Highway of Spirits’ genre

Highway of Spirits’ genre

At first I called it a Supernatural Thriller. Next it was a Paranormal Urban Fantasy. Now it’s an Odyssey, though it should be a Mystical Odyssey. But into which genre does it fit? Here is the hierarchy of genres that best describes its cross-genre character.

Visionary Fiction

Visionary to its core: probing the immense human potential in all spiritual/ mystical/ supernatural/ paranormal dimensions.

Mythological Fiction

With multiple scenes set in India and loads of references – philosophical and mythological – to ancient Indian philosophy & culture.

Fantasy/Paranormal Urban Fantasy

Exploring the vast magical mystical potential of daily life.

Magical Realism

Though much of its fantastic magic and mythical content is explained, mucho mystery remains.

Conclusion

Highway of Spirits is mythologically visionary, urbanly fantastic, magically real, or is not.

(my apologies to André Breton)

The Emerald Tablet

emeraldtabletpix
The Emerald Tablet and the Secret of the Alchemists

The Emerald Tablet text alludes to a tightly-kept secret of the Alchemists. It is the secret of the transmutation of the most basal matter into the most refined, and I propose that this “refined matter” (the gold of the Alchemists) is the “soma” (essence of immortality) of the old Indian traditions, especially the Vedic tradition of ancient India.

Why secrecy?

The reason that the methods of the ancient Alchemists have at one point gone underground and have since been kept secret was because of the power of the churches that persecuted them. The churches were created by bigots, who distorted original teachings (for example, as was done at the Council of Nicea of 325 AD, where the nature of God was determined by a vote) and they fought amongst themselves bitterly. But they were all equally concerned that the infant science of Alchemy would put an end to ignorance and faith on which their power and wealth, and so their very existence, depended.

The Emerald Tablet

The parallels between the Emerald Tablet text and the inner Vedic teachings are obvious in the outer symbolism. The father Sun of the Emerald Tablet is “surya” of the Vedas, the mother moon is “chandra” and the wind – “vayu” – is a mediator of birth in the womb and the separation of earth (prithivi) from fire (agni) is the separation of the subtle from the crude, ascending from earth into the sky (akash) and descending back to earth. All this closely describes the elements of the Vedic sacrifice (yajña).

Vedic sacrifice

The Vedas describe something called the “vishkalan kriya”, a process whereby the element “earth” is taken from its base (at the base of the spinal column) and brought up to a 2nd level where it is sacrificed into the 1st fire (agni), burning off its crude part and leaving behind the more subtle essence called water (ap), which is taken up to the third level (at the navel) where the 2nd fire burns off the dross and releases a radiant substance which is taken to the 4th level there where the 3rd fire burns off the dross and releases the more subtle essence of airy (vayu), which is taken up to the 5th level (at the throat) where the 4th fire burns off the crude part and releases the finer, ethereal substance (akash) which is taken up to the sixth level at the rear part of the brain and sacrificed into the 5th fire through a secret process , which releases the “soma” – the essence of immortality – which is none other than the “gold” of the Alchemists. From “prithivi” to “soma.” From earth to gold. In the Vedas. On the Emerald Tablet.
A detailed description of this process will be provided in my next book, which is in the works.

Who is Shiva?

I lived in Varanasi/Benares/Kashi, whose residing deity is Vishvanātha – one of the names of Shiva – for 3 ½ years, but just what is Shiva?

Shiva’s hair

Shiva holds the Gaṅga (Ganges) in his matted hair. Gaṅga stands for sweetness (rasa) of Vāk and Oṁkara. The function of speech is complicated (gahanā gati) and therefore incomprehensible (durjñeyā). This complication is well represented by his matted hair. Praṇava is concealed in the matted hair. Its seven currents (sapta ūrmi) are seven rhythms (sapta chandaḥ), seven specific fields of accumulation of power (sapta vyāhṛti) & the seven regions (sapta bhūmi).

Shiva’s head decoration & snake

Shiva’s head is decorated by ardhamātrā which links together nāda, bindu, kalā (patency, potency, partial). It is covered by a ring of serpents (ahi valaya). The expression of speech is the life principle (prāna) represented by “ahi” (serpent). “Ahi”, the entire alphabetical system beginning from ‘a’ and ending with ‘ha’ (Sanskrit alphabet), and ‘ī’ means gati, the evolution of the differentiated from the undifferentiated. The life principle moves in a wave pattern and this is indicated by the word “bhujaga”.

Shiva’s four hands

Shiva is virūpākṣa, controller of what is “virupa-chandaḥ” or disharmony. Paraśu (sword), mrga  (deer), vara (boon), abhaya (hope) are held in his four hands. These are the forces of controlling and harmonizing discordant forces. The sword shapes the discordant to fit in with the eternal law of harmony (chandah). The deer suggests inquiry (anveṣaṇa) into the goal of life (iṣṭa). Vara or boon makes the discordant agree with the concordant, and hope makes it one (ekarūpa) with the concordant.

Shiva’s three eyes

Shiva’s three eyes stand for sūrya, chandra and agni (sun, moon and fire). The third eye in the middle of the forehead (jñāna chaksu) depicts the inner vision in which the revealed knowledge embodied in the three Vedas flashes.

– from an exposition of “Japasūtram” by Pratyagatmananda Saraswati by S.N. Roy (slightly modified)

Shiva in “Highway of Spirits”

In Chapter 28 of “Highway of Spirits” my protagonist – Jude Ryder – meets & has a conversation with Shiva and his son, Krittikeya.

New revision update

Quick update on my novel “Highway of Spirits”

My book has just finished undergoing a *major* revision and has substantially changed. Before I promote it once more, I have submitted it for reviews and am awaiting the outcome. They should come out by early December, so please stay tuned . . .

Why a revision?

After extensive reviews of my second revision, I have taken into account relevant critiques and have applied them with the result being a third revision. I call it V3. The main differences are that the protagonist has more of a clear purpose, one of its sub-plots has been extended, some erotic scenes have been ‘toned down’ and the ending is significantly different. If you’ve read it already and would like to bring yourself up to speed on V3, download it (as the current version on all sites) and re-read Chapters 1 and 33. And above all … enjoy! Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Highway of Spirits_cover_Aug21.indd

 

Who are the “great ones”?

Banmali sits cross-legged on a wooden-framed easy-chair, tucks his grey shawl under his legs and looks calm and peaceful with a gentle smile and bright, inquisitive eyes behind his thick glasses.

         Banmali Lahiri

Who are the “great ones”?

“The scriptures are different, their interpretations are different,

There is no wise person whose opinion is different from another.

The essence of spirituality is hidden in a cave,

And its path is walked by the great ones.”

– Mahābhārata, Āraņyakaparvan 32.65-68:

“Now, who is the great one? The simplest criterion is that he is one who is above all smallness. The outlook of the small one is of petty analytical differentiation. The outlook of the great one is of universal synthetic unity.

“I belong to this province, you belong to that province and he belongs to yet another province, hence we are different” – says the great one. “We are all Indians, therefore we are one” – says the great one. “I am an Indian, you are Burmese, he is Japanese, and hence we are different” – says the small one. “We are all Asiatics, and therefore we are one” – says the great one. “I am an Asiatic. You are a European. He is an American. They are Africans, and hence we are different” – comments the small one. “We belong to the same world and therefore we are one” – says the great one. “I am brown, you are white, he is black, they are yellow, hence we are different” – says the small one again. “We all belong to one great human race and hence we are one” – says the great one. Indeed, when the body is burnt on the funeral pyre, color of the skin is the first casualty. All colors become a uniform carbon-black within minutes. So why emphasize on the evanescent, the transitory, the destructible? Why not find out the Eternal and Infinite in Man? This is the refrain of all the great ones all through the ages, all over the world though the language and the mode of presentation differ from age to age and country to country.”[1]

Let me elaborate further about just who is the “great one”. A “great one” is someone who has attained Truth – to arbitrarily use a word that here signifies the ultimate attainment that makes a person a “great one.” Not so arbitrary and I will continue to use this proxy in the following excerpt – adjusted to be inclusive – which describes such a person living amongst us in society. It will give us some pointers in how we can recognize such a person:

“I have often been asked by very intelligent and learned people whether a person after attainment of Truth can yet remain a useful member of society, and continue to live “normally.” Without going into the question of what actually constitutes “normality” – the dancing round and round the four pivots of sex, wealth, power and fame driven by insatiable desire, or remaining calmly anchored in the peace of the consciousness of Truth – I would like to describe such a one from my personal observations.

“He/she is centered in “Thatness,” the central core of Truth, the center of everything manifest and unmanifest. We are centered in “I”-ness, the mask, the tool, with which we apprehend the tangible. This apparently simple and only difference has very profound consequences. He/she is transformed from within, in a strange way incomprehensible to us. Hence, though actually it is we who are both literally and figuratively ‘eccentric’, judging by our standards we do not hesitate to call him/her eccentric. With all our matter-of-fact practical worldly-wisdom, we impatiently rush about in our simulated and stimulated happiness, like sour apples plucked unripe in haste, but painted red on the outside. There is little wonder that the thin coating of paint is completely washed off in the first shower of adversity, making the inner sourness immediately evident. He/she, on the contrary patiently converts the sour “I”-ness into sweet “That”-ness, and the outer color and fragrance are spontaneous developments from within. The rains and storms of adversity bring out the brilliance of color and the sweetness of fragrance with greater freshness – in the calm serenity of his/her face, in the infinite compassion of his/her eyes, in every gentle gesture of his/her action, speech and thought. His/her happiness is real because it is rooted in Reality, and he/she is always in bliss with this inner transcendent joy under all circumstances.

“A piece of stone is earthy matter to the ordinary – a very tangible symbol of solidity; the same stone is mainly empty space with billions of nuclei and their revolving electrons moving with incredible speed, to the intellectual – a symbol of an enigma at once tangible and intangible; but to him/her – the man/woman with the true vision, it is again a very tangible symbol – a concrete symbol of the intangible Truth which pervades and permates everything.

“For us, the worldly-wise rooted in the “I” – ness, everything is “me” and “mine,” and wisdom consists in complication, diplomacy, amassing of wealth by any means, and attainment of power and fame. With what result? – relentless pursuit, mad rush, unrest, cares, worries, anxieties, frustrations, fear, neurosis, gastric ulcer and coronary thrombosis. For him/her rooted in “Thatness,” whom we consider impractical and un-worldly from our viewpoint, “me” and “mine” are absent as “I”-ness is absent, and hence wisdom consists in simplicity, child-like innocence, frankness, non-possession, spontaneous humility, self-effacement and love and compassion for all. With what result? – spontaneous inner happiness, peace, serenity, contentment and complete freedom from all fear, all anxiety, all care, all worry.

“He/she is just like a magnetic needle placed in the null-point of opposing magnetic fields. With all the bonds intact, he/she is perfectly free. There is no particular direction to choose in preference to another, and therefore, nothing to cling to. He/she is equally happy and serene under all circumstances and conditions, whether playing the part of a king/queen or a beggar. Therefore, for him/her there is absolutely neither reason nor necessity to escape from one way of life to another, say from a householder to a recluse, or vice versa.

“He/she lives in the “Eternal Now” with his/her true vision, and hence he/she has no regrets for the past and no worries for the future. (In parenthesis it may be mentioned here that we, who consider ourselves as bound by Time, also actually live in the “Eternal Now.” What binds us is the imaginary and entirely arbitrary convention of dividing time into past, present, and future. Every infinitesimal moment of the future is constantly becoming the past through the present. We can be aware of and live in only the present, the future being yet unborn and unknown and the past being a dead memory. This clearly indicates that the “State” is ever existent in both the “free” dweller in “Thatness” and the “bound” dweller in “I”-ness. The former knows that he/she is free and always is in the “State”, the latter does not. This is the only but the most crucial, difference).

“With the absence of “me” and “mine” he/she sees the whole universe as a Witness without involving him/herself as an actor. Thus he/she enjoys everything much more fully, just as a spectator does in a cinema show. He/she is passive, but not lazy and inert; on the contrary, extremely alert. He/she neither wants anything nor rejects anything. Whatever automatically comes up engages his/her whole attention and interest for the moment as a manifestation of the fundamental truth masquerading as diversity, and he/she does it scrupulously as his/her duty, without the least desire and expectation of any tangible or intangible return. What more efficient and useful a member of society can there be than one who works with such an impersonal and disinterested selflessness?

“Seeing everything pervaded and permeated by truth, he/she has the proper perspective and the proper sense of values of the paltry things that we live and die for, and he/she becomes incapable of doing anything wrong to achieve the same; therefore his/her actions are always correct. Though he/she needs nothing and none, he/she does not remain aloof. He/she works for the good and welfare of all, for seeing everything as manifestation of Truth from the lowliest speck of dust to the vast expanses of the galaxies, he/she is in complete harmony with everything manifest and unmanifest and regards everything equally with infinite love and infinite compassion. Always living in the bliss of being conscious of what is, he/she lacks nothing and nothing can happen to him/her in life and death which can disturb his/her happy equanimity. Without expecting anything from anybody, he/she is the king/queen of kings/queens, and he/she sails through life smoothly and joyfully, with infinite sympathy for all, desiring nothing for him/herself, but wishing for the well-being of all.

“With the absence of “I”-ness he/she is spontaneously filled through and through with an innocent natural humility, so that the bliss of the consciousness of truth emanates from him/her spontaneously and naturally without the least personal tinge. Thus he/she can both receive the Light of Truth which illuminates him/her and transmit the same to illuminate others without any personal shift or distortion. He/she does not preach, but silently, unostentationusly and dispassionately exemplifies in his/her own life the simple yet eternal message that only in the realization of the fundamental unity of everything and everyone as symbols of Truth by going beyond the symbols and being the Truth, can we transcend the barriers of all disunity, division and diversity with all the corollaries of hate, strife and suffering; and only thus can we establish happiness and peace in our own selves, and, consequently, in our environments.

“In our grim determination to extract the last possible drop of oy from life via wine, wealth, sex, power, or fame, we have made living itself so serious and complicated that all genuine joy has been completely ousted from life. All the external devices to impose happiness within us have only succeeded to partially fill up the emptiness of boredom from which we try to fly away like hunted beasts when we are not otherwise engaged in our desperate struggle for existence. For him/her, who is rooted in bliss, in the happiness from within, life is not an escape from the boredom of living, or a desperate struggle, but a perennial ecstasy of living in Truth. Thus it is not we, but he/she who lives a full, integrated life.

“Such individuals are at present rare, and an exception rather than the rule. Is the time not yet ripe when such individuals will be the rule rather than the exception? . . .”[2]

[1] Time, Space and Man. Prof. B. Lahiry. Preprint from “Pathway to God,” pp 207-213, adapted from the lecture delivered on 28th July, 1967, under the auspices of Kashi Tattva Sabha at the Theosophical Society Hall, Varnasi.

[2] Quest for Truth. B. Lahiry. First printed in Prajna (Banaras Hindu University Journal) – Vol VIII (2) – March 1963, pp 83-105 reprinted with an addendum in the same Journal, Vol X, March 1965, pp 69-96.

Who is Kali?

Kali - traditional

Kali – traditional

Kāli plays a prominent role in my book, but who or what is she really?
First, Kāli’s dark. Very dark, which signifies that she’s the hidden principle of creation sometimes described as night (rātri). If you imagine her as an infinite, multi-dimensional expanse of darkness, bubbles that arise within are our consciousness of the universe, which is presented by Kali as a shadow (chāyā) behind which a difficult-to discern and grasp substance lies. Kāli is indescribable (avarņanīyā) and indefinable (anirdeśyā) and thus completely screened off from our view. She is dark because she absorbs all colors, which emanate from the same colorness (varņahīnā) source into which they finally merge (vilaya). She is the source of all colors and their absorber (nilaya + vilaya).
The word ‘varņa’ (color) has three senses: functionality (jāti), letter (akşara) and color (ābhā), but Kāli cannot be fully described by any of these senses. She is self-revealing (svaprakāśa svarupa) and is the active principle in the presentation of the universe to our view. She creates the world and invests it with an infinite variety of colors (varņa), forms (ākŗti), and classes of functionality (jāti). This is where, out of the primordial soup of the union of primitive unified matter and energy she puts into place within its matrix the physical laws and constants such as the speed of light, the fine structure constant, the multi-furcation of primitive unified energy, the masses of bosons and leptons, the entire variety of particles and so on. Her self-revealing nature is symbolized by the dazzling white of Śiva at her feet. The physical constraints of the universe are actually set by a collusion with Śiva. In this sense, you could say that if Kali is matter/energy, that Śiva is consciousness.
Kāli’s mass of scattered hair is symbolic of the veil of ‘māyā’ by which the reality principle (satya) has been covered (pihita) and a universe of multifarious things and relations is projected like a film on a screen. She has created insatiable lust (kāma) and thirst (tŗşņā). Lust is personified by the demon, Raktabīja, whom if a drop of blood from his body is shed in the universe, another demon springs into existence. This is the endless activity and undying nature of lust throughout creation. Kāli kills him with her sword and laps up his blood with her tongue so that not a drop falls to the ground, thus destroying the Raktabījakūţa, the entirety (samūha) of evil forces. The tangled mass of her hair is the veil of ‘māyā’ which creates the illusion of many and her protruding tongue (lolajihvā) points to her power of destruction and its redness indicates the blood-germ of Raktabīja, who is destroyed on her tongue. She is thus the soured of creation and the agent of destruction.
Yet her exquisitely beautiful face has been concealed from our view. She does not reveal her intrinsic nature and the cloud that has gathered in the sky of consciousness (ciḍākāśa) is the primary form (ādima rūpa) of condensed energy before its radiation. The seeds of all things are stored up in that condensed for of energy called ‘mahāvŗşa,’ that is, a cloud sprinkling rain. Mahākāli becomes active in the form of ‘mahānāda,’ the great upheaval (āloḍana). This upheaval or flow of energy has been manifest in the creation of the world in the form of sounds or words (vāṅgmaya). Thus behind her dark appearance there is supreme effulgence (parama jyoti) and beyond the upheaval there is quietude (turīya sānta or parama nāda), which sets at rest all stirrings in the universe.
Nityakāli (the eternal Kāli) is not a separate entity dependent on the absolute principle of reality (paramatattva). She is the essence of the absolute, non-different (abhinnā) from it and in unison (sāmarasya) with it. (We can recall here that sāmarasya is a yogic expression of the absolute union of the male and female principles in love) She does not separate anything from herself but is the string attached to the myriads of kites flown in the sky. If any kite’s connection with the string is cut off, it returns to the same field from which it was launched. Anything that appears in the mirror of our consciousness is invested with form (rūpa), measure (māna) and so on, by Nityakāli. She upholds everything and attracts everything towards herself.
Kāli’s sword (khaḍga) is a symbol of her power of making the undivided whole (akhaņḍa) appear as torn into pieces. She has created a network of causes and effects and spatial and temporal relations by which things are held together. These are the laws and constants of physics, chemistry and biology. Thus the indivisible and indefinable reality has become divisible and definable. She has created the illusion (bhrāti) and the demons representing birth, death, pain and chains (pāśa) of attachment have come to play their part in this world of illusion. She is the root of all delusion (bhrānti) but she is also the fountainhead of mercy (dayā) which alone can kill the demons. The sword symbolizes the power of destroying evil. In her hand there is a head severed from the body and around her neck there is a wreath of severed heads, meaning that she is the sustaining principle both of the individual (vyasta) and the whole (samasta). She is both ‘vara’ (blessing) and ‘abhaya’ (fearlessness). She is blessing in the form of ‘sandhi’ or link between the individual and the universal and ‘abhaya’ indicates a stage beyond all differentiation. She is the supreme source of joy and quietude (parama śānti). Thus both prosperity (abhyudaya) and higher bliss (niḥśreyasa) are grounded in the Absolute Being. Hence she is represented as distributing ‘vara’ and ‘abhaya’ by her two hands.
Kāli is the self-revealing effulgent principle which illuminates everything. But why is there a difference between the observer and the observed (draşţā and dŗśya)? She is ever free (nityata kaivalyarūpa) and the root cause (bīja) of everything in this universe. She is the bliss principle (ānandarūpiņī) which becomes manifest in her consortship with Śiva. If Śiva is divorced from her, he is Śava (a lifeless corpse) so the play and upsurge of joy and bliss is caused by the partnership with Śiva. Thus ‘cit,’ the conscious principle never becomes the knowing principle (citti) without companionship with her. She is the all-pervasive conscious principle (citirūpeņa yā kŗtsnām etad vyāpya sthitā jagarat) in which the entire creation is revealed as ‘known.’ It is through her agency that Saccidānanda Brahman has expressed himself. He is an ocean of which the three currents are knowledge (jñāna), desire (icchā) and action (kriyā). The ‘Sat’ as ‘jñyea’ or knowable is manifest as truth (satya) and the ‘cit’ is differentiated into knower-known and bliss (ānanda) is exhibited in the display of love (rāsalīlā).
Kāli is ‘nişkalā’, beyond all determination, but the crescent (śaśikalā) on her forehead indicates that she is the center from which ‘nāda-bindu-kalā’ have originated (perfect patency, potency and the connecting bridge of laws and relationships).When her self-willed expression (svakalpita kalā) is complete and perfect, she appears as ‘Umā’ with the glamour of the full moon (purņamāsi) and she is known as Mahālakşmi or Śri Vidyā. But in her own fundamental nature she is ‘Amā,’ or hidden from our view and is therefore dark in appearance. ‘Umā’ (light) and ‘amā’ (darkness) are the two poles between which ‘a,’ ‘u,’ and ‘ma’ are the three measures (mātrātraya) in which infinitely varied partials (kalā) are manifest.
The ‘ākāśa,’ which represents the bliss principle (ānandarūpa) is also the conscious principle (jyotirūpa). The effulgence (jyotiḥ) has been scattered in countless particles (kaņā) and has pervaded everything in and outside ourselves. Kāli has set up vibrations (spandana) in that ‘ākāśa’ of joy and effulgence (ānandajyotirūpa vyomah) and thus she appears as a great upheaval (nāda) which is without limit (sīmā) and ever expansive (vistīrņā). She also withdraws herself into a ‘bindu’ (perfect potency – the naked singularity). Nāda – the fully expanded limits of the universe – and ‘bindu’ – the completely compacted universe – taken together constitute her full being (pūrņatā). Expansion via the ‘big bang’ and contraction via the ‘big crunch’ have been going on endlessly, and the process (gati) of one following the other is this creation, which is currently in a phase of expansion. These functions have two aspects, one being eternal time (nitya mahākāla) not yet having differentiated itself into successive moments and appearing as the basis of all that is. The other is the potency aspect (bindurūpa) appearing as points in a series (karma) of creations. That is why Mahākāla is lying under the feet of Mahākāli, and the necklace of heads stands for the ‘bindurūpa’ or ‘baindavī mūrti,’ the entire infinite series of creations hand around her neck.
The redness of Kāli’s tongue is a symbol of the flame arising out of the sacrificial fire by which all obstacles in the way of specific accumulation (vyāhŗti) of power (mantra śakti) are removed. Her three eyes – ‘arka, agni and soma’ – are the witnesses to the performance of the ‘mahāyajña,’ and they also point to the creation, preservation and dissolution/destruction/ultimate contraction of the universe to a naked singularity called ‘bindu.’ (We could also here present the ‘vishkalan krīyā’ descritption of yajña but this will be a digression from our examination of the nature of Kāli and will be presented in another blog post)
If we consider the principle of Kāli (Mahākālikatattva) from the point of view of ‘vāk’ (speech), her tongue represents the ‘vaikhari vāk’ or expressed speech (sphuţavāni) and its three varieties are oral (vācika), non-vocal (upaṁśu), and mental (mānasa) and the partially open teeth stand for ‘madhyamā vāk,’ or the intermediate stage of transition from ‘vaikhari’ to ‘paśyantī,’ and the glare of her eyes stands for ‘paśyanti vāk,’ or inner vision. She has made all her designs (yantra) and functions (tantra) fully explicit in the realization of ‘parāvāk,’ or transcendental speech.
But how is there an evolution of the ‘om,’ the essence of speech from the ‘parāvak’? Kāli is not only the final rest (śantā) and supreme transcendent (śāntātitā) but has assumed two forms (tuṣṇī – nāda) – ‘tuṣṇī’ is Śiva and ‘nāda’ is also Śiva, and when these two are combined, they appear as perfect potency (bindu). She is the mantra personified, and that mantra is the basis of the mantras of Kāli, Saraswati and Lakşmi.
Kāli as mother is ‘ādyāśakti, the prime/primal energy resident in the core/heart of creation. The heart is the nucleus of all energy-transformations in the smallest particle as well as in the whole universe (virāt viśva) and is called ‘dhara’ for it is the limit of subtlety/smallness ‘sūkşma parākaşţhā’ and the mother resident in the ‘dahara’ is the subtlest of all the levels of subtlety, several levels of subtlety below the Planck limit. She transcends all measures and magnitudes and is therefore not only ‘sūkşmatamā’ but also ‘dūratamā.’ No measure is adequate to encompass her. She is the basic pattern of power and as such is called ‘tanutamā,’ and as a basis of the recurring creation and dissolution of the universe, she is ‘urutamā.’ She is the inexorable law of the universe and therefore is ’dŗḍhatamā,’ and at the same time she is al-merciful (madhutamā) and supremely fit (paţutamā) in setting at rest all discordant elements of our being.
Kāli is ‘kaivalyadāyinī’ or the giver of salvation. She is ‘guņātmikā,’ or qualified by the ‘gunas’ (a subtle level of the basic building blocks of matter) as well as ‘guņātītā,’ or beyond all ‘gunas.’ She is ‘Brahmaśmi,’ or identical with Brahman, and her sword (khaḍga) represents the power of knowledge by which all illusions are removed. She is ‘Tattvamasi’ – ‘That thou art’ – and therefore the heads severed by her sword are not thrown away. “Sarvam khalvidam Brahman’ – all is Brahman – and therefore she holds round her neck a necklace of infinite universes. She is the consummation of ‘bhakti, mukti, jñāna and prema’ – emotional devotion, freedom, wisdom and love.
– Re-worked from the works of Pratyagatmananda Saraswati and his expositors, especially S.N. Roy, former principle of B.N. College, Patna University, along with my adjustments.

Blog entry Sept 7, 2016 My novel has just undergone its 3rd revision.

Blog entry Sept 7, 2016
My novel has just undergone its 3rd revision. Why? Some critics have pointed out that its protagonist, Jude Ryder, lacks a clear mission or goal, and that this may confuse the reader. The lack of a clear “mission” was purposely used as a postmodern device, but some critics seemed not to have picked this up. Perhaps this underscores that postmodern literature is a literary undercurrent rather than a major trend. “Lack of purpose” was its purpose, and the protagonist was supposed to discover his purpose throughout the series, but okay, I get it. I won’t split hairs (pardon the cliché). My book is supposed to be for the masses, so I changed it, and now my protagonist has a clear purpose. I will not spoil it for you here, but you can find this clear in the very first chapter, and this change is incorporated throughout the book. Yeah, my hero now knows what he wants, for sure. There are other changes too, like the ending – sorry, no spoilers here. I have also toned down some of the graphic erotic content. For some, they have proved to be an obstacle to get to the “essence” of the novel. The last thing I have changed is the sub-title. First it was a “Supernatural thriller”. Then it became “A paranormal urban fantasy,” and now it is “An odyssey”. Also, it’s has changed from “Fantasy” (SciFi/Fantasy>Fantasy>Paranormal Urban Fantasy) to Magical Realism (SciFi/Fantasy>Fantasy/Magical Realism). It could perhaps be an example of “New Weird” (with its horror elements) but having read several samples of that genre, it really isn’t. In the final analysis it’s kind of a mixed bag but I have had to pigeonhole it and so be it.
Will any of this change anything? Time will tell, and perhaps my friends will help me out by downloading it on Amazon.com (not Amazon.anything-else such as .ca or .es or .de etcetera.) and post a review so that it appears on the .com site, which is important to me. More to come, so please stay tuned . . .

Book & Blog Party

Blog Party 1

Hi and “WELCOME” to Rave Reviews Book Club’s BACK-TO-SCHOOL BOOK & BLOG BLOCK PARTY at Watch Remi Peter Baronas Write! Location: Vancouver, Canada.

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Here’s What I’m Giving Away Today:

*5 x 10$ Amazon Gift Card

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# of Winners for this stop: 5

I’d like to introduce you to my book, “Highway of Spirits” and I do hope that you will take the time to check it out. It’s *only* a 99-cent download on Amazon.com, and I guarantee that you will be taken on a thrilling “ride”. Please don’t forget to leave a customer review.

Virgin Birth

Nativity1WDid you know that Jesus is not the only virgin birth? In this article I will relate an oriental legend of virgin birth, with all it’s mysterious details.

A Paranormal Virgin Birth
A long time ago lived a poor young woman that nobody loved because she was barren. She lived alone in a hut deep in the forest because everyone in the village rejected her, including her own family. She would often sit leaning against a tall tree and cry her heart out because more than anything else she wanted a child. Her name was Sita.

One day the universal mother and father of creation were flying by and spotted the sad and dejected barren woman. The mother of creation was moved by this tragic life and asked her consort if they could intervene and give her a child.

“My dear taskmistress of the universe,” he said, “I am saddened for that poor maiden in the forest but the order in the universe is based on strict laws and if we were to break them it would introduce an element of chaos, which is not permissible. Yes, our function is to create, but only under law. I’m sorry but there is nothing we can do. The poor woman must remain childless.” And the father and mother of creation flew on.

At the outer reaches of the forest, in a hidden cave on the side of a snow-capped peak lived a highly evolved being. He was nourished by the mountain air and would spend much of his time in his cave. Only occasionally would he come down into the forest to gather fire-wood for the perpetually-burning “duni” fire-pit he maintained in his cave. His name was Ram.

One day, while gathering wood in the forest, Ram came upon the barren woman. He observed her profound sadness, and it moved his heart. He asked her for some water and at first Sita was startled by this wild-looking man but when she looked into his eyes she saw great peace. Her fear dispelled, she brought him some water. Ram drank the refreshing spring water and asked her, “Why are you so sad, my dear child? What is your name and why are you living alone deep in the woods?”

“I am Sita,” she replied. “I have banished myself deep in this forest because I could not stand the shame of my barrenness in my village. I was rejected and fled here to suffer my fate alone in the silence of the forest. No, not silence, nor loneliness for I have the wind and the rain, the moon and the stars, and the creatures of the forest to keep me company. I also have the salty taste of my tears.”

“My dear child, you have suffered much and the tears burning in your eyes show me that there is much love in your heart,” said Ram.

Sita became confused, turned her head and wanted this stranger to go away and leave her alone.

“Dear Sita,” Ram said, “soon you will give birth to a child and your child will be the son of the sun, the moon, the wind, the rain, and the stars, and you will grieve no more.”

Sita became confused and did not know what to do or say, so she said and did nothing.

Ram returned to his cave, his heart filled with compassion. That night he left his physical body parked in the cave in suspended animation and traveled in his spiritual body to the Sita’s hut. While she slept, he entered her with his supernatural body, forced an egg through the blocked passage of her fallopian tube into her womb and fertilized it by dimensionally shifting the supernatural homologue of his own sperm down to the gross physical level and making it penetrate her ova. Sita became pregnant and afraid and because there was no available soul to animate this embryo, Ram remained, with his own soul, in the fetus while his physical body was parked in suspended-animation in his cave.

In due course, Sita gave birth to a beautiful child. “This is miraculous,” she thought. “Now I am happy and fulfilled and soon will return to my village and raise my child.”

Once more the father and mother of the universe were flying over this section of creation when the universal mother spotted the familiar barren woman with a child in her arms. Ram, being the soul of this child, saw with his paranormal vision the universal mother and farther passing above and became extremely cute and attractive in his mannerisms. He caught the attention and interest of the universal mother, who told her consort that she wanted to hold this beautiful child in her arms. They flew down and approached proud Sita holding her child.

Sita was surprised by the visit of these majestic strangers and when the mother of the universe asked to hold the cute and cuddly baby in her arms, she gladly surrendered her baby to this goddess-like woman. Perhaps she is a queen, she thought.

When the baby was in the universal mother’s arms, Ram withdrew his soul from the baby and the mother of creation was left holding a lifeless body. The universal mother was immediately horrified and turned to hide this corpse from the beaming young mother. Ram’s soul immediately returned to his cave, re-animated his gross physical body and hurried back to the scene he had just orchestrated.

Ram approached the mother of the universe and said, “Oh Mother of Creation, what do you have there? A dead baby? What in heaven and earth have you done? You took this wonderful, innocent baby, so full of life, from this young mother and it now lies dead in your arms? You are the mother of life and in your hands lies death? Oh mother and father of the universe, you are the givers of life and have no right to take it away. What on heaven and earth have you done?”

Sita did not realize what was going on when the universal mother and father, realizing the gravity of the situation, resigned themselves to the seriousness of their predicament and gave the baby a soul. In an instant, the baby came to life and the mother of the universe returned the re-animated baby to Sita, blissful in her innocent joy. Though the balance sheet of life and death went out of order, chaos was not the result. The small discrepancy went unnoticed in the large accounting book of the souls of the universe and was resolved with a minor inventory adjustment.

Ram returned to his cave and Sita returned triumphantly to her village with her baby. The mother and father of the universe flew away confused, but resigned to allow one more soul life on earth as an exception to the rule.