LfE 15: A visit to Oxford and Thoughts in Slough


Hello πŸ™‚

I have been in Slough, a town near London, for around two weeks now. It has been restful to spend time with family, watch movies, go shopping etc. The Christmas and Boxing days were mainly an opportunity to shop. I hardly felt Christmassy, and that is sad because I like the spirit (and the decorations). I don’t see it in real life though. People idealise Christmas only in childrens’ movies. About the ‘magic of it all’. It’s too bad all that isn’t real. I especially like the tingling sound of something that flies or snow that gently falls. It’s a ‘magical’ sound effect.

After shopping, I had to try on some of my new stuff. I found to my great surprise, that I actually like trying stuff on. Dressing up, looking good etc. Is it because I’m suddenly more pretty now? Hahaha πŸ™‚ No, I think I’ve always liked the idea of looking good. Just that most of the time, I don’t like spending time on it. It’s too much effort to be an everyday activity. Plus, the worse you look ordinarily, the more distinct the difference when you make the effort πŸ™‚ And thirdly, I am almost averse to attention to appearance. I’d much rather the same kind of attention to ideas, skill and character. What’s the point of looking good when you’re supposed to be studying, listening or working with other people who are trying to do the same? You can look good at social occasions when people are supposed to look nice, want to feel all celebrant, and, if you care, other people scrutinise your fashion sense and general taste.

I visited Oxford today πŸ™‚

It was very pretty. Great architecture. It felt all brainy πŸ™‚ Hearing which famous person did what there. I felt good that I knew most of them from all the colleges. From literature to medicine. Cool people πŸ™‚ good looking Richard Burton, Rowan Atkinson, Margaret Thatcher, Bill Clinton, those guys who purified penicillin, Oscar Wilde, PB Shelly…are the ones I remember right now. But I’m sure there were more. It has a cool underground library…which is Humungous!! And our bus tour guide is good friends with Colin Dexter!! Wowee, I say!! (Colin Dexter… Inspector Morse? C’mon people!)

Apparently it is/was a very Christian university, so when Shelly set fire to the study, and gave out pamphlets about the need for atheism, he was thrown out. Now they have a statue of him being carried out from the sea where he drowned later in life, after becoming a great poet. JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis (authors of LOTR and Chronicles of Narnia respectively) with someone else, met on a cafe called Eagle and Child (or something to that effect). I’m guessing this has a popular following like the one in Edinburgh where Harry Potter was written initially.

I’m very happy to have visited. Unfortunately they don’t have any relevant research projects I can apply for after my masters. But much later in life maybe I’ll go there to teach or study literature, philosophy or religion.

Which brings me to some thoughts I’ve been mulling over. I notice the spread of Islam here in unexpected numbers. I know it is a young religion and tends to be aggressive and may calm down eventually. But wouldn’t it be better, if there was such a need for any religion to spread so fast, that it be one that propagates curiosity and compassion. Some religion that would save the earth from environmental disaster and violence? I think the world hasn’t had a spiritual leader for a long time. Have humans become sceptical of spiritualism over time? Note, I mean it as distinct from religion. Maybe we all need a whole new religion πŸ™‚ Those of us who think independently of religious teachings or dogma won’t need it but all those who want something to follow, look up to and believe in may prefer a recontextualisation of relgion to today’s world. Like, if the Pope declared it religiously important to save the planet, it may actually make a difference to a lot of environmentally exploitative companies who are led by ‘god-fearing’ people. People are so immersed in people matters and money that they don’t DO anything about things like Global warming. I mean, look at what happened in Copenhagen. Useless, hopeless!! It’s simpler than they think. Question- DO YOU WANT TO LIVE? Our decision to put money before nature leads to a world of polluted waters and land, disastrous climate changes that lead to failure in crops, extinction of species (okay let’s not start volumes)…We will die of poisoning (biomagnification), tumours (ozone- skin cancers), starvation, thirst, climate change induced natural disasters, crime or war from the rebelling poor. I’m sure there are more ways nature can strike us down for balance. The way we’re acting, we’re asking for it!

Well, that’s enough from me for now. I’m sure I’ve provoked some thoughts by this mail. Do reply. I’d be happy to hear from you. Have a fruitful, meaningful, happy, healthy and fulfilling year 2010. Live every moment well.

Peace, Light and Love

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