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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 forthcoming 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

Religion

On What We Think

Kaleidoscope

 

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

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

On Dante
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Halcyon In Kal… 13 June 2018

 

Is it possible to appreciate fully Dante’s work without understanding the man himself and the society in which he lived? A recent book attempted to shed new light on what some have called the greatest of all European poems.

 

See also:

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 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 Leonard Cohen

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"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 Joseph Campbell

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Joseph Campbell's The Masks of God have been a constant companion to me for more than 25 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. Now 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.

What's Happening? - Presence

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A favourite concept of mine is the 200-year present, a way of thinking about change. The 200-year present began 100 years ago with the year of birth of the people who have reach their hundredth birthday today. The other boundary of the 200-year present, 100 years from now, is the hundredth birthday of the babies born today. If you take that span, you and I will have had contact with a lot of people from different parts of that span. So think in terms of events over that span and realise how long change takes. You can see how difficult it has been to create these bodies and new ways and how in many ways we are slipping backward; but in other ways we are not. I take comfort to know that super-power hegemony has a very limited lifespan (decline and fall of Rome, the Ottoman Empire) -  Elise Boulding

On the Singularity

Many are imagining, some even planning for, the coming of the "singularity". Some are for, some against, many others sceptical that it could ever arrive.

Ray Kurzweil, who inter alia works on Google's machine learning project, predicts that by 2029, humans will be extending their lives considerably or even indefinitely. He also believes the human brain could be enhanced by tiny robotic implants that connect to cloud-based computer networks to give us 'God-like' abilities.

On Confession

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As Good Friday rolls around again, I recall how, as a "good little Catholic" boy I went regularly to confession. However, I'm not sure I committed many of the 48 sins that 19-year-old Isaac Newton self-admittedly “committed” before Whitsunday.  I am intrigued by no.7 (did they have supersoakers in the 17th century?) and nos.26 and 44 (poor old Dorothy Rose and Arthur Storer), although on reflection I may have been guilty of 24, 28, 31 and 32, and I couldn't possibly comment on 16...