Notes from the Orchard - June 2018


More Notes from The Orchard – 52

June 2018


I can only apologise for being late again.   Blame my age and the way time goes by so quickly – it comes to us all. . .


Without my car I find myself rather more dependent on internet, television and radio than I used to be.  All three are excellent ways to keep up with what’s going on, communicating with friends and family etc. though all three have downsides as well as their good points.


Let’s have a look – or a listen – to the oldest first. . .


Let’s start with the radio, means of communication, whose development in this country was ‘midwifed’ by the man who later became Lord Reith.  Looking briefly at his life which began as the fifth son of a Scottish Presbyterian, it is understandable that the man whose brilliance and power led to him to become similar to his own father, who dominated and bullied his many children just as Lord Reith did with most of those who lives he crossed.  


When, as Lord Reith, he held the reins of power as chairman of the BBC, he was responsible for establishing the concept of independent public service broadcasting in the United Kingdom.  With the upbringing he had received from his father there was a strong religious slant to his beliefs – though Christian ideals seem rather lacking!  His daughter, Marista, in the biography of her father published in 2008, describes her father as being ‘ . . . in many ways a great man – a man hung about with greatness but festooned with littlenesses.’  


Reith managed to antagonise so many people that when his back was turned and he left the BBC – a choice he regretted ever after - his successors indulged their irritation by producing programmes of which he would surely not have approved, entertaining and verging on cynicism as they do today.


The march towards secularism started of course with the Great Enlightenment. This was a specifically man-made development and over the roughly 300 years since its first steps, its progress has gathered speed.  From the mediaeval invention of the printing press, through wars, the Industrial Revolution, wars and further communication inventions, more wars, scientific understanding, electricity and electronics, all these and associated learning have led us to the establishment of the  internet.


Today, in the Western world, the rejection of the way to live the simple path set out roughly 2000 years ago by a certain young man without any influence - apart from an invisible father in whom he trusts and confides – has had a marked effect on the way we live and run our lives. This young carpenter, without money, status and certainly without a university degree or similar, appears to have failed.  


His teaching: ‘Love God and love your neighbour as yourself’, written in Matthew’s Gospel and known as the Beatitudes, has been put away to the back of the cupboard as being too simple, too out of date – even rather childish.  In its place and confident in the growth of his brilliant learning and his remarkable all-round ability, man himself has chosen politics to take its place.  Friedrich Nietzsche warned of all the problems ahead if God really were dead and the world faced nihilism in its place! (Click here for further information.)  http://www.philosophy-index.com/nietzsche/god-is-dead/


(To be continued.)



Sarah Bell



Katy Bell © 2018