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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

Halcyon In Kaleidoscope

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 Imbolc

Imbolc, imbolc, the light will soon return, warm the Earth this winter's night and let the candles burn.

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.

On the Self

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The Ego Trick looked at the 'bundle theory' of the self, and argued that we don't have a permanent essential self, but instead are a bundle of thoughts, sensations and impulses.

Meanwhile, a Harvard clinical psychologist and Tibetan Buddhist scholar, examined the nature of awareness and self.

 

On Automation

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In the distant future, no one needs to work. Energy is available wherever people can set up a solar panel, windmill, or hydro-turbine. Artificial Intelligence (AI) units, distant descendants of today’s 3D printers, are capable of producing anything a person can program into them. Just by asking, anyone can have anything they want. People trade energy credits or donate energy to projects that interest them.

See for example HBR on "Computers Create Jobs and Inequality at the Same Time".

This is the post-labour economy imagined by today’s sci-fi writers. Indeed, science fiction has been speculating on what post-labour economies might look like for more than 100 years, In a post-labour economy, people don’t need to work in order to live or access goods. In fact, work has nothing to do with wealth or value.

On Christmas

Xmas

"Wings are for flying, not frying" ...nice quote, nice sentiment.  Animal-friendly consumerism could be a major future trend.  Until 12 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.

Now, though the smell of meat still does not repulse me, some thoughtless things just can't stand up to an onslaught of values, so, all the trimmings, certainly...but no turkey (nor ham, despite the photo) for me once again this year.

On Meat

Beef

Our current meat-heavy system of food production seems to many unsustainable, a waste of resources and a source of pollution in the form of pesticides and hormones as well as methane gas from livestock manure.

On Campion

Campion

December 1st comes around again. Grateful to witness it once more. So many memories - the most vivid from Campion Days of old...pushing for almost glory or just plain survival through fields of mud, up frosted hills, leading or trailing friends of yore.

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 Samhain

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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 Utopia

Can utopian visions change the world? The 2017 IAI TV debate, Dreaming the Future discussed how we all want a better world, and we seemingly make progress, with more technology and less prejudice. Yet ideals and utopias are strangely difficult to imagine, let alone achieve. Is it that we just lack imagination or are leaders inherently corrupt?

On Sun(s)

The weird idea that Earth could be getting a second sun, at least temporarily, if Betelgeuse, one of the night sky's brightest stars, goes supernova, recalls a dream, many years ago, of climbing a ridge in the desert and seeing a dawn uncannily like this photo...

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On Robert Pirsig

William Morrow/HarperCollins

Robert M. Pirsig, who inspired generations to road trip across America with his "novelistic autobigraphy," Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, died in April 2017 at the age of 88. Pirsig wrote just two books: Zen (subtitled "An Inquiry Into Values") and Lila: An Inquiry into Morals, both of which moved and influenced me deeply.

What I am is a heretic who's recanted and thereby in everyone's eyes saved his soul. Everyone's eyes but one, who knows deep down inside that all he has saved is his skin - Robert Pirsig