Understanding a Wasp

Zeus Zaps John in a Painful Lesson

Zeus Teaches the Young John a Lesson He'll Remember

One sunny day when I was young I was out enjoying a good game with my elder brothers. We didn’t always get on so well, but on this day we were having fun together for the whole long and warm summer day. It was so warm that I had stripped off my shirt and had been enjoying the heat from the sun and the play of air over my skin.

In the middle of this I noticed a feeling in my side. At first it was mild but it grew rapidly to a sharp pinching feeling. I looked down, and there was a wasp still with its sting in my side pumping more poison in. It had landed on me while my arms were raised and I had inadvertently squashed it when I put my arm down again. The pain was now intense. Continue reading

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Life’s Thrills

Want a thrill?

Isn’t life thrilling?
Don’t you just get the biggest thrills from exciting sports?
How about falling in love or having a baby or winning a lottery prize – aren’t those amazing thrills too?

The answer to all of these is NO! It is not the thing that is thrilling in itself, it is us. We have the thrill and we create it within us in response to what we do or what happens to us. And it’s not even in direct response to life, our favourite sport, or a life-affecting event. Our actual thrill comes from the way that we think about those things and the way that we go about our experiencing of events in life. Continue reading

Posted in Emotion, Life Improvement, Passion, Self Improvement, Wisdom | 1 Comment

Life Improvement

Sometimes the answers that we struggle to find are very simple.

Garden makeover with path in place, wall still to build.

Work Continues on Garden Makeover

I have pondered for years about why I am interested in the things that I am and why my seeking continues. My pondering has become more productive in recent years as I have worked with other people and have been able to simplify my insights. The changes that I make, the visions that I have, the environments that I find nurturing, the practices that I value, the insights that I get excited about, and the things that I want to teach are all about life improvement. Continue reading

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Love is the act of forgiveness.

Baby looks out

Eye of the beholder

There is one core insight that I have found strangely challenging to pass on or teach, and that is the significance of emotional forgiveness. The problem seems to be that most of us have a strong popular understanding of what forgiveness is and a politically-correct stance to forgive but our actual practice is limited to logical forgiveness. When we don’t reach for a deeper understanding not only do we end up suffering ourselves but we can miss an awful lot in life.

Continue reading

Posted in Anger Management, Blaming, Depression, Forgiveness, Love, Meaning, Purpose, Resentment, Self Improvement | Leave a comment

New Intention

Effective intentions need to be more than just ‘Good Intentions’.

House on the hill

New lease of life

It has been a while since I was able to post a blog, and that is for some very good reasons. I have moved house, I have had a new baby (or more truthfully my wife has had the baby but I am an enthusiastic dad!), and I have been taking time to redefine my long-term purposes for my vocation and business. Continue reading

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Free Will and the Sacred Space

True free will requires the creation of a special state of mind.

A winding path

Light shows the way

Elsewhere I have touched on some of the arguments about the existence or otherwise of personal free will. Here I want to look at another aspect that is important: Just what is free will anyway? Continue reading

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Love is Free

I have a definition for love.  It’s one that I first got to some years ago when I was struggling through my early thoughts for ‘Walks of Mind’ and comes from my attempts to understand more about what emotions and feelings actually are.

Love is the basic motivation to engage with life. Continue reading

Posted in Emotion, Evolution, Love, Meaning, Mind, Purpose, Self Improvement | 1 Comment

Is Free Will a Myth?

Does physics deny personal freedom?

I have been speaking recently with a friend around his exploration of faith.  One of the key points that we keep touching on is the significance of free will, and whether or not it exists.  This question is often important in discussions of the larger concepts of life, spirituality, and the existence or otherwise of some form of God.

One side of the argument tends to go something like this: We live in a universe that, so far as we know, behaves according to a fixed set of laws and contains a fixed amount of matter and energy that follows these laws.  According to this argument, everything can theoretically be reduced to a simple set of descriptions of these quantities and laws (the reductionist approach).  One implication of this mechanistic view is that what happens in the future can be determined from what has happened in the past. Continue reading

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Heart, Mind, and Spirit

Here is something I first published in April 2009.  It talks about the roles of intellect, passion, and something else that is key to personal growth:

There is a striking metaphor used to describe the roles of passion and intellect that was used by Kahlil Gibran in the work “The Prophet”:  “Your reason and your passion are therudder and the sails of your seafaring soul.”.  This metaphor has previously been used by Alexander Pope and probably others as well.

Imagine a sailing boat.  The wind drives the boat forward by filling the sails and the sailor guides the boat by application of the rudder.  The wind in the sails represents passion and the influence of the rudder represents intellect.  Without wind in the sails the boat is going nowhere.  Push the rudder as you will, this boat is going nowhere other than round in circles.  Without its rudder the boat lacks direction and will be blown from place to place at the mercy of the wind and is likely to be dashed against the rocks or driven ashore before too long.  The sailing boat will become effective only when sails and rudder work together, when the driving force of passion is guided and controlled by wisdom. Continue reading

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Installing WordPress

I installed WordPress version 2.8.4 through my host’s control panel this morning and then tried to use the inbuilt upgrade function to upgrade to version 3.1.1.  It fell over quite near the start because of file ownership issues.

After a while (spent Googling for similar issues faced by other people), I couldn’t find an obvious way to fix the ownership issues.  It is likely that the installer that my host uses sets the installed files to some generic owner and I have no easy way to find out what that is, nor change it… Continue reading

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