Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Performance Art, 1929

A lion rides in the sidecar during a performance of The Wall of Death carnival attraction at Revere Beach , Massachusetts in 1929.

Friday, July 7, 2017

The Mystery of Evil

"It is a strange thing. Dozens of times I have been asked by patients or acquaintances: "Dr. Peck, why is there evil in the world?" Yet no one has ever asked me in all these years, "Why is there good in the world?" It is as if we automatically assume this is a naturally good world that has somehow been contaminated by evil. In terms of what we know of science, however, it is actually easier to explain evil. That things decay is quite explainable in accord with the natural law of physics. That life should evolve into more and more complex forms is not so easily understandable. That children generally lie and steal and cheat is routinely observable. The fact that sometimes they grow up to become truly honest adults is what seems the more remarkable. Laziness is more the rule than diligence. If we seriously think about it, it probably makes more sense to assume this is a naturally evil world that has somehow been mysteriously "contaminated" by goodness, rather than the other way around. The mystery of goodness is even greater than the mystery of evil."  ~ M. Scott Peck

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