Author, humourist, Project Lead, The Ariana Project, Skipper Ariana Sailing Team; Offshore Sailor, Broadcaster, DJ, Ariana Radio, Solar Chef, Environmentalist, Humanitarian, IT professional, Ethics consultant, Resource analyst and planner, Advocate, Carer, Traditional Thai Massage Practitioner, Practical philosopher, root cause analyst, improver, Pilgrim, Long Distance Walker, toilet cleaner, influencer, style icon (errr the last two aren’t true) and most people don’t believe the other stuff too. Quite right!
Alan Mac Background
Born in Glasgow in 1969, Alan Macmillan Orr had an uneventful and happy childhood, only son of working class parents who moved to the small riverside town of Marlow on Thames in Buckinghamshire, England in 1976.
Although a bright student, Alan never reached his potential and failed miserably in most of his exams, except languages and computer studies, finally being offered a role in a firm his father managed in Paris, France, after failing to complete his studies.
In 1992 he started to experience panic attacks, and general anxiety about life, but at the time felt unable to share this with anyone, as he felt embarrassed by what he was experiencing and couldn’t share it with anyone, and so left Paris and went home to live with his mother.
This set the tone for the next 10 years, working as an IT project manager in various companies in Europe, but due to personality clashes, and being highly strung, found himself regularly fired from positions, generally by arguing with the management and indeed anyone who crossed his path. Personal relationships faired no better.
Roll forward to 2000 and Alan decided to go backpacking at the tender age of 31, a journey which would change the direction of his life forever. Meeting the love of his life, he embarked on a journey of self discovery, which ended with him becoming an Ocean Sailor, and now sailing with his Labrador Hari, onboard Ariana, a classic 1972 Swan 55, one of the finest ocean racer/cruisers ever built, ready to embark on his final project “Ariana Saves The World”….
In 2002, whilst backpacking in Thailand, Alan picked up a copy of a book that was to change the course of his life, even though he didn’t know it then. The book was “The First and Last Freedom” by Jiddu Krishnamurti, a book that was unlike anything he had ever read before.
Immediately, Alan knew he had to learn more, to understand, to question, to not blindly accept everything he had been told, to break free of human conditioning. It convinced him that the way to understand himself and the world around him, he had to write his own book, a dialogue with the reader, a book that allowed him to deconstruct his own thinking, to question and examine his own life, one thought at a time. That book, The Natural Mind – Waking Up ended up taking eight years to write, cost him his relationships, and friendships, and isolated him from “normal” society.
Krisnamurti’s main narrative was that Man’s greatest challenge was to stand alone, and Alan embraced that challenge wholeheartedly, despite the negative consequences it was to have on his own life.
He put himself in situations and places that were completely foreign to him, and attempted social and psychological experiments which were at best foolhardy and at worst, downright detrimental to his own wellbeing.
He realised very quickly that his main problem was in the way he thought. He didn’t know why he thought the way he did, or why he said the things he did, or why he acted the way he did. He thought he was in control of his brain…how little did he know!
And to this day, Alan is convinced that understanding our own thinking is only the way to transcend a violent, greedy, thoughtless existence, and evolve to become a compassionate, creative species. You may disagree with him, but that’s ok, he doesn’t want you to agree with him or think like him, he just wants you to stand alone in your thinking. Sounds simple, but it is not a journey for the fainthearted. You have been forewarned.
He invites you to begin your own personal journey with him, starting right NOW.
Alan has worked many jobs, created many projects, and learnt many things, over the last 20 years, but he believes the goal of self knowledge, and being of service to others will be his greatest achievement.