topic: religion

false dawns

To anyone worried about climate change the announcement by Lockheed Martin that it is developing a fusion reactor that will be ready for market within ten years could be seen as a cause for hope. Though I’ve yearned for this development for years, now I’m not so sure. Our technologies are causing ecological degradation and climate change. But what is technology except an amplifier of the effects that our minds have on the world? It […]

a new covenant with nature

God gives the spark of life to Adam

It is no surprise that human rights as a formal system, as legislation, should have arisen from the two cataclysms of ‘civil war’ that the Europeans brought upon themselves, and into which they drew so much of the rest of the world. As a way of trying to avoid descent into the horrors of the Rape of Nanking, of the Eastern Front, and of the Holocaust, it is essential, that at the heart of our […]

competition versus brotherhood

A mania for competition so possesses our societies that it is hard to imagine any other way of being, and yet I think it is critical that we free ourselves from its grip. In the West, the Christian churches, from long habit, had an explanation for everything. Alas, with the rise of science, these churches chose to cling to Old Testament ‘certainties’, with the result that, when the cosmology of ‘Creation’ was overturned, the New […]

in Yazd

I wrote this on the 9th, but it’s taken me a few days to insert the photographs… Before I talk about Yazd, I want to tell you what happened today. I had, with pleasing efficiency, got up early, had a quick breakfast and had managed to see one last garden, as well as breezing through a museum on qanats (more about that later). A last minute rush to change some money, quick packing, ordering a […]

the empty buddhas

I was watching a TV program about Afghanistan where the presenter went to look upon the empty niche in Bamiyan that had once held a 55m high buddha carved from the sandstone cliff. This and other colossi were dynamited by the Taliban in 2001 because they considered them idols prohibited by the Koran. Being someone who has a profound reverence for history, I found this act of vandalism appalling. There is serious talk about rebuilding […]

eros

Nothing seems to me more absurd than applying our social mores to other cultures. Some have raised nakedness to the heights: others have damned it to Hell. Is one right and the other wrong? The only person who it seems to me has the right to judge is someone from the culture whose mores and behaviour are being considered. The ‘Peoples of the Book’ (Jews, Christians and Muslims) have a particularly strong aversion to nakedness […]

the curse of mirrors and photographs

Mirrors and photographs of a person can be a curse. Why? Well, it seems to me that it is not natural for a person to see themselves from the ‘outside’. We see ourselves better and more ‘truly’ either from the ‘inside’ – or reflected in the faces and reactions of others to us. Other people, our friends and family, are the best mirrors. To see yourself in a mirror is to see yourself as an […]