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Personal notes...
Every man has a Utopia in his head. Give me some idea of yours. – Anon.
singing together
Years ago I heard the great British zoologist Desmond Morris explain
WHY 99% of people want to live in peace.
He said it is an 'instinct' evolved from the animal kingdom:
The lion won't casually pick a fight because he knows
that while he may win the fight he could die from his wounds.
Philosophic Living
What does it mean to live a philosopher's life?
Or Plato's Good Life?

Interview with Maireid, by Jane McNab.
The Observer, Issue 96, April 2014,
Quarterly journal, School of Philosophy, Melbourne
See more interviews with Maireid here

My early interests include readings in American, Australian, and Chinese history. In 1991, I began exploring early European history from the "Celtic" Irish perspective. Briefly, I began 'mapping' this history because I needed to 'go deeper' into my personal cultural 'memory' in order to reclaim my voice after a traumatic divorce: following a career promoting the vision of other artists, I needed to refresh my own sources of inspiration.

During that quest, one resounding question came to light:
What happened to the concept of Personal Sovereignty?

What happened to the sovereignty of those ancient people and their intrinsic relationship to their lands which had thrived on the Western rim of Europe before the first incursions of the Roman Empire?

It's a riveting history—the slow erosion of the concept of The Commons via 'dictatorship' by religious dogma and minutely complex laws around land ownership "in perpetuity" before, during, and as a consequence of The War of Religions.

As stated on the About page, in 2006 I established Global Arts Collective (GAC) as an auspice for the Anam Cara for Tara 'arts action' in support of the campaign to preserve the Hill of Tara environs, in Co. Meath, Ireland. Thousands of arts practitioners around the world tried their utmost to have the M3 TollWay diverted. They failed. But the campaign opened my eyes to the power of the real estate industry.

We live in interesting times.
Have 'times' ever been any easier? Wouldn't that be why humans seek a 'higher' quality of life? And why we consider it our duty to support and promote 'healthy' human advancement on what we perceive to be the best terms?

Key Issue: The intrinsic connection between health, land, and economic wellbeing.
I began examining economic history when we were contracted in April 2007 to work on a documentary film on the subject of land speculation. That's when I discovered that land speculation is the central theme across the history of economic thought. The problems caused by European feudalism and the enclosure of The Commons led to the concept of The Law of Rent aka Economic Rent: a superior paradigm-shifting economic theorem that impacts every aspect of health, justice, and freedom. Therefore, I intend to continue showcasing the research and analysis of those scholars and organisations dedicated to promoting sustainable health through economic wellbeing: tax reform is fundamentally political.

Maireid Sullivan
GAC Founder and Curator

Maireid

 


Soaring
Lyrics by Mairéid Sullivan (1992)


Soaring high o'er swirling winds,
gazing down on our shining globe,
hued in the sun, singed with fire,
the tilt, lilt, lull of the mind's eye.

Sanctuary calls from a far off time,
anchor deep, hope released,
riding the tide, compelled to ascend
and leap out with a shimmering soul.

Solitude waits for the fullness of time:
unspeakable love, passionate voice
calling out to the sighing earth
to lips, eyes, heart of all I can hold.

A poet I'll be, a child, very old,
looking afar beyond our time
for innocent hearts, penetrating mind
unfolding the songs of the ages.

Everyone is meant to watch, most of all ourselves
Re. social media and privacy matters
By Mairéid Sullivan

As a young woman living in Dublin, Ireland, I had an important insight while reading John Montague's prose poetry book, A Slow Dance * —where he describes a man dancing passionately—within full force of the elements: thunder, lightning, quaking earth, antlered trees—culminating in the line: No one was meant to watch, least of all himself. In a flash of insight, I saw these words as a description of pre-conscious humanity—and that the opposite 'consciousness' must mean that everyone is meant to watch, most of all ourselves

Since then, I've gauged developments in communications technology by that insight: we are growing in consciousness on the back of digital technology—made freely accessible to the public domain by public-spirited people such as Sir Tim Berners-Lee the developer of html and http, aka the World Wide Web, who believes that by uploading more "raw data" we can prevent the enclosure of the internet:
What do we want? Raw data!
Watch Tim Berners-Lee's TED.com lectures here.

Still, 'monopoly' forces are 'at play' to enclose and monopolise the internet 'commons' too, and so we must help each other identify the on-going agendas that 'enclose' and restrict our hard-won freedoms.

I am not advocating an 'us vs them' approach. I'm suggesting that by coming to understand these processes and motives we are better able to stay healthy.

(Here is an overview of laws associated with internet freedom.)

"In fact, it's the arts that make the oxytocin get secreted because a ritual ceremony is nothing without its arts."
Ellen Dissanayake


Music is a gift!

by Maireid Sullivan
1994

My journey as an independent artist is a testament to personal healing, and learning to follow intuition.

Over a lifetime spent in coming to understand the impacts of historical 'turning points' in shaping our lives, I know that our choices shape our future reality: "Growing up" is about acknowledging the importance of exercising Free Will—and we will always have the 'tools' at our 'fingertips'!

Every person has a choice and a duty to take truthful 'action' and we are empowered when we find creative ways to express the love and gratitude we all tend to keep hidden—in abundance—even from ourselves.

I am one person and one person can make a difference.

Over my lifetime, I’ve been blessed with many opportunities to speak up and sing out before great and small gatherings. I feel 'charged' through sharing the evocative feeling and beauty of ancient cultural concepts in traditional songs—along with my own expressions of poetry and song.

Because I see myself foremost as an artist and communicator, the themes in my essays, poetry, and songs reflect on contemporary issues. Every learning experience is a treasure. To paraphrase a Sufi saying, there are as many ways to reunite with the spiritual source as there are breaths of individuals. I strive to retain my independence while working consistently to 'contribute' to nurturing empowerment for everyone!

Every day I see 'magic' happen before my eyes. I experience time as a constantly interweaving web of relationships.

Five practical steps toward a fulfilling creative life
by Maireid Sullivan

1) Spend more time in nature
Observe how very small children play with each other—like kittens, softly falling against each other, running, laughing, yelling, —fully experiencing their bond with the physical world. When nurtured by attentive loving parents, children master a capacity for harmonious interplay, —singing, dancing, and the qualities of joyous sharing.

Engaging in activities that feel good. on an intrinsic level. really are good for our health—like the feeling of the afternoon sun warming bare skin. For example, barefoot walking is emerging as an essential element to good health. We now know that walking barefoot in nature, on the ground, sand, or water, transfers the Earth's electrons into the body. This is known as Earthing, aka grounding, grounded consciousness, or holistic consciousness.

I place much emphasis on reclaiming our Heritage of Joy: By focusing on 'understanding' nature and the processes involved in 'creation' we come to understand that the essence of creation is the 'expression' of orgasmic joy. And, this is going on all the time in nature, so when children interact with 'wild' nature they viscerally participate in this process, and they never forget it.

In his article, Housebroken, George Monbiot asserts that there's a second environmental crisis, just as potent as the first.

The remarkable collapse of children's engagement with nature—which is even faster than the collapse of the natural world—is recorded in Richard Louv's book Last Child in the Woods, and in a report published recently by the National Trust.
...
Without a feel for the texture and function of the natural world, without an intensity of engagement almost impossible in the absence of early experience, people will not devote their lives to its protection. >>> more

2) Consume more nutritious foods
High energy comes from absorbing nutrients that come in the purest food sources, such as whole unprocessed home-grown, organic or Bio-Dynamic food. Acidosis is caused by low oxygen uptake. The first symptom of acidosis is inflammation; The second is depression; The third is immune system breakdown. By maintaining body pH slightly above 7.4, cancer cells become dormant and at pH 8.5 cancer cells will die while healthy cells will live. Learn more about maintaining pH balance here.

3) Clear away clutter
Make room for a sense of personal spaciousness and set aside 'quality' time for contemplation: music, painting, reading, writing, creative thinking, visioning, organising your 'stuff' —you name it—organise it.

4) Deepen commitment to collaborative community 'arts' practice
A life dedicated to 'spiritual' freedom is rewarded with enlightenment—perception of the eternal nature of the human spirit leading to compassion for others, because we now know that we are all connected. And we know we can't really 'know' others, let alone 'change' others, but we can invite others to join us in celebrating the infinite interconnectedness of all life systems—and the precious gifts of our short lives!

5) Study economic history
Frank deJong once said that it takes the focus of a Ph.D. to understand Classical Political Economic Theorem. What he really means is that serious focus is required to see through the confusion in mainstream economics that clouds-over the central cause of poverty and the rat-race that is undermining public health: the 'practice' of land speculation that has led to distortions in 'Free Market' economic models.
You can read about this history here—Economics Matters

And, we know that learning promotes healing!

Social "Netiquette"
No one person has the last word on anything. Everyone comes to knowledge from the perspective of personal life experience. We're constantly being challenged to think more carefully—more deeply—to reach creative insights—dreams, stories, strategies and reality overlapping—the euphoria of success. I recently came across the psychiatric term, 'Personal Delusional System' which applies to the capacity we all have to think, basically, what ever we choose to think. Obviously, we run into conflict when we disparage each other's perspective. Therefore, while debate and argument can be productive, it would be folly to try to justify blatant criticism of someone for not 'possessing' the same information that someone else has garnered over a lifetime. That would be a challenge to the individual's right to exercise Free Will, in FREEDOM —a challenge to personal sovereignty.

This is my simple religion:
There is no need for temples and no need for complicated philosophy. 
Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.
 
His Holiness Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet

Selected essays and reviews
See more songs, poems, essays and articles, with selected free mp3s here


Review
‘Convicted on a Comma’, explained perfectly
2016
Haunted by the scale of barbaric atrocities unleashed by imperialist colonisation in the Congo and later in the Putumayo, Colombia, Casement aligned with the Irish ‘freedom fighters’ who believed the Irish could achieve freedom from the scourge of British colonialism >>> continue...


Review
Reflections on Poems of the Rising
2016
by Maireid Sullivan
A response to social justice issues raised by the poetry reading, A Terrible Beauty is Born – Poetry of the Easter Rising, 15 April 2016, Melbourne, Australia.
The readings of poems by those immediately caught up in the Rising attempted to penetrate the emotional dimensions around ‘what really happened’ that fateful Easter 1916 in Dublin. The feelings expressed by the poets of the time brought home the anguish that drove these young men.
 
All were at a pivotal point in their lives when they refused to ‘bow’ to a future under exploitative foreign domination – the heartless justification of land confiscation via habitat destruction, blatant genocide, and massive dislocation of their own people – a tragedy still unfolding around the world today. The presentation offered a ‘template’ for understanding and acknowledging the ‘good’ intentions of ‘freedom fighters’ throughout history and into the future! We all know we can’t go on fighting, and we know that the ‘root cause’ of the problem is still, land confiscation – and speculation. What will happen when a growing number of 20 to 30-year-olds today cannot purchase a home? Who will they turn to when it is their turn to cry: ‘Our demands most moderate are – We only want the Earth!’ >>> continue...


Review
A ‘Virtual Reality’ Tour Of Ancient Ireland
2016
by Maireid Sullivan
Lora O’Brien: A Practical Guide to Irish Spirituality
Wolfpack Publishers (2012)
Beauty and personal sovereignty – every moment spent in acknowledging beauty is an act of liberation: It is the act of breaking down the walls that separate us from beauty that truly releases us to experience freedom. The Digital Age is a great equaliser because it encourages innovative thinking. The term Silo has emerged as a useful metaphor to highlight isolating systems – from business practice to religious practice. The argument is that those who work in a ‘siloed’ environment operate in isolation, and are forced to adopt and promote narrow concerns that stifle personal growth and innovative thinking. (We now know that learning promotes healing.) Lora O’Brien has developed THE perfect visualisation guide to bridging imagination and logical thinking: long-standing Irish cultural ‘silos’ have become transparent.
>>> continue...


TRIBUTE to the music of Gráinne Yeats (1925-2013)

2013
By Maireid Sullivan
Legendary Irish harper, singer, and historian Gráinne Yeats passed away on April 18, 2013. The Irish Times published her death notice here.
Gráinne Yeats was the first professional musician to revive and record the ancient Irish wire-strung harp. Her beloved husband Michael Yeats (son of W.B. Yeats) died in January 2007. Their daughter Síle, journalist and producer at RTÉ, died in September 2007.  She is survived by 2 daughters, Catriona and Siobhán, her son Pádriag, and grandchildren. I had the great honour of conducting extended interviews with Gráinne on two occasions. First in March 1999, for my book Celtic Women in Music (1999)
She was in her mid 70s when I interviewed her again at her home, in Dundalk, Ireland, in October 2000. To read the interview and watch the YouTube video excerpt from the October 2000 interview.
>>> continue...


What Has Happened to Ireland’s Sovereignty?

2012
By Maireid Sullivan
The campaign to redirect the M3 tolled motorway away from the Hill of Tara, in Ireland, marked the beginning of my understanding of land banking and the speculative developers' 'boom-bust' business model. From the beginning of the Celtic Tiger era, the Irish Diaspora has witnessed speculation-driven economic corruption and political self-aggrandizement on levels beyond imagining. Community concerns have been vindicated by the Mahon Tribunal Report. After 15 years of hearings (1997 to 2012), The Tribunal of Inquiry Into Certain Planning Matters & Payments has uncovered corruption affecting 'every level of Irish political life'. The Tribunal brings to prominence the litany of corrupt practices and crooked dealings that characterised the relationship between ‘certain developers and numerous prominent public representatives’. (Mahon Tribunal Report details published on Wikipedia>>> continue...


Review:
Encyclopedic Study 
2011
by Maireid Sullivan
Muireann Ní Bhrolchain: An Introduction to Early Irish Literature 
Four Courts Press, Dublin (2009)
In An Introduction to Early Irish Literature, medievalist Dr. Muireann Ní Bhrolchain shares her extensive command of Irish history, and includes a guide to what has been written on the subject by other scholars, with specific focus on the Old and Middle Irish periods, 600–1200. This examination of Ireland’s rich written heritage will appeal to readers seeking a single condensed resource on Irish stories. >>> continue...


Review
Ancient Text Restored 
2010
by Mairéid Sullivan
"The Natural History of Ireland" by Philip O’Sullivan Beare (translated by Denis C. O’Sullivan)
Cork University Press (2009)
In 1625, Don Philip O’Sullivan Beare wrote Zoilomastix in an effort to refute Giraldus Cambrensis’ derogatory report on Ireland, Topographia Hiberniae (1188). This translation of Zoilomastix, Book One, takes us on a highly colloquial and entertaining journey into the Irish environment, region-by-region, a survey of landscapes, birds and bees, beasts and man –offering a whole new slant on life in pre-modern Ireland. >>> continue...


Review:
Chieftains and San Patricios 
2010
by Maireid Sullivan 
The Chieftains' new album San Patricio is a brilliant artistic conception —especially musically, when we hear how Irish traditional root melodies have evolved to become South-Western and Mexican songs —Tex-Mex, Nortino music. In one of The Chieftains’ most unique projects ever, the ancient connections between the Spanish and the Irish, and the musical souls of two modern nations, Ireland and Mexico, are movingly brought to life.

~ Who inspired the formation of The Chieftains?
Irish composer Seán Ó Riada (1931-1971) is remembered as the most influential figure in the renaissance of traditional Irish music, and the founder, in 1960, of the group Ceoltóirí Chualann, which included Paddy Moloney (who later founded The Chieftains) on uilleann pipes and tin whistle, Sean Potts (still with The Chieftains) on tin whistle, John Kelly on flute, and Sonny Brogan on accordion. Seán Ó Riada was the first composer to arrange harmonies in keeping with Irish musical tradition, using traditional instruments: harpsichord, bodhran, piano, fiddle, accordions, flute, pipes and whistles.

~ Who were the San Patricios? >>> continue...


Ir
eland: Serfs not citizens 
Synopsis: Chapter 8, 'Who owns the world?' By Kevin Cahil
2009
by Mairéid Sullivan
The following two-part article is an edited extract of Chapter 8 “Ireland: Serfs not citizens” from the book ‘Who owns the world’ by Kevin Cahill. 
(See the accompanying review ‘Reinvigorating old ideas: Who Owns the World?' (2009)
Quia Emptores Act, 1290 AD
...The law that denied land ownership to the Irish, the Quia Emptores Act of 1290 AD, is still on the Irish statute book. It is this basic feudal law, restated, which placed the actual ownership of all physical land in the hands of the Crown. Subsequently this law was placed in the hands of the Irish Free State, thus making all ‘land owners’ in Ireland tenants of the State, having to pay rent in contradiction of their alleged status as ‘freeholders’. The underlying principle in Quia Emptores also underlaid the Acts of Settlement which evicted the native Irish ‘landowners’ and substituted English and Scottish settler landowners in the 17th and 18th Century. The basic argument in law was that the Irish ‘landowners’ were mere tenants of the Crown, and the Crown could dismiss and evict its tenants, legally, as indeed it could, under Quia Emptores and associated laws. .... To be a citizen is to have the innate right to obtain and own land. There is a direct connection between the first human right, the right to life, and the right to land, which is seldom raised, especially by lawyers. >>> continue...


Review
Reinvigorating old ideas: Who Owns the World 
2009
by Maireid Sullivan
Who Owns the World (UK 2006–US 2009) by Kevin Cahill, is the first survey of landownership in each of the world’s 197 states or countries and 66 major territories. Kevin Cahill explains, 'The purpose of all the feudal land laws, derived from the fundamental principle of the feudal system, … was to prevent the population owning land.' >>> continue...


Letter from an Emigrant
 

2009
by Maireid Sullivan
Celebrating the centenary of Kealkill National School, Co Cork.
Kealkill National School has a great tradition of serving the people of Kealkill and its surrounding townlands so well over the last hundred years. I am happy to be a past pupil of such a wonderful school. ...
I remember the high ceilings and tall narrow windows, and the rows of desks, a row for each class. ...
When I think back, I believe the early training in maintaining focus and concentration on whatever project we were working on was the most important skill we developed. The other skill I most value, practiced especially in the higher classes, is rote learning. We learned songs, poems, and prayers or catechism, spelling, and arithmetic by rote. And we learned to speak ‘Irish’. We learned our history in the form of adventure stories. We also learned step-dancing. All of these skills, –memorizing movement, words and melodies, strengthened our capacity to concentrate over long periods. >>> continue...


Traditions and Beliefs about Water
A Selected World Survey
2006
by Maireid Sullivan 
(This was written in support of a proposed film project, Liquid Light - the power of water: We are facing a comprehensive paradigm shift in our current attitudes towards water.)
Every culture on earth relates a legend of a deluge or great flood, along with beliefs that life came from water. And, although the world's earliest civilizations had deep respect for this precious resource and lionized it in creation myths, contemporary Western industrial nations seem to take water for granted and view it as disposable. >>> continue...


Bliss ~ Making the Invisible Visible

bridging the wisdom of our past with the science, healing and peace of our future
2005
by Maireid Sullivan
A film proposal: about the empowerment we can feel when 'accessing' ancient sacred images.
This project has a simple and powerful metaphor for the enduring search for peace and harmony for humanity. Finding treasures of ancient art and sculpture – “hidden in plain sight” – provides a wonderful opportunity to appreciate the power and importance of public museums and art galleries while revealing precious archival mysteries. >>> continue...



Preface

Electronic Music Pioneers  
2002 
by Mairéid Sullivan
High technology has been necessary to the growth and expansion of intelligence. That's because communication multiplies the effect of cultural movements. Biological evolution alone could not have given us the capacity for communication that we have available to us today. ...
Musicians are sounding out the harmonics of a full life through the use of adventurous new technologies available to them. New music technology makes it possible, as never before, to capture a sense of "the music of the spheres": Music is a kind of truth our bodies know, expressing rhythms and reflections of what we feel. >>> continue...


Filming Celtic Women in Music in Ireland
 
2000 
by Mairéid Sullivan
Diary: The making of a documentary film in Ireland 
View short interview clips with 7 of the 14 interviewees on our YouTube Lyrebird Channel
>>> continue...


The Great Stone Circle of Grange
 
2000 
by Mairéid Sullivan
–celebrating the innate spiritual impulse that thrives in our heritage of joy, –bringing our most elusive dreams and ancient memories of the global commons into focus, –reminding us that love is liberation. >>> continue...


An Interview with Morgan Llywelyn
 
2000
by Maireid Sullivan
Toward the end of our adventure in Ireland, in October 2000, Ben and I took time out for another separate adventure. We drove about an hour north of Dublin, near Sherries, Co. Meath, to the home of Irish novelist and historian Morgan Llywelyn. >>> continue...


The Hidden People: the spirit of communication and "The Craic"
 

1997
by
Mairéid Sullivan
Free Will/Free Speech! Egalitarianism, personal sovereignty, free expression through language—laughter, voice, speech—are fundamental healing principles in Celtic philosophy. So, what did the Celtic philosopher, Pelagius (354-420 AD) have to say about this? >>> continue...


Happiness & Joy
— a meditation 
1997
by Maireid Sullivan
Happiness and Joy are always present, waiting for recognition. When they are recognized, they respond by manifesting like beings who take one's hand and show one along wondrous paths of discovery in infinite spheres of reality. >>> continue...


Celtic Music for a New World Paradigm
 
1995 
by Maireid Sullivan
Music has the means to offer a major contribution to the shifting paradigm of our new era. 
>>> continue...

*BOOK REVIEW:
A Slow Dance
by John Montague (1975)
The Dolmen Press/Oxford/Wake Forest
While each poem and sequence in "A Slow Dance" is complete in itself, each gathers momentum when considered as part of a unified whole. Reinforcing or balancing each other, their cumulative effect enables us to share Montague's celebration of life, to take part in the slow dance, danced in the loneliness of individuality, yet pulsating courageously with the rhythms of the earth. – Honor O'Connor, Eire-Ireland
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