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Monday, May 15, 2017

The Power of Your Subconscious Mind by Dr. Joseph Murphy

The Power of Your Subconscious Mind by Dr. Joseph Murphy is the book which I take up here as a topic.

The edition of the book by Dr. Joseph Murphy, which I have read was published in India by Manjul Publishing House. It is the sixth impression by the publisher released in India in the year 2017. The ISBN is 978-81-8322-500-7. The copyright is with The Joseph Murphy Trust.

How did I choose this book?

I picked this book on Kindle Store while I was compiling the review on "Mental Power: The Secret of Mental Magic" by W. W. Atkinson.

I write small notes on Kindle itself as well as on a register while reading the book. The review is generally developed on the basis of the notes which are handwritten on a register. While reading the book 'Mental Power', the word 'Mental' was irritating me. The word 'mental' conveys a derogatory and negative meaning also. Among the Hindi speaking people, it is generally remarked कि वह तो mental है ! It is an abuse. Atkinson has used this word excessively and extensively. He has written titles of many chapters using this term.

It so happened that when I was converting the written notes, on W. W. Atkinson, typing it for blogging, I thought of selecting a title to be displayed under the advertisement section. I used the phrase 'Mind Power' for the search on Kindle Store. In the result section, I located this book. When I explored the reviews on the title, I read the notes written in appreciation on writings of Dr. Murphy. I made further searches. I found author was actually a contemporary of Atkinson. Dr. Murphy was born in the later years of the nineteenth century. Atkinson started writing in the beginning of the twentieth century. Atkinson died in 1933. Dr. Murphy died in 1982. Dr. Murphy was decorated with a university degree. A brief summary of the content conveyed that the subject of the title was similar to what I had been reading for sometime by now. The price of the book was on the  higher side but within the range. There was a variation in prices quoted with different vendors. So, I selected the lowest prize and bought it. The subject was similar to the topics on which I am presently writing. Therefore, I started reading it after completing the reviews on "Mental Power".

The Observations:

When I was reading the book, I was reminded again and again of the contents of the books written by W. W. Atkinson. I felt as if I was reading a subject content which I had already read. It was like having an old wine in a new bottle.

However, there were some discernable differences also in dealing with the subject. Dr. Murphy openly talked about the content of the Bible. Atkinson was very particular in abstaining from the use of any term which was associated with religious scriptures.

The term 'science' is a fashion. You talk about universal forces. Then, here and there, you insert the term 'science'. You use the term scientific way of Prayer. What is this 'Scientific Prayer'? Do we conclude that there can be a prayer, which is 'a scientific prayer' and another 'a non-scientific prayers'?

PPT Style Structure:

He has adopted a 'PPT' style (Power Point Presentation). He wrote when there was no perception of the way of giving Power Point Presentations. He has written small paragraphs. A set of two or three paragraphs has a heading. Every chapter ends with a summary. The summary consists of points in form of a list. The whole book is basically a draft of contents, which can be easily converted into Power Point Presentation. The quantity of the content under each heading is such that each of it can be easily get settled in one slide.

Know-How of His Technique:

His technique of making the best use of the powers of subconscious mind is as follows:

Step 1:
Create a question, or raise a desire.

Step 2:
Visualise as if you have found and answer or realised your desire.

Step 3:
Go to sleep or develop the ability to move into a phase of slumber with a paryer having positive assertions. (No elaboration or criticism can be given here as the motive is not to write a book on it. No doubt, it can be a basis of an essay that can be written separately.)

Step 4:
The movement you awake, again raise the question and repeat the prayer.

The author, Dr Murphy, gives an assurance that if you "believe and persist", soon you will activate the mystic powers of the subconscious mind which are divine and omnipotent. There is too much stress upon the aspect of faith and belief.

Have patience. You will get a perfect answer and the desired result.

A Note:
In chapter 18, 'How Your Subconsious Removes Mental Block', under the heading "Three Magical Steps" he has given a similar practice. He has been repeating this suggestion throughout the book and virtually imparted a status of a ritual.

Do not talk much about spirituality. Make it a 'a priori' knowledge that the subconscious is all powerful and omnipotent. It is not bound by space and time. It is a part of the Absolute.

Verdict or a conclusion:
The whole book aims at learning self-hypnotism. It is not a healthy approach.

Papa is Preaching Approach:

At many places during the course of the reading this book, your attentiveness and focus receive a jarring impact and jolt. He begins with an assertion. He appeals to the concepts of 'belief' and 'faith'. He tells an anecdote as a testimony. Most of the times, he claims that the quoted anecdotes are part of his personal experience and an empirical observation. He ends there. He takes the next heading. He repeats the same game plan.

The whole tone of the narration is like ' a Papa Preaches that ....'.

Dr. Joseph Murphy Trust description:

The site of the Trust claims that he was an heir to James Allen, Dale Carnegie, Napolean Hill and Norman Vincent Peale. He is a precursor, the trust claims, to Tony Robbins Zig Ziglar and Earl Nightingale. The site claims that there was a 'human potential movement' and Dr. Joseph Murphy was one of the pioneer. They give it as an evidence that the title has crossed the one million sale record and still counting. Well, even I am one of the buyers of the digital format of the book.

A Self Help book for a particular society and times:

It is a self-help and self-improvement book meant for the people who lived in the sixties and seventies of the twentieth century in the USA. The author has talked about the subconscious mind. He attributed it with unlimited powers guaranteed by the unknown source (you may call it divine if you learn it on your own.). The technique to access the powers of subconscious is the prayer – a scientific prayer. According to the author, you must perform this 'ritual' before going to bed. With such a package, at his disposal, which he preaches, he has talked about becoming rich and solving martial problems. In the case of the chapter on Martial Problem, Dr. Murphy is just giving his personal views. There is enough evidence in his suggestions and narration that the person is experienced and far ahead in the field of psychic growth and probably spiritual attainments than anyone who reads his book. But, somewhere, while reading him, you suddenly feel that here he is just giving his views. He is not talking about the topic. He is abstaining from telling something openly.

Similarly, in chapter 15, the author declares that the greatest discovery of 19th century apart from the development in the field of physical sciences was the discovery of "power of subconsciousness touched by faith". He has attributted this thesis to William James, the American Psychologist. The similar thing is more apparent in a succeding chapter. The last chapter titled, "How to Stay Young in Spirit Forever" is a politicla statement addressed to his contemporary times.

I just wished that I should have skipped this title. I did not read it continuously. There was no continuity. Even, in the case of developing this essay, which was surprising written continuously, it took much time to get typed. In between, I went through many more books. It has created a type of clutter of half begun books. I am returning back to W. W. Atkinson and other books.

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Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Mental Power: The Secret of Mental Magic by W. W. Atkinson

Mental Power: The Secret of Mental Magic by W. W. Atkinson

The description is quite long.

I have called this blog as a review of the books which I have read. But, I have repeatedly stated that I write what I want to write. In between these two motives, I exercise a freedom. However, the readers may like or dislike it. I may write a piece which may be as long as the book. You will complain that your essays are longer than the book. You have called your blog a review of a book. You are cheating us. You are wasting our time and money. It is not fair.

Well, I will not apologise. I will again say that I have read the book. Now, I write what I want to write. I will not say that Take it or Leave it. I just invite you to experience it in order to know that you will experience a similar thing if you read this book.

In case of the book by W. W. Atkinson titled "Mental Power: The Secret of Mental Magic", I would like to make some comments.

The first comment is as follows.

I say it with confidence that it is a book of Motivational reading. What is Motivational reading? I do not know. Well, the general category which is popular for such a kind of books is "self improvement book".

The way I have written the above paragraph, it may convey the impression, that I am not sure about what I have to say. Secondly, it may happen, that someone also read this book and then after that, he may comment on my observations on this book that Mr. Blogger you do not have well developed intellectual edifice. Therefore, you are not sure of the category of this book. It is a very effective book on the method of use of the Mind. One can learn many truths of the methods of use of Mind. The author of the book has given a practical, pragmatic and an effective methods to raise your Mind to the optimum level.

I continue to present my observations and impressions on the content of the book and now I again shift to another set of comments.

General Comments:

Suppose you imagine and desire a thing. You desire such a thing which seems unachievable or you just do not have the right idea or plan to work for it. Now, at such a stage, you come across a person or book, who or which, propose to you that they would get it for you. You will listen to them. You may not understand whatsoever they bring before you but you persist with the pursuit. If it is allowed, then it can be said, that you pretend to understand them.

Take another case. You are skeptical. Someone proposes to you that you can do wonders if you follow him. You listen to him. You read his book. You do not come to a lesson for sometime wherein those practical and workable acts are clearly spelt out which may bring the action on the ground or give to some effective demonstration and presentation. But, the author continues to give a fresh theory. He creates his own terms and concepts. He continues to dismantle some established terminology. What will you do? Quit.

I have given two comments by now. Now, here is the third one. I believe that you will accept a proposition that, within ones own heart, everyone desires power. If you can develop a weapon (here, in this case, it is the mind, a thing which is with you, in your possession and under your exclusive ownership.) with which you will control others then you would definitely like to acquire it. But, you will definitely demand that you must see something real. If someone suggests to you that he will help you to develop such a weapon, then you may continue to listen to him and read his book. You will demand that something real should come out. It is your mind. You want to convert it into a miraculous weapon. You will persist. But, you must see some real thing.

Now, let me take up the fourth comment. I believe that it is wrong to suggest or sell a thing which you do not possess. A salesman does such a thing. He sells a thing which he actually does not possess or own. It is more true in case of an agent of insurance products. He persists with an art to create a sale.

While reading the book, I have felt that all the four points given above, were energised and active from time to time.

Apart from that, I would like to present the following views in reference to the book in question.

I adopt the method of Atkison in order to suggest you my secret doctrine. It is as follows.

Have you ever watched a small child? The children have an impressionable and sensitive mind. They easily accept and believe spectacular suggestions. You show them the movies of Batman, Spiderman and Superman. They start behaving like those characters. They adopt their gestures. The suggestion of superhuman powers is readily grabbed by these young impressionist brains. Do you think that they are acquiring right mental energies? I will not answer it.

Even the grown up people have impressionist mind. Your lifelong learnings and experiences are very important. The strength of your culture is very important. The impressionist mind tends to believe the unbelievable things. Your learnings and culture have a role to play in such a response.

It is generally suggested that one should read self-improvement books. As far as the information with me goes, it is believed that even in big companies, the self-improvement and motivational sessions are organised. But they are generally conducted by experienced psychologists.

I do not feel ashamed in accepting it that at present, I am infatuated by the writings of W. W. Atkinson. I wait for evening hours to find time to read his books. I wait for sundays or holidays to write about his books. I snatch time from my daily routine to read his writings. His writings, his phrases, his explanations are quite soothing to me. But, I have not found effective results from the tasks which he has suggested. It is not meant for this particular book. I am including all the books which I have read by now. I accept that I have not even practised them seriously and with conviction. It may also be possible that I am not all that intellectually developed and intelligent to put his suggestions to practice. I am sceptical about his claims on a different aspect of psychology and spiritual aspects. There is a reason behind it. When he talks about magneto-electric personality, when he forges terms, when he enunciates theories of two poles of mind like one is Desire Force pole and other is Will Power force; the poles similar to electric points on electric batteries, when he creates parallel with the laws of physics and evolution, when he boasts about the efficacy, authenticity, scientific validity and transcendental truths as discovered by him and only him, I lose conviction in believing and then following his clues and suggestions. He appropriates a role of a teacher for himself and considers you as his student. He writes as if he is talking in a class to freshers in a course. This form of narration somewhere turns you away from him.

I study and teach history. I follow the views of Collingwood wherein he says that thought can be recreated. I know the objections of E. H. Carr against his theory. This is not the place to discuss that issue here. But, I believe in Collingwood and K. K. Dutta. These scholars said that while reading history, a historian was expected to use imagination for recreating the thought. No doubt, this criterion goes against the theory of evolution and selection of Charles Darwin. It is because of that E. H. Carr had criticised R. G. Collingwood. While using imagination, a historian is expected to develop a psychological understanding. Therefore, I read such topics as it is given in many titles of W. W. Atkinson. However, when I think that even general public will also read such thing, then I start wondering about the impact which it will leave on them. On the Internet, it is mentioned at many places that the writings of W. W. Atkinson are still popular and his works are republished again and again. It is only because of such a reason, even I have come across it. There, I become somewhat doubtful about the efficacy of such titles. I fear that it may induce illusions and finally dissatisfaction. He keeps on invoking the theory of secrets of Eastern Philosophy and Hindu literature. I do not know, how it will be creating a distorted picture about all of it in the minds of people who do not have enough chance and occasion to make efforts to get to the actual facts.

The Chapter Making of W. W. Atkinson in Mental Power

This is really a long book. This is a book with 29 chapters.

In the book, he refers to Hindu literature. Which is that Hindu literature? As I have already pointed out, that he keeps on referring to Hindu literature but he never tells the name of the author and title to which he is referring. Then he builds a theory. He breaks that theory and the concepts involved in it into numerous chapters and thus the book is written. Many of the concepts are his own creation. You may call it a work of creativity. No doubt, he is a good writer.

From Chapter I to Chapter V, which include The Mental Dynamo, The Nature of Mind Power, The Mentative Induction, Mental Magic in Animal Life and Mental Magic in Human life, virtually make a single whole. He seems to have a special infatuation for snakes. He has described a whole chapter around snakes. It is in the chapter Mental Magic in Animal life. He should have called it as, "A Hunter with the Weapon of Mind". In this set, he is building the background on which he then goes to build the whole edifice of his book. All my comments are actually related to this strategy. However, if you sustain your interest and curiosity up to Chapter 5, then only, you will continue. Otherwise, you will discontinue this book.

From Chapter VI to Chapter XI, one may find a different set of narration. He writes an imaginary story in chapter VII, titled Desire and Will in form of a fable. This set of chapters is a tricky one. It may amuse you because of different factors. In writing of Atkinson, you find a mixture of arguments and I will elaborate on it in coming paragraphs. He is a product of his time, society and education. He believes in mysticism. He believes in science. He had read European literature. He has read logic and law. He knows about American literature. He is a product of historic changes taking place in America. The mixture of these factors is fully revealed in his writings. You should know the America of the earlier decades of the twentieth century in order to appreciate and understand the contents of these chapters.

Mental Atmosphere, the title of Chapter XII is spread over to Chapter XIII titled Channels of Influence, and to Chapter XIV and XV titled Instruments of Expression and Mentative Instruments respectively. After that, Mental Suggestion that is Chapter XVI is spread over to four kinds of Suggestion that is explained in Chapter XVII and then finally Chapter XVIII – How Suggestion is Used. They are the work of his imagination at its best. You may approve of it. But, I have found it a mixture of arguments. However, I will not call it a fallacy of multiple arguments.

Chapter XXI is titled The Ocean of Mind Power. I have given it an individual standing. In this chapter, he is elaborating on his main postulate of Two Poles of Mind viz. Will Power and Desire Force. He is a master of his art. He has given a theory. Then in fifteen chapters, he built a justification for that and now he is announcing his success. However, the whole explanation displays a picture of a construction undertaken by an imaginative mind. If you reach here, then there is every possibility, that, you have become his student.

Chapter XIX and XX are a study in contrast. He is very critical of Hindu pretentions. I do not believe that he had ever visited India. In one book, that is on Telepathy, he had given a distorted version on 1857 event in India. (The American Civil War took place in 1860.) In this very set, he is also highly appreciative of Hindu achievements. His admiration for that race is reflected in succeeding chapters. How is it so?

Chapter XXII titled A Glimpse of the Occult World also deserves a separate place. The content of this chapter is beyond the grasp of a reader like me. The dimension which are described in here, are beyond my knowledge, experience and visualization.

I will call it a work of imaginative mind and if it is allowed, then it is a product of a weird mind. He claims to know the ultimate secret in the chapter on the Occult World. He invites you as your student and expresses a desire to share with you all the highest secrets of Occult. He is sympathetic with you because he already knows that it is beyond your capabilities and experience to perceive and imbibe the content of occult secrets. Hence, he is ready to give you only a glimpse of it. It is up to you to receive it or reject it. It is not fair.

Chapter XXIV has a title which I am unable to understand that how he has called it an Indirect Influence. The core topic of this chapter is the concept of "Visualization". The author begins with his own classification and then writes a panegyric on Visualization.

The idea of Visualization deserves a separate treatment. It should have been placed in an earlier location. The book would have been a different thing if he had talked about visualization along with Desire Force and Will Force Poles theory.

From Chapter XXV to Chapter XXVII, form a single set. They are not his own writings. This is what I have felt. He had borrowed it from some published source. But he kept on emphasizing in the chapters that they were the result of his years of experience, learning based on empirical observations and experimentation. When you end the book with Chapter XXIX, titled Mind Building, you may learn on your own the actual working of the author. This chapter is totally different in style from his usual style. The difference is quite loud and evident. This chapter is based on Phrenology. This field of study is now abandoned and redundant. Here, you will find a list of personality traits which are now studied by psychologists with scientific methods. In their methods, Phrenology does not find any place.

I would like to write few things more. If you have read it up to this point, then kindly persist and continue to the end.

I do not know the actual background of W. W. Atkinson. I have read some information on his background on the Internet. But, I have not found any scholarly work on him. In a case of one website, I have found that a scholar with a university has provided the collection of his work on a website. His site is associated with the university where he works. However, I have written on Atkinson under the influence to which I am exposed through reading his writings.

Keeping in view the above mentioned factor, I would like to present some views. When you come across some new information and explanation, it is your responsibility to use your discrimination intellect to decide on the nature, authenticity and credibility of the information or the data which you have gathered. It is easy to say it than to practice. For that, you must have developed the ability of learning. You must have grown from the stage of a receiver of information to the stage of a learner and thinker. If your writer knows his job well, you will get influenced. The result will be that you approve the content. But, if you become critical, then you earn a better credit. If there is something to appreciate then appreciate. However, it is more beneficial if you try to question it and reconsider it in your contemplation and reflection. If you have developed or learned to explore such an ability of your brain and are in a position of exploring such an ability of the brain, then you may learn that there are some gaps in the provided information and the data. This thing happens a lot while reading the works of W. W. Atkinson. He can create chapters. He writes well. But, like a Marxist scholar, he keeps on shifting his parameters. Like a magician, such scholars play with illusions and play of hidden cards and devices. They may make use of conceit, sleight of hands, and play of expressions and eyes and in a case of a writer like W. W. Atkinson, the play of arguments. You may find it in abundance in the writings of W. W. Atkinson.

W. W. Atkinson begins with some esoteric or mystic assertions. He, then, tries to claim that it can be scientifically proved. Then, he again shifts to mysticism and suddenly to psychology. From psychology, he will shift to general philosophy or testimonies. He is good in writing and he manages this affair well. You read and he plays his game. This his style. In this book, he has adopted another device. He has forged new terms and concepts. Thus, a mixture is assembled.

In the case of his other writings, he has mainly referred to Eastern Philosophies or Yogic Philosophies. He has presented his material with a motive of presenting it to the American world. He has avoided picking and using names from Sanskrit literature. Along with this, he has synchronized his explanation with the scientific knowledge which he possessed and in form, in which, it was popular during his lifetime.

It is suggested somewhere on the Internet itself, that he had done all his writings under some possessive spirit. But, here, in the case of this title, a real W. W. Atkinson, is writing for his readers. He readily uses the phrases like, 'I Say', 'I Propound' or 'I assure you' or 'I am the first person to tell such a thing' and so on.

It is difficult to digest and accept many of his claims. In first five chapters of this book, he is virtually constructing a theory. He constructs many phrases. He claims that he is the first person to use the word 'mentation', 'telementation' in place of telepathy and 'Desire Force'.

It is a normal feature in his writings that he tries to give a scientific justification to his explanation. In this book, he constructed a theory. He is very confident about the discovery or you may say, invention, of his theory. He is convinced that his theory would be accepted along with other established theories like that of Newton. He declares, while synchronising it with the contemporary progress in electricity field, that there are two poles in your mind. One is Desire Force Pole which attracts and the other is Will Power Force, that radiates. The Desire Force Pole receives and attracts and Will Power Pole emits and influence. I am really impressed by his writing skills. When I continued my reading from chapter to chapter, and these two poles were mentioned again and again, I started visualizing that I had two horns on my head. One horn was a Desire Pole and the other was a Will Pole. Will anyone like to experience this visualization?

While reading his book and also his other writings, I observe that he is quoting numerous scholars and thinkers from Europe. He was living and writing when American history had witnessed its Gilded Age, the Populist and Progressive Movements. It was a period in which, journalism was progressing to its new heights. It was a period dominated by Carnegie, J. J. Adams, Tesla, Davis and Harley, Morgan Stanely, Wright Brothers, Ford and such many other finance and science giants. But, I do not find any direct reference to them in his writings. Not at least, up to now thus far, when I have already read his ten books.

At one place, he has written, while giving instructions on how to conduct the mental healing, that readers should not take his instructions lightly because of their simplicity or ordinary structure. It suggests that even he knew that some readers would not take his writings seriously because of the of the overall nature of his writings. It is an important point to observe. Atkinson knew the skill of writing. You can read his book and get attracted towards it. How far you will accept whatsoever he claims in his writings, it all depends on your learning and experiences. For me, as I have already written, that is a mixture of scientific explanation, imaginary constructs and skilful art of suggestion. He has written a book wherein he has described the art of suggestion and it can be read in the title, 'The Subconscious and Superconsciousness' 'Suggestion and Auto-Suggestion'. He is a great artist of Suggestion.  

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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

George VI A Life from Beginning to End by Hourly History

George VI by Hourly History

The book George VI by Hourly History has turned out to be a lecture for me on the personal level. It has made me realize that there are big gaps in my study of Indian History, which I claim to know well.

I definitely have this awareness that my study of History of India is not complete. It is not because of my fault. The contours of the study of history were framed by the syllabus which I had studied at University level. It remained truncated because I was made to teach the History of India as per the syllabus framed by the university.

Presently, as per my understanding, the situation has aggravated further to a worst scenario. In case of Punjab University Chandigarh, at Undergraduate Level, the syllabus for History is covered in six semesters to be completed in three years. The first three semesters cover History of India from Ancient times starting from 3000 B. C. (BCE) to around 700 A. D. (CE). The second paper is called Medieval India starting from 1206 to 1707. The third paper is about Modern India which begins from 1757 and ends with 1964. Then there are two papers on Punjab History. There is only one paper on World History without any game plan. The History of Punjab is also taught to the student upto plus 2 level. Even there, they begin with the year 1469 and Guru Nanak. You ask the students to recollect the names of the ten gurus, well I will not tell about the response which you would get. The folklores are repleted with the stories of ear pierced Yogis. The books do not tell that there was Nath tradition of Gorkhnath that had dominated this region. (The same tradition from which Yogi Adityanath comes, the present Chief Minister of Uttar Pardesh. He is also an ear pierced Yogi. Can you see it?)

When India got Independence, from the rule of George VI, there were three major problems before India. The first problem was of refugees who were in a range of one crore approximately (figures vary from documents to documents. I have never cared to check the parliamentary reports.) The second problem was the unification of India with the Princely States. The third problem was to adopt the right Economic policy of India. It is believed that when the government of Nehru tried to seek the information from the historians, they did not have any information on the Economic History of India. The nationalist historians had started writing on the economic history of India from 1920 but they did not have enough data to provide to the government. The Nehru government took the help of a statistician Prasnta Chandra Mahalanobis and established the Planning Commission. This event had also brought in forefront the need of writing the history of India for the "We the People" who had adopted their constitution on November 26, 1949. By that time, The History of British India by V. A. Smith was one of the most respected work on History to be used for the country. The chapters in that book were framed as the rule of Clive, Warren Hasting, Cornwallis, etc. That was the time, when the country was imbued with the heightened feeling of nationalism and even Marxist had formed their group in form of Nationalist Marxist. A feeling was floated that it was a mark of servitude that the History of Modern India was based on the chapters framed on the working of the Governor Generals of Bengal, then the Governor Generals of India and finally the Viceroy of India. By 1960, the country or rather Congress found a historian in Tara Chand to write the history which changed the history of Modern India into the Freedom of Struggle of Indians. The Marxist contributed in writing to Freedom Struggle of India which is still popular in the titles written by Bipin Chandra and S. S. Sen. The history which was then written tried to remove the British names out of the books of History. But, after that, the definition and the chapter forming of the history of India was dominated by the intellectual, historians and scholars with strong Marxist mindset.

Now the trend is about writing and popularizing the regional history. Every state is telling more and more about their state to their young people as I have already tried to show in case of the syllabus of Punjab University Chandigarh. No where, there is a history of India for the "We the People".

All through this period, that is for the last 70 years till now in 2017, Indians have not written the History of India and definitely do not have any clear idea of history. If you have to learn history of India, you may like it or not, you have to talk about the English names and their working. It is only in case of selection tests for various selection examinations, they try to ask unexpected MCQs, and then, there they would ask, who was the Queen of England in 1858? or Who was the Prime Minister of Britain in 1945? Why are you asking such questions? Are you studying the History of Britain?

In case of American Historians, I have found, that they are very clear about their European Heritage. Whenever, there is a need, or whenever, they talk about the history of USA, they try to delve deeper into their European heritage. They are not adverse to invoke this aspect of history in making of United States and do not adopt any double standards there.

Anyhow, this is my ranting. I write what I want to write. In short, I always find it a shortcoming in my study of History of Modern India, that I know that I do not have full understanding of the British Politics and History when I try to explain the STRUGGLE FOR FREEDOM of INDIA in equally louder sound.

It is here in the case of this book that I had just enjoyed reading this small biography of Prince Albert, who became George VI in 1936.

I have already talked about two titles which are published by Hourly History and have posted it on this blog itself. I have pointed out two major flaws in their work. They do not tell about the actual writer of the title. Dear Friends, Hourly History is no Author. Kindly reveal your identity. The publication must reveal the identity of the individual author. The second objection is that they do not give any bibliography or references and called their work as work of History. The same objection is raised here for this title also. But this title is somewhat different and I have enjoyed reading it.

I had completed the reading of this title on April 24, 2017. This time I had discontinued the reading of W. W. Atkinson and just picked up this title. I actually downloaded it on April 24, 2017 and just read it. I did not google much. I did not try to see the Wikipedia entry. I definitely searched for some terms and names. But I did not go for a further search on the internet. I read it from chapter to chapter while attending to my other primary duties. But, I returned back to read the next line or chapter, the moment I got the time. It is a book meant to be read in an hour. I read it and probably devoted only an hour on all counts.

The very first chapter attracts your attention to learn about Albert. It was written by a person who knew that he was writing about an elite person but he also knew how to create a profile of a person from the time angle and also from psychological, social and political angles even if he was portraying a profile of a member of a royal family. This tile of the chapter is "Introduction".

The Introduction is followed by following ten chapters.
Early Years
Prince Albert in the Navy
The Great War
Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon
The Reign and Abdication of King Edward VIII
Becoming King Geoge VI
The Second World War
Post-Wars Years
Final Years

Wikipedia Connection:
It was only after completing the reading of the whole book, that I tried to check into Wikipedia. There I found that the portrait which was displayed on the title of this book was similar to the one, that appeared on Wikipedia. I reproduce it here and it displayed to your right hand side with the acknowledgement.
King George VI (Source: Wikipedia)

I also found that in case of the conclusion, there was an apparent similarity in the conclusion written in this book and lines written under the paragraph titled the Illness and Death.

Wikipedia Book.

As I have already mentioned that while reading this title I did not explore the interenet contrary to what I claim that it is a practice with me that I explore the Internet extensively while reading the book. It is a practice with me. However, now I feel, that a Wikipedia Book must be compiled to substantiate this book. King George VI definitely lived an eventful period in the history and had left a great mark on the history of his own country. I will soon produce that compilation.

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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

27 Stars, 27 Gods, The Astrological Mythology of Ancient India by Vic DiCara (Vraja Kishore).

I find pleasure in introducing the book written by Vic DiCara. Kishore is the name adopted by the author after receiving initiation from his Guru Sri Srimad Dhanurdhara Swami.

He owns two websites namely and Both the sites are substantiated with WordPress blogs.

I bought the book when I was reading the Autobiography of a Yogi by Yogananda. It was at Chapter 16, "Outwitting the Stars" that I read the views of Swami Yukteshwar on astrology as told by his disciple Paramahansa Yogananda. I leave it to the readers to experience what is written there.

As for me, I have a vacillating and wavering faith in astrology. I know a little bit of astrology. I have improved my understanding of the chart reading by going through Parashar Hora and Brihad Samhita by Vara Mahir as explained by some scholar from a university in Rajasthan. I have also taken help from pulp literature which is readily available in the market. Now, I generally look into Devidayal Jantri, published from Jalandhar, Punjab, India. I religiously buy the fresh edition every year for the last seven years now. But, I was never convinced by this science. I developed numerous questions about their algorithms.

One other tradition, Lal Kitab, was an important influential factor in my formative years. I do not have a book on it. But, since my childhood, I had listened so much about different combinations and Upayas that I had some glimpse of this science. No doubt, later I bought some general books on the so-called Lal Kitab. But, Lal Kitab made me more confused. One utterance of my father had virtually turned me away from it. He had said that it was wrong to perform the Upayas of Lal Kitab as they were of some doubtful origin. Thus, it was the cause of my wavering faith in this science.

But after reading chapter 16, I remember, that I had browsed the web and without knowing and understanding much I bought this book in Kindle format. It is the costliest book which I had bought online. The paperback edition is costlier. I bought it because somewhere, I had concluded that whatsoever I had tried to learn from self-study on astrology, was not any organised study. I found that many of the conclusions and rationales, given by different writers were not sustainable. I learned that stars were taken as fixed points. Sun is fixed. The twelve houses are assumed geometrical construct. Everything was being based on nine planets, their location in relation to each other and multiple charts combination was required to answer different queries. But there was no sequence. I do not know how I have reached the conclusion that in order to fully understand the reasons and logic behind this astrological talks, one must have a full understanding of 27 Nakshatras. But I never came across any account on Nakshatras. As I was not much impressed by astrology, I did not pursue my quest for clearing my doubts. But, when I read the chapter 16, I browsed and because Nakshatra query was at that the back of my mind, I had a question about the actual natures of the Nakshatras, so I picked this title and bought it.

The book begins with two major assertions. They were the arguments which attracted me and had driven me to punch the 'buy it' button. The first argument was that you had to unlearn some of the prevalent perceptions and laws of the astrology.

Vid Dicara suggests that first, you have to unlearn that the Nakshatras are associated with Zodiac Signs. You have to drop the perception or suspend the perception that House dominates the stars or Nakshatra.

The second notion which you have to suspend is that the Nakshatras are associated with the Planet. I believe that you have not to follow the sequence of Ketu, Shukra, Surya, Chandra, Mangal, Rahu, Guru, Shani and Budhha in order to interpret the result of each Nakshatra.

Then, he emphasises that you have to learn the nature of each Nakshatra and its god. The book then tries to explain the nature of each Nakshatra and its God.

In order to explain each Nakshatra, he had written 27 chapters. It is followed by three more chapters.

While undertaking the task of building his chapters, he had taken references from Vedas, Upanishads, Puranas and Mahabharata. He has given references to the hymns and authorities while explaining the nature. How far they are true, I can not authenticate at present.

Apart from that, he had given his own interpretation as per the understanding which he had developed on the basis of his learning of the Sanskrit literature that he had mentioned. One may like it or reject it but for me, it is allowed. This is why you write a book. You give your view and understanding. You are not there to assert. Let the readers and the world of scholars comment on your inferences and conclusions. He has done it boldly and without any complex or bias.

I have found his work a well researched, scholarly work, guided and directed by objectivity and scientific temper. He had not given details of any experiment or collection of data. The experiment is not the only criteria for being scientific. It is the interpretation which you do while using the data which you refer to, that decide the scientific temper. He has demonstrated it well.

He has not gone into any wild explanation. He has not gone in elaborate theories. He has not gone into any philosophy. He created a premise. He created the limits. He dismantled some of the preconceived perceptions He picked his topic and substantiated it with proof from the scriptures. In between, he gave his own interpretation based on his own understanding developed on his study of the contents which he had used.

Those who believe that they would learn astrology from this book, kindly, do not buy it. Those who want to undertake a mature and serious study of Indian Culture and Astrology, they should definitely consult this book in order to refine their questions and queries.

However, the paperback is too costly. I have read it on the Kindle version. It costs ₹400. Kindly keep in mind 

Thus I read this book.  

Later Edit
My review of this book appears at Quora. Check Here.

Do me a favour by visiting the author page on Amazon HERE -AUTHOR AMAZON PAGE.

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Friday, April 14, 2017

Thomas Jefferson A Life from Beginning to End by Hourly History

The book, Thomas Jefferson, is published by Hourly History Limited with a website at

The copyright is with the Hourly History in the year 2016.

It was made available free of cost. I subscribed to the website when I bought a book titled The Last Mughal by William Darlymple about which I had read a lot but did not care to buy. It was available on Kindly collection for less than ₹100 and being in digital form, I bought it. It was in that book, I found the reference to this subscription and availed it. Every week they send you two free books. As per the site, they had published 60 titles by now and it is accessed and confirmed on April 14, 2017, an auspicious day in Indian calendar and I accessed it to check the content. But who are they at Hourly History? I do not get any answer. Who is the author of different titles? No answer. But they call you friend in every letter and also on the site. Is a friend expected to say goody goody thing? Is a friend a true one if he calls a spade a spade on the face of the friend?

There is no doubt that you can read the books provided by the publication within one hour. They are spread over near about 40 pages. They are nicely written. Well, I am going to point out some flaws. Just another question which I may ask. Should we call it a book or a pamphlet or a long essay? What is an acceptable length of a book? Yes, there are some books which are called books but hardly contains more than 24 pages.

By now I have read two books of this publication. I have started a number of titles simultaneously. It is only in the case of two books, that I have read them fully. It is not that they are not written nicely. It is because I do a lot of internet searching when I come across any word or term about which I am doubtful. Therefore, I sometimes take longer time. Secondly, I am hooked to W. W. Atkinson titles. I generally move to that collection even when I am doing my own job.

I am highly infatuated by the History of USA. As it is a task given to me in my job, I teach American History. My starting book was Henry Bamford Parkes. It was long back that I had read that book. At that time, there was no internet to explore. I visited the library and checked different titles. America otherwise holds a great attraction for the Indians. Any policy on H1B visa is always a national news in India. It affects the software companies of India which contribute to the service sector of India and the service sector contributes around 50% to GDP of India. For me, as a student of History, it holds a different attraction because, for us, the working of history is well reflected in the birth and growth of America. From that perspective, the father of America as a nation, a book on Thomas Jefferson was a prized gift from the publication. Parkes did not discuss the personal life of Jefferson. I learned about it from this book. Lousiana Purchase was definitely an important point which I knew about Jefferson as I have to teach the expansion of America and that definitely makes an important point to discuss before explaining the Monroe Doctrine. In this book, I found some names which helped me to explore further. But as I have remarked that I google a lot while reading a book, as a result, I reached wikipedia. From there, I also make a search for an entry on Thomas Jefferson. I would like to give a link to that entry. I read that posting in one go before I completed the reading of this book with a number of breaks in between. I leave it to the readers to decide that which source is more useful, this title or the Wikipedia entry. No apologies for this comment to my friends in Hourly History. The link from Wikipedia is HERE.

The book is divided into seven chapters. They are as follows.
His life, His Love, His legacy.
In this chapter, "His Legacy" is described in forthcoming chapters.
The Son of Virginia
Jefferson the Patriot
Jefferson in Paris
The three chapters discuss American history and Europe more than the life of Jefferson. It is my experience that if you read about History of America by American Authors and English Authors, they discuss much Europe than America. An American Historian may talk about America itself but in his elaboration, they invariably try to describe their European legacy. They are not able to avoid European heritage. It is another thing, that the publisher has provided two titles on African Americans. One title is about Frederick Douglass. The other title is about Harriet Tubman. The American scholarship fights this dilemma that what actually is the colour of their nation. Does she have two heads, one European and other African? Well, even if they settle that, they will not able to face some more difficult questions which were created by Louis and Clark expeditions. Those questions were not the issues of colonial America as some American historians would like to present.

The next three chapters are as follows.
Jefferson the Politician
Jefferson the President
Jefferson at Home.

This set is more about Jefferson.

It is true that you can read it one hour. But, it is difficult to say that it is a balanced work. It is another thing that if one tries to answer the question that how will you arrange your material within a limit of 40 pages and you have to describe a Father of Nation like Thomas Jefferson, then, the writer has done a commendable job. The chapters making is definitely quite impressive. It requires understanding and imagination to achieve a task like this.

I will like to make one more point. These books are definitely small. They have published the titles like The Middle Ages. They have published titles on the personalities from Europe. But they have not revealed the name of the author. As per the craft of history, the profile of the author of the document is essential before saying anything about history. Otherwise, it can be a good literature but it does not qualify for the title of a history. 

On the same premises, I will strongly recommend to the publisher that one or two pages should be used to give a bibliography or the references to the book or documents which are related to the contents of the title. It is not my suggestion. If you have to call it a history work, then you must refer to the sources. You have every right and freedom to present your material in which you wish to present. History is also an art. But somewhere, you have to follow the demands of the craft of history. Alfred Tennyson was declared a historian. But he was basically a person from the literature background. He knew only this much that a successful writer is one who raises the curiosity in the reader to ask a question, "what happened next"? That is one of the features of the writing of history but not the soul of history.

As I have said in my previous review on Hitler by the same publisher, that the book is good in helping you to remember what you have read at school level. It can be substantiated further, that it helps to fill in some gaps in your memory if you are not aware of that earlier.

I definitely googled a lot while reading this title. At one time, I even thought of developing a Wikipedia Book on it as I have done in the case of W. W. Atkinson. But, when I read the article on Jefferson, on Wikipedia, I did not find much need to substantiate this reading any further.

Thus I read this book.

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