Thursday, 12 November 2009
Tuesday, 8 September 2009
Howse doesn’t say who that university lecturer is, but his article raises interesting questions and provoked heated comments from readers. These ranged from numerous reported angel sightings by both adults and children, to a fair number of postings expressing a huge degree of animosity, from those who hadn’t seen angels and knew they never would.
What is it that makes people so angry about the possibility of there being things we are yet to fully understand?
And even if angels don’t ‘exist’ (whatever that might mean), for those who believe they exist they have a very real impact on their lives.
One irate commentator said there has never been any tangible evidence of anything like Angels, Father Christmas or God. I’m guessing he would probably include the tooth fairy in that list. Yet thousands of lucky children have tangible evidence of the tooth fairy’s existence. They believe that if they put a tooth under their pillow at night the tooth fair will come and take it and replace it with a coin.
And thousands of children have their theory proved right by the very tangible evidence of a coin the next morning.
Who or what the tooth fairy may be is disputable, but their belief in the existence of a power which can manifest that coin is strong enough to bring that coin into being. The child who knows there is no tooth fairy refuses to put the tooth under their pillow. And hey presto they too have their proof of its non-existence because they don’t receive a coin.
If we believe there are people – or angels – out there who are there to generate good and positive experiences in our world, then chances are we will come across people and opportunities that generate those good experiences.
Whether or not there is ‘tangible evidence’ of the precise origin of that good experience seems somewhat irrelevant to those whose lives have benefited.
Thursday, 23 July 2009
Monday, 20 April 2009
People have used the circular form in many types of guides for centuries. From stone circles such as Castlerigg and Stonehenge designed to align seasonal changes and agriculture, to manmade circles such as the compass and clock-face which have been key to human exploration of our planet. The circular mandala serves as a spiritual tool and meditative aid. In all its forms the circle represents our human drive to create order out of chaos.
The circle is so common to human life that it easily draws our attention, but is equally easily overlooked. What was it about this circle that inspired admiration, nurture and reverence, rather than the more common response in this day and age of destruction, vandalism or even official removal in the interests of ‘health and safety’ or some equally spurious justification?
Have you come across similar appearances in the landscape?What did you do there and why?What do you think inspires people to make such features and what is it that makes people add to them and admire them rather than disturbing or destroying them?
Tuesday, 17 February 2009
Saturday, 31 January 2009
landscapes but in having new eyes’ (Marcel Proust)
I’ve just returned to work after a period of longterm sick leave. Illness often sets us off thinking about questions such as:
What happens if I can’t go back to work?
At the heart of it is a need to connect on some level to something meaningful, which obviously for those bed-ridden and suffering from longterm illness isn’t always easy to do physically.
An ill person is embodied in a semi-functioning physicality. And what this does is to highlight both the importance of the body and its insignificance:
- Important because through illness we suddenly feel let down by our bodies, we realize how much we rely on them functioning efficiently to get us to work, to maintain relationships, to do meaningful things with our spare time.
- Yet insignificant because a really chronic or severe illness can show us just how it is possible to survive and exist meaningfully outside the confines of that body which is letting us down.
So the body might be a site for ‘triggers’ which propel us into a search for meaning beyond our embodied selves. And this is often where a spiritual journey begins. This trigger may be in the form of illness, but it can also come from suffering abuse, a mid-life crisis, or it may even come in less earthly forms such as an encounter with an angel or a spirit guide.
What triggered your spiritual journey…?