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Newsletter Number 8 • June 13, 2005

 

First, I would like to thank all of you who have responded to these emails and given us valuable feedback. If you have any suggestions as to how we can improve our website and/or our services please let us know.

Second, this month we celebrate Father’s Day. I have a few suggestions. There are two books I keep on my desk and use often as a source of quotes as well as for inspiration. Both would be cherished by many fathers. One is Treasury of Spiritual Wisdom: A collection of 10,000 Inspirational Quotations, compiled by Andy Zubko. Starting with “Abundance”, and concluding with “Worry”, this fantastic collection covers all the bases. The other book, The New Quotable Einstein, compiled and edited by Alice Calaprice is not just a book of quotes, but is organized in such a way that it tells the life story of Albert Einstein, by quoting his personal letters, speeches, and interviews. This book is really fun to read and a lasting treasure to possess. (You can click on the titles to read the review.)

Remember, you can also purchase gift certificates from 21st Century Books. These are not available for purchase on the website, but can be obtained and redeemed by calling us: (641) 472-5105 or (800) 593-2665.

We have just added special T-shirts to our product line. They are pictured here. I am not sure whether you will be able to order them on the site, but if not, you certainly can place your order by calling the above phone numbers. They are either 100% cotton (sky blue with deep blue graphics or Moss green with beige graphics, priced at $12) or Organic Cotton (un-dyed natural with Moss green graphics $18). This is likely to become a great collectors item, with its theme “Fairfield, Crossroads of the Universe, where Absolute Avenue meets Relative Road!”

Thanks to the suggestion of my son, Sam, I read what may be one of the most remarkable books ever written. The Mind Tree: A Miraculous Child Breaks the Silence of Autism, by Tito Rajarshi Mukhopadhyay blew my mind. The author is now a teenager living with his mother in the Los Angeles area and is being supported by a charitable organization so that he can be studied to deepen the understanding of autism in the hopes of helping autistic people. The author cannot speak, but learned to write by pointing to letters on an alphabet board. The book was written when he was between the ages of 8 and 11. I can’t possibly do justice to this book by trying to explain it. If you have any interest in how the human mind works, the mind-body coordination, not to mention much deeper questions about we human beings, you will love this book. It is so remarkable it goes beyond my limited ability to really explain it.

I find autism to be quite fascinating, and have earlier recommended a best-selling work of fiction in which the protagonist is autistic. I will re-recommend The Curious Incident of a Dog in the Nighttime. (Click to read review).

Postville: A Clash of Cultures in Heartland America, by Stephen G. Bloom, is another book I read this month which I think almost everyone would enjoy. This book has earned major accolades from the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, etc. In 1987, a group of ultra-Orthodox Jews (Lubavitchers) opened a kosher slaughterhouse in a tiny (population under 1550) town in Northeast Iowa (Postville). This is a story about culture clash. The author does a fantastic job of giving an even-handed treatment to both sides. His success is demonstrated by the fact that after the book was published he caught lots of flack from both the Jews and the Gentiles. The book reads like a novel, a real page-turner. Additionally one will gain real insight into what makes Iowa such a wonderful place to live, and the anomalous behavior and life-style of the Lubavitchers.

To all you fathers out there—Happy Father’s Day!! Enjoy your children whatever their age may be.

Len

May and June are the time of year when we celebrate our parents: The two people who have had the most major effect on shaping our earthly destiny.

And visa versa I am sure.

As many of us baby boomers are witnessing the completion of our parent’s journey on this earthly plane... Mother’s and Father’s Day may bring a tinge of sadness.

I personally lost my father 2 days before Father’s Day in 1995 and last month lost my mother 4 days after Mother’s Day.

The passing of our parents, of course, contain feelings of sorrow and grieving, but, in my own personal experience, I have also found the transition to be a strong catalyst for personal Spiritual growth: a deep loss always has its opposite effect — a deep rediscovery of one’s true nature which is eternal and never changing. The veil lifts at the time of earthly passing and we experience this profound and deeply transcendental experience through the death of a loved one.

One of my favorite books about the death experience is RETURN FROM TOMORROW by Dr. George G. Ritchie, a clinical psychiatrist, who had a near death experience during World WAR II. Dr. Ritchie’s experience was the motivating factor behind Raymond Moody’s famous studies on the near death experience. I highly recommend this book for the comfort and inspiration it brings to anyone coping with the death of a loved one.

Another title you may find to be helpful is Graceful Exits: How Great Beings Die- Death Stories of Tibetan, Hindu and Zen Masters. Edited By Sushila Blackman, this book has just recently been re-released. It provides snippets of how saints from the Eastern traditions confronted their own deaths. Ironically, Sushila herself was diagnosed with terminal cancer during the editing of this book and died a few months after its publication.

The two books I mentioned above as well as many others in our Death and Dying section teach us that death is not an ending but are birth, and what is real never dies.

“You are the Self,that perfect immutable Self, Nothing else exists, Nothing else ever existed, Nothing else will ever exist. There is only the Self and you are That. Rejoice!”

From SILENCE OF THE HEART by Robert Adams

Tony

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