Tuesday, January 27, 2015


John Gohorry, after an oil
painting by Alex Smith
The finished work of a writer is a kind of dialogue with the reader. For the writer this means the creative process is a dialogue with himself, a point neatly made in this poem by John Gohorry


Together, they wrote a book.
Its title was Solitude, or
Every Man his own Hermit.
They wrote alternate chapters
in a small room with one chair and a desk
hardly bigger than A4.
Bip wrote on Saturdays, Mondays
and Wednesdays, Bop on the other days.
On Sundays, neither wrote.
On Sundays, they went together
to search for the stuff of fiction.
They travelled, gambled, dug gardens,
dated deep women, whose talk
they would agonise over on weekdays
at that desk, working out meanings.
~John Gohorry

Monday, January 26, 2015


Breeze rustling palm fronds,
Open suitcase asking me:
Arrived, or leaving?

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Truly Great Men

(click to ENLARGE)
"This is the status of truly great men:  living, they live for others; dying, they die for others." 

So writes the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in his commentary on the Bhagavad-Gita. The famous 700-verse Hindu scripture tells the story of the warrior prince Arjuna, who pauses on the brink of a terrible battle to consult with his charioteer and guide, Lord Krishna. Arjuna is filled with self-doubt about his role as a warrior and the righteousness of his cause. His moral dilemma is timeless, as acute today as it was in the 4th and 5th Century BCE, the era in which the Gita was written. As the Maharishi explains:
"A close study of Arjuna's utterances reveals that he is bent upon resisting evil; he is not interested in killing people. He wants to destroy the evil without destroying the evil-doer. It is a noble ideal. His aim is to destroy the evil on earth, if possible without bringing down upon society the untold suffering and destruction of war."
How does one find the courage to act when stopping an evil means commiting an evil? Arjuna's tale was the inspiration for my spiritual adventure thriller, THE ASSASSIN LOTUS, a contemporary take on the daunting challenge of confronting the modern evil of terrorism. 
Click HERE to see more posts.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Your Brain on Religion

Can the same basic brain circuitry produce Mother Teresa and Osama bin Laden?

At the University of Utah, neuroscientists Julie Kornberg and Jeff Anderson are studying the activity of the human brain during deep religious experience.
"It amazes me how one of the most profound influences on human behavior is virtually completely unstudied," Anderson said. "We think about how much this drives people's behavior, and yet we don't know the first thing about where in the brain that's even registered."
They're currently studying the neurological activity of Mormons during prayer.
"There are plenty who would relish any data that support the idea that God is all in the mind. But Korenberg and Anderson aren't looking for how people come to believe in a supernatural being. They want to know what happens once they do believe.
"I think we're trying to do something much more simple, and that is look at private religious practice," said Korenberg, who is Jewish, was raised in a Catholic neighborhood in Natick, Mass., and sings in a Christian chorale. "I think that what we're expecting to find here is that Mormons aren't really going to be that different from Jews or Muslims."
Spiritual experience, mystical experience, sacred experience, peak experience—all are names for that inner experience of infinity encountered during deep meditation or contemplative prayer. But does that subjective experience by itself necessarily lead to positive action? A basic idea explored in THE ASSASSIN LOTUS is the way in which a zealot's warped religious understanding distorts or misinterprets that profound inner experience, leading to very unholy behavior. 

Thursday, January 8, 2015


“Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of a readiness to die.” 
~G.K. Chesterton

Monday, January 5, 2015

Roma Yoga

"Withdraw to the untroubled quietude deep within the soul, and refresh yourself."
Marcus Aurelius (121-180 AD), Stoic philosopher and Emperor of Rome 
"Marcus Aurelius' Stoic tome Meditations, written in Greek while on campaign between 170 and 180, is still revered as a literary monument to a philosophy of service and duty, describing how to find and preserve equanimity in the midst of conflict..."

Thursday, January 1, 2015


"Seeing. One could say that the whole of life lies in seeing...to try to see more and to see better is not, therefore, just a fantasy, curiosity, or a luxury. See or perish. This is the situation imposed on every element of the universe by the mysterious gift of existence. And thus, to a higher degree, this is the human condition."
~Pierre Teilhard de ChardinThe Human Phenomenon