Mind & body.

I am interested in 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.

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The Britten-Pears Red House experience

At long last I have visited the Britten-Pears residence, shrine and museum which is the Red House, Aldeburgh, Suffolk. It was indeed up there with the Bloomsberries' Charleston, near Eastbourne,;or with Karen Blixen's Rungstedland, near Copenhagen (or her house by the Ngong Hills, near Nairobi). All are places where creative people surrounded themselves with good taste. Above all, the Red House could be compared with the wonder of Kettle's Yard, Cambridge. Both these East Anglian gems are, after all, pilgrimages for the "Soft-Modernism" which the middle classes adopted from their post-war Bohemian leaders in style. In the event, the Red House excelled, and was almost a disappointment too. Read more...

Published

06 October 2014

Bernardine Bishop’s “Unexpected Lessons In Love”

This is a very fine book, and well merits the comparison with the writing of Penelope Fitzgerald, which Adam Mars-Jones drew in his Observer review. It's a comparison as to both classiness and type, and I hadn't made it, which was dumb of me, since I have been reading and loving Fitzgerald.. Read more...

Published

10 June 2014

Spirituality: Or gardening consciousness

This is the third of my recent pieces on my take on spirituality. The second looked at how my idea of spirituality works within my right-wingery; the first looked at how I frame the idea of spirituality more widely. This one, I hope, will explain a little more about how my definitions of spirituality and of personal consciousness, fit in with the wider human consciousness. So it is in part about how my idea of spirituality fits with Teilhard de Chardin's Noosphere.  Read more...

Published

26 May 2014

Spirituality, altruism and the right-wing

I have been asked once or twice about the "change of heart" which lay behind my "change of mind", as I became more right-wing. Leave aside that my "radical" or "progressive" or "green" tendencies of the late 1970s were deviations from my previous and more recent thinking, here is an account of where my "heart" was and is, and how it relates to some big ideas of left and right....  Read more...

Published

23 May 2014

Spirituality: do’s and don’ts

I have written elsewhere a bit about whether spirituality is an idea with meaning, for those of us who claim to be post-God. I usually say it is. Here's a word or two more about what it might look like and how one might head toward it... Read more...

Published

19 May 2014

BBC R4 Sunday show: faith and business ethics,

I contributed to a pre-recorded "package" for BBC Radio 4's Sunday programme on an inter-faith initiative to produce (actually to update) a code of business ethics. This is the sort of thing I mulled-over as I prepared... Read more...

Published

15 May 2014

Senna: F1’s fast-master of the Post Modern

I find, a bit late, that I like a great deal about Formula One, and am slowly learning about some of its characters. I'm afraid I knew nothing about Ayrton Senna, whose death 20 years ago is being marked today, until I read various online posts about him just now. One mini-essay revealed Senna to be a master of the Post Modern.... Read more...

Published

01 May 2014

RDN on Michael J Sandel

I meant ages ago to write a note about Michael J Sandel's What Money Can't Buy. I read it with mounting irritation and wanted just to mark people's cards as best I could as to what to watch out for when they come to it.... Read more...

Published

01 May 2014

Loving the fake (#2 of 2): Human zoos

I love the "problem" of tourism and - most sharply - the problem of the "human zoo". Almost all our travel, at least where it involves looking at people rather than landscape or animals, has a dimension of anthropological voyeurism. Much of it is a matter of play-acting amongst imagined peasantries or primitives. This has now reached new heights of self-consciousness, and is blissfully funny as well as serious.... Read more...

Published

24 April 2014

Loving the fake (#1 of 2): Digital rip-offs

I love the idea of fake art in the age of digital rip-offs. To put it in grander terms, I love the "issue" of conservation - facsimile, and reproduction, actually - in an age of mass culture and digitalisation. (In my next blog, I want to riff in rather the same way about the modern issue of tourism and anthropology, flowing from Human Zoo tourism.) We have entered a wonderful time in which re-envisioning, for instance, Tutankhamun, Seti I and and Piranesi fairly make the mind explode with potential. I explore some of this below the fold: Read more...

Published

24 April 2014
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