Wednesday, November 12, 2003

I am getting quite frustrated with Blogger. I have tried to insert pictures into my blog several times and for some unknown reason the picture is visible for the first viewing then it disappears. I am going to ask for help and then I am going to re-consider my future with Blogger.
this is a test blog

Thursday, November 06, 2003

Open your eyes !

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

How do we gain knowledge? If knowledge is like light, visible to the eyes then surely it can be said that through teaching we can be exposed to the light and hence be enlightened. But what if to extend the analogy we imagine that we are only temporarily blinded perhaps because the light is too bright, or the room is too dark. Then it would be better if we were left alone to adjust before being able to see perfectly ...

For more info see Plato ' The Republic '

Monday, November 03, 2003

I found myself reading another one of my Pelican's this morning - 'Body and Mind in Western Thought' by Joan Wynn Reeves. It is a history of psychology and a study of the mind / body problem. She starts off the early Greeks. Timaeus was the only text of Plato available in the middle ages and I never realised that Plato had such a curious idea of a 'world soul'. The basic idea is that the creator made a world soul with everything and then divided up the soul and gave a little bit to each star. This soul was then fashioned into human beings, specifically men. Each mans job was to live righteously so that when he died he could go back to his origin of living on his native star otherwise he was reincarnated first as a woman and then as the 'lower' animals.

Another interesting feature of the book is that over half of it contains exerpts from the original texts so I have a fascinating source book on the history of psychology!

I remember puzzling over the idea of the soul 12 years ago in university. Nobody told me about Plato, I wish they had. I had this idea that the soul was a Biblical concept and decided to cling to it, which is rather hopeless when almost everyone is rejecting it, even Christian friends are saying they don't need to hold on to the concept of duality.

Sunday, November 02, 2003

Last Saturday I left a lot of books back to the Linenhall Library, Graham Greene and Robert Graves. I felt that I had to move on and even though I was enjoying them sometimes a break is required. This I have tried, unsuccessfully to read 'Islands in the Stream' by Hemingway. Unfortunately it contains some wonderful passages and some quite disappointing passages, I am still in the middle of disappointing. This book was published posthumously and it is understandable that texts he wrote may not have even been intended for publication. I sense that parts of this book were just notebook jottings. In a way they are fascinating because this was the real man, in a way I really want to read the artist, the genius. I have quite a strange relationship with Hemingway, I admire him and yet most of his ideas are quite different to mine.

I am also reading 'Embers' by Sandor Marai, btw when I said 'in the car' I meant when the car was parked. I used to read a lot of books this way as it was the only time I had some time to myself but with the nights getting darker it is more difficult. Embers is a very mysterious book. I am finding it quite slow and yet there is a lot of tension, every time I suspect I know what is going to happen it changes. It takes patience to read a book that is slow and yet shows great promise.

The past day or so I have been thinking about Teilhard de Chardin. On my last day in Lima I went with Isabel to get CDs. While she went shopping I sat in the square reading 'The future of Man'. He gave a picture of the human race as a number of boats sailing down a river. Unknown to most of the sailors around the next corner there is a whirlpool. Apparently we had some choices, to turn around, to ignore it, or to face up to the challenge and overcome it. Unfortunately just as I was getting interested the book was misplaced and left in Peru. It does seem more relevant now considering the past century and that it was probably written at the latest around 1945. I wonder what Teilhard would be doing if he was around today.
Here is a link to an article about Teilhard de Chardin with a similar theme: Teilhard de Chardin and the Noosphere

I am also reading 'The Ukimwi Road' by Dervla Murphy. The quite incredible story of her bicycle ride through Kenya, Uganda to Malawi. She seems to be completely calm about the fact that there are tribal riots and shootings everyday. I have this grand idea of getting to grips with Africa, so occasionally I read something African. She did the ride 10 years ago, Africa is such a dangerous place I am amazed at the number of people who are friendly towards her. I didn't really think she would impress me but actually it is interesting.