I enjoy looking back and observing my year in the photos and comments, to see what I have been reading, talking about, thinking about.
In 2013 my blog posts were few and far between, indicative of a year consumed by events I organised through the Sydney Peace Foundation, trips to Cambodia, Paris, London and Tokyo, and trying to finish and submit my MPhil thesis. Something had to be compromised, and in 2013 is was my blogging. I miss it. I miss reflecting and sharing my thoughts. I miss the clarity that comes from it. New year’s resolution for 2014: more blogging.
Here are my posts from 2013:
Jan 29, 2013 | After years of anticipation Samsara, the sequel to the movie Baraka, has been released. Samsara is a meditation on the endless cycle of birth, death, and rebirth, to which life in the material world is bound. In Sanskrit, “Samsara” literally translates to “a passing through, from sam altogether + sarati it runs”. Samsara is a journey through life, and the film provides a confronting snapshot of life, Earth, humanity, and the cycles we are a part of. Directed by Ron Fricke and produced by Mark Read more […]
Feb 01, 2013 | “You gonna swim back to the waves, or keep swimming forward?” an instructor asked. Yesterday I found myself sitting directly behind a group of fit, tanned bods in “North Bondi” speedos. An accident, I promise. Lying on the beach these words (and images) struck a chord with a recent conversation, and a friend’s philosophy I’ve adopted and written about before – “always do rather than not do.” Yet this time the philosophy had a little twist: if one faces a number of options, which should one Read more […]
Feb 08, 2013 | ‘Extensive studies of colour perception over several decades have made it clear that there are no colours in the external world, independent of the process of perception.’ Since I was a child I’ve wondered if what I see to be green is the same as what you see to be green. I wondered if I were to switch places with someone would I be horrified by everyone walking around with green faces or green hair. That’s not the kind of un-real we are talking about here. I think we’re safe to assume Read more […]
Feb 22, 2013 | Richard Dawkins “The Ancestor’s Tale” audio book traces our ancestry back through the ages, recapping the tales of various animals as they join our “pilgrimage” all the way back to the dawn of evolution. At one particular rendezvous we meet the Artiodactyls – the even-toed mammals i.e. mammals with hoofs like pigs and hippos. Here Dawkins tells the tale of whales. What? Whales don’t have hoofs!!! No, but their closest ancestor does. Hippos are in fact closer to whales then they are pigs! Apparently Read more […]
Mar 28, 2013 | The feeling of flow is that feeling you get when you are at your ultimate and you feel your body almost disappear in a spontaneous yet automatic type fashion. For example, a sportsperson running or high jumping or swimming at their peak; an artist’s moment of inspiration and clarity; a writer when it almost feels like a stream of consciousness directly channeling the right words in the right order from some otherworldly place. One can feel flow when they play music, or when they make love, or Read more […]
Feb 25, 2013 | “There is only one meaning of life: the act of living it,” wrote German psychologist and social theorist Erich Fromm in 1941. Some find meaning in their work, in travel, in writing, in loving, in obeying a religion, in creating babies—all of which are different acts of living. The meaning of life (a noun) is in the process of living (a verb). This points to a fundamental shift from that of a static goal, to a dynamic experience. In this view one does not put off the rewards of life, Read more […]
Mar 19, 2013 | The word “Fundamentalism” might make you think of people with unwavering beliefs who refuse to consider alternative views. You could be thinking of people committed to a political ideology on the far left or far right, or maybe a form of religious fundamentalism. The word is often used interchangeably with “Extremism”, which may make you think of suicide bombers, hate crimes against gays, sexual discrimination against women—anyone who use a “Holy Scripture” to justify violence. Yet you might Read more […]
Mar 23, 2013 | How does one make sense of large scale suffering, like that of global disasters, Auschwitz, or even cyclical poverty? Is that God’s not-so-fine handiwork? This TED Talk by Rev. Tom Honey, introduces a different idea about God that is well-known in intellectual theological circles, but not so well known outside of this. Rev. Honey challenges the traditional conception of God as a “male boss”… a “celestial controller, a rule maker, a policeman in the sky who orders everything, and causes everything Read more […]
Apr 02, 2013 | “If you’re aiming for a goal that isn’t your destiny, you will always be swimming against the current… Find out what your destiny is and the river will carry you.”—Men Who Stare At Goats. Nicola’s comment on my 2010 blog post on Optimal Trajectory reminded me of this philosophy. As I blogged last week, there are times in life where you are “in the flow”, and times when you are swimming against the tide. When your destiny is carrying you, it can feel as if there are green lights all Read more […]
Apr 24, 2013 | I’ve been a bit slack with my blogging the last few years, which is a shame given the great work that I’m involved in with the Sydney Peace Foundation, and the research I’m doing at the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies. Unfortunately there’s only so much time in the day. Unless you’ve worked in hospitality you don’t know the work that goes into waitressing, cooking and the respect deserved for it. Everyone should work in hospitality, at least once life. Same goes for organising events. Read more […]
Nov 26, 2013 | An experiment with experiential learning Brought me back Seven years had passed Since I called Tokyo my home Like an ex-lover Familiar but different A flood of memories In the streets, big and small The love and the hate I once felt for the city, for the culture and for a boy Fused, buried A different self, many life times ago Filled with paradoxes Racism to extremes Celebritised or despised Aliens swimming in a foreign sea of manicured faces Designer top to toe Toy cars, Read more […]
Dec 24, 2013 | Call it procrastination or maybe even research, I’ve been spending a bit of time over the past week catching up on YouTube, RSA, TED Talks and general online initiatives connecting with my interests in peace, justice, environmental sustainability, technology and holistic worldviews. Today I stumbled across the Charter for Compassion: I remember author and scholar Karen Armstrong’s TED Talk, which won the 2008 TED Prize. Armstrong talks about how the Abrahamic religions — Islam, Read more […]