to say the working class seaside atmosphere remains.
A visit to the Bronze Age Boat gallery today brought home very forcibly the sheer terror I would have felt…
If you are going to talk to people at all, make sure they are people you do not know and are foreign as regards your class, tribe or social milieu.
“Exi ergo, transgressor. Exi, seductor, plene omni dolo et fallacia, virtutis inimici, innocentium persecutor.”
One of the advantages of living in Middle Earth is observing the locals at work and play.
If you think it’s all about sex, dragons and slaughter you might just be wrong. It’s also about apocalypse and that I find rather fascinating.
I watched an episode of Season 2 of Billions last night and was left with an unaccustomed feeling of repulsion.…
How small and insignificant I felt grovelling at the foot of this seventh wonder of the world.
Reading of the demise of renowned fund manager Neil Woodford, I was reminded of my deep capacity for destructive cynicism.…
Too often writers feel obliged to offer up a digest or synthesis of what they have read rather than contributing anything new or original.
In the absence of conscious beings with free will, morality can not exist. Picture a universe of infinite violence such as our own with no sentient life.
In the mental world, in our interior “reality” we can find whatever we want. Whatever we are looking for.
Love is a primary and immutable moral imperative and is not subjective or relative to any particular age or society.
“The unexamined life is not worth living” said Socrates and few would doubt the wisdom of his belief. But is self awareness enough?
Is there an objective morality? If so, how can we learn about it? Or is the whole idea of a universal morality misguided?
The anger I felt after a set-to a week ago was a futile exercise in self harm.
Like as the hart desireth the water brooks, so longeth my soul after thee O God.
I was listening to some cross legged Russian windbag this morning pontificating on why micro-dosing psychedelics was bad news. It…
Why do the cretinous like numbered lists? And why do they annoy me so much?
There is a season for learning and a season to realize you know enough.
The world is full of annoyance and “noise” in the statistical sense. Meaningless “stuff”, which in the bigger picture it is best to ignore. To shrug,walk away from.
There is something enormously satisfying about a communion service at an ancient Anglican church on Easter Sunday.
The Good Aunt
I do not believe that the concept of “god and science are incompatible. Provided that we accept that we have created the concept of “god” in the first place and that through science we have the means to become godlike.
What I ought to have bought was a mobility cart and a year’s pass to the Bingo Hall. What I…
Rarely have I felt such intensity as when singing Vierne’s Messe Solennelle with Fulham Camerata last Saturday.
Very occasionally one gets a glimpse of peace and today was one of those all too rare days.
I was contemplating meditation at the Wat Buddhapadipa in London and revisiting the basics of Buddhism this morning,
In the featured image, Leni Riefenstahl and a camera crew stand in front of Hitler’s car during the 1934 rally…
I have always been faintly amused by the idea of earnest Christian converts sliding down a giant birth canal into…
No, it didn’t quite work out like that, it never does. However Arcadian the setting, we humans will wreck it…
The painting warns the viewer of the soul’s vulnerability to the vanities of the world. It strikes me as a…
The somewhat brutal face and the arrogant pose of William West, 1st Lord Delawarr, reassures us that human nature has…
Whether or not you win a conflict, something will have been lost.
I am frightened of homeless people. They remind me how all too easy it is in this world to simply fall between the cracks.
If you are going to go to church, go alone and go when it is empty.
Well not mine actually – its just that I liked the headline. The Guardian’s article Me and My Vulva gave…
The state of depression is easy enough to describe but it is doubtful whether mere words manage to convey the depth of the misery to one who has never suffered from it.
Why is so much of the internet “told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing”?
I am deeply disturbed to discover what a search on the word “consciousness” produces when you sift through Wordpress websites.
If you are feeling bad and want to feel a lot worse, I recommend a trip to your local government hospital.
Would we spend so much time in hand wringing existential anxiety if we discovered the genetic code of the pain…