Thursday, February 26, 2009

The fig tree always produces figs

There are some people, no matter how you treat them liberally, no matter how you give them no offence, they regularly have a wounding comment for you. A little, uncalled-for snide remark. Nothing that you can really take offence at and call them out for: you will immediately come off as seeming sensitive, touchy, childish. Such snide people are always quicker with the tongue than you are. But it is so unnecessary, I feel. It bothers me. I suppose I must admit I have a vindictive, judgmental tendency. And perhaps I am sensitive. But it takes a real philosophical effort for me to get past such snide comments. I have to bring myself in mind of some quotation or other. From Marcus Aurelius perhaps:

Begin the morning by saying to thyself, I shall meet with the busybody, the ungrateful, arrogant, deceitful, envious, unsocial. All these things happen to them by reason of their ignorance of what is good and evil…
Remember that as it is a shame to be surprised if the fig-tree produces figs, so it is to be surprised if the world produces such and such things of which it is productive; and for the physician and the helmsman it is a shame to be surprised if a man has a fever, or if the wind is unfavorable.

Today I came across this new-to-me quotation from the Bible in a Google search:

There is one who speaks rashly like the thrusts of a sword,
But the tongue of the wise brings healing. Proverbs 12.18

It comes from, and along with the different translated versions of the quote was this telling, insightful commentary on proverbs 12:16 to 12:23, through which sincerity and healing virtues run like a golden thread.

Mathew Henry’s Concise Commentary
12:16. A foolish man is soon angry, and is hasty in expressing it; he is ever in trouble and running into mischief. It is kindness to ourselves to make light of injuries and affronts, instead of making the worst of them. 17. It is good for all to dread and detest the sin of lying, and to be governed by honesty. 18. Whisperings and evil surmises, like a sword, separate those that have been dear to each other. The tongue of the wise is health, making all whole. 19. If truth be spoken, it will hold good; whoever may be disobliged, still it will keep its ground. 20. Deceit and falsehood bring terrors and perplexities. But those who consult the peace and happiness of others have joy in their own minds. 21. If men are sincerely righteous, the righteous God has engaged that no evil shall happen to them. But they that delight in mischief shall have enough of it. 22. Make conscience of truth, not only in words, but in actions. 23. Foolish men proclaim to all the folly and emptiness of their minds.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Paul Volcker on sincerity in finance

Paul Volcker, former Federal Reserve Board Chairman and head of President Obama’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board, began a recent speech with these words:

I really feel a sense of profound disappointment coming up here. We are having a great financial problem around the world. And finance doesn't work without some sense of trust and confidence and people meaning what they say. You take their oral word and their written word as a sign that their intentions will be carried out.

Anyone who begins his speech with an appeal to sincerity will get my attention. Obviously Mr.Volcker understands the power of sincerity and if you read the rest of his speech it becomes clear that he too believes that a fundamental lack of sincerity and integrity got the US and the world into this mess.
I encourage you to read the rest of the speech at in Gary’s post Paul Volcker speaks, we should all listen.
Thank you to the noble Otto at Inca Kola News where I saw the speech in the first place in his post Paul Volcker: Yes, yes and thrice yes.
Image from Wikimedia

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Shakespeare's royal son - The Prince Tudor Theory

If you have been keeping up with the groundbreaking revelations on this site live as they happen (or rather other people’s groundbreaking revelations live as this philosophy blogger gets around to discovering them after everyone else) you will know whom I mean by ‘Shakespeare'. I do not mean a vague local chap from Stratford who was the best-educated man of all time, a political, military and legal expert and a prolific, creative literary genius whilst at the same time managing to leave almost no corresponding physical or historical trace of his life. I mean rather Edward De Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford who wrote anonymously under the name of Shakespeare for political and social reasons (see my post The real Shakespeare).
After this post, Jim Hammond, whose noteworthy site is at the origin of my recent posts (see his essay Who was Shakespeare?), pointed me to this site: Shake-speare’s Treason. At this point my head was reeling. With time only for a brief look, I couldn’t make out what the heck was going on here. Then Jim, commenting on my last post Edward De Vere Google search, nudged me to discover 'The Prince Tudor Theory'. I would have gotten around to it, eventually. So today I read Jim’s excellent essay Shakespeare’s Secret Son: The Prince Tudor Theory and all the pieces fell into place.
In a nutshell, Edward De Vere, Earl of Oxford, was a favourite at Queen Elizabeth’s court. And, according to the theory, perhaps at one point he was more than a favourite. They have a secret affair and Elizabeth gives birth secretly to their son who of course is prince and heir to the throne but Elizabeth does not recognize him publicly as such. Their son, Henry Wriothesley, 3rd Earl of Southampton, later takes part in the Essex Rebellion and is captured and imprisoned for treason in the Tower of London. He is released after two years. (You can’t make this up, truth is stranger than fiction). Jim gives us a good overview of the development of the Prince Tudor Theory over time up until today where it is taken to another level by Hank Whittemore who has discovered a ‘code’ in the bard’s sonnets.

Hank has discovered a numerical structure in Shakespeare’s Sonnets; he has discovered what may be called The Rosetta Stone that makes it possible to understand the Sonnets. T. S. Eliot said of the Sonnets, “This autobiography is written by a foreign man in a foreign tongue, which can never be translated.” Hank’s work allows us to translate this “foreign language,” it allows us to understand the Sonnets for the first time…
Hank argues that the Sonnets deal almost entirely with Queen Elizabeth and Southampton. They deal with the poet’s love for his son — not with a homosexual passion, as many have supposed, nor with a heterosexual passion, as earlier Tudorites believed. Hank argues that the famous Dark Lady of the Sonnets is Elizabeth…
Hank argues that the Sonnets express the poet’s anguish over his son’s predicament … They also express the poet’s anguish that his connection to Elizabeth will never be made public, that his son will never become King (even if he’s fortunate enough to avoid execution), and that his own career as a writer will be buried in secrecy and silence.

Jim goes on to give an absolutely fascinating exposé of the arguments in favour of the Prince Tudor Theory, citing verses from the sonnets which become clear once one knows how to unlock them using Hank’s key.
Hank has written a book on his discovery, 'The Monument: Shake-Speare’s Sonnets by Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford', which has its own site here. If you want to know more you can also visit Hank Whittemore’s Shakespeare Blog. And if you are in the Boston area you can go to Hank’s 28 March solo show on the subject Shake-speare’s Treason – The True Story of King Henry IX, Last of the Tudors.
This is a truly amazing subject for further study and I look forward to getting my teeth into it. A big thank you to Jim for the nudge. I was getting around to it though.
P.S. Click on the 'comments' link below to read a message from Hank Whittemore. That's right, the man himself, live as it happens...
Image: Book cover of ‘The Monument: Shake-Speare’s Sonnets by Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford’ by Hank Whittemore

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Edward De Vere Google search

Since my last post The real Shakespeare where I revealed to a shocked world that William Shakespeare was the pen name of Edward De Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, I have done some more research on the subject. And it now appears that me and a guy in northeastern Nepal are the only two people in the world who didn’t know this already.
I found this out by doing a search on Google for ‘Edward De Vere’. I may have imagined it, but it seemed to me that the lights dimmed a little as Google took the strain of searching the six million gazillion web pages, blogs, book sites, associations, and societies of all the people who have written extensively on the subject. I think I even saw the hourglass symbol appear on the screen for a fraction of a second. I had a flash of the Google search engine saying to itself “He wants a search of what? Holy mother of RAM, that’s gonna take us 150 milliseconds, maybe more. Do we have to? Geez, what a life…Forget about that multi-lingual Bible reference search, they’ll have to wait... Call ask them if they can give us a hand…Boy, some people ought to get out more...”
I haven’t time now to give you even the broad headings of what is out there on the web. But reader Magusdee kindly commented (probably with an inward sigh) on my last post:

The best single source for the Oxfordian case is Mark Anderson's "'Shakespeare' by Another Name: The Life of Edward De Vere, Earl of Oxford, the Man Who Was Shakespeare" (in softcover, Gotham Books 2005). Scintillating reading--one has no doubt, after finishing the book, that, yes, De Vere wrote the plays, poems, and sonnets. Game, set, match, Oxford.

I have now ordered this book and in time I will let you know my impressions. As I commented back to Magus, the great thing about this whole thing is that little was known about the traditional ‘Stratford’ Shakespeare whereas quite a lot is known about Edward De Vere. This means that we now get to ‘know Shakespeare’ much better, or rather we get to know him for the first time. But I was forgetting, you guys already knew that.
Image: Beautiful De Vere-inspired Elizabethan music by Mignarda

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The real Shakespeare

Whilst Stumbling around philosophic cyberspace I came across a very worthy site called Philosophy and Literature: Nietzsche, Shakespeare and Hammond belonging to published author L. James Hammond. There is a goldmine of wisdom to discover here, but what jumped out of the page and bit me was Hammond’s essay Who was Shakespeare? After reading this fascinating exposé of literary detective work, I am here to tell you that William Shakespeare was the pen name of Edward De Vere, Earl of Oxford.
* moment of stunned silence*
That is all very well and good you say, after picking yourself up from the floor, but what has it got to do with healing philosophy?
First of all, Shakespeare’s knowledge of the human soul places him among the great philosophers of all time, quite apart from his writing genius. Secondly, how is it that all my life until now, I did not know who the real Shakespeare was? And if all my life I ‘laboured under this mistaken belief’, what other mistaken beliefs am I labouring under? All of us, since I am sure 99% of the world is not aware of the truth.

The conventional view is that Shakespeare was a man from the small, country town of Stratford. Many people, however, reject the conventional view, and argue that Shakespeare was the pen name of Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford, and that the Earl of Oxford had to conceal his authorship for social and political reasons.

The social and political reasons being that all artistic work was considered at that time not much better than manual labour and so was beneath Oxford’s station as a Lord. Hammond’s essay exposes many convincing arguments of which I quote here those I thought the most obviously true:

Shakespeare's works contain a vast amount of knowledge, knowledge that the Stratford man could scarcely have acquired. Shakespeare knew the Greek and Roman classics; his works refer to the tragedies of Sophocles, the dialogues of Plato, and many other ancient classics … Shakespeare also had a firm grasp of politics … a deep knowledge of legal matters … understood naval and military matters ... He was thoroughly versed in the pastimes of the nobility, such as falconry; he often uses images borrowed from falconry. How could the Stratford man have acquired such knowledge? …those who adhere to the Oxford theory describe the poet as one of the best educated people of his time, or of any time.

In short, Oxford’s education was of the first order, he moved in high political circles, he travelled extensively, he was a soldier-sportsman-athlete, a scholar and a gifted writer from an early age. In short he was everything that the Stratford man was not and that the Shakespeare as revealed in his works certainly was. Hammond ties many threads together drawing on the research of many people, such that one is left in no doubt as to the conclusion.
But no need to take my word for it: read the essay and judge for yourself. We must thank Jim Hammond for this belief-shattering essay and not least for passing on to us what is certainly a description of the real Shakespeare:

While traveling on the Continent, Oxford may have encountered the poet George Chapman. In one of his plays, Chapman has a character say that he encountered Oxford in Germany, and that he found him to be .
...the most goodly fashion'd man
I ever saw: from head to foot in form
Rare and most absolute...
He was beside of spirit passing great
Valiant and learn'd, and liberal as the sun,
Spoke and writ sweetly, or of learned subjects,
Or of the discipline of public weals.[17]
Image from Wikimedia: Edward De Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford from an engraving by J. Brown after G.P. Harding 1575

P.S. You can add your name to a Declaration of reasonable doubt about the identity of William Shakespeare at the Shakespeare Authorship Coalition

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

You have mail

Yesterday I got home after a long day feeling in a somewhat black mood. And there was this message for me:

Dear Alex,
I am a Christian. The Lord my God is my Master, but I do so enjoy studying and practicing teachings of Buddha, and I count your website a gift. Thank you for your energy.

Not only that, but Clay has a few excellent quotations affixed to his e-mails which (all with his permission) I give you here. I was particularly touched by Washington’s quote. In fact I look on all the quotes, because of the out-of-the-blue way in which they came to me, as carrying a pertinent message. Thank you Clay.

Be still when you have nothing to say. When genuine passion moves you, say what you've got to say, and say it hot. D. H. Lawrence

Love is a force that connects us to every strand of the universe, an unconditional state that characterizes human nature, a form of knowledge that is always there for us if only we can open ourselves to it. Emily H. Sell

I will permit no man to narrow and degrade my soul by making me hate him. Booker T. Washington

You learn to speak by speaking, to study by studying, to run by running, to work by working; and just so, you learn to love God and man by loving. Begin as a mere apprentice and the very power of love will lead you on to become a master of the art. St. Francis De Sales

The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being.
Matthew 6:21

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Seal of Power

The Chinese way of writing in pictures has always held a beautiful mystery and a fascination for me but remains one of my unfulfilled desires for exploration and study. And as a part of the Chinese way of writing, the use of seals is perhaps the most beautiful and the most mysterious aspect.
The Chinese have been using seals for three thousand years and their use continues to this day in business and in private life. The earliest examples of seals date from the Shang Dynasty (16-11 BC) but they were in use long before. According to a Han dynasty tradition, the first seal was given to the Yellow Emperor by a yellow dragon. The significance of the seal was to confer the Mandate of Heaven on the rightful ruler of the empire. (You can read an interesting overview here).
Looking further into the background of Chinese seals, I discovered the story of the Heirloom Seal, or the Imperial Seal of China, which has all the trappings of an epic Hollywood movie. You can read about it here at Wikipedia. In short, the seal was created in 221BC and passed down through the ages as dynasties rose and fell. Wars were fought for ownership of the seal as it was believed to confer legitimacy on the regime that possessed it, and history has proven them generally right. The seal was eventually lost in the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period (907=960).
Now what has all this got to do with philosophy? Well, to me, anything that confers the Mandate of Heaven is well worth looking into! Seriously, there is a power in these things that we can appropriate for ourselves. And if you think I am full of it, I will just ask you to consider the following:
1 - He is able who thinks he is able, said Buddha. That stone, that relic, that object is sacred and holy because we say it is sacred and holy and act accordingly. That thing or that person is powerful, fearsome, hated or beloved who we believe to be so. Things and people have the power and the qualities that we ascribe to them. (See my post The power of the subconscious mind). So it is with seals.
2 - Modern-day corporations spend millions of dollars designing, publicizing and protecting their logos, a modern form of seals or heraldry. Why?
3 - Hitler knew exactly what he was doing when he appropriated the sacred swastika as his emblem for the Nazi party. In the same vein, Churchill ordered that German submarines be referred to always as ‘U-Boats’, thus ‘branding’ them as something distinct from and far more sinister than ‘our submarines’.
So how can we appropriate the power of symbols or seals in our life today?
First you need a seal. If you have ever studied Chinese painting you may already have your seal. (I am here to tell you that affixing your seal on a painting that you have just created is a thrilling yet solemn occasion). You can have a seal made online or, depending where you live, at your local Chinatown. For online virtual use, I discovered a fun little site at Chinese Tools. Here you can translate your name into Chinese characters and then copy the characters into a tool that creates your Chinese name seal. That is where I got the seal you see in my profile, meaning ‘Alex’. You can also translate a phrase, which is what I did to get the seal at the bottom of the right-hand column, which means ‘Healing philosophy’.
Once you have a seal, you can then use it as a symbol of personal power, a talisman, and an invocation. When setting goals, don’t just write them down. Sign them with your ‘seal of power’. But make sure you follow through. Treat your seal seriously. If you are not absolutely serious about completing the goal, don’t use the seal. Any failure to follow through will weaken the power of the seal. The seal will only have that power that you confer upon it through repeated successful use. But once that power is conferred, it will be embodied in the seal and seem to take on a power of its own. Increase your seal’s power by using it on everything good and beautiful that you create, on every successful project. Use it on your best letters. Sign your checks with it (OK maybe not).
Of course, all this will only resonate with you if you are into Eastern culture. If not, perhaps a heraldic symbol would work better for you, or a Christian symbol. Choose the symbol that appeals to you, one that will feel at home in your subconscious. For it is the power of the subconscious that we are invoking here, which is our link to the power of the universal. The same power that conferred the Mandate of Heaven on the Yellow Emperor.
Image from Wikimedia: Seal of the Mongol ruler Ilkhan Ghazan, over the last two lines of his 1302 letter to Pope Boniface VIII. The seal reads "Seal certifying the authority of his Royal Highness to establish a country and govern its people"

Friday, February 13, 2009

Sincerity - After Bankei had passed away

After Bankei had passed away, a blind man who lived near the master’s temple told a friend: “Since I am blind, I cannot watch a person’s face, so I must judge his character by the sound of his voice. Ordinarily when I hear someone congratulate another upon his happiness or success, I also hear a secret tone of envy. When condolence is expressed for the misfortune of another, I hear pleasure and satisfaction, as if the one condoling was really glad there was something left to gain in his own world. In all my experience, however, Bankei’s voice was always sincere. Whenever he expressed happiness, I heard nothing but happiness, and whenever he expressed sorrow, sorrow was all I heard.”

From Zen Flesh, Zen Bones by Paul Reps
Image from Chinese (detail)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Sincerity - the new normal

Insincerity is not only a weakness, a loss of strength that can be tangibly felt, a cowardice and a disgrace, but also a dangerous evil. As we have seen, insincerity on a large scale - at a national level - has devastating effects. They are being played out globally as we speak in the aftermath of the credit bubble and will continue to be played out for some time.

Truth and fidelity are the pillars of the temple of the world; when these are broken, the fabric falls, and crushes all to pieces. Owen Feltham

Now the temple is all to be built again. The people are dazed, some are angry, all are chastened by this catastrophic, unmistakable manifestation of the power of insincerity. Some are talking about ‘the new normal’: about living within one’s means, building savings the old way, expecting a reasonable return on one’s investment, prudent and moral management. The new normal is seeming to be what we are, and being what we seem to be. The new normal is sincerity.

Now the best way in the world to seem to be anything is really to be what we would seem to be. Besides that it is many times as troublesome to make good the pretence of a good quality as to have it, and if a man have it not it is ten to one but he is discovered to want it, and then all his pains and labor to seem to have it is lost. John Tillotson

I sat at a table where were rich food and wine in abundance, and obsequious attendance, but sincerity and truth were not; and I went away hungry from the inhospitable board. Thoreau

The whole faculties of man must be exerted in order to call forth noble energies; and he who is not earnestly sincere lives in but half his being, self-mutilated, self-paralyzed. Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Loss of sincerity is loss of vital power. Christian Nestell Bovee

An insincere and evil friend is more to be feared than a wild beast; a wild beast may wound your body, but an evil friend will wound your mind. Buddha

Of all the evil spirits abroad at this hour in the world, insincerity is the most dangerous. James Anthony Froude
Photo by Wikimedia: The reverse of the great seal of the United States on the 1$ bill featuring an unfinished pyramid and the ‘eye of Providence’. The Latin phrase above means ‘God has favoured our undertaking’ (literally ‘he/it favors the things having been begun’) and the one below means ‘a new order of the ages’.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Sincerity - according to the Ancients

The strength of a nation derives from the integrity of the home. Confucius

Hold faithfulness and sincerity as first principles. Confucius

To practice five things under all circumstances constitutes perfect virtue; these five are gravity, generosity of soul, sincerity, earnestness, and kindness. Confucius

Sincerity is the way of heaven; to think how to be sincere is the way of man. Mencius

There is no greater delight than to be conscious of sincerity on self-examination. Mencius

The Lord is close to all who call on him, yes, to all who call on Him sincerely. Psalm 145:18

Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. 1 Corinthians 5:8

Of Zebulun, such as went forth to battle, expert in war, with all instruments of war, fifty thousand, which could keep rank: they were not of double heart. 1 Chronicles 12:33

Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile. Psalms 32:2

Friday, February 6, 2009

1,000th Anniversary of 'The Tale of Genji'

As luck would have it once again, I have just discovered that the Japanese are at this very moment celebrating the 1,000th anniversary of The Tale of Genji. I am not making this up and I had no idea. Sincerely! I suppose it is a case of if you live a virtuous life everything just falls effortlessly into place.
I will not attempt to tell you about the celebrations going on in Japan, I will simply let you read Danielle Demetriou’s fascinating feature, Ga-ga for Genji, over at The National Newspaper.
Now I am even more intrigued to get my hands on a copy of this classic work of Japanese literary art.
Illustration from Wikimedia : Genji Monogatari, Musée Saint-Remi

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Tale of Genji

I recently discovered and joined Stumbleupon and for someone who spends too much time in front of the computer already, this was perhaps not advisable. However it did allow me to discover one gem of a site which I would have been very sorry to miss: The Tale of Genji. In the words of the worthy author, ‘This site aims to promote a wider understanding and appreciation of The Tale of Genji - the 11th Century Japanese classic written by a Heian court lady known as Murasaki Shikibu. It also serves as a kind of travel guide to the world of Genji.’
The site is filled – filled – with photos of shrines, temples and other places to be found in the novel. If you are interested in the Japan of the feudal period as I am, you cannot fail to be ‘knocked over with a feather’ by the exquisite beauty of theses temples and holy places. The pure unity of the architecture, the aesthetic simplicity of the interiors and the peaceful beauty of the gardens are a delight to the eye and a balm to the soul.
The predominating feeling one experiences when exploring this world of Genji is reverence. Reverence for the ancestors; reverence for nature; reverence for heaven and deities; reverence for wisdom and virtue; reverence for beauty. The people of feudal Japan were devoted to the arts, the different ‘Ways’ – the Way of the sword, of the bow, of the brush, of poetry, of the Tea Ceremony, of flower arranging - of virtually any activity. Everyday humble tasks were performed with reverence and attention to detail as a way to perfect the self. As one can imagine, this led to perfection and excellence in craftsmanship, from paper to ceramics to swords; perfection in the visual arts; perfection in the martial arts; perfection in reverencing the Spiritual in everything.
The Spiritual is all about us but we generally do not notice it. The Japanese society of this period did notice it and incorporated it into their daily life. Their society was in many ways of a finer essence.
If you are like me, when you close your computer after imbuing yourself with this world of Genji, you may have the distinct feeling of being transported to some dreary parallel universe.

I have not read The Tale of Genji, yet. It is surely a great treat in store for me. When I do, The Tale of Genji will be my companion and my window into that world.

Photo: Iwashimizu Hachiman-gu Shrine, tutelary shrine of the Minamoto (Genji) clan

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Sincerity - Polonius' advice to his son

Yet here, Laertes! aboard, aboard, for shame!
The wind sits in the shoulder of your sail,
And you are stay'd for. There; my blessing with thee!
And these few precepts in thy memory
See thou character. Give thy thoughts no tongue,
Nor any unproportioned thought his act.
Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar.
Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,
Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel;
But do not dull thy palm with entertainment
Of each new-hatch'd, unfledged comrade. Beware
Of entrance to a quarrel, but being in,
Bear't that the opposed may beware of thee.
Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice;
Take each man's censure, but reserve thy judgment.
Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy,
But not express'd in fancy; rich, not gaudy;
For the apparel oft proclaims the man,
And they in France of the best rank and station
Are of a most select and generous chief in that.
Neither a borrower nor a lender be;
For loan oft loses both itself and friend,
And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.
This above all: to thine ownself be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
Farewell: my blessing season this in thee!

From 'Hamlet', by Shake-speare (De Vere)

Ship's log February 2009

January saw the 100th post of Healing Philosophy. As time passes I feel I am finding my voice. Certainly my posts are always spontaneous affairs. I think of a topic and perhaps gather some quotes together and then let my mind, my subconscious, mull it over for a day or two. Then when I sit down to write the post, it usually flows very easily onto the page with very few changes. Also as time goes by I feel the interconnection of all these threads of thought, which I have found very rewarding.
I would like to thank my 8 or 9 faithful regular readers for their support. OK I’m exaggerating. My 5 or 6 regular readers. Why not take this unprecedented opportunity to immortalize yourselves by becoming the first inaugural shipmates in the ‘Followers’ gadget just below. You may not get a second chance because…I have a surprise in the works. It is still in the concept and creative phase but I hope to unleash it on an unsuspecting world soon, possibly in March. Then no doubt Healing Philosophy will become a household name. Hold fast.

Discover The Tale of Genji, the 11th Century classic of Japan (click image)

Discover The Tale of Genji, the 11th Century classic of Japan (click image)
Kiyomizudera Temple has a large veranda looking out over Kyoto and beyond