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What are the family values worth fighting for?

Posted on 30 April 2012, 16:09

Lauren is crying in frustration. Now in her mid-thirties, she has travelled half way across the world to escape her controlling mother but the mileage seems to have made little difference. By phone and e mail, Lauren is still bombarded with demand and reprimand and it’s upsetting her. When she recently…

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Vincent Van Gogh and Family

Posted on 26 January 2012, 18:28

In a further extract from my book, Forsaking the Family, I consider the effect of family on the life and work of Vincent Van Gogh.

‘People sometimes imagine that parenting is equal in a home; that it is the same for one brother as another, but this is not the case. Each…

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Conversations with Jesus at Christmas

Posted on 20 December 2011, 20:56

As Christmas approaches, I thought we might turn to the subject of prayer and listen to what Jesus had to say on the matter when I spoke with him in ‘Conversations with Jesus of Nazareth.’

The conversation is imagined but Jesus’ words are all his own:

SP: Prayer matters…

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Family, eh?

Posted on 17 December 2011, 1:54

A successful but deeply-troubled man came to see me this week. After listening to his story, I made a few observations, all of which felt fairly obvious.
‘Why has no one said these things to me before?’ he asked. ‘Someone should have said these things to me a long time ago.’


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Learning to take pain lightly

Posted on 05 December 2011, 16:33

Julian of Norwich was the first woman to be published in English, with her book Revelations of Divine Love. It’s a marvellous work, written in Norwich in the 14th century. Unlike the church at the time, Julian wrote of a kind God, a ‘courteous and homely’ God who cares passionately for…

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Posted on 18 November 2011, 18:26

Here’s a second extract from my book Solitude – recovering the power of alone. We listen in to a conversation about therapy:

We all need therapy and have all experienced therapy.

Not me.

I’m talking about all sorts - paid or unpaid,…

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Learning solitude

Posted on 09 November 2011, 23:22

My new book, Solitude – recovering the power of alone was published last week. And whether you love solitude or struggle with it, my hope is that it will be a doorway to better things for you. I believe we’re always learning – because we’re always forgetting.

It’s written in…

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Swedenborg: Pictures of heaven

Posted on 14 October 2011, 17:18

I recently worked on an abridged version of Swedenborg’s classic: Heaven and Hell.

He was an interesting man who fascinated such alumni as William Blake, Goethe, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Balzac, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Carl Jung.

He was the son of a bishop, but for…

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‘The Imitation of Christ’ – a spiritual classic

Posted on 05 October 2011, 20:02

I recently worked on a modern version of The Imitation of Christ, which is reckoned to be the second best selling spiritual book after the bible.

It first appeared 1418, published anonymously but spread quickly around Europe. A Latin manuscript from 1441 exists, but there was…

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Tolstoy on Shakespeare – ouch!

Posted on 29 September 2011, 2:19

The famous Globe Theatre on London’s South Bank have announced details of a festival that will see all 37 of William Shakespeare’s plays performed in 37 languages, from Urdu to Swahili, over six weeks in 2012.

Many will be pleased but arch Shakespeare-basher Leo Tolstoy would have…

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“Life After Death – The Communicator” by Paul Beard – If the telephone rings, naturally the caller is expected to identify himself. In post-mortem communication, necessitating something far more complex than a telephone, it is not enough to seek the speakers identity. One needs to estimate also as far as is possible his present status and stature. This involves a number of factors, overlapping and hard to keep separate, each bringing its own kind of difficulty. Four such factors can readily be named. Read here
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