Archive for the ‘Nature’ Tag

North American Native Spirituality   Leave a comment

I am currently living through a stressful time and causing stress for those who love me and live with me.  I am having to live with a number of complex health issues which have all got worse other the past month necessitating frequent visits to the doctors/nurses/ psychologists/psychiatrists.  Amid all this I am in the process of setting up a Social Enterprise called Technology for Disabled People (TDP), see: martyncooper.com

In all this stress and concern I  reached out to a friend, who has his own experience knows something of what I am going through, and after about an hour or so sent me this:

Walking, I am listening to a deeper way.
Suddenly all of my ancestors are behind me.
Be still they say.  Watch and Listen.
You are the result, of the love of thousands.

Linda Hogan (b. 1946)
Native American writer.

Such profundity in four short lines! I could, and probably will, reflect on that for months.

 

I will conclude two short quotes.  These illustrate to me a key pointa in trying to learn from cultures other than your own.  That is, that you need to be willing to not seek to change their culture but to change yourself. This time the quotes come from another great world culture that has been a huge influence on me since I was about 13 and took on the works of Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn (this was 1974 and he was often in the news), I did not study Classics at school, but met Classical thought through Solzhenitsyn (who like me as an engineer by training).  However, of prime relevance here, it  was that it was because Solzhenitsyn quoted from the Russian literary canon, he inspired me to work my way through it over the next 10 or so formative years.  These quotes are from one of Russia’s cultural and political giants: Leo Tolstoy (who also became a hero of mine).

“Freethinkers are those who are willing to use their minds without prejudice and without fearing to understand things that clash with their own customs, privileges, or beliefs. This state of mind is not common, but it is essential for right thinking…”

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”

Leo Tolstoy
(b. 1828 – d. 1910)

 

 

First week of Lent   Leave a comment

The first week of Lent has coincided with the first week of Spring here in the UK. I did not go to church Sunday but spent the morning in the sunshine that bathed my garden – nature, all be it tended nature, was my temple. I have not started any of my Lent reading yet either; and I had collected at least 3 books I was going to use, and will use, in this period.  So I just want to leave you with today a beautiful piece of music, that I learnt as a teen from my father’s record collection, an extract from Beethoven’s 6th Symphony: