Posted by: Sheridan Flynn | July 16, 2007

Who teaches creativity?

I recently read an amazing book by the author A. S. Neil titled Summerhill. This book documents the author’s life and experience working in a truly free school run by it’s own pupils. Around the same time a friend of mine sent me a link to a (TED) talk by an English creativity expert called Ken Robinson. The book which was first published in 1969 and the talk filmed in 2004 both touch upon many similar themes. The most obvious being creativity in childhood, but also; freedom, expression, self awareness, and conflict.

These two pieces remind me of my own childhood experiences growing up in a rigid education system which rarely taught the core human values of creativity and a self awareness.

Ken Robinson’s talk is funny, interesting, informative, and I certainly think it’s well worth checking out. The same can be said about the book Summerhill, which I highly recommend to any person who is a child, or was a child at some stage of their lives.

S.

Posted by: Sheridan Flynn | June 27, 2007

When Is More Ever Enough???

In the world we inhabit today having more of something, weather it’s food, money, education, sunshine, love, or control is rarely ever enough. And the strange thing is, we know this already. For years now we have been looking disapprovingly at our ever expanding, ever consuming, consumer planet and shaking our heads in a gesture of defiance. Yet now more than ever, we crave that which we do not have (yet). Since I became a coherent, responsible, respectable, member of society the day I turned 18 (21 in the USA), something has been occouring to me very very slowly. It seems to me as if we’re in a constant state of “Almost Thereness”. Constantly seeking fulfillment through overloading our senses, bodies, minds, and lives with a barrage of external forces. Sex, acceptance, work, people, entertainment, fear, power, excitement, Wanting to feel whole, free, part of something, or just okay, but never quite getting there.

And who would blame us for feeling this way? After all aren’t we bred to consume from an early age? Education systems, advertisements, TV shows, celebrities, governments, religious orders and corporations are all subtly telling us (thousands of times each day) how we should look, act, and feel. We are being told in no uncertain terms that we are lacking something and that we need to conform. Thus begins the cycle. We try to fulfill the projected image of ourselves or what we think the world wants us to be, and in doing so we loose the only thing worth having: A true sense of self. I believe the true self comes from the inside not the outside. Again, we all know this, but are we aware of it?

As a great mystic once said “Awareness, awareness, awareness”. You can never have enough awareness.

Posted by: Sheridan Flynn | June 21, 2007

Human Conditioning

The other day I sat down and watched the film Baraka for the first time. This amongst many other things had been on my To Do list for months. I think it was sandwiched somewhere between visiting Stonehenge and building a life sized working Lego model of the A-Team van.

The only thing I’m going to say about this film is, if you haven’t seen it yet, buy it rent it, steal it, whatever. Just watch it ASAP.

There’s been a lot talk over the years about how we process and handle our food, how animals are treated in a working environment, and how modern development has effected other species of life on this planet. Rarely do we look at ourselves in the overall picture and ask:
How has modern development affected me? How do I treat myself in a working environment? And how am I processed and handled on this earth?

I think this short clip from the film Baraka illustrates this thought beautifully.

Posted by: Sheridan Flynn | June 17, 2007

Thought of the Moment # 2

What happens to our bodies when our food, water, light, and air is conditioned?

What happens to our minds when we constantly look outside of ourselves for fulfillment and approval?

What happens to us when we are no longer content with being ourselves?

What are we trying to change? The way we feel about the world? Or the way the world feels about us?

What do the above questions have in common? Answer A B C or D below.

A: What’s the difference?

B: The word “What”.

C: Nothing whatsoever.

D: You.

Posted by: Sheridan Flynn | June 15, 2007

Thought of the Moment # 1

The following questions ran through my mind late this evening, I was sitting in my living room, thinking about my day.

How many wasted thought cycles do we have each day, each month, each year, in a lifetime? How does fear rule our actions, control our thoughts, overrule our instincts, and dictate our emotions?

Are we conditioned how to act and react? Are we bred to slave over data in the work place? Have our minds been turned in to computers? Have our bodies been bred to consume?

Are we drugged from childhood? Are we awake? and if we are, how do we know it?

Correct answers on a post card please, to be faxed to the above address at the end of this post. Overall winner will be notified by a dream. All entries must be in by April the 23rd of May.

Posted by: Sheridan Flynn | November 25, 2006

Expectations Vs Reality

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So finally after two weeks I get around to writing this blog, and as usual I’m not too sure what I’m going to write about. So, I guess I’ll just put my fingers to the keyboard and go wherever the screen takes me.

It’s frustrating when things don’t go the way I expect them to go. My expectations are usually flawless. They are exactly what I want to happen, or what I think will happen at the exact right time I want them to happen. Either way they are always perfectly correct. Right up to the point where reality steps in and and makes complete crap of my delicate fantasies.

All traffic lights aren’t green. More alcohol doesn’t make me a more interesting person, and that bloody square peg won’t fit into the damn round hole. This is where the pain usually kicks in. It’s like unknowingly walking into a man-hole (which I’ve only done once). You don’t know it’s happened till you’ve hit the floor and you taste the dirt.

Even as I’m writing this simple blog, I expect to be able to sit down and bang it out in about half an hour. Upload it, get a load of hits, bang out another one, and become an overnight success in minutes. The next thing you know, I’m sitting on David Letterman’s couch looking very serious, talking about the situation in the Middle East and laughing about how it all started with just one simple blog.

But unfortunately that’s not reality. Reality has habit of imposing itself when we least expect it or when we least want it. Sometimes that can be a real pain in the arse. Just ask the Brazilian runner Vanderlei de Lima, who was on course to win an Olympic gold medal in Athens. He was doing fine in first place, up until he was attacked by a freakin crazy Irish priest dressed in a green beret and red miniskirt.

It boils down to acceptance. I wish there some kind of acceptance pill on the market. It would make life so much easier. All of the pain and mental torment I go through on a daily basis would just vanish. I’d be looking forward to queues at the ATM, car alarms would sound like Damien Rice and Damien Rice would sound okay.

So that’s it I guess. Expectations are nothing but trouble and acceptance is the key to all of life’s problems. And how do I get acceptance? I don’t have a bloody clue! But If anybody out there knows please let me know. serenity@acceptance.biz

Posted by: Sheridan Flynn | November 6, 2006

Not finishing something I started.

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Ok in my first blog I asked some fundamental questions about the act of blogging. Overall I gained little insight and got few answers. In-fact my questions were met with yet more questions. One question in particular has been killing me all week, but I’ll come back to that later. The point is, is that I sat on front of my computer screen for little over an hour, and instead of listening to the latest legally uploaded tunes of Basement Jaxx on Myspace, or watching the legally uploaded videos of Bo’ Selecta on You Tube, I for once in my life, gave something back to the internet. Basically I began something. I finished it and the winner was me and (of course) the internet.

No sooner had I finished my first blog I was thinking about the second one. Well I’ll be honest I was thinking about the second one half way through the first. Anyway the important thing was that I was thinking about doing stuff, or (to put in another way), I was thinking about getting things done. And I was wondering to myself, once a blog had been started where does it finish? Where does it all end? What’s the goal? and what do I get out if it? Then a strong thought occurred to me (the killer question). If I had finished all of the things I had started in my life where would I be today? And just like flicking through the Argos catalogue a ton of images ran through my mind. A film director, a celeb chef, a TV personality, a well paid rich person, an academic in a tweed jacket, a free trade coffee drinker, a convicted arsonist, a father, a father of a good few kids by a couple of different women, or even the guy displaying cordless hammer drill in the Argos catalogue. Sure… some were good, some not so good. But now blogging was the last thing on my mind, as I was cursing my low attention span and lamenting over all of those lost opportunities.

Why didn’t I listen to that maths teacher back in 1993 when he was talking about some damn thing called the World Wide Web? Surely if I could have listened to the poor man for ten minutes, instead of grafitting my name on the desk with a compass I could have invented a Google / Napster type of thing and be a dot com billionaire by now. On the other hand I was counting my blessings. In particular discontinuing flying lessons a week before a plane in the flight school dropped out of the sky. And then out of the blue, like a cheesy conversation between Oprah and Dr Phil the line came to me. Is life about the journey or the destination? At the time I almost made myself puke, but finally the truth settled in.

So as I strive to bring this blog to some kind of conclusion you can gather I have drawn absolutely no definitive answers on any of the questions I have raised. And I guess that’s okay. It’s okay not to know the answers, it’s okay to do half assed job of something and if a job is worth doing it’s worth doing badly. And like the Quote of the Day on my Google desktop said this morning; “Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.” With this new slant on life my worst fuck-ups seem like my greatest achievements. I like this.

I’ll continue to write blogs. Why? Certainly not for the fame, money or the prestige (27 hits last week), but because it feels good to give something and expect nothing in return. Now there’s a paradox. It might be the theme of my next post.

S.

Posted by: Sheridan Flynn | October 29, 2006

My First Blog. Why?

For the past week I’ve been saying to myself. “One of these days I’m going to sit down on front of my computer and write a blog.” I’ve been thinking the subject will be something along the lines of… Me writing a blog, or what is a blog and what does it taste like? or who writes blogs who the hell reads them? I think I’ll go with the last one.

I wonder do people ever read other people’s blogs? I have a theory that people only ever read their own blogs and never anyone else’s. Most bloggers are unaware of this and think their work is being read by thousands of loyal fans. It’s kinda like singing in the shower & expecting a round applause from an audience in your bathroom.

On the other hand, what if people actually do read other people’s blogs? This is a more frightening and sinister scenario. What’s wrong with these people? Why would somebody want to spend three minutes of their lives reading some random strangers off-the-wall stream-of-conseousness crazy rant?

I heard a story during the week about an anonymous New York waiter who works in an exclusive Manhattan restaurant, serving New York’s finest (actors, orthodontists , and fashion gurus). For the past two years he has been writing a blog about his various shocking exploits from front of house and (of course) back of house. Anyway, sounds like a story line from Sex in The City too me, but the point is that, he has been offered a multi million dollar book deal on the back of his blogging activities.

Straight away being the cynic I am, I’m thinking to myself this dude is just some out of work hack journalist who can’t even get his work published in Time Out. He has assumed the identity of an unknown tell-all camp waiter in a fictitious studio 54 esque background to play out his dramatic story-lines. Basically he can write whatever he wants about whoever he wants, without fear of litigation. It’s just like The Rat Trap in that Shakespeare play. A play within a play. And it worked brilliantly for Hamlet, so I’ll say well done camp waiter dude, whoever you are. I still haven’t read your blog though. And to anyone who had read this my first blog, well done you have made crap of my theory, and any chance of a book deal?

S

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