A wonderful message of inspiration I recorded for Chaplain Service. Chaplain Resident Catherine Thomas reminds us that it is OK to ask others for help when we need it. An ancient Somalian proverb says this: be a mountain, or lean on one. We should name our fears and address them.
It turns out that Elvis Presley’s reading list that was very into spiritual readings, Taoism, esoteric philosophies and learning about the different values in different cultures. When Elvis died in his Graceland bathroom thirty years ago today, he is said to have been reading a book about the Holy Shroud of Turin – normally identified as A Scientific Search For The Face Of Jesus (1972) by Frank O. Adams, which argues that the Turin Shroud really is Our Lord’s Shroud. It has since become eagerly sought after by Elvis fans. Less impressive is the other book he was allegedly reading – Sex and Psychic Energy. Hmmmm, we better move quickly along.
These titles represent some of the books mentioned in his 1989 book If I Can Dream: Elvis’ Own Story (now out-of-print). We cannot be sure that Elvis Presley read all of these books, but they concern subjects he was deeply interested in and felt were important to his daily life.
Elvis Presley’s Reading List
The Impersonal Life [written anonymously] is described as Elvis’ favorite book next to the Bible and the one whose “teaching, practice and discipline transformed his life.”
Aquarian Gospel of Jesus The Christ by Levi H. Dowling
The Huna Code in Religions by Max Freedom Long
On Elvis’s bedside table in 1960 was The Power of Positive Thinking by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale and How to Live 365 Days a Year by Dr. John A. Schindler. He often read medical texts and was so well-versed in The Physician’s Desk Reference that he more than held his own when talking to medical professionals about prescription drugs.
Elvis Presley’s Book Collection
The king also had an eclectic taste. Elvis Presley’s reading list purchases in 1963 include the following unique collection: Antique Guns, Eyewitness History of World War II, First 100 Days of the Kennedy Administration, Guns, Joke Dictionary, Jokes for the John, World Atlas, Our Fifty States, East of Eden, Strange People, and
The Impersonal Life by Anonymous
Leaves of Morya’s Garden, Book 1: The Call 1924 by Agni Yoga Society
Leaves of Morya’s Garden, Book 2: Illumination 1925 by Agni Yoga Society
The Masters and the Path by C. W. Leadbeater
The Mystical Christ by Manly Palmer Hall
Sacred Science of Numbers by Corinne Heline
The following lists a few other books Elvis was interested in, but all of them are out of print:
Cheiro’s Book of Numbers by Cheiro
The Gospel According to Thomas by Raghavan Iyer
New Mansions for New Men by Dane Rudyar
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“I have traveled a great deal in Concord,” said Henry Thoreau, a native of…wait for it…Concord, Massachusetts.
In fact, Thoreau traveled far and wide for his day and age, vagabonding to Cape Cod and the vast wilderness of the Maine Woods. However, the great prophet of enlightened self-reliance claimed to have done most of his traveling in his own hometown.
Thoreau understood something that many of us modern day nomads would do well to recognize: travel is a matter of perspective, not location. With curiosity, an open mind and a broad horizon of free time, it’s possible to travel in your own backyard.
I’m writing in El Calafate, a tourist boomtown in Argentine Patagonia. I am, admittedly, a long way from home. But, just the same, at the moment I’m not really traveling.
With curiosity, an open mind and a broad horizon of free time, it’s possible to travel in your own backyard.
Neither, sadly, are many of my fellow tourists here in El Calafate. Every hour, buses segregated by wealth and nationality pull up to the viewpoint overlooking the Perito Moreno glacier.
Tourists disembark – they Ooh and Ahh in their respective languages, snap a few trophy photos, nap in the bus back to the hotel and fly thousands of miles back home on airplanes that belch carbon into the sky.
Meanwhile, the famous glacier shrinks, but that’s OK – I already have my ice-climbing photo.
What Makes A Traveler?
Now, the tourist / traveler distinction has already been beaten into the ground, and I’m not so sure of its validity in the first place. But it IS clear that coming all the way to Patagonia does not make one a traveler.
How did Thoreau manage to travel in Concord when so many of my fellow tourists never leave their comfort zones?
So what DOES make a traveler, I wonder? How did Thoreau manage to travel in Concord when so many of my fellow tourists here in El Calafate never leave their comfort zones?
Well, Thoreau rambled. He walked the country roads and stopped to talk to anyone he met along the way. He followed fox tracks through the snow, and wondered at their meaning. He approached the fields and homesteads of Concord with an open-ended sense of curiosity.
He looked at things, and thought about them, and tried his best to place them within the context of his broad experience. He moved slowly, and he paid attention.
Into The Hills
I remember one time, back when I worked an office job.
It was a Tuesday, and after work I just couldn’t take it any longer: with nothing but the clothes on my back I set off into the hills behind my house, trekked across the coal fields and into the valley beyond. The sun started to go down, but I just kept walking.
I came upon a small stream, which I resolved to follow until it led back to civilization. The night was dark, and there was no moon. I traveled by feel, my mind wide open, my nerves on edge. Once, I stepped on a sleeping turtle – and believe me, that was a shot of adrenaline on par with a virgin view of the Mayan Temples, the Egyptian Pyramids and even Angkor Wat.
The next day at work I couldn’t stop grinning. I had gone on a TRIP. Beyond that, I now knew what was Out There, over the hills, and by understanding what was Out There, I had a better appreciation for home and work – the comfortable routines to which I was able to return.Four times I came to dams, and had to scramble around them through thick bamboo grass. When I finally emerged into a village, covered in mud and cobwebs, it was past midnight.
My carbon footprint for the journey? Zero.
A Sense Of Wonder
The truth is, we travel every time we open our minds to a new possibility, every time we open our hearts to a new emotion, every time we take a new track, read a new book or just look at a rock and wonder how it got there.
There is comfort in routine and stability, but when we stop traveling we lose the sense of wonder that equates to joy, that carves new channels in our minds and makes us feel alive. So go. Go on. Go.
Take a notebook and a pen and a camera – see what you find. Then come back, and tell me the story.
ORiginally written by Tim Patterson on https://matadornetwork.com/bnt/what-henry-david-thoreau-taught-me-about-travel/.
BNT contributing editor Tim Patterson travels with a sleeping bag and pup tent strapped to the back of his folding bicycle. His articles and travel guides have appeared in The San Francisco Chronicle, Get Lost Magazine, Tales Of Asia and Traverse Magazine. Check out his personal site Rucksack Wanderer.
Remembering the mystic, George Gurdjieff (1866-1949), on the anniversary of his death.
“Greco-Armenian holistic philosopher, thaumaturge, and teacher of Sacred Dances (whose ancillary personae as musicologist, therapist, hypnotist, raconteur, explorer, polyglot, and entrepreneur exercise the taxonomic mind).
Gurdjieff’s work comprises one ballet, some 250 Sacred Dances, 200 piano pieces composed in collaboration with his pupil Thomas Alexandrovitch de Hartmann (1886-1956), and four books, the magnum opus being Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson. For more than 35 years he privately taught, by example and oral precept, a previously unknown doctrine styled “The Work”, attracting – and often quixotically repulsing – groups of gifted disciples: Russian, English, American, and French.
His system integrated a semantic critique, a social critique, an epistemology, a mythopoeic cosmogony and cosmology, a phenomenology of consciousness, and a practical Existenzphilosophie…” – James Moore