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John Michell: A Celebration @ TEMENOS

John Michell: A Celebration of his Work GEOMETRY & TIME in PREHISTORY
presented at Temenos by Robin Heath

Good afternoon. There have been three gurus in my life, and John was one of these. The others were Alexander Thom, the father of archaeoastronomy, and John Seymour, the self-sufficiency guru who pioneered the back-to-the-land movement and organic farming. All three were pioneers and all three were, as John described himself, radical traditionalists. Both John and Alex Thom said that ‘only five people in the world understood ‘ their findings. Both Johns became my good friends, Seymour grandson became my son’s best friend and he was almost my neighbour in West Wales. Thom I only met the once, at university, at a lecture arranged for a cultural festival. I helped him load his car afterwards. For all three the traditions provided the necessary food to form strong roots upon which they drew in order to support the new flowering that was their life’s work. In 1969, John’s book The View over Atlantis connected me for the first time to these traditions. Our cultural traditions are the outward manifestation of a nation’s spiritual traditions. As the Prince of Wales eloquently puts it in his message on the Temenos website, ‘These traditions, which form the basis of mankind’s most civilised values and have been handed down to us over many centuries, are not just part of our inner religious life. They have an intensely practical relevance to the creation of real beauty in the arts.’

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