Friday, 27 March 2015


'Collapse' charcoal on paper by Duncan Hill 1800X1000mm 

The Voyage of the Tangaroa

The Voyage of the Tangaroa*

If you scientists had gotton on deck
You may have noticed the Wilkins Ice Shelf, bigger than Aussie,
Instead you got seasick down below
Wading through incoming data slopping about in the bilges

And then teams of seamount, cephalopod, benthic fauna scientists
got together for tea
We mostly miss the inner invitation to leave behind your mind

In Island Bay and Berhampore
They feel the southerly presence of You
A white cold front making windows untouchable
Bergs of cloud up from Kaikoura
Like the cold cultural fear that blows from the shivering continent of the Capital’s transactions
Walling itself up or hiding behind hills and corridors

The soul is a vast and quiet land
Few go there
The occasional visitors are mystics and psychos
They are incarcerated, like Scott, in frozen beauty
No wonder they die young

Yesterday I woke up and felt the cold
I packed my bags and scientific gear,
Probes and prayerbeads
And headed south

* Antarctic research ship

Saturday, 21 March 2015

The God Delusion

I really like Richard Dawkins' book The God Delusion. Its one of my faves. Reason being it takes the spiritual realm and its experiences away from the mulahs, the priests and the chiefs of religion and hands it back to the people. It effectively removes the power base of religion-who's in who's out, who's right , who's wrong, what book you should read etc etc.
The experience of the underlying unity of all things, the experience of one's essence, is the heart of the 'spiritual' experience. That includes feelings of great joy, even ecstasy, even trance states. The book is therefore one of my spiritual tomes. I have never met anyone, even my atheist and agnostic ones, who like Richard Dawkins. I think my son Ben also likes the book; he's the only one I can think of who doesn't groan when you mention his name. He is universally hated. Dawkins suggests that atheists are the most persecuted group in the USA.
Below is a funny clip of the hate mail sent to Dawkins read by the man himself. Very funny.
We have made God in our own image, not the other way around as I was forced to remember and recite as a child. Its interesting to notice the type of projection we choose, and the cultural historical and geo political milieu from which it springs. Think of Jesus the fighter of social justice from South America from which came a theology popularly known as Liberation theology. Think of the style of God that comes out of a powerful, wealthy country. What's your 'God projection'?
Just as the internet has it's aberrations and its wonderful side,there is another 'God' which is experiential and not animated into a human likeness. This B side of the god experience, what I call 'the Field' is the one I'm used to nowadays.
Hopefully it will leave my humanity intact, and I wont be drawn into factions and telebans and difference. But then again maybe not. Thank you God for not existing.Thank you for allowing me to experience the Field, the as is nature of all energy and form,

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Get a job and a haircut

I'm having fun with job interviews lately. I have this sense of power, focus and happiness which very little seems to diminish. So, I go for a job which is 'mentoring' young rangatahi (Maori youth). It is an excellent conversation- the two interviewing guys (working in HR which I'm guessing stands for Human Resources) in true and wonderful style tell me of themselves, where they are from, their family, tribal links etc and I reciprocate. They make me feel very welcome as  the Polynesian cultures do so well.
The job, ostensibly, is to hang around with young maori at a school and help get them through the NCEA hoops Level 1 2 and 3. I hadnt realised it was so tightly reined in, the application form stating that, among other options, school was to be considered. So I thought that it may be looking at the world and its myriad facets of 'education' and fitting the person in there or creating something with them.And I wasn't going to encourage them readily to go into the lion's mouth of Hunger Games High School. Quite excited was I at the prospect.  No, it turns out its very prescribed. Getting people to fit the system.
Over the weekend I had time to think, and I realised I didn't want the job- not working in a system which is failing not only Maori; a system which has not responded to the new climate of today. Anyway I was upfront about my reasons why I wouldn't be interested, and suggested I would be available for something which truly may have an impact.No thanks, came the reply; we are focussing on NCEA. Its disappointing in one sense, but I also felt jubilant. It's change in the making. Saying what we value and how we would like things to be. I contrast this to the me of yore-struggling to even identify what  I wanted and full of suppressed needs and desires.
The downside? 2 jobs I have rejected and the scraping by but excited by the prospects which lay before me.