The other day while looking online at a model of our human DNA genetic code I had an insight that I felt was worth noting. As a consequence I added some new sentences to my nonfiction book, Tales of the Whirling Rainbow: Myths & Mysteries for Our Times.
I wrote, “The natural and the mythic image of the whirling rainbow conveys growing awareness of the reality that now in world history with sophisticated communications and transportation systems, different cultures (colors of the rainbow) are whirling (interacting).
“Likewise, as many millions of people have their DNA tested out of genealogical curiosity, we are discovering the fundamental reality of how complex and multifaceted are the whirling double-helix strands of genes that give evidence of each person’s multicultural lineage. These DNA molecules embody the inherited instructions that an organism – such as a human being – needs to develop, live and reproduce. These instructions are found inside every cell, and are passed down from parents to their children.
In virtually all realms of nature, abundant interaction and diversity are characteristic of health and vitality.
While I was adding that passage to the manuscript, I also had the pages of this small treasure formatted professionally, for a better look in both print and eBook editions.
Throughout history most successful and long-lived civilizations have held a place of respect for elders, and benefited from their life wisdom. By and large this tradition is missing today, to the detriment not only of elders but also of society.
Each moment, each day, each one of us grows older. Thanks to medical advances and wide emphasis on personal fitness, most people will live long enough to be considered old. The average life span has, in fact, been steadily increasing since the dawn of the Twentieth Century, and this trend will likely continue in the Twenty-first Century. This reality raises some critical questions: What is the purpose of a long life? What can and should older people do with their extended years? What roles do older people have in modern societies?
As far back as five millennia ago the Greeks knew a basic life lesson that remains relevant today. Socrates put it succinctly: “the unexamined life is not worth living.”
With that foundational understanding in mind, and after a career of interviewing learned and insightful elders, I assembled an eBook of quotations, from all times and all cultures: Teach Us to Number Our Days.
My intention was to inspire readers to reflect on how we might most wisely journey through advanced maturity. I learned a lot putting the eBook together, and feel privileged to share it.
Age is very mysterious because the essence of the human being — the soul — actually never ages. It’s only the outer covering of the individual that changes.” ~ Beatrice Wood
The late Navajo elder Leon Secatero once told me that he saw the Wind Walkers take corn pollen in their mouths to bless their words before they spoke to him.
“The elders talked about positive things, focusing on the positive to make things happen, to bring in good energy so that life will continue. They said to use song, prayer, dance to focus on positive thought, and to help us go forward on the path to the future in a good way, in a sacred way.”
“What I was shown,” Grandfather Leon told me, “was the way we should be, how we must be to influence the future, and also to influence all the plants, the animals, the waters, the air and the fire.
“It’s important. I came to a knowing that the only way you can have the power, is through the color and the light of positive thought and energy. Put all your concentration on this, not other things.
“Put your concentration on the positive. That’s how it’s done.”
– Excerpt from a forthcoming Soul*Sparks book
by author Steven McFadden
From now until October 31, 2013, you can save 20% off the cost of the Soul*Sparks ebook, Classical Considerations: Musings Prompted by the Late Harvard Master John H. Finley, Jr.
To purchase the book at the sale price, follow this link to the Classical Considerations web page, and select the ebook, Smartphone or PDF format you want, and then on the check out page enter coupon code RV74E.
A discount on wisdom! Such a deal.
Like shards of pottery excavated from some ancient site, the fragments of Master Finley and the classics offered herein allow readers to extrapolate and to experience some of the debate and discussion that he spurred at Harvard – questions and responses that remain eminently relevant.
With pleasure, Soul*Sparks Books announces the publication of a new, nonfiction eBook: Classical Considerations.
Life’s foundational questions come elegantly to the fore in this skillfully crafted nonfiction story about the late John H. Finley, Jr. For 51 years Finley was the celebrated and erudite Eliot Professor of the Classics at Harvard.
Luminous and compellingly relevant, Finley’s story leads readers directly into engagement with the fundamental wisdom questions of any worthwhile life.
Classical Considerations offers a compact (44 pages) but strikingly lyrical array of intellectual sparks that will kindle an exuberant fire in every reader’s soul.
The eBook is available now at Amazon.com, Barnes&Noble.com, and in 9 different ebook and smartphone formats at Smashwords.com. There is a version adapted to iPhones and iPads at Smashwords, and the book will soon be available through the Apple store and other online venues.