Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Aryan Invasion

The once-discredited "Aryan migration" theory, which forms the basis for the plot line of THE ASSASIN LOTUSis now increasingly accepted to be true:
"The thorniest, most fought-over question in Indian history is slowly but surely getting answered: did Indo-European language speakers, who called themselves Aryans, stream down into India sometime around 2,000 BC – 1,500 BC when the Indus Valley civilization came to an end, bringing with them Sanskrit and a distinctive set of cultural practices? Genetic research based on an avalanche of new DNA evidence is making scientists around the world converge on an unambiguous answer: yes, they did."   [Full article HERE.]
It's not only linguistics and genetics that provide evidence. Among the Aryans' "distinctive set of cultural practices" was the ritual use of a plant-derived drug called "soma"--the same used by the ancient Zoroastrians of Persia (Iran, "land of the Aryans"), who called the courage-inducing substance "haoma." THE ASSASSIN LOTUS imagines the rediscovery of the long-lost drug in the multi-cultural cauldron of modern-day Central Asia--setting off a firestorm of espionage and intrigue.

"...a genuine suspenseful page-turner steeped in the esoteric history and traditions of both Hinduism and Buddhism." --Bookgasm
"The book is rife with nail-biting tension... The action rarely stops. Angsten hits all the genre highlights--action, suspense, mystery--in this worthwhile thriller." --Kirkus Reviews

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Just beginning

"From the age of six, I had a penchant for copying the form of things, and from about 50, my pictures were frequently published; but until the age of 70, nothing I drew was worthy of notice… Thus when I reach 80 years, I hope to have made increasing progress, and at 90 to see further into the underlying principles of things, so that at 100 years I will have achieved a divine state in my art, and at 110, every dot and every stroke will be as though alive."
~Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849) 


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Awe - the oldest emotion

This stone mask from the pre-ceramic neolithic period dates to 7000 BC and is probably the oldest mask in the world (Musée de la Bible et de la Terre Sainte)

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Art is Humbling

"Do not only practice art, but get at the very heart of it; this it deserves, for only art and science raise men to the God-head. [...] The true artist is not proud, he unfortunately sees that art has no limits; he feels darkly how far he is from the goal; and though he may be admired by others, he is sad not to have reached that point to which his better genius only appears as a distant, guiding sun."  ~ Ludwig van Beethoven

Friday, May 19, 2017

Inner Space

"The inner spaces that a good story lets us enter are the old apartments of religion."
~ John Updike  (quote & photo from Joseph Durepos)

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Poison Stories

“To poison a nation, poison its stories. A demoralized nation tells demoralized stories to itself. Beware of the story-tellers who are not fully conscious of the importance of their gifts, and who are irresponsible in the application of their art: they could unwittingly help along the psychic destruction of their people.” --Ben Okri
Ben Okri is a Nigerian novelist living in London. His 1991 novel, the Famished Road, won the Booker Prize. (Thanks to David Brown and Tonie Mwangi for this pearl of wisdom.)