The Incredible String Band – This Moment.

One of my favourite ISB songs – and very in line with my thinking on this wonderful new day.

Meet on the Ledge and Who Knows Where the Time Goes?- Fairport Convention – For Dennis

Meet on the Ledge and Who Knows Where the Time Goes?- Fairport Convention – For Dennis

I put this up here for Dennis. Three years ago I went to Dennis’s funeral – only three years after we went to the funeral of his wife Frances. He chose these songs and I shall always associate them with him.

Too many friends gone. Too many blown off the mountainside. The time goes too quickly.

Meet on the Ledge – Richard Thompson/Fairport Convention

We used to say
That come the day
We’d all be making songs
Or finding better words
These ideas never lasted long
The way is up
Along the road
The air is growing thin
Too many friends who tried
Were blown off this mountain with the wind
Meet on the ledge
We’re gonna meet on the ledge
When my time is up I’m gonna see all my friends
Meet on the ledge
We’re gonna meet on the ledge
If you really mean it, it all comes round again
Yet now I see
I’m all alone
But that’s the only way to be
You’ll have your chance again
Then you can do the work for me
Meet on the ledge
We’re gonna meet on the ledge
When my time is up I’m gonna see all my friends
Meet on the ledge
We’re gonna meet on the ledge
If you really mean it, it all comes round again
Meet on the ledge
We’re gonna meet on the ledge
When my time is up I’m gonna see all my friends
Meet on the ledge
We’re gonna meet on the ledge
If you really mean it, it all comes round again

Who Knows Where the Time Goes?

Across the evening sky, all the birds are leaving
But how can they know it’s time for them to go?
Before the winter fire, I will still be dreaming
I have no thought of time

For who knows where the time goes?
Who knows where the time goes?

Sad, deserted shore, your fickle friends are leaving
Ah, but then you know it’s time for them to go
But I will still be here, I have no thought of leaving
I do not count the time

For who knows where the time goes?
Who knows where the time goes?

And I am not alone while my love is near me
I know it will be so until it’s time to go
So come the storms of winter and then the birds in spring again
I have no fear of time

For who knows how my love grows?
And who knows where the time goes?

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

We are all just passing through.

Nothing is permanent – not even the universe. It is merely a matter of time-scale.

Opher's World

We are all just passing through. That was brought home to me by our house moving.

We lived in our old house for thirty years. We put in our alterations and improvements, decorated and adorned, and then we left and moved on. I hope we left it better than it was.

Thirty years seems a long time but that house was three hundred years old. We bought it. We paid off the mortgage and owned it. Yet we did not really own it at all. We merely borrowed it for a tenth of its life. We were just passing through.

Somebody else is living in our old house. It is hard to imagine them there. It felt like our home.

Our new house is being made into a home. We have brought all our things with us. We have placed the furniture, put up the photos and pictures, put the…

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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.

Spirituality versus Religion

Spirituality versus Religion

Primula auricula Grey Hawk Unknown Border saved from a Rotary Club car park plant salePhotographs – Richard Duffy-Howard – award winning photographer – https://loudhailer.net/

I am an extremely spiritual person but I am totally opposed to all organised religion.

My spirituality is also based on a numbers of things:

  • Wonder and awe at the incredible splendour of the universe – the macrocosm and microcosm – black holes, galaxies and quarks.
  • Wonder and awe at the beauty of nature – life in all its forms
  • Creativity in all its forms – art, poetry, dance, writing, architecture, photography, film,
  • The splendours of natural phenomena, landscapes, seascapes, trees, rocks, gorges, mountains, lakes ……
  • The wonders of consciousness
  • Love

I do not really care if there is a god or not. It is of little importance to me. I want a secular spirituality. I reject all religion for a number of reasons

  • I believe all the religious books were written by men. None are the word of god. (This is evident to me when I see the way they were written, who they were written by and what previous texts they were based on).
  • I believed organised religion is used for power and to promote division and hatred for personal gain (status, power and wealth).
  • Religion is used to prevent any opposition to a state’s power.
  • The fear principle of heaven and hell is psychologically damaging. No sane god would create such a thing.
  • Too much religion is sectarian and thus creates division and fosters hatred.
  • I think the indoctrination of children is obscene child abuse
  • To live for a possible after-life (which I do not believe exists) can prevent a person from experiencing the short life we have
  • Following all the multitude of different rituals, dress codes, eating restrictions, prayers, (each religion has its own set of instructions from ‘god’ – all different) etc. is risible.
  • Much of religion misses the point of spirituality

However I know some people gain personal fulfilment by following a religion, find companionship and psychological reassurance. Religious people can be spiritual, kind, generous and tolerant.

 

My spirituality creates a wealth of warmth and connection. It is a positive affirmation of life. There is no division, hatred or need to justify it. My spirituality exists and requires no god, purpose or imposed morality. The morality I live by comes out of it. I respect and hold as precious all living things, fellow humans and the world around me. I’ve no need to put that into commandments.

I have no need for religion. I have no time for superstition. My universe is a world of wonder to be investigated, marvelled at and enjoyed. There are many things to be understood. I have a life to revel in it.

Poetry – There is a mystic – a poem of wonder

Poetry – There is a mystic – a poem of wonder

 

P1020298

There is a Mystic

I am an antitheist. I believe that there is not only no god but that religion is all about power, is man-made and creates more harm than good.

Having said that I recognise that there is a strange connection at work.

I feel attracted to the beauty of rocks, trees, gorges, sea, lakes and sunsets. I am not alone in experiencing these feelings. Our ancestors worshipped these things before they invented gods. There is a majesty about them.

I can lie on my back and peer up into the night sky and experience awe as I whirl with the stars.

I can peer up at the moon and feel some lightening of my thoughts.

It is no wonder that primitive people, without the knowledge that science has brought, would experience these feelings and imagine the power of moon, sun, rocks and trees as possessing the spirits of gods.

I hope we have put this type of superstition behind us.

But Physics has shown us that there is more strangeness in the quantum world than we ever could have imagined.

I believe there is a lot more for us to discover. We are at the very beginning.

I do not have other words to describe the power that resides in these things. There is a mystic at work.

I cannot find words to express the delight in contacting a human being, or an animal. There is wonder, awe and mystery. There is warmth and communion beyond mere friendship.

There is something I will call mystic.

There is a Mystic

 

There is a mystic

In the sun and sea;

A mystic

In a grain of sand.

 

There is a mystery

In the rock and tree

And in the grasping

Of a hand.

 

Opher 22.3.2016

If you enjoy my poems or anecdotes why not purchase a paperback of anecdotes for £7.25 or a kindle version for free.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Anecdotes-Weird-Science-Writing-Ramblings/dp/1519675631/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1457515636&sr=1-3&keywords=opher+goodwin

Or a book of poetry and comment:

Rhyme and Reason – just £3.98 for the paperback or free on Kindle

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My other books are here:

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Hope – I thought it was worth circulating this. We all need a bit of hope.

Hope – I thought it was worth circulating this. We all need a bit of hope.

Dear amazing Avaazers,If you ever doubt that our efforts together are worth it, or if you’re just needing a bit of hope and light in your day, read on.

Bet you won’t be able to stop :).

Avaaz Movement Wins 

Fin whales swim free

For years, Icelandic millionaire badboy Kristjan Loftsson has massacred hundreds of endangered giant fin whales. But no more!! Working with allies, a million of us pressed the Dutch government to close their ports to him, then German Avaazers helped to block ports there too. Then we caused a media and political storm in the Caribbean where Loftsson’s ship was registered. After years of pressure, he’s called off the hunt!

“The global pressure brought by the Avaaz community has no doubt played a big role in Loftsson’s welcome decision.”
– Vanessa Williams-Grey, Whale and Dolphin Conservation.
Saudi Arabia: No More Weapons For You

Saudi Arabia is a human rights nightmare, but after they bombed schools and hospitals in Yemen, calls rose in Europe for an arms embargo. When EU politicians started to waver under the pressure of powerful Saudi lobbyists, 740,000 Avaazers weighed in, flooding members of parliament with messages and calls. And we won — for the first time in history, a Western parliament voted to ban arms sales to Saudi Arabia! Now the pressure is on for governments to follow the European lead.

“We’ve received calls from Scotland to France to Yemen calling for action, Avaaz played a major role to bring this message to the European Parliament.”
– Alyn Smith, Member of European Parliament
Blocking Monsanto's most profitable poison

Monsanto’s glyphosate weedkiller is everywhere, providing much of the mega-corporation’s revenue. So when UN experts said it likely causes cancer, 1.5 million of us called to ban it! With Europe set to re-approve its licence for 15 years, Avaaz delivered our petition and thousands of us sent urgent messages to our governments. In the final hour, support collapsed, and the EU commission was forced to postpone the vote! We’ll keep the pressure up until we get the ban our planet needs.

“The Avaaz campaign helped to raise awareness and concern of the general public about glyphosate. This helped me as a parliamentarian to work on this issue… Stay with us in this fight”
– Pavel Poc, MEP and Vice Chair of the Environment, Health and Food Safety Committee for the European Parliament.
Winning for Palestine

After horrendous civilian death in Gaza, almost 2 million of us called on 6 major companies to stop profiting from the Israeli military occupation of Palestine. Our movement sent messages to CEOs, held rallies from London to Ramallah, met with government and corporate officials, and lobbied other countries to cut ties with those companies. And as of last month, 3 of the 6 have pulled out!! It’s a tactic that’s having impact in the struggle for freedom and peace.

“The 1.8 million signature Avaaz petition was powerful, and we hope that Avaaz members will continue campaigning.”
– Mahmoud Nawajaa, BDS Civil Society Coordinator in Palestine
Saving the lost Refugee Children

Thousands of Syrian children seeking refuge are lost in Europe, without their parents and preyed upon by child traffickers. That’s why 40,000 of us donated to fund lawyers to find them, provide legal support, and get them to safety. Dozens of children are already being helped. And just this week, three boys arrived in London and were reunited with their families for the first time in months!

“Nothing I could say could convey how grateful I truly am to all of you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
– One of the boys on arriving in the UK
Somalia ban FGM

The Prime Minister of Somalia just joined over a million of us by signing our petition to support a full ban on female genital mutilation! Somali women’s rights experts told us that global pressure could help them outlaw female genital mutilation — but we never imagined that the Somali Prime Minister, Foreign Minister, and dynamic Minister for Women and Human Rights would respond by signing the petition, too! Working with these leaders, UNICEF and survivors, it’s now likely that FGM, done to 98% of Somali women, will become illegal!

“I am committed to outlaw FGM in Somalia through legislation, advocacy, education, and community engagement.”
– Somali Prime Minister, Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmark, as he signed our petition.

Shining Our Light in 2016

These battles are part of deeper struggles — between forces of love and fear, hope and despair, ignorance and understanding. Sometimes Avaaz campaigns are about shining our movement’s light into these struggles, to help shift our culture and politics. Here’s some awesome light-shining examples from the last few months:

Celebrating Greek Heros

Inspired by Greek fishermen and pensioners who have saved and cared for thousands of desperate refugee families, Avaaz member, Alkmini, started a petition to nominate these unsung heroes for the Nobel Peace Prize. Then more than 600,000 of us backed the request, and Desmond Tutu endorsed an official submission by 230 academics to the Nobel Committee.This moving story of humanity triumphing over fear captured the world’s media from CNN to the BBC.

“In times when fear and racism are threatening our societies and Europe is raising fences, the big mobilisation of Avaaz members made the voice of humanity echo loudly around the world.”
– Co-Founder of the Leros Solidarity Network, Matina Katsiveli
Guatemala Slavery

After decades of silence, 14 brave women just went to court to confront the Guatemalan generals who kept them as sex slaves. As they entered the courtroom we surrounded them with love, delivering messages from over 40,000 Avaaz members across Latin America. The women’s courage prevailed and for the first time ever these generals were convicted of crimes against humanity!

“I was happy to hear the messages of support. I know I’m not alone, and I wanted to uncover my face when I heard that there are people all around the world that support me.”
– One of the women, Doña Rosa
Cologne

After women were attacked on New Year’s Eve in Germany, a flood of racism and xenophobia spread. Refugee men responded by handing out flowers to women on the streets as a show of respect. To return the gesture and show solidarity and welcome, a hundred female Avaaz members went out to hand flowers back to refugees in Cologne, the site of the attacks. Their video went viral!

“Refugee men handed out flowers to women as a sign of peace. As Avaaz members we wanted to reciprocate this courageous gesture to show that we counter hate with humanity.”
– Maresa, Avaaz member

Achh, that stuff just lifts your heart doesn’t it?

The really crazy part is, those stories are a small fraction of our movement’s work together over the last few months!

What we’re doing matters, we’re winning, and we’re winning in a way that is building the kind of world we dream of for our children. There is much to do, but this is a moment for gratitude for the 43 million scrumptiously wonderful people in this beautiful movement. What a joy it is to do this together.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!

With love and gratitude,

Ricken, Alice, Ben, Maria Paz, Emily, Risalat, Mike, Lisa, and the whole Avaaz team.

PS — a big reason Avaaz can do all this is we are 100% funded by small individual donations — no corporate, government, foundation, or large donor money. To keep it all going, click here:
https://secure.avaaz.org/en/reportback_fr_16mar/?bCAwEjb&v=74381&cl=9707409141

Poetry – We All Shine On

We All Shine On

 

We all shine on.

Our words are whispers in the wind that murmur in the ears forever.

Our atoms throb within the brains of all who live,

And always will.

Our dreams fill the zeitgeist in which we float.

Our impact is eternal.

We enrich the zeitgeist of the world with every wish.

Our thoughts and dreams mingle in the void of forever.

Our ripples rise into a tsunami.

We are incorporated into the vibration that connects us to the stars.

For we have lived, desired and sought joy and enlightenment;

We have created with passion,

Loved with abandon

And painted pictures in the warm breezes.

That is surely enough?

 

Opher – 6.11.2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When we are gone our bodies, artefacts, possessions and creations will all be gone. Our thoughts, dreams and memories will dissolve. Yet our contributions will remain. Nothing ever dies. Every word that sends a ripple of atoms to jiggle an eardrum slowly radiates out in ever expanding circles. In quiet moments we can hear the wisdom of our forebears whispering in our ears.

Our ideals also shine on invisibly to bathe others in their radiance and inspire hope.

Nobody ever dies while our echoes persist. We are absorbed into the vibration in which we all exist.

We all shine on – as John Lennon pointed out.