Page 2 - The 16th Percy French Festival: Our Great Disconnect
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‘Where there’s no connection, there’s no protection.’

                    Will Storr, The Status Game: On Social Position and How We Use It, William Collins, Glasgow, 2021
                    No country can survive without a national identity and for  centuries, Ireland’s
                    identity was inextricably connected with Catholicism/Christianity. The rulers of
                    Modern Ireland, all its agencies including mainstream media are at war with our
                    country’s past and its belief systems, yet have failed to come up with a positive
                    vision for what Ireland actually is or should be. As a result today we now def ne
                    ourselves more by what we haw rejected and why? The truth is Christianity will
                    survive without Ireland, but Ireland without Christianity looks doomed.*

                    Transhumanists see the natural biological limititations of man as problematic and
                    advocate instead the use of technology to advance or supercede human effort and
                    suffering, deifying its advances in the process. Despite advances we are becoming
                    more and more discon nected from one another suffering energy depletion levels
                    as a result, primarily because we have substituted interaction for social media. Our
                    bodies exist on vibrational levels, love being the highest vibrational level. To maintain
                    our energy levels we derive it not only from each other or food but from what, where
                    or whom we centre our edif cation upon; the environment, workplace, education,
                    enter tainment and so on. If our energy levels are low our bodies suffer and low energy
                    levels are directly related to stress and disease; computers, TV, bright screens have
                    a negative impact on our energy levels and consequently our mental health.

                   ‘Our hunger to think and talk about the moral and the transcendent will never be sated’
                    according to Augustine. Elevated language; poetry, songs , epic stories, prayer all exist
                    on a high vibrational level, raising our consciousness and improving our mental health.
                    When the great books are re-contextualised into the sociopolitical and cultural worlds
                    of their time, by straining them of their mythical language they become more meaning -
                    ful, powerful and accessible to all.

                    Percy French captured some extraordinary landscape scenes around Ireland, all involv -
                    ing the light in all its cycles; rising, setting, bursting forth or spilling down on what
                    would often be a very mundane or ordinary setting, like a simple stream or wildf ower
                    gorse; it was as if he was saying ’this is who we are. this is the backdrop that begot us,
                    hold onto our connection with it. In the midst of some bad planning decisions during
                    the boom,we at the festival raised the question ‘what has happened our honourable
                    relationship with the land?’ Today we may well ask ‘is our discon nec tion from nature
                    linked to a corresponding spiritual diminishment as well?’ Alongside the climate
                    crisis is there not also a spiritual crisis, one directly related to our stewardship of nature?

                    Many centres for leadership and group conversation have disappeared throughout
                    Ireland, post of  ces, churches, community centres, acutely so in rural Ireland. The nature
                    of our daily connection and communication has changed dramatically with technology
                    and social media overtaking interaction. People now live alone, work alone, entertain
                    themselves alone, travel alone and are more fragmented and atom ised than ever before.
                    As a result lonliness has become one of the silent taboo epi dem ics in Ireland with its
                    impact on our mental and physical well being some what equivalent to diabetes
                    or smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

                      *     See James Bradshaw, ‘Ireland’s divorce from Catholicism has created a massive cultural vacuum’,
                      Position Papers, 28th October 2023, https://positionpapers.ie
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