Life is Divine in '09

On New Year's Day 2009 I walked out of my house and said 'Happy New Year' to Jeff, my neighbor across the street.  He told me that back in 1979 at his high school graduation the theme was that all would be divine in 9, so that would apply to this year too.  Thanks, Jeff!

That really fits with my readings last year which caused me to come to the conclusion that life, not just your life or mine, but every one and every thing that is alive in some sense in this whole, rather empty universe, is what makes up the 'thing' we refer to as Divine!   

"Life is God and God is Life" is something that sticks in my mind from last year's readings.

So, the combination of Jeff's inspired statement and my readings last year result in the theme for this year:  Life is Divine in '09.

1.  The first item for this year is a review of several books to do with the life and role of Mary Magdalene in early Christianity.  The two books are by Sylvia Browne and by Margaret Starbird, both of whom I have mentioned in other reviews in the past. X

2.   A re-reading of the book Esoteric Christianity by Annie Besant in light of the review under item # 1. X

3.  Paul Kriwaczek's In Search of Zarathustra, The First Prophet and the Ideas That Changed the World  is an almost perfect book.  This author did what I would have loved to do, travel the Fertile Crescent and investigate the religions that grew up in this spiritually fertile area. X

4.  2009 Devils Hole Workshop in Death Valley National Park.:  Download the presentation I gave, if you wish. (Updated 13 May 2009)

5.  "Courtly Love and the Lives of Anna Kingsford and Edward Maitland" is the reading/writing project I completed late February.  These two lived in an arrangement that met my criteria for courtly love, and their lives were extraordinarily creative, in my opinion. An addendum was added after the review was posted, it concerns Mary Magdalene as perceived by 'Mary" Kingsford. X

6.  A virtual tour of Yucca Mountain, Nevada, showing its geological and geographical setting.

7.  Impressions on reading a new Dan Kane book: IS YESHUA THE PROPHESIED MESSIAH  OF THE HEBREW BIBLE?  I found the book both interesting and evocative.  The review is short, so just read it. X

8.  A mixed review of Paulo Coelho's book Brida. (first published in English in 2008, but a much older book in Portuguese). X

9.  A late March trip to southern France: four major destinations and 10 minor ones.  Lots of variety, both natural and unnatural.  The natural span from a Mediterranean beach to a wondrous land of canyons: the Gorges du Tarn.  The unnatural span from the highest bridge in the world to an underground railway passage. I found all of the above both interesting and pleasing.

10.  A surprise.  A letter from our grandmother to her daughter (our mother) and son-in-law (our father).  It was carefully hidden in some decorative tins and found by our daughter Rachel.

11.  Photos from an extensive new Death Valley adventure including Titus Canyon, once again, and for the first time Ubehebe Crater and Scotty's Castle.

12.  A review of the book By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept, by Paulo Coelho, that begins with a note from the author.  I have declared it to be my favorite Coelho book in the past and thought it would only be right to actually review it and say why I like it so. X

13.  A discussion of our human experience as an outome of  historical developments involving a hierarchy of emergent properties, with reference to a book on primitive religion by the "father" of the science of sociology, Emile Durkheim.  X

14.  A visit to the Springs Preserve in Las Vegas, the place where Las Vegas ("the meadows") was given its name by a Spanish explorer, reminded me that I am not always the best photo-and-word describer of a place.  There is no way I can compete with their awesome website! (Click here to go there.)

15.  A 1989 re-evaluation of an article by the Mormon scholar Hugh Nibley, titled: "Patriarchy and Matriarchy."

16.  A medley of thoughts from reading books by Mary Doria Russell, including her latest Dreamers of the Day and her foreword in a new edition of A Canticle for Liebowitz by Walter M. Miller, Jr.  Mention is also made of Uranium  by Tom Zoellner. X

17.  My impressions upon reading The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff. X

18.  My impressions on watching the movie Stealing Heaven and reading the book by the same title written by Marion meade.  A most touching portrayal of Heloise and Abelard, the famous Parisian Medieval lovers. X

19.  My impressions from perusing the biography of Madame Helena P. Blavatsky by Marion Meade. X

20.  A few select facts from Marion Meade's Eleanor of Aquitaine, A Biography. X

21.  Observations on Marion Meade's novel Sybille, the life story (fictional) of a woman troubadour living during the time of the Cathar extermination and the unfolding of the newly created Inquisition.  The review ends with some observations based on Kathleen McGowan's The Book of Love. X

22.  What a find!  A 2008 book by Barrie Wison explores how Jesus the human being was transformed into a God: How Jesus Became Christian is a historical tour de force well worth the reading.  Because it supports my prejudices?  Yes.  Wilson provided a final thought for my review, by email. X

23.  A quick Labor-Day-weekend visit to Saint George, Utah, and its nearby Snow Canyon (not named after the white stuff, but after a Mormon religious leader.

24.  In the title of her autobiography, The Scent of God, a Memoir, Bissell hints at the mystical, which is what first attracts me to this book. Bissell's is a life filled with love and pathos, and I am touched. X

24.  Photos and words to describe four destinations on my recent business trip to Bavaria, Germany.  (1) Trip overview (map); (2) Dachau's concentration camp memorial; (3)  the Konigsee and Berchtesgaden; (4) the Zugspitze in the clouds; and (5) two of "crazy" Ludwig's castles along the "Romantic Road." (exteriors only).

25.  My sister Corrie passed unexpectedly in 2009. Corrie's ashes were spread into the Colorado River at about the same place where my mother had chosen to spread my father's ashes and where hers were also spread.  May they rest in peace!

26.  Long ago I walked into Franklin Lake Playa to take a few photos.  This time a group of us, from my work, went there to find out the condition of boreholes put there in the 1980s.  There were some interesting things to see in this desert landscape.

27.  Consciousness is a recurring interest, and I liked the very promising title of the book The Spiritual Brain: A Neuroscientists's Case for the Existence of the Soul by Beauregard and O'Leary.  Did it live up to its promise?  Frankly, no.  Click on the title and see if you agree with my opinion. X

28.  With a title that promised to outline The Evolution of God how could I resist this massive volume?  I wanted to read about three things that, to my surprise, turned out to be somewhat interrelated.  If you want to know what those three things are, click on the book title. X

29.  An interview on BLDG/BLOG, an architecture-related website, on "One Million Years of Isolation."  It tells you something about what I do for a living.

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