Thanks for the responses. I was a bit wary about introducing such a personal note into my posting, but it looks as if it was worth it in so far as it highlights the fact that I'm not alone with my doubts and uncertainties. Strange how knowing you are not alone with a problem can be somehow a comfort.
Trygve's comment on "a planetary common consciousness" is thought-provoking. I'd be interested in learning what you, Fuzzy (and other readers), think of this idea.
Me? I reckon it's an idea worth pursuing.
Regards to all,