This is my very irregular newsletter. See below for subscription and unsubscription information.
Greetings and Happy Day of Independence,
Having just completed a book about India’s spiritual contribution to America, I’m reflecting on how perfectly the ancient vision of inner freedom complements the Founders’ revolutionary vision of outward freedom. History will no doubt find the meeting of those two perspectives to be of monumental significance.
I’m also reminded that the most influential gurus and Yoga masters who came here from India came to love America for its freedom of worship, inquiry and expression. The very first of them, Swami Vivekananda, was moved to compose a poem titled “To the Fourth of July.” He began writing on this day in 1898, and he died exactly four years later, on July 4, 1902. I include the poem below, in lieu of my usual quotes and recommended books and CDs.
May our pursuit of happiness lead us to the liberated consciousness that the wisest sages have always pointed to.
MY NEW BOOK
I’m thrilled to say that the above-mentioned book will be published by Doubleday in early November. The title is American Veda: From Emerson and the Beatles to Yoga and Meditation—How Indian Spirituality Changed the West. Stay tuned for the official announcement and the inauguration of the website AmericanVeda.com.
If you have suggestions about places where I might give a presentation (anything from an hour to a weekend) based on the book, please let me know.
I have been blogging somewhat regularly in three places:
- Huffington Post, mostly on matters relating to contemporary religion, particularly the Eastern variety: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/philip-goldberg.
- Intent.com, mostly on spiritual self-improvement themes: http://www.intent.com/philipgoldberg/profile.
- Global Spiritual Citizenship, about the intersection of spirituality and socio-political issues: http://www.globalspiritualcitizenship.org/blog/blog7.php.
Some blogs are replicated on my website: http://www.philipgoldberg.com/blog.htm. I invite your comments and especially invite you to read and sign the Call to Global Spiritual Citizenship at http://www.globalspiritualcitizenship.org/action.php.
GREAT MUSIC, GREAT CAUSE
Two friends of mine, Hunter Payne and Andrea Herz Payne, have created a worthy non-profit called Aid Still Required. It provides ongoing help to disaster victims to whom the media stopped paying attention. They’ve produced a CD of songs by top-flight performers, from Bonnie Raitt to John Lennon, to raise money for victims of the 2004 tsunami. Go to www.aidstillrequired.org to buy one or to donate.
SONGS OF FREEDOM
“To The Fourth Of July” by Swami Vivekananda
Behold, the dark clouds melt away,
That gathered thick at night, and hung
So like a gloomy pall above the earth!
Before thy magic touch, the world
Awakes. The birds in chorus sing.
The flowers raise their star-like crowns-
Dew-set, and wave thee welcome fair.
The lakes are opening wide in love
Their hundred thousand lotus-eyes
To welcome thee, with all their depth.
All hail to thee, thou Lord of Light!
A welcome new to thee, today,
O sun! today thou sheddest LIBERTY!
Bethink thee how the world did wait,
And search for thee, through time and clime.
Some gave up home and love of friends,
And went in quest of thee, self banished,
Through dreary oceans, through primeval forests,
Each step a struggle for their life or death;
Then came the day when work bore fruit,
And worship, love, and sacrifice,
Fulfilled, accepted, and complete.
Then thou, propitious, rose to shed
The light of FREEDOM on mankind.
Move on, O Lord, on thy resistless path!
Till thy high noon o'erspreads the world.
Till every land reflects thy light,
Till men and women, with uplifted head,
Behold their shackles broken, and
Know, in springing joy, their life renewed!
By way of an American thank you note, here is a stanza from Walt Whitman’s magnificent “Passage to India,” which I use as the epigraph to my book.
Lo, soul, seest thou not God's purpose from the first?
The earth to be spann'd, connected by network,
The races, neighbors, to marry and be given in marriage,
The oceans to be cross'd, the distant brought near,
The lands to be welded together.
A worship new I sing,
You captains, voyagers, explorers, yours,
You engineers, you architects, machinists, yours,
You, not for trade or transportation only,
But in God's name, and for thy sake O soul.
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