Bulletin from Bharatpur

This lodge, in a row of six owned individually by Ashok and his brothers, is the calmest place we have found since our arrival in Mumbai over a month ago. The garden is a veritable oasis away from the surrounding busy streets, and during the course of the day we can lounge on the terrace and take it all in, while Indu’s restaurant is open to us all the while. It’s so lovely here that I am feeling particularly lucky (and indolent, as Anne goes about earning money to pay for the trip through her translation work).jungle lodge

Ashok announced last weekend that he could feel winter had come to an end. When we arrived the sky had been cold and grey and we woke to thunder and rain and we hadn’t wanted to get out of bed overmuch, although that quickly changed once the sun had risen a little, spreading its warm rays through the greyish, northern Rajasthan mist. Then a hot shower was followed by a breakfast of porridge and hot buttered toast with a big pot of tea in Indu’s place.

That rain-spattered night we had been invited round to the home of a local family and nearly froze as we were collected and deposited on the back of two motorbikes.

Day by day, though, the temperatures increased, so that we were a little worried the migratory birds which had been held back by the unusually inclement weather might decide to fly off in adherence to an age-old internal command. Thankfully, a trip to the local bird sanctuary assuaged our concerns.

Far more irritating than the rickety old bikes, build-up of heat and worries about any absent avian life was the attention we continually received from adolescent boys away from school, always on the lookout for foreigners to tease and share selfies. This particular day was a state holiday in celebration of the supposed marriage of Lord Shiva to Parvati and entire villages from around the park were out to ask for nuptial blessings at the local temple.

People continually ask me what differences I can see from my last trip in Rajasthan four decades ago and all I can come up with is the increase in traffic – and a lot more tourists. Actually, the rise in the former has blighted this trip somewhat and we are hopeful our next destinations set in and near the Himalayas will be less noisy and busy.

In anticipation of our arrival at Rishikesh (where Anne has just booked herself in for a week-long ashram retreat), I downloaded the Beatles ‘White Album’, containing as it does songs composed during the Fab Four’s stay with the Maharashi Mahesh Yogi.

Apart from the well-known classics like Back in the USSR and Revolution, the collection had a ring of self-indulgence and I was reminded why I had never been a big Beatles fan to begin with. I’d been looking forward to deconstructing the songs and inter-twining them somehow with the India trip (much like I have done with The Doors LA Woman album, in a story from the DOSTOEVSKY’S PLACE collection, set during a stay in Russia), and in some way – and in the same manner – make allusions to the human condition. Well, you can’t fake it.

What did come out of this listening process, for me, was this information :-

abbey road

The next Beatles album Abbey Road was released in 1969 (i.e. fifty years ago, the ‘White Album’ came out the previous year) and was only displaced briefly from the number 1 spot by the Rolling Stones’ Let It Bleed, and then eventually with Led Zeppelin II. I mean, just look at that list of three albums! Somehow, their emergence together says a great deal about the kind of energy that was being generated around this period of time.

However, a trawl through the works of fiction of that era did not really correlate with this revolutionary spirit. Which tells me, equally, that the literary world has almost always lagged well behind the production of meaningful popular music, the exception coming with the emergence of the Beats in post-war America.

Quite why this is, I can only speculate. I mean, reading isn’t really that hard a process, just so long as you have the right sequence of words before you. Slaughterhouse 5 by Kurt Vonnegut came out back then and is proof that literature can have a similarly positive effect as accessible rock music.

That is the spirit that I have tried to imbue within my work – and that is the spirit that will eventually make this world a much better place to live.

Books by Glyn Ridgley are published by Valley Independent Publishing and are available at Amazon and bookstores around the world

(Just yesterday evening we were told a baby girl had been born to the daughter-in-law of the local family we visited – slightly before time!)

Journal from Jaipur

From something I wrote concerning Jaipur,1979

   In the hot Rajasthan towns perched up high in their wooden kiosks with sheets of newspaper and weighing scales set up beside them, locals sold Indian weed and opium. Illegal drugs like smack and alcohol were the domain of the taxi-drivers. Amphetamine was available at the chemist. Gee and I, though, were so enraptured by the Indian sights and sounds and smells, and so exhausted by the Asian heat, neither of us bothered much with any of that stuff, preferring instead to drink yoghurt and fruit juice and keep up our energy levels with gooey Hindu sweets. We wouldn’t use the taxis to begin with because we wanted to actually feel the pulse of the street, but sitting behind the poor skinny buggers pedalling their old bone-shakers with all our weight behind them made us feel pretty bad.

‘Maybe we shouldn’t do this,’ said Gee.

‘Yeah, but then it’s their trade isn’t it,’ I said. ‘What else will they do?’

After one ride the young raggedy fellah who’d pedalled us round town in the hot sun to a chemist to get iodine refused to accept our money. He chased us down the street calling us we knew not what but could guess from the looks of the other Indian passers-by. Something along the lines of You cheating motherfuckers, how dare you come over here and treat us like so much cheap shit. Then as he waved the rupee note in front of us we realised that it was worn and crumpled. Obviously as far as the pedi-cab fellah was concerned a crumpled worn-out note wasn’t worth as much as a crisp new one. So Gee slipped him a twenty and he nearly died on the spot.

Rickshaw-wallah and me, Jaipur 2019

Another time a fellah gave us a lift with our bags at five in the morning to a coach stop before hardly anyone was about and really, in the cool Asian morning mist with the big white sky and wide dusty road all to ourselves, Gee and I realised just how pitiful the whole spectacle was. The poor sod in front of us had a gamy leg and could only really push down with one good foot and going up any sort of incline at all – and there was one particularly long if gentle one – we must have slowed down to about one mile a fortnight. The sheer lack of progress, the tortuous slowness, heightened our perception of what was actually happening.

‘This isn’t exactly The Beatles, is it?’ said Gee. ‘Maharishi-style.’

‘No, I said. But, still, it’s quite enlightening.’

I suggested we get off and walk, but the fellah turned round and tried to smile through the grimace caused by all the effort of towing us along with his one good foot. We made it to the coach stop eventually and handed over the four rupees and felt that maybe the combustion engine for all its faults was really not such a bad idea after all.


‘…and felt that maybe the combustion engine for all its faults was really not such a bad idea after all.’

VX4/90, South Bucks 1979

Hmmm! The Jaipur city air in 2019 is now so heavily polluted on account of the endless flow of combustion-fuel driven vehicles that we decided to curtail our visit since it was only making my lung condition all the worse, even following a course of anti-biotics purchased in Jodhpur (which means the next blog post will come from Bharatpur sooner than intended).

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Post from Pushkar

How to put this?

We arrived in Pushkar yesterday, the very first town I stayed in during a trip to India forty years ago. In many ways, I had been greatly looking forward to being here again – one of India’s most sacred spots – expecting the occasion might be the highlight of our extended journey through Rajasthan. Especially, I was excited about climbing the sacred hillock rising out of the Thar Desert up to the Savitri temple where…

Well, I’ll get to that.

We hired a car to take us the two-hundred kilometres from Jaipur to Pushkar on account that the hassle of using the public transport system for this particular part of the journey would not have offset the minimal saving in cost.

Our previously booked room was in a haveli – a traditional townhouse from Mughal times – situated pretty much at the entrance to the old town. To tell the truth, I could barely recall arriving last time, so frenetic had been the bus ride from Delhi.

   Near the Thar desert we stayed in a nondescript roadside hotel overnight and next morning caught a cab to the bus station. We managed to book the fare to Pushkar okay but when the bus pulled into the bay suddenly a whole mass of people charged forward. The crowd were carrying everything, bundles of clothes and chickens and even goats under their arms.

‘Effing Christ!’ Gee yelled.


I grabbed Gee’s holdall and threw it with mine through an open window.

‘Make a dash for it!’

While Gee fought with the rest of the passengers at the front of the bus I wriggled my way through the window. I got through and told an Indian who had sat down beside our bags to clear off. Other Indians too had to be held off until at last a bedraggled Gee made his way up the aisle.

‘Bloody hell! What was all that about?’

The ‘de-luxe’ room at the haveli was a bit poky but the spacious dimensions of the building’s interior and open roof space just about compensated, and a stroll round town left us feeling totally calm. A so-so meal on the rooftop did not diminish our spirits overly and a good night’s sleep ensued.

But then this morning…

The room really did feel poky – and dark, with insufficient natural light to fire up the brain’s neurons. Not even a rooftop breakfast of pancakes and fruit juice did the job.

So I asked the owner/manager if he had really assigned us a ‘de-luxe’ habitation. He suggested we might prefer a ‘super de-luxe’, which turned out to be slightly larger but noisy because of its position over the street – and we moved room again.

So not a great start to the day.

Set upon the hillock now is a cable-car service, or there are stone steps lined with macaques. We took the latter. At the top there appeared to be two square concrete buildings, the cable-car station and something else. Maybe the temple was situated behind them.


Up, up, up we went towards the sky and took off our shoes as required at the stairs’ top.

And then into the building, an anodyne and featureless structure both outwardly and inwardly within which was a shrine dedicated to Savitri, spurned goddess-bride of Brahma. In and around the building were a few Westerners and a few Indian families making a pilgrimage.

Compare this.

   To start with we had to walk on loose sand, then some rocks were placed to help, with a rope banister. On top there was a set of wooden steps to complete the journey. The climb took an hour or more and was pretty tiring in the Asian heat. At the top though there was a tremendous view of the expanded village and lake, people-dots and camel herds. A climb up a wooden staircase led out onto the temple parapet.

‘It’s even better!’ said Gee.

‘Look at that plain!’

‘We’ll have a good smoke of the Kashmiri, and really make it an occasion to remember.’

While Gee was busily sticking papers together a group of nomads from the Thar desert came out onto the parapet. They stood and watched him as he lit up, so he offered one of them a toke, which was gently declined. One came over and offered him white temple sweets. He took them and the nomad motioned for him to open his palm again. This time he dropped a small gooly of rolled opium into it. The only thing they had in common – the semi-retired young Western muso and the nomad of the Thar desert – was that they were equally human.

‘Did you see it, Matt!’ Gee said after the nomads had left the parapet. ‘The look in their eyes!’

– Death and the Dead

Such is the difference forty years can make; and, I have to say, the difference is all external.

This evening we are sharing a meal with the two friends we made in Jodhpur, at their haveli across the road.


After we may visit the ghat on the lake where Gandhi and Nehru’s ashes were scattered, since, as I said earlier in the post, in actuality the place where we are staying is among the most sacred – if not the most sacred of – sites in the whole of India.

Except that’s not quite how it felt today.

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Jottings from Jodhpur

60 today and I’m thinking of my Devon home.

Since my mother died over Christmas plans had to be altered and instead of enjoying a comfortable condo, learning Portuguese and looking forward to the start of Carnival with our daughter in Rio de Janeiro, we are staying in budget accommodation in dry and dusty Rajasthan with its heavily populated and polluted cities, which is playing havoc with my lung infection.

Come late spring/early summer I can receive medical attention and rest up in my lovely house.

Ah, such bliss!

Funnily enough, 40 years ago I was also in Rajasthan – only back then all the cars, scooters, motorcycles and tuk-tuks weren’t fouling up the city streets. At the end of this trail of eight cities we will have some time birdwatching at a wildlife sanctuary in the north-east of the state.

Then we can resume our original plan of heading to the foothills of the Himalayas and visiting the Indian/Russian cultural centre set up by the Roerich family – Rosicrucians – 100 years ago and still active today.

In preparation for this stage of the trip I’ve been reading some books published by the Agni Yoga people relating to their mystical understanding and unfolding of world events.

It would seem that the Hindu era of Kali Yuga is more or less at an end, while the Satya Yuga is being ushered in. Put simply, truth and goodness based on an increased sense of spirituality within the evolved human consciousness will take the place of a debased and materialist approach to humanity’s relationship with the universe; meaning peace instead of war, love instead of division, and shared prosperity in place of selfish acquisition.

Just think: no more national exceptionalism and perverted striving for planetary destruction, no more invasions of peaceful communities, no more abuse of the Earth’s eco-system for material profit!

That is our projected future. And it is coming so long as people are prepared to share their desire for a harmonious existence on this globe alongside the rest of humanity.

Sometimes you get the feeling that you are just caught up in all that is happening around you.

Actually, with regards the death of my mother and her funeral, you will often find as you look back over your life many important matters came to a natural end or were terminated in the fifty days or so leading up to your birthday. This is in accordance with the seven-period cycle that makes up your natal year and has an effect over each intervening twelve months. Of course, each of us has free choice, but like the external seasons which may affect our decisions, so do the different fifty-two day periods influence our personal outcomes.

I am looking forward to the first period of this cycle as I hope some added vitality which always occurs during this interval will aid me in making the most of my remaining time spent travelling before settling down back home once more.


Rooftop venue for my birthday dinner

Jodhpur is known as ‘the blue city’ on account of the indigo that was added to the wash used on the outer walls of dwellings and was thought to repel insects. Not sure it still works as we are having something of an air infestation concerning midges. Later we will wander through the old fort and take in the views from high up.private-tour-jodhpur

A musical festival is also about to start and when we gather more information will hopefully be able to attend some of the shows. For now, we are making do with the drumming and chanting coming from the street – interspersed with my own favourite Turin Brakes songs from the ‘Bottled at Source’ compilation album.

Books by Glyn Ridgley are published by Valley Independent Publishing and are available at Amazon and bookstores around the world

Report from Ranakpur

Jain Shwetamber Temple is probably the most beautiful man-made structure I have ever been to. Built in the 14th century and dedicated to the first Tirthankar Sri Adinathji, it is an acre-filled symmetrical four-sided space of 1444 gloriously carved stone pillars, panels and domes. What a place!

The main tenets of the Jainism are Ahimsa (non-violence), Satya (truth), Achaurya (non-stealing), Brahmacharya (celibacy/chastity) and Aparigraha (non-attachment/non-possession).269px-Jain_Temple_of_Ranakpur_14

Imagine what a different world we’d inhabit if the grouping that goes to make up FUKUS followed such precepts.

On the walk back along the road to our lodging I was ambushed and surrounded by a group of macaques that had espied my goody-bag of dried fruits and nuts. I was getting quite scared as they closed in on me, teeth bared and ready for attack – like being confronted by Trump, Bolton, Pompeo, Abrams and their supporting primates.2018-01-11-florida-monkeys

The last thing I wanted was to be bitten and scratched up by this advancing brigade. They most likely carried more diseases and ill-will than the entire 8th Army. Fortunately, literally at the last moment, when I thought that I was a goner, a fellow turned up on his scooter and rescued me as I hopped on the back and we navigated our way through. Phew!

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Communique from Kumbhalgarh

A whole week without seeing any other tourists – until a group of IT workers based in Gujurat rocked up in two coaches and invited us to share their annual get-away party with them. Not sure you could really call them ‘tourists’ though.

Which means we have been sharing our luxury hotel up in the mountain pass with only the staff and an assortment of camels, cows, goats, macaques, dogs, pigs, donkeys and parakeets. No cats, strangely.

The menu is ‘pure veg’ and the chef has been producing other-worldly but in fact basic down-home Rajasthan dishes, all washed down with copious amounts of ice-cold Indian lager.

The manager set us up with a modem and, inspired by the edge-of-the desert landscape and strong beer, I spent an evening listening to a pair of ol’ Neil Young albums, Harvest Moon and Prairie Wind, both written as though for country rockers just past their prime, but still evoking the high-income American mythologies of limitless space and broken dreams – all mixed up with a fuzzy we’re-still-in-love and safe-in-our-old-home after all these years and the kids grown up kind of tone. Quite dreamy, really. The last of these albums dates back to 2005 and I wonder if anyone in America still believes in these kinds of notions more than a decade on. They sound dated to me, however alluring and reassuring they might come across.

Because from wherever I’m sitting – whether high up in the Albanian mountains, on an Apulian beach, hiking in the French Alps, back home or travelling across the Thar Desert – all I’m getting is a country in terminal decline as it continues waging ever-lasting wars on countries that would not give the American people a moment’s thought were it not for their military invasion and destructive terror campaigns launched against their own population. Think Yemen, Afghanistan, Yugoslavia, Iraq, Somalia, Syria and so on. Not to mention all those Latin American countries, with Venezuela now very prominent on the US’s which-country-can-we-plunder-and-destroy-without-fear-of-repercussion-next list.

Set against this is the constant chatter of Hindi and other Indian languages and a fair old dose of jazzy Planet Gong, rocky Kula Shaker and good old Ravi Shankar knocking it out on his trusty sitar.

That and a vast, blue Rajasthan sky.

All very Indian, all very new-world – all very good.

Now, if only we could find some real peace in this world.

Books by Glyn Ridgley are published by Valley Independent Publishing and are available at Amazon and bookstores around the world

Utterance from Udaipur

Who’d o’ thunk I’d be lying on my bed in my Udaipur hotel room listening to 1967’s THE WHO SELL OUT…

Then again, I was sick and had been reading Roger Daltrey’s autobiography in order to pass the interminable hours. Mr Daltrey may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but he was at least there, and his account of all that has happened in his life is pretty direct.

SELL OUT is a terrifically self-deprecating album that signals the times.

Roger: I love it because it’s a real tribute to those days before the BBC hijacked pop music. What we hear now is what Mother wants us to hear. The DJs on the pirate ships were real music fans, and the competition made them all musically adventurous. Back then, everyone listened to them, and the music was real. It was an outlet for our generation’s music, and the BBC hated that. They hated losing control. With the government, they did everything they could to stop the pirate stations or, at the very least, stop kids listening to it. And they succeeded. [There’s a lot I love about the BBC but] there’s a lot I loathe, and that’s right at the top of the list.

‘They hated losing control’

Just as – being a part of the MSM – they hate losing control of the news information narrative.

‘With the government…’

If the BBC do not tell outright lies concerning what is happening in the world they frame and present and omit their content in a manner that shows the ruling, privileged elite class in a positive and glamorous light, while those who are genuinely working to try and make life on this planet a far more enriching overall experience are either largely undermined or ignored.

BBC World is not a nice place to inhabit.

Any more than Daily Mail, Express, Guardian, Times, WAPO, NYT, CNN, NBC World etc are nice places to live and breathe.

Get your news and views from them and you are a hateful, ignorant moron.

Go on, just try and break the habit. Try living in a more positive mindset, gaining your news and impression from the ‘pirates’ out there – and see what a much better world could be lived in.

Or are you so moronic that you are unable to break away even for a very short space of time?

What the freedom-loving music and times of the 1960s and 70s and the way the establishment fought back to seize control of people’s minds once more, and how so much promise for a wholesome, healthy World Life for the enhancement of all, was either destroyed, stolen or reined back by the fearful, hate-filled, war-mongering Self Life of the existing elites, is a constant theme throughout my written work.

Welcome to a new headspace.


Being in India only increases my belief this is so.

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Message from Mumbai

Here I am sitting in my Mumbai hotel room listening to music on a downloaded acoustic playlist, the fan whirring on the ceiling above, pigeon’s cooing on the balcony…and I’m thinking about Venezuela and the Venezuelans. How does that happen? How do you remove yourself from your everyday UK existence, travel thousands of miles, and yet still inhabit your old headspace? Is it the technology – or just reflex..?

When we got here five days ago, owing to the sheer incomprehensibility of our new environment, we followed the advice of a Canadian we met and headed for Leopold’s on the Causeway, near the hotel. Within were the international travellers to whom this place acts as a common magnet. Some Australian guy wrote a novel called Sham-something about his extravagant Catch-Me-If-You-Can experiences in this city and apparently hung out in this eatery and so it appeared natural for the visitors to do the same. We consumed our over-priced curried-food and Kingfisher beers and hurriedly left.

Next day we found a proper eating place round the corner.

But that initial commercialisation experience didn’t stop us going on a tour of Dharavi, the big slum where Danny Boyle set the opening of his Slumdog Millionaire film.

You just can’t escape your cultural references, can you?

Well, the tour was actually very insightful as we were taken through the narrow passages by our slum-dwelling guide and saw how the inhabitants carved out a reasonable living mostly through recycling rubbish and making clothes and leather goods (the Derahvi brand is on its way, folks, fashioned by a South African designer), along with a poppadomarie, pottery-making area and a bakery where Mumbai’s well-known pastry cases are produced, ready for filling (unbeknownst even to most Mumbaikas themselves).

In our eatery round the corner, I told of a twenty-year old visitor to India from forty years ago who had raised money for the trip by taking orders for the hash he promised to bring back with him; only to find out on arrival it wasn’t financially viable, so brought back a heap of grade four morphine instead, helping to feed the opioid crisis taking place in his own hometown back then.

Not that we are intending to do anything like that, of course.

We will almost certainly travel to Pushkar though, where our drug-smuggler also visited back then – and whose experience of meeting the camel-rearing nomads of the Thar Desert on the parapet of the hill-top temple is retold in a book I wrote called Death and the Dead.

This particular post was started because there was no internet connection for a short while and so the two books I ordered couldn’t be downloaded: Roger Daltrey’s autobiography and something about how secret occult societies such as the Rosicrucians have played an important part in shaping our own history.

You just can’t escape your cultural references, can you?

I suspect it will be interesting to compare the difference between the benign occult societies and malign deep state actors.

Originally, I had wanted in my first post from India to tell of my initial impressions, of the security guard at the bank with a decades’ old shotgun flung across his back, or the trip to Gandhi’s old residence the day after the anniversary of his assassination, but somehow…the old stuff just crept in again.

Last night I finished reading an account of how JFK was most likely assassinated by the American deep state forces in the military, CIA and civil service back then who were keen – nay, desperate – to invade Cuba, start an anti-communist war in Vietnam and launch a pre-emptive nuclear attack on the Russian-dominated Soviet Union. With only the elected American president holding them in check. The same way Ghandi’s assailant hadn’t wanted unity and peace years before that.

Plus ça change?

Sixty years on those same deathly, war-mongering tendencies fuelled by hatred and fear are continuing to fill the headspace of a great many people. Myself included.

And I and others are absolutely sick of it.

We all want to get on with our lives full of peace and love and what we get is more of these unnecessary conflicts and wars engineered by hate-filled sociopaths whose only desire is to bring down as much misery as they can on as great a many people as they possibly can. These people hate themselves and project all their hatred onto others. Wishing they could be dead themselves, they seek to exterminate all other people (who remind them that they are alive and exist). These Americans hate the entire human race and would like to either enslave it or wipe it out, starting with people of colour and a different ethnic background to their own. Oil is just an excuse. They would destroy the planet, if allowed. People like the current National Security Advisor and special envoy to Venezuela are just symptoms of the American existentialist disease. The US Secretary of State openly seeks Armageddon by way of the most pathetic Christian/Judaic ‘rapture’. These are genuinely disturbed people at the helm, with a nincompoop president not helping matters at all.

I am listening to early Pink Floyd in Mumbai while the ceiling fan rotates and the pigeons coo on the balcony and thinking yet again about the psychopaths who wish to destroy a healthy populace who have never caused the world any harm – filled only with good intentions, and am reminded that my early cultural coordinates aided by technology just about keep me in touch with those positive memories and continued aspirations, hopes and desires for a world where the people-killing war-machines of those lethal mechanistic, ideological states from the West fade away into the hellish regions from whence they came.

Welcome to my headspace.

Books by Glyn Ridgley are published by Valley Independent Publishing and are available at Amazon and bookstores are the world

Rosicrucian on the Amazon

It’s such a beautiful image that I can’t refrain from sharing. My daughter is reading her old man’s latest book ROSICRUCIAN as she floats down the Amazon river to Brazil. This after she had unexpectedly met with Rosicrucian musicians who were traveling through Colombia with permission to visit some sacred hill temples.

rosicrucian copy

We were supposed to be joining her, but the death of my mother on Boxing Day means that we have had to change our own plans drastically. Rather than hole up in a comfortable condo on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro in preparation for the Carnival, we’re more likely to be seeing out the next couple of months in an empty end-of-terrace in the East End of London.

Remarkably, I used this setting in my very first book QUESTION.


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To a Slogan-free and Flavorful Existence!

There’s mainstream, there’s alternative, and there’s – complete stand alone.

This blog falls into the third camp. If you think about it, the first two are just different sides of the same coin. What I prefer to use is a brand new currency.rosicrucian copy

Take my new book, ROSICRUCIAN.

It claims to be a novel, but is really a genre mash-up.

It bigs up mystical knowledge, but does down people from current organisations.

It destroys religious teachings, but purports to open a gateway to God.

It does away with prejudices and classifications altogether.

My mother died this Yuletide so 2019 is going to have a different complexion to previous years from the get go.

That suits me fine, since the constant right/left, rich/poor, good/bad dichotomies leave me tired and bored.

If you share my need and desire for something so utterly profound and new that a paradigm shift of some sort is required, you might start by taking a look at these books written over the past thirty years:


I’d like to think that similar-minded people acting together in both active and passive distribution mode can lead to a better-thinking society, one in which black/white, on/off, backwards/forwards are no more than misleading abstractions.