Beings of light, clever mammals, and everything in between
What are human beings? I mean what are we really? Are we wondrous beings of light or just clever mammals? Are we immortal souls or just containers for the survival of our genes? Nobody really knows I suggest, but there are many many opinions. Here are around 25 of them.
Hold onto your hat, seat, lapels — this is going to be a philosophical roller-coaster.
I guess we better start at the beginning with Genesis. We are made in God’s image, right? …
I was at school in the 80s. Blimey, that’s a long time ago — I am shocked myself. Anyway, I went to an all-boys grammar school on the outskirts of London. At that school, between the ages of 11 and 16 years, I did these subjects (presented in alphabetical order) — the same ones every year:
P.E. (Physical Education)
And then for the following 2 years, I did these subjects:
What a syllabus. Why oh why? My heart weeps for the young me —…
In my 20s, I was involved with a group of Buddhists in East London and used to go to regular meditation evenings a few times a week. On one of these evenings, I glimpsed a young woman whose body was shaking during the group meditation. I was intrigued. During the tea break, I went up to her and asked her about it. She seemed quite nonplussed, simply saying that it always happened during her meditations — but only for a short period. She said that she didn’t really think about it that much and didn’t know what it was.
I have always been more interested in the inner than the outer. Take me to a big city, spin me round a few times, and I am pretty much lost. Put me on a 10-day Vipassana retreat, and I am fine. Ask me to do some DIY in the house or garden, I will look at you with fear in my eyes, and retreat to my computer. Ask me about consciousness, and we can talk for hours.
Meditation is not a practice or a discipline or a chore for me. It is more the opposite. I find it comfortable and…
A six minute introduction to Tantra
Osho wrote about it in From Sex to Superconsciousness, David Deida wrote about it in Finding God Through Sex (splendid title), and now it is my turn.
Before we get into Tantra, we need to get into this…
I don’t consider myself to be part of any of the world’s religions, but if I go deep into who I am and have been during my life, it is not that outlandish for me to say: I am a lover of God. Let me clarify a bit. I don’t believe in God. That is, I…
I learnt how to hide at a very young age. As a child, I would express myself — feelings, desires, ideas — and, for one reason or another — I won’t go into the reasons — I was not understood or, in many cases, was simply negated. You don’t feel that. You don’t need that. Don’t be stupid. I learnt to hide myself. As a child, it was a sound strategy to avoid the pain of not being met.
When I was about 11, I realised that I talked differently than other children. There were some letters, some words, that…
When I tell people that I have been meditating for 30 years, they invariably assume that I must be an expert meditator. They even say sometimes:
Wow, you must really be a master.
I promptly tell them that I am not. I am not being humble or showing humility, I am really not. In fact, I would say that overall I am quite rubbish at meditation. This is an objective statement by the only one who really knows. Me.
I have heard many mediation teachers say that there is no such thing as a bad meditation. But there is. There…
The truth will set you free.
This is not my saying — I am not at all religious — but is a well-known saying from the New Testament. Truth is a tricky word, but I read it as not my truth or your truth — but The Truth. The truth being reality, that which is true independent of what you or I think. The assumption is that there is a ground. If you can know, accept, and love that ground — you will be free. …
I am interested in and passionate about many things — so when people ask me what I am into, it is sometimes difficult to give a quick answer. If I had to choose one overriding theme, I guess it would be consciousness. Or, as I heard somebody say recently: Life and Mind.
I am conscious. That much I know. But what is consciousness? Where does consciousness come from? Where is it going? Does it develop? As in, personal development, spiritual growth, or the quest for enlightenment? Or is consciousness just here and now? An unchanging, ever-present backdrop to our experience.
Okay, it turns out I didn’t invent it — but here’s how to do it
I’ve been into Running, Tai Chi, and Meditation for more than two decades and about five years ago, I came up with this idea to combine them all into something I called Mindful Running. So I started practising that, and a couple of years ago started to teach it. It was only then — honestly — that I discovered Danny Dreyer’s Chi Running and Mackenzie L. Havey’s Mindful Running: How Meditative Running Can Improve Performance and Make You a Happier, More Fulfilled Person. These books…