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Halcyon actively monitors change covering more than 150 key elements of life.

A Mundane Comedy is Dominic Kelleher's new book, which will be published later in 2023. The introduction is available here and further extracts will appear on this site in the coming months. Please get in touch with any questions or thoughts.

The 52:52:52 project, launching both on this site and on Twitter in early 2023 will help you address 52 issues with 52 responses over 52 weeks.

Halcyon In Kaleidoscope

On What We Think

Kaleidoscope

 

The entries below highlight subjective views on an ever-changing range and scope of subjects.

This is less a blog than a set of irregularly updated and often fragmentary views - on ideas and values, places and people - evolving over time into mini essais which pay humble homage to the peerless founder of the genre. Our writing is provisional, always open to change as new thoughts and ideas emerge.

The kaleidoscope is our prime metaphor, encouraging us to embrace change and to view issues through an ever-moving series of lenses.

On Novelty

Novelty

 

This is a work in progress. Please contact us to discuss further.

 

See also:

 

On an alternative world view

The sheer novelty of the ideas of such leaders not only addresses the issues at hand and but gives the world a new perspective to address issues of the future. The outmoded ways of leadership, of securing selfish interests and of exploiting public sentiments, should be relinquished. The new age leaders must look forward to lead the global thought rather than leading only a particular country or a section of society - Club of Amsterdam

 

This is for you and about you...all of you.

On Trees

Black Locust, Essex, May 2020

 

I wonder about the trees,” Robert Frost wrote. Monumental in size, alive but inert, they inhabit a different temporality than ours. Some species’ life spans can be measured in human generations. We wake to find that a tree’s leaves have turned, or register, come spring, its sturdier trunk. But such changes are always perceived after the fact. We’ll never see them unfold, with our own eyes, in human time.

On Music

Music

 

Indigenous peoples who have never even listened to the radio can nonetheless pick up on happy, sad, and fearful emotions in Western music. A studied suggested that the expression of emotions is a basic feature of Western music, whereas in other musical traditions, music has traditionally more often been appreciated for other qualities, such as group coordination in rituals.

On Imbolc

Imbolc

 

Imbolc, imbolc, the light will soon return, warm the Earth this winter's night and let the candles burn - from Ancient Dream, by Aeolian Songspell

 

A time of purification (hence spring cleaning), this is a hopeful time of year, with the days drawing out and even the mornings slowly lightening. Later this month, the first snowdrop and crocus should visit, suggesting that Spring is not far behind.

 

 

See also:

On A Mundane Comedy

The Divine Comedy

 

This page will contain regular updates about A Mundane Comedy, Halcyon founder Dominic Kelleher's new book, which will be published in 2023. Please see below an introductory extract.

...

To be a catalyst is the ambition most appropriate for those who see the world as being in constant change, and who, without thinking that they control it, wish to influence its direction - Theodore Zeldin, Intimate History of Humanity

This book is about what goes wrong in our lives, and about how we can try to make things better. This already daunting challenge is made more daunting still by the fact that, while we have an illusion of constancy, our lives are in fact characterised by continuous change, both out in the physical world and inside our heads.

On Perfume

Perfume

 

My fascination with perfume - or scents more generally - probably began in suburban teenagehood. My then girlfriend wore Smitty, and I proudly sported Blue Stratos (which trumped my second choice, Old Spice, and was streets ahead of Brut, "fashionable" at the time).

Fast forward the best part of 30 years and a family trip to the perfume museum in Grasse, where the fragrant air, even in the streets outside, and the fabulous design on show inside hooked me once again.

Next was picking up a copy of The Emperor of Scent and trying to understand the scientific processes behind the olfactory skills of Luca Turin.

In late 2016 came my first attempts at creating perfume myself, taught by the inspiring Sarah McCartney and her kind husband at 4160 Tuesdays.

On the Veil

Veil

 

I have always been attracted by the veil, by seeing through a glass, darkly:

 

And the children in the apple-tree

Not known, because not looked for

But heard, half heard, in the stillness

Between the two waves of the sea

- from Little Gidding, T.S. Eliot

 

When I was a child I caught a fleeting glimpse,
Out of the corner of my eye.
I turned to look but it was gone.
I cannot put my finger on it now

On David Hume
David Hume
Halcyon In Kal… 23 January 2023

 

Beauty in things exists in the mind which contemplates them - David Hume

 

When I was studying, inter alia, Metaphysics and Moral Philosophy at Edinburgh many years ago, local boy made good David Hume was a name never far any philosophy professor or tutor's lips.

Aeon wrote movingly of Hume's life:

"While Hume was lying aged 65 on his deathbed at the end of a happy, successful and (for the times) long life, he told his doctor: ‘I am dying as fast as my enemies, if I have any, could wish, and as easily and cheerfully as my best friends could desire.’ Three days before he died, on 25 August 1776, probably of abdominal cancer, his doctor could still report that he was ‘quite free from anxiety, impatience, or low spirits, and passes his time very well with the assistance of amusing books’."

On Friedrich Nietzsche

Nietzsche

 

You need chaos in your soul to give birth to a dancing star - Friedrich Nietzsche

 

Ah, Nietzsche. Always so fashionable, always so little understood and even so little read, although the young man I vaguely remember being enjoyed Beyond Good and Evilin which he argues that the good person is not the opposite of the evil person; good and evil, rather, are different expressions of the same nature, which bubble to the surface by complex and nuanced currents of potentiality and choice.

On Meditation

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Research suggests that meditation can change brain structure, enhance mental abilities and work alongside traditional medicine to speed up healing. 

Certainly, when I learned Transcendental Meditation through a formal course many years ago it was in some ways a life-changing experience, although I quickly moved away from the more cultish aspects of TM. 

I don't entirely buy the claim that just a few minutes' daily meditation can make a difference between an anxious existence and a life of quiet contentment...but it helps.

On Poetry

Poetry

 

I share below (without comment...which is a personal act that belongs in the real, not the virtual world), an evolving, far from exhaustive, but from an emotional point-of-view, highly illustrative and authentic selection of my favourite poetry and lyrics...

 

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And it's a battered old suitcase to a hotel someplace
And a wound that will never heal

- from Tom Traubert's Blues, by Tom Waits

 

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(In my sleep I dreamed this poem)

Someone I loved once gave me
a box full of darkness.

It took me years to understand
that this, too, was a gift

The Uses of Sorrow, by Mary Oliver

 

On Joseph Campbell

JC

 

Joseph Campbell's The Masks of God have been a constant companion to me for more than 30 years, while his The Hero with a Thousand Faces outlines the common journey of the archetypal hero across a wealth of ancient myths from around the world.

A short animation from TED Ed presents a synthesis of Campbell’s foundational framework for the eleven stages of the hero’s quest - from the call to adventure to the crisis to the moment of return and transformation.

On the Ethical Development Goals

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This evolving paper examines Ethical Development Goals (EDGs) that could complement the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

 

Introduction

The EDGs are inspired by the SDGs, officially known as ‘Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’, an intergovernmental set of aspiration Goals with 169 targets.

However, ethical considerations need to play a more central role in the implementation of the SDGs.

On Gardens

Angus in Genval

 

“This is happiness,” Willa Cather’s fictional narrator gasps as he sinks into his grandmother’s garden, “to be dissolved into something complete and great.” A generation later, in a real-life counterpart, Virginia Woolf arrived at the greatest epiphany of her life  - and to this day perhaps the finest definition of what it takes to be an artist - while contemplating the completeness and greatness abloom in the garden.

On 52 ideas, 52 weeks

Ideas

 

Halcyon's 52 ideas: 52 weeks campaign will start in early 2023, featuring a range of responses to issues you may be facing at the personal, organisational and/or societal levels (see examples below).

 

On Yule
Shortest Day
Halcyon In Kal… 28 December 2022

 

Since the cave we have tried to make the old gods smile. Each year we fail and winter comes. #CLNolan

 

"Wings are for flying, not frying" ...nice quote, nicer sentiment.  Animal-friendly consumerism could be a major future trend. Until 16 years ago I too gorged myself on turkey every Christmas Day, Boxing Day, 27th...and my mouth watered long after at the remembered taste of turkey soup on the 28th or 29th, a meal which constituted one of the culinary highlights of my year.

On the Parva Carta

Magna Carta

 

This is an evolving manifesto, more modest than great charters calling for widespread political change, or updated commandments for our time, or even simple poems for our time.

Instead, Halcyon's small charter is primarily a call for inner change, leading to outer change.

We want to help people think more about how they can nurture key values.

One inspiring example is from the late Robert Muller, whose creed including the belief that an unprecedented, all-encompassing new evolutionary agenda now faces humanity, namely;