By Stephen Russell-Lacy Superman along with other hero figures such as Spiderman and Batman have grabbed my young grandsons’ attention. They are crime fighting superheroes with a moral compass acting with super-powers for the benefit of humanity. What makes Superman a hero is not that he has power, but that he has the wisdom … Continue reading Hero worship – Good for spiritual health?
At times children seem untidy, noisy, and demanding. Some appear even empty-headed, selfish, and endlessly bickering. At the same time many of us feel a sense of vague longing for our own childhood. There is something about being a child that pulls at our heart strings. Probably this is to do with how in children the … Continue reading Spiritual awakening in children – Is this possible?
How keen are you to get up in the morning and follow your ordinary day? Have you the enthusiasm needed to do what is fulfilling and good? “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm”. (Ralph Waldo Emerson, philosopher) With inspiration, and the enthusiasm that goes along with it, we have energy for living life to … Continue reading Enthusiasm – How to find it?
Your pet cannot tell you when it feels depressed – at least not in so many words. Perhaps there is a clue in the noises it makes and what it does. More and more vets are prescribing tablets because of behaviour problems; and so huge numbers of dogs in America for example are on antidepressants. … Continue reading Depressed mood – Does spiritual awareness help?
Listening to music is an extremely popular activity. Whether we favour classical or rock music, jazz or popular bands and soloists, we spend good money buying CDs, attending concerts and downloading music files to listen to our favourite pieces and artists. But why is the effect of music so significant if it consists of a … Continue reading Effect of music on us – Why so big?
John: Who am I? Where do I come from and where am I going? Sally: What do you mean by asking “Who am I?” Don’t you know? You haven’t had a knock on the head or something and got amnesia? You are John. The bloke who works at the bank and plays rugby on Sunday … Continue reading Who am I?
I must wash my hands repeatedly. Such an idea or mental picture may pop into your head unasked. Such ideas are unwanted if they are repetitive, unpleasant or difficult to resist. In addition to compulsive acts, they can exacerbate jealousy, temptation, or unreasonable guilt. Swedenborg’s account of unconscious inflow from a spirit realm can give the sufferer some confidence that unwanted thoughts can be ignored and got rid of.
Welsh National Opera Production
Hippodrome Theatre Birmingham 12/11/10
Future performances will be at Llandudno, Southampton, and Oxford.
At the outset I’ve got to say the other night’s performance of the opera Fidelio by Beethoven in Birmingham was a disappointment for me. This despite the inspirational nature of the music as a rousing, triumphant affirmation of the belief that the most important human qualities – love, courage and kindness – can exist in even the most inhuman of conditions. It is a story about a woman who disguises herself as a man working in a prison in order to save her husband who is languishing there through no fault of his own.
There were both tender intimate scenes and highly charged choruses. However, the emotional impact of the performance on me was lacking. The singing was first class and the soloists in particular deserve admiration given the great vocal skill and endurance demanded of them by the score. But to my mind the acting of the performers seemed wooden. What little movement on the stage seemed to happen in slow motion.
From our childhood onwards our lives are filled with questions of one sort or another – some more pressing or even agonising than others. But where are we to look for valid answers and find the meaning of life?
There are the really big questions and the smaller ones. Here are a few of the bigger ones. Does outer space beyond our solar system go on forever or does it have an edge – and if so what is on the other side? Where do we come from, why are we here, and what will become of us when we die? I can imagine some alien intelligence on a far distant planet asking exactly the same questions. These sort of universal questions have puzzled thinking people down the ages.
Children as well as adults ask questions. The play age stage of childhood is often characterised by developmental theorists as one of explorative activity and exuberant discovery. Consequently good educational practice encourages a child-centred approach to learning. This compares favourably with the old approach of rote learning. Modern teachers enhance children’s interest by providing knowledge building on what they already know. They relate their teaching to the child’s limited experiences stretching their understanding a bit further.