Writing

A single Australian emu walking alongside a barbed wire fence in a field of dry grass

The Empty Nest Syndrome

I’m a man, but don’t let that throw you. I work full-time, write in my spare time, and I’ve raised three strapping young things to the verge of adulthood. I’ve been chief cook and bottle-washer, chauffeur, lawn-mower and friend-keeper. That’s because the mother of my children, my partner of 20-plus years, is a workaholic — in the nicest possible way, of course, saving her part of the world. She has just stopped working at the edge of 60 and has… Read more

A silhouette of four people against a star-studded night sky

The Mystical Experience

On TV the other evening I saw interviews with two people who’d had out-of-body experiences. They were both mature adults. One was a neurosurgeon who had, through the course of his work, heard numerous stories of people who had “died” and then returned. He was a complete non-believer until he himself “died” on the operating table. The other person was a genuine, gracious middle-aged Australian lady, telling of her experience in a matter-of-fact way. Interspersed with these accounts were segments… Read more

1935 sepia photo of North Bondi beach males in striped, full-body bathing costumes complete with bathing caps

The Shifting Morass of Morals

It is interesting to follow the current polarisation in society around moral issues. During political campaigns, moral issues are often revived as leverage for garnering votes. Gay marriage seems to come up lately as a wedge to define who is really “Christian.” It’s quite a spectacle. When I train students in legal and ethical issues, I first talk about morals so people don’t get confused about where they’re overstepping the mark. It is none of our business what other people… Read more

The author. The beach at Little Dip Conservation Park.

Where Has All The Magic Gone

I was walking along the beach on a beautiful spring morning in South Australia, feeling somewhat overwhelmed by the magic in the air, the kind that reminds you that you’re part of a great and mysterious universe. Being in my mid-50s, I felt moved to ask myself, “If this was it, if it all ended now, would that be enough? Is there anything left undone?” My youngest child has just turned 18, I’ve had a positive impact on some lives… Read more

Colourful block-long graffiti from the 2009 Brooklyn, New York, Art Under the Bridge Festival

The Gift of the Truculent Teenager

As an educator of teachers and counsellors, I never have to wait long to hear the next sentence that contains an expletive alongside the word “teenager.” Having raised three of my own, I’m not unrealistic about the challenges that they can bring. In addition to the expense it takes to keep them in operation, there are numerous aspects to deal with. We have to get used to the weekend nights out without much idea of what’s going on, when even… Read more

Asian woman sounding a white vuvuzela on a blurred crowd background

Leadership and You

For the most part it’s a sad and sorry world in terms of leadership. We look around, whether at work, in our religious and cultural institutions, or in the political sphere, and it seems no one can inspire the masses with vision and hope. Many who might have been able to lead were assassinated, literally or metaphorically. So what do we do? Bitch and moan? Opt for cynicism and despair? Maybe we can look at the situation through a different… Read more

Meditating in Bodhgaya

An Esoteric View of the 1960s and ’70s

Firstly, I want to make the claim that the evolution of consciousness is central to humanity’s task, which, by the way, is the development of freedom — refer to our creation myth with its starting point of eating from “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” and being denied eternal life and turned from the face of God. We were cut off, as it were, but not needlessly. The journey is long and it’s slow and it’s often… Read more

The Father-Son Archetype in Therapy

I was recently asked to deliver professional development to some counsellors and psychotherapists on the topic of “men’s issues.” I left my son’s football game to do so and found a gathering of about 60 people. Perhaps 10 of these were men and all but one or two of them sat on the periphery of the very large room. I started by reading a poem called Rain From Nowhere by Murray Hartin. It speaks of a man with a young… Read more