Opher on spirituality.

Opher on spirituality.

Unknown Border saved from a Rotary Club car park plant saleP1100493P1090972P1010029

I am an antitheist – I am opposed to all religions. I think they are created by man and do more harm than good. I would like to see all religion wither on the vine.

But spirituality? No. I like spirituality.

I think religions probably started out as means of celebrating spirituality before they turned into power trips for megalomaniacs and indoctrination courses for children.

I do not think science understands everything or will ever understand everything. The universe becomes weirder and weirder with every discovery. What I am sure of is that a lot of the things that seem so inexplicable to us now may well be found to have a scientific basis. We do seem to connect mentally. There does seem to be synchronicity. There are incredible coincidences. People read religious/spiritual things into these. Maybe there is a spiritual element or maybe it has a scientific principle that we have no yet discovered? Who knows?

For me the holy books are interesting relics of an Iron-age mind. They do contain some worthy things plus a lot of culturally suspect garbage. Like any book of fiction or non-fiction there are good things to take out of them and a lot of stuff that has been superseded by our knowledge, thinking and understanding. Those books are products of their age and culture. They contain all the prejudices and attitudes of that culture and time. I’d like to think we’re a lot better than that now.

So what is my understanding of this spirituality that lies beyond religion?

Well for me it is not god, gods or spirits. It is not afterlife or resurrections, hell, paradise or dogma – it is the essence of life, the universe and everything (to paraphrase Douglas Adams).

For me there is a universal energy that pervades everything; every atom, subatomic particle, sun, galaxy and living creature. That energy is a vibration that runs everything. I do not endow it with consciousness or purpose.

For me that throb of the universe runs in me and connects me to everything. I marvel at it in sunsets, trees, rocks, sea, living creatures, plants, sun, moon, waterfalls, mountains, galaxies and the sky at night – all the things that our ancestors worshipped.

I do not worship it. I do not imbue it with meaning.

I marvel at it, enjoy it, relish it, renew myself in the wonder and awe of it and adore it.

If there is something that I would give the name god to it would be the atomic energy that connects all the universe into one right out to the expanding front of the event horizon created by the big bang.

I have no need for the gubbins of religion, for a personal god or eternal life. I have my rainbows, sunsets and snow-capped mountains. There is nothing to believe in, be dogmatic about, to divide people or provide hatred.

When I die my consciousness will cease. The energy that I am part of will not. I don’t care if that energy is conscious or has a purpose. That is meaningless and pointless to speculate. I just know that it will not be any god like the religions describe. It has not interest in my life or consciousness. It is a perpetual flow and I am part of it.

My spirituality is summed up by two people (or a group) sitting on the rim of grand canyon watching the sun go down, sharing a glass of wine, waiting for the stars to come out, gazing up in awe and then getting the guitars out and celebrating that with laughter.

My spirituality is inclusive and requires no expectations or beliefs. I am alive. That is miraculous. I don’t have to have been created. To exist is enough.

Brussels – All you need is love

Brussels – All you need is love

IMG_1068

It seems an age ago that we back in the sixties and there was hope.

The world was not a place of butchery and hatred where young people were willing to blow themselves to pieces.

Love was the message.

Young people trekked out across the planet exporting their smiles. Friendship and sharing were the mantra, equality and freedom was the ethos.

The only blot on the landscape was the war in Vietnam.

That world seems so innocent now. But it was love that made it possible. If you meet someone as an equal with a smile and respect you make contact.

Somehow the radicalised young Muslims have been talked into hatred. They feel ostracised from society and have grown to despise it. Gone are the days that all the world wore flares. We are fractured.

It is time to heal.

You do not cure hatred with more hate.

The Beatles have been rather neglected and denigrated of late. They were the greatest band ever because of their genius and adventurousness. They were at the forefront of the sixties culture and they had a knack of summing things up.

All You Need Is Love

Love, love, love
Love, love, love
Love, love, loveThere’s nothing you can do that can’t be done
Nothing you can sing that can’t be sung
Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game
It’s easyNothing you can make that can’t be made
No one you can save that can’t be saved
Nothing you can do but you can learn how to be you in time
It’s easy

All you need is love
All you need is love
All you need is love, love
Love is all you need

Love, love, love
Love, love, love
Love, love, love

All you need is love
All you need is love
All you need is love, love
Love is all you need

Nothing you can know that isn’t known
Nothing you can see that isn’t shown
Nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be
It’s easy

All you need is love
All you need is love
All you need is love, love
Love is all you need

All you need is love (All together, now!)
All you need is love (Everybody!)
All you need is love, love
Love is all you need
Love is all you need (Love is all you need)
Love is all you need (Love is all you need)
Love is all you need (Love is all you need)
Love is all you need (Love is all you need)
Love is all you need (Love is all you need)
Love is all you need (Love is all you need)
Love is all you need (Love is all you need)
Love is all you need (Love is all you need)
Love is all you need (Love is all you need)
Love is all you need (Love is all you need)
Love is all you need (Love is all you need)
Yee-hai! (Love is all you need)
Love is all you need (Love is all you need)

My beliefs – Creationism

My beliefs – Creationism

My beliefs – Creationism

I do not believe in creationism. I think it is brainless to take the words of a medieval document produced by a nomadic tribe over the well-researched view of scientists.

I prefer my science with a rational basis rather than an indoctrinated posture.

I believe that Creationism is the latest attempt by the religious school of thought to repudiate the theory of evolution.

There are no facts.

There are lots of things we do not know. That is what makes science so interesting. We are discovering and finding new things every day. Our tools are immense and every theory is picked over and tested to the limit. If it stands up to the tests then it has some credibility.

Because something is written in an ancient book does not, on its own, give it credibility.

For me to believe something I have to have evidence and proof. There is no evidence in Creationism. It is completely erroneous.

I believe that to teach creationism to children is fundamentally wrong. It is simply not true.

Poetry – Solstice 2 – Our ancestors used to hold ceremonies to celebrate this. Mine’s just a little late.

Poetry – Solstice 2 – Our ancestors used to hold ceremonies to celebrate this. Mine’s just a little late.

We’re tried worshipping most things. The sun makes more sense that most. We live within its atmosphere and it gives us the light and heat that gives us life.

The Green Man and the sun gods Helios, Ra, Kehpri, Atum, Inti, Lugh, Hepa, Garuda, Huitzilopocthli, Apollo, Surya, Sol, Sol Invictus, Shemesh, Sunnya, and a host more, were all widely worshipped.

The longest and shortest days are good reasons for having a great festival and celebration. Nature is what supports us. We should respect it and celebrate its bounty.

I wrote this poem after seeing Nazca Nine on the Summer Solstice. It was a great gig. They were definitely waxing lyrical and many of the monarchs of yore were thought to be incarnations of Sun Gods.

Then there’s the Moon. It’s been a long time since we walked on it. I think some ancient cultures would have shuddered at the very thought.

Solstices are like a rebirth. I like the idea.

Solstice 2

Waxing on the lyrical

Beneath the sacred sun

Getting quite satirical

When God and Queen are one

 

Verging on the mystical

Beneath the sister moon

Leaning metaphysical

Hope we get there soon

 

Nineteen Nazca nine

Is looming from the dawn

Me and thee and thine

Are going to be reborn

 

Opher 31.12.98

Wonders – a poem

Wonders

 

Spinning atoms,

Spinning stars,

Spiralling arcs

Of fiery sparks.

 

Lighting up the heavens

Creating dreams

Where even reality

Is not as it seems.

 

Energy flies,

Matter jiggles,

Thoughts meander,

Truth wriggles.

 

A whole universe

From out of nowhere

A whole consciousness

Out of thin air.

 

From DNA

To evolution

Amazing life

In rich fruition.

 

Opher – 28.9.2019

Photography – Cambodia – The Ankor Wat Temple complex – Incredible architecture and roots! Photos!

Photography – Cambodia – The Ankor Wat Temple complex – Incredible architecture and roots! Photos!

IMG_6949 IMG_6975 IMG_6986 IMG_6999 IMG_7015 IMG_6941 IMG_6932 IMG_6928 IMG_7037 IMG_7051 IMG_7059 IMG_7075 IMG_7129

The temple complex is a wondrous epitaph to a glorious civilisation.

Anecdote – Danger in the old Manor House – a true story

 

Anecdote – Danger in the old Manor House – a true story

Old%20Photograph%20Mansion%20House%20Rouken%20Glen%20Scotland

I don’t believe in ghosts. Yet there are some things that are hard to explain.

When I was nine years old I used to play with a friend of mine who was the same age. We were wild and free and up to all mischief. No tree was safe from our attentions, no stream or pond out of bounds. We’d play tennis and roller-skate in the streets, build dens, tree houses, rafts and go off on our bikes all over town. Our parents never knew what we were up to.

That was the fun of it. We were free. And at nine years of age so grown up that we could handle anything – or could we?

One of the places we’d visit often was a big old deserted manor house. It had a big brick wall around it and great iron gates. The grounds were massive and overgrown. We hide our bikes in the long grass and shin over that wall as if it wasn’t there.

That manor house was massive with hundreds of voluminous echoey rooms, long corridors, big fireplaces, cupboards and great wooden shutters on all the windows. The front door was always open and we’d just go in. We’d run about on the old wooden floors and skid around the long corridors. We’d play hide-and-seek. It was great because all the sound was amplified and bounced back at you. Our voices and laughter boomed around and we’d thunder around the place. It was great fun. Though hide and seek was difficult though. You could always tell where someone was hiding because all the floorboards creaked. It was impossible to go anywhere without being heard.

We knew that we weren’t allowed in the place and we’d get really told off if we were caught but that made it more exciting. And besides, nobody ever came here. It had been empty for years.

It must have been very grand in its day. I remember the downstairs had huge rooms with high decorated ceiling, embellished cornices and pelmets. When you went in through the front door there was a massive staircase that swept round like something out of ‘Gone with the Wind’. We’d charge up and down in like lunatics and try sliding down the curved bannister rail and always fell off.

We’d go upstairs where there was a long corridor with many rooms coming off it. All of the rooms had big cupboards to hide in and were dingy because of the wooden shutters on the dirty windows with their cobwebs and trapped butterflies. That was fun to explore and poke about.

One day we were upstairs in the farthest room when we heard the front door open. We looked at each other with a bolt of fear shooting through us. We knew we’d been making a racket. Somebody had probably heard us and we were for it. We were in trouble. We crept to the big cupboard and stood inside, pulling the door shut so there was just a crack of light and tried our hardest not to move because that made the floorboards creak. But we were good at that. We’d had practice.

We heard footsteps going around downstairs and imagined some man looking round for us, then those heavy footsteps came slowly up the stairs. We stood as still as we could and tried not to breathe. It was dark in the cupboard and we were straining our ears. Every sound was magnified.

We heard the footsteps coming clumping down the corridor. They sounded loud and heavy like some big adult. They weren’t checking all the other rooms but were coming straight for ours. They must have known where we were. They had heard us. All the boards creaked. Those footsteps boomed and sent minor earthquakes through the building before stopping at the doorway to our room.

We held our breath. We could imagine this big man standing there in the doorway listening intently for the slightest sound to find where we were. Our hearts were racing so fast and loud that we were both sure that he would hear it from where he was. The blood was pounding in our ears. Our breath was ragged and impossible to quiet. The tension was unbearable.

There was no sound from out there. Whoever it was standing there in the doorway they were as still as a statue. Not a board creaked. We both could imagine him frozen in the entrance to our room listening intently for the slightest sound that would betray our hiding place.

We hoped and hoped that those footsteps would retreat down that long corridor, that he’d give up and go away. But they didn’t. We stood in the dark for ages.

The fear was too much. At last we could stand it no longer and together we opened the cupboard to give ourselves up.

But there was no one there.

We rushed out, through the empty corridor, down the stairs, out the door, across the grounds, over the wall to grab our bikes and raced away as fast as we could.

We never went back.

Photography – Cambodia – the land of awesome beauty and kind people – recovered from the depravity of Pol Pot.

Photography – Cambodia – the land of awesome beauty and kind people – recovered from the depravity of Pol Pot.

IMG_6921 IMG_6850 IMG_6808 IMG_6804 IMG_6759 IMG_6644 IMG_6523 IMG_6472 IMG_6458 IMG_6440 IMG_6370 IMG_6337 IMG_6312

Awe and Wonder – Photography – Vietnamese flowers – nature is wonderful.

Awe and Wonder – Vietnamese flowers – nature is wonderful.

Flowers evolved along with insects. They go hand and glove. The insect pollinates. The flowers provides nectar for the insect. It is nature in harmony. To attract the insects the scent and colour just add to the wonder of the living world.

70% of the Vietnamese jungle has been cleared since 1975. We need to protect it.

IMG_7926 IMG_7934 IMG_7935 IMG_7936 IMG_7938 IMG_7939 IMG_7941 IMG_7942 IMG_7946 IMG_7984 IMG_7985 IMG_8062 IMG_8118