Thursday, 31 October 2013


Today I have departed from my 'normal mode' to have a 'grumpy' moment or two!!

My Encyclopedia tells me that - "Halloween is the evening of 31st.October, when spirits of the dead are supposed to return to their former homes, and witches and demons are thought to be abroad at night.  This was the last day of the Celtic and Anglo Saxon year - many modern Halloween customs have their origin in the 'pagan' ceremonies.  Halloween gets its name from All Hallows Eve - from the Old English word 'halga' or saint - the evening of All Saints Day, the Western Christian Festival celebrating all the Church's Saints on 1st.November."
Now I put on my 'grumpy old man' hat and protest at the plethora of tatty rubbish on sale in many shops for the so called Halloween celebrations.  Parents, please don't encourage this commercial farce - the businesses will say that they are responding to public demand but I think this is another way of saying that they have found another opportunity to increase sales and to create a demand.  I'm sure my 'grumpy hat' will be out again for the commercial Christmas!
If you want to spend money on children there are many charities doing good work to provide aid for children in need of shelter, food, clean water, clothing and education. By all means give your own children a treat from your local shop but please don't encourage the waste of the world's resources on rubbish at any time of the year.
If you want to scare the kids then threaten to dance to the 'musak' when you take them to a supermarket, better still what about dancing in front of their friends at the school gate!  That could be much more scary than playing at ghosts or witches!!
Seriously though wouldn't it be better to redirect this day to trying to alleviate the 'scary' future that so many children in the world are facing; ignore the commercial temptations - the stores will get the message if you don't buy the goods - and instruct your children to care for others less fortunate than themselves in this world.
Celebrate All Saints Day with a light heart.
Grumpy moment over for the time being.  Do enjoy your celebrations responsibly.

Saturday, 26 October 2013


                                                         Photograph by M. M. B.

Sweetness is closer to bitterness than it is to decay, no matter how sweetish its smell.
The evidence of everything on earth, seen and unseen, is spiritual.  On entering the invisible city my body is covered by my spirit.  Whosoever seeks to cleave the body from the spirit, or the spirit from the body is turning his heart away from the truth.  The flower and its fragrance are one; they are blind who deny the colour and the image of the flower, saying that it possesses only a fragrance vibrating in the ether.  They are like those, deficient in the scent of smell, to whom flowers are nought but shapes and hues without fragrance.
Everything in creation exists within you, and everything in you exists in creation.  You are in border-less touch with the closest things, and, what is more, distance is not sufficient to separate you from things far away.
All things from the lowest to the loftiest, from the smallest to the greatest, exist within you as equal things.  
In one atom are found all the elements of earth.  One drop of water contains all the secrets of all the oceans. In one motion of the mind are found all the motions of all the laws of existence.

                                                                               From the 'Spiritual Sayings' of Kahlil Gibran

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Abou Ben Adhem

Abou Ben Adhem ( may his tribe increase! )
Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace,
And saw, within the moonlight of his room,
Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom,
An Angel writing in a book of gold:
Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,
And to the presence in the room he said
"What writest thou?"  The Vision raised its head,
And with a look made of all sweet accord
Answered, "The names of those who love the Lord".
"And is mine one?" said Abou.  "Nay, not so".
Replied the Angel.  Abou spoke more low,
But cheerily still: and said, "I pray thee, then,
Write me as one that loves his fellow men".
The Angel wrote, and vanished.  The next night
It came again with great awakening light,
And showed the names who love of God had blessed,
And, lo!  Ben Adhem's name led all the rest!

                                                                 by James Leigh Hunt 

Saturday, 19 October 2013

The water of a river.

The water of a river that has its source in one country may flow through many different countries before it reaches the sea.  It passes within the domain of many chiefs, rajahs and princes.  Yet no country has the right to stop it and keep it within its territory.  It is the common property of all, and wherever it goes, it quenches the thirst of all.  In the same way, the stream of life comes forth from the ocean of God's love, streaming to earth again as rain and then flowing as a river through the channels of the prophets and holy ones to irrigate the world.  In this way, it quenches thirsty souls, enriching and restoring the lives of people and nations everywhere.  Whoever desires it can freely take of this gift of life.

                                                                                                       Sundar Singh (1889-1929)

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Questions and Answers

We're seeking and striving, looking for You,
Oh! Infinite Spirit, what can we do?
In a world of darkness where life seems profane,
What spiritual knowledge could we attain?

In a world of terror, corruption and strife -
Where do we find the meaning of life?
Where is the answer we're trying to find -
Awareness of Spirit that man's left behind.

There's no use in seeking for God in the sky,
Or communication from somewhere on high.
We are spirit now, so look to within -
In a quieter self - let searching begin.

Spirit is now, though clothed and unseen,
The material world, the one that's a dream.
We can learn from our spirit which has the insight
To all God's creation, knowledge and light.

And this is the meaning of life upon earth,
To strengthen and hone our spiritual birth;
For it's not what we are - but what we become -
Can carry us forward when the body is done.

                                                                    Stella Townsend

                        Yet another cutting from my scrapbook from the late 1970's

Saturday, 12 October 2013

God Is.

                                                Photograph of a 'Sunset Scene' by M.M.B

I see Him in the strength and awesomeness of the sky,
And in the majesty of the clouds.
I see His light in the last sun-rays before dusk,
And in the glow which falls to earth.
I see His artwork in the slender boughs of winter,
And in the dry grass.
I see His purity in the snow and falling rain,
And in the streams that push along.
I see His Love in the wee brown sparrow,
And in the velvet petals of a rose.
I see His truth in a dear child's face,
And in a sweetheart's eyes.
I hear His voice in the softly stirring wind,
And in the full breaker's roar.
In all things, God is.

                                                       by  Christine Asbury

Wednesday, 9 October 2013


No one can be saved, until he is reborn again.  If you want to be reborn, purify yourself of the irrational torments of matter.
The first of these is ignorance.  The second is grief.  Third is lack of self-control.
Fourth is desire.  Fifth is injustice.  Sixth is greed.
Seventh is deceit.  Eighth is envy.  Ninth is treachery.
Tenth is anger.  Eleventh is rashness.  Twelfth is malice.
Under these twelve are many more, which force the man who is bound to the prison of the body to suffer from the torments they inflict.  But by Atum's mercy, they may all depart and be replaced by understanding.
This is the nature of rebirth.  This is the only road to reality.  It is the way our ancestors trod to discover Primal Goodness.  It is sacred and divine, but a hard highway for the soul to travel in a body.  For the soul's first step is to struggle against itself - stirring up a civil war.  It is a feud of unity against duality.  The one seeking to unite and the other seeking to divide.
He who is reborn communes with the All-Father who is Light and Life.
You will only experience this supreme vision when you stop talking about it, for this knowledge is deep silence and tranquillity of the senses.

             Extract from the 'Hermetica', attributed to Hermes Trismegistus, Egypt about 3000BC.

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Goldfinch - Freedom

Autumn is now with us and the daylight hours are getting shorter, the birds have fewer hours in which to feed so we help them over the harsher weather by supplementing their food supply with a feeder containing sunflower seeds.  Within two days of putting out the feeder the first bird to appear was my favourite winter visitor the goldfinch, soon followed by greenfinches, chaffinches, dunnocks (hedge sparrows), blue-tits, coal-tits, a feisty robin and a black-bird; no wren so far. During the summer we rarely see these smaller birds, usually only larger birds like magpies, jackdaws, wood-pigeons, ring-doves and starlings; although once or twice a kestrel swooped low over the garden and a few times a red-kite could be seen gliding overhead.  Having said that in a gesture we like to think of as a thank you for winter feeding the parent goldfinches and blue-tits brought their broods briefly at one point in the summer much to our delight.
I have been distracted, my intention in posting a picture of the goldfinch was not to talk about feeding the birds or listing the garden visitors but rather to briefly mention the symbolism of this bird in many Christian paintings.

"The goldfinch represents the soul and the Passion of Christ.  Goldfinches like to eat thistles and thorns so the bird has become associated with Christ's suffering on the cross.  The red spot on its throat is said to represent the drop of blood that fell as the goldfinch drew a thorn from Christ's brow."



A bird in flight, her wings spread wide
Is the soul of man with bonds untied.
Beyond the plough, the spade, the hod,
A bird flies in the face of God,
Yet I with reason bright as day
Forever tread the earthbound day.
                                                           by Spike Milligan

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Peace will soon come to be.

Sun on the sea.
Waves on the shore
But in another land
Guns and bullets roar.

Chorus :-  I look around, loving
                All of the joys I see.
                 I close my eyes, praying
                 Peace will come to be.

Wind in my hair,
Rain on my face,
But in another land
People hope for peace.

Chorus :-  I look around, loving
                All of the joys I see
                 I close my eyes praying
                 Peace will come to be.

Dew on the grass,
Flowers that grow,
But in another land
Blood and tears flow.

Chorus :-  I look around, loving
                All of the joys I see
                 I close my eyes praying
                 Peace will come soon.

                                                  Another anonymous cutting from my scrapbook