Despite a 10 pages enthusiastic introduction by Susan Sontag, the novel is a dud, without much internal logic. He does make a number of trenchant observations. This belief that science would offer us an exemption from our place in this vast panorama of disintegration — of which the rotting armadillos and raccoons, the circling vultures, were only the most immediate manifestations — was a displacement of a fundamentally religious instinct.
I own a sweatshirt that succinctly summarizes what the belief in the upcoming singularity among the smart money in Silicon Valley amounts to — rapture for nerds. His two biggest regrets are the death of his young lover, Antinous, and the very bloody second Roman-Jewish War that ended in the complete destruction of Jerusalem and the exile of most of the Jewish population. Hadrian is an admirable man — disciplined, thoughtful, diplomatic as a default, forceful when necessary, a consummate traveler. During his 19 years reign, the Empire was peaceful and prosperous; the official practice of religion was tolerant towards all the gods of the various people and tribes ruled by Rome, provided they, in turn, accepted the idea of a Pantheon— that Christianity, famously, did not.
To give you a sense of the style, here is the ending. Little soul, gentle and drifting, guest and companion of my body, now you will dwell below in pallid places, stark and bare; there you will abandon your play of yore. But one moment still, let us gaze together on these familiar shores, on these objects which doubtless we shall not see again Let us try, if we can, to enter into death with open eyes The author takes up a version of Whiteheadian pan-experientialism, and defends it against Thomas Nagel and Jaegwon Kim and discusses this in relationship to the ideas of William Seager, Galen Strawson and John Searle.
Beautiful produced gem of a historical novella of the life of Margaret Cavendish, nee Lucas, an English aristocrat, poet, playwright and self-taught philosopher, who lived during the 17th century Civil War and the ensuing Restoration much of her adult life was spent in exile in Paris and Holland. She wrote at a time when few women did and great intellectual ferment was in the air — this is, after all, the period of the European Enlightenment and the birth of modern science — that she herself tried to contribute to.
Hardly a regime conducive to becoming pregnant! Terse, sparse and well observed writing by Dutton. History, by the gifted science journalist, of the neglected English physician Thomas Willis and his turbulent times England during the Civil War and the ensuing Restoration. Willis, together with William Harvey, is a founding figure of modern anatomy, neurology and psychiatry, who turned a field that was utterly dominated by what Aristotle and Galen had though and written 1, years earlier into something more recognizable as modern science.
And the nobler the patients, the worse the treatment - King Charles II, who suffered from kidney disease, was purged, plastered, scalded and drained of quarts of his blood dying in the process. Many millions of patients must have been killed over the two millennia by such quackery. My introduction to urban fantasy, narratives where the fantastic and the mundane interact and interweave at the intersection of a real, city, here London above the modern world and below a medieval London with magic, speaking animals, demons and angles.
I would call this fantasy for adults; sad, poignant, utterly fascinating and hypnotic. And the way the real London, including the Underground, is woven into the texture of the novel is striking. The title Neverwhere itself is very compelling and prompted me to buy the book! A noir crime thriller by a Mexican diplomat translated by Katherine Silver dark, cynical with a classical Chandlerian acerbic, vulgar self-deprecating violent cop with a fast gun.
The book is an admixture of third-person point of view with rambling inner monologue of the protagonist, following all the twists and turns in an attempted assassination of the President of the US while visiting Mexico City, which turns out to be about local political infighting. A sad ending. Unfortunately, we continue to live in a world with about 10, nuclear explosive devices, with more countries acquiring the technology.
The explosion of but a single one of these devices in anger will change the world as we know it. It can sometimes seem astonishing to anyone who seriously considers the continual, indeed rising, level of risk of nuclear war in this second nuclear age to witness the continuing denial, the inexplicable ability of much of the world to ignore a fate hurtling toward us. The same denial process is in place in the refusal to contemplate the existential threat of runaway AI or Superintelligence.
A chilling account. How would we as a nation deal with the uncertainty of identifying the culpable agents, whether to retaliate in kind and how to live in a world where more such attacks might take place. The book is not analytical and not as insightful as I would have hoped for. Well-crafted account of TBI and the toll it takes on civilian society. The child survived with no apparent adverse effect, save for a scar that still remains visible today, more than 70 years later. Winslade eloquently traces the remarkable medical revolution that enabled s of victims of massive brain injury due to traffic accidents, falls, guns and so on, to ultimately return to a productive life.
Until recently, the majority would have either died, remained in coma or been scarred for life. Death of a loved one allows healing to start; while no such mourning process is possible when the patient hovers for years in a clinical limbo, alive, yet a zombie. More than years into the Enlightenment that this French savant inaugurated and that may well be coming to an end in the tumultuous second decades of the third millennium, the mind-body debate continues to take place on terrain that Descartes first named and explored.
Light on descriptions and character development, strong on historical context. The real thing, the classic Gothic novel that defined the modern vampire a la the undead, or Nosferatu. Highly melodramatic, compelling, and well-paced story, with sweltering psycho-sexual undertones, told in the form of letters, diary entries, telegrams and newspaper cuttings. It is an archetypal, irresistible and romantic story of scientific discovery as is, of course, the grandeur of Machu Picchu and the dramatic conquest of the short-lived Inca empire by Pizarro and his men in Yet each such discovery proved illusory and turned out to be a sunspot, a fixed star or a figment of imagination.
The situation remained unresolved until November Presto — no need for Vulcan! He acquires a reputation as a effective physician and healer but also as a free-thinker, which is dangerous in these times when people are burned at the stake for minor transgression from the faith. Replete with historical and erudite details, Yourcenar gives Zeno great depth, a real Mensch of the late Middle Ages, with a cantankerous and not always sympathetic character. He could no longer see, but external sounds reached him still. As once before at Saint Cosmus, hurried footsteps echoed along the corridor: it was the turnkey who had just caught sight of the dark pool on the floor.
But the anguish was over for him: he was free; this person who was coming to him could be only a friend. He made, or thought that he made, an effort to rise, without knowing clearly whether someone was coming to help him, or if, on the contrary, he was going to give help.
The rasping of keys turning and bolts shoved back was now for him only the triumphant sound of an opening door. And this is as far as one can go in the death of Zeno. He retreats to a country house of his own design, travels in his imagination, and turns neurotic. Essentially without plot, the reader is treated to a series of extended meditations on des Esseintes bizarre artistic literary, visual and olfactory experiences in a heavy, imagery-laden but effective language.
To wit,. What literature had treated heretofore was the abundant health of virtues and of vices, the tranquil functioning of commonplace brains, and the practical reality of contemporary ideas, without any ideal of sickly depravation or of any beyond. In short, the discoveries of those analysts had stopped at the speculations of good or evil classified by the Church.
It was the simple investigation, the conventional examination of a botanist minutely observing the anticipated development of normal efflorescence abounding in the natural earth. Baudelaire had gone farther. He had descended to the very bowels of the inexhaustible mine, had involved his mind in abandoned and unfamiliar levels, and come to those districts of the soul where monstrous vegetations of thought extend their branches. There, near those confines, the haunt of aberrations and of sickness, of the mystic lockjaw, the warm fever of lust, and the typhoids and vomits of crime, he had found, brooding under the gloomy clock of Ennui, the terrifying spectre of the age of sentiments and ideas.
He had revealed the morbid psychology of the mind which has attained the October of its sensations, recounted the symptoms of souls summoned by grief and licensed by spleen, and shown the increasing decay of impressions while the enthusiasms and beliefs of youth are enfeebled and the only thing remaining is the arid memory of miseries borne, intolerances endured and affronts suffered by intelligences oppressed by a ridiculous destiny.
The tedium of it all! Huysmans has powerful turn of phrases at his command. The author is torn by his desire to defile his earlier Catholic upbringing by references to black masses and pedophilia, and his yearning to belief. For many years, I too shared this desire to believe in the God of my childhood like des Esseintes, I was taught by Jesuits in the face of my scientific and rational instincts who knew better.
These won out. The father is portrayed as a violent, difficult character seeking to hide his past but becomes more sympathetic in the telling of his semi-tragic story. I assume writing the book was cathartic for the daughter, reconnecting to her ever-so-distant dad. Exceedingly well written and insightful. Thoughtful extended argument, born from his own experience as a war journalist shades of Hemingway supported by anthropological-historical analysis, from a mesmerizing writer who re-acquainted us with the ancient notion of adventure as a rite of passage, essential for maturing.
Yet during and after catastrophes and calamities - London during the Blitz, Germany cities during WWII bombings, the siege of Sarajevo during the s, NYC after , soldiers in battles throughout the ages — people pull together, experience a deep sense of community the army speaks of high-group cohesion , including large drops in crime rates, suicide and psychiatric diagnoses. His book is a plea, a cri de Coeur for returning veterans who long in civil life for the for the sense of unity and purpose they had while deployed. In combat, soldiers all but ignore differences of race, religion, and politics within their platoon.
People speak with incredible contempt about — depending on their views — the rich, the poor, the educated, the foreign-born, the president or the entire U. Regretably, this accurately reflects the current public discourse in the US, the UK and elsewhere in Europe. Unfortunately, besides giving veterans a public platform to speak about their war experiences, whether horrid, heroic or in between, and a general plea for more civility, Junger offers no solution or therapy to this modern ailment - alienation. I warmly recommend this book to everybody concerned about the future of our liberal societies.
His fate remains uncertain but is unlikely to be good. In a sort of coda, the final scene takes us to the same location on the night of the worst bombing attack by Allied planes toward the end of the war, when fascism had almost run its unholy course. A short, sparse but mesmerizing account of the stark life of a simple man raised at the turn of the Orphaned and abused as a child, with minimal education, disciplined and hardworking he remains poor throughout his life, solitary except for an all too brief time, when he is happily married.
Looking back, toward the end of the life, he is content. I read it twice over back-to-back in the Tyrolian Alps by pure coincidence. Superb; translated from Ein ganzes Leben. The classical Cold War thriller of murder set in a nuclear submarine above and below the artic ice shelf. I re-read it after four decades — it has aged remarkable well, sans extreme violence and sex.
Funny and well-crafted, the book epitomizes the frat-boy, high risk, take-no-prisoner Wall Street culture blind to its consequences on the larger economy some of the anecdotes a bit too convenient to be true. The book makes for depressing reading as it reveals incompetency most traders have little idea of the larger context of their deals and a financial system designed to rewards its own.
Such revelations are part and parcel of the political anger and fury fueling the rise of demagogues and proto-fascists. Nine chapters on a diverse range of topics relating to scientific advances and their impact on modern society — how we live, how we die, how we not have babies, about research on stems cells and embryos, about genetic research, pre-screening and testing — from a modern conservative scholar.
His biggest gripe is with the dramatically reduced birth-rate among educated women in advanced liberal democracies and what this implies for our culture. Indeed, a reduced birth-rate is the only non-violent means to address contemporary massive extinction of species and environmental degradation. Warning — this is not a breezy read but it is well worth the effort. It postulates that elementary particles are not point-like but extended strings either open or closed living in a space-time of more than 4 dimensions requiring an explanation why only 4 are apparent to us.
There exists an enormous number of possible vacuum states, on the order of 10 to the A key difficulty of string theory is that its predictions can only be tested at energies that exceed the energies available to particles colliders such as LHC at CERN by a trillion, making it effectively impossible to test using conventional means, such as particle accelerators.
He summarizes three arguments, justifying them with examples drawn from the history and the practice of physics. It is acknowledged by physicists that there are no viable alternatives to string theory despite the best efforts for close to four decades of many, many theoreticians. This can be applied to either empirical predictions or to the emergency of a more coherent conceptual framework. Indeed, the belief of physicists in the existence of the Higgs particle was so high that when its discovery was confirmed in , nobody was particularly surprised. These are examples of theories that are held to be correct description of physical phenomena despite the temporary ranging between 20 — years underdetermination of some of their key predictions.
Dawid discusses how over the past years of fundamental physics the balance has changed from observation confirming theories e. In the process, the phenomenal e. In other words, over the last two centuries in physics the the conceptual distance between empirical signatures and the fundamental theory has become very large indeed.
In an aside, Dawid comments on the uncertain ontological status of other universes e. They belong to a peculiar class of objects that are epistemically inaccessible to us but that have some conceptually characteristics of observable objects. Will a fundamental theory of consciousness, such as IIT, share some of the characteristics of string theory? Note that conscious minds share some properties with the uncountable universes postulated by eternal inflation i. Geo-transformed to celebrate a dozen different civilizations from nearby star systems, the planet now plays host to various forlorn people who chose to remain behind.
A strong sense of melancholy and doom pervades the novel and animates its flawed heroes and anti-heroes battling each other, as life drains away under the dying of the light. The author, a financial journalist who worked for several years as a bond salesman, keeps the action fast-paced and exciting by following the actions of a few individuals who, ultimately successfully, bet against this market. Wall Street comes out as totally unscrupulous, cynical and incompetent, engaging in socially-non-productive forms of gambling with vast sums that endanger the fabric of modern society.
As acknowledged by the trader themselves, the game is rigged with profit privatized and risk socialized as witnessed by the bail-out of AIG, Goldman-Sachs and others by the US government in late The book and its successful movie adaptation feed the palpable public anger expressed by Donald Trump on the right and Bernie Saunders on the left in the run-up to the election. A powerful and well told story. Fantasy, somewhere on the spectrum between allegory and myth. A beautiful told story of an elder and very tender couple, Beatrice and Axle, in post-Arthurian England in which Christian and Romanized Britons and the invading pagan Saxons have established an uneasy equilibrium.
The land is covered by a mist that makes people forget. Thus, the couple tries to remember what happened to their son and go on a voyage to seek him out for they are sure he awaits them with joy. The novel has many fantastical elements — a dragon, ogres, knights of the realm — but is really about memories and forgetting and how both forces shape us in ways good and bad — memories of love-making, raising children and harmonious times clashing with memories of rancor, wounds and bitter disappointments. The amnesia that is central to the novel is both collective King Arthur broke the peace treaty and slaughtered innocent Saxons as well between the couple.
The ending is ambiguous and, like the rest of the novel, not really satisfying, even though the novel contains passages of great literary power. A well-done combo of space opera, steam punk and cyberspace novel that plays several hundred years in the future in a distant planetary system in which an alien civilization the Festival brings advanced technology to a th century industrial society modeled on Victorian England, telescoping a millennia of techno-social progress into a single month. The book kept my attention even during an emergency landing due to smoke in the airplane cabin, no mean feat!
There are not natural kinds but constructed and contingent terms. The parallel with religio , then, lies in the fact that we are not used to thinking of both religion and science as systems of beliefs and practices, rather than conceiving of them primarily as personal qualities. And for us today the question of their relationship is largely determined by their respective doctrinal content and the methods through which that content is arrived at.
That modern theories of, say, the origin and composition of stars or of the working of the human brain are not just sophisticated games but are superior, in a measurable way, to older theories let alone to non-scientific accounts of these phenomena. The writing is exceptional well-crafted and contains real nuggets about Climate Change, the modern academic endeavor a hilarious scene when he encounters deconstructionists' rabid take on the so-called scientific narrative and life.
This is supposed to be the funniest book in the English language of the An outstanding exposition of Epicurian philosophy, its physics and ethics, by a little known Roman writer living in the first century BCE. It is worthwhile to re-read this beautiful and evocative poem every few years for its celebration of the vitality of nature the poem starts with evoking the power of Venus, goddess of fecundity and how happiness can be found in the here and now. Human misery derives mainly from the dread of gods, the hereafter and death. Calm deliberation shows that the gods are not concerned in any way, shape or form with us why would they?
The poem exudes supreme rationality, denial of superstition, and views nature as constantly changing and evolving. Sex is natural and ought to be enjoyed. The universe is infinite, contains nothing but atoms and the void, and is indeterminate grace of the swerve. Even today, such lucidity is only for the few. As John Locke wrote in his journal at the end of the The first governs a few, the two last share the bulk of mankind and possess them in their turn.
But superstition most powerfully produces the greatest mischief.
Beautiful crafted and observed psychological vignettes from the life of three women - the English modernist novelist Virginia Woolf, an American housewife in s Los Angeles and a successful editor, living with her lesbian partner in s Greenwich Village. Three common threads running through all stories are unhappiness, Mrs. Dalloway and suicide. Compelling read even though the abulic stance of the three protagonists is a difficult one for me to project myself into.
The Hours was turned into a superb and subtle eponymous movie, very faithful to the original novel, with a haunting score by Philip Glass. Short fictions and disturbances. The short story about Sherlock Holmes keeping bees in a mountain region in Asia is superb and haunting.
The remaining ones are passable, but no more. It starts out strong, with an account of the early phase of the horrific, convulsive event known as the 'Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution" of , in which millions of Chinese people died, many of them scientists and other intellectuals. The story involves contact with an alien civilization — Trisolarans - four light years out and the resultant effects on culture, religion and politics, with warring factions within society some that wish to accelerate the coming of these Aliens to Earth.
The basic premise makes one really think - the hallmark of a thinking's person novel. Some of the dialogue and the personalities are a bit wooden. At times the writer adopts the point of view of the aliens living in a near-chaotic solar system with three suns that have basically human level motivations. The story never makes any attempt to explain how the problem of decoding messages from radical alien cultures is solved. His subsequent buildings became defensive and turned inward, away from engagement with nature. The text cites a beautiful poem that expressed the bucolic outlook of the Art and Craft movement.
It grows even now I pray that the world remembers my name, not as a monstrous sinner, but as the glorious savior you know I truly am. I pray Mankind will understand the gift I leave behind. Filled with the usual tropes of such thrillers, this one is smarter, darker and more compelling than most. The entire action takes places in under 24 hours in Florence, Venice and Constantinople.
The SF novel that was turned into a blockbuster Ridley Scott movie his only SF flick that isn't dark nor apocalyptic , with Matt Demon in the main role of astronaut Mark Tawney, who is unintentionally left behind when a NASA-sponsored Mars expedition has to rapidly evacuate the planet. Mark survives despite all odds by taking a relentless let's-face-down-the-odds attitude -.
No blubbering, despairing, "why me" lucubrations but an all-American or should I say, all Leibnitzian positive, if rough, attitude to life's persistent challenges such as running out of water or only having enough food for one month on a planet that is completely abiotic that Matt solves with a rational attitude, a lot of mad science and duct tape seriously. Another very prescient SF novel by the crazed Californian who died in near poverty.
The dialogue is wooden; not to be recommended for its literary exposition but for its idea, decades before they become more widespread. The history of the fall of the magnificent Inca empire, the last great civilization living in splendid isolation from the rest of the planet and believed that it encompassed all lands, brought down in a single, terrible year with the arrival of the Spanish conquistador, Francisco Pizarro and his men.
The Inca emperor, Atahualpa, had just emerged victorious from a bloody civil war at the head of a million men strong-army; how could a mere handful of men threaten him? The book describes the events leading up to , the various attempts by surviving Inca leaders following the murder of Atahualpa to fight the invaders and the tragic fate of most Indians, Inca or not.
I read this book at the occasion of my visit to Lima, the capital of modern Peru, Cusco, the erstwhile capital of the Inca empire, and Machu Picchu. These events that took place almost half a millennium ago continue to resonate deeply in the history and in the culture of the country. The author, Hemming, is an explorer and anthropologist, emphatic toward the minds of the Indians and Spaniards who lived so long ago. The book is well researched and filled with detailed footnotes. A must-read when visiting Peru. Well-crafted and enjoyable to read, despite the dark theme of the coming war.
Many years later, he discovers the why. Enigmatic and compelling with only the faintest touch of supernatural, ghost-like elements. He calmed himself, shut his eyes, and fell asleep. The rear light of consciousness, like the last express train of the night, began to fade into the distance, gradually speeding up, growing smaller until it was, finally, sucked into the depths of the night, where it disappeared. All that remained was the sound of the wind slipping through a stand of white birch trees. Very readable account of the search for a universal truth-calculus, the demise of this ancient dream and the consequential computer revolution this search birthed.
Grand space opera that takes place in that eponymous year in which may of the planets of our solar system have been terra-formed, asteroids have been turned into habitats and genetic engineering has created a plethora of human life forms. Today, more than years later, neo -Darwinian arguments suffuse our culture and constitute the bedrock of modern medicine and biology.
Unlike his intellectual competitor, Alfred Wallace, Darwin was a close student of domestication, gardening and animal breeding and frequently compared natural selection with artificial selection even if the breeders did not consciously set out to create a new species. Remarkably, the theory was conceived in the absence of any knowledge of the molecular mechanisms underlying inheritance. When we no longer look at an organic being as a savage looks at a ship, as at something wholly beyond his comprehension; when we regard every production of nature as one which has had a history; when we contemplate every complex structure and instinct as the summing up of many contrivances, each useful to the possessor, nearly in the same way as when we look at any great mechanical invention as the summing up of the labor, the experience, the reason, and even the blunders of numerous workmen; when we thus view each organic being, how far more interesting, I speak from experience, will the study of natural history become!
There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved. Eminently readable scholarly book. It is a careful reasoned search for causes of the extinction of Neanderthals, who lived in Europe as north as Wales, as south as Israel and as far east as the Caucasus from roughly , to 30, BCE.
Their disappearance overlaps with the emergence of modern humans from Africa between 40, and 32, BCE who settled in the area as Neanderthal. Yet there is no or only scant direct evidence of Neanderthal killings by modern men but genetic evidence for interbreeding and raised the offspring of homo sapiens and Neanderthals. Shipman is very deliberate, analyzing the climate, comparing diets, caloric needs the Neanderthal had higher ones due to their more muscular frame , studying bone fragments archeological sites.
She concludes that homo sapiens was most likely a more efficient hunter as witnessed by Mammoth graveyards due to two factors — firstly, the invention of long-distance projectile weapons, such as lances — secondly, the domestication of wolfs around 40, years ago. She offers the tantalizing hypothesis that two apex predators, rather than directly competing with each other, learned to cooperate, to the lasting benefits of both. Shipman hypothesizes that the ability of these carnivores to infer the direction of gaze of both con-specifics facilitated by their white iris as well as the gaze of humans enabled them to silently and swiftly communicate when hunting in large packs.
Shipman concludes that Neanderthal, under severe stress due to a climate that became colder and drier, was outcompeted by teams of humans and their wolf-dogs. A great read. The third book I consumed while in Peru on extinction, this one on mass extinction and their scientific discovery by George Cuvier in the first half of the Century in opposition to the gradualism advocated by the geologist Lyell and Darwin. Modern biology and geology is, of course, a combination of imperceptible changes over ten and hundreds of millions of years punctuated by abrupt catastrophes.
This popular account by a journalist focuses on the contemporary human-triggered sixth extinction that will wipe out large swath of species by the end of this century with unknown consequences for the planet and ourselves. Reasonable overview of alcoholism without trying to push any one therapy unlike the vast majority of books in this field. Although it often alludes to AA, it doesn't really discuss their strengths and weaknesses. Nutt is a professor of neuro-psychopharmacology at Imperial College in London and is famed for being the scientists who was sacked in by the British Home Secretary because he publicly compared the overall harm and mortality of horse-riding comparatively high with taking ecstasy comparatively low.
They used various objective measures e.
Most notably, there is zero correlation between the legal status of these drugs and their overall harm. A psychology professor and his daughter consider some classic novels from the point of view of evolutionary psychology. Think of it as "crit lit" in the light of Darwin.
What justifies Othello's jealousy in the eponymous play? Why do Mr. Everything else is gravy. The tome's style is set by the opening quote by one Rene Leriche. Every surgeon carries within himself a small cemetery, where from time to time he goes to pray - a place of bitterness and regret, where he must look for an explanation for his failures. Given the very delicate nature of operating with very razor-sharp instruments in a dark place with only millimeters of room to maneuver, these procedures are risky.
Among the funniest books ever written, it recounts a two week boating trip in a rowing boat along the river Thames in England and the various mishaps that ensue to the author and his two buddies. The humor has aged remarkable well. There is something so beautifully calm and restful about his method. It is so free from that fretful haste, that vehement striving, that is every day becoming more and more the bane of nineteenth-century life. We are in the midst of a revolution in machine intelligence, the art and engineering practices that let computers do tasks that, until recently, could only be done by people.
Examples include software that identifies faces at border-crossings and matches it against passports or that labels people and objects in images posted to social media, algorithms that can teach themselves to play Atari video games or a camera and chip embedded into the front view-mirror of top-of-the-line sedans that let it drive autonomously on the open road.
Such machine learning, if done over trillions of machine cycles yes, it is very compute intensely , can lead to systems that match or, in some cases, exceed human performance metrics.
The torrid pace of these advances will put severe stress on society to peacefully deal with the attendant problems of un-employment the US trucking industry alone employees several million drivers and growing inequality. Obscured by this razzle-dazzle progress is how far away we remain from strong or general AI, comparable to the intelligence of the proverbial person in the street who can navigate a car, hurtle on skis down a mountain slope, carries on a conversation about pretty much any topic — often in two or more languages - plays a variety of games, serves on a jury and plans for retirement decades in the future.
This makes any predictions of when we will achieve strong AI fraught with uncertainty although, for the record, the majority of experts believe this will happen before the century is over, assuming current trends continue. Its author, Nick Bostrom, is a professor of philosophy at Oxford University with a background in physics and neuroscience. He is concerned with understanding and mitigating emerging risks that affect the very survival of the human species — full-blown nuclear warfare, massive climate change, synthetic biology, nano-technology or runaway machine intelligence.
The distribution of intelligence across any representative population is bell-shaped, with dumb jocks at one end and geniuses at the other. It is even possible that over the last millennia or two, the average level of intelligence has increased, given the improved access to good nutrition and stimulating environments early on in childhood when the brain is maturing. But there is no natural law that stipulates that humans are as intelligent as possible.
And what is true of the biological variety should also be true of its artificial counterpart. There is no discernible principle that would prevent emergence of an artificial super intelligence. Indeed, given competition among national states or among private corporations, organizations engaged in AI research will seek ever smarter machines that out-perform the opposition and maximize their own gain. This is likely to involve the ability of machines to self-improve by trial-and-error and by reprogramming their own code. What might happen then was first pointed out by the mathematician I.
Good in a memorable passage in Let an ultraintelligent machine be defined as a machine that can far surpass all the intellectual activities of any man however clever. What motivates such a machine does not depend on how smart it is, but on its final goals. There are obvious dangers here — an AI designed to maximize return-on-investments at all costs could well trigger war or some other calamity and thereby rake in untold billions by hedging stocks in the affected industries while a military AI connected to our network of nuclear-tipped missiles could unleash a devastating preemptive first-strike on the principle that waiting longer would maximize the number of its own citizen dying in nuclear hellfire.
More insidious are goals that the AI achieves in ways never intended by the original programmers. But do we really want to end up as wire-heads? Or what about the innocent paper-clip-maximizing-AI that turns the entire planet and everything on its surface into gigantic, paper-clip making factories? Fulfilling the dictum of some holy book so you end up in heaven? Settling the galaxy? Things turn out no easier when considering how to control such entities. Thus what is now called human flesh is so much matter that one day was wholly mineral, later on vegetable, and now refined into human atoms.
At a point of time very far from now the present vegetable matter will have been raised to the animal stage and what we now use as our organic or fleshy matter will have changed by transformation through evolution into self-conscious thinkers, and so on up the whole scale until the time shall come when what is now known as mineral matter will have passed on to the human stage and out into that of thinker. Then at the coming on of another great period of evolution the mineral matter of that time will be some which is now passing through its lower transformations on other planets and in other systems of worlds.
And no doubt it will one day be admitted by everyone when the mind of the western race has broken away from Mosaic chronology and Mosaic ideas of men and nature. Therefore as to reincarnation and metempsychosis we say that they are first to be applied to the whole cosmos and not alone to man. But as man is the most interesting object to himself, we will consider in detail its application to him. This is the most ancient of doctrines and is believed in now by more human minds than the number of those who do not hold it.
The millions in the East almost all accept it; it was taught by the Greeks; a large number of the Chinese now believe it as their forefathers did before them; the Jews thought it was true, and it has not disappeared from their religion; and Jesus, who is called the founder of Christianity, also believed and taught it. In the early Christian church it was known and taught, and the very best of the fathers of the church believed and promulgated it. Christians should remember that Jesus was a Jew who thought his mission was to Jews, for he says in St.
They all believed in reincarnation. For them Moses, Adam, Noah, Seth, and others had returned to earth, and at the time of Jesus it was currently believed that the old prophet Elias was yet to return. So we find, first, that Jesus never denied the doctrine, and on various occasions assented to it, as when he said that John the Baptist was actually the Elias of old whom the people were expecting. All this can be seen by consulting St. Matthew in chapters xvii, xi, and others. In these it is very clear that Jesus is shown as approving the doctrine of reincarnation.
And following Jesus we find St. Paul, in Romans ix, speaking of Esau and Jacob being actually in existence before they were born, and later such great Christian fathers as Origen, Synesius, and others believing and teaching the theory. In Proverbs viii, 22, we have Solomon saying that when the earth was made he was present, and that, long before he could have been born as Solomon, his delights were in the habitable parts of the earth with the sons of men.
John the Revelator says in Revs. For five hundred years after Jesus the doctrine was taught in the church until the council of Constantinople. Then a condemnation was passed upon a phase of the question which has been regarded by many as against reincarnation, but if that condemnation goes against the words of Jesus it is of no effect. It does go against him, and thus the church is in the position of saying in effect that Jesus did not know enough to curse, as it did, a doctrine known and taught in his day and which was brought to his notice prominently and never condemned but in fact approved by him.
Christianity is a Jewish religion, and this doctrine of reincarnation belongs to it historically by succession from the Jews, and also by reason of its having been taught by Jesus and the early fathers of the church. If there be any truthful or logical way for the Christian church to get out of this position — excluding, of course, dogmas of the church — the theosophist would like to be shown it. Indeed, the theosophist holds that whenever a professed Christian denies the theory he thereby sets up his judgment against that of Jesus, who must have known more about the matter than those who follow him.
It is the anathema hurled by the church council and the absence of the doctrine from the teaching now that have damaged Christianity and made of all the Christian nations people who pretend to be followers of Jesus and the law of love, but who really as nations are followers of the Mosaic law of retaliation. For alone in reincarnation is the answer to all the problems of life, and in it and Karma is the force that will make men pursue in fact the ethics they have in theory.
But who or what is it that reincarnates? It is not the body, for that dies and disintegrates; and but few of us would like to be chained forever to such bodies as we now have, admitted to be infected with disease except in the case of the savage. It is not the astral body, for, as shown, that also has its term and must go to pieces after the physical has gone.
Nor is it the passions and desires. They, to be sure, have a very long term, because they have the power to reproduce themselves in each life so long as we do not eradicate them. And reincarnation provides for that, since we are given by it many opportunities of slowly, one by one, killing off the desires and passions which mar the heavenly picture of the spiritual man.
It has been shown how the passional part of us coalesces with the astral after death and makes a seeming being that has a short life to live while it is disintegrating. When the separation is complete between the body that has died, the astral body, and the passions and desires — life having begun to busy itself with other forms — the Higher Triad, Manas, Buddhi , and Atma , who are the real man, immediately go into another state, and when that state, which is called Devachan , or heaven, is over, they are attracted back to earth for reincarnation.
They are the immortal part of us; they, in fact, and no other are we. This should be firmly grasped by the mind, for upon its clear understanding depends the comprehension of the entire doctrine. The one has taught of matter alone and the other has preached the resurrection of the body, a doctrine against common sense, fact, logic, and testimony. But there is no doubt that the theory of the bodily resurrection has arisen from the corruption of the older and true teaching.
Resurrection is founded on what Job says about seeing his redeemer in his flesh, and on St. But Job was an Egyptian who spoke of seeing his teacher or initiator, who was the redeemer, and Jesus and Paul referred to the spiritual body only. Although reincarnation is the law of nature, the complete trinity of Atma-Buddhi-Manas does not yet fully incarnate in this race.
They use and occupy the body by means of the entrance of Manas , the lowest of the three, and the other two shine upon it from above, constituting the God in Heaven. This was symbolized in the old Jewish teaching about the Heavenly Man who stands with his head in heaven and his feet in hell. That is, the head Atma and Buddhi are yet in heaven, and the feet, Manas , walk in hell, which is the body and physical life. For that reason man is not yet fully conscious, and reincarnations are needed to at last complete the incarnation of the whole trinity in the body. When that has been accomplished the race will have become as gods, and the godlike trinity being in full possession the entire mass of matter will be perfected and raised up for the next step.
And out of this, too, comes the idea of the crucifixion, for Manas is thus crucified for the purpose of raising up the thief to paradise. It is because the trinity is not yet incarnate in the race that life has so many mysteries, some of which are showing themselves from day to day in all the various experiments made on and in man. But this old truth solves the riddle and paints God and Nature in harmonious colors.
Reincarnation does not mean that we go into animal forms after death, as is believed by some Eastern peoples. But it would not be too much punishment for some men were it possible to condemn them to rebirth in brute bodies; however nature does not go by sentiment but by law, and we, not being able to see all, cannot say that the brutal man is brute all through his nature. And evolution having brought Manas the Thinker and Immortal Person on to this plane, cannot send him back to the brute which has not Manas.
By looking into two explanations for the literal acceptation by some people in the East of those laws of Manu which seem to teach the transmigrating into brutes, insects, and so on, we can see how the true student of this doctrine will not fall into the same error. The first is, that the various verses and books teaching such transmigration have to do with the actual method of reincarnation, that is, with the explanation of the actual physical processes which have to be undergone by the Ego in passing from the unembodied to the embodied state, and also with the roads, ways, or means of descent from the invisible to the visible plane.
This has not yet been plainly explained in Theosophical books, because on the one hand it is a delicate matter, and on the other the details would not as yet be received even by Theosophists with credence, although one day they will be. And as these details are not of the greatest importance they are not now expounded. But as we know that no human body is formed without the union of the sexes, and that the germs for such production are locked up in the sexes and must come from food which is taken into the body, it is obvious that foods have something to do with the reincarnating of the Ego.
The second explanation is, that inasmuch as nature intends us to use the matter which comes into our body and astral body for the purpose, among others, of benefiting the matter by the impress it gets from association with the human Ego, if we use it so as to give it only a brutal impression it must fly back to the animal kingdom to be absorbed there instead of being refined and kept on the human plane. And as all the matter which the human Ego gathered to it retains the stamp or photographic impression of the human being, the matter transmigrates to the lower level when given an animal impress by the Ego.
This actual fact in the great chemical laboratory of nature could easily be misconstrued by the ignorant. But the present-day students know that once Manas the Thinker has arrived on the scene he does not return to baser forms; first, because he does not wish to, and second, because he cannot. For just as the blood in the body is prevented by valves from rushing back and engorging the heart, so in this greater system of universal circulation the door is shut behind the Thinker and prevents his retrocession.
Reincarnation as a doctrine applying to the real man does not teach transmigration into kingdoms of nature below the human. In the West, where the object of life is commercial, financial, social, or scientific success, that is, personal profit, aggrandizement, and power, the real life of man receives but little attention, and we, unlike the Orientals, give scant prominence to the doctrine of preexistence and reincarnation. That the church denies it is enough for many, with whom no argument is of any use.
Relying on the church, they do not wish to disturb the serenity of their faith in dogmas that may be illogical; and as they have been taught that the church can bind them in hell, a blind fear of the anathema hurled at reincarnation in the Constantinople council about a. And the church in arguing on the doctrine urges the objection that if men are convinced that they will live many lives, the temptation to accept the present and do evil without check will be too strong.
Absurd as this seems, it is put forward by learned Jesuits, who say men will rather have the present chance than wait for others. If there were no retribution at all this would be a good objection, but as Nature has also a Nemesis for every evil doer, and as each, under the law of Karma — which is that of cause and effect and perfect justice — must receive the exact consequences himself in every life for what good or bad deeds and thoughts he did and had in other lives, the basis for moral conduct is secure. It is safe under this system, since no man can by any possibility, or favor, or edict, or belief escape the consequences, and each one who grasps this doctrine will be moved by conscience and the whole power of nature to do well in order that he may receive good and become happy.
It is maintained that the idea of rebirth is uncongenial and unpleasant because on the one hand it is cold, allowing no sentiment to interfere, prohibiting us from renouncing at will a life which we have found to be sorrowful; and on the other, that there appears to be no chance under it for us to see our loved ones who have passed away before us. If we eat bad food bad results must come.
Now, the objection to reincarnation that we will not see our loved ones in heaven as promised in dogmatic religion, presupposes a complete stoppage of the evolution and development of those who leave earth before ourselves, and also assumes that recognition is dependent on physical appearance. But as we progress in this life, so also must we progress upon leaving it, and it would be unfair to compel the others to await our arrival in order that we may recognize them.
And if one reflects on the natural consequences of arising to heaven where all trammels are cast off, it must be apparent that those who have been there, say, twenty of mortal years before us must, in the nature of things mental and spiritual, have made a progress equal to many hundreds of years here under varied and very favorable circumstances. How then could we, arriving later and still imperfect, be able to recognize those who had been perfecting themselves in heaven with such advantages? And as we know that the body is left behind to disintegrate, so, it is evident, recognition cannot depend, in the spiritual and mental life, on physical appearance.
For not only is this thus plain, but since we are aware that an unhandsome or deformed body often enshrines a glorious mind and pure soul, and that a beautifully formed exterior — such as in the case of the Borgias — may hide an incarnate devil in character, the physical form gives no guarantee of recognition in that world where the body is absent.
And the mother who has lost a child who had grown to maturity must know that she loved the child when a baby as much as afterwards when the great alteration to later life had completely swept away the form and features of early youth. The Theosophists see that this objection can have no existence in the face of the eternal and pure life of the soul.
And Theosophy also teaches that those who are like unto each other and love each other will be reincarnated together whenever the conditions permit. Whenever one of us has gone farther on the road to perfection, he will always be moved to help and comfort those who belong to the same family. But when one has become gross and selfish and wicked, no one would want his companionship in any life. Recognition depends on the inner sight and not on outward appearance; hence there is no force in this objection. And the other phase of it relating to loss of parent, child, or relative is based on the erroneous notion that as the parents give the child its body so also is given its soul.
But soul is immortal and parentless; hence this objection is without a root.
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Some urge that Heredity invalidates Reincarnation. We urge it as proof. Heredity in giving us a body in any family provides the appropriate environment for the Ego. The Ego only goes into the family which either completely answers to its whole nature, or which gives an opportunity for the working out of its evolution, and which is also connected with it by reason of past incarnations or causes mutually set up. Thus the evil child may come to the presently good family because parents and child are indissolubly connected by past actions.
It is a chance for redemption to the child and the occasion of punishment to the parents. This points to bodily heredity as a natural rule governing the bodies we must inhabit, just as the houses in a city will show the mind of the builders. And as we as well as our parents were the makers and influencers of bodies, took part in and are responsible for states of society in which the development of physical body and brain was either retarded or helped on, debased or the contrary, so we are in this life responsible for the civilization in which we now appear.
But when we look at the characters in human bodies, great inherent differences are seen. This is due to the soul inside, who is suffering or enjoying in the family, nation, and race his own thoughts and acts in the past lives have made it inevitable he should incarnate with. Heredity provides the tenement and also imposes those limitations of capacity of brain or body which are often a punishment and sometimes a help, but it does not affect the real Ego.
The transmission of traits is a physical matter, and nothing more than the coming out into a nation of the consequences of the prior lives of all Egos who are to be in that race. The fact that such physical traits and mental peculiarities are transmitted does not confute reincarnation, since we know that the guiding mind and real character of each are not the result of a body and brain but are peculiar to the Ego in its essential life.
Transmission of trait and tendency by means of parent and body is exactly the mode selected by nature for providing the incarnating Ego with the proper tenement in which to carry on its work. Another mode would be impossible and subversive of order. Again, those who dwell on the objection from heredity forget that they are accentuating similarities and overlooking divergencies.
For while investigations on the line of heredity have recorded many transmitted traits, they have not done so in respect to divergencies from heredity vastly greater in number. Every mother knows that the children of a family are as different in character as the fingers on one hand — they are all from the same parents, but all vary in character and capacity.
But heredity as the great rule and as a complete explanation is absolutely overthrown by history, which shows no constant transmission of learning, power, and capacity. For instance, in the case of the ancient Egyptians long gone and their line of transmission shattered, we have no transmission to their descendants. If physical heredity settles the question of character, how has the great Egyptian character been lost?
The same question holds in respect to other ancient and extinct nations. And taking an individual illustration we have the great musician Bach, whose direct descendants showed a decrease in musical ability leading to its final disappearance from the family stock.
But Theosophy teaches that in both of these instances — as in all like them — the real capacity and ability have only disappeared from a family and national body, but are retained in the Egos who once exhibited them, being now incarnated in some other nation and family of the present time. Suffering comes to nearly all men, and a great many live lives of sorrow from the cradle to the grave, so it is objected that reincarnation is unjust because we suffer for the wrong done by some other person in another life.
This objection is based on the false notion that the person in the other life was some one else. But in every life it is the same person. Shakespeare was right in saying that life is a play, for the great life of the soul is a drama, and each new life and rebirth another act in which we assume another part and put on a new dress, but all through it we are the self-same person. So instead of its being unjust, it is perfect justice, and in no other manner could justice be preserved.
But, it is said, if we reincarnate how is it that we do not remember the other life; and further, as we cannot remember the deeds for which we suffer is it not unjust for that reason? Those who ask this always ignore the fact that they also have enjoyment and reward in life and are content to accept them without question.
For if it is unjust to be punished for deeds we do not remember, then it is also inequitable to be rewarded for other acts which have been forgotten. Mere entry into life is no fit foundation for any reward or punishment. Reward and punishment must be the just desert for prior conduct. In the prior life the doer was then quite aware of what he did, and nature affixes consequences to his acts, being thus just.
We well know that she will make the effect follow the cause whatever we wish and whether we remember or forget what we did. If a baby is hurt in its first years by the nurse so as to lay the ground for a crippling disease in after life, as is often the case, the crippling disease will come although the child neither brought on the present cause nor remembered aught about it. But reincarnation, with its companion doctrine of Karma, rightly understood, shows how perfectly just the whole scheme of nature is. Memory of a prior life is not needed to prove that we passed through that existence, nor is the fact of not remembering a good objection.
We forget the greater part of the occurrences of the years and days of this life, but no one would say for that reason we did not go through these years. They were lived, and we retain but little of the details in the brain, but the entire effect of them on the character is kept and made a part of ourselves. The whole mass of detail of a life is preserved in the inner man to be one day fully brought back to the conscious memory in some other life when we are perfected. And even now, imperfect as we are and little as we know, the experiments in hypnotism show that all the smallest details are registered in what is for the present known as the sub-conscious mind.
The theosophical doctrine is that not a single one of these happenings is forgotten in fact, and at the end of life when the eyes are closed and those about say we are dead every thought and circumstance of life flash vividly into and across the mind. Many persons do, however, remember that they have lived before. Poets have sung of this, children know it well, until the constant living in an atmosphere of unbelief drives the recollection from their minds for the present, but all are subject to the limitations imposed upon the Ego by the new brain in each life.
This is why we are not able to keep the pictures of the past, whether of this life or the preceding ones. The brain is the instrument for the memory of the soul, and, being new in each life with but a certain capacity, the Ego is only able to use it for the new life up to its capacity. But as the brain had no part in the life last lived, it is in general unable to remember.
And this is a wise law, for we should be very miserable if the deeds and scenes of our former lives were not hidden from our view until by discipline we become able to bear a knowledge of them. This assumes that we know surely that its population has increased and are keeping informed of its fluctuations. But it is not certain that the inhabitants of the globe have increased, and, further, vast numbers of people are annually destroyed of whom we know nothing.
In China year after year many thousands have been carried off by flood. Statistics of famine have not been made. We do not know by how many thousands the deaths in Africa exceed the births in any year. The objection is based on imperfect tables which only have to do with western lands. It also assumes that there are fewer Egos out of incarnation and waiting to come in than the number of those inhabiting bodies, and this is incorrect.
It is true that so far as concerns this globe the number of Egos belonging to it is definite; but no one knows what that quantity is nor what is the total capacity of the earth for sustaining them. The statisticians of the day are chiefly in the West, and their tables embrace but a small section of the history of man. They cannot say how many persons were incarnated on the earth at any prior date when the globe was full in all parts, hence the quantity of egos willing or waiting to be reborn is unknown to the men of today. The Masters of theosophical knowledge say that the total number of such egos is vast, and for that reason the supply of those for the occupation of bodies to be born over and above the number that die is sufficient.
Then too it must be borne in mind that each ego for itself varies the length of stay in the post-mortem states. They do not reincarnate at the same interval, but come out of the state after death at different rates, and whenever there occurs a great number of deaths by war, pestilence, or famine, there is at once a rush of souls to incarnation, either in the same place or in some other place or race. The earth is so small a globe in the vast assemblage of inhabitable planets there is a sufficient supply of Egos for incarnation here.
But with due respect to those who put this objection, I do not see that it has the slightest force or any relation to the truth of the doctrine of reincarnation. Reincarnation Pamphlet of 11 Articles. HOW man has come to be the complex being that he is and why, are questions that neither Science nor Religion makes conclusive answer to. This is evolution carried to its highest power, it is a magnificent prospect; it makes of man a god, and gives to every part of nature the possibility of being one day the same; there is strength and nobility in it, for by this no man is dwarfed and belittled, for no one is so originally sinful that he cannot rise above all sin.
The old view makes the universe a vast, complete, and perfect whole. Each human being has developed himself to a certain degree, and therefore can only appreciate and reflect that amount of wisdom which has fallen to his lot. As he passes again and again through the form of man, he slowly develops other various powers of appreciating more truth, and so at the last may become one with the whole — the perfect man, able to know and to feel completely his union with all.
The Adept is the fruit and perfection of the highest qualities in man, conjoined with entire union with spirit; this is the triumph of all that is best in the human being; it is the conscious union with the divine — the embodiment of union, harmony, and love. In every age and complete national history these men of power and compassion are given different designations. But irrespective of all disputes as to specific names, there is sufficient argument and proof to show that a body of men having the wonderful knowledge described above has always existed and probably exists today.
The older mysteries continually refer to them. Ancient Egypt had them in her great king-Initiates, sons of the sun and friends of great gods. These great Egyptians were Initiates, members of the one great Lodge which includes all others of whatever degree or operation. The story of Apollonius of Tyana is about a member of one of the same ancient orders appearing among men at a descending cycle, and only for the purpose of keeping a witness upon the scene for future generations.
Abraham and Moses of the Jews are two other Initiates, Adepts who had their work to do with a certain people; and in the history of Abraham we meet with Melchizedek, who was so much beyond Abraham that he had the right to confer upon the latter a dignity, a privilege, or a blessing. The same chapter of history which contains the names of Moses and Abraham is illumined also by that of Solomon.
And thus these three make a great Triad of Adepts, the record of whose deeds can not be brushed aside as folly and devoid of basis. All along the stream of Indian literature we can find the names by scores of great adepts who were well known to the people and who all taught the same story — the great epic of the human soul.
Their names are unfamiliar to western ears, but the records of their thoughts, their work and powers remain. Still more, in the quiet unmovable East there are today, by the hundred, persons who know of their own knowledge that the Great Lodge still exists and has its Mahatmas, Adepts, Initiates, Brothers. And if the teaching of this Great Lodge is, as said, both scientific and religious, then from the ethical side we have still more proof. A mighty Triad acting on and through ethics is that composed of Buddha, Confucius, and Jesus.
The first, a Hindu, founds a religion teaching centuries before Jesus the ethics which he taught and which had been given out even centuries before Buddha. Jesus, coming to reform his people repeats these ancient ethics, and Confucius does the same thing for ancient and honorable China. All these great names represent members of the one single brotherhood, who all have a single doctrine. And the extraordinary characters who now and again appear in Western civilization are agents for the doing of the work of the Great Lodge at the proper time.
The Elder Brothers of Humanity are men who were perfected in former periods of evolution. The possibility of arriving at perfection so that one becomes godlike — or the doctrine of Adepts and Mahatmas — is common to Buddhism and Brahmanism, and is not contrary to the teachings of Jesus. To do these works one has to have great knowledge and power.
The doctrine assumes the perfectibility of humanity and will destroy the awful theory of inherent original sin which has held and ground down the Western Christian nations for centuries. But far from being out of concordance with the religion of Jesus, it is in perfect accord. He directed his followers to be perfect even as the Father in heaven is perfect. They could not come up to that command by any possibility unless man has the power to reach to that high state.
Evolution demands that such beings should exist or there is a gap in the chain. And this position is held by a man of science like Prof. Huxley, who made the assertion that there must be beings in the universe whose intelligence is as much beyond ours as ours exceeds that of the black beetle, and who take an active part in the government of the natural order of things.
A Mahatma endowed with power over space, time, mind, and matter, is a possibility just because he is a perfected man. Every human being has the germ of all the powers attributed to these great Initiates, the difference lying solely in the fact that we have in general not developed what we possess the germ of, while the Mahatma has gone through the training and experience which have caused all the unseen human powers to develop in him, and conferred gifts that look godlike to his struggling brother below.
All that the Mahatma may do is natural to the perfected man. There are those who, although now inhabiting bodies and moving among men, have passed through many occult initiations in previous lives, but are now condemned, as it were, to the penance of living in circumstances and in bodies that hem them in, as well as for a time make them forget the glorious past. But their influence is always felt, even if they themselves are not aware of it. For their higher nature being in fact more developed than that of other men, it influences other natures at night or in hours of the day when all is favorable.
The fact that these obscured adepts are not aware now of what they really are, only has to do with their memory of the past; it does not follow, because a man cannot remember his initiations, that he has had none. But there are some cases in which we can judge with a degree of certainty that such adepts were incarnated and what they were named.
These souls were as witnesses to the truth, leaving through the centuries, in their own nations, evidences for those who followed, and suggestions for keeping spirituality bright — seed-thoughts, as it were, ready for the new mental soil. As Mind is being evolved more and more as we proceed in our course along the line of the race development, there can be perceived underneath in all countries the beginning of the transition from the animal possessed of the germ of real mind to the man of mind complete.
The axioms of mathematics are unprovable; the very word assumes that they have to be accepted. Being accepted, we go forward and on the basis of their unproved truth demonstrate other and succedent matters. The sun is the apparent source of energy, and is confidently supposed by many to be a mass of burning material. No one, however, knows this to be so.
No one was ever there, and the whole set of theories regarding the luminary rests on assumptions. Many natural facts are against some of the theories. The great fact that the higher the mountain the more cold it is on top would be one, not wholly accounted for by theories as to radiation. Seeing that electricity is now so much better known, and that it is apparently all-pervading, the ancient idea that the sun is a center of electrical or magnetic energy which turns into heat as well as other things on reaching here, becomes plausible and throws some spice of illusion into the doctrine that our sun is a mass of burning matter.
The atom and the molecule are very influential words. They are constantly used by people claiming to follow science. Yet no one ever saw an atom or molecule. They are accepted as facts by science — just as the spiritually-inclined accept the existence of the invisible soul — yet it is impossible to objectively prove either the one or the other. They are deemed to be proven because they are necessary. Unless we deny the immortality of man and the existence of soul, there are no sound arguments against the doctrine of preexistence and rebirth save such as rest on the dictum that each soul is a new creation.
This dictum can be supported only by blind dogmatism, for given a soul we must sooner or later arrive at the theory of rebirth, because even if each soul is new on this earth it must keep on living somewhere after passing away, and in view of the known order of nature will have other bodies in other planets or spheres. But for any intelligent person nowadays to accept the special-creation theory, with birth into the present life as the beginning of man, is to confess the whole problem of life to be incomprehensible and all its mysteries incapable of solution.
If we come to this earth but for a few years and then go to some other, the soul must be embodied there as well as here, and if we have traveled from some other world we must have had there too our proper vesture. Something scary emerges. Oh no! Taken up. Actually they are very kind and advanced and they have children his age. He now has friends. They are all doing fine, but the horse gets sick!
We will take you back to the ranch to heal your horse, but you will never see us again. Big inner emotional conflict. Goodbye friends. Drop him off. Uncle has left died? Horse dies. All alone. But wait And you can come back to the stars with us. The emotional intensity of this simplistic and manipulative space saga made me physically ill for days.
They become friends despite their differences. The boy helps the angel get better. There is a war going on between earth and heaven. I think the boy or angels name was Ferron. Does anyone know the Name of this book? Need to find the title of this book. Patron is looking for an old book about 2 children that witness a murder by a blue bearded man. The man says a prayer with the word Temple in it.
There was this crazy book I read last year about a girl who had a perfect life. She was in band, had great grades, and a perfect boyfriend. But her world was turned upside down when she found out she had absorbed her twin in the womb. She realized her twin was completely opposite of her, and would take over her consciousness at night to hook up with the bad boy.
Eventually she started leaving notes for the perfect twin to find in the morning. After many other crazy things happen, we find out the character has a heart problem, which she blames on her sister's heart being weak, and she ends up going to the hospital to get a new heart. Does this help anyone? I'm dying to find this book again. This book was along the lines of something by Judy Blume or Beverly Cleary. About a young boy who started out as a pain but who grew up. I specifically remember him coming home from school to an empty house, practicing his trombone, then having an afterschool snack which was portion controlled because he was pudgy and wanted to lose weight.
I think he had trouble making friends, and that his mom being at work rather than home with him was a new thing. One specific event is when the teen boy is dared to eat a scorpion, and he does, but the scorpion turns out to be an energy bar of sorts, as the scorpion was an illusion. Please help, the only search results are just dog books or Christian books. There is a book and unfortunately many have the same title The Night Before Christmas. Except this one had rich art color and beautiful art work like no other. It is the one I had when in the late 50's to 60's. It had a hard cover.
I've been searching for years for it. I also wanted to get my hands on the Dick and Jane primers but saw the price of those and gave up. The complete 7 or 8 book series with navy blue cloth under the book cover by Jacques Cousteau Sharks, Whales, etc. Awesome collection. A thriller novel about a lady named Marrie who kills two rich men she marries and then gets married to a third men. Meanwhile a cop gets suspicious about her and tries to find the secrets she has been been hiding all along.
He also fears that the woman will try to kill her third husband as well. But the cunning woman manages to kill the cop as well and before he dies, she tells him that her current husband is her childhood love and she would never even dream about doing him any harm let alone kill him.
I remember him staying off school, been able to have a bed on the sofa, watch tv and having ice cream because he had a sore throat. Despite being filled with righteousness, she is deemed heretic! Cake: Quite well, thank you. Yes, that sounded about right. I think she was kind of like a mercenary and in the first few chapters she sings light em up by fall out boy. Eventually, he returns to her and proposes. Given as it is in the Gospels as a mere incident, it is very plain that the matter was court gossip in which long philosophical arguments were not indulged in, but the doctrine was accepted and then personal facts gone into for amusement as well as for warning to the king.
A Warlock's innocent wife and daughter were murdered as witches. He takes revenge by killing those responsible. Revenge killings continue for the next three generations. It was a soft back book. I'm have been trying to remember a book for about 10 years now. When I was in the 6 grade their was a book I read about a young boy was playing outside then he is sucked up in a storm and is transferred to a different world where he lands in a red barren land and eventually finds trees and food.
Basically he is surviving in this new world trying to go back. It's one of those books where your memory even remembers the smell of the library and the book. Its almost like a kid version of John Carter. Nelsongllrd yahoo. Form their own housecleaning business. One has a child and wants to be an artist; she cleans for an artist.
One is quite untidy and lives on a barge. I forget the third woman. Same author also wrote a novel about a woman who is a potter and makes tea sets until convinced to put her big pieces on the market. Looking for a book that is fairly new about 2 millionaire men who are into BDSM and run a company together save a female employee who is being abused by her boyfriend than the three of them have a relationship together and she gets kidnapped and tortured and they save her again than 1 of the men decides he needs to be punished for her getting kidnapped and hires a guy to whip him and rapes him without permission.
Anyone know the author or the name of the books? I think there are 2 or 3 books to this story. Looking for a children's book of a kind raven who finds magical dust and gives it all away to his animal friends. The book was written and beautifully illustrated by the same person, a lady writer I think. It would have come out about years ago.
Anyone out there who'd know it? Filmstar Nicky goes missing. Girlfriend tries to find him. He is writing a screen play. He dies at the end because he falls into an empty swimming pool. I read this book over 10 years ago. It is a historical romance about two sisters who through unfortunate circumstances are shipped to Australia. One sister was convicted of murdering her rapist and the other was considered mad.
The story tells of each sister's journey back to each other. I've been searching for what feels like forever. I thought it was called Under a Southern Sky. The title may be similar. Any input would be appreciated. It had like a blue person on the cover and was all blue hardcover. The story was based in a little bit older times like early England kings and Queens and the characters were likable and interesting as the story goes on the main guy is confronted with basically himself who is an evil version of himself and he chases him into alternate realities.
It was something like spiral or ugh on the tip of my brain but can't remember. This was a book I read as a child, and was a seed in me developing my faith. Talking late 70's, early 80's. It concerned a boy who goes to a Christian youth group. His parents are splitting up. I remember him staying off school, been able to have a bed on the sofa, watch tv and having ice cream because he had a sore throat.
The youth leader spoke about our body been like glove, and when you take your hand out of the glove then it's empty, illustrating the soul. He gave another talk about prayer, holding up a telephone which wasn't connected, this made the kids laugh. The boy went to a safari park with his dad, on one of the days when he was allowed to see him. He tried to run away from home, but then his Dad brought him back and later on he stops his sister from running into the road and getting hit by a car, and this was used as an example of why this was where he was meant to be.
If anyone could provide the name of this book I would be delighted, as it meant so much to me growing up. Boy runs away from home because he is about to turn 18 and his parents want to send him to the death camp where they derange his body. In this town your parents are authorized to let you live or send you away where they take off your body parts and give them to other people who need them. This boy finds out his parents signed the papers for him to be deranged and he ran away. I remember he had a little sister also.
He ran away and found a new born on a front door steps so he took the baby with him and went to a school and hid in the restroom. It was a book that depicted someone's life for real where he, her younger sister and mother had to hide lights n matches then one day police are at the house and discover what they call blue murder. I read the first few books in a series about 10 years ago. It was a bout a young teenager who lived with her grandmother and had visions and could see ghosts. They had a property helper who was a young man that could talk to animals and see the world through their eyes. He had a companion that I think was a hawk and was a romantic interest of hers.
One of the books also involved a medieval festival and fencing and another involved a crystal ball. I have 2. First is a detective novel that I remember nothing about except a part in the story where the detective and his partner enter an apartment that's been completely destroyed and a man bursts out of the bathroom i believe , high on something, wearing only his underwear and screaming about "krokodilos! The second is a children's series I read in elementary probably first or second grade, so ish, the seres is about a dog and I really want to say that he's a basset hound or a beagle, and i have the image in my mind of him wearing a red cap on the front of the book but im trusting 23 year memory here lol, i know he waits for his humans to leave as theyre not part of the story, and he meets his other dog friends at the fence I know there's a poodle involved and I really don't remember what the story lines are, a friend of mine asked about them as she remembers her sand I loving them and she wanted them for her son.
If anyone knows either of these from their very very vague descriptions that would be awesome! I read a book in the 80s about a girl named Abigail who sees a? Of a girl who was hung during witch trials in s. I thought it was called The Presence but I cant find that title anywhere. It was a book about a cat called Daisy written in verse with illustrations.
I am looking for a book for my mother. She described it to me as an antique collector receives a tapestry that has some kind of code stitched into the tapestry. He and another woman, possibly a love interest or an assistant realize that it's some kind of map and that others are trying to track it down.
She read this book in a time where she was super into Mary Higgins Clark, J. Robb, Nora Roberts, Iris Johannson, etc. I'm looking for a Golden Book A children's book about a guy who travels through the woods at night when a storm blows up. He seeks refuge in a house and there's a spirit or a monster in the chimney that will come out if he lights a fire there maybe? The artwork is limited to blue, black, and white only.
The title or name of the monster may have the word "bones" in it. A picture book i loved as a child where a dog i think a chocolate lab digs his way to the other side of the world. And the world had magic! I am trying to find a book with protagonist named 'Nat', I guess. Nathaniel or something like that. Maybe he was jew. He hooked up with the hippie wife of his professor. And then years later he comes back maybe he was in hiding, I do not remember to find that the professor and his wife were there no more. But, their daughter was there and she seems to have taken a liking to him.
He remembers having played with her when she was a toddler. I read this a long time ago, and then too, it was an old book. Hope somebody remembers it. I recall the title of the book as 'Sammy the Salmon', as yet I have not come up with an example from that period after searching the Internet. Most if not every page was illustrated along with a couple of lines of story text Sammy's underwater travel meeting various sea creatures etc. Trying to remember the book where i remember part of it, its about a gifted child and they find out by them solving a puzzle by pointing where the piece goes, i believe before they are even able to talk, the older sibling finds out by showing a puzzle piece thats all white and they she?
I'm looking for a children's book about a boy who found an airship when he was riding on his bicycle and explored it. The owner of the ship ended up taking him in an adventure to another world. Would have been published around Trying to find the title of a book I read just last year. I thought it was called Wonderland, by a woman, fiction. It's about a woman's return to tour as a punk singer, her father is an avant guard artist who one time cut a train in half, she has a sister, she has several sexual escapades while on tour. There's a mesmerizing scene where she sings to an audience who is not paying attention but for one young woman, too young to remember this singer's first flirtation with fame.
Trying to find a teen sci fi novel about kids that can control fire with the use of special tech, because of their unique brains. I think it was published in the 90's. It's the first book in a series. I think one of the other books in the series is called changelings. I remember the sound the pyrokinetic ability makes is 'kreee'. That's about it Trying to find a series of books - western fiction for young boys published in the 60s, perhaps into early 70s as well.
I remember that he had a palomino. Can't remember anything more. Ring any bells? Looking for a book, where a boy gets lost and a girl is trying to find him but is unable to. Later, he ends up in her room and asks her to keep him a secret. Soon they both fall in love and the girl's parents get to that there is a boy in their daughter's room. Please help me figure out the book's name. My grandmother is looking for a book that she said was about a girl named pinky and her black cat. She said it was probably published in the 30s or 40s and that you were able to touch the cat's fur like today's tactile books.
They were all centered around different girls and were all horror type stories for teenagers. One included a girl receiving a chain letter that if she didn't repost it, she would die. She didn't repost it and ended up being killed. Another included a girl that moved from the city to a farmhouse that was haunted the radio would turn on and marbles would roll across the floor.
mygaytrip.com/zithromax-antibiotic-magasin-expdition-vers-france.php Looking for a book, murder mystery type A girl is found murdered by a river so they are searching for the murderer. She was sexually involved with an older man, I believe he was married and possibly a doctor so he is a suspect There is also heavy drug usage, like party drugs and there was a rave and the drug dealer is also a possible suspect. The book spills secrets that no one wanted to let to light before finding her body. One chapter involved a stolen picnic basket from the young man's crush at her birthday party, brushing teeth with a twig, living off the land Title may have been Dan's Boy.
A series about a girl who lives in a society where once you turn a certain age you transform into a perfect version of you and move to another city, but she chooses not to make the switch. Book about a war survivor who tells her story , unknowingly, to the daughter of the child she had to give away. Looking for a book written in the mid s about a girl whose mother marries and moves them to the midwest.
The girl thinks her stepfather is involved in the murder of a person whose body was found in a grain elevator. Ok so there are three kids who solve clues for this club that their parents were in. One of these three kids is a boy and the others are girls. One of the girls is vegan and the other girl is the main character and is being taken cared by her grandpa who is also part of this club along with other adult club members cuz her parents died in a car accident but in reality this car accident wasnt an accident but done on purpouse? Looking for a book about a girl who goes with her dad who is a scientist that performs human-animal transplants and she then later finds out she was the first of his experiments when she was a baby.
I am looking for a book written in the late 80's early 90's about women playing soccer in New york I believe its called -Kicks, Still kicking or maybe kicking. She lives on the outskirts of town with her parents who are abusive and sometimes helps a man named I think Sand? Build a church in town. Looking for a book from the 50's or 60's. A thick book about how children celebrate holidays possibly around the world but definitely in the US. I particularly remember a story about a little boy in New Orleans celebrating Mardi Gras.
I remember him talking about eating dinner and his aunt putting butter across his whole piece of bread. In one of the books there's an epidemic, and then in another book there's a flooding Last time I saw it in the library it was around Girl was from the country, boy from the town. I think the boy's name is Danny. This book was read in the s but we are uncertain of publication date. Any clues? Noah I'm looking for a book where there in a small town on a island and people who aren't good enough get sacrificed but really when they get sacrificed they go to a secret part of the island where they grow up learning magic.
I am looking for a book. Where kids learn magic from older wizards they start out and potentate O sex in this cave which has a bunch of left and right turns this kid uses Accra names to get around and there's a crystal in the lunchroom where they have to use magic to get food from it one kid gets a soap bar and progress is to the next level and gets a green tunic and eventually they learn how to fly please tell me I'm not the only 1 that's ever read this book.
She was not at all attracted to him, but felt sorry for him. She much preferred the company of guys her age, college men. Once she went off to college, she had occasion to meet the WWII vet a number of times. As she got to know him better, she realized what a good and decent, kind and thoughtful man he was. Eventually, he returns to her and proposes. On the cover was a sketch of an old two-story house. The girls name MAY have been Rosemary. Looking for a book about a young american girl who learned french from her french cousin, became a nurse, and during the war ended up parachuting into enemy territory.
She had to go through rigid language training, because although she spoke French, they would know she was American. She was given a code for the person at a hotel, but that person never responded with the code, causing great discomfort. I can't remember any names associated with the book. Something happens to her while she is in the well and she gains supernatural powers. She grows up and uses the powers to get revenge on the people who have wronged her in life.
Some scenes are very graphic. She describes some people want to stay in the area as the soil is rich and good for farming. They struggle and were hungry, pushing a cart, had to take stuff off the cart, she is leaving behind her only 2 things she had- a book and a doll or something like that. It was about a dejected detective trying to solve a case about a Kurds. I think he thought it was the from out of town music teacher side story was a girl falling in love w same susp3ct and wanting to move away w him. Looking for a well illustrated novel about a couple who adopt a stray dog in Europe I think it may be France.
Dog had been turned out by original owner and comes. To the couples house in a small village. The dog comments on the guests who came to a cocktail party at his adoptive parents, pointing out how certain guest smell. The dog steals meat from the local butcher, etc.
I think the book was written somewhere between and or so. Illustrations were good and comical. I let someone borrow it, and wish I could get it back. Looking for a book I read a long time ago. There was a group of siblings separated or sold off to different families. The oldest daughter chops off her hair to pass of as a boy so she could stay with the youngest. One brother goes to a very abusive household. I believe one of the siblings gets involved with the Underground Railroad, but not positive.
Looking for a book i read back in highschool its a fiction story. It was about children who were sent to live with their grandmother somewhere in england or something like that. Guests check into a hotel and are assigned cats along with their rooms. I do not remember the name of the book and the story I remember is about a boy walking down a lane when he finds a bird with a broken leg or wing.
He takes the bird home and takes care of it until it is well enough to release. My grandmother read to me from that book when I would stay with her and it was a number of years ago. This was in the 50s and early 60s. Trying to remember the name of a book we read in elementary school. The plot is kind of like space jam for football except that there is no Jordan. A misfit high school football team is mistakenly taken to outer space by a group to compete against another team.
The other team is coached by a professional coach from earth but the team is made up of robots. With no coach, the HS team is coached by the head cheerleader. Any help is appreciated. I read a book in Brazil when I was maybe It was a story of young travelers, hitchhiking, most likely one was Jewish army age to enlist in the Israeli army. It was a story of a few young people the story was in America soil each had its own issues and things to come to terms with.
I loved it. No idea of the name of the book or anything. It left a huge impression with. I read a book in Brazil, most likely translated from English about young travelers, hitchhikers, one Jewish army age, I believe all happened in USA. A book about a Mexican girl who likes to collage and is forced to move. On the first day of school, she meets a fat blonde with one dimple that is trying to be nice to her but is mean to the blonde. That's as far as I read and can't find this book anywhere.
Does anyone know what it's called? A 's book with the word "Mission" in the title about Jesus travelling forward in time and ending up in a hospital in New York in modern times. The author's first name was Charles, I believe. A book about a man or maybe 2? That poses as a school bus driver to abduct a certain child along that route. They let off every child at their stops and eventually take the child they want to a isolated cabin.
I believe there was speculation on the bus about something being wrong since their original bus driver was not there. A fantasy book set in a time where magic is outlawed. There's an orphan girl who lives in a church with a bunch of nuns and meets a witch secretly doing magic in the town square. The girl, her guy friend, the witch, and the girls fox? Goes on a mission to find magical bones. Also they almost get eaten twords the start of the book. A fantasy novel about a young princess that is traveling with her guard, that was once a slave, to her arranged marriage and he sacrifices himself to save her when they get attacked by bandits.
They also take shelter in some random fort at some point with the rest of their caravan. She finds out that her family has served as protectors to witches for a long time. She has to solve a mystery of some kind. On some of the chapters there is old poems or pieces of literature. My friend was telling me about a book where a man kidnaps girls and houses them in the walls of a greenhouse.
He gets his sons involved and his wife has no idea. The greenhouse had a key code and The walls drop. How soon falls in love with one of the girls. The story centers around young boys and their small town. One of their neighbors, an elderly German man, turns out to be an ex Nazi and he ultimately commits suicide. Classical Historical novel about two sisters, one is beautiful Rose and uses her beauty to get her way with people, the other one is not beutiful but has a beautiful heart which led her to get married to the man she loved.
The sister with the beautiful face had always loved the same man that her sister got married to. I hope some one would help me with the title of this very known novel. Pretty please help? Looking for a book about two half brothers, one is black and one is white, one is an Olympic athlete while the other is involved the Nazi movement.
The book is set in South Africa before WW2. Neither brother knows the other, the brother who is black is the son of a chief who their mother had a relationship and when he was born black, the mother left him with his father. The son who is white and the mother are friendly with the South African leader of the time. The mother has something to do with a diamond mine and often have lunch on table top mountain.
Looking for a book where the main female character loses her brother to suicide, then later goes home for the holidays and sees a classmate from college eating at her family's restaurant, she invites him to her house for the holidays because his family is at a charity event. Read a young adult mystery novel in the s. Girl for whatever reason has to move to a mansion of some sort where an older man and a guy her age live there. I signed it out of the library like six times lol.
Teen or young adult book that was originally posted on Wattpad to read. The main characters name is max and the book starts with max as a boy in school when the aliens invade. Max then kills one of the aliens with the aliens own weapon as, come to find out, Max can attune with the aliens weapons. Years later max is in the military fighting against the aliens and he is their best soldier. He is given an assignment to protect a high ranking officials daughter who is named Laura. Laura and max squabble some and Laura is eventually kidnapped by the aliens and max must rescue her.
This is as much as I can remember about this book. I cannot remember the title or the authors name. I read this book around or on Wattpad but it was later taken off Wattpad as the author actually got the book published. Teen or young adult adventure book about a boy and girl who travel with their archaeologist parents and discover lost temples, hidden ruins, etc.
The book was orange and contained 4 books in the 1 book. I read this about 10 years ago in elementary school and would really like to read it again. Horror book set in a small quaint town. People start acting strange and I remember one woman having sex with a demon that came through her bedroom wall. I think it might be Graham masterton or James Herbert but I can't remember. Maybe there was a investigator looking into the stuff that happening in the town.
Set in America I think. I remember checking it out from my high school library. The book was about four maybe six warrior souls, who were re incarnated throughout time. The souls were destined to fight a specific evil. I am looking for a romance book series of 3 about the same couple. I read it in I don't remember any character names or the author's name. Here is what I can remember about it: I think the girl's father owned an art gallery or something to do with art. I believe he was some sort of public figure like a judge or retired judge.
I don't remember what he does for a living. She ends up leaving him due to issues don't remember what. I think her father's house gets shot up by unknown assailants. Her father told the baby's father that she either aborted or lost the baby. But he later finds out that she didn't and they try to work out their issues. They end up married and after she has the baby she is kidnapped and almost dies. I don't remember what happens after that but I do know it has an HEA. I don't remember how the first or second books end but I think the third one starts either before or after they get married or before or after she has the baby.
Please help. I've been looking for this book for 2 years. Older book about a woman finding list of names of missing women in her dads basement near furnace, that is all I remember, fiction. Hope someone can help Published before likely current setting is late 70's early 80's. Teenage girl with mom and brother, no dad, move to a 3 story house off the california coast line. The house has a curved driveway with a tree stump in the grass. The family does not have a car, but the girl keeps hearing a car idling in the driveway. Then starts to see an oil leakwhen everyone else sees dirt.
Later she sees a 50's style car blue if I remember correctly and a man in his late teens early 20's in a bomber jacket.