Category Archives: Philosophy

Love of wisdom.

Being childish in nature

Embracing the child in nature.

Words associated with childhood: play; exploration; discovery.  My guilty secret, I still indulge in this activity. In a modern society that paradoxically creates an infantile population through overzealous management of every aspect of an individual’s life, the ability and opportunity to become childlike has become discouraged and denied by control and regulation in society.  There is no economic or practical advantage to society if free-spirited individuals enjoy simple, selfish and free pleasures in nature alike to a child simply enjoying splashing in a puddle of water.

The mantra is work and spend, yet last Sunday I choose to do neither.  On impulse, I get on my bike on a beautiful warm day, and I cycle ten miles to Mersea Island.  No map, no plan; I become a child, exploring, discovering and playing, armed with a bottle of water, a packet of digestive biscuits and a camera.

I head down a road I have always wanted to explore.  I become lost, but discover the beautiful world of Friday Woods.  I accidentally find my way back to civilisation, and then the road to Mersea Island.  I look for a notorious haunted rectory called Borley,  but end up at the wrong rectory.  I cross the causeway into Mersea Island, neither knowing when the tide will come in to cover the causeway, or what to do if it did, trapping me on the island.  Of the two turnings, I choose the wild side of East Mersea.  I discover red squirrels live on Mersea, my goal to photograph one.

Mersea Island burial mound is a living monument to life and death.

Mersea Island burial mound is a living monument to life and death.

I find the impressive Mersea Tumulus. Such burial mounds are a neolithic or bronze age practice, but my ancestors were still burying important people in these burial mounds two-thousand years ago.  Mersea Tumulus is Roman dated around the time of Emperor Trajan.  A Roman villa was found nearby and people say ghostly music emanates from the burial mound.

A red-tailed bumble bee attempts to make a nest for its young in the Mersea Island burial mound.

A red-tailed bumble bee attempts to make a nest for its young in the Mersea Island burial mound.

I go exploring round the rear of the burial mound.  I discover dozens of red-tailed bumble bees hovering all over the ground, seeking to hollow out holes into the mound to raise their young.  Here is a place of life and death.  I leave the bees and travel on to places I have never been, down roads I have never travelled, a child on an adventure.

Sources of inspiration for Liberated Way

I created links to sources of inspiration for Liberated Way.

Everyone have a source of inspiration.

Everyone has a source of inspiration.

Everyone has a source of inspiration, the many sources of inspiration for Liberated Way have now been listed here. The links include pdf or html sources to texts, and some videos that inspired me.

I hope you will find these links and the blog posts on Liberated Way useful.

The beauty of simplicity

Why it is best to keep everything simple in life.

A happy blue tit is attracted to and obtains food from a simple bird feeder.  Simplicity improves personal success and happiness in life.

A simple bird feeder attracts a happy blue tit to easily obtain food from it. Simplicity improves personal success and happiness in life.

I have various types of bird feeder in my garden, though I found that because the birds were not using some of the feeders I experienced food waste.  The problem was the visually appealing feeders that were too complicated for birds to know there was food in them, and the way to obtain that food.  The answer was simplicity, such as the feeder in the photo, which allows me to insert food into it, easily identifiable and obtainable to the birds.  The “log” feeder attracts many starlings, blue tits, and some robins, whilst keeping the fat greedy pigeons from grabbing all the food.

Nature is a good teacher, and one lesson is simplicity.  Plants and animals are effective and efficient in design and action, conserving, utilising and obtaining energy by the simplest and most practical way possible.  I have retired all my complex bird feeders, replaced with simple ones; now the birds visit and I waste no food.

Simplicity is important in business, as well as in life.  One of the great sources of stress of the modern age is the human obsession with complexity.  Why would I want to cut a hedge with a machine when I can do it manually with garden sheers in half the time? Why would I want a software program or cell phone with lots of features which I will never use and don’t understand? Complicated systems and tools means that more can go wrong, and demands greater energy, time and money to understand, use, maintain and solve problems.  I have low tolerance for anything complicated; I like and use simple solutions to my problems.

A simple way to build a simpler way of doing anything is breaking things into the goal, the process to reach that goal, and the desired result.  Having a map to a desired destination is good, so how about a written map involving everything you do in life? A process called Jugaad focuses on creating a process to reach a goal at low-cost, but high benefit.  A process called Kaizen concentrates on improving a process to make it more efficient or effective at reaching a goal through a series of constant and small improvements.  Jugaad and Kaizen is what nature is doing in creating simple and highly effective solutions to problems experienced by animals and plants.

The individual has only a finite amount of time, money and energy to achieve their dreams and goals, thus an approach in life focused on simplicity increases and enhances the chances of success in life.

Live life laughing and in play

A sense of humour and play makes life easier.

river_colne_colchester

I slipped down the river bank close to where I took this photo at the River Colne in Colchester.

Hunting in nature with a camera.  The plants looked soggy and droopy, like they had a big hangover.  The animals played hide and seek. It was a fruitless photographic journey.

At the river bank, chocolate biscuit in one hand, camera in the other, I slipped.  I rolled, my coat and trousers covered in solid mud, my chocolate biscuit and camera covered in the brown stuff too.  I laughed.  Nature grounds you, sometimes literally.

A sense of humour is useful when things go wrong.  I throw my muddy biscuit in the river, an edible opportunity for a creature from my misfortune.  I wash some of the mud off in the river.  I play with flints, each making a unique sound, rock and roll at the river bank.

I walk past a man with an Akita dog.  I signal with my eyes and face “play”, “fun,” “friendship” to the dog.  The excited Akita strains at its lead in my direction.  The man looks at me and my instant disinterested poker face.  I repeat my hidden signals to the dog, the bewildered man is struggling with making any progress with the Akita, oblivious of the communication between me and his dog.

Play is a universal language in nature.  Play builds bridges of trust, sharing and closeness between animals.  I have been playing with the Akita.  Play is good with animals if they show interest and enjoy the interaction.  I turn the corner, the dog is constantly turning then looking in my direction.

Life is often hard, laughter and play the honey that soothes those times of bitterness.  I walk past a recently dead pigeon, its legs comically sticking in the air.  The game of life is over for the pigeon.  My life rolls on.

Challenges always hide opportunity

All challenges are hidden opportunities.

The challenge of learning to photograph offered an opportunity of photographing this robin in 2012 that I turned into a card.

I faced the challenge of learning to photograph in 2012 and encountered this hidden opportunity of a robin, which I have turned into a card.

A friend rang, it was the year anniversary of a house fire that destroyed everything he owned.  He had no insurance.  Life is full of harsh challenges, which are in my opinion disguised opportunities.  The fire that destroyed his home and belongings gave my friend an opportunity to move on to a new situation without the baggage of the past.  My friend prospered and like a phoenix has rebuilt stronger than he was before.

My friend is also involved with a wood, one that my business wishes to pay for tree planting in.  My friend faces another challenge that the woodland is for sale.  The woodland sale provides an opportunity for the wood to come into ownership of a local, an environmentalist who is working with my friend.  I sense from my telephone conversation that the sale is running into technical obstructions, though like all things I see opportunities hidden inside challenge. I believe all will turn out well in this woodland sale, and I shall plan to visit this wood in a few weeks time.

Giving time to helping wildlife

Each individual can make a small difference helping wildlife.

It is my hope Amber my garden fox will return to my garden in 2015.

I hope Amber my garden fox will return to my garden in 2015.

The British climate after the New Year grew teeth with hard frosts and a climate that sent my mood crashing into the hard ground.  As I eat breakfast I visit the places I planted spring bulbs in my garden, a mood of anticipation like a child waiting for sweets. I watch the slowly emerging green shoots with near religious fervor, wishing, nay praying, their flowering would drive the cold jagged beast of winter away.

The foxes every night emerge with noisy announcements, fighting and marking out their territories whilst pursuing a mate.  One fox includes my garden in its large territory, then circles its kingdom of many gardens with its vocal calls from sunset to deep into the night.  I have seen the fox, but it is too dark to see if this is Amber, a fox I have not seen for many months.

The wild birds have returned to the garden, fighting for food, they are hungry.  The time of winter through to the end of the nesting season in June is a time when wild birds in the UK need the help of humans for food.  Regardless of where one lives, with wisdom, the little creatures appreciate the kindness, so food is always available in the feeding stations; I replace fresh water or break the ice of the water bowls to help birds so they can wash and drink from them.

Today I purchased a nest box which I shall soon put up.  Human development rarely acts in harmony with nature so that yearly the potential nesting sites grow less for wild birds forcing them to nest in such areas as the metal ashtrays of the communal flats in Colchester.  Birds appreciate nesting boxes if located with wisdom away from predatory interference.

Small acts of kindness for the wild animals in our gardens and community takes little effort but has a huge impact on the lives of the animals that benefit.  It is worth thinking how you could help an animal and impact their little lives in a positive big way.

What is abundance?

Abundance is something created such as food.

People often think abundance is money or material possessions, they are wrong, it is a thing that is born out of creativity such as growing food.

People often think abundance is money or material possessions, they are wrong, it is a thing that is born out of creativity such as growing food.

New Year and I bless people with the three elements of prosperity during 2015: health, happiness and abundance.  Health and happiness are easy to understand but abundance can confuse.

Abundance has nothing to do with money or material possessions.  Money is a measure or a token of trade, rather than a tangible or concrete thing.  We measure money either in pieces of paper of debt, a type of IOU note; base engraved metal or as figures on a computer database; all which can become instantly worthless in a financial crisis.  Money really is debt, which is the opposite of prosperity.

Modern civilisation embraces the paradigm that qualities of prosperity such as happiness comes from the constant consumer purchase of material possessions.  Human beings clutter their lives with possessions that brings about anxiety of their loss, protecting them from fire and theft, having to find room, often in paid for storage facilities of something of burden rather than happiness.  The paradox is that there is little prosperity in material possessions.

My local museum is full of images of gods with symbols of abundance, one common example is a cornucopia overflowing with fruit.  The ancient coins of the ancient Celtic rulers of Colchester shows an ear of barley, another symbol of abundance reflecting good soil fertility in the Colchester area.  From these images abundance means something you create: harvests; children; poetry.

When I wish abundance to you my readers in 2015 I mean that what you create, work at and accomplish results in an abundant harvest.  If you love growing fruit, may that fruit be plentiful.  As a result of abundance, money will come to you, and so will the material possessions if that is your goal, but it is useful to have in mind that abundance is directly related to creativity, what you create is what you harvest as abundance.