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Posts under ‘Mind & body’

I am interested the idea and practice of spirituality: but it may all be nonsense, and I may be venially corporeal. This category is a bit of a catch-all for posts on subjects ranging from the intellectual (I should be so lucky), to the spiritual (likewise) via the psychological and the creative.

Hunston Convent and Chichester Free School

Posted by RDN under Mind & body on 22 April 2017. No comments.

Chichester Free School is taking over Hunston Convent, a 19th Century Carmelite monastery to the south of the city, on the threshold of the Manhood Peninsula. It’s a brilliant and exciting adventure, since to the school is a mint-fresh sort of institution and the convent is a Victorian classic, with roots which go centuries’ deep, and all over the world. The convent’s fabric is being reborn in spectacular fashion – and I hope something of its spirit, too.

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Rural idylls: The cultivation of decline

Posted by RDN under Mind & body / On art / On books / Politics & campaigns on 22 December 2016. No comments.

Much – probably most – modern creative work deploys the rural  as emblematic of the fragile world which man has wounded. I want to map some of this rural declinism, and counter it. In this it follows traits and tropes which have dominated countryside writing for millenia. More »

Rural idylls: RDN’s take on Arcadia

Posted by RDN under Mind & body / On art / On books on 22 December 2016. No comments.

The countryside is the repository of people’s dreams. It is the canvas on which they paint their fantasies. In this piece, I look at the way I do it. More »

“SS Fawn”, the Bowyer’s, and the nuns, 1870

Posted by RDN under Mind & body on 11 December 2016. No comments.

This is a story of a steamship, a Carmelite community of sisters, an extended family of Southampton pilots and a German ship-builder, in late 19th Century Southampton and Sussex, Normandy, Kiel, and the Orkneys. More »

Thérèse of Lisieux: A child of Christ, her time and ours

Posted by RDN under Mind & body on 8 December 2016. No comments.

I have been mildly interested in Thérèse of Lisieux for years. Recent encounters with the Carmelite tradition and some Carmelite nuns seemed to make it urgent that I address the rather sneering attitude I fear I had adopted towad “the little white flower”. Here is my best attempt at a reading of interesting work on the saint, some of it old, some very new. (Longform alert: this is a 5,000 word essay.) More »

Chris Martin on Trump (Or: Fascism, liberalism and karma)

Posted by RDN under Handling protest / Mind & body / Politics & campaigns on 13 November 2016. No comments.

Chris Martin of Cold Play was spot-on when he burst on to Graham Norton’s set and described the karmic moment represented by Donald Trump’s success in being elected President of the United States. Mr Martin said, in terms, that Trump expressed the feelings of millions of people, and that doing so is a refreshing and crucial part of democracy. Dead right. More »

Adolescent brain, liminality and the Universe

Posted by RDN under Mind & body on 27 June 2016. No comments.

There is an ocean of interesting material on the development of the adolescent brain. Most of it concentrates on why teenagers are gloomy, risk-taking, drug-prone, drug-susceptible and hard to teach. I want to ask whether anyone has spotted research or discussion on a more positive or at least very interesting aspect to adolescent liminality. More »

The Referendum meta-debate

Posted by RDN under Mind & body / Politics & campaigns on 22 June 2016. No comments.

The EU Referendum debate is widely thought to have been information-light and anger-heavy. This is true enough, but in ways which might surprise. Here is a sketch of how the argument might be analysed. I am afraid it is a little personal, at least in the first para or two. More »

Jo Cox’s legacy to democracy

Posted by RDN under Mind & body / Politics & campaigns on 18 June 2016. No comments.

Amongst all the things which Jo Cox achieved and represented in life, in death she may produce a further great service. It would be a fitting memorial or tribute to this remarkable person that we start to reverse the cynicism with which the electorate, media and entertainment industry regard politicians. More »

The End is Nigh (not, probably): BBC TBQ

Posted by RDN under Economic affairs / Mind & body / Politics & campaigns / RDN's media outings on 12 June 2016. 2 comments.

The BBC’s The Big Questions asked a panel of “experts”, and its audience, whether “the end is nigh”. I responded that it almost certainly is not. Indeed, I said, things are going rather well and humans don’t need huge reforms of their psyche – but many long for better politics and economics to come their way.

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