Tuesday, August 30

Rachael's Next Gig

Rachael performed another of her gigs to an appreciative audience the other night and I am including the lyrics for 2 of her compositions. She was accompanied by Nick Williams on harmonica and Cat on drums. It sounded great.

Behnd the Mask

I have been lured by the mythical
Romantic ideas of the mystical
But I’m far too cynical to believe
But far to dreamy to disagree

I’m a border lining ambivalent fool
I’ll never know the joy of blind faiths rule
Nor do I claim to be an atheist
Devoting my life to the meaningless

This world of belief is a murky stew
Of premature ideas creating a hazy view
Facts, myths, faith entwine in a false cacoon
And fear breeds behind the mask of truth

This is the hardest place to be
No framework for me to follow blindly
Just a vague sense of what to do
A whisper, a nudge, a will to pursue

Sitting on the fence, it can be hell
But I wont sit in an ignorant cell
Instead I follow a rich tapestry
Of catch 22’s & duality

I have been lured by the mythical
Romantic ideas of the mystical
But I’m far too cynical to believe
But far to dreamy to disagree

This world of belief is a murky stew
Of premature ideas creating a hazy view
Facts, myths, faith entwine in a false cacoon
And fear breeds behind the mask of truth

Pyramid program

Starlight star bright first star I see tonight
I wish I may, I wish I might, I wish my wish come true tonight
Find me perspective, find me clarity
Find me a will that’s higher than self deceit

Starlight star bright
First star I see tonight

Pyramid structured self improvement program
For $800 your can teach me who I am
But tell me this Mrs break on through
Why do I see so much fear in you?

Your eyes are wide
They’re hypnotised
Your brainwashed confidence
Is just a lie
So starlight star bright
Help me to never fall for this hype

Layer upon layer of purchased pride
You say I don’t know coz I’ve never tried
But I’ve looked up to the stars a million times
And they don’t bill me for their insights

Starlight star bright
First star I see tonight
I wish I may
I wish I might
I wish I could save her from this Pyramid hype

Well I’m sorry if this offends you
But sometimes it’s hard to hear the truth
And surely with your pop psychology
To offence you are immune

Sunday, August 28

Escape to Adventure

The steady “drumming of an army” of rain drops on the tin roof above temporarily lifted, providing a welcome respite. A night sky was silent and threatening with faint moon beams casting their deathly shadow through the clouds over the murky brown waters below cascading in endless eddies of debris and swirling mud.

It was just a few days ago that a blue sky was endless, pastures beckoned, cattle grazed beside a tranquil river, that flowed leisurely behind our Fawcett Street Home in Kyogle. Returning from school each day I would rush out into the paddocks with my companions and go on to the river bank to play imaginative adventures of conquests and danger. The grazing cattle were wild animals, trees our refuge, dog and cat our guardians and wooden swords our protectors.

At the same time each day my mother would shout from the porch “The Search” a signal for us to return and listen in bated breath to the radio series “The Search for the Golden Boomerang”.

Our family house had been purchased on the basis it was flood free. As an added precaution it was built on high stilts. Despite the cyclonic rain on that fateful day it was not thought our house would be flooded and hence we were not concerned. As the floodwaters entered our backyard I imagined myself as fisherman and dangled my fishing line in the brown waters. However soon the rising waters were inching their way up our back steps so we evacuated to neighbours on higher ground. My father told us he was staying on to protect our furniture and effects.

That night I peered out over the murky waters to see my Father swimming around in the flooded house, placing objects onto higher vantage points in a futile attempt to avoid the ever rising floodwaters. The waters were rising at an alarming rate and it was with some relief, we watched in silence as my father finally wearily swam out through the bedroom window and with measured strokes struck out for the bank and safety at last. Fully clothed, cold, exhausted but determined he slowly hauled himself up onto the bank to join us on the veranda, in time to see our house disappear under the mighty waters of the Richmond River.

In other parts of town tragedies were occurring:

People watched helpless from the Kyogle railway station as six persons drowned when their home was washed away. A mother and her two children drowned when a small rescue boat capsized in waves on Fawcett’s plain. An aboriginal man was caught in floodwaters and drowned. Others were washed away but survived by clinging to trees until rescuers arrived.

I can still remember afterwards that smell from the flood and the endless mud. There were pieces of corrugated iron from rooves around and it was soon turned to good use in makeshift canoes, folded over and sealed both ends with tar, to deliver milk and supplies. I remember search parties each morning looking for bodies and everyone helping one another.

Amongst the sadness there were stories told of courage and heroism as men and their boats tried to rescue people in desperate trouble. The two most courageous were Eddie Towns and Max Biggs who later received a Bronze Medal and Certificate of Merit of the Royal Shipwreck Relief and Humane Society of NSW. Amongst the people who assisted with the clean-up was the 1st Kyogle Girl Guide Company, who was later awarded with the Walter Donald Ross Trophy. Only one Girl Guide Company is the recipient of this International Award each year for Outstanding Community Work. Each received a memento bracelet

My parent’s sold there house at a tremendous financial loss and decided to leave Kyogle not long after.

If you click on the icon or the link you can see pictures of the Kyogle Flood of 1954 including the Fawcett Street plains.

Monday, August 22


My daughter Nicla gave bith to a baby Boy called Liam on the 23rd July 2005

Saturday, August 20

Language and Thought

The joy about writing about Science to me is about comprehending difficult concepts. But is that any different to writing about poetry and how to interpret it? I don’t think so. Each is a different adventure in thought but fulfilling the same need for comprehension of our internal and external world. They are of equal status like the main branches of a tall tree are a relection of its growth. Just as mathematical equations setting out new dimensions in undestanding can also emotionally effect us in ther same way as a good poem.

Thats why I think computers can never fully replicate our human brains as mathematics is not just the compiliation of equations and calculations, it also involves an intuitive creative force that knows certain answers before and during the process of compilation.

Dr Sunetra Gupta at the International Conference on Thinking presented a Paper about the relationship between language and thought.

Click on the link to read the full transcript

Conscious time for random thoughts

I posted an article in the context of the macro view of the universe where time and space can be considered the same thing. See Space Time

What is of more interest is the concept of time and space as it applies to our consciousness. The Philosopher Kant's theory was the mind by an intuitive process brought together the forms of time and space to give us our consciousness which seems to parallel modern day quantum mechanics.
Roger Penrose is keen on the idea our mind thought process begins by way of a number of superimposed quantum states which ultimately collapse through gravity to produce our conscious thoughts.Hence our thought process mirrows a mixture of qauntum and classical physics similar to the structures of our evolving universe.

If Penrose is right than our brains at the begining of the thought process operate in a quantum state and not as we perceive it, that is the end result of our thoughts are conceptualised in time expressed in a linear progression. What’s the time now ?, as we all think in the same way but it seems likely our brains evolved to adjust our thinking to ensure our conceptualisation makes sense of a veiled reality or imagined world.
If that be the case we are in for a rich pathway going forward in understanding and further development of our state of “consciousness”. Ultimately however I think we are trapped within this complex system, for ever to stay outside of its ultimate reality, as we go on solving new mysteries and uncovering more interesting aspects of our wondrous evolving world.

There seems no question then there will be an increasing possibility of an expanded consciousness, that is, providing we don’t blow ourselves up or destroy our earthy inhabitant. It’s also interesting to reflect“consciousness” was part of many of our ancient civilisations culture causing them to have different ideas about time. The Mayans had 2 calendars, one that might be described as sacred and another more of secular nature. The secular calendar which was also known as the “Long Count” totalled over 5000 solar years and ends in 2012, which I understand (please correct me if this not be the case) some present day descendants believe is the end of a time and hence forms their prophesy for a new birth of consciousness.

Wednesday, August 17

Space Time

I am indebted to John at Johns Justice for his valuable comments prior to my posting.

Space time

The concept of space and time are usually considered separately. We say space is the empty gaps and time is a measurement. We measure our life or events in our life as an expression of the time between them. Ordinary time is a horizontal line left to right with the oldest events on the left hand side and later times on the right But when we speak of space time we are speaking in the context of the universe as whole, on a macro level, as if we are outside looking in. The same principles apply to the micro level on earth, but the differences are so infinitesimally small, we take no notice of them. In this context of the macro view of the universe time and space can be considered the same thing. Why is this so?

We start out with a hypothesis which becomes a verified theory through calculation and observation. Firstly space arises from the expression of matter. That is, the interaction of objects and energy through gravity. There can be no time or space before matter, only that which arose from the Big Bang and afterwards. For time has a definite beginning and an end. Space is a product of the expressions of matter and its matters interaction brought about by gravity, that's what we measure, the space from that interaction. That space, from the expression, also represents its time. For we live in a time dependent universe, as events take place that is time to its active participants. The matter in the universe is continually expanding or contracting as is time, and space, hence space time. Consider the aspect of a black hole, where time comes to an end, space then also does not exist. The corollary is true for the beginning of time and space from the big bang and henceforth there is nothing new, only a changed form in its space time. We measure the gap (space), which itself is a representation of the time of that gap that occurred as a mirror reflection of its expression. When I say a mirror reflection I mean it reflects what the expression is, which, as consequence of the effect of gravity, includes a bending of time as one heavier object, pulls another towards it, or by energy but its still the same space, just warped or bent time in that space. Like a taut rubber mat with heavy objects sagging and distorting its shape. A warped mirror image reflection. These theories that state time as having a definite beginning and end have stood up to untold scrutiny, by observation and backed up by mathematics and numerous scientific analyses. It represents the big leap forward from Newtonian thinking to Einstein and beyond Einstein to Stephen Hawking who proved time had definite beginning and end.
In fact Einstein has already discovered this, but fearing his calculations could not be correct invented a cosmological constant to cancel the effect of his equations that correctly indicated time indeed come to an end in singularities.

Space Time in the Universe

We can view the galaxies as they appeared almost at the beginning of time (at the time of the big bang singularity) as light has a finite speed. Looking back in time when matter was at a higher density over a period of roughly 15 billion years the universe can be imagined as an inverted ice-cream cone, as light is warped by gravity and energy from its big bang singularity tip beginning. So we can see it, mathematically prove it and measure it. I think our ancient philosophers and prophets would be in awe at what we are now are able to understand of creation, marveling at its majesty, in its light filled splendor. An amazing evolutionary story, of its untold mysterious energy from the ONE. It can only be partly understood by the use of our own energy and imagination, in imaginary time partnered by rational thought. The elusive imperfect partnership in our human quest for truth.
For when we take off in our future space ship we had better count on the existence of matter. All kinds. Seen and unseen or what we call dark matter, black holes. In between the vastness of space, expanding as we view it, for the stars may no longer fill the night sky as they expand out into expanding space in infinity
It's likely we will have trouble avoiding a collision with black holes, thought to account for say 90% of all matter in the universe. Singularities where space and time cease to exist.
We may also have to abandon the theory that there is a unique universe that we can observe in this manner. It's more likely there are any numbers of possible universes, mulltiuniverses, with a probability distribution determinable only by that which is trapped within it. Perhaps we live in the most probable of all possible universes. How could we possibly measure this in terms of time? Stephen Hawking suggests we introduce the idea of imaginary time, horizontal to our concept of ordinary time, down the page, at right angles to the horizontal line. This means it behaves in a similar way to the 3 directions that correspond to the moving space dimensions e.g. let's say there are 3 dimensions in space.
Our common experience tells us we live in a 3 dimensional space on earth, as we describe a point in space is by 3 numbers, e.g. Latitude, longitude and height above sea level. How can space be 3 dimensional? Imagine it to be 3 dimensions, just like the earth with little bumps all over it.
The 3 space directions and imaginary time would form a space time that closed in on itself without any boundaries or edges like a sphere. The curvature of space time caused by matter in the universe will lead to our 3 dimensional space and the imaginary time line meeting up around the back the back of it.
A very rubbery history of the universe. One that needs plenty of imagination, able to see the multiuniverses in our mind, and subject to change even as you begin to consider it. In fact its histories could be a huge mixture of things from different multiuniverses and imperfections, imagined and real. I don't think we will ever be able to fully write down that history but it's fascinating to think about it.

Wednesday, August 10

Rachael's first "Gig"

Rachael did her first "gig" at a restaurant in Brunswick on the 4th August to a attentive and appreciative audience. Her voice is really improving and she sang all of her own compositions. One number I liked was Less is More and the Oily Rag. It's a bluesy/country kind of number played on guitar using a lovely open C tuning. Imagine it being sung with a heavy southern American accent and you'll really get it.

She got the expresion 'oily rag' from myself as I told my children when life's difficult you can always manage to live on the smell of an oily rag.
Not a very profound statement but one Rachael seems to have remembered. I have included a link to her website which has all of the words to that song.

Tuesday, August 9

God's Chance Creation

I have just received the first August Tablet edition and immediately noticed an article entitled God's Chance Creation by astrophycist Jesuit George Coyne who has been Director of the Vatican Observatory since 1978.The observatory is one of the oldest in the world and it roots go back to astronomical observations commissioned by Pope Gregory XIII as part of his reform of the calendar in 1582.

In his article he rebuts the idea that random evolution is incompatible with belief in a creator God. He explains the interactivity between chance, necessity and fertility in our universe and how what is random is also bound together through the process of fertility.

What is meant by this fertility? Coyne’s brilliant article explains the birth and death of stars and the combination of chemicals and molecules that ultimately form our life as we are creations from that star dust.

He rejects the notions of an omnipotent and omniscient God: the universe is not god and it cannot exist independently of God. Neither pantheism nor naturalism is true. But ,if we confront what we know of our origins scientifically with religious faith in God the Creator –if, that is , we take the results of modern science seriously –it is difficult to believe that God is omnipotent and omniscient in the sense of many of the scholastic philosophers. For the believer, science tells us of a god who must be very much different from a god as seen by them.

In my recent posting of the Poem entitled Echoes of the Heavenly Spheres I began the second verse with the words: The earth is its identity like a childhood embrace.
Coyne also explores this idea for the universe in a similar way eg A theologian already poses the concept of god’s continuous creation with which to explore the implications of modern science for religious belief. God is working with the universe, the universe has a certain vitality of its own like a child does, it has the ability to respond to words of endearment and encouragement.

Hi conclusion is: God lets the world be what it will be in its continuos evolution, He is not continually intervening but rather allows, participates; loves. Is such thinking adequate to preserve the special character attributed by religious thought to the emergence not only of life bit also of spirit, while avoiding a crude creationism?

Only a protracted dialogue will tell. But we should not close off the dialogue and darken the already murky waters by fearing god will be abandoned if we embrace the best of modern science.

I think this is what is feared by many in the US and by George W Bush who is advocating that the so called theory of a “Designer God” should be taught alongside the theory of random evolution in High Schools.

I think the need for a ‘Designer God” arises out of a fear that if we believe our creation arose from random evolution, (which it does) we will have no need of God. Hence many feel threatened by science and the idea of a “Designer God” is an attempt to superimpose a suitable explanation in lieu of random evolution.

These fears are groundless as science is completely neutral to philosophical or theological conclusions. Coyne makes the vital link to god’s continuous creation and for me it is a far richer and more meaningful concept than that advanced by the proponents of a “Designer God” theory.
In the end we can only come to know god by analogies and I like to choose an identity of the world to the universe as likened to the warmth and love of a childhood embrace. As we understand more about the interaction of chance and necessity which are responsible for directionality we can renew one's faith in gods realtionship to his creation.

I also discount the “cataclysmic” event theorists who expect we will all be affected one day by some tumultuous prophesised event. If that be so it will be of our own making or it will occur as consequence of some giant meteorite colliding with the earth as has happened in the past. The idea of it coming out some sort of prophesy seems completely at odds with science or of a loving God of creation to me.

Another more disturbing conclusion from the “Designer God” concept concerns the environment. I refer to the current parlous environmental state of planet earth as a consequence of the deep wounds inflicted upon her by humanity. Those who espouse the views of a “Designer God”, one who actively intervene will no doubt feel less inclined to do something about such problems.

Nowhere is this more evident is than the US, for if the rest of the world was to consume resources and energy in like manner we would immediately need another 4 worlds to maintain its current level of consumption. It’s a sobering thought to consider China with a population of 1.3 billion consumes per capita 1 seventeenth in energy to that of the US on present consumption.

Saturday, August 6

Life Coaching

Coaching to day is a thriving business and it takes on many forms. In many team sports to day there is a specialised coach for each position on the field.

In business coaches are often seen as facilitators enabling their clients to reach their own goals, often with an improved balance between work and leisure. Mentoring has also become popular and is usually undertaken by older more experienced workers assisting those whose careers have just begun.

From an evolutionary viewpoint our success has depended for the bulk of our past life development upon small co operatives of hunter gatherers prior to the dawn of agriculture. I think this past experience remains with us to day, as we communicate much better in small groups and can easily become mistrustful of both other areas and in the wider organisation.
Changing business culture is therefore much more difficult that it would at first seem, as it requires acceptance across all of the formal and informal team boundaries that make up an organisation.

Charles Kovess in his 7th Passion Pont for 2005 talks about
and is reproduced below:

Dear Lindsay

A Passion Point to Ponder 1 August 2005.
Welcome to the 7th Passion Point for 2005. Our goal this year with these Passion Points is to provoke you so that your business, and the rest of your life, becomes filled with more passion, performance, and improved balance of mental, physical, and spiritual elements.
THE CHALLENGES AND STRATEGIES OF BUILDING A GREAT TEAM: LEARN FROM 'COACH CARTER'!" Coach Carter' is a great movie! And it's based on a true story. For the past 12 years, we have been conducting team building programs with some of Australia's largest, and smallest organisations, as well as a number of multinationals in various places around the world.Building great teams is challenging, and that's why great teams earn corresponding rewards. 'Coach Carter' shares the journey in a wonderfully inspiring way. Here are some key insights from the movie for you: 1. What was Coach Carter's strategy to build a great team from a bunch of traditionally poor performers?.
a.Lay down clear rules.
b.Enter into agreements with all team membersc.
c.Set high standardsd.
d.Impose sanctions consistently for failure to comply.
e.Respect to be shown by all team members to each other.
f.Language to be consistent with respect
g.Be flexible in how to achieve goals.
h.Generate intense desire for success.

2.What stages of development did the team pass through, in its journey to greatness?. Cynicism, Resistancec, Acceptance, Early euphoriae, Challenge to the rules, Threat of disaster.
Point of choice: success or continue the tradition of failure. Choose to grow, Triumph.

3.What were the challenges that Coach Carter had to face in driving the team to greatness?
a.Team revolt initially
b.Family support was doubtful
c.Resistance by peers (school teachers)
d.Resistance by parents of team members
e.Commitment to observe his own principles.
f.Rejection and ostracisationg.
h.Walkouts by team members
i.Traditional behaviours.
j. Breaking the status quo.
k.Challenging team members to shift their low self-esteem.
m.Need to be compassionate and bend the rules
n.Maintaining an inspired vision of success.

4. What did the team members gain on the journey?
a.Understand the power to choose the type of life to lead
b.The meaning of responsibility
c.The value of disciplined.
d.The benefit of supporting each other
e.The rewards for hard work.

Leaders of all teams in all organisations would gain from watching the movie. If you are passionate about building a great team, we're happy to discuss strategies with you.
If you want to see Charles on video, or listen to audio, just go to http://www.kovess.com and follow the links.For a list of keynote speech topics that Charles would love to deliver in a passionate, entertaining, provocative, and educational way to your teams, clients, or prospects, at breakfast, lunch or dinner, see below.All 133 published Passion Points to Ponder are on our website. If you wish to review them, please visit the site. If you wish to receive a list of the 133 titles of the Passion Points please let us know.KEY NOTE SPEECH TOPICS1 PASSIONATE PERFORMANCE: YOUR KEYS TO MENTAL, PHYSICAL & SPIRITUAL WELLBEING IN BUSINESS. 2 THE POWER OF VISIONARY LEADERSHIP3 THE 7 KEY STEPS TO CREATE OUTSTANDING TEAMS.4 HOW TO RETAIN THE BEST PEOPLE IN YOUR ORGANISATION.5 PASSION: THE KEY TO YOUR SUSTAINABLE COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE IN THE 21ST CENTURY.6 HIGH PERFORMANCE BUSINESS LEADERSHIP IN THE KNOWLEDGE AGE.7 CHANGE: MAKE IT AN INSPIRATIONAL GAME!8 A PASSION FOR LIFE, AND LIVING IT!9 KEY PRINCIPLES OF PERSONAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY.10 7 STRATEGIES THAT GUARANTEE LOYALTY FROM EMPLOYEES AND CUSTOMERS. Best regards from Australia's Passion Provocateur (copyright)Charles Kovess LL.B.(Hons), LL.M., CSP*Immediate Past National PresidentNational Speakers' Association of Australia(*CSP means Certified Speaking Professional, the highest membership category of NSAA and the only internationally recognised designation for professional speakers. There are only 464 CSP's in the world, of whom only 52 are in Australasia.) http://www.kovess.com 03 9563 6399 mobile 0412 317 404 PO Box 1412, Central Park East Malvern Vic 3145 Office: 13 Albert St, East Malvern Vic 3145 Author of 'Passionate People Produce' and 'Passionate Performance' Co-author of '7 Heavenly Virtues of Leadership'

Monday, August 1

Echoes from the Heavenly Spheres

I am indebted to Laura at Dance of The Mind
for her valuable suggestions prior to posting this poem.

The heavens expand forever in light
A spirit of energy with all of its might
Its intentions are clear, no anger from heat
Compassion and reverence to all at its feet

The earth is its identity like a childhood embrace
Its inhabitants restrict poor nature its place
Depletes mother earth of land water and air
Flash from red sunspots, a message board date

Behold your light flickers; its light is less bright
Wrestle your conscious, your rivers loose flow
The land soon a desert, I see through dim light
Its time for re birth, its time for new life

We share in the wounds of a glorious earth
Time for healing, to embrace its wide girth
Sustain what’s sustainable, our garden of life
Continue forever as our precious light