COMING SOON TO A BOOKSTORE NEAR YOU (I HOPE)

Advance notice of the launch of my new book, ‘Arabian Nights & Arabian Nights’, already available for pre-purchase on Amazon and Barnes & Noble (all Amazon site country links are on my author’s web page, https://goo.gl/cFEJPU). I will be doing some multi-lingual promotion around the time of the launch, so expect a few more posts around launch time!

Just after the launch day on 11th October, I’ll be offering a ‘rafflecopter’ giveaway and making the Kindle version FREE to download. Please do take advantage of the download when it’s available, and pass on to others too – this really helps me get visibility, and (if you have Kindle or a Kindle app on your phone/tablet/PC) gives you a free book to read!

“Inventive author Clive Johnson brings to life the age-old cultural icons once again—with a cool modern twist.”

– BlueInk Review

#BookLaunch #ArabianNights

 

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WHAT GOES ON BEHIND THE SCENES

A fascinating thought-prompter dropped into my inbox just now, which I thought worth sharing. This suggests that almost all of what “exists” in Nature has been lost to most humans’ perceptions. As someone who believes in transcending what we normally describe as “reality”, this resonated strongly with me. Though I do suspect that humanity is beginning to turn the tide, and rediscover something of the multiple nature of conciousness and deeply mystical workings of the Cosmos that were known to our ancestors.

Thanks to the wonderfully inspiring teachers Joel and Michelle Levey, who I had the privillege to meet when they hosted a beautiful meditation in Brighton earlier this year, and to its originator, the multi-gifted master of many arts Buckminster Fuller, for this profound meditation.

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IDENTITY MATTERS

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I had a thought-provoking interview on the subject of ‘identity’ yesterday with philosophy guru John-Michael Kuczynski, taking a steer from his great book on this subject. I had the pleasure to narrate the book, which is now available through Audible (http://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Non-fiction/Identity-Audiobook/B01LY7V0ZO/ref=a_search_c4_1_18_srTtl?qid=1474710409&sr=1-18) – and have vouchers available so you can download this for FREE! Just let me know if you would like one… #identity #audible

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MEETING OUR ILLUSIONS AT FALL EQUINOX

I’m sure that many inspiring reflections filter through most of our in boxes every day – as well as the odd one I don’t necessarily agree with! I confess that I usually give these a casual glance, unless they strike home, working on the basis that if a message is right for you at a particular time, it will invite your curiosity and touch your heart. One that did that this morning was from my good friend and fellow earth lover Karmit Evenzur (check out her deeply inspiring workshop, ‘The Invisible Landscape’, running in November at Vejer de la Fra. Andalucia, Spain, http://www.earth-speaks.net/blank).

I never cease to be inspired by Native American / Canadian Mohawk teachings, and this one is perfect for me on this day. Thank you Karmit!

“Fall equinox…is the door of man, or the gate of truth, where the guardians of dreams incite you to follow them to the West and meet the all of illusions. They force the traveler to examine the vain illusions and the false dreams. They teach us the laws of the circle. We also encounter the dream of the earth in alignment with our true aspirations. In this door, you find the medicine people and healers, mending your wounded soul.'”

Ohky Simine Forest, Dreaming the council ways.

THE LIBRARY

This morning I woke up to the shock of being back in the crazy rush of London, but then I strolled past one of my favourite buildings on the way to Euston station – The British Library.

I regretted a little that I didn’t have time to venture in, but I had a train to catch. I’ve spent many happy hours in that particular building (most of the research for my last few books was carried out here).

That such an amazing resource is available for anyone who wants to use it is surely a mark that a civilisation has achieved something?

Libraries have always played an important role in my life – sometimes as a source of valuable knowledge, sometimes as a refuge.

When I started school, I lagged behind all the other kids in my class in learning to read (and in pronouncing words too). I remember being sent to another school for elocution training, but it was my teacher’s patience and my parents’ support that allowed me to climb near the top of the class in reading by the time I left infant school.

My father took my brother and I to the local library virtually every week, where I used to cause the librarians terror, running around and pulling books off shelves.

My favourite book for borrowing was “The Children’s Picture Atlas in Colour” (like most families of the time, we couldn’t afford to buy expensive book). I loved the vibrancy of this book’s colours and smells, and – along with the tiny globe that I was given as a present one Christmas – it undoubtedly played no small role in promoting my interest in the world, its people, and diversity.

Libraries matter. If we lose them, we will be poorer as a society for the loss.

TROUBLED PAST?

The hostel where I’ve been staying this week was once a hospital for treating tuberculosis, and later housed patients suffering from mental health problems.

For me, and many others who are attending the workshop with me, the building virtually immediately seemed to display a powerful energy – and not what I felt was a positive one.

We cannot know what may or may not have happened here – and it’s easy to make assumptions, especially in a building that’s been required by regulation to keep its 1960s institutional look, even down to 1950s NHS style beds in one of the rooms – but such a common and strong feeling can’t be ignored.

One or two of my fellow visitors have spoken of having strange dreams or feelings of discomfort. I would not be surprised if there’s been occasional confusion and possibly some tension too among our number .

I must confess that I’ve felt very tired throughout my stay (although that could be unrelated to place). Last night, as I was attempting to fall asleep, I felt a tingling over my body, in one or two places pricking strongly like a burning. Might I have picked up on a memory of electric shocks that might have been endured here, or was just my imagination at play?

Whatever the case, I am sure that buildings store memories, and I fear that like so many institutions of the past century, this place may number among those that have witnessed some disturbing scenes.

Last night I read on the ABC (Australian) news website that a cardinal in the State of Victoria is being investigated for alleged sexual abuse. It comes in the same week that a TV documentary uncovered supposed mistreatment of young teenagers in a correction facility in the Northern Territory. Similar stories of alleged and often confirmed abuse in care homes, hospitals, and church houses in the UK and elsewhere are all too common.

I have long believed that one of society’s most vital roles is to protect its most vulnerable citizens. We might only imagine how many horror stories remain unknown. How many more are suffering at the hands of the very people who are meant to be protecting them?

Over the past couple of days I’ve pondered what I or my fellows here might do to try to help heal this place. I realised that I couldn’t go too far in inviting participation from the group. But my experience last night also reminded me that it can be very dangerous to attempt to take on suffering , then to process, and give back what has been transformed into love from others’ pain (a practice that Buddhists call Tonglen, and what I believe is what Christians mean when they talk about Jesus taking on the sufferings of the world). This takes a huge heart, and the total protection and offering of the invincible love of The Divine.

Perhaps often the best that the far less strong like me can do is pray and ask for whatever healing we can when we come to places with auras of a troubled past. This may only be a small step toward opening the door to a better future, but it is a step nonetheless.

A peace conference starts here this weekend, the day after we leave (peace work is a key purpose of the centre). May peace be found here for the unheard and the unseen. May peace come not just where there is dissent now, but where memories of the past are still alive and raw. May we who’ve visited this week have made one small contribution toward that aim.

I HAVE AUDIOBOOK VOUCHERS TO GIVE AWAY

You know how it is – you wait ages for a good philosophy book to come along, and then two arrive at once!

So it is, that I’ve just completed narrating a couple of Audible books for the brilliant Santa Monica-based philosophy guru, John-Michael Kuczynski. These deal with the engaging topics of existentialism and the philosophy of religion in very accessible and stimulating ways. For the UK Audible site, I have a number of vouchers that will let you download a copy of either or both for free – just let me know if you’d like one!

John-Michael has put together a couple of brief promos for the books at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RnmmqZ02Mpw and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KJhgxpFnAE, including samples from the audio, and you can learn more or buy the books through the Audible store at http://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Non-fiction/The-Philosophy-of-Religion-Audiobook/B01KIOV6DC/ref=a_search_c4_1_2_srTtl?qid=1472727049&sr=1-2 and http://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Non-fiction/Existentialism-Audiobook/B01KKM7E24/ref=a_search_c4_1_2_srTtl?qid=1472727094&sr=1-2.

Enjoy, please share, or do with as you wish!