Those Tatty Old Idols People Adore!

British musician and songwriter Ozzy Osbourne

has an estimated net worth of $220 million.

Those tatty old idols!





Why on earth do we worship these rather insidious people just because of their ability to earn vast amounts of money? Why do we fall victim to “all that glitters,” when most of them represent everything that is unhealthy about our world today? We couldn’t be living  in more dangerous times, where the darkness of war threatens each one of us and yet we can quite easily turn a blind eye to the needs of desperate people, to dwell in the fantasy life-styles of those tatty idols we have made house-hold names.  The “celeb. cult”  functions on Facebook too in no small measure. Sometimes I wonder if these people who gush over celebs. on the internet, have any idea of the profound sense of the insane they display to others.


People continue to gush over their idols, even when they have almost faded away. They,  I have learnt,  don’t understand that “celeb.” has nothing to do with kindness, compassion, or sharing. No wonder we have such a sad, sad world, operating as it does under a false identity of wealth and power = dignity and self esteem.




Fame: What The Classics Tell Us About Our Cult Of Celebrity, a new book by Tom Payne, classics scholar and former literary editor of the Daily Telegraph. Here’s a small excerpt:


Nothing seems more modern than society’s relentless obsession with reality-show stars, Hollywood tweets, and tabloid scandals. But a wildly entertaining new book by former Daily Telegraph literary editor Tom Payne suggests that our celebrity culture has rather old roots. In Fame, Payne draws provocative parallels between 21st-century stardom and the ancient Greeks, Romans, and Aztecs to explore how the fame game has evolved over the millennia.

Celebrity worship reflects a primal need that’s been present since the Babylonians: to elevate people to the status of mythic heroes, only to destroy them. “It suits us when … fame comes at a price,” Payne writes. Or as the Greeks put it, the only place to go from the top of Fortune’s Wheel is down. Achilles, hero of the Trojan War, had to choose between a long, anonymous life or a short, glorious one. There’s no middle ground: a hero must either “go out in a blaze of glory or else disappoint us.”

Of course, we prefer that our famous go out while they’re on top—in fact, dying young (and publicly) may be the best way to ensure mythical status. Think James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, JFK, Kurt Cobain. Heath Ledger’s overdose clinched him a posthumous Oscar. Naturally, Payne sees a classical parallel: early Christian martyrs, knowing they’d draw huge crowds to their executions, embraced death to gain acclaim and spread their religious message.

There’s another, more gruesome precedent for the fame cycle: ritual sacrifice. Payne cleverly juxtaposes Britney Spears’s head-shaving meltdown with the myth of Iphigenia, who was purportedly killed so that the Greek ships could sail to Troy (and who became very famous because of it). Both the ancient maiden and the modern pop star show that we’ve always wanted our celebrities to be complicit in their own destruction, he says. Audiences need to believe that the celebrity has willingly chosen such a life and accepts the inevitable tradeoffs—loss of privacy, potential public humiliation, even untimely death—that go along with it. As Spears herself once said, “You do have to sacrifice your freedom when you’re in this business, but it’s a small price to pay.”

So what is the allure of fame? The lifestyle, for one thing. In the Faust legend, the doctor agrees to sell his soul to the Devil, but in return gets all his wishes granted for 24 years. In both ancient Albania and Mesoamerica, slaves and youth selected as human sacrifices were often first entertained in massive splendor. Nowadays, MTV allows the Jersey Shore kids to party themselves sick—with the explicit understanding that they’ll pay back the network by self-destructive for the cameras.

The promise of immortality is another incentive, says Payne. As she’s about to die, Iphigenia tells her mother, “You will be famous through me.” It’s that old dilemma of Achilles all over again. Of course, in The Odyssey, Achilles’ ghost reappears and says he made the wrong choice—he should have gone for long-lived anonymity. But once fame is granted, there’s no going back.

Continue reading

Each Generation – Inspirational Quotations


“Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.”
― W.B. Yeats, The Collected Poems


“Each generation doubtless feels called upon to reform the world. Mine knows that it will not reform it, but its task is perhaps even greater. It consists in preventing the world from destroying itself. Heir to a corrupt history, in which are mingled fallen revolutions, technology gone mad, dead gods, and worn-out ideologies, where mediocre powers can destroy all yet no longer know how to convince, where intelligence has debased itself to become the servant of hatred and oppression, this generation starting from its own negations has had to re-establish, both within and without, a little of that which constitutes the dignity of life and death.

In a world threatened by disintegration, in which our grand inquisitors run the risk of establishing forever the kingdom of death, it knows that it should, in an insane race against the clock, restore among the nations a peace that is not servitude, reconcile anew labour and culture, and remake with all men the Ark of the Covenant. It is not certain that this generation will ever be able to accomplish this immense task, but already it is rising everywhere in the world to the double challenge of truth and liberty and, if necessary, knows how to die for it without hate. Wherever it is found, it deserves to be saluted and encouraged, particularly where it is sacrificing itself. In any event, certain of your complete approval, it is to this generation that I should like to pass on the honour that you have just given me.”

– Albert Camus, Nobel Prize speech.


The Nobel Prize in Literature 1957 was awarded to Albert Camus “for his important literary production, which with clear-sighted earnestness illuminates the problems of the human conscience in our times”.


link to the full speech – Albert Camus

To the People of Paris, France: – “je suis désolé”  Toutes nos pensées sont tournées vers les victimes et leurs proches. Difficile de mettre des mots sur ce que l’on ressent ce matin. Restons debout.



Floral Park, Haute Bretagne – Travel Logue and Photos

House Ivy -photo from a week ago.

House Ivy -photo from a week ago.

“The earth laughs in flowers.”  – Ralph Waldo Emerson. Yes indeed! and the trees whisper in our ears. I love to take photos of both. Nature to me has more gems than the Crown Jewels and yet they do not cost a thing. Today, and in my future posts, I plan to write about my visits here and there and to post photos. There’s little else I can offer in the way of spiritual stories. I’ve done with that for now. I offer instead, a short peek into our visit to Haute Bretagne Floral gardens, Fr.   
Floral gardan -the lake

Floral garden – The Lake

I don’t think we left soon enough for the trip to Normandy, Fr. It took over three hours from where we live and by the time we arrived it was late afternoon. The weather was fine when we left home, but dark clouds loomed by the time we reached Caen, then they lifted and then the sky turned dark again. After we left Nantes behind, a drizzling rain threatened to spoil the visit. Oppsie! Bloggers are not suppose to mention weather in the first paragraph. Sorry, I’ve broken the golden rule!

Finding the small turning  off the highway, for the town of  Fougères on the way to Normandy was more than difficult. There were a few signs as we left the highway for the back lanes but no real clear directions. Loads of pastures and fields of wheat and corn, clearly we were off the beaten track. Never mind, the villages were quaint and worth a visit. I love this part of Brittany, it is prettier than where we live and offers a lot to visitors. There are many visitors too, for the U.S. Cemeteries are located in Fougères and all along the coast, all the way to Le Harve.

Finally after a few wrong turnings we found a small town, not sure of its name. A town though filled of flowers. Another excuse to stop for another camera opportunity. Luckily we found a sign for the Park Floral. We eventually found it tucked away behind a field of cows.

The park sparkled in the late afternoon sunshine.The clouds had drifted and parted and a brilliant blue sky shone through for the rest of the afternoon. The other good thing – the park appeared to be uninhabited. There was absolutely no one there, other than the park’s gardeners, hidden away behind the shrubs. The down-side of that scenario – the small cafe was “ferme.” Nothing new there, I can tell you. “Ferme” is part of life in France. We can never leave home without water bottles and sandwiches. A cup of tea or coffee is out of the question, unless lucky enough to find a roadside stop-off. They are rare in this part of France. It would be another six hours before I had a cup of cafe.’  We just happened to return through Saint-Briac-sur-Mer, where an excellent roadside Cafe is located. It was  “ouvert.”

The Floral park was more than amazing. It’s silence made me stand still for a moment to surrender to its peace. The birds chirped but there was nothing else. France does have an absence of wildlife in this area.(I put that down to overuse of chemicals on the crops.) I did not see a butterfly or bee the whole time there. Maybe it was too late in the year, or they just were not around.

Amazing that a park full of the most beautiful plants on earth can be so sterile. I was not able to capture the beauty of the park on camera. Not sure why not. I have managed the odd whimsical shot – but mostly, I feel, the park was too formal, so didn’t photograph too well.

Small stone watch tower,overlooking the Japanese gardens.

Small stone watch tower,overlooking the Japanese gardens.

Magical lookout over the pond and gardens. A breath-taking view!

Magical lookout over the pond and gardens. A breath-taking view!

The Japanese garden, one of 15 gardens, is huge! I cannot express my feelings about this colourful vista. Just walking through the tiny pathways that meander through the garden is an adventure in Paradise. This garden definitely is not of the Earthy type. I felt I’d died and gone to heaven. The colours so vibrant with vines and huge trees all intertwined, provides the visitor with a feeling of Eden.  I wandered through all the paths and with every twist and turn, something more sublime met my eyes. The small rope bridge with its wobbly wood surface, appeared unsafe but I was not to be fooled. I crossed without incident.

Rope Bridge across the stream

Rope Bridge across the stream


stone steps

stone steps, small pathways, and small rocky waterfalls. pathway8


My last photograph posted below is of a very unusual Hydrangea. It’s growing with other foliage up against the  stone wall that forms the garden entrance. I had to smile when taking the photo, because like all the other plants and shrubs in this exquisite floral garden, it grew in a stylish French way. Look at the way the small flowers tumble!  Rather like Paris fashion models wearing their finest and latest “Mode.”  Je dois vous revoir! Viva la belle France!

Lacy Hydrangea growing against the old stone wall. floral Park

Lacy Hydrangea growing against the old stone wall. floral Park

Sand Castles – Inspirational Quotes

from the garden in fall

from the garden in fall


It is hard to believe I have kept this little blog going now for five long years.Of course during that time, it has been changed and been rearranged so many times, I’ve lost count. It began as a blog for small stories and quotes from Sri Sathya Sai Baba, who died unfortunately, in 2011.

After his demise, the blog lost purpose. At least for  me. The sadness of losing Sai Baba and the community that had been “home” to me for over two decades, left a big hole in my heart. Saddened, I renamed the blog “Children Of Light” then continued on with spiritual parables and quotes. Later still, I began adding more photos and you tubes. Just lately though, I have definitely developed writers block, although I’m not sure why. Perhaps I have reached the limits of my capabilities in the writing dept. Still, the photography is something I love to share with you all. So like the quote below, I have with some success built my sand-castle, decorated it with shells – now the tide has come in and washing all of it away, leaving me with the just the photos.

 Just like children building a sand castle, we embellish it with beautiful shells, bits of driftwood, and pieces of colored glass. The castle is ours, off limits to others. We’re willing to attack if others threaten to hurt it. Yet despite all our attachment, we know that the tide will inevitably come in and sweep the sand castle away. The trick is to enjoy it fully but without clinging, and when the time comes, let it dissolve back into the sea. :)

~ Pema Chödrön

The Window Box flowers, Quintin, Fr.

The Window Box flowers,
Quintin, Fr.

amumsfor I.

Little Things Matter, Hummingbird Magic –

spend a few minutes being mesmerized by the Hummers

I just love Hummingbirds. Their dazzling wings and swift movements remind me of gloriously clad angels. And like angels they appeal to the spiritual side of my nature. I can’t cease to wonder at the beauty of nature and all it has to offer. Who can doubt there’s a divine plan for ourselves and all creatures, when watching a tiny humming bird. They are so tiny, so exquisite that we are simply mesmerized by them. We need to wake up and fall in love with Earth’s creatures before we lose them forever. Yes, even the tiny hummingbirds we can lose if we destroy their habitat. We’ve been homo sapiens for a long time. Now it’s time to become homo conscious.

Our love and admiration for the Earth and her beauty has the power to unite us and remove all boundaries, separation and discrimination. We have all suffered, for too long, centuries of individualism and competition that have brought about tremendous destruction and alienation for other creatures and the Earth itself. We need to re-establish true communication–true communion–with ourselves, with the Earth, and with one another as children of the same mother.






images from the Internet

images from the Internet

How to mend a broken heart according to Buddhism

Originally posted on Kadampa Life:

This continues on from Why do I feel so lonely?

So close and yet so far

I have recently been in New York City for a week. People often say they feel lonelier in the middle of a huge city surrounded by long queue at airportmillions of people than in a rural area with hardly anyone around. A friend of mine who used to live in London said he always felt somewhat alone there. Then one weekend he did a Buddhist meditation retreat “in a field with a bunch of hairy men” and “never felt happier or more connected.” There was no turning back!

I think this is because, when we are surrounded by others, we are holding even more tightly to our own sense of personal space, trying to protect ourselves from uncomfortable intrusion by strange “others”, increasing that gap. It can be useful though — as mentioned in this article

View original 1,595 more words

The First God – A story from the Chhandogya Upanishad/Inspirational

Isabelle V. Lim

Isabelle V. Lim

What if you gave someone a beautiful gift, and they neglected to thank you for it, would you ever give them another?  Life is the same way. In order to attract more of the blessings that life has to offer, we must truly appreciate what we already have. For God is in everything. Food comes from God. In fact food is our first God, although we often forget. Here’s a story about that. :)

In the Upanishads there is a beautiful story. Shvetketu, a young man, came back from the university full of knowledge. He was a brilliant student, he had topped the university with all the medals and all the degrees that were possible, available. He came back home with great pride.

His old father, Uddalak, looked at him and asked him a single question. He said to him, “You have come full of knowledge, but do you know the knower? You have accumulated much information, your consciousness is full of borrowed wisdom — but what is this consciousness? Do you know who you are?”

Shvetketu said, “But this question was never raised in the university. I have learned the Vedas, I have learned language, philosophy, poetry, literature, history, geography. I have learned all that was available in the university, but this was not a subject at all. You are asking a very strange question; nobody ever asked me in the university. It was not on the syllabus, it was not in my course.”

Uddalak said, “You do one thing: be on a fast for two weeks, then I will ask you something.”

He wanted to show his knowledge, just a young man’s desire. He must have dreamed that his father would be very happy. Although the father was saying, “Wait for two weeks and fast,” he started talking about the ultimate, the absolute, the Brahman.

The father said, “You wait two weeks, then we will discuss about Brahman.”

artwork Isabelle V. Lim

Isabelle V. Lim

Two days’ fast, three days’ fast, four days’ fast, and the father started asking him, “What is Brahman?” In the beginning he answered a little bit, recited what he had crammed, displayed. But by the end of the week he was so tired, so exhausted, so hungry, that when the father asked, “What is Brahman?” he said, “Stop all this nonsense! I am hungry, I think only of food and you are asking me what Brahman is. Right now, except food nothing is Brahman.”

The father said, “So your whole knowledge is just because you were not starved. Because you were taken care of, your body was nourished, it was easy for you to talk about great philosophy. Now is the real question. Now bring your knowledge!”

Shvetketu said, “I have forgotten all. Only one thing haunts me: hunger, hunger – day in, day out. I cannot sleep, I cannot rest. There is fire in my belly, I am burning, and I don’t know anything at all. I have forgotten all that I have learned.”

The father said, “My son, food is the first step towards Brahman. Food is Brahman — ANNAM BRAHMA.” A tremendously significant statement. India has forgotten it completely. ANNAM BRAHMA: food is God, the first God.


The Real Deal For Mrs. Phyllis Krystal


I am not the deha (body); I am the Dehi (Indweller).

The body is made up of five elements and is bound to perish sooner or later,
but the Indweller has neither birth nor death.
The Indweller has no attachment whatsoever and is the eternal witness.
Truly speaking, the Indweller, who is in the form of the Atma,
is verily God Himself.
(Telugu Poem) – Sathya Sai Baba

The Ashram Becomes the Body of The Guru – After His Demise


An ancient axiom holds that when the disciple is ready, the guru will appear. Much less is said about what happens when the guru disappears or dies – and, for this, disciples are rarely ready. It’s often a more traumatic event than the death of a family member because the relationships with parents, lovers, and friends are of a different nature. While close relationships can involve deep and lasting love, the love of a guru becomes the lens through which the disciple understands the ‘self’, the ‘other’ and the world.

The guru not only shows the way but is the way. “I am the way, the truth, and the life”, is how Jesus’ disciples remembered him. Or  the words Sai Baba used: “I am in your heart – find me there.”

Abhishiktananda, a modern Roman Catholic monk initiated into Indian Advaita by his guru, Gnanananda, writes that “Guru and disciple form a dyad – a pair – whose two components call for each other and belong together. As two poles of a magnet, they can only exist by being related to each other. On the way toward unity, they are a dyad. In ultimate reality, they are non-dual.”

So what happens when the guru dies or goes away? How do disciples cope with the absence of the one living and loving presence that has opened the door to their own heart?

The sudden absence of the guru’s body initially catapults the disciple community into the unknown.This withdrawal presents a crisis.Yet this crisis does have a resolution. From sacred space to fluid reality, the body of the guru eventually becomes the body of the Ashram itself.

The Ashram, that external expression of the guru, is charged with both vibration and memories of all that took place during the guru’s lifetime. Here we can draw on our memories and reflect on all that took place while in the guru’s presence. While in the ashram, we are reminded, and also in those others gathered there, of the pain of loss. It’s a shared experience of grief, that only time can heal.

The atmosphere of the ashram is charged with spiritual vibrations created by the system, discipline, good thoughts and spirituality of many who live in or visited it. When we go to the ashram, we find those positive, spiritual energies flowing, and yet the mind cannot comprehend and the senses cannot see or smell, but only the inner being understands. In order to maintain the purity of those vibrations, it’s important the ashram is kept and respected as the living field of the Guru and his teachings. I would like to end on this note. Rumi, The supreme poet of love once said, “Lovers do not suddenly meet somewhere, but they are in each other, all along.” The same is true of the spiritual teacher or guru and the disciple.



This short note is from the website of Mrs. Phyllis Krystal. I don’t think I need add anything to this. It speaks for itself.

I, Phyllis Krystal declare from this day forward to have nothing to do with Madhusudan from Mudhanahalli. My difficult life situation, and weakened physical condition, unfortunately let me drift from my inner contact with Baba, my own HiC. I started to rely on this outer source.

I wish to return wholeheartedly to what Swami taught us over and over again, to seek Him in our heart instead of somewhere outside. Which, also corresponds with the Method that was given to me so many years ago.

I therefore want to cancel the planned visit of Madhusudan and his group this weekend, including any further future visits.

 Guildford, August 29th 2015 


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