topic: reality

the human virtuality

The greatest danger facing the human race seems to me to be how our collective ‘idea’ of what the world is is progressively moving away from what the world actually is. Without wanting to open up the whole can of worms that is the ‘mind-body problem‘, I think it is not too contentious to state: that the impression we have within each of us of the ‘world’ is only an approximation of that world. After […]

domestic katas, time and freedom

Eastern martial arts – and other ‘physical motion disciplines’, Kabuki for example – are taught through forms, or katas. These are ways to train the subconscious so that it assimilates a particular linked pattern of motion – a pattern that is a distillation of a ‘system’. If we consider T’ai Chi, a martial art I studied for years, there are a fixed number of these katas that appear to be a complex dance, performed solo […]

like the sun

Carl Jung compared a human life to a single day, in which we are the sun rising, reaching to the heights, then slipping down to night. Today I am 51, and this image strikes me again now, as it did the first time I read about it. Jung maintained that the first half of life, for all its confusion and dissonance, is relatively easy, as, like the sun, we rise ever higher, casting our light […]

into 2012

walking on the beach new year 2012

I came back from my adventure in Iran becalmed; no wind in my sails. It was foolish to expect to find those things I sought there; as if travelling were like going to a supermarket. Iran was a profound experience that I am still processing. Soon after I returned, my dog, Ninja, died; at 15, a frail old lady by the end. Her kidneys failed. I cradled her in my arms as the vet injected […]

the view from over here…

Just a quick post to comment on the ‘situation’ in Iran. Friends and family keep telling me that I’m “lucky” to have got out of Iran before this business with the British embassy in Tehran blew up. I cannot help but notice how the coverage on the TV here is very similar to that that I saw before I went to Iran. I cannot help further noticing that the comments people are making to me […]

the retreat from reality

sanna, ardnamurchan, summer solstice 2011

For most of human history our facsimiles of reality were very clearly man-made representations: no colour we could produce or use could compare in subtlety or vibrancy to those in nature; no fabric could approach the glossy texture of a rose petal; nothing, not even the finest acted mimicry, could hope to capture an animal in motion. Reality in all its splendour remained unassailably enthroned beyond our attempts to emulate it. This hierarchy has, more […]

force majeur

Snow has fallen heavily along the coast of the British Isles – 60cm, perhaps. With our maritime climate, this kind of weather is unusual enough that it has never been worthwhile investing vast resources in proofing our infrastructure against it: but common enough that when it happens it brings chaos. From the midst of this chaos rises the usual outcry: why can’t they do something about it? The same voices would be the first to […]

our perception of time

I have just come back from walking my dog to hear someone talking on the radio about a theory he has of the perception of time that sounds essentially the same as one that I have held for a long time. So I thought I may as well put down my thoughts for the record. Some years back I came back from shopping and realized that I had been there and back and could barely […]

IVF and global warming

IVF is a sign of our times: society encourages us to remain non-adult ever longer, but our bodies ignore this cultural infantilizing of our minds. It strikes me that there is a parallel here with our response to something like global warming. We have created a virtual reality (the human world) and imagine that it IS reality. Meanwhile the world continues to turn, global warming approaches inexorably, and we don’t realize that there is a […]