"The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." attributed to Plato

"Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing." attributed to Edmund Burke

Let's between us make the world a better place.

Monday, 22 December 2008

As we prepare to celebrate the birth of the greatest Wounded Healer of all time, I wish everyone a very joyous Christmas filled with love and peace, and I pray for a better world for everyone across all Nations in 2009. May all start our own Ripples of Hope to heal a fractured World

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

The healing power of creativity

Through Art we can see deep truths that are otherwise invisible. In great works of art we feel the deepest yearnings of our Heart and glimpse the shimmering revelations of our Spirit.
- Dana Lynne Andersen

Creativity in its many forms is an integral part of our lives. We cannot escape its impact. But our creativity can be used for good or evil. There is nothing neutral about creative force. We can use it as a source of inspiration and healing for ourselves and for those around us. Or our creativity has the power to hurt or corrupt, to disturb or destroy.

We therefore have government and industry guidelines that protect us from ourselves! We have rules and regulations that prohibit or restrict certain creative practices. But of course it is difficult if not impossible to restrict what goes on within the confines of our own homes, and the bar of acceptability seems to be continually and subtly lowered. Yesterday’s restrictions often seem to have been diluted to the extent that they become today’s standard! Does it matter?

Yes it does! Because it is our own behaviour, not government intervention, which in the end will influence our future, the future of this planet, and the future for our children. I have no doubt that creativity in all its forms can be used either to help our spiritual regeneration, or to destroy our sensitivities. With its power to hurt or heal, creativity is at the very heart of all our lives, in boardroom or kitchen, hospital or garden, at work or at leisure. And so we all have a personal choice: We can be responsible and spread healing and beauty and a sense of the soul and the spiritual throughout our lives, or we can perpetuate evil and hurt. Those who spread images of violence and ugliness to their fellow human beings are reflecting their own wounded-ness and infecting others in the process.

We therefore all need to reflect on how our own creativity may be a mirror of our own wounds and the effect this may be having on those around us. We have a profound responsibility to change our own behaviour – to heal ourselves and be creative for the forces for good rather than for evil.

Friday, 12 December 2008

community post offices and shops

M Scott Peck warned: ‘We cannot make real communities happen, we cannot heal the mess we have made of the world…(without ourselves)… undergoing some kind of spiritual healing.’
In our semi-rural village, population c. 4000 and not far beyond the creeping urban sprawl that is Greater London, we have a thriving general store and post office. This store, together with the flourishing parish church at the bottom of the hill, forms the dynamic core of our community life. It is not Utopian, we have our problems of petty vandalism and graffiti, of speeding through the High Street, and the occasional more serious crime, but on the whole it is a good place to live.
But post offices are under threat as they become uneconomical to run. Emails, Internet banking and on-line shopping have no need for the post office. Even postage can now be bought on the Royal Mail web page and stamps printed directly onto envelope, labels or paper. These threats of closure always bring in their wake much anguished debate and protest. The fact is that local post offices and stores are not simply economic units and profit centres. They offer a place where people can meet and greet, gossip, find help and companionship, as well as buy the occasional stamp and greetings card. They are part of the soul of a healthy village and a community life. The good news is that there is a solution, a solution that many communities have already discovered when faced with closure of their own stores. A growing number of small and local shops and post offices that otherwise faced closure are now run very successfully by and for the people of those communities. What is more, such stores become a vibrant and vital part of the social network of those communities. I know; our store is one of them!

Is there a similar problem in other parts of the world? What threatens communities in the States for example? And are similar solutions found? Do let me know I’d love to hear.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

The Wounded Healer in the Community

A participant in one of M Scott Peck’s community building workshops observed that ‘the greatest gift we can give each other is our own woundedness.’ Only the wounded, says Peck, can heal community.
Real honesty and openness, two of his community-making principles, require us to be vulnerable, to have a willingness to be wounded. In his book on community, The Different Drum, he writes at length on vulnerability in community building. The danger of invulnerability, he warns, of acting as a ‘cool cat,’ is that psychological defences are put up between the two parties, and the relationship between them becomes nothing more than ‘ two empty tanks bumping against each other in the night.’ He talks of a ‘peace through weakness’ strategy to build community, at all levels. ‘For the reality is that …. there can be no community without vulnerability; and there can be no peace – ultimately no life – without community.’ And this involves taking the risk of showing our vulnerability.

Sunday, 7 December 2008

simone weil a wounded healer?

Simone Weil, the French philosopher, Christian mystic and activist, was known for her support of the cause of the working classes in early twentieth century France. She recognised that for any real and positive change to come about, a spiritual awakening must occur in the individual conscience. To achieve this she thought it was necessary to experience for herself the lives and hardships of those she sought to help. She recognised that she had to enter completely into their pain and suffering. She described this as allowing the experience to permeate her entire spirit and being. One must become a slave, she wrote, to understand what a slave endures.
Lasting and real solutions to the many and seemingly intractable problems of the 21st century world in which we live will not be found in Government interventions and interference. The world’s many fractures will not be healed in that way. Positive change must come from within our own hearts, through a healing of our own wounds and our own behaviour. To achieve that we have to rediscover our own spirituality, recognise with new eyes the spiritual in all our material experiences, and feel that spiritual awakening in our own individual consciences.
This is a healing imperative for our world. ‘There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root,’ wrote Henry David Thoreau. We all have to start striking at those roots.

Friday, 5 December 2008

Nature as a Wounded Healer

We seem to be intent on destroying the creation around us. My heart bleeds everytime I see a massive tractor and cutter ravaging the hedges and ditches down our lanes to keep them under control, without any regard for the wild life, both plant and animal, that are being thoughtlessly destroyed. And what a mess those hedges then look, until nature heals them again. But nature cannot go on healing for ever! Neither can we! What are we all going to do to save ourselves and this world - To save our planet of which we are a part?

We can wait for more and more government interventions before we do anything ourselves. But this only creates resentment and cries of alarm about a nanny state! And as we know many rules and regulations are nowadays widely flaunted.

Or we can heal our own behaviour to define our future. We can listen again deeply to the natural world around us and let it speak to us through the silence or the tempest. We can allow ourselves to rediscover that sense of wonderment and awe and respect for the living, breathing network of all beings animate and inanimate that we call Gaia, and of which we form a part. We need to be open to the healing power of nature. And then we will no longer want to destroy it. We need to rediscover a reverence and awe, a love and respect for the world of creation around us. Only then will we no longer defile it with our litter and filth, our plastics, our bottles and our cans. We can even walk barefoot upon the earth. Because, as Alastair McIntosh has said, we will then experience a harmony of body, soil and soul.
We will regain our spirituality.

May it be!

Thursday, 4 December 2008

healing power of nature part 2

Whether I am tucked away in my writing eyrie in Dorset or travelling further abroad, the one thing that can give me inspiration, peace, and a profound sense of well being is the landscape, and the wilder this is, the more healing it seems to become. Gales that whine around my little attic hideaway, or whip the waves into a frenzy as they crash onto the rocks during a storm, torrential rain that blots out the landscape, these can have a particularly soothing quality about them, a spirituality that is hard to describe. It is something that must be experienced. I have known such extreme conditions lift me out of a serious bout of depression when nothing else could! Belden Lane has described this so beautifully and eloquently in his book: The Solace of Fierce Landscapes – Exploring Desert and Mountain Spirituality. “There is an unaccountable solace that fierce landscapes offer to the soul. They heal, as well as mirror, the brokenness we find within.” If we do not allow the natural world to speak to us, if we do not allow the silence to reach us, the fierceness to give us solace, then we will turn our wounds, that brokenness, against the natural world.

1 Belden C.Lane Oxford University Press 1998

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

healing power of nature

The natural world can be so healing in its beauty, its peace, even in its ruggedness and wildness. But at the same time man would destroy it by thoughtless actions that reflect his own deep wounds. He damages the very thing that could help him most in his own healing, if he would only slow down and watch and listen; if he would only allow himself to become more deeply aware of that spirit that is in all things.....what do you think?

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