From Book reviews

Fire and Fury – as astrological assessment whether it’s more fact or fiction…

The official release date for the Fire and Fury, the book that President Trump apparently does not want us to read, was moved forward. We are told this decision was made by the publisher just hours after Trump’s lawyers sent a cease-and-desist letter, claiming among other things, libel and breach of confidentiality. What might we learn from the chart? Jupiter/Mars (17 Scorpio) are closely conjunct in the 9th house, traditionally the house of publishing and the legal system. According to Ebertin, the combination of Jupiter and Mars equates with successful creative activity and a fortunate decision, especially for learned people,…

The Future of Coaching – Vision, Leadership, and Responsibility

This afternoon, I joined the first of four webinars where Hetty Einzig speaks on the future of coaching. Some of the ideas expressed were music to my ears. The primary point, from which all else flows, is that the environment in which coaches practice now is not the same as it was forty years ago. Sports-based coaching models such as T-GROW still have much to offer, but they can no longer be our end game. Although the implementation of change remains the primary purpose of coaching, it must be accomplished on a whole new level. No longer is it enough…

The Glass Bead Game / the ultimate in coaching

One of my favourite novels is The Glass Bead Game, by Herman Hesse. It was published, I think, sometime in the 1940’s. Basically the plot revolves around a utopian community rather like a posh boarding school, where young boys are sent by their wealthy, influential parents to learn that they need to be tomorrow’s leaders. In most cases, at the end of their study, the boys go back out into the world where they become ‘movers and shakers’. However once in a while, a student does so well in his studies that he’s asked to remain at the school and…

Selfie: How We Became So Self-Obsessed & What It’s Doing to Us

In the western world, you have a duty of self-improvement – to be authentic, competitive,  thin, attractive, and (among many other things) coiffed and couture. But did you realise that all the standards to which you aspire are culturally determined, even though you are meant to believe you developed them yourself? Worse, you’re so intent on becoming the hero/heroine of your own story and (after minor setbacks) living happily ever after, that you fail to question what being ‘happy’ really means. Worst of all, being (or pretending to be) ‘happy’ is so integral to 21st century life that when you…

Power and Promise – Utopian Propaganda & Orwell’s Animal Farm

In the preface to his Ukrainian Edition of Animal Farm, George Orwell says that his reason for writing the novel was to reveal what he believed to be the Soviet myth underlying Socialism – the political and economic model that he wholeheartedly embraced. According to Orwell, nothing had caused greater harm to the Socialist movement in England than that the majority of English people so blithely accepted the ‘lies of totalitarian propaganda’, apparently incapable of assessing the true nature of either the Nazi or Soviet regimes (Orwell, 112). Propaganda, defined for this essay as ‘opinion management’ (Welch, 3), is oft…

Original Thinking

it’s 22 March 1921,
final day of the Cairo Conference,
last chance to determine the postwar future of the Middle East,
members of the British delegation have stopped for a photo-shoot,
to the amusement of all, Colonial Secretary Winston Churchill has just fallen off his camel…

“Our Tragic Universe” & the Fiction of Perfection – The Self-Help Industry Exposed

In Scarlett Thomas’ new novel, Our Tragic Universe, heroine Meg concludes that self-help books succeed by first making us feel bad about ourselves and then giving us the perfect fix.   It’s rather like Humpty Dumpty being pushed off a wall and broken so someone can make a fast buck putting him back together again.  According to Meg, the arenas in which we need help are endless: “You could learn, from a book, how to snare someone with an ‘exclusive smile’, how to set the agenda for any conversation you wanted to have, how to be the ‘chooser’ rather than…