Demian (1919)


What constitutes a real, live human being is more of a mystery than ever these days, and men – each one of whom is a valuable, unique experiment on the part of nature – are shot down wholesale. If, however, we were not something more than unique human beings and each man jack of us […]

HOSPITAL & HESSE


“We talk too much,” he said with unwonted seriousness. “Clever talk is of no value whatsoever. One merely gets further and further away from oneself and that is a crime. One should be able to crawl right into oneself like a tortoise.” Hermann Hesse: Demian On the 19th August 2022 I followed the local doctor’s […]

THE CONSTANT ALLURE OF THE CONCEPT OF META-I


It’s well worth taking some time to… ponder the idea that we consist not just of one single ‘I’ but of a large number of ‘I’s that constantly compete for attention. For example, the reader may well now be in Reading-these-words-I but also feeling the urge to get into Wondering-what-the-first sentence-means-for-them-I while being dominated by […]

THE DAYS OF PEN & INK


I have often tried to recall how I spent my days before the advent of the damned computer. It did seem to be something of a minor miracle when I acquired a primitive word processor (Amstrad 8256) around 1994. Working on it provided me with a valuable systemic relationship after thoroughly digesting which my fountain […]

MULTIDIMENSIONAL INTELLIGENCE


In One Dimensional Man (1964), Herbert Marcuse bewails the ‘lost dimensions’ – dimensions of existence that, in the crass technological dash for conformity, have faded in human life . Lost dimensions exist in areas of the spirit that seem to have no place in the one-dimensional world where opposition to prevailing ways of seeing things […]

TIME & JEFFERIES


  What a strange problem now that after so many thousand years I should still wander to & fro, spiritually unsatisfied… Notebooks May-June 1887 In the 1987 Symposium booklet entitled Richard Jefferies: a Spirit Illumined, John Pearson wrote an excellent essay called Bevis: A Natural Education in Time and Space in which he traces an […]

CHAFFINCHES CHAFFINCHING AWAY


I woke this morning (15th April 2022) to the sound of all the chaffinches in the world exchanging pleasantries across the dyke, over the fields and through the forest, and it occurred to me that a model I’ve used to inform my own life would work very well as a way of thinking about Jefferies, […]

RECRAFTING THE WAY THINGS ARE


The heart has a yearning for the unknown, a longing to penetrate the deep shadow and the winding glade, where, as it seems, no human foot has been. The Hills and the Vale (Marlborough Forest) Though it started other-than-consciously when I first dreamed into Lenbach’s Shepherd Boy at the age of 10, it’s no exaggeration […]

MYSTIC JEFFERIES


In The Psychology of Religious Mysticism (1925) James Leuba refers to twenty-six definitions of mysticism including ‘anything marvellous or weird… beyond human reason’ which may well be the standard definition when we’re faced with something which escapes understanding. For his purposes, Leuba settles on a neat uncluttered definition which appeals to me because it can […]