Living Water to Light the Journey
I started writing my book Living Water to Light the Journey I
intended it mainly as a guide for parents who were concerned that their kids
did not understand traditional virtues like honesty and courage. But then I
decided to add material on spirituality, and after that I included a lot
about my own personal journey - via Buddhism - to Christianity.
So, in some respects, the book heads off in various directions, and each
chapter is fairly self-contained. But there is also a common theme - how can
we live in a world without God, without His spiritual nurturing and His
The book was published in 1999 and is now out of print. With my publisher's
permission I have decided to place it on the web.
What you read here is essentially the same content as in the original book,
although I have up-dated certain parts and added hyperlinks. I have also
deleted a few (very few) bits I now wish I'd never included!
"Our kids may know in minute detail what is 'cool' and
'uncool', but in many cases they no longer know what is right and wrong."
How I came to write this book.
Virtue died in Australia on 23 May 1994,
at 4:30 in the afternoon. For it was at that moment that the Australian
Broadcasting Corporation, traditionally one of the foremost guardians of our
culture, began its television screenings of "The Adventures of Blinky Bill".
And by doing so it confirmed what many already suspected: that our societyís
premier institutions no longer view moral education - the teaching of
traditional virtues like honesty, courage and justice, or concepts like
right and wrong - as a necessary component of the upbringing of our
Part A - Snapshots
Dimming Light of Heroism
There was a time when we celebrated heroism. That time is gone. Could it
mean we are becoming a nation of sheep?
Why have some writers of kids' books forgotten their duty to provide moral
education for their readers?
Whinge and Titter Rags
Our society used to respect character. Now we worship personality.
Reaping a Destiny
"Sow an act and you reap a habit. Sow a habit and you reap a character. Sow
a character and you reap a destiny." Sports and society.
Don't laugh! Our Agony Aunts are now providing advice that's hilarious.
A slightly off-colour chapter that
offended some readers.
Part B - Healing the Soul
Living Years, Living Heroes
I never thought of my father as a hero. Only after his death did I learn of
his heroics as a leader of the anti-Nazi youth movement in Austria. Why
didn't we communicate more in the "living years"?
Finding My Religion
I once worshipped at a Japanese Buddhist temple before the mummified body of
a priest who had starved himself to death in a hole in the ground hundreds
of years earlier. This chapter relates my unusual journey to Christianity.
"I have experienced
more joys: of worship and prayer. And with a listening heart I have
experienced the presence in me of Godís holy spirit, usually when I did not
Part C - Spirituality for a New Era
When Blasphemy Came to Town
Melbourne was rocked in 1997 when the National Gallery put the notorious
Piss Christ artwork on display - an attack on the picture forced the
exhibition to close just two days after its opening. In the ensuing uproar,
the church emerged as the main institution willing to fight for
what is good and decent and civil in our
Rise of an Old Eastern Religion
Australia is one of the most multi-cultural countries on earth. I think
Mateship to Community
If you can't trust your mates, whom can you trust? Try church.
Part D - Heroines and Heroes
Caroline Chisholm is the very model of a heroine; just the kind of person
our children should emulate.
The Flying Doctor Service is one of Australia's great stories. Its founder
was a great man. Even David Letterman agrees.
The Betty Cuthbert story is an inspiring journey into courage.
A look at Aboriginal wisdom and spirituality.
To my everlasting regret I turned down an invitation to meet one of the
greatest men who ever walked on Australian soil.
The "forgotten" virtue.
Spirituality and morality are not enough.
We also need love.
What chance for spiritual revival?
A speech on the theme "How Can We Live Without God?", that I gave in 1999 at
a book launch party for my church.