The Philosophy discussion group that I facilitate considered Confucius last week. Who would have thought that the topic would be so relevant – the 70th anniversary of Communism in China and the unrest in Hong Kong?
Some of the comments that came out of the discussion included: ‘Confucius spoke of unity but what we see in China today is uniformity’; ‘it is so difficult to examine an Eastern Philosophy when we (in the group) all grew up in Western democracies and can only try to consider Confucius’ (and China’s) ideas from a distance’ :
An article written (Why is Confucius Still Relevant Today?) for the National Geographic in 2015 interviews writer Michael Schuman, author of Confucius and the World He Created shone some recent light on where Confucianism sits with modern China. I did find him to have quite set ideas though.
Over the past week I became quite distressed at issues happening throughout the world and I know I am not alone. I have been looking hard for the positives but today I came to see I am powerless to change anything. I think I need to detach and let go … I found the quote below this evening and thought it to be relevant.
Sometimes surrender means giving up trying to understand and becoming comfortable with not knowing.
I did a blog recently about the Busselton Wildflower Exhibition and my involvement in promoting the event that was held last Thursday and Friday.
Below is a gallery of most of the flowers on show at the Exhibition. There are strict rules about what flowers can be picked in the wild and the quantities allowed so as not to impact on their sustainability for future years.
I found it impossible to choose just a few! Our local Geographe Community Landcare Nursery had some native plants on sale – the bottom few photos.
A week ago we arrived home from a short holiday to see family in the Top End or Darwin, Northern Territory. It is about 4,800km N/NE of where we live. We visited the Aviation Museum as you will gather from the photos above. I was really taken with the size of the B52 Bomber. It was a central feature and the other planes were placed around it. I actually bumped my head on it (trying to get underneath) and wouldn’t recommend it!
We also went for a drive of around 100km to Mary River on the Arnhem Highway. I lived in Arnhem Land for a stint in the 1980’s so enjoyed seeing the landscape once again. The ocean shots are taken from the The Esplanade park area in the City of Darwin (population around 150,000). To me the water looked a bit sinister with the knowledge it is crocodile territory.
The weather was wonderful. I was a bit amused about the newspaper article about the cool weather. It was much warmer than we were getting at home.
I have been thinking about motivation. There are some things I have no trouble doing when they need doing. There are other things, usually jobs I don’t enjoy much, that I struggle to find the motivation to do them. Examples include housework and gardening. There is no shortage of time to do these things.
I thought I would put the question to readers “What tools or strategies do you find helpful in achieving goals?” I have read lots of literature over the years and I know there are multiple books out there but I would really like to hear what has worked for YOU! Please share your experience with me.
Somethings I have tried include:
A ‘to do’ list
Breaking tasks down to smaller chunks
Breaking time down to smaller chunks
Do things as they need doing rather than let them build up
I hope you will get back to me with what has worked for you.
South West Exhibition includes hundreds
of rare and exquisite wildflowers
Now its 94th year, Busselton
Wildflower Exhibition is gearing up to welcome local enthusiasts as well as
visitors from further afield this September. The South West corner of Western
Australia is renowned for having one of the richest and most diverse flora in
the world and attracts visitors from around the State, Australia and overseas.
Exhibition chairman Barry Oates said it was an
opportunity to see spectacular wildflowers you couldn’t see anywhere else in
the world. “It is a truly unique experience and a great way for people to
connect with part of Busselton’s community and history,” he said. In
addition, Geographe Community Landcare Nursery’s Coordinator, Rod Cary will be
onsite to assist wildflower enthusiasts to learn more about the local
varieties. Mr Oates stated that the relationship with Rod and the Nursery is
highly valued for advice on Exhibition day plus assistance with accurate naming
of the diverse range of wildflowers.
The City of Busselton has been a long-time
supporter of the exhibition. Mayor Grant Henley said the exhibition highlights
a wonderful array of native flora, rich and diverse in the South West.
“Much of the flora on display would not be experienced by any one person
at any one site, so it’s a rare and fantastic opportunity to do so,” he
Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association’s Joint CEO/GM Marketing, Sharna Kearney said, “The South West region provides a rare opportunity to experience
exceptional concentrations of endemic wildflower species. You can get a close
look at a wide range of these wildflowers at the Busselton Wildflower
Exhibition as well as by getting out and about in the region.”
The exhibition is loved by locals as well as
visitors “One doesn’t have to be a gardening or wildflower expert to be
amazed at the beauty and variety of specimens on display” says Busselton
resident, Deirdre Chell. “I come back year after year and always find
something new to view or photograph” she said.
Wildflowers on display are chosen by people who have obtained licences from the Dept of Biodiversity,
Conservation and Attractions (Dept BCA) to pick wildflowers in the week of the
All pickers are conscious of the need to preserve
native flora and pick responsibly. Rare and endangered species are not picked. The
Busselton Wildflower Exhibition gives those unable to ‘go bush’ an opportunity
to see a great variety of specimens.
Australia’s South West, Chief Executive Officer
Catrin Allsop said that “Almost 80% of Australia’s South West’s plant species
cannot be found anywhere else in the world. In August through to November, more
than 8000 species of wildflowers and 300 species of delicate orchids are in
bloom, making it a popular and beautiful time to visit the region.”
Organised by the Uniting Church of Busselton,
the Wildflower Exhibition also includes the following:
display (Busselton Camera Club)
Community Landcare Nursery sales and advice
garden display (Geocatch)
Light refreshments will
be available throughout the day
Variety of stalls displaying
local produce and crafts for purchase
Bring your camera along to test your skill at capturing
the rare beauty of the flowers on show.
Place: Uniting Church Hall
and Grounds, 47 Kent Street, Busselton
Date: Thursday, 26 September and
Friday, 27 September 2019, 9am- 4pm
I am assisting in the promotion of the 94th Annual Busselton Wildflower Exhibition to be held on 26 &27 September 2019.
The Exhibition Committee and volunteers work in partnership with the Geographe Community Land-care Nursery Inc. and Coordinator, Rod Cary, a former TAFE lecturer in Margaret River. Rod’s scientific knowledge of native plant species is invaluable. He assists Exhibition volunteers with the accurate identification of wildflowers for display at the Exhibition. Rod is also available for the two days of the Exhibition to answer questions about the native plants and their requirements. Barry Oates, Chair of the Exhibition Committee, said the relationship with Rod is highly valued.
This amazing nursery is a not-for-profit community organisation, located at the Queen Elizabeth Avenue site in Busselton for the past 16 years. They look like being there for many years to come.
They are self-sufficient through plant sales for their daily requirements and they sometimes receive Government funds for special projects (a recent building was funded by the Royalties for Regions funding).
Some numbers to impress
The Nursery grows up to 90,000 plants each year.
They have around 80 volunteers with up to 60 assisting each week.
Volunteers may be retirees, people with disabilities (some with carers) and work-for-dole participants. Volunteers help each other with the tasks to be undertaken.
They have about 250 Australian native plant species available for wholesale customers plus there are around 300 species of cultivars (cultivated varieties) of native origin.
About 10% of sales are retail with the remainder of the plants sold wholesale to mining companies, local government, developers and small property owners.
Growing native plants from locally collected seeds produces much better results due to their genetic diversity – better chance of some of them surviving because of this diversity. They have had breakthroughs with a range of species.
***** I just love the wildflowers and really enjoy finding images to share!
Over the past few weeks we have been discussing David Hume (1711-1776), Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) and Georg Wilhelm Hegel (1770-1831).
I have to say I have found them at the same time, very hard work and yet brilliant. If I had just read about them in the book we are using I would never have grasped some of their concepts but having a group discussion about them was really stimulating.
David Hume spoke about causation and that we can never assume that because we observe something happening once, we can’t be sure that it will happen the same way again! Lots of talk about billiard balls.
From Kant I learnt about the Categorical Imperative – I understand it to mean that if I need to determine if an action is moral I need to consider how it would be if it was a universal law that the action be carried out by anyone/everyone.
And then there was Hegel. I found him the most difficult to understand and yet the most fascinating. Hegel’s philosophy covered such a wide scope. I think I almost understood his “thesis – anti-thesis – synthesis” but don’t ask me to explain it here. Again, the group discussion really helped my understanding.
Next fortnight we will discuss Bertrand Russell and I am looking forward to it!
We had two interesting discussions on Thursday based on information on Descartes in Tom Butler-Dowdon’s book, 50 Philosophy Classics. I also provided some handouts based on my research mostly on the internet. This morning’s group found Descartes famous ‘I think, therefore I am’ difficult to grasp. Also the idea that Descartes could discard all existing knowledge and experience and start again in judging what he believed to be true. Is it really possible to imagine that all your past ideas and experiences can be erased to the point that the only thing one can know is that they are a ‘thinking thing’.
Descartes goes on to to say:
“And the whole force of the arguments I have used here to prove the existence of God consists in this, that I recognise that it would not be possible for my nature to be as it is, that is to say, that I should have in me the idea of a God, if God did not really exist.”
We discussed that people throughout time and in different cultures throughout the world independently believe in some form of higher power. But does that really prove that God exists? It doesn’t disprove it either!
The afternoon group suggested that Descartes’ attention to God in his writing was more pragmatic due to the time (early 1600’s) in France. Many of his ideas in maths and science, astronomy could have been seen as heresy if he didn’t publicly pay homage to a belief in God. Galileo suffered being called a heretic for his advances in scientific knowledge so Descartes, as a witness to this, withdrew some of his writings (The Book of the World).
Primarily our group is about having a stimulating discussion and keeping our brains active. The participants know that I am not a philosophy academic and hopefully that enables them to think and to express valid views on the topics raised in the book. And we can get to know each other and start to build some social networks in our community.