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c ie n t w is d om w h ic h speaks o f a d i v in e presence w i t h in each and every b e in g , a n d w i t h in th e w ho le o f the n a tu r a l w o r ld . A l l h um a n endeavo u rs a re to be ded ic a te d to th e re a liz a t io n o f th a t d iv in e presence. T h e quest f o r th e d iv in e can take many fo rm s b u t p e re n n ia l w is dom is at the source o f i t a ll. By r e t u r n in g to this source i t is possible to rea l iz e tha t th e E a r th is sacred, as are water, a ir and f ire . M u tu a l i ty , re c ip ro c i ty and in te rc o n n e c te d n e s s a re th e sacred p r in c ip le s u p o n w h ic h th e Temenos a p p ro a ch is based. T h is v is io n goes fa r beyond the ra t io n a l , mechanistic a n d m a te r ia l is t ic w o r ld -v ie w .

In s p i re d by th e w o rk o f K a th le en R a in e , B a rb a ra B la c km a n , a u th o r and a w om an o f im a g in a t io n , has ig n i te d th e s p i r i t o f Temenos in Austra l ia . She believes th a t “ th e w o rk o f Temenos is to b r i n g th e w is dom o f th e m any tr a d it io n s in to con te m p o ra r y fo cus.” Q u o t in g K a th le e n , B a r b a ra sa id , “A t th e u n iv e rs i t ie s we le a rn about B la ke, Shakespeare and Yeats, b u t a t Temenos we le a rn from th em .” She c o n t in u e d , “ I n the arts we need to s ift o u t th e g im m ic k y and the ephem e ra l f r o m w h a t w i l l touch th e h e a r t and w i l l in s p ire . A r t m a tte rs , p o e t r y m a t te rs ; th e y m a t te r m u ch m o re th a n the in s t i tu t io n s th a t house th em . I t is th is awareness th a t is Temenos.

“ Temenos means the h o ly g ro u n d u p o n w h ic h th e p h ys ic a l te m p le stands. B u t i t can also mean y o u r in n e rm o s t b e in g , w h e re y o u r in n e r most t h o u g h t takes p la ce , th a t is y o u r h o ly g r o u n d . W h e th e r i t is y o u r t im e o f m e d i ta t io n , o r y o u r t im e o f l is te n in g to music, o r be in g in the w i ld , th a t ’s th e Temenos area. L i fe is f u l l o f te m p t in g s ide-tracks, b u t one has to c e n tre o n e s e lf and focus on th e essence.

“ T h e ro o ts o f a r t and p h i lo s o p h y l ie in the a n c ie n t tr a d it io n s b u t the p e r e n n ia l w is d om is o f te n s u p p ressed. I n e v e ry age we have to r e in te r p r e t i t and re new i t . ”

W h e n we asked h ow a one-day event, a Temenos le c tu re to a small g a th e r in g o f people, c o u ld make any d i f fe r e n c e , B a rb a ra r e p l ie d , “A p o em is a v e ry sm a l l g a th e r in g o f w o rd s t h a t som e t im es can have e n o rm o u s im pact. Small is b e a u t i fu l . B u t we l iv e in a socie ty th a t has g re a t lies as its prem ises: th e m o re m o n e y y o u have th e h a p p ie r you w i l l be; th e q u ic k e r i t ’s done th e be tte r i t is; th e m a jo r i ty is r ig h t — these

A n Old Giant are a l l g re a t lies. We need th e voices, o fte n iso la ted voices, the small vo ic es, m in o r i t ie s , w ho w i l l p ro c la im the p o w e r o f th e poem as b e in g one o f th e tru e s t th in g s th a t c iv il iz e d beings p ro d u c e . ”

B a rb a ra lo s t h e r s ig h t w h e n she was y o u n g . B u t th e loss o f o u te r s ight p re c ip ita te d th e emergence o f in s ig h t . She makes n o a llow ance fo r h e r b lin dness. T h is was e v id e n t in th e way she lo o ked a fte r us, e n s u r in g th a t o u r f i r s t v is it to A u s t ra l ia was a success. She o rg a n iz e d th e Temenos le c tu re a t the A r t G a l le ry o f N ew South Wales as w e ll as ra d io in te rv ie w s , a le c tu re a t th e T h e o sophical Society, a le c tu re a t th e U n i v e rs i ty o f C a n b e r ra a n d a s tu d y

PHOTOGRAPH: SATISH KUMAR

w eekend a t h e r ow n b e a u t i fu l house, In d o o r a p i l ly , in K a n g a ro o Valley.

B a rb a ra ’ s fo rm e r h u s b a n d , C h a r le s B la c km a n , is an e m in e n t A u s tra l ia n pa in te r. T h r o u g h the g i f t o f some o f his p a in t in g s to th e A r t G a l le ry o f N ew S o u th Wales, B a r bara has been able to establish a n n u a l Temenos le c tu res at th e gallery.

F o r f u r t h e r i n f o rm a t i o n on th e Temenos L e c tu re in Sydney, w h ic h th is y e a r w i l l be g iv e n by K e i th C r it c h lo w , con ta c t M ic h a e l W a rd e l l (T e l: 02 9225 1873). For Temenos events in E n g la n d c o n ta c t S teven O v e ry (Tel: 01233 813663).

SYDNEY IS A COMPARATIVELY small city. T h e spectacular h a rb o u r

1 2 Resurgence No. 195 July/August 1999 is its h u b . T h e presence o f th is g rea t e xpanse o f w a te r g ives S ydney a s o o th in g a n d serene a tm o s p h e re . T h e b o a t- lik e O p e ra H ouse and the g re a t i r o n H a r b o u r B r id g e d om in a te th e seascape. I t is a g reat p i ty th a t the m o d e rn c ity p la n ne rs have made l i t t le a l low ance f o r trees a n d o th e r v e g e ta t io n to soften th e b u i l t e n v i ro n m e n t — th e obsession w i t h b u i ld ings, b u i ld in g s and m o re b u i ld in g s has d im in is h e d th e b e a u ty o f o ld S ydney a n d its m a g n i f ic e n t w a te r f r o n t . T h e p la n ne rs always seem to fo rg e t th a t trees are the lu ngs o f the city. People need trees as m u c h as th ey need shelter. T h e bo ta n ic a l g a r den, a ro u n d th e c o rn e r f r o m C ir c u la r Quay, is a pe r fe c t e xam p le o f the way p re -m o d e r n p la n n e r s c o n s id e red th e presence o f trees in th e c ity v i ta l to u rb a n w e ll-b e in g . W h e n natu r e and c u l tu re are ce le b ra te d side by s ide , b o th a re e n h a n c e d . B u t w h e n n a tu re is ousted f r o m the b u i l t e n v i ro nm e n t , c iv i l iz a t io n suffers te r m in a l decline.

T h e c om p e n s a t io n f o r th e re s i dents o f the c ity is th a t th e b e a u t i fu l B lu e M o u n ta in s a re w i t h in easy re a ch . We w e re d e l ig h te d w h e n S te p h e n C ross to o k us o u t to the bush and M a r t in T hom a s jo in e d us as o u r g u id e . As we stood a t a h ig h p o i n t n e a r K a to om b a we w e re b ow le d o ve r by th is la n d o f enchantm en t.

FIVE HUNDRED SPECIES o f eucalyptu s ( o r g um t re e s ) , snow g um o r g h o s t g um am o n g th em , o f a l l shapes, fo rm s and sizes c o v e r th e m oun ta in s . T h e e v a p o ra t in g o i l c re ates a b lu e haze w h ic h we had never seen b e fo re . Some p e o p le say th a t A u s t ra l ia has no Taj M a h a l , no C ha rtre s ca th ed ra l, no p y ram id s , no M o n a Lisa, b u t w ha t i t has is somet h i n g in c re d ib le . A u s t ra l ia has th e la n d , made sacred by the songlines a n d d re am in g s o f th e a n c ie n t dw e lle rs and n om a d ic people. T h e la n d o f A u s tra l ia i ts e l f is th e greatest w o rk o f a r t and the source and i n s p i ra t io n f o r a l l the arts.

T h e p re p a r a t io n s f o r th e O lym p ic s 2000 are e xacerbating the d e s tru c t io n o f the n a tu re /c u l tu re b a lance. H u g e c h u n k s o f th e B lu e M o u n ta in s a re b e in g q u a r r ie d to b u i ld new fa c i l it ie s to accommodate th e swarms o f spectators, sportsm en and w om en w ho are g o in g to invade th is c i ty n e x t year. T h is massive b u i ld i n g p r o g r a m m e is d is t u r b i n g th e c i ty l ife now and d am a g in g Sydney’s ch a rm and cohesion f o r ever.

L ik e T em enos, th e O ly m p ic s is a n o th e r g o o d G re e k id ea , b u t be cause o f th e g lo bal scale o f p re sentday O ly m p ic s , i t has becom e a n ig h tm a re . T h e b r ib e ry , c o r r u p t io n and p o l i t ic k in g b e h in d th e scenes to becom e th e ve n u e f o r th is w o r ld event are n o to r io u s . T h e d o p in g and d ru g - ta k in g am o n g th e ath le tes are a n o th e r dangerous d e v e lo pm e n t. I t is tim e to r e t h in k and to re s to re the o ld id ea l o f th e O lym p ic s as a celeb ra t io n o f th e y o u th and prowess o f the c ity and n a t io n w i t h in th e i r own bo rd e rs . I t is t im e to a b a n d o n th e c om m e rc ia l iz ed , c o r r u p t a n d c o r r o sive c om p e t i t io n o f s p o r t on th is g igantic scale.

TASMANIA WE WERE MET AT H o b a r t a i r p o r t by M a rg a re t S teadm an w h o w o rk s f o r the Tasm anian E n v ir o n m e n t C en tre . For the last t h i r t y years th is cen tre has in fo rm e d and educated people a b o u t th e im p o r t a n c e o f k e e p in g Tasmania w i ld and b e a u t i fu l .

M a r g a re t S te a dm a n , to g e th e r w i th M a rg a re t W ood and a n um b e r o f s ta f f a n d v o lu n te e r s , m o s t ly w om en , have devoted them selves to keep in g people a le r t to the u rgency and s u p rem a c y o f e n v i r o n m e n ta l concerns. I t is to th e c r e d i t o f the A u s tra l ia n g o v e rn m e n t th a t th e y are p a r t ia l ly f u n d in g th is a dm ira b le o r ganization.

We had h e a rd o f Tasm ania ’s g re a t and successful cam pa ig n to stop the d a m m in g o f th e F r a n k l in R iv e r in th e 1970s. We h a d h e a rd o f Bob B ro w n as the c h am p io n o f th e cam p a ig n . A n d we had also h e a rd o f the T a sm a n ia n W i ld e rn e s s Society s p e a k in g on b e h a l f o f th e n a t iv e p la n ts and anim a ls w hen the rest o f th e w o r ld was c o n c e rn e d w i t h th e w e lfa re o f h um a n society only. T h a t was lo n g ago. N ow to come to th is le g e n d a ry is la n d , a n d see f o r o u r selves w ha t a magical place i t is, f u l f i l le d a lo n g -h e ld d re am .

A g r o u p o f fo rm e r S chum a che r College s tudents and fr ie n d s to o k us th r o u g h H u o n v i l le and Geeveston to th e B ig T ree Walk. We s tro de a lo ng th e H u o n R iv e r in re g r o w th r a i n f o r est w he re f i r e is an essential i n g r e d i e n t in th e ecology o f re g e n e ra t io n . Some seeds c a n n o t g ro w u n t i l f i re has s p l it th e seed-case. T h e swamp g um , th e “ o ld g ia n ts ” , as th e ta lle s t trees are ca lle d , w e re as h ig h as 300 fee t, g o in g b e y o n d th e c lo u d s and re a c h in g f o r heaven its e l f . I t to o k te n o f us, s t r e tc h in g o u t o u r a rm s and j u s t to u c h in g f in g e r tip s , to em b ra ce one o f these tre es. As we w a lk ed a lo n g th e r iv e r bank Angela B a in p o in te d o u t th e r a r e H u o n p in e , specific to th is re g io n . I t is one o f th e s lo w e s t -g ro w in g trees in the w o r ld and consequently one o f the most re s i l ie n t a n d lo ve ly o f woods.

We w e n t o n to th e H a r tz M o u n ta ins N a t io n a l Park w h e re th e w o n d e r f u l w i ld W a ra ta h g row s . T h is v iv id re d f lo w e r is also called Telopea, w h ic h means “ seen f r o m a fa r ” . T ru e to its nam e i t stands o u t f r o m its s u r r o u n d in g s a n d is u n iq u e to A u s tra l ia . We m ade o u r way u p to a h e ig h t o f n e a r ly 1,000 metres w he re L a k e O s b o rn e sits in a g la c ia l t r o u g h . We w e re b lessed w i t h th e w ea th e r: a cloudless b lu e sky a llo w ed the s p r in g sunshine to w a rm us generously. Beside th e s t i l l w a te r o f the la ke we w e re s p e l lb o u n d ; r e s t in g u p o n th e ro c k s we w e re s t ru c k speechless. I n those m om en ts we e x p e r ie n c e d ecstasy. T h e w a te r, th e ro cks, th e s tu n te d trees, th e sw im m in g t r o u t , th e s tu n n in g v iew o f the H a r t z m o u n ta in s a n d M o u n t W e l l in g to n in th e d istance a l l m e lte d in to one a n o th e r and we were in the la p o f th is to ta l u n ity , en tra n ced and e n ra p tu re d .

TASMANIA IS A tre asure house conta in in g w i t h in itse lf th e w ea lth th a t w i l l n o u r is h th e E a r th even w h e n th e u rb a n conglom e ra te s have fa l le n to ru in s . T h is small s o u th e rn is land can set an e xam p le to the w o r ld o f h ow to l iv e sustainably and en jo y the w i ld b e a u ty o f th e m o u n ta in s a n d forests and yet f u l f i l h um a n c re a t iv ity. T h e p r o je c t o f th e in d u s t r ia l m in d to c o n q u e r n a tu re and subdue the w i ld is b o u n d to b r in g tears to p re sen t and fu t u r e generations. T h e o n ly sensible course fo r h um a n i ty is to re l in q u is h its a r ro gance and super i o r i t y and a p p re c ia te th e in t r in s ic va lu e o f a l l l ife , a ll creatures and all aspects o f n a tu r e ’s g ra n d e u r . •

A u s t r a l ia n s can n ow pay th e ir s u b s c r ip t io n to: Tasm an ia n E n v i r o nm en t C en tr e I n c , F ir s t F loor, 102 Bathurst Street, Hobart, Tasmania 7000. Tel.: (03) 6234 /5 5 6 6 . Fax: (03) 6 2 3 4 543.

Resurgence No. 195 July/August 1999 1 3