Day: 30 December 2012

The Non-Duality of Advaita and the Christian Metaphor by Merlyn Swan

I was born into Roman Catholicism, schooled by Irish catholic nuns, and conditioned never to question the dogmas of the church.  One day in my late thirties I questioned the concept of original sin which is said to have flawed mankind and so needing a divine saviour to be redeemed.  These queries grew till I found I had drifted away from the rigid structure of the church and its literal interpretation of the concepts.  The drift continued till I moved from Ceylon to England.  It was here not long after that I encountered the Non-duality of the Advaita philosophy through the Study Society of London.  I found this Advaita philosophy very acceptable as I was free to search for the Truth unhindered by dogmas and a rigid structure that were unquestionable.  I have stayed with the philosophy these last fifty years or more.  However I felt there was a missing link in the Christian story waiting to be acknowledged and I had no idea where to find it at the time; moreover I did not think to even try.  Then Easter Sunday 2011 dawned.  I was meditating and suddenly in a flash it happened.  This is the story of that happening.

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The Tricky Art of Self-Publishing by Bill Keeth

There is, as subscribers to this Newsletter will be aware, no copyright law applicable to titles. But I am more than happy to credit the authorship of the above title to Foster J Dickson of Montgomery, Alabama, writer and teacher of writing. (Google the eponymous title and author on the internet to gain access to his cheerfully empathetic self-publishing exposition.) Because he further avers that “Writing is about art and publication is about money”. Similarly, in Write It Self-Publish It Sell It, I have been concerned to address the twin problems of writing well in the first instance prior to self-publishing successfully and selling your work on. Note, though, that it is not only Mr Dickson’s wise dictum that persuades me this way. For it has been my firm belief and contention throughout that, as a self-published author, you need all the help you can get. Therefore, when it comes to preparing your book for publication, your very first priority should be to ensure it is saleable. That is to say, the book you produce must be as readable as it is well-presented. Because the plain fact of the matter is that, no matter how eager you are to self-publish, you simply cannot afford to churn out any old rubbish.

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A dream or a nightmare? by Merlyn Swan

[This poem may NOT be freely reprinted. Please contact the author for reprint rights.]

What a dark night of the mind
set on seeing an end to a period
of listless governance.
When I write I have no idea
of the consequences of  how
American voters think. I wonder
though why voting is optional?
If he wins his black skin and
heritage will depict a glory
unknown, unheard, for a nation
that has reached down to the
pits of unpopularity, yet
disdainly carries on ruling.
A nation oft despised for
its ignorance and shallowness
of mind. If he wins, he is an
epitome of the true American
with all its mix. On to the
top  of the ladder this nation
springs. If he loses the depth
of despair  can never  be expressed.
For America would only present
a face, ridden with  hate and
prejudice. Racism will
have attained  its peak and
all the world will suffer
at the loss of love and  peace,
and just ordinary simple things.

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