Blogs by Bahais

A compilation


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AFTER YASI – A Review

Thanks Owen for this review of After Yasi.

Owen's Meanderings

Tully has one of the highest rainfalls in Australia so built a giant gumboot with a frog as its icon. Tully has one of the highest rainfalls in Australia so built a giant gumboot with a frog as its icon.

In the immediate aftermath of the devastating Cyclone Yasi in the Tully area, North Queensland, June Perkins took to documenting the story of resilience of the people around her. In the process of this documentation, June was one of the people activating resilience-building activities for the community.

The stories she tells in “After Yasi – Finding the Smile Within” are simple, almost pedestrian, and so are, in style, a commentary on the paradox of an ordinariness of the community spirit that seems quite extraordinary. These straightforward stories shine a light on the vulnerability of people who have had their lives turned on their heads in one day of environmental violence.

The poems that people wrote for the book are similarly simple and authentic, a sharing of lives finding their way…

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“After Yasi” by June Perkins

A big thankyou to Carol for hosting this book during it’s blog hop.

WritersDream9

BloghopimageCarol (1) These are the Perfect Words to Describe this Book!

Juneportrait2b June is a Multi-Talented Writer.

screenshotbloghop A Very Good Read With Heart

Best comments for each blog will be given PRIZE, either a free copy of the ebook or a choice of a signed print of one of the photographs from the book.

Would love it if you retweet and share this

Feb 3rd  – ABC Open  (to be confirmed) http://open.abc.net.au

You can find sample pages of the ebook here:

http://gumbootspearlz.pressbooks.com/

And purchase the book here:

https://authors-unlimited.org/book-member/after-yasi-finding-the-smile-within

Attend the online launch February 3rd

See the facebook page: The Launch Link: https://www.facebook.com/events/866286073402069/?pnref=story

“What would I do if I found myself facing a major cyclone in my town?” is the question I keep asking myself as I read the heart felt descriptions contained in June Perkins’ book, “After Yasi”. I guess we really can’t answer that until we are put through the experience…

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Willing Change (4/4): the first rule of holes

Everybody Means Something

The sequence of posts reviewing Karen Wilson’s book on the power of meditation seemed to make this a good time to republish some related posts of my own from the past. As the last review post was dealing with the need to change our priorities, I felt that Acceptance and Commitment Therapy had something useful to say about that. Last week I republished two of four posts: this is the last in the sequence.

It has proved impossible in a few short posts to feel I have done justice to all that ACT has to offer. I have barely mentioned mindfulness at all, yet it is a key part of their approach. Perhaps this is not so important given how much literature there is around dealing with that reflective skill.

Less forgivable is the fact that I have only hinted at one of ACT’s most powerful antidotes to stuckness. They are very aware of the…

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‘Proof of Heaven’: a review

Everybody Means Something

Eben Alexander Eben Alexander

The Great Being saith: The man of consummate learning and the sage endowed with penetrating wisdom are the two eyes to the body of mankind. God willing, the earth shall never be deprived of these two greatest gifts.

(Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh Revealed after the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, page 171)

Given that I made such a big thing out of Eben Alexander’s book in yesterday’s post on the No-Self issue, I thought the least I could do, to make it easy to access, was republish my review of his book. So here it is. I’ll also throw in a couple more earlier posts on consciousness and NDEs for good measure before the week is over.

Thanks to Kristine’s comment on my sequence of posts aboutnear-deathexperiences (NDEs), I have read a compelling book: Proof of Heaven.

Eben Alexander is a neurosurgeon with a dramatic conversion experience behind him. Seven days shifted…

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Reflection: Europeans in Australia – Vol III

Stumbling Through the Past

Book Cover of Atkinson's book.The Europeans in Australia. Volume Three: Nation by Alan Atkinson (UNSW Press, 2014).

The last volume in Alan Atkinson’s trilogy, The Europeans in Australia has finally been published.  Volume Three: Nation caps a wide-ranging and unique view on the history of Europeans in the land that is now known as Australia.

For more reasons than one, this book is the reason why I am writing and researching history today. I have been extremely fortunate that Alan Atkinson has been a mentor to me for several years and gave me the opportunity to do some work as a research assistant for this book. My current work on the beliefs of Australian soldiers on the front line in World War I stems from discussions Alan Atkinson and I had about this period of history while he was writing the book.

For these reasons what follows is not a book review. This is…

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Review: A Doctor’s Dream

Stumbling Through the Past

Book cover of A Doctor's Dream A Doctor’s Dream: A story of hope from the Top End by Dr Buddhi Lokuge and Tanya Burke, (Allen & Unwin, 2014).

A Doctor’s Dream is about a microscopic mite, a huge health issue and the fraught nature of ongoing injustices towards Aboriginal people in Australia. It is a very Australian story. Both white and Aboriginal people are tired of the same intractable problems and tired of announcements of quick fixes that never work. In this book Dr Buddhi Lokuge and Tanya Burke offer a way through this mire, but only through hard, time-consuming commitment and respect.

Scabies is a mite that is a scourge in some outback Aboriginal communities. It causes itching which leads to skin infections in the tropical environment of northern Australia. Some people do not have any natural resistance to the mite which leads to huge colonies living on their skin causing the disfiguring and serious…

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Review: A History of Australian Schooling

Stumbling Through the Past

Book cover of A History of Australian SchoolingA History of Australian Schooling by Craig Campbell and Helen Proctor (Crows Nest, NSW:Allen & Unwin, 2014).

For over a century Australian schools have acted as future-shapers. Since the era of compulsory schooling emerged in the Australian colonies during the late nineteenth-century, every Australian child has spent a number of years in school. Children take at least some of the ideas and behaviours that are developed in the classroom and in the playground with them for the rest of their lives. As such it surprises me that education history is seen as a ‘special interest’ and not a field that is part of the core of Australian history.

A History of Australian Schooling by Craig Campbell and Helen Proctor is a chance for people to catch up on the latest research in Australia’s schooling history in one readable volume. It is long overdue. When I started exploring the history of…

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Recommended link: Happiness is in the Mind

Peter reads some interesting texts.

Everybody Means Something

Seven IllusionsI am moving after years of only using a meditation based on following the breath, which serves to keep me reasonably grounded, to practising mindfulness meditation, which is designed to go somewhat further. It’s for this reason, I think, that I am on the look out all the time for hints and ideas to help me move forwards.

There is a recent post on Karen Wilson’s blog which hits a very important nail on the head for me about why attempting to achieve such a goal is so important, and why we need to be teaching it in schools as Layard and Clark suggest in their book Thrive. It deals, amongst other things dear to my heart, with the need to balance left- and right-brain modes of thinking as per Iain McGilchrist’s excellent book The Master and his Emissary.

I also downloaded her book recently and have just begun to read it: it contains many…

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Book Review: ‘Thrive: the Power of Evidence-Based Psychological Therapies’

Peter has been doing some interesting reading.

Everybody Means Something

Van Gogh's Prisoners Exercising: nine out of 10 prisoners have mental health issues when they enter prison. Photograph: Alamy. Van Gogh’s Prisoners Exercising: nine out of 10 prisoners have mental health issues when they enter prison. Photograph: Alamy.

It is an indictment of our society’s approach to mental health that effective treatment for many forms of mental problem is not sufficiently available to meet the need. The strength of Layard and Clark’s book – Thrive is to draw this forcefully to our attention. The Guardian Review quoted at length below gives a good sense of the case they make.  

The data the authors refer to in the book include the fact that (page 381):

. . . while over 90% of diabetes sufferers receive treatment for their condition, under a third of adults with diagnosable mental illness do so. This is largely because good evidence-based psychological therapy is not readily available. 

They are also quite scathing about the absence of adequate provision for children, a position which Wednesday’s BBC News item

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Genius (1/2): something special?

Peter reflects on his reading of the Irreducible Mind, and the subject of Genius.

Everybody Means Something

'Perspicacity' by René Magritte (adapted from 'Magritte' in the Taschen Edition ‘Perspicacity’ by René Magritte (adapted from Magritte by Marcel Paquet  in the Taschen Edition)

‘Beauty is truth, truth beauty, — that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.’

John Keats – Ode on a Grecian Urn

Having now finished my first complete reading of Irreducible Mind, I would like to tackle, in two stages, the subject of genius as the book presents Myers’s version.

The first stage is to look at why we should believe something special is going on, and the second stage will be to look at why we might entertain the idea that the work of genius comes from a transcendent process. It is in this second part that I will return to at least some of the evolutionary implications that an earlier post touched upon.

The Trap of Methodolatry

The first key issue to note is that the reduction of genius to creativity…

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