My beliefs – Awe and Wonder – The Big Bang.

My beliefs – Awe and Wonder – The Big Bang.

There are a number of things that simply do not make sense to me. They are hard for my mind to comprehend. That is probably not at all surprising given that the human brain is tiny and limited and the concepts we are trying to deal with are ginormous. We’ll probably never know. I find them fascinating to think about. They fill me with awe and wonder.

The Big Bang – The universe is expanding. If we extrapolate it back to a point we are back at the beginning.
I believe that this universe started with a big bang; that all matter and energy was spontaneously created out of nothing. Matter and antimatter, dark matter and energy burst into being and the universe came into existence.
I do not know how. I do not know if we are one of an infinite number of polyverses. I do not know what was before the Big Bang.
I believe science will tell us more and more but may never know. It might be beyond mankind’s understanding.
This is hard to accept.
I do not believe that this presumes the presence of a god – the creator. That is convenient but explains nothing to me. It seems a very human response and merely puts the mystery one step further away – where did god come from? Where was he living? What was there before god? Who gave him these divine powers? That seems even more simplistic and far-fetched.
I believe there is a mystery that is awe inspiring. Whatever caused it leaves me full of wonder.

The train journey from Ribblehead to Appleby across Wernside

Travel and photography

The picturesque railway journey from Ribblehead

To Garside

goes past some of the most beautiful scenery in England. It goes up Wernside to Dent – the highest station in England.

A beautiful journey!

Poetry – Incomprehensible – How Amazing!

Incomprehensible – How Amazing!

Incomprehensible unlikelihood,

Unbelievable immensity,

Improbable developments,

In the midst of nothing,

Out of nowhere,

Going all ways

At once.

How Amazing!

Contemplating, calibrating,

Understanding, thinking,


With a pink jelly

Infused with electricity

Creating reality

Out of nothing;

Beyond understanding.

How Amazing!

Opher – 3.5.2020

I keep going back to the big questions. Where do we come from? How big is infinity? How is something created out of nothing? How do our brains enable us to think? What is reality?

Some contemplate these things and turn to religion for answers.

I do not.

I think religion has no answers.

Perhaps the answers are too weird?

Science only tells a partial picture.

All I can say when I look out at the cosmos, at the creation of life, the evolution of life or our own minds, is WOW!! How Amazing!

That might be enough.

Jerusalem – The Church Of All Nations

A number of people have asked me why, as an antitheist, am I so obsessed with temples, cathedrals and mosques.

That’s simple. I love art, beauty and ancient monuments. The state and religion have had all the money and power. They have set out to prove their dominance, to impress and put us in awe of them.

The palaces, temples, cathedrals, castles, mosques, mansions and abbeys are the places where artists, architects and designers have excelled. The powerful always employ the best.

I can marvel at the beauty and majesty of human creation. It’s spiritual not religious.

As far as I’m concerned religion is about power and causes division and hatred. One of our worst inventions. Yet it has spawned some magnificance.

Poetry – Gaia Breathes

Gaia Breathes

A gentle sigh through the long grass,

Sending ripples across the meadows

Like waves across a pond,

Carrying the whispers of eras.

A roaring in the trees

Shaking branches and bending mighty trunks

Like the crash of great rollers on a shingle beach;

The roar of dragons.

Gaia breathes.

Driven by sun,

Ruffling the hair,

Giving relief,

Driving the clouds

To replenish the land,

Bringing back life,

Gaia breathes.

Opher – 20.4.2020

As I went on my daily walk a gentle warm breeze was blowing in my face. I watched the clouds scurry across the sky and hoped I wouldn’t get rained on.

I watched the breeze move across the fields rippling the grass. I heard the wind rattling the leaves in the trees.

It felt like the breath of a living thing.

Goofing With The Cosmic Freaks

This is one of my books that nobody buys or reads. The title was a silly construction. One day I will put it out with a different title. What the hell…………………


This is the ultimate sixties book – an ‘On the Road’ for the British Underground with all its sex, drugs, dreams and music; those times of crazy people high on life and mad for experience – when anything was possible.

It captures that idealistic naïve impossibility permeated with vitality and careering love and dreams, the wild rush for adventure without a thought for the future because it was going to last forever.

– Seemingly forever changes!

It spans continents as it trips its way through time, space and mind in a mad rush to discover life and experience or die trying.

Now was all there was and it had to burn, burn, burn or it was dead.

In the days of dope and poetry, where the world was ripe for changing, there was a mystical buzz of unity. In the shadow of an establishment that stood for war, prejudice, work, isolation and the rat-race with all its status-seeking power games, racism and slow death signified by getting the lines straight on your lawn, Jack’s cackling laughter and bright eyes, death-defying madness and care-free attitude showed there was an alternative.

Maybe dope was never enough and when we grow up it is time to put aside childish things where they are confined to our dreams and memories. But somewhere out there Jack still lives where it is real.

We did change the world!

Opher 16.8.2014


I remember the first time I met Jack. Although he was a small guy he filled the room with the exuberance of his soul. He possessed that thin, haunted face with that aura of electricity running through his bones, long blond hair to his waist, blue eyes and the mad laugh of a hyena on amphetamine sulphate; his whole being throbbed with life. As he talked his body and hands were animated with a super abundance of energy – jig-jig-jig, bob, dart and cackle. He was never still. Jack was high on living. Every second counted. You could see those glinty blue eyes were constantly peering into the depths of the universe and sucking meaning out of the mundane. To Jack everything had meaning; everything was alive, and Jack sucked that sense right out of everything and filled himself with it. I watched him from the side of the room with amazement. I had never witnessed anyone so vital. There was madness to it. I was drawn to that madness. He devoured the world and sucked it in until it seemed he would burst with it. He was so full of ideas and visions that he had trouble containing it. It welled up in him and threatened to choke him with its intensity and he just had to let it out or it’d kill him. It burst out in a crazy torrent. He didn’t so much talk to you as spout forth out loud in some ecstasy as his mind raged.

Man, he thrilled to it.

Yet people reeled from it. It was too big for them to handle. They had no answer to it. There was no room for them to get a word in. It cascaded over them like a tsunami of passion and they found themselves floundering in horror. It was too much they desperately tried to escape before they were buried.

All around him people retreated.

Yet Jack was oblivious. For him they did not exist. They were empty vessels, echo chambers, into which he allowed his thoughts to gush just so’s he could see them coming back at him.

They had to be thrilled by it too. They had to see it. It was so wild. It was so real.

You could see it in Jack’s wild evangelical eyes. He wrestled with the entire universe and would grapple it into submission with sheer energy. He was so full of it. He wanted to find out what it was all about and wrest every last moment out of it. He had to know. He had to experience it. He wanted to get to the bottom of everything. He needed to tell you all about it and find out what he knew, what you knew, and how to solve the riddles of all time. Nothing was holy. Everything was holy. Nothing mattered. Everything mattered. Life was a paradox. It was all straightforward. He clutched a battered copy of Bertrand Russell’s ‘History of Western Philosophy’ in his hand and waved it under your nose to emphasise a point. With anybody else it would have been pretentious bullshit but somehow with Jack it was real. The book was thumbed ragged. He quoted from it. He was stimulated by it as if it was a drug. He wrestled with paragraphs and wondered at others. Every page was an epiphany. He was amazed by it.

Surely everyone was as consumed by the wonder of this mad journey? Surely they had to know?

Poetry – Life


Basking in the sun in the goldilocks zone

Dancing between the stars all on our own.

Uniquely living on a rock that has given us life –

A green haven on which life is rife.

But do we value what we have in this place of wonder?

Or do we continue to destroy, to rape and plunder?

We’re spinning around on a great green ball

That seems to have it all

While for many

It’s too dismal.

Basking in the sun in the goldilocks zone

Dancing between the stars all on our own.

Opher – 10.3.2020

This wondrous planet is quite unique. Out of the zillions of planets in the universe this one is special. It is in precisely the right place with the right conditions.

It has warmth, light and water.

They have combined in this unique manner to create life in abundance.

It might be the only planet in the entire universe to do so.

How special is that?

Poetry – Synergy


The synergy of gasses;

            The synergy of life –

Expressed in droplets

            That glisten in the sun;

                        A beacon in the universe.

Fine droplets,

            Creating rainbows

                        Of delight;

The essence of love.

Every wave that crashes on the shore,

            Every stream that trickles,

                        Every raindrop that falls,

Is an expression of that mystical essence.

For within us all

            Lies that iridescence

                        Of spiritual rainbows,

            That flow and sparkle;

Born of a synergy

            From which

                        We are its greatest expression.

Opher – 13.3.2020

Water. The basis of life.

We live on a water world. Two thirds of its surface is covered in seas. Without it we would not be here.

Where did it come from? A combination of two gasses. Probably from comets crashing into us – icy celestial bodies.

We take it for granted. We groan at the cloud and rain. Yet that is what brings life. Without it we cannot live.

The pollution from eight billion lives is altering the climate. Areas are suffering great droughts. People have to move.

They are discovering the problems of trying to live without water. So is the rest of nature.

We do not seem to behave very intelligently.