“Of all the parts of your body, be most vigilant over your index finger, for it is blame-thirsty. A pointed finger is a victim’s logo… No matter how abominable your condition may be, try not blame anything or anybody: history, the state, superiors, race, parents, the phase of the moon, childhood, toilet training, etc… The moment that you blame somewhere, you undermine your resolve to change anything.” – Joseph Brodsky. Continue reading
“Jack Pines are not lumber trees and they won’t win many beauty contests either. But to me this valiant old tree, solitary on its own rocky point, is as beautiful as a living thing can be. In the calligraphy of its shape against the sky is written strength of character and perseverance, survival of wind, drought, cold, heat, disease… In its silence it speaks of wholeness, an integrity that comes from being what you are.” – Douglas Wood. Continue reading
“We were never really born, we will never really die. It has nothing to do with the imaginary idea of a personal self, other selves, many selves everywhere: Self is only an idea, a mortal idea. That which passes into everything is one thing. It’s a dream already ended,” wrote Jack Kerouac in a letter to his first wife, found in The Portable Jack Kerouac. Continue reading
‘You’re quoting Snoopy the Dog, I believe.’
‘I’ll quote the truth wherever I find it, thank you.’ – Donald Shimoda.
Illusions, by Richard Bach has quickly become one of my favourite books, warranting me to reach out to the author and thank him for writing it. He’s in his eighties now and kindly replied to my email: ‘So glad to know you found the story, and the characters and their ideas touched you. They’ve worked in my life for a long time. I hope they’ll be lifelong friends for you, too!’ Continue reading
A poem by Marie Howe.
I don’t know much about Mary Magdalene, but this poem by Marie Howe is amazing. Apparently, the main description of Mary Magdalene in the Bible is in Luke, which says: “Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven devils had been cast out.” Somehow from that we turned her into a prostitute, as you do. Pope Gregory in 591 gave a sermon and referred to her as such — goodness know why — and it has stuck ever since. Continue reading
Unedited version of article published in Orange City Life, 27 April 2017.
‘I got accused of being a softy’: Long time rock n’ roll exhibitionist talks to Denise Mills about spiritual transformation and the value of trauma.
Being on the wrong side of thirty, I’m very familiar with Angry Anderson – particularly his tumultuous childhood, his crazy bad boy days when Rose Tattoo were at their most infamous, and the extensive charity work he does for a variety of causes. But before our interview last week I did some light stalking anyway, just to glean some additional insight into the guy. What I found was that Angry is still painted to be a hard-arse, who does a bit of charity work on the side – just to put some good out in the world. Continue reading
“That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.” – Aldous Huxley.
I’m not (overly) ashamed to read the occasional self-help book, as long as it’s not poorly written and isn’t too ‘self-helpy’. Today I was reading A Hidden Wholeness, by Parker J Palmer. So far, this book seems to be pretty good. It’s more about Parker’s view on the need for social change and his suggestions for how we can create it, rather than some bullshitty nonsense. Continue reading
I don’t have much to report for the Christmas break, except that my house now has a lot less clutter. Of course, I did the normal Christmas stuff too – visiting family and such – but the highlight of my holiday break was sorting out my Tupperware cupboard. I may need a hobby.
Every one of us lives with a created self.
The created self, often referred to as the ‘ego’, is simply the person we believe ourselves to be. It encompasses our career choice, our social circles, our values, virtues, talents and the personality traits which we hope the people we meet would attest to. It’s our identity.
Often given a bad rap, the created self is necessary, to an extent. It reminds us to dress somewhat appropriately for work, to follow unspoken social rules such as listening to others when they speak, and to not road-rage at the idiot driver. Continue reading
Like most of us, I do my best to be a nice person. It’s partly for selfish reasons, to be honest – I want to be so stable and happy within myself that no-one can really bother me. I can’t think of a better place to practise than the most annoying place on Earth: the humble supermarket.
Yesterday, I didn’t get off to a great start. First, old matey took my space. He was doing that manoeuvre where people who can’t manage to park properly drive straight through one park, and into the one in front. It saves them the difficulty of straightening up a little.