Relocating - please follow the link for new content

This archive will stay here - but you can find new posts (as well as this archive) at my new website which is at It's the new home for Stuart Eglin Online - including the blog, musings, and details of the publications and services which I have available. Take a look - it's worth a visit!

Friday, 28 January 2005

Download the first 100 entries

Yesterday evening I put together a booklet of the first 100 entries to this weblog. It is available as a download in pdf format. You will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to open it - but then you knew that already!

Click here to download it. Left click to open it in the browser, or right click and choose "Save Target as..." to save the file to your own computer.

I've turned the whole thing around so that it is chronological, rather than the reverse order that posts appear in on blogger.

I've also put a permananent link to it in the column on the right.

This online publication is the third publication by bluewater books. Enjoy.

Tuesday, 25 January 2005

100: automatic like a rain dance

This is the 100th post to this weblog. So, I thought it made sense (to me, at least) to post a poem from the 'poem for 30 days'. I'm near the middle of this sequence now. This poem was written this morning. It is raw and un-edited. I like it like that. I did just the basic work on it before putting it into the folder. When I get to poem 30 I will then go through the whole manuscript with my editing twist on things. I will probably then work on a number of versions, improvisations on the original pieces etc.

Anyway, here is the poem, and happy 100th to this blog :-)

12 – automatic like a rain dance

Tuesday 25th January 2005

I am looking through the hole in the rocks at
the end of the valley, across the green expanse
to the vivid yellow wall at the far end,
and the rain is dripping off the bricks onto the ground below.

everything glistens like it is alive and alight,
and voices are sounding in my ears, making noise
not words or fragments that I can understand,
or any language that can help with what I am here to do now.

from behind I sense the air moving, I feel the cold on
the back of my neck, a spirit moving past me, leaving
a message which I may understand some day, but
not now, nothing now but the sound of rain across the valley.

and everything calling to me as automatic as the night
that follows day that follows night, all in the sense
that has a natural order, trying to describe the wordless wonder
that sits at the foot of the wall, red it is, cross legged & holding on -

looking upwards to the clear blue sky, watching the sun
as it speeds across from one horizon to the other.
time shifting with no sense now, all speed and fast frame
smelling the sounds and hearing the colours as though I have grasped sense

from the jaws of meaninglessness, the glint of a highlight
in the eyes of the code, wanting it all to be open to my senses
now that I can see beyond the framework of the here and now
to the timeless wonder of a valley within my mind.

Monday, 24 January 2005

Listening and reading... Reiki Two

I'm listening to some pretty mainstream stuff at the moment:

REM - Around the Sun
Keane - Hopes and Fears

Both are in the charts - and both are albums that I'm enjoying listening to at the moment. I'm also delving into a group of greatest hits albums by The Eagles, Queen and Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel. Great fun. My three sons leap around the kitchen when we play Queen. And Steve Harley goes down quite well too!

Over the weekend I did my Reiki Two, which was a mind-blowing experience. For the car journey to and from I chose Sheila Chandra's ABoneCroneDrone which is a fantastic album of ambience, drones and chill-out sounds. It was absolutely the right music for the weekend's experiences.


Recently finished reading:

Michael Heppell - How to be Brilliant
John Kao - Jamming: the art and discipline of business creativity

and I am in the middle of:

Fiona Harrold - The 10-minute life coach
Diane Dreher - The Tao of Personal Leadership

Thursday, 20 January 2005

Poem: People who accomplish great things

I began a project a week ago. It is a poetry sequence called "Avenues of In Between" and is based on the idea of writing a poem a day for 30 days. At the end of the thirty days I will shift from creative out-pouring to critical friend and do some editing. For now, the poems are left at early draft to make sure that high output levels are maintained. It's a great process of unblocking.

Here is today's poem:

7 – people who accomplish great things

Thursday 20th January 2005

Those people who
Accomplish great things are
Nothing to the mirrors of beyond

I pamper myself with the dew from the morning
Open my eyes and let the first rays of sunlight
Paint themselves across my cheeks

There is nothing new to me now
Tiredness and empty openings reflect
Like the hopeful senses after an enormous rainfall

Seasons change like the passing seconds
Clasping everything in their grip
Nothing can escape their mystery

Everything can scrape through this
Cleansing as it passes by
Pushing all distractions away in its wake

The openings of each achievement
Are the reflections that we each can hold
Wondering why we came here in the first place

Planets astride the merciful
Weather fully in control
Open to each pull.

Wednesday, 19 January 2005

Numbers numbers

Just a really quick post to mention a couple of interesting numbers:

This is the 97th post to this weblog.
I started counting visitors to the site last July and have just passed the 600 mark.
Total number of hits for the same period is 820.

I'm powering on to the 100th entry....

Monday, 17 January 2005

Sigmund Freud - Leonardo da Vinci

"Leonardo da Vinci" by Sigmund Freud was a book which I bought at the local library in a sale. Every few months they clear books and sell them on at ridiculouly low prices. Amongst the stack of trashy novels and last year's annual books there are usually some real treats.

It took me a while to settle to read this book by Freud. I've read a lot of the works of Carl Jung. I did a PhD thesis which drew on the work of Jung (see here for an article from the thesis). In spite of the fact that Jung and Freud diverged hugely in their respective psychologies, I am also interested in the work of Freud. As ever, it is probably the middle ground which is the most interesting, rather than a simple "either / or" argument.

Freud's book on Leonardo da Vinci has an intriguing idea behind it. He sets out to carry out a psychoanalysis on Leonardo working only with the details of biography and the works that Leonardo left. This amounts to a significant amount of journal material as well as the paintings.

As ever with Freud, the book is beautifully written. The gist of his argument is that Leonardo was celibate and gay. Some of the arguments are stuck in their historical context. He makes some preposterous assertions about homosexuality - claiming that it can be caused by issues around bonding to parents. Ultimately the arguments put forward in the book lack coherence. They are just not entirely convincing. There is also an extended passage where Freud interprets a dream described by Leonardo in his journals, and draws some quite remarkable assertions. As so often with Freud, the sexual urge is given far too much emphasis.

However, even though the arguments don't stand up, I am intrigued by the basic idea that an analysis can be carried out on a figure based on secondary sources.

It probably doesn't make sense as a science, but as an art form I think it has endless possibilities.

So the book was well worth a read for the ideas it has generated even if it had shortcomings. I'm reminded of the early novels of Michael Ondaatje, particularly "The Collected Works of Billy the Kid" which combined fact and fiction really well. Many novelists have used this sort of technique.

It would be really interesting to see more of the interface between fiction and psychology in this setting.

Friday, 14 January 2005

Categories and contents

I sent an email to Blogger (my host) today, asking them whether there are any plans to incorporate category and contents features in Blogger. From what I can see, these are not available features at the moment. There is a hack way of doing this, by making individual category page posts comprising links to posts about that particular subject, then making the link to that category page into a permanent link on the blog. But that seems like a really clumsy way of doing it - every time you make a new post to the blog, you have to edit each of the category pages to which it belongs.

Anyway, I'm waiting for a response from Blogger on this one. Any of you readers out there have any ideas how to achieve this?

This blog is approaching its 100th entry so the idea of contents lists, and categories sounds like a good way to help with navigation.

Wednesday, 12 January 2005

General malaise

According to John Kao in his book "Jamming: the art and discipline of business creativity" Jimmy Carter used the word malaise to describe the state of Americans post-Watergate and Vietnam. In Kao's view this use of language backfired, because vague psychological language does not get to the mind-set of Americans.

Well, being British I guess I can say that the period from mid-December through to mid-January is on of general malaise. Recovering from the state of exhaustion brought on by chasing some sort of job future (not yet resolved, but getting there!)

Over the coming days I have heaps of things to write about - books read (Michael Heppell, Sigmund Freud, Rupert Loydell), music listened to (Keane, The Thrills, early Japan, Harold Budd, Patti Smith etc etc) and more besides.

For now, let's just say...I'm back!