"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.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

HRH Prince Charles and Harmony

Lincolns Inn Fields is the largest square in London, built in the 1630s from an original design by Inigo Jones. In the square is the Sir John Soane's Museum, tribute to that famous architect and now a national centre for the study of architecture, housing a large collection of important drawings, books and artifacts. And just a few doors down is the Lincoln Centre, where I found myself the other evening, on a bitterly cold night, to hear a book launch lecture by Ian Skelly, co-author with HRH Prince of Wales and Tony Juniper of Harmony-A New Way of Looking at the World , hosted by the Temenos Academy.

I quote from their website: "In 1980 the poet and scholar Kathleen Raine, together with Keith Critchlow, Brian Keeble and Philip Sherrard, launched Temenos, a journal devoted to the Arts of the Imagination. The journal sought to give space to poets, artists, writers and thinkers who subscribed to the belief that man is firstly a spiritual creature with spiritual needs which have to be nourished if we are to fulfil our potential and be happy.

From these early beginnings the Temenos Academy was launched in 1990 as a teaching organisation dedicated to the same central idea that had inspired the Journal. Scholars and teachers, committed to what is known as 'the perennial philosophy' - the learning of the Imagination - were invited to lecture and hold study groups to teach an ever-growing number of students.

So of course it is no surprise that HRH the Prince of Wales should be the Academy's Patron and that it should be instrumental in launching this important new book.

Again I quote, this time from the publisher's product information. This book is: "A practical guide to what we have lost in the modern world, why we have lost it and how easily it is to rediscover. Harmony is a blueprint for a more balanced, sustainable world that the human race must create to survive...Drawing on his own practical experience, Prince Charles charts how changes to how we look at the world could lead us toward a better future. He describes how knowledge and perspectives now largely lost could help us meet very modern challenges, including in the built environment, engineering, medicine and farming."

Beautifully illustrated and thoughtfully written, this would make a lovely present for anyone who respects the Prince's views on these vital issues, but perhaps more importantly anyone who will be receptive to having their eyes and hearts opened to the really urgent need for a change in perception and heart to save our planet. And we need to open as many peoples' hearts and minds and souls to these issues as we possibly can.

The scene was set for the excellent lecture with slides of paintings by the artist John Napper, a favourite of the Prince, with views of the beautiful Shropshire countryside, followed by illustrations of the symmetry and harmony to be found in nature, as then contrasted with some odious architecture which gave no thought to such beauty and harmony, and did not resonate with nature's patterns. I recall Prince Charles causing a real hoo hah many years ago when he referred to many such buildings as "carbuncles." Now I believe and sincerely hope that more of us are understanding what he meant.

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