I’ve just completed a PhD in Philosophy from University College, Cork, in which I explored how we can respond to the ecological emergency (Timothy Morton’s phrase) in which we are enmeshed (Tim again). I’m looking for ways to disseminate the results of my research, so I’m currently seeing if I can turn it into a book focusing on the relationship we have to other biophysical systems as one of violence. I’m also looking for work opportunities (research, and lecturing) and I write (fiction, non fiction, this blog which I hope I’ll update more regularly now, and a blog about my thesis) and teach Yoga and meditation. And I have two kids, a partner, and a dog. I like being outside ‘in the wild’ though I completely appreciate a warm house, and around here, I’m afraid, I also need, and drive, a car. So I don’t live an exclusively ethical life. In fact, I don’t believe that ethical prescriptions are a way forward at all. I think the way is in every single activity we do, in every breath. The effort of realisation, or attention, to what we do is a metasystem that opens up the possibility that we radically accept just the way things are, imperfect, dynamic, and temporary. And that we use this metasystem to open up to alternative ways of responding to the systems that enmesh us, so instead of ignoring or accepting violence in our relationships (with one another, but also with food, and with stuff produced on the backs of slave labour, or using raw material that is extracted in destructive and exploitative ways) we take a breath and see what potential shifts might emerge so we can relate differently.
This may not seem much, given the depth of the crisis and catastrophic implications of our violent enmeshment. However, I think that the way, which is also the Way, the Tao, is an immensely powerful shift in approach. Instead of waiting until ‘then’, what we do right now, in this, and this, and this moment, is what changes everything.
This way requires an attitude of compassion, humility and forgiveness (we didn’t create this: it was a long time coming. But if we wake up now to the delusion of our narratives, we can shift our understanding, responsiveness, and responsibility fundamentally).
I practice realisation. It takes an effort to keep paying attention. I practice Yoga as a way of mindful appreciation of the organism that I am. I look forward to meeting you in this practice and if you are in Erris, please feel free to contact me about classes.
Before I lived here, I was a researcher in a refugee camp in Kenya; before that, I was a researcher in Oxford, and a therapeutic practitioner, a volunteer in various countries of the global South, and a long time before that, a ‘monitrice de ski’!