The name of this blog, Rainbow Juice, is intentional.
The rainbow signifies unity from diversity. It is holistic. The arch suggests the idea of looking at the over-arching concepts: the big picture. To create a rainbow requires air, fire (the sun) and water (raindrops) and us to see it from the earth.
Juice suggests an extract; hence rainbow juice is extracting the elements from the rainbow, translating them and making them accessible to us. Juice also refreshes us and here it symbolises our nutritional quest for understanding, compassion and enlightenment.

Thursday 27 January 2022

Farewell Thich Nhat Hanh

Rather than write an original blogpost this week, I instead will allow the words of
Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh to have their place here. This blogsite has frequently quoted Thich Nhat Hanh, most often in relation to his concept of interbeing. Thich Nhat Hanh (who died on 22 January 2022) described interbeing as “the many in the one and the one containing the many.”  In a nod to the oft-quoted Descartes saying about being, Thich Nhat Hanh further expressed interbeing as: “I am, therefore you are.  You are, therefore I am. We inter-are.”

It is a concept fundamental to all of his teachings. It is a concept we dearly need to learn.

Let us read further from the words of this wise and compassionate teacher:


On Walking


·       “The miracle is not to walk on water. The miracle is to walk on the green earth, dwelling deeply in the present moment and feeling truly alive.”

·       “When we walk like we are rushing, we print anxiety and sorrow on the earth. We have to walk in a way that we only print peace and serenity on the earth. Be aware of the contact between your feet and the earth. Walk as if you are kissing the earth with your feet.”


            On Happiness


·       “Whether the moment is happy or not depends on you. It is you that makes the moment happy. It is not the moment that makes you happy.”


            On Silence


·       “Just as the painter uses shadow to highlight forms and shapes, so does silence highlight our words and speech.”

·       “Silence is essential. We need silence, just as much as we need air, just as much as plants need light. If our minds are crowded with words and thoughts, there is no space for us.”


            On Compassion


·       “To love our enemy is impossible. The moment we understand our enemy, we feel compassion towards him or her, and he or she is no longer our enemy.”


            On Politics


·       “It is not correct to believe that the world’s situation is in the hands of the government and that if the presidents would only have the correct policies, there would be peace. Our daily lives have the most to do with the situation of the world. If we change our daily lives, we can change our governments and we can change the world.”


Thank you, Thich Nhat Hanh, for all your teachings and offerings to us and the world. Your words are of far greater significance that any eulogy that I may be able to offer.

With blessings. 

Wednesday 19 January 2022

Truth of Trees (Part 1)

If you stand in a grove of trees, or in the middle of a forest, surrounded by magnificent, tall, and lofty trees, then you stand in the midst of truth. If we were to think of what entities in nature are most symbolic of truth, then trees would have to be considered as fulfilling that symbolic place. If we ask ourselves what natural entity is solid, what has a firm foundation, what has stood the test of time, then once again, trees have to hold a claim to those ideas.

Trees are excellent symbols for truth. They are unwavering, they remain steadfast, they are solid. Yes, trees and truth seem to go together.

Indeed they do. When we consider the above it comes as no surprise to find that the word tree and the word truth are closely entwined, much like the branches of – well - a tree.

Let’s take a look at the branches of this truth/tree.

Tree is derived from the Old English word treo or treow, and prior to that to the Proto-Germanic word trewam.

Trewam has antecedents in Gothic (triu), Old Norse (tre), Old Saxon (trio), and Old Frisian (tre). All of these have their origins in the Proto-Indo-European (PIE) word deru.

Deru means firm, solid, steadfast. It is the root word from which we get modern day words such as: duress, durable, endure, betroth, and during.

That (tree) is one of the branches. What of the other branch – truth?

Truth begins with the same PIE word – deru – and passes through Old Germanic (deruitho) to Proto-Germanic (treuwaz, meaning having or being characterised by good faith) on to treuwitho. From there it branched one way into the Mercian words treowð (meaning loyalty or veracity) and triewe (meaning faithful, trustworthy, honest.) It also branched off into West Saxon word triewð.1 Both of these branches lead directly to our modern-day English word truth.

So, when we wander into a woodland, a forest, or the bush, and gaze upon a tree we can imagine its physical as well as its linguistic branches and roots forming a truth.

Yet, these are not the only branches in our truth/tree. At the tip of other branches we find modern English words such as truce, tryst, and trust.

Down near the base of this tree we may notice an early branch that leads away from the main trunk yet is still part of the same tree. This early branch took on a Celtic bearing and deru was morphed into the word Druid.2

Druid – the word evokes a mystical people assembling together in a grove of trees, doesn’t it? It is thought that Druids performed many of their religious ceremonies in oak groves.

Trees have been part of the Earth for 385 million years or so. They must have gathered a lot of truth in their trunks in that long time. Perhaps we have truths to learn from them. I’ll explore this idea in coming blogposts.


1. The letter ð (uppercase Ð) is pronounced ‘eth’ and is found in Old English and in modern day Icelandic and Faroese.

2. Druid comes from two Celtic words – dru (from PIE deru) meaning strong, and wid meaning seer.

Tuesday 11 January 2022

Stop Digging

Mining for coal (top)
& lithium (bottom)
When you are in a hole that you want to get out of then the first thing to do is: Stop digging!

And, we are in a hole. We dug it ourselves.

This hole we have dug is both a metaphorical one and a physical one.

The metaphorical hole includes (inter alia): pandemics, mass extinction, deforestation, war, terrorism, fisheries depletion, plastic garbage, e-waste, noise and light pollution, food shortages, soil loss, and – yes – the issue du jour (possibly du siècle): climate change.

It is a deep hole. Furthermore, as each of these components intensify, the hole gets bigger, deeper, and more difficult to get out of.

Whatsmore, this metaphorical hole has a physical counterpart. We have been digging holes for centuries. Evidence of Roman copper mines are still visible in Europe. We have been digging for copper, gold, silver, tin, and other elements for many years.

With the coming of the Industrial Revolution we began to also dig for coal, oil, and iron ore in huge measure. The machines we created from such exploitation enabled us to dig even larger holes in our search (some would say – greed) for the energy fuels of the economies of the world.

For a long time we could see the environmental damage these holes were doing. We could see the pollution of nearby water systems. We could see the smoke-filled skies. We could smell, and taste, the stench that came from the digging of these holes.

Then, in the second half of the 20th century we also began to notice the unseen damage these holes (and what we extracted from them) did. We began to notice the build-up of carbon in the atmosphere, and the warming of the oceans and the air.

But, still we dug. Still we damaged local ecosystems. Still we polluted waterways. Still we disrupted local, often indigenous, communities.

We continued to dig physical holes. We continued to dig our metaphorical hole.

We started to think that we needed to do something about one aspect of that metaphorical hole. We began to think we should do something about the carbon build-up.

In that single-minded focus we began to think we should stop digging for coal, oil, and gas.

We thought we should do something different.

We thought we should dig for lithium, nickel, cobalt, titanium, silicon, boron, and the other elements required for “alternative” energy.

But, we are still digging.

We are still polluting water systems. We are still disrupting ecosystems. We are still destroying bird and animal habitats. We are still dislocating indigenous communities.

Let’s go back to first principles: Stop Digging.

Tuesday 4 January 2022

Don't Look Up - Film Review

“It is as if the world’s astronomers were telling us that an asteroid is heading our way and will make a direct hit destined to wipe out all of life, to which the public responds by remaining fascinated with sporting events, social media, the latest political machinations, and celebrity gossip.”

Reads like the script of the film Don’t Look Up doesn’t it? The above quotation was written almost two years before the film came out. In a highly recommended article in 2019 titled Facing Extinction1 Catherine Ingram addressed the probability of human extinction and possible emotional, psychological, and spiritual responses to that scenario.

Ingram is not the only one who has warned us of such a probability. Many others have done the same, and that is the theme of the film Don’t Look Up.

The film, however, is not another attempt to warn us. It is, unashamedly, a parody of our collective desire to look away (to not look up.)

Certainly, the film is corny, absurd, and over-the-top Hollywoodism and jingoism. As such, it is a film that this reviewer would normally not wish to view. However, as has been said: the experience is not the same thing as the message. The experience of watching this film may be cringe-worthy. The message, however, is compelling. We simply are not taking sufficient (if any) notice of the warnings that scientists, and others, have been trying to tell us since at least the early 1970s.

The film is an analogy and the comet (that is destined to destroy Earth) is a metaphor for a number of inter-connected, mutually reinforcing events. Indeed, it is possible to think of comet as an acronym. The comet metaphorically alludes to (inter alia): Climate change, Overshoot, Mass extinction, Environmental destruction, Techno-addiction.

Many of our sacred cows of distraction are held up in the film and shown for what they really are – dangerous addictions. Whether our addiction be to mobile phones, or celebrity gossip, or the worship of the hero/saviour, Don’t Look Up rails against them all.

This film then, is a warning to take the warnings seriously.

Will it make a difference? Maybe, maybe not.

Does the film offer any hope? Maybe, maybe not. It depends upon what sort of hope you are expecting. The final scenes mirror the final words of Catherine Ingram’s paper with which this review was introduced:

“…it is likely you have had many moments when you knew that love was all that ever really mattered. And in your final breaths it is likely to be all that is left of you, a cosmic story whispered only once.”1

1. Catherine Ingram, Facing Extinction, first published February 2019, updated July 2021. accessed 4 January 2022.