What we need is a new, positive zeitgeist!

What we need is a new, positive zeitgeist!



Every age has a prevailing zeitgeist. I believe it is created by the conglomerate mindset of the people and we all swim in its flood.
The sixties was a time of deep distrust of the establishment and its war machine. The counter culture set about leaving the breadheads to one side and producing a more spiritual community based on sharing, harmony and love. It was a time of great optimism, fun and happiness. It was great for a while until everyone woke up to find they were merely being ripped off and exploited in a different way and that the war machine and environmental destroying machine were still churning away.
This present zeitgeist has been born out of despair at austerity, runaway capitalism, inequality, hopelessness, joblessness, terrorism, mass migration, low wages, frustration, fear and helplessness. People have lost all faith in the establishment but are turning to extreme politics to vent their frustrations. They see that we are definitely not all in it together and the politicians are not making a jot of difference; they are pawns in the game. The right-wing and fascists, with their black and white rhetoric, easy answers, fear induction, racism and xenophobia, offer up easy solutions. What everyone wants is to believe in easy solutions.
I think the zeitgeist is one of fear, despair and a need to change. It’s the mass psychology of the age. The right-wing are exploiting it. It is what they feed off. In many wayus there are analogies to be drawn with the 1930s.
Hence we have the rise of right-wing politics, the Tea Party, UKIP, Trump and Brexit. On the continent the ultra-right parties are gaining ground big time.
I believe this needs opposing in every way possible. There are no easy answers. Belligerence and war do not solve problems. Isolationism is in nobody’s interest. Racism and xenophobia create problems.
The future is global cooperation, global laws, global rights, global enforcement of laws. The imperative is the protection of the planet.
We need to jettison the mad capitalist system with its mantra of growth and profit, which is destroying the planet and creating mass inequality and war. Greed is not the answer. Selfishness is not a solution. Compassion, empathy and love are much better.
There are better ways for us to live on this planet. For the sake of nature and our great grandchildren we need to create a different zeitgeist.

Warm Fuzzies – A Modern Fairy Tale

This is my version of a great book by  Claude Steiner that is unfortunately out of print. I would highly recommend it.

I first heard about it in a training session for the Humberside PSHE trainers for which I was fortunate enough to have been selected.

At the time I did not know it was based on this great story by Claude Steiner. The story is available on line in PDF form. http://democracy.mkolar.org/warmfuzzytale/warmfuzzy2.html

Have a read. You’ll love it!

Warm Fuzzies – a Fairy Story.

Once upon a time there was a little land far far away where a community of people lived very happily. They had been blessed by having a wise wizard who provided each one of them at birth with a bag they always carried around with them. The bag contained little orange glowing furry creatures called Warm Fuzzies.

Whenever people met they would ask to have a Warm Fuzzy, and they were always freely given. Just holding a Warm Fuzzy sent a feeling of joy and well-being through a person. The Warm Fuzzy would melt yinto your heart and fill you with love. People enjoyed meeting and exchanging their Warm Fuzzies.

If people did not regularly get to hold a Warm Fuzzy they grew sick, withered away and died. So everyone made sure that they all were given enough Warm Fuzzies to make them happy and healthy.

The people in the land were always happy and joyful. Life was good. The Warm Fuzzies gave them energy, confidence, love and everything they wanted.

Then one day the wise wizard was called away. But life went on much as before. The people went about their business and prospered. It was the most joyful land in the whole world. The Warm Fuzzies provided everything they needed.

Then one day a wizard came in from a land outside the pleasant valley. He too carried a bag with him but his bag was full of spiky blue creatures called Cold Pricklies.

The Cold Pricklies stopped people getting sick, withering away and dying, but did not make them feel good. Indeed, they made people feel gloomy and miserable.

The wicked wizard watched the people going about their business and he was not happy. He felt they did not deserve their joy. They had not earnt it. He did not like the Warm Fuzzies.

The wicked wizard, for that’s what he was, set about establishing himself in the community. He never missed an opportunity to upset or disrupt.

He slyly started with the children.

‘There are only so many Warm Fuzzies,’ he told the children. ‘If you give all your Warm Fuzzies away you won’t have enough for yourself. You might wither and die.’

The children became very worried. They had thought they had an inexhaustible supply of Warm Fuzzies. Nobody had ever before that they could run out. It made them frightened and more wary about giving their Warm Furries away. They became less willing to part with them.

‘Look, the wicked wizard said, ‘Notice how John and Christine are happy to take Warm Fuzzies but rarely give one in exchange.’

The children hadn’t noticed this before but now they took note and were suspicious of each other. Arguments arose between them. Children were accused of hoarding Warm Fuzzies and not giving them out.

The wicked Wizard gave the children Cold Pricklies.

‘You can never run out of Cold Pricklies,’ he told them. ‘There is an endless supply. They stop people getting sick and dying. If someone asks you for a Warm Fuzzy you can give them a Cold Prickly instead – that way you can keep your Warm Fuzzies safe and not be in fear of ever running out.’

The children thought this was good advice. They stopped giving away their Warm Fuzzies and instead started giving Cold Pricklies when asked. Soon everyone in the whole kingdom was carrying around Cold Pricklies and handing them out. Everyone hoarded their Warm Fuzzies and never got them out in case they were stolen.

The land became a gloomy place full of miserable people. They only ever went out and met when they absolutely had to in order to stay alive.

The wicked wizard was delighted, spreading misery made him feel good.

Then, one day, the wise wizard had completed his business and returned. He was dismayed with what he found. He immediately called all the people together.

Grumpily they all congregated in the Town Square.

‘Silly people,’ he chastised them. ‘You should not believe the lies you are told. It is all fake news. There are more than enough Warm Fuzzies. They never run out. The more you give away the more you have!’

The people looked at each other and rejoiced. They threw away all their nasty Cold Pricklies. The wicked wizard was angry and slunk away to never be seen again.

From that day forth everyone gave each other Warm Fuzzies at every opportunity. The land was full of joy again. Nobody ever got sick and nobody ever ran out of Warm Fuzzies.

So if you know anyone who has been surviving all their lives on horrid Cold Pricklies, go and give them a big Warm Fuzzy and make both of you feel good. You can never run out. The more you give away the more you have. And always remember to beware of wicked wizards bearing fake news and ask yourself what are they getting out of it? What is it that is making them happy?

Within our dreams – a poem

Within our Dreams


Within our dreams

We explore the realms

Of possibility.

It is no different

To the reality

Of open eyes.


Within our dreams

The infinite horizons

Are different

And there are more.

That is all.

I believe they are just as real.


Opher – 29.11.2018



Who is to say what is real and what is a dream?

The reality around us is only understood with the same chemistry as our dreams. It is not real.

It is an impression built up by our senses; a consciousness created mysteriously out of chemical reaction, electricity and trillions of neural pathways.

All we know of the universe is in our heads.

It is no more real than dreams.

Who is to say what exists and what does not?

Brain enhancing drugs.

We are on the start of a new epoch. Brain enhancing drugs are on the horizon. Some people are already buying them on the internet.

A new range of drugs are becoming available. They enhance performance. They stimulate the brain and make it work better. They enhance IQ.

They were developed to boost those suffering from dementia. They can alleviate the symptoms.

They are being used by students to help them perform better in studies or exams.

They could help out geniuses become bigger geniuses. They could help our bosses make better decisions. They could even help our stupid politicians!!

Shouldn’t we all we taking them? We might even vote better!

The Human Tide

The Human Tide


The human tide is springing high.

The love of babies a reason why.

The love of sex a pleasure for to die.

The family a disaster.


Opher 13.4.2018



I love babies – we all do. That’s the trouble. There’s too many of them.

We humans need things to live – room, food and water. In order to meet our needs we are chopping down the natural world and killing the wildlife. We use pesticides to protect our crops and maximize food production but it is killing off our bees and insects causing problems with pollination and starving to death the birds and animals that feed off them.

Our numbers are such that our impact is immense. Not only is it killing everything else off but it is altering the climate of the planet.

I love babies but it is time we reduced our numbers and became more responsible.

Who Are We??

Who are we?


This was basically a question asked by Stephen Hunter (a writer on WriterBeat) with a nod to Pete Townsend. He advised us to peer deeply into a mirror, put ego to one side and ask ourselves what was the essence of our selves.

We all, I am sure, have a deep sense of identity. We view ourselves as individuals who can exert will. We can make choices about what we believe, what we like, what we associate with. Free will is at the center of our concept of self. It is the basis of our laws as well as our identity.

Religious people might believe our essence is spiritual in nature.

Political people might think that they chose a political stance out of some conviction held by their inner self.

Law enforcers will insist that we exercised free will in carrying out criminal acts and can be persuaded not to do so.

Yet do we really have any free will?

Some psychologists think not. They say our ‘inner self’ is no more than a construct of our upbringing, culture and experience. They also believe that that ‘inner self’ changes with time and experience – that those changes are usually slow so we do not notice. Wouldn’t it be interesting to go back and inhabit the mind of our younger self? I’m sure we’d be shocked. We assume that our views, which we see as naïve, might have changed but our inner self will be constant. But is it?

What seems to be true is that if we had been brought up in a different culture we’d believe in different things. We’d have a different religion and cultural values, different tastes and even feelings. But would our inner self be different?

You know – I think it would. Despite my strongly held views and robust sense of identity I suspect we are all products of our time and place. There is no inner self at all. It’s an illusion.

Jane Fonda Quotes

Jane came from a life of privilege and a dynasty of stars but she chose to stand up, speak her mind about the Vietnam War and was vilified for doing it. She could have chosen an easier path. I admire that.
It’s never too late – never too late to start over, never too late to be happy.
Life is in the moment. Each moment is a new start.
When you can’t remember why you’re hurt, that’s when you’re healed.
I’m not sure about that. Wounds go deep into the subconscious. But it’s a good start!
A man has every season while a woman only has the right to spring.
I hope that is not true anymore.
We cannot always control our thoughts, but we can control our words, and repetition impresses the subconscious, and we are then master of the situation.
Samsaras. We create the currents of our mind.
If the career you have chosen has some unexpected inconvenience, console yourself by reflecting that no career is without them.
Perfection is hard to come by.
A good many dramatic situations begin with screaming.
Some of them end with it too!
I don’t want my wrinkles taken away – I don’t want to look like everyone else.
Character stems from imperfections. Plastic beauty is shallow froth of no consequence.
I don’t think there’s anything more important than making peace before it’s too late. And it almost always falls to the child to try to move toward the parent.
Reconciliation is a great thing. It can bring joy.
My mother killed herself when I was 12. I won’t complete that relationship. But I can try to understand her.
Understanding people is a major part of social life. Empathy and appreciation. Everyone has their demons. Every behaviour has a reason.
To be a revolutionary you have to be a human being. You have to care about people who have no power.
A revolutionary with words not weapons!

William Burroughs Quotes.

Well Burroughs was in many ways the architect of what became known as the Beat Movement. Though in reality the many facets of the culture had little in common with each other. Burroughs, Ginsberg and Kerouac were the three pillars. Who was most inspirational is debateable.
Here’s a few great quotes.
A paranoid is someone who knows a little of what’s going on.
Knowing even a little can scare the life out of you.
After one look at this planet any visitor from outer space would say ‘I want to see the manager.’
That is presupposing that someone is managing the mess.
Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer.
So true. The subconscious is amazingly good at digging out information.
Artists to my mind are the real architects of change, and not the political legislators who implement change after the fact.
So we should encourage creativity and lateral thinking along with problem solving and stop getting our kids to churn out a set of ‘facts’.
Language is a virus from outer space.
It is a wonderful virus. It has liberated our imagination.
Desperation is the raw material of drastic change. Only those who can leave behind everything they have ever believed in can hope to escape.
Nobody escapes.
Every man has inside himself a parasitic being who is acting not at all to his advantage.
Silence is only frightening to people who are compulsively verbalizing.
We could all do with some.
In deep sadness there is no place for sentimentality.
I’m not only sentimental; I’m also semimental!
Hustlers of the world, there is one mark you cannot beat: the mark inside.
There’s no escaping yourself! We all know what we are really up to. There’s no fooling ourselves. We see through it all.

Rene Magritte Quotes.

Rene Magritte is my favourite artist. I love the paradoxes. He was such a conservative looking man who painted the most extraordinary bizarre works of art
Surrealism is an exploration of the subconscious. Nobody did it better.
Everything we see hides another thing, we always want to see what is hidden by what we see.
If the dream is a translation of waking life, waking life is also a translation of the dream.
We live a dream.
The mind loves the unknown. It loves images whose meaning is unknown, since the meaning of the mind itself is unknown.
Nothing is ever really known if reality is suspect.
Art evokes the mystery without which the world would not exist.
Life and the universe, death and love – it’s all a mystery.

Influences – the people and things that made me who I am.




It seems to me that you can tell al lot about someone by the things that influence them.

In my life I have been highly influenced by a number of people in different ways:










These people have had a major impact on me and altered the way I think and the way I feel about things.


I thought it might be an idea to explore this fully. This is not a question of ‘likes’. The impact of my influences goes beyond that. These are people who have affected the philosophy I live by.


I have been influenced by:












Other people







Native American Indians



Probably – as time goes by, other areas will come to mind.


These people have impacted on me to create the social conscience, attitude of tolerance, empathy with the plight of other humans and wild creatures, awareness of politics, environmental concern, civil rights and equality, respect for others, responsibility for my actions and the awe and wonder I feel when seeing beauty in all its many forms.


I am still not sure how much we change from our interactions with the arts – or whether we seek out the art that reflects our own feelings and thoughts. I do know that the people who have influenced me have inspired me and enabled me to exam my own attitudes in greater depth. That has been liberating.


My philosophy led me into teaching and writing. I believe in trying to make the world a better place and that education is the key to that.