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Showing posts from February 14, 2016

Values Of The Heart

Dear Reader,

The growing gap between the ultra-rich and the rest of us has made headline news with the release of Oxfam’s latest set of damning inequality statistics, which make an irrefutable case for sharing the world’s wealth and power more equitably.

There are many ways in which this emerging call for sharing is already being expressed across the globe – including the ongoing advocacy for tax justice, the emergent focus on ‘de-growth’ as a catch-all framing for the great transition that lies ahead, and the urgent need to protect the basic human rights of desperate refugees in order to let “peace and love flow without borders”. 

A diverse group of the world’s largest NGOs and other progressive organisations have responded to this mounting injustice by forming a global alliance to fight inequality, in a bid to gather the momentum needed to achieve their stated objective of tackling the systemic causes of inequality.  

Meanwhile, the evidence suggests that 2016 will witness an unpre…

Sons, and Their Duties in Love...

Dear Reader,

Today being February 14th is an opportunity to reflect on "Valentine's Day" and its quite interesting source.

Saint Valentine is a widely recognized third-century Roman saint who - though little is known about him - is associated since the High Middle Ages (1100–1350) with a tradition of courtly love. Now that ("courtly love") in itself was a phenomenon of that period in that it is also associated with the troubadour tradition which is of an interesting source.

A troubadour was a composer and performer of Old Occitan lyric poetry. It is commonly believed that the troubadour school or tradition began in the late 11th century in Occitania (and subsequently spread into Italy and Spain and related movements sprang up throughout Europe). But reading Idris Shah's book The Sufis gives quite a different slant on the origin.

The true source of the troubadourappears to have come from European contact with a branch of the Sufis, who even today exist as a myst…