Harmony: A New Way of Looking at Our World

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Member - in Memoriam
Jul 2, 2008
On the west side of North up from Back
United States
This is a thread to discuss and peruse over HRH The Prince of Wales' book "Harmony: A New Way of Looking at Our World".

I've been anxious to read this book and its wonderful to have a forum to discuss it among friends.
A happy beginning.....

Hello, Osipi - I have begun the book. As I mentioned to you, the book surprised me when it arrived - by no means a lushly produced book yet it is of a size and weight to be a book that could sit on a coffee table. It is impressive.

It begins auspiciously - and I suspect I am about to read a book by someone expressing ideas that are in consonance with my own. On the first page he speaks to the fact that we have lost Nature in our consideration of the natural world. In this I agree - and because of that fact we are currently reaping the whirlwind.

My thoughts: 'We' began at some point to see the world as a soulless machine, booty to our unbridled wants and perceived needs. We've created an economic system that we believe is intrinsically ordained when it is nothing more than a construct - the result of choices - that can be as easily deconstructed - with different choices - which I think is where he is going. Our current economic system that is driving us has its own logic - that needs desperately to be unravelled - as it is in fact being done.

I haven't gotten far into the book - my teaching has kicked in and I am exceedingly busy as 1st term starts up - but I am taking time in the late hours of this holiday weekend to get some daylight on reading it. Will post later. Thank you for starting up the thread! :flowers:

Added later: My quote of the day from my reading: '...we have to look at the whole picture to understand the problems we face. For not only does it concern the way we treat the world around us, it is also to do with how we view ourselves.' (pg. 5) Then he goes on to explore the 'Crisis of Perception'. Excellent. No fluffy stuff here. The folks who think Charles has 'crack-pot' ideas need to pay closer attention. He is far from a dilletante. This is substantive stuff - and very familiar to me from here in the US. Charles really is cutting-edge. It is amazing that someone in his position is making this effort.
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My copy of Harmony came yesterday and I have to say I am more than pleased with the presentation of the book. Actually for the price I paid, I was expecting to get a trade paperback with sections of photographs as most books with photos have. Not this. Not only is it a weighty hardcover, it really has a feel, as you said, of a coffee table book and one that makes you feel that you're holding something that was put together with a lot of thought and care. Its the first time that I believe I've seen such care taken into the presentation of a book from the dust cover actually being glued to the front and back covers to the quality of the pages. The fact that the photos are interspersed on the pages where they are talked about also impresses me. This tells me that if such detail was put into the presentation of the material, that the same will be true of the ideas and concerns that Charles addresses in his work.

I've not really had the chance to delve into the book yet but I know that once I do start, it will be hard for me to put down. I'm like that with books. I liked your comments on seeing the world as a soulless machine. I've felt for a long time that we are finding ourselves alone in a global community. The necessity for interaction with our neighbors and our communities have become sadly a thing of the past. This is I think one of the main points Charles is going to be working with in this book. Returning to balance not only with nature and our earth but also with each other.
This passage really hit home for me.

"If we continue to engineer the extinction of the last remaining indigenous, traditional societies, we eliminate one of the last remaining sources of that wisdom."

This makes me think on how over the past 300 some years here in the US, Native American tribes were very poorly treated, their ways and beliefs deemed "savage" and primitive and were forced to adapt to the white man's world and beliefs while the land they were caretakers of for centuries were seized for 'progress".

I think Chief Seattle said it best back in 1854 although the authenticity of the speech has been debated for years. This is a paraphrase of it that I have hanging over my computer.

All things are connected.
Whatever befalls the earth
Befall the sons of the earth.
Man did not weave the web of life,
He is merely a strand in it.
Whatever he does to the web,
He does to himself.
Work has been consuming - so I have not gotten far in the book, Osipi - beyond the first pages, in fact. :sad: Oh well...

Not sure where to post this but I came across this on YouTube and it is nice to see the video of Highgrove's gardens. I should be in England next summer and I'm thinking of touring it - as well as so many other places - not sure I'll be able to fit it all in that I want to see!

Highgrove - YouTube
Oh I really envy you the chance to go and walk around Highgrove and see it first hand!! You'll have to take LOTS of pictures and share the experience with us!

Like you, I've also not gotten too far into the book yet which is unusual for me. Give me a Dan Brown novel and I'm done with it within at least 2 days. This book though is one that I think is not to be just read, but absorbed as it is intended to make us think and ponder. Its the sort of book one sits down with a hot cup of tea (Earl Grey hot please) and in complete silence so as not to be distracted.

Charles is a deep man and has put his thoughts into this amazing book and to be honest, when I do sit and read it, it deserves my full attention and not a screaming husband yelling at the zebras in a hockey game or a Dawg that is on the wrong side of the door and even 5 IMs coming in from my friends in Gemstone.

Although I do live in on a mountain in a forest and its almost too quiet up here, its a book I think I'd like to run away with even deeper in the mountains to read. Alone. Its that kind of a book. :D
Thanks for posting the videos and they are something I really wish I could watch and enjoy.

If I could only get my hippie relix self motivated, I think I would start some kind of petition/vendetta that ALL YouTube videos and clip should be REQUIRED to come with closed captioning but alas THIS granny wears the real grannie glasses these days and has the energy of a gnat most times. LOL
Osipi, life takes over and 'Harmony' is buried. :sad: Oh well. Have you been reading it? What are your thoughts? If you start saying your impressions it might get me going! ;)

Hope the New Year finds you well, Osipi! :flowers:
Osipi, life takes over and 'Harmony' is buried. :sad: Oh well. Have you been reading it? What are your thoughts? If you start saying your impressions it might get me going! ;)

Hope the New Year finds you well, Osipi! :flowers:

Happy New Year to you too! I have to be honest and say that I've really not gotten too far into the book either yet. I'm taking my classes again and the one book that I'm required to read is one of those books where you read a thought and it takes you into tangents and circles and plain puts you in reading overdrive. I've been 2 months so far writing my thoughts on the first chapter. :)

One thing I can tell very much by this book is how versatile and eloquent Charles is. At first glance you want to think its just about the environment and agriculture and architecture and sustainable living, but the more I read, the more I get glimmers into how much this man has delved into so many other subjects. In a way the way he's written it, its in clear, precise language that any person reading it can and will understand exactly what he is trying to say. I think that's one reason I really admired the late Dr. Carl Sagan (astronomer) growing up. You KNOW what he's trying to say and from there, that got me into reading his books.

I should pick up Harmony again tomorrow... :whistling:
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