a). this website

The word ‘sumptuous’ comes from a Latin word meaning expenditure, which was adapted in C16th to refer to something on which much expense had been lavished or that had been produced at great cost. The dictionary definition of the word in its current use includes, ‘lavish’, ‘splendid’, ‘expensive’ – even ‘extravagant’ – but it maybe should also include an aesthetic dimension too.

An assumption in setting up this weblog is that the world – planet Earth, the places where we live, all the people and living things with whom we share this existing – is sumptuous! We could understand it as having been produced at great cost. Lots of striving, lots of stretching boundaries, brilliance and innovation, many deaths, disruptions and dissolutions, many sacrifices, a great deal of suffering, incredible heartache, numerous dreams, lots of work, miracles, a whole lot of money – you get the picture – have gone into the world to make it what it is today. I think it can reliably be described as special.

This blog suggests the world and its life is too special to waste.

Humans are in a unique position in history, able to unleash the power of exploding stars, able to communicate instantly across wide geographies, able to show compassion, create beauty and develop relationships with all manner of things. Mistakes happen, sure, and are often only understood as such retrospectively. Shit happens too. But another explanation for why there might be environmental degradation and social stress could be that people and the world around them are, plain and simple, just not valued enough.

So how to remedy this? Well, alongside good analysis and discussion, I’d suggest these attributes -

  • creativity, artistry, and imagination;
  • developing a sensibility of place;
  • developing ‘body awareness';
  • appreciating multiple perspectives and, in tandem, practising ‘systemic facilitation‘ and developing what some have termed ‘epistemological awareness‘;
  • appreciating history;
  • imagining possibilities based on things that already exist;
  • practising the ‘art and science’ of good conversation – see diagrams logged in the ‘good communication?‘ page – which, I think, entails being attentive to others and being open to revising one’s perspectives; and,
  • developing the crafts of good storytelling.

And I aim to reflect these in this blog.

(By the way, if you recognise the banner artwork, and know where it came from, then I’d be grateful if you’d let me know! I downloaded it from the www and can’t remember from where or whom… The full picture is of a nautilus.)

Thanks for visiting. If you’d like to contribute a post, get in touch – fmeynell [at] gmail [dot] com. And suggestions for how to improve the blog would be welcome.

5 Responses to “a). this website”

  1. archanaraghuram Says:

    Hello Dr.Frank. I chanced upon this page and found it really beautiful. I like the idea of earth being sumptuous. Maybe that’s why many people treat it like a sumptuous meal, to be consumed without care :-)
    This post reminded me of a Sanskrit prayer, to be told when you wake up in the morning.

    O mother earth, the oceans are your dress and the mountains are your chest. Forgive me for touching you with my feet.

    Nice thought isn’t it, to visualize the earth as a mother who has to be treated with care and respect for the love she showers on us.

  2. drfrank Says:

    Thank you, Archana, you’re the first person to comment on the thinking behind the blog – and this is a lovely prayer. Treading lightly is a good guide to living!

    As for careless consumption, my experience is that the more often I gobble and the bigger my meals become, the less appreciation I have for the quality of the food!

  3. Dave Says:

    It is said that if you but “Know” where to look, then you shall find information of value.

    Of course; in this day and age, and with the many internet “Forums” sprouting up like new blades of grass on a bright sunny morning in May, it is getting ever so difficult to filter out the “Trash”.

    I am but a Novice in the Philosophical Convent, and have recently taken a keen interest in a few of Platos’ writings, if they are in fact written by Plato?, and in particular, the ION dialogue, and how Socrates, the one who “really knows nothing about anything”, can, by the act of logical conversation, get the other person to clearly see, even though the might never admit, that whet they are saying about themselves, and obviously thinking, is not correct, in fact, it is quite the opposite.

    The ION dialogue can teach us all a good deal about ourselves, and how we all “Pretend” to be something that we are not, and let others “Inspire” us, as it is the easiest way out – it prevents us from having to use the God given brain between our two ears!

    I stumbled upon your c). communication, and must say that I was instantly attracted, like a paper clip to a magnet, to discover more about same. I have downloaded your Thesis, but to be honest, I am not from an academic background, and find it hard to digest such long documents, but I do like scanning them for very useful pieces of information :)

    Hope you do not take this up the wrong way, but I like to think that my approach lies, in what I call “Reality Philosophy” – to distinguish it from the “Practical Philosophy” approach, which having looked at briefly, does not appear to that “Practical” to me at all – seems to have too much academic connotations, if that is the right word to use?

    I like your site for its simple facts – even though I have not gone thru it bin detail, but as a general rule, and I do a lot of “Researching” as I like to call it :) first impressions usually reveal a lot about a persons character – which, leads me on to another interesting subject, that of self improvement, as, to me, “Real Philosophy” has a lot to do with self improvement, and the understanding of what “God” means to the individual, and the real meaning of the Trinity.

    This is very interesting stuff indeed, and ;lately, I am starting to see many crossings between certain historical figures, even though some of them have been “kept in the dark”, for certain reasons, no doubt!

    Charles Haanel and Nikola Tesla, to me, after my many many hours of “Research”, are tow of the most important people to have been live in the 20th Century – yet very few ever heard of them, and the academic community gives them but a brief acknowledgement :(

    I would like to hear your views on this Dr.F, and I really do have a desire to get to the bottom of some of the riddles of life, even if it is only for my own gratification.

    Regards & Thanks,

    Article43 – aka, Dave

  4. drfrank Says:

    Hi Dave, Thanks for dropping by and taking up the invitations to explore further. I’m afraid I didn’t entirely follow the gist of your comment… I’ll need you to clarify your distinction between ‘reality’ and ‘practical’ philosophy in order to understand your perspective more. And regarding my thesis, I wouldn’t expect many folks to find it pragmatic, in terms of it being a guide for living – the research was undertaken with a specific purpose in mind and for a specific ‘client’. I’m intrigued what Article43 might be!

  5. Janine Finlay Says:

    Hi there Dr Frank, I am a professional film maker currently making a doco about climate change and would very much like to get in touch with you to speak about Awakening Giants and some of your work on systems theory. Please do drop me a line at your earliest possible convenience. Thank you.

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