• Playing God – Religious Experience in the 21st Century

    At the turn of the last century, the famous philosopher and scientist William James asserted “….the mother sea and fountain-head of all religions lies in the mystical experience of the individual”. James believed that the key to understanding such experience, was to be found in the manner in which our eyes and minds, together, created […]

  • The Secret Book of John

    Anger and The Secret Book of John Short fiction by Debra Moolenaar © 2010 “Tomorrow I shall have to tell them.”    Glancing down at my hands, I wince and stuff my wedding ring in my jean’s pocket.  After shuffling across the room, I practice silent arpeggios before the well-stoked fire.  A week before Christmas […]

  • Selling Spirituality – where on the package does it say no pain – no gain?

    Without qualification we accept that a personal sense of self (an ‘I’ that does things and a ‘me’ to whom things are done) is essential for a healthy, happy every-day kind of life. Yet throughout history mystics from all religions have sought the opposite experience of ‘no-self’ to grasp the ultimate truth – a reality […]

  • Rousseau’s Social Contract & Why the Rich Get Richer While the Poor Get Poorer

    My husband and I recently visited a charming 280-acre National Trust property nestled in the green hills of south Oxfordshire.  First built in the late Middle Ages, Greys Court comprises a substantial complex of sandstone buildings and walled courtyard gardens.  Enjoying coffee and cake in a long, low building said to have garrisoned Cromwell’s soldiers […]

  • The (Philosophical) Demise of Democracy

    Of late, there’s been much debate about the collapse of authority in the UK.   It would appear a consensus  of sorts has finally been reached this is not a good thing.  However the hope is the new government will sort it all out for us.  I wonder. In The Republic, Plato reminds us that just […]

  • “Know Thyself” but then what?

    Inscribed over the entrance to the Temple of Apollo at Delphi is the ancient Greek aphorism “Know thyself”.  Certainly good advice.  But before we can follow it, we need to dig deeper into the nature of the ‘self’ that we wish to know. This is harder than you  think.  In the West there is no […]

  • When is Fiction Art and Why Does it Matter?

    Art commands special status and support from states, corporations, and the public at large. Art is not just a matter of profits – indeed some art is extremely unprofitable.  Art is of enduring cultural esteem and concern. Yet given its importance, surprisingly there is no accepted definition of art. Most philosophers believe that simply being […]

  • Clegg & Cameron in Composite

    Typically used for astrological assessment of romantic relationships, a composite chart gives insight into the thurst of the combined energy of two people. The highlights of the composite of Britain’s two new leaders: (1) Libra moon (naturally adaptive ability  to smooth trouble situations and reconcile conflicts of opinion), (2) Jupiter in Leo (ambitious, warm and […]

  • Pluto & Politics

    An astrologer for whom I have great respect, once told me that Pluto transits are like psychic diarrhoea – they don’t feel particularly good but are absolutely necessary to clean out the waste which would otherwise kill us.  Never forget that Pluto is the God of the Underworld.  In the end, Pluto always wins. Throughout […]

  • The Duchess – past and present

    Researching for my new novel (Lords & Lies), my husband and I recently watched the film ‘The Duchess’ – which is based on the true life story of the Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire (an ancestor of Princess Diana). In her time (1757-1806), Georgina was beautiful, glamorous, and a trendsetter in fashion and politics.  She was […]