May 14, 2017

The contentment of letting go as we grow older

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:46 pm by aleksan

I shall be 73 next Birthday which feels me with wonder. When you are young you take older people for granted and don’t expect them to be so active and energetic. You know that even when the weather is hot they will need a pullover. But now that I have got to that stage these things are hard to accept at first and we fight against them trying to cling on to our younger selves for as long as possible and to control events at home and outside. But letting go does get easier once you realise new limitations in energy and mobility, and you become not just resigned, but more practical, letting others take control and enjoying the quiet moments and a chance to read more, and strive less. I am fortunate in having good friends, a supportive wife and family – and a dog who is ageing along with me. We both have shorter walks and enjoy more sleeps than we used to. It’s not so bad bring older once you let go and live in the present – in fact according to some research us Oldies are happier than any other age group.

May 12, 2017

Angels and Demons in Politics?  Or just people trying to do a difficult job?

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:51 pm by aleksan

I am moved to write again on this difficult subject of Angels and Demons in the political arena. Of course the election has resulted in hopes and fears, loves and hates – we humans are emotional rather than rational beings, but is worth developing our critical faculties at times like an election and not go in for cheering or booing too much. Generally speaking there are policies I like more than others in each political party, and there are qualities I am attracted to in the various leaders, and personality traits that I don’t particularly like in each of the Leaders and their Team members. But I sincerely believe that the majority on all sides are kind considerate people doing a hard job and wanting the best for people generally in this country. For this reason I pride myself on being a floating voter intent on discovering somehow the best way forward in this mire of information, propaganda and lies. I don’t regard my Labour or Tory friends as better, kinder or more intelligent because of their political affiliations, but I do dislike the nasty personalised attacks or witch hunts on party leaders, fuelled by the media, and boosted by a lack of political judgement and intelligence, and bare faced emotional bias. No,I do not support silly petitions demanding the immediate sacking of Laura Kuenssberg, by lefties who think she is biased against them, because she is an excellent journalist who asks challenging questions to all sides, sometimes upsetting the prejudiced. Nor do I despair of Jeremy Corbyn, an honest and clever man with great ideas and sincerity. And I think Theresa May is a practical clever leader too, and I wish them both well. They are neither Angels or Demons, just people trying to do a very difficult job at a difficult time. Someone once said that the Human dilemma is that we are halfway between the Angels and the Animals – let us try to look up to the understanding Angels when it comes to Politics rather than blindingly be chased into the fold by scary media dogs like frightened sheep.

May 6, 2017

Leadership in context – why people are voting Tory now

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:45 am by aleksan

When a ship is cruising in calm waters the Captain can come down from the Bridge and talk to the crew, listening to their views. But in bad weather, when the ship is near dangerous rocks the Captain is on the Bridge barking orders that must be instantly obeyed for everyone’s sake. Leadership must be appropriate to context. In the same way a child will do well not because of how strict or liberal the parents are – but how consistent they are. The main reason marriages fail is because of money – but interestingly not because of too little money or too much but because the partners have inconsistent views of how to manage their financial affairs. Politics is similar – people don’t vote for the Party with the most moral ideals, or who promise the earth – but for politicians who are strong and consistent in leadership and who can be trusted to be consistent. This is why we are getting many more people voting Tory – not because of their morality, or ideology, but because people feel safe in an otherwise dangerous and rapidly changing world. The Captain should be on the Bridge.

May 4, 2017

Golden Anniversary small ship cruise in the Mediterranean with Noble Caledonia

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:26 am by aleksan

I am writing this high up in the sky somewhere halfway between Napoli and London. Penny and I have had nearly 2 weeks of memorable Golden Wedding Anniversary vacation on the sea – visiting Crete, Kefalonia, Corfu, The Greek Peloponnese, Sicily and Naples. It has been sunny and warm most of the time, and our fellow passengers have been an inspiration. Often Academic and even a touch eccentric, and sometimes elderly and tried by life in many ways, we have found them great company and heros in so many ways. Looking forward to reading the books and papers they have written and maybe keeping in touch if possible. Penny has been thrilled by the Gardens and Spring flowers, and indeed a highlight for me was discovering beautiful wild red tulips on the top of a mountain. I have also loved the cafe life, foreign culture and the archaeology – of course Knossos and Herculanium. Where to go for our 60th Diamond Anniversary? Well, we have 10 years to think about that! For now I just want to get home and see my dog and the horses….

April 4, 2017

Daniel Dennett talking about the illusion of consciousness as a physical entity, but created by a Darwinian algorithmic process of natural selection.

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:05 am by aleksan

Daniel Dennett, the Philosopher was on the Radio this morning “The Life Scientific” Radio 4 presented by Jim Al-Khalili. He was putting forward the evidence for his conclusions on Consciousness as an evolutionary algorithm created by Darwinian natural selection, but as an illusion in terms of physical existence. As someone who has studied Zen Buddhist concepts I was struck by how similar the two views of consciousness are – that self and consciousness are an illusion, but part of what makes us aware of our existence and actions. Again, for me, the message was that what we do together really matters, but not to get hung up on the illusion of permanence and separateness. The programme is repeated this evening at 9.30 pm if you are interested – I will be listening again! I shall also be checking out the books he has written.
“The secret of happiness is: Find something more important than you are and dedicate your life to it.” Daniel Dennett.

March 31, 2017

Observing politics without being pulled in – being curiously interested but also being kind – a challenge indeed.

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:59 am by aleksan

It is interesting for me, a young old man of 72 to observe the contortions of modern political choreography, and I smile at how strong feelings run about such things as Brexit, Trump, Scottish independence and the poor old EU.  Having been born at the end of the last World War I have seen many changes, mostly for the good.  The world has less wars, and generally people are living longer, so the Health Services are more than keeping up.  I love to see more and more people taking an interest in so many things on Social Media – we can all express our opinions and change our beliefs when we can discern fake news for the real thing.  We may not have power as individuals, but we certainly do as communities. I am not attached to Brexit or the EU, to one party or another and I know that there are always arguments on both sides, or more correctly on many sides. I am not attached to the Union or to countries within it going there own way.  In fact I am optimistic that changes for the better will in time predominate over changes for the worse.  So I maintain a Zen view of curious interest in politics linked to a firm belief in wisdom and kindness as the basis of all interactions between women and men.  People think we Humans are the final peak of evolution – I do not believe that – instead I believe that we are the beginning of an evolutionary process in which we can all share in creating meaning now for the better future of the world and the Universe.  That is a challenge indeed!

March 18, 2017

Donald Trump – Spirit Being trying to make sense of his place in a Physical World

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:07 pm by aleksan

Let us not forget who we are, or who Donald Trump is. Donald Trump, like you and me is a Spirit Being trying to make sense of the body and world he has been born into….his particular lesson in this space time is to create meaning with the love and understanding of all Beings in this Physical realm and in the trans-rational Realm permeating space-time, and beyond. We have mostly forgotten who we are and have to re-discover this in our struggles together, and to remember our interconnectedness with All that is. May the Blessings of all Beings in the Physical and Spirit Realms give him Understanding and Wisdom.

March 14, 2017

The School for Spirits

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:24 am by aleksan

Once we can understand that we are not Humans trying to become Spiritual Beings but Spiritual Beings experiencing what it is like being a Human, and learning from the process, the world becomes a different place. When we can see that Dogs and Horses, and indeed all animals and birds, all life, is the process of Spiritual as well as Physical development, the world changes too.  

Then we can understand that all Beings not only belong to our Spiritual family but serve as our Teachers, our Gurus – especially when they disagree with us, challenge us or make life seemingly more difficult! When we realise that our life here is a School from which we can learn how to be Spirits in our various forms, then we can also understand that it is more important to answer Life’s questions than to ask “Why me, why now, why that, why them?

Perhaps we are here not to ask impossible questions but to answer them through how we live our lives, and to work with the Creative Forces, forging meaning both for ourselves and the World, maybe for the Universe, maybe for Worlds unimaginable in this present School of Life, in the realm of Space-Time. When we realise these things the World changes for the better and we can begin to understand and work together with our fellow Spirit Beings in what ever form they appear – to be kind and tread gently while taking the lead in creating better and more meaningful experiences for all, in every Realm of Existence.

March 1, 2017

Trained by my dog Sammy

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:02 am by aleksan

Sergeant Major Sam regulates my day,alerting me to visitors, herding me to get his tea, and demanding walks and trips out. Sometimes he will even come and find me by the computer to announce the name of a person downstairs in the kitchen in his gruff voice “Sairr Rahhhh, Sairr Rahhh” – and then ushers me down. With most people visiting however it is a particular sort of bark. He uses his mesmerising eyes to full advantage – every morning after his ablutions he comes and sits by my bed, alert, to attention, and his eyes fixed on me. It is his wish and command that I make the bed, and before I have finished he jumps up, curls into a ball and goes to sleep. He will regularly remind me of meal times, mine as well as his, and is generally precise in his routine. I am not so regular and this can frustrate him, and he gives out little growls to remind me – and when it is time for a bit of fun an d play too! It’s true that dogs have been training us monkeys with shoes for thousands of years, and they are still doing it….

February 27, 2017

My dog has marvellous Accountancy skills……thanks Sammy!

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:42 pm by aleksan

I know Mr Sam has many skills, of course he is our wee dog, but even I was staggered when he showed knowledge of Accountancy. Today Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs sent me an important letter detailing my Tax position and Code for the following Tax year. Not terribly interesting just now, so I set it aside for future filing in the appropriate tatty Box File. But Samuel McSomerled ARCCA took it upon himself to deal with the letter in his own inimitable way – I discovered a large bite shaped piece had been removed and eaten – the bit telling what my new Tax Code is going to be….Thanks Sam, it can now go in that special file under the desk – the waste paper bin.

Previous page · Next page