Wednesday 22 July 2009


The professional body of which I am a member regularly sends me journals/magazines and whilst the content is a mixed bag there are some interesting snippets. A short item featuring an exhibit at the Imperial War Museum Manchester is one such. Prisoners of war built a radio from scrounged bits and pieces using great ingenuity to construct the electrical components from card tubes, tins, toothbrushes, ashtrays and the like together with a film projector. The radio was hidden under the floorboards, powered from the lighting circuit, operated using knitting needles and remained undiscovered. Upon liberation the set was recovered still working and had kept the men well informed about the state of the war. I've checked the War Museum website and can't find any information to which I could make a link, but you will get a picture of the ingenuity of the prisoners from the above and will no doubt be aware of their suffering.

There it is, that great human inventiveness! Like I said in Monday's post, it's what we are, we went to the moon. Such a shame that we don't always use our talents in the pursuit of noble aims. We don't always create the best forms but there is a beauty in the creativeness described above that made me want to share it with you.

Monday 20 July 2009

Going to the Moon

There has been much in the news about the 40th anniversary of man's visits to the moon.
Surely no one can fail to see the significance of mankind travelling to and returning from an other celestial body. We are the only sentient life form to have done this (so far as we know). The fact that it was done apparently with less computing power than I have here now to write this and probably less than most mobile phones have now, makes it all the more amazing. Our kind got off the planet, travelled to the moon, strolled around a bit and came home! And this says something about what we are. We are the kind that expands its capability, its know how, its experience. Trisna (see tanha from post on Vitality) certainly seems to lead us to some amazing creations. And I think that points to some interesting aspects of what it means to be human. Much of the desire to get to the moon was connected with the cold war but even behind that, as a species we had the desire to go there, it's the sort of thing we do, like exploring the earth we want to explore the heavens. Interestingly we want to explore the 'heavens' of both the material and mystical worlds. The former about leaving 'home' and the later returning. But I digress, or do I? What I am driving at is that vexed issue so often pondered; how do we cope with being such driven creatures and how is one to evaluate the outcome of our efforts?

I've heard myself say more than once, 'we went to the moon; it's in our nature' when talking about desire in the context of spirituality. Even though poking into things and taking control with our (Western?) scientific mind seems to reduce the poetic view I wonder if we shift our view point a little to look at the wonder of our endeavours if the poetic does not reappear. The moon, which is often used in spiritual imagery, might not appear quite so charismatic, so yin, so poetic for knowing that it came to be at least in part within our reach, yet in considering when in better frame of mind than Hamlet 'what a piece of work man is', do we not once more return to the poetic? We are amazing, complex, contradictory creatures. I take exception to the view expressed in Western religious frameworks which places man above the animals and created in God's image etc. (that whole set of values is, I think tied up in the above quote) but that we are able to be so creative and also able to contemplate getting beyond our own ego is surely a measure of what we are. We have this ego and we need it to get across the road and even go to the moon and it keeps us from our spiritual 'home' yet we can somehow still see 'home' and realise the challenge of living in the realm of form, the material world as physically incarnated beings whilst contemplating our (true) nature. We see the moon in more ways than one.

Sunday 12 July 2009


I've not been posting much of late. If I could get it clear enough to post it would probably be a good way to being resolved, that's how it has been. A period of transition is underway but I've no idea what the outcome will be.

Anyway, a colleague and I taught a class of eleven year olds last Friday morning. It was industry day and so we headed off to one of the schools we are rebuilding with some demonstration eco / green energy kits; a wind generator, a photovoltaic panel and a solar water heater. I had no idea I was to do this until just before we left the office to go to the school. I busked it quite well, had them lining up to be electrons, jumped off a bench to illustrate potential and kinetic energy, got them playing with the kits etc. My colleague runs scouts so he was well used with rousing them. Hopefully they got something from it, I know I did. Talking about it with friends over the weekend I saw just how much it seemed many of the kids may have got from it. And it is sad to think of the shut down kids, jaded at such a young age, let's hope they meet good teachers who can overcome the odds and help them see their own worth.

We all need to use our creative energies in the pursuit of valuable forms. Form in emptiness.

Wednesday 1 July 2009

Funny things

When I was little I used to think that the trees made the wind and imagined that there was a room somewhere where they switched all the street lights on and off from.