Sunday, June 21

We' ll meet Again

Music Day is a connected set of free public events which takes place each year on the 21st June with events in over 120 countries and 700 cities around the world, not including France where there were too many events to count!  Down under we did our small part today around the piano to sing a few old songs.  

A reminder of the late Dame Vera Lynn who passed away just a few days ago aged 103.  

Just to look at the pictures and will bring back good memories.  

The outpouring of the best of ‘British’ gratitude.

Australian pilots were billeted out on weekends to British families. 

The concern and care was legendary according to my late father – a bomber pilot in WW2. 

The ‘Homes of England’ became a refuge, a sanctuary of warmth and stiff upper lip. 

Don’t worry about the bombs, siren going off, bloody nuisance, those bloody Germans, finish your cup of tea first son. 

My father’s often spoke about it, almost in reverent tone, not one to normally show his feelings. 

We also did a zoom rehearsal with open door singers on 

Wednesday evening.   


Thursday, June 11

Colour blind

Maybe it’s time to change some of our iconic symbols in western culture to more fairly represent the truth. 

For instance the pure white light of innocence or virtue assumes light itself is white. But as many would know, we actually see white light waves as the colors of the rainbow. For the distinguishing feature in our minds eye in our brain is the different wavelengths. 

The differentiation in the brain depends on the wavelength which then denotes the different colors as we perceive them. When all the light waves are seen together, they make white light.

From universal black colored beginnings, evolution’s flexibility enabled skin pigment types to lighten in some regions due to climate, but they all depend on that same multi colored suns rays.

I have always liked to see the colors of the rainbow (reflecting universality) in sacred symbols and things.  

Saturday, June 6

Nietzsche’s existential view of life

Once U3A classes can resume I am thinking of running a course on the enigmatic philosopher Frederick Nietzsche.   

The proposed structure of the course is as follows:

Firstly to do justice to his work I will be providing a brief history of his early life and his influencers. It is virtually impossible to understand a philosopher like Nietzsche unless you have some comprehensive background behind his era and the forces that shaped his thinking.

In my introduction I will aim to shed some light on the common threads –for instance why he considered society and religion to be decadent and how those issues might have relevance to today’s world.  A precursor to modernity?

What is evident in reading Nietzsche is the vitality and robust nature of his writings which seek to tear down the accepted conventional wisdom. Bear in mind the conventional wisdom that merged Greek rationalism with the traditional Hebrew way of thinking began with St Paul and had held sway for roughly 18 centuries. Nietzsche sets out his objections in his uniquely strident conversational manner written in a series of aphorisms. He forms an alliance with a psychological based perspective that rallies against any philosophical structure which involves the rational listing of values and the accompanying virtuous life enslaved to those principles.

In what is considered the beginning of western democracy in Ancient Greece he is voraciously opposed to the ideas of Socrates and Plato which he describes as decadent. His alliance is attuned to the Homeric ancient Greeks.    

I aim to explain the reason for his thinking (without necessarily agreeing with all of it) by reference principally to ‘Twilight of the Idols’. The full text is available here. 

The question to be discussed is how that might apply to contemporary problems. What were his key ideas and do we see any residue embedded in the modern world.     

There will be ample opportunity for interesting discussions on why Nietzsche regarded the ancient Athenian Greek philosophers as decadent.

One of his crucial concepts was of Eternal Recurrence and what it means according to Nietzsche- the question arises is this a helpful and a realistic way to stoically accept life as it is or not? E.g. Love of fate. Nietzsche-rallies against the Christian idea of freewill and moralising – providing an opportunity to discuss his spiritual psychology which encapsulates a healthy free spirit as he puts it to operate principally in an instinctive basis. But when he talks about the instincts he doesn’t mean the natural impulses as we would interpret it but rather the intuitive spiritual sense that frees us from any sense of artificiality contrived forced style of morality. Hence one of his works is aptly named ‘Beyond Good and Evil’.  

According to Nietzsche there are no facts, only interpretations as he would have it. In other words the world as an illusion and how we live within it to say yea to life. 

So that Nietzsche talks about becoming more than human- The question is- is this a fanciful notion or a living life to the full? Is the concept of greatness a hollow claim or an invitation to aspire to a more meaningful inspirational life?  

He is aghast at the current view on morality and one can discuss the principles he espouses to show cause as to why he thinks this view of morality it is the enemy of the natural world in which we reside. Other topics I am considering are as follows:  

·       The antichrist and how Christianity became decadent.    

·       Kierkegaard explained with comparisons to Nietzsche and Dostoevsky.

·       Comparing the 2, which Philosopher, if any, do you relate to or see eye to eye. 

As can be ascertained this is an early structural outline and any comments are most welcome.