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Part consultancy, part thinktank, part social enterprise, Halcyon helps you prepare for and respond to personal, organisational and societal change.

Halcyon's 52:52:52 campaign on Twitter will help you address 52 issues with 52 responses over 52 weeks.

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

Halcyon In Kaleidoscope

On What We Think
Kaleidoscope
Halcyon In Kal… 31 December 2018

 

These pages highlight our founder Dominic's subjective views on the ever-changing range and scope of subjects that Halcyon focuses on.

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 Halcyon's prime metaphor, encouraging us to embrace change and to view issues through an ever-moving series of lenses.

On A Mundane Comedy
The Divine Comedy
Halcyon In Kal… 31 December 2018

 

These are working notes for a book to be published in early 2019. Please contact us with any questions about the evolving book.

In 2013, poet Niall O'Sullivan's The Mundane Comedy used Dante's terza rima to document a year of his life, detailing big current events, intimate everyday happenings and "the tired rope bridge of opinion that naturally forms between the two".  Touching and amusing in turns, O'Sullivan's poem is well worth dipping into on any day of his - or your - year. However, my ambition is somewhat different: firstly I have deliberately gone for the indefinite article and title my work A Divine Comedy, as while Dante (and who knows, if he is picked up by the right publisher, perhaps O'Sullivan too is for the ages.

On Novelty
Novelty
Halcyon In Kal… 31 December 2018

 

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

 

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

 

Our lives are characterised, above all, by change.

On the Parva Carta
Magna Carta
Halcyon In Kal… 31 December 2018

 

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, chief amongst them kindness.

Kindness

On 52:52:52

52s

 

Halcyon's 52:52:52 campaign will launch at the beginning of 2019 and will feature 52 fast-changing issues and 52 possible responses, over 52 weeks.

 

On the Ethical Development Goals
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Halcyon In Kal… 7 December 2018

 

In spite of spectacular strides in science and technology, and still unlimited ones to come, something basic is missing. There is a sort of poverty of the spirit which stands in glaring contrast to our scientific and technological abundance. The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly the air like birds and swim the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers - Martin Luther King

This evolving paper will examine the overall Ethical Development Goals (EDGs) that Halcyon is developing to 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.

On Ipswich Town Halcyon In Kal… 27 November 2018

God‏ @TheTweetOfGod 8h8 hours ago

90% of My time is spent adversely affecting the fortunes of your favourite team.

 

On Meditation
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Halcyon In Kal… 7 November 2018

Research suggests that meditation can change brain structure, enhance mental abilities and 

On Samhain
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Halcyon In Kal… 1 November 2018

 

A beautiful seasonal quote from the inspiring Damh the Bard.

"It’s nearly here...the major Sabbat of Samhain will arrive, bringing with it dark evenings and opening the door to the cold of Winter. Lanterns will be lit and placed in windows. Faerie Bells will ring and doors and windows will be opened to allow the spirits of those departed back inside, to share a meal, so we may remember them. Photographs of loved ones will be placed on altars next to the slowly drifting smoke of incense, tears will be shed, and smiles will be shared. Candle flame will be caught in the reflecting water of the cauldron, and Journeys will be taken. Magic will be cast, and the names of those gone before across the bridge into the Otherworld, and the many more lives that lay beyond, will be spoken into the wind, letting them know that they are never forgotten."

On T.S. Eliot

East Coker

T.S. Eliot died over 50 years ago now. His legacy remains profound and his poetry moves me deeply.

In 2016 I had the privilege of visiting his final resting place, East Coker.

I read or listen to the peerless Little Gidding at least once a quarter, sometimes more often, and almost every line entrances, as if peering through a veil at something once known, but half-forgotten because not looked-for.

On Jean-Paul Sartre
Sartre
Halcyon In Kal… 29 October 2018

 

Man is nothing else but that which he makes of himself. That is the first principle of existentialism

Jean-Paul Sartre introduces us to the idea of our absolute freedom. While he admits that we are limited by some physical and social circumstances, he places us utterly in charge of ourselves.

Are we "condemned" to be free, as Sartre would seem at first glance to have it, or is such freedom more, as he would perhaps really contend, an opportunity staring us in the face if only we'd pay attention?

On Perfume
Perfume
Halcyon In Kal… 18 October 2018

 

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 genius that is 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 Emotions

 

Can we imagine how others are feeling at any given time?

We Feel Fine tried to do this, by harvesting "human feelings" from a large number of blogs. Every few minutes, the system searched the world's newly posted blog entries for occurrences of the phrases "I feel" and "I am feeling". When it found such a phrase, it recorded the full sentence, up to the period, and identified the "feeling" expressed in that sentence (e.g. sad, happy, depressed, etc.).As blogs are structured in largely standard ways, the age, gender, and geographical location of the author could often be extracted and saved along with the sentence, as can the local weather conditions at the time the sentence was written.

On Leonard Cohen
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Halcyon In Kal… 8 October 2018

"So come, my friends, be not afraid.
We are so lightly here.
It is in love that we are made;
In love we disappear."

Happy posthumous birthday, Lenny.

You tried, in your way, to be free. Thank you. Now go join that great gig in the sky. So I wrote a year ago, when Lenny left us. However, the legend lives on - listen for example to How the Light Gets In.

'We Love Leonard Cohen' celebrated his 81st Birthday, and then, for his 82nd and final birthday, Leonard gave us a present. "You Want It Darker" is the title track to last album, his 14th studio album in his 49-year recording career. (See also Leonard Cohen Makes it Darker.)

"Leonard Cohen offers the possibility of living with grace, dignity, and integrity, without submitting to illusions, without succumbing to indifference, and without indulging in denial of our own failures and flaws, in a world that is too often corrupt and malevolent" - Allan Showalter

On Henry David Thoreau
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Halcyon In Kal… 5 October 2018

 

In the 1840s Henry David Thoreau swapped his busy schedule in Concord, Massachusetts, for a wooden hut he built himself near Walden Pond. We had the privilege to visit Walden in July 2012; it exceeded expectations in its tranquility and beauty - and the swim in the pond itself was unforgettable.

See also:

On Mabon

Mabon

 

The Garden releases its last
radiance, not as something failed,
but as its full reason for being: to give
continually, to its last bit of energetic being.
Its giving is its beauty. It is a smile,
it is the heart of love.

- from “Equinox” by Richard Wehrman, from the book, THE BOOK OF THE GARDEN, Copyright © 2014

 

The Autumnal Equinox occurs the moment the Sun crosses the celestial equator from north to south. On this day light and darkness are equally balanced.

See also:

On Jane Austen

Jane Austen

 

Though not particularly taken by recent film adaptations of her novels, and well-used to my family calling me "Mr Bennett", I remember very much enjoying Pride and Prejudice when I read it as a student in France.

Today, Jane Austen is loved mainly as a charming guide to fashionable life in the Regency period. She is admired for portraying a world of elegant houses, dances, servants and fashionable young men driving barouches. But her own vision of her task was radically different, believes The School of Life. She was an ambitious – and stern – moralist. She was acutely conscious of human failings and she had a deep desire to make people nicer: less selfish, more reasonable, more dignified and more sensitive to the needs of others.

On what mattered in the past

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Where did everything come from? Where are we heading? Big History tells the story of the Universe starting from the Big Bang, the formation of stars, planets, life on Earth, modern civilisation — and what might exist in the future.

Asking which shifts, in which centuries, really shaped the modern world. a historian identified 10 leading drivers of change, century by century 

Meanwhile, Prospect believes that reflecting on the past can give great in sight into the present and has published accordingly The past in perspective e-book.

See also:

On the unnamed
Unnamed
Halcyon In Kal… 15 September 2018

 

The growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs - George EliotMiddlemarch

 

Unexpected celebrities have in recent times included the likes of Captain Sully Sullenberger and Susan Boyle, whose years of patiently working on their own talents suddenly came good, shooting them instantly to international attention, and who then accepted the spotlight, perhaps reluctantly, but with quiet dignity nonetheless.