– The Earth is the temple for our bodies –

When I was 15 years old, and before the current generation of Scientific Pantheists were born, I became a Pantheist. Secretly, and sometimes publicly, I declared myself to be a Pantheist. No one knew what I was talking about. Pan means including everything, Theist means God. Everything is God, there is nothing outside of God/ All that is. I am still a Pantheist, yet I find the ground has shifted under my feet. I was, and still am, a “mystical” Pantheist. I do not fit in with the new Scientific branch. Let us not respect something merely because it is old, or because it is established, or because a lot of people believe in it, or because our friends, President, parents, children, believe in it. Let us not respect it because the Church told us it is fact, that it was given to us on gold tablets, by angles, by mediums, written by the hand of God, or passed down from benevolent aliens. Still with me? Good. When I was 15, I started reading a book called: Advanced Course in Yogi Philosophy, by Yogi Ramacharaka. That was his pseudonym anyway. I read it on the way to work, and like… Continue reading

The death of Ernest Hemingway

Photo Ernest & Mary Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway (1899 -1961) was one of the most famous of all American authors. His style was minimalist, understated and direct, and had a huge influence on 20th century literature. He won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1954. His most famous novels are: For Whom the Bell Tolls, A Farewell to Arms, and The Old Man and the Sea. When he was 18 he worked briefly as a journalist before enlisting as an ambulance driver in World War 1. In 1918 he was seriously wounded and returned to America in early 1919. He felt isolated, but got some journalistic work with the Toronto Star. He moved to Chicago in 1920 while still writing for the Star. In 1922 he married the first of four wives, Hadley Richardson. They moved to Paris where he worked as a foreign correspondent for the Toronto Star. Hemingway became involved with modernist writers and artists of Gertrude Stein’s circle. Stein became Hemingway’s mentor, introducing him to the expatriate artists and writers of the Montparnasse Quarter, where Hemingway met writers such as James Joyce and Ezra Pound. In 1937 Hemingway agreed to report on the Spanish Civil War for the North American Newspaper Alliance. Journalist… Continue reading

Bhowani Junction by John Masters

There are many wonderful, interesting, absorbing novels that have slipped off the radar of popular books. One of them is Bhowani Junction, by John Masters. Perhaps the name was just too difficult to pronounce, but it never seemed to receive the attention it deserved. John Masters was born in Calcutta, India. The fifth generation of his family to have served in India. After being educated in England he returned to India in 1934 and joined the Prince of Wales’s Own Gurkha Rifles, then serving on the North-West Frontier. The partition of India was set forth in the Indian Independence Act 1947 and resulted in the dissolution of the British Indian Empire and the end of the British control. It resulted in a struggle between the newly constituted states of India and Pakistan and displaced up to 12.5 million people with estimates of loss of life varying from several hundred thousand to a million. The violent nature of the partition created an atmosphere of mutual hostility and suspicion between India and Pakistan. This is the background to the novel. The story is related first-hand in three separate narratives by the main figures: Patrick Taylor, Victoria Jones, and Rodney Savage. It is… Continue reading

– 59 Seconds Think a little, change a lot –

This book takes a look at a number of commonly held beliefs, especially from the self-improvement industry. Professor Wiseman then examines them with the aid of scientific tests to see if they are true or false. He examines things that are important to us: happiness, persuasion, motivation, creativity, attraction. He breaks down each topic into what is commonly believed, and whether tests prove the beliefs to be true or false. In one example, he carried out tests with charity boxes on display in bookstores. All the boxes asked for donations for a charity, but each one carried a different message. Please give generously Every penny helps Every pound helps You can make a difference. Surprisingly Every Penny Helps worked best collecting 62% of all the money. Every pound (100 pennies) came last with 17% of the collection. It is thought that putting a small amount into the Pound box, looked mean, cheap, or insulting; whereas putting a small amount into the Penny Box, was fine. It was also revealed that a red painted box got a lot more donations than other colors. Maybe you are not going to be collecting money, but you will certainly be involved in some of… Continue reading