Category Archives: Religion

For Sean, on His 26th Birthday

shoulders

The windows are open;
Air from the garden
Will freshen your room.

A hurricane brought you
And took you away:
You are part of its force.

The shoreline before me
Recedes and advances;
My boat is becalmed. Continue reading

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Filed under Biography, Blogging, Ireland, Memories, Philosophy of life, Poems, Religion, Stories

All Souls’ Day

It was cold last night
No stars in sight
No moon to light the way
I thought that you
Might be lonely too
On the eve of All Souls’ Day

The storm had hurled
The teardrops in the world
Against some hearts of stone
I went to you
And told you to
Never cry alone

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Filed under Death, Ireland, Music, Philosophy of life, Religion

Words

A new song that I’ve written for a project I’m involved in.

WORDS

Words will flow
From below
To capture what we’re feeling

Peace will come
Out of some
Well of inner healing

Words of hate
Isolate
Words of love are gentle

When words are true
They join us to
Something fundamental

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

Learning to
Enjoy the view
In rain or sunny weather

Words of love are real
Words of love can heal
Only words can say it all

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Filed under Art, Ireland, Music, Psychology, Religion

Jimmy’s Hall

Pauline and I watched Ken Loach’s film Jimmy’s Hall on Friday night. It was very emotional: we were both in tears at the end, and Pauline said to me ‘Think how great Ireland could have been!’ The film is based on the true story of Jim Gralton, the only Irish person ever to be deported from Ireland.

It is set in a small rural community much like our own, in the 1920s and 1930s. Gralton, a socialist, returns to Ireland from the US, having left in the aftermath of the 1919–21 war here. His friends and neighbours ask him to reopen a hall for use as a community centre, where people can meet for cultural, social and educational activities. He duly opens the hall, with assistance from the friends and neighbours, but the local parish priest resents its existence, believing that the Roman Catholic Church should control everything. Continue reading

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Filed under Film, History, Ireland, Religion

The Mystery

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
Into yesterday

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Filed under Death, Memories, Music, Psychology, Religion, The music of what happened

Levels

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

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Filed under Death, Ireland, Philosophy of life, Psychology, Religion

Scientism and ‘the man above’: spare me the separatism

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

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Filed under Ireland, Philosophy of life, Psychology, Religion, Science