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" Live out of your imagination

not your history "

Stephen R. Covey

Earth Cinema Circle

August 3rd, 2008

See the best environmental films, and support the filmmakers making films that make a difference

In addition to seeing films otherwise difficult to find, joining Earth Cinema Circle gives you the pleasure of knowing you are helping to support dozens of independent filmmakers from around the planet dedicated to using their art to get out the message on subjects they care about the most: global warming, saving the planet’s natural treasures, wildlife, ecosystems, green living, alternative building techniques, sustainable architecture, solar power and more… The support that these filmmakers receive from you through your support of Earth Cinema Circle is an important contribution to their ability to continue to make films that make a difference.

Environmental Films selected to educate, entertain and inspire you to get involved.

From all the films we screen, we select the ones that meet our mission: to educate, entertain and inspire you to make a difference.

See: www.earthcinemacircle.com

The Alchemy of Celebration

August 3rd, 2008

We have just returned from the Order’s summer camp and as always it was a fantastic transformative experience. The regular group meditations at 7am, 12 noon, 5pm and 8pm created points of stability for those who wanted to be still. Ronald Hutton, Caitlin Matthews and I gave talks through the week which provided food for thought and for deepening our experience, while all the while the spirit of ‘gathering’ – of this Lammas time of harvest – continued with old friends meeting and new friendships being made. We had a mammoth ‘Wide Game’ involving all the kids and many adults which lasted for hours and put on three of Chaucer’s Tales in a play which culminated in the ‘camp orchestra’ singing an extended version of ‘John Barleycorn’ complete with ‘Om’ chants intertwined.

It’s hard to convey the powerfully alchemical feeling of the experience that seems to occur on an OBOD camp. You know that a lot has changed and shifted – you feel transformed. But putting it into words is hard.

I was sent an essay on the phenomenon of ‘Fire Alchemy Dances or Circles’ which I suspect evoke similar feelings and you can find more information here. Also see Luc Sala’s detailed exploration of Fire, Alchemy and fire rituals here.

There’s also a film clip about it which conveys something of the feeling of an OBOD camp too, so here it is:

(Just to be clear – this is not a film of an OBOD camp, but of a Fire Alchemy circle as mentioned above)

Seven Degrees of Separation

August 3rd, 2008

A US study of instant messaging suggests the theory that it takes only six steps to link everyone may be right – though seven seems more accurate.

Microsoft researchers studied the addresses of 30bn instant messages sent during a single month in 2006.

Any two people on average are linked by seven or fewer acquaintances, they say.

The theory of six degrees of separation has long captured people’s imagination …

The idea of six degrees of separation was conceived by US academic Stanley Milgram, after experiments in which he asked people to pass a letter only to others they knew by name.

The aim was to get it, eventually, to a named person they did not know living in another city.

The average number of times it was passed on, he said, was six – hence, the six degrees of separation.

However, in July 2006, Judith Kleinfeld, professor of psychology at Alaska Fairbanks University, went back to Milgram’s original research notes and discovered that 95% of the letters sent out had failed to reach their target.

She suggested that the six degrees theory might be the academic equivalent of an urban myth.

The Microsoft researchers said that, to their knowledge, their study had for the first time validated Milgram’s theory on a planetary scale.

From the BBC website. Read full article here