Ever since I wrote The Elixir of Freedom, I wanted to give a copy of the book to the scientist who inspired the plot.
That scientist is Dr. Tony Nader, M.D., Ph.D., M.A.R.R., who is the global leader of the TM organization, and the author of two breakthrough books. The first is Human Physiology, Expression of the Veda and Vedic Literature (1994-2014) and the second is Ramayan in the Human Physiology (2012). These books demonstrate the one-to-one correspondence between our human bodies and the ancient Vedic literature. The Veda, in a sense, is a blueprint for our physiology. This has huge implications for our health and evolution.
In the second book, he described the ancient story of Ram who was able to defeat the 10-headed Ravan. The key was receiving the secret to the Heart of the Sun from the Rishi Agastya. Those of you who have read my book know how the characters go on a quest for this secret, and they do meet a shepherd named Agastya who directs them to the Heart of the Sun.
But the key is that Dr. Nader describes the Heart of the Sun as relating in structure and function to the thalamus in the brain. When enlivened, this “Heart of the Sun”, he says, functions like a “lamp at the door”. It gives a view of life from outside looking in and from inside looking out. He relates this to the experience of Nyaya in the Vedic Literature. It was this experience that led to the “elixir of freedom” that the characters gained.
So, recently, I heard that Dr. Nader was speaking in Vancouver, British Columbia, on Saturday, May 7. My heart leaped with the thought that I might be able to give him a copy of the book there. Acting on intuition, I booked the flight and went to his talk. As nature would have it, an opportunity came up for me to meet him for a moment and give him the book. He seemed very pleased that I based the plot on his research. It was just a moment, but I was glad I was able to give him the book. I hope he enjoys the story.
[And of course, future books will revolve around other aspects of the Ramayan — hint, hint, Book 2, The Conch of Bliss, is underway!]
If you are in the Fresno area, you are invited to a Saturday, June 4 Book Signing at 1 pm. I will also be giving a new talk on The Purpose of Stories.
Location: The Center Bridging Body, Mind, and Spirit at 1175 W. Shaw Ave. (1st parking lot on the left south on Thorne Ave. from Shaw).
If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area, you are invited to a Thursday, June 16 talk and book signing at 7:30 pm. I will also be giving a talk on The Seven Myths of Art and the Real Meaning of Creativity. Location: Berkeley TM Center, 950 Gilman Ave., Berkeley (near Whole Foods).
Her father died when she was eight years old. Her mother, a pious, compassionate Albanian woman, invited the poor to dine with them. She told her daughter, “Never eat a single mouthful unless you are sharing it with others.” When the girl asked who these people were, her mother answered, “Some of them are our relations, but all of them are our people.”
At age 12, her school made a pilgrimage to the Church of the Black Madonna, and she felt a calling to be a nun. She studied in Ireland, and then went to India where she was assigned to teach at a Catholic school for Calcutta’s poorest families. She taught history and geography but also by example. She once described how she prayed: “Give me the strength to be ever the light of their lives, so that I may lead them at last to you.”
In 1946, at the age of 36, on a train ride to a retreat, Christ spoke to her. He asked her to leave the school and teaching and devote her life to the poor and sick. She obeyed.
The Light She Found
Mother Teresa (1910-1997) founded the Missionaries of Charity and served the sick and poor by establishing hospices; homes for the blind, disabled, and aged; a leper colony; and 610 foundations in 123 countries. She received many honors, including the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 for her humanitarian work.
What she said:
“Like Jesus, we belong to the world not living for ourselves but for others. The joy of the Lord is our strength.”
“Give yourself fully to God. He will use you to accomplish great things on the condition that you believe much more in His love than in your own weakness.”
“If we really want to love, we must learn how to forgive.”
“Little things are indeed little, but to be faithful in little things is a great thing.”
“Before you speak, it is necessary for you to listen, for God speaks in the silence of the heart.”
“Keep the joy of loving God in your heart and share this joy with all you meet, especially your family.”
“God doesn’t require us to succeed; he only requires that you try.”
He grew up with his mother in a one-room log cabin on a plantation. He never knew his father. As a young boy, he carried 100-lb sacks of grain to the nearby mill. He would walk by the schoolhouse where he saw children his age studying. But he wasn’t allowed to go in as slaves were not allowed to read and write. At age 9, he and his mother moved to West Virginia, where he went to work in the salt furnaces with his stepfather. His mother got him a book to learn the alphabet, and he got up every morning at 4 am to study before going to work.
At age 16, he walked 500 miles to Hampton Institute in Virginia. He took odd jobs along the way, and when he got there, he convinced the administrators to let him study if he worked as a janitor to pay his tuition. He graduated in 1875 with high marks, and soon was recommended to head the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama.
The Light He Found
Booker T Washington (1856-1915) became a teacher, college president, author, orator, and advisor to presidents of the United States. Between 1890 and 1915, he was the dominant leader in the African- American community.
What he said:
“If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.”
“Great men cultivate love … only little men cherish a spirit of hatred.”
“You can’t hold a man down without staying down with him.”
“Excellence is to do a common thing in an uncommon way.”
“I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has had to overcome while trying to succeed.”