I am cockleshell


I am a little boat; tossed or rather carried by The creative force (that which I was brought up to name God). When I am in this flow then ideas reach out – poignant, powerful, present. This is not so when I am too much in my mind – working, trying – everything I touch turns out as a childish daub. Beached.

A few days ago, whilst waiting for my wife outside a shop, I saw a glorious sky, and it was just obvious that all is love and beauty; just waiting to be seen and to come in from the immense outside to which we belong.

Death ? This the beginning. The enforced pyre of our limited ego and mind which is co-created with our body’s growth. This ego, as Jung says, which is a time-limited fragment of our true self. The self wherein we are infinitely part of each other.

The BBC show – Strictly Come Dancing – was won by the deaf actress – Rose Ayling-Ellis. Her dancing with Giovanni, was efflorescent with divine love and beauty. This flow or force is – I believe – the true “thing-in-itself”; and most clearly felt and seen in flashes and in relationship. When my ego and body die, I will be released back into that ocean again.

Reality and Joy


All is not as it seems; in fact – better than we fear or even hope. Much. All the world’s a stage; a set to hold and enable connection. Reality is not within us – our self – but in relation. Which is itself movement, whence relationship arises.

It is our attachment to our unfertilised ego that binds and imprisons us. Sentenced thus to solitary confinement. Magic shimmers when synapses between us crackle with the vibrancy of what lies beyond.

Relation to, with, through. Nature, others, creativity, ideas. Anything in fact except the non-existent “I” (Ich-Es) and its bedfellow materialism; which is literally stuff and nonsense.

The language of love is movement and acceleration. Relationship is evanescent motion, choreographed by joy. The word existing beyond time.

Experience deceives. It is built from the the rubble of the dry concretised and digital past. It is history, always outmoded. As Eliot and Buber put it:

In the act of experience Thou is far away” (Buber)

“In the knowledge derived from experience, the knowledge imposes a pattern and falsifies, for the pattern is new in every moment. And every moment is a new and shocking valuation of all we have been” (Eliot)

“just as prayer is not in time but time in prayer, sacrifice not in space but space in sacrifice, and to reverse the relation is to abolish reality.. I do not experience the man to whom I say Thou. But I take my stand in relation to him .. No deception penetrates here; here is the cradle of the Real Life” (Buber).

“At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless; Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is, Except for the point, the still point,There would be no dance, and there is only the dance.” (Eliot)

Nationalism and Attachment

I abhor nationalism. In theory, and in practice. Speaking personally – my nation is very close to my sense of identity. I am distressed when it is attacked. I dread losing to another nation in any sport. I do not feel proud of this. Indeed I dislike the emotions, which seem to me raw. animal and violent.

And clearly, nationalism simply divides. It has led to some of the grossest abandonments of love decency and humanity. Whether nationalism lite, such as the trolling by Scots Nats or the full fat versions of National Socialism or even the British Empire and slavery.

Why then do I identify so intensely with my “nation”? I wonder whether this relates to Bowlby’s attachment theory. I do know that I am not completely securely “attached”. I wonder if I and others like me then transfer their attachment from their primary caregiver (for me, my mother) to their nation?

I wonder then if there is a correlation between those who support nationalism and insecure personal attachment?

Scottish Nationalism

“Love of a country /Begins as attachment to our own field of action /And comes to find that action of little importance” ts eliot

Surely we can all see the pure wrongness of nationalism? Always used by politicians to stir the dregs of our psyche .. all to keep them in power. Wrung from the pain or ordinary folk.

Hitler. Putin. Stalin. We all know where these forms of nationalism ended.

.. but what about Scotland? What is the point of this form of nationalism anyway? That would risk the opening of this Pandora’s Box? Independence. From what? For what? To do what?

It sure stirs me up, Down to the sewers of my psyche. The buttons they push evoke my Englishness. I absolutely loathe the jingoistic feeling that Scots Nastiness evokes. I refuse to become an English Nationalist in response to Scottish nationalism.

I hold that love of country is attachment to our own little field of action, and I hold this to be of little importance compared to. For instance..

Climate change. Poverty. Materialism. Humanity itself.


Penrose and Purpose

I heard Roger Penrose interviewed on Desert Island Discs. Certainly he is a proper grounded mathematician and scientist (look up his Wikipedia entry). He’s worth listening to (unlike soap-box orators like Richard Dawkins).

I was struck by his representation of Artificial Intelligence as fundamentally an algorithm – since it will forever lack mind and consciousness. So I’ve been looking into his views. Just a couple of quotes below. Science is certainly NOT consistent with materialist atheism as some would have us believe ..

There is a certain sense in which I would say the universe has a purpose. It’s not there just somehow by chance. Some people take the view that the universe is simply there and it runs along-it’s a bit as though it just sort of computes, and we happen by accident to find ourselves in this thing. I don’t think that’s a very fruitful or helpful way of looking at the universe, I think that there is something much deeper about it, about its existence, which we have very little inkling of at the moment.

Intelligence cannot be present without understanding. No computer has any awareness of what it does.

I would say the universe has a purpose. It’s not there just somehow by chance.

our present picture of physical reality, particularly in relation to the nature of time, is due for a grand shake up

The honest atheist

I am interested in the philosophy and beliefs of the great scientists. Einstein, Bohr, Pauli, Schrodinger, Heisenberg. It strikes me that in almost every case they are led to a wonder at the harmony and structure underlying existence. What a refreshing contrast to the childish un-scientific preaching of Dawkins (all religion is “child abuse”).
Speaking at the “Beyond Belief” symposium in 2006 Steven Weinberg (Nobel Prize for his electroweak theory) was quoted as saying “the world needs to wake up from its long nightmare of religious belief”.

He is an avowed atheist, but since he’s a proper scientist he also said:
“I have to admit that, even when physicists will have gone as ar as they can go, when we have a final theory, we will … still be left with the unanswered question. Why?”

Truth in a motto?

As you walk into Paddington Station in London you see a Victorian shield with the mottos of the Great Western Railway. “Domine dirige nos” and “Virtute et industrial”. Now it’s a long time since my Latin lessons but Im told they’d mean something like “the Lord directs us” and “virtue and work”. These mottos may even have been true of Victorian Britain, indeed I have read that unlike the Dickensian depiction, poverty was substantially less common then.

In any event, what would be the modern equivalent?

In a world where fortunes are made by the likes of Donald Trump, what would be their motto? Perhaps, ‘Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.’

We’ve come a long way from Brunel, that greatest of British inventors. The engineer who was the inspiration of the Great Western Railway.

Which way are we travelling though?