“Give me a condor’s quill! Give me Vesuvius’s crater for an inkstand… To produce a mighty book you must choose a mighty theme. No great and enduring volume can ever be written on a flea, though many there be that have tried.”
– HERMAN MELVILLE (1819-1891) American novelist Moby Dick (1851)
ill the just published nonfiction “2016” become as popular as George Orwell’s “1984”? …And if so, could it please happen, unlike “1984” which became popular long after Mr. Orwell died, before I pass to the spirit world?
The e-book is available to sample and purchase. Please consider buying a copy for members of your immediate family, extended family, friends and enemies alike, neighbors, the players on every high school and college football team (including the coaches, cheerleaders, fans, equipment managers, etc.) in a 1,000-mile radius, everyone who lives in your hamlet, village, town, and/or city, the entire population of your county, state and country, plus the people of India and, especially, China. 🙂
One of the drawbacks of being an independent writer is marketing the books you eventually publish, essentially selling yourself. So the point here is creating a “buzz”, starting the marketing game, and the big announcement – because apparently that’s what the successful authors do. Although it wouldn’t disappoint if “2016” became the best-selling book of all time, the point I’d like to share is the writing isn’t motivated by sales and profits but improving in any way possible the human condition.
Before I forget… every man, woman and child in Europe and the African continent. All humor aside, the “selling” part for writers isn’t attractive; and my way of thinking holds that a book’s sales should become based, to borrow and turn Martin Luther King Jr.’s words, “on the character of its content”. Be that as it may, the digital book-buying public will now determine if that character is present. The project is now complete and out there for all to analyze and weigh, criticize or praise, and the proverbial chips will fall where they may. So be it.
The following link takes you to the Smashwords Edition of “2016”:
At the end of the movie “Full Metal Jacket” the screenwriter created the closing scene where a group of U.S. Marines, after experiencing the insanity of learning then carrying out war and killing, joined together in the singing of one of Walt Disney’s most-famous cartoon characters:
“M – I – C – K – E – Y M – O – U – S- E!”
“Full Metal Jacket” along with anti-war films such as “The Deer Hunter”, “Catch 22”, “Apocalypse Now”, “Born On the Fourth of July” and many others became written, directed and acted in artistic collaborations designed to point out the views of most human beings: war is insanity and must end. How else can one describe war – human beings murdering their fellow human beings – but as madness? And why is it that those who are known as “hawks”, “warmongers”, and “masters of war” never articulate on war as insane?
The irrationality and mental derangement of war and killing is clearly understood by nearly every man, woman, and child in the world, so how do the war-makers not get that same understanding? What is the difference between the rational people who view clearly the destructive nature of war and those who feel war is still an acceptable “tool” for resolving conflict and disagreement?
The greatest obstacle for humanity to overcome lies in figuring out ways to convince the warmongering men and women on Earth that what they are advocating is insanity. Surely the war-makers are aware of “violence begets violence”, “blessed are the peacemakers”, the Golden Rule, and other spiritual concepts from the days of their youth. One wonders if the masters of war, during their times of quiet introspection, ever think about and regret how they went from gentle, joyful, friendly children to becoming advocates for war; advocates for murderous, life-destroying madness.
What really goes through the mind of a warmonger? In the year 2014, there are millions of men and women living in all lands of the Earth who think about these things and ask themselves: “will war ever end?” It has become increasingly clear that there are people who own unimaginable wealth and yet are not satisfied enough to stop making war and become peacemakers. The Indian philosopher Krishnamurti, in his book “Think On These Things”, told the well-off university students attending his talks that they had the freedom, with their wealth and privileged life situations, to devote time to thinking on ways to create a better world for all people.
Perhaps when discussions take place on the various situations around the Earth where wars and killing are occurring, there is an insufficient number of men and women making references to war as madness; a shortage of calls for its abolition. Mankind has accomplished an almost endless number of fantastic things through history, and yet remains somehow unable to finally and forever end war and killing. One can only imagine why there isn’t much greater time and effort devoted by the world’s political, business, academic, military, and religious/spiritual leaders – to ending war.
Young girls and boys are everywhere compiling their “wish lists” for all the stuff they want from Santa for Christmas. It’s kind of interesting to remember those early years of our lives and the magical aspects of experiencing the Christmas traditions. Of course we see the over-commercialization of the season, which has the feature of distracting people from the essential spiritual message of the messenger Jesus. One probably shares a feeling and wish with a great many when one prays that humanity soon embraces the message of Jesus as well as all the spiritual teachers who have ever walked the Earth.
Any man or woman with any compassion, empathy, or concern for their fellow brothers and sisters will feel the hurt and disappointment of those who do not have the financial wherewithal in these difficult economic times to buy their children, family members, and friends all the gifts they would like. Compassionate people in every nation share involvement in efforts of all kinds to create conditions on Earth which reduce or eliminate poverty, leading to greater feelings of hurt for people unable to fully take part during this season of giving.
Many have a hard time understanding the message of Jesus to “give everything you have to the poor” if you want to be considered one of his followers. To spend a thousand dollars on gifts for Christmas is an acceptable action for those who can spare that amount. But, to give away the entire nest-egg, as well as all one’s possessions to the poor, the orphans, and the widows is a steep, steep hill to climb.
“There was a rich man who had many possessions. He said: I will use my possessions that I may sow, reap and fill my barns with fruit, I may have need of nothing. These were his thoughts in his heart. And in that night he died. He that hath ears, let him hear”. – The Gospel of Thomas
There is nothing to compare to death for intensifying one’s focus. No matter if a man ends up on Forbes’ list of the richest people in the world – a man will find no possible way, even with the finest accountants and lawyers money can buy – to take those accumulated billions with him when his time to transition inevitably arrives. I have never been a billionaire, and it would be a safe bet to say that no-one reading these words has ever experienced being the owner of a billion dollars.
This thought leads one to wonder what the billionaires of the Earth are thinking about in the weeks before Christmas. I have no issue with billionaires who have come to their fortunate financial position without harming others in the process. There are billionaires who have “gained the world as they sold their souls”, begging the question “what does it profit a man?”, a deep, deep philosophical thought that could help solve the problems humanity faces now in 2013.
Wealth inequality has become a growing phenomenon in recent years. Those who have read about reincarnation may have come across a theory that everyone has lived every form of life imaginable – poor, rich, sinner, saint, man, woman, war-monger, peacemaker, royalty, pauper, etc. – we have each lived through many incarnations, experiencing it all. If one accepts such a theory then it is harder to judge the so-called 1% – because in past lifetimes we have been part of the “élite” of that lifetime’s generation.
Reincarnation is an interesting concept, accepted as normal by billions of men and women, predominantly people in the Eastern regions and nations of the Earth. In The Secret Book of John, one of the gnostic texts found in Nag Hammadi, Egypt in 1945, Jesus may have indicated reincarnation when he said: “In those people the artificial spirit has grown strong and they have gone astray. Their souls are burdened, drawn to wickedness, and cast into forgetfulness. When they come forth from the body, such a soul is given over to the powers created by the rulers, bound in chains, and cast into prison again. Around and around it goes until it manages to become free from forgetfulness through knowledge. And so, it eventually becomes perfect and is saved”.
Regarding reincarnation, I forget the name of the person who expressed that if we accept the fact that we incarnate once, should it be a leap to accept the fact that we may live more than one life. I have no idea why I have gone into reincarnation here. Perhaps we can consider it an impulsive turning off of a vacation route to explore and visit an unplanned small town, just for something unique to experience.
So, humanity wants concrete solutions, an end to abstract thinking, as Vandana Shiva says in the video. I agree with Ms. Shiva, because she comes across as a very sincere, thoughtful woman who has a broader vision of the great potential humanity possesses to literally create a new world. The same could be said about Jane Goodall, whose reference to the seventh generation philosophy, where people are focused about how present actions affect those who are going to live in generations to come, as her thoughts make an intuitive, great amount of sense.
Both Ms. Shiva and Ms. Goodall are talking about a different and new way of living on Earth that is closer to nature, that cooperates with nature in ways that benefit all people and all living things. I suppose, going back to the idea of reincarnation, that these two women have attained knowledge, and are near to achieving human perfection and being saved. For certain spiritual traditions this means that the soul has achieved enlightenment and has escaped the wheel of birth and rebirth.
Be that as it may, my views are in accord with Vandana Shiva and Jane Goodall. It is time to stop playing god through manipulation of life forms with genetically modified organisms (GMOs), geo-engineering of the environment with dangerous applications of metals spraying, chemical technological “fixes”, and destruction of natural resources. It is time to allow the Earth to rest and recover from all the damage humanity has done to her.
This is perhaps not a new way of living for humanity, but a return to the original, simple ways of living the human race lived before environmental destruction began. A return to what the Native American Hopi people call “the original teachings”. In Hopi writings we find the words, “The most important factor we were instructed to watch is mankind because he will become the most mindless and heedless foe of Earth and nature”.
Perhaps Vandana Shiva, when she speaks of concrete solutions, is simply articulating what all people feel in their hearts. There are better ways of living upon this Earth. Ways which are more aligned with natural processes, and with much less harm to people, animals, and plants, the food which every living thing needs to live. Ways that are much less harmful to the water upon which all life depends for survival. Ways that allow people to see clearly and wisely what actions are in the best interests of all people and all life. Ways that allow for true sharing of the great abundance offered from the Earth – sharing between all without exception.
For humanity, it could mean the best Christmas ever.
Here it is, 50 years since President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. Many will think about the man, where they were that day, and what would have been different had he lived. Many will wax philosophical, thinking about life and death, and how we are, each one of us, going to die one day.
Some will go back to their earliest memories in childhood, reliving the years that have passed, and wonder about the awesome nature of life. There will be men and women focusing in on their date of birth and coming to the realization that, indeed, there will eventually come to be a personal “date of death”. Considering JFK’s life and death gives one a perfect, somewhat dramatic, example of living and dying that, although all lives are sacred, uniquely zeroes in on life’s brevity.
One could say that every person who has lived and died is a perfect example of life’s brevity. I remember the pastor at my father’s funeral, realizing that I was in a depressed state, saying “we are all terminal”. I also remember the man who worked in the hospital where my mother was dying, who, in the compassionate spirit of the pastor, said “it happens to the best of us”.
There is a concept written in the gnostic texts found in Nag Hammadi, Egypt which describes a person’s lifetime as a “movement and a rest”. Buddhist writings state that an incarnation is “like the dew on a blade of grass”, I suppose referring to the contrast between the number of years one lives and the eternal, forever nature of the soul – the soul being our essential, true self that never ceases to exist.
I recently re-viewed the awesome short documentary film, The Overview Effect, (posted on this site’s homepage) and was reminded of that film’s great ability to place a person in the “awe mode”, where there is a movement toward an overwhelming spiritual moment of awareness, whether small or great, of something fabulously special about living on a blue-green ball hanging in infinite space.
Many men and women who have had what is now commonly called the “near-death-experience” have been able to describe having left their bodies and traveled to space, looking at the Earth as the astronauts in The Overview Effect did while in their physical bodies, and feeling the awe. Some traveled further out into the universe, able to view galaxies and star systems hanging there in the infinite universe.
One ponders if all people will travel such a route upon leaving their physical bodies at the time of “death”. Will we all have that experience and then come to know the whos, whats, whens, wheres, and whys – will we arrive/return to our eternal “home” – finally fully understanding the truth about the life we just lived on the planet Earth? Will every person come to experience the reliving of the life just lived, feeling every action ever taken while alive from the perspective of the person(s) they interacted with?
Could it be that the “life review” described by the men and women who have had a near death experience, is what every soul will experience, without exception? Did the souls of John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Robert Kennedy – all souls – relive their lives to understand it all, everything? So, I travel the spiritual tangent now, perhaps traveling into what is termed the “unknown”.
This is nothing special on my part as every thoughtful man or woman has devoted some time contemplating about life and death issues; there is no escape from considering the reality we all are experiencing. Some have developed such a fear of “death” that even another’s mention of the word results in disapproval, as if mentioning the word is going to bring about some type of negative event.
Taking the time to contemplate one’s death and viewing films or photographs from space are related metaphysical experiences in that the widest view of life, both personal and for humanity and the creation, is perceptible to some extent. The significant value of such ways of perceiving is that a person can focus on what is important, from both a personal and world standpoint.
Let me say that I am just thinking out loud here. All that jazz, here and now listening to jazz music being broadcast from the local university radio station, riffing like a kind of philosophical jazz writer, traveling with words as the jazz musician travels with notes through their instruments. No big deal. Just going on a journey to wherever – to wherever the trail leads.
Perhaps this is what original thought is about. Where a person voluntarily takes a journey of the mind, stopping here and there like a tourist without any itinerary, taking in the scenery, talking with the natives, just moving along to where the journey takes him or her.
(Herbie Hancock “Watermelon Man” – Thanks to deerfried @ YouTube)
Palestinians are at the heart of the conflict in the M.E Palestinians uprooted by force of arms.. Yet faced immense difficulties have survived, kept alive their history and culture, passed keys of family homes in occupied Palestine from one generation to the next.
This blog is devoted to legal, historical and human rights matters, in which issues of general concern are addressed freely and spontaneously. It is intended to further an informal exchange of views in the democratic spirit of freedom of opinion and respect for the opinions of others, in an effort to understand rather than condemn, to propose constructive solutions rather than grandstand. The perspective is both from inside and outside the box and the added value lies more in the questions than in the answers.