A new song that I’ve written for a project I’m involved in.
Words will flow
To capture what we’re feeling
Peace will come
Out of some
Well of inner healing
Words of hate
Words of love are gentle
When words are true
They join us to
Words of love are real
Words of love can heal
Only words can say it all
You are part
Your soul and heart
Are crying for connection
I’m like you
I’m crying too
Please look in my direction
The holy ground
We lost is found
In steps we take together
Enjoy the view
In rain or sunny weather
Words of love are real
Words of love can heal
Only words can say it all
A rough demo of a new song.
From over here I see you there
Sitting back in the big armchair
And what I’m feeling can’t be said
It stays inside my head
Words will not get me very far
They won’t take me to where you are
They fall like raindrops and flow away
People sometimes ask Pauline and me how we are coping with losing Sean, and we answer as best we can. Words are inadequate. We are glad that they ask, though. We have sometimes wished that more people would ask, even if we can’t answer properly. It’s not that we want sympathy; it’s that we are still a family of four, and always will be. We like to speak about both of our children.
I have often said that one deals with something like this on different levels. Just a few hours after I had found Sean’s body, I was able to show something to a visitor to our house that I knew would surprise and amuse him, and we laughed about it. I was on that level at that moment. I was also operating on deeper levels at which I was no doubt trying to process, unconsciously, the awful thing that had happened.
I remember that within a week or so of Sean’s death, an online acquaintance became slightly impatient at the fact that I was still talking about it on my blog (in fact I talked a lot about it there for a couple of years). This person saw himself as spiritual, and knew that I saw myself the same way. As far as he was concerned, Sean was in a better place, all was right with the world and the universe, and I really ought to get over it already. I was polite, but I knew that the person in question was being naïve. I could adopt his attitude at one level, but not at all the others. People are not so simple. The online acquaintance stopped commenting on my blog. Continue reading
In Ireland, people often refer to ‘God’, flippantly or otherwise, as ‘the man above’. This is emblematic of the common view of a separate, person-like God – a kind of great humanoid in the sky, or a chief executive who can be taken to task for allowing bad things to happen. In my opinion, this is facile and illusory. Worse, the churches reinforce it by insisting on a separate, omnipotent ‘God’ to whose vagaries we are prey.
Recently I compiled an index for a book on influences on Carl Jung’s psychology, which I found inspiring (I won’t give details for the moment as it hasn’t been published yet). As the author sees it, monotheism and atheism are both based on a misconception: the existence/non-existence of a transcendent God (two sides of a worthless coin). In fact divinity is not separate from us – we are a contributing part of it. Divinity inheres in humanity (and in everything). Continue reading
Most of the material I edit, proofread or index doesn’t hold much intrinsic interest for me, frankly. Sometimes, though, I get to work on a book that really appeals to me. Lately I had this experience when I compiled an index for a book on Carl Jung and the medieval mystics who inspired him, and a couple of years ago I enjoyed indexing A.J. McGrath’s The Dark Ground of Spirit: Schelling and the Unconscious.
One passage of McGrath’s, referring to Jacob Boehme, expressed something that has often occurred to me: that we can’t be, and shouldn’t try to be, utterly selfless, caring only about others:
Boehme’s psychological point is simple enough to state: there is no alterity without ipseity, no self-donation without a latent self-assertion. This is not to say that love is selfish: self-assertion without self-donation is the essence of evil. But without the seed of selfishness, held in potency, not actualized, there would be no self to be overcome and given away. Continue reading
Extracts from a poem by the 13th-century Sufi poet Yunus Emre:
God permeates the whole wide world,
Yet his truth is revealed to none.
You better seek Him in yourself,
You and He aren’t apart – you’re one.
Mystic is what they call me.
Hate is my only enemy;
I harbour a grudge against none.
To me the whole wide world is one.
I came across this piece which I wrote on a blogsite some time ago …
A lot of the online argument in this general area tends to be sterile and futile, largely (in my opinion) because of the aggression with which certain people try to slap down anything that’s ‘unscientific’. Personally, I have no religious or quasi-religious belief that I try to convince anyone else of. In fact, I have no strong belief of this sort at all, and no interest in trying to undermine or ridicule the beliefs of others.
As I see it, reality exists irrespective of our beliefs about it. Our senses and our minds are limited, and probably not fit for the purpose of understanding everything. Science can reveal a lot, but it cannot fully reveal reality because it is an aspect of our limited minds and is therefore limited, whereas reality is not. Science is like a torch … useful for finding our way round a cave; useless when we step out into the sunlight. Continue reading
Certain people of a ‘scientific’ and ‘atheistic’ bent posit that the human being (i.e. the human body, including the mind – which is merely activity in the brain) is a kind of mechanism or machine or gene receptacle, and the brain is a ‘box of wires’. To me, this raises various questions.
1. Why is the human mechanism better or more deserving of respect than any other mechanism … a lawnmower, say, or, a cat?
2. Whence do concepts such as human dignity, human rights, personal morality, right and wrong, good and evil arise, and what is their justification?
3. Why should anyone be held responsible for their actions, given that these are caused by chemical reactions in the brain, and chemicals have no sense of right and wrong?
4. Why do you have the concept of a quasi-separate ‘I’, as in ‘my body’, if you are just your body?
5. How can volition be anything other than an illusion?
6. Why should feelings, emotions, etc. have any importance if they are mere artefacts of chemical reactions?
I ask because I want to know.
I posted this on MyT yesterday.
History has bequeathed us some complex and relatively intractable situations that entail conflict and distrust along ethnic, tribal or religious lines … one thinks of Northern Ireland and Israel, for example. Several examples have emerged into world attention in Europe and Asia recently.
The automatic reaction of certain people to such situations, it seems, is to choose a side, invest in it emotionally, and then espouse it though thick and thin. Notwithstanding the fact that ordinary human beings on both ‘sides’ of the conflict have innate rights and a legitimate case, the evident complexity of the situation is denied and a reading of history is proffered that places all blame on one side and all virtue on the other. Continue reading