• Mên-an-Tol

    Men-An-Tol is Cornish for 'The holed stone'.
    ...a little bit of magic in the modern age.

  • Stepping Stones
    over The Mole

    Box Hill and the river Mole valley - Tales from the riverbank!

  • Pilgrims Way

    From St. Swithin at Winchester to St. Thomas Becket at Canterbury - The North Downs is the Pilgrims Way.

  • From St Paul’s to The Gherkin

    17th Century St. Paul's to 21st Century Gherkin – Timeless works of art

  • HP Sauce

    Magna Carta to Millennium and beyond...Stopping short at 1984 or entering a Brave New World!

  • Vilnius

    What would you hope to find in 'the city of low flying angels'? Absolutely!

  • A home from Home

    London Loves

  • Where the heart is

    The Birches of Bookham

  • Alternative Tol

    The alternative view!

  • Tao

    Oneness generates everything… a wise man never tries to break up the Whole.


Art | Coding | Design | Development | Production

..in digital publishing and digital publishing software development


Menantol or rather ‘Mên-an-Tol’ is a neolithic stone monument in Cornwall, unique in that only one of its kind exists, being a circular upright standing stone with a hole in the middle and straddled on either side by marker stones. It is said to be magical and to have curative properties when you pass through its centre.

Perhaps you’re wondering what Mên-an-Tol’s relevence is? To me it ‘engages’ beyond and beneath the surface of ideas, preconceptions, prejudices, conditions, words and thoughts, and to ‘speak’ directly about the ‘human condition’ and ‘this life’, the physical and spiritual connectedness between ourselves and this Earth but also the psychological connectedness within and between ourselves in our varying and variable states of consciousness.

My interest in ‘the human condition’ started out from reflecting on the automatic conditioning effects of traumatic events in childhood and how learning and behaviour become entangled, causing all manner of dis-ease. As in Albert Ellis’ Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT) I found in 1983 that the emotive experience, i.e. the pain and the ‘supersensitised’ potential triggers are burned into the subconscious mind, never to be forgotten, whereas the conscious( attentive mind) slowly forgets the past as it gets written over by other contemporary stuff as the days go by. In a relatively unconscious state we then reactively act out our various unconscious historical response behaviours when triggered by our environment in the here and now. These behaviours are always inappropriate and irrelevent when taken forward into the future. By meditating on or discussing the triggers of the re-emerging responses one can resolve the faulty learning. By so doing we can bring wholeness back to these two aspects of consciousness.

From 1983-1986 I studied Neurobiology and Experimental Psychology at Sussex Unversity under Ian Russell, Stuart Sutherland, Bob Boakes and others, and was heavily influenced by Aldous Huxley, RD Laing, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Jean Piaget, and Robert Rescorla in particular. I wanted to understand what the mystics said about the evolution of consciousness and an indwelling divinity, what the Buddha meant by ‘nirvanha’, and what happens when you inspect your own un(sub)conscious mind with fully conscious attention. Meditation and breathing exercises over a prolonged period are one way to do this, whereas LSD is the quick and direct route.

David Bohm talks about the fragmentation of science as an expression of the fragmentation of knowlege which is itself an expression of the fragmentation of human thought, thought that is constrained and limited by its ‘conscious’ fixation with interior verbalisastion (thinking in words). Such is the problem with ‘language’, it’s all description and interpretation, a perception! Mystics and Gurus from the beginning of recorded time tell us that our creativity and spontaneity comes from ‘the ground of being’, the nothingness out of which something emanates. We are implored to live in the now, in this very moment (ie be ‘immanent’) where verbalised thought has no useful function.

Consider the limitations of language, it describes but cannot experience. I can see and experience a painting but when I try to describe it in words.. well it’s laughable really! No wonder all the mystical religions use visualisation techniques for creating ‘wholeness’ (or healing) and zen monks stop the self talk in order to be present and fully conscious.

Science is a linguistic ‘description’ of the observation of phenomena (‘perception’), its results, limits, method and validity are constrained by the act and mechanisms of observing, (no truths, just theories) just like in Quantum Physics and in our verbalised conscious thought! Art on the other hand, in its ‘creativity’ is an intuitive expression of being (‘experience’)(no theories, just truth). Art reflects the inherent divinity in Man who’s caught up in spirit, science reflects the also inherent materialism in Man who’s caught up in matter. Where is the third way??

My professional interest and focus is on creating visually engaging and often programmatically driven digital communication or enabling pieces for Macs, iPhones, walls, web and commercial print using Swift, AppleScript, InDesign, QuarkXPress, Illustrator, Photoshop, Acrobat, WordPress and PHP. I found and fell in love with the holy grail of design and production studio tools: Applescript, and made various employers lots of money by creating (rapidly reiterative) zero cost commercial software automation products tailored exactly to the needs of the office environments in which they were to be deployed. I learnt that success ALWAYS depends on taking a HOLISTIC approach. We should always be careful to remember that everything is connected to everything else! How could it be otherwise?

Best wishes

Paul Vallance

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