We need a song for Paris 2015

IMG_0939smImagine the power of millions of people gathered in cities and regions around the world singing a visionary song about the earth and all that lives existing in a new harmony together. And imagine this happening as a prelude to the climate change global summit in Paris in December 2015.

Music is an under-utilised resource in human communities today. Talk to whales, dolphins, elephants and birds, they know all about music as a tool to negotiate their common life, but then they are not saddled with words. Ian McGilchrist, in The Master and his Emissary speaks of music as rooted in the pre-verbal world and in mimicry. We hear someone singing something and we pick it up, we try, we join in and the great harmony develops. Music is not about notes on a page, but sounds of life, that communicate emotionally as well as intellectually. It is part of that vast implicit realm of life beyond words

Human communities have often been gathered together by music, as a particular song, or tune, becomes identified with values and emotions that people aspire to. It seems to me that we need this now in relationship to climate change and the whole raft of issues concerning our relationship with the earth.

Placard waving and dressing up can only do so much in trying to press a point home to those in authority. The world of demo chants is tired and terribly limited. We need to sing!

Who will compose a song for us that will truly catch the public imagination and inspire us for this moment? It could be that 2015 will go down in human history as the last chance that we had to avert catastrophic climate change.

So we are looking for a song, that can be sung in many languages. It will be a community song, not one that has to be performed by ‘stars’, but one that will be sung by everyone to express their shared feelings and values concerning the earth.

What do you think?



Encountering the Fire Within

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As there is a great fire within the earth, and a great fire in the sky, so there is a fire within every human being.

You can sense it when you are talking with someone, and the conversation suddenly goes to a new level. You might sense an energy or intensity arising. You are talking to this person about something that really matters to them. You have encountered the sacred. One of the most important things in any human life is to pay attention to this fire within us.

It is found in religious people and non-religious people. It is present in all ethnic groups and across every socio-demographic section of society. It is a common property of humanity. We know this space intuitively but do not often name it. It is a place that we treat with reverence. We approach it with great care.


Its dimensions include

  • our beliefs, defined as our theories about the way the world is and our place in it,
  • our values, being the things we care about beyond ourselves,
  • and our commitments, which make up the practical faith that we use to respond to the world on a day to day basis.

We need to search for harmony between the beliefs, values and commitments that we hold. It is a sad truth that, for many, this sacred space remains unexamined in our lives and is a place of inner conflict. We may hold beliefs we do not act on. We may aspire to a range of values, but fail to translate them into commitments.

The promise is that if we can truly find harmony within ourselves, whereby our beliefs, values and commitments are in tune with one another and with the divine, then we will experience a resonance within and abounding energy.

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