Spiritual Talk

The Earth seen from Apollo 17The people of Paris are trying to come to terms with what happened on 13th November.  

There is a palpable sense of generalised trauma in the city.  People are insisting they’re not scared, but the truth is that they are.  Even my most sociable friends, the ones with whom I had been enjoying nights out at cafes and restaurants, have gone to ground.  People are not going out.  People are not even going out for a walk.  Events are being cancelled.  Everyone is on edge.

For myself, I have been reflecting on the matter of free will.  The free will of the attackers to do what they did.  What does free will mean in the context of the spiritual practices in which I engage every day?  What does the fact that subject is object and object is subject mean in the face of someone with a Kalashnikov shooting to kill?  I haven’t found an answer to this. Continue reading

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Holes in windows, flowers on pavements and tears in the streets

Candle burningToday I walked down into town for the first time since Friday night’s horror.

The direct route takes me past one of the crossroads where two bars were targetted, into the Place de le Republique.  As I approached the junction red and white police tape made clear where the killing zone began.

Crowds of people were gathered in the road.  The two bars were diagonally opposite each other and next to one of them was a launderette which had also been shot into.  The windows of the three establishments had multiple bullet holes in them and the chairs inside the closed terraces were still piled up in chaotic arrangements.  A couple of policemen wandered discreetly from one side of the junction to the other, hands on rifles. Continue reading