From 1984 to 1987, Merryl Wyn Davies was a regular contributor to Afkar: Inquiry, the monthly ‘international magazine of events and ideas’. The three columns reproduced here provide a glimpse into her style and thought.   

Human communication began with speech, the development of words to describe things and ideas. All society and culture began and was communicated orally.

Nothing is more telling of the times in which we live than our relationship to food. People will always need to eat but the mechanics of how this most basic necessity is serviced nowadays plays a significant role in hurtling humanity to the edge of the abyss.

The entire point of values is not their fixity but that they are active agents of adaptation. The values derived from faith traditions have gone on to influence philosophies and ideologies good, bad and horrendous as much in the Western nations as elsewhere.

In times such as these – Brexit, Trump, Macron being the most notable headlines – it seems appropriate to reconsider the complacent authority vested in the old adage ‘vox populi, vox Dei’, the concept that the voice of the people is the voice of God.

What is the distinction between simple profundity and being profoundly simple? This is not exactly the last word in semantics, rather a niggling thought about the way we think.

Sweet! Never was there a confection more sugar saturated nor so gluey gummy. Chocolate perfume it has been called, and not by way of any compliment.

Love is complex and complicates things. However, contrary to the old adage love is not blind. Who knows the beloved so well as the lover? To know the beloved’s true nature is to see and accept the whole gamut of their beauties and strengths as well as fallibilities and foibles.

Lady Caroline Lamb’s famous epigram elegantly sums up the problem of free thinkers: they are ‘mad, bad and dangerous to know’ as the Lady declared in one instance.