ON THE ONWARD EVOLUTION OF THE HUMAN SPIRIT IN OUR TIME

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  Odyssey

            A man is movement, motion, a continuum. There is no beginning and no end to his voyage. He runs through his ancestors, and the only beginning is the primal beginning of the single cell in the slime.

            The essential connections of man and his universe are not subject to the verbal abstractions of the intellect. If we insist on confining knowing to rational knowledge then we can know nothing beyond our own powers to create; and man has created neither himself nor his universe, neither his reason nor his “little man inside,” the ego, or the voice of intuition in the service of his unconscious. If we reason about our place in linear time and learn to intuit with the unconscious our more fundamental place in primordial time, then we have the possibility of both maintaining and nurturing the individual living self, while harnessing the generative power of our archetypal selves.

            The proper study of mankind is man, but man is an endless curve on the eternal graph paper, and who can see the curve in its wholeness?

 

 

                                                                      God’s Work

 

I do not know if there is a God or not, but one thing is clear:  If there is no God we must do God’s work ourselves.

 

 

 

 

The Voices of the Sirens

What could protect the hearer from self-destruction having once put their ear to the heart of the universal will, and felt the raging desire for existence pour fourth into all the arteries of the world? What protects the hearer from this self-destruction is the interposition of the narrative of intrinsic beauty and of the tragic myth and the figure of the tragic hero—of Odysseus straining at his bonds. They are the forms that shield the partaker from the collapse of all form, even the illusory form of the fragile vial of his own fragile self, releasing him into an ecstatic union with the primal oneness behind all appearances. Self-abandon restores the almost shattered individual with the illusion of transcendent beauty, the Apollinian arising from the convulsion of the Dionysian, rescued by the healing balm of illusion and blissful deception. The Dionysian threatens to destroy the individual. The Apollinian wrenches man out of his orgiastic self-destruction.

Man finds his pathways: at first they are foot tracks, following those of the beasts in the wilderness; now they are swift and invisible; his thoughts dive through the unfathomed ocean and limitless recesses of space, and his feet follow; his wishes thread the air and the intergalactic aether: Has he found all the pathways yet? What reaches him stays with him; what he reaches for exceeds ever his grasp; he must accept it, sojourner, so journeying, not knowing its pathway.

The world is full of mysteries that only the dead can answer. We partake in the mysteries like Acoetes, the humble ship’s pilot voyaging out of Homer and Pound’s Cantos who found on his boat as unexpected passenger the god Dionysos, first disguised as a young boy, loggy with vine must, then as the boat is hijacked by thugs, eager to sell the boy into slavery, revealed in his living divine power in dazzling metamorphoses, summoning from thin air the Bacchic totems, then transforming the thugs into monsters, the ship into a tangle of living vines afloat on a wine-dark sea. We are all sailors on this primordial and undying sea. And our voyage is both an enchantment and a disenchantment. A disenchantment, in that metamorphosis leads ugly things to distend their ugliness and in their ugliness dismember and drag us downwards towards death. An enchantment, in that metamorphosis is the controlling force of human evolution. Let us suppose the onward evolution of the human species. Let us suppose the evolution of new organs of a deeper life exteriorizing from the living roots of the human organism—a horn, a halo, an Eye of Horus….  Given a brain of man’s power, the question arises, what organ, and to what purpose?  But man goes on making, drawing out of his roots, organs and onward trajectories, new faculties, new forms of genius—-from the faculty of hearing the simultaneous counterpoint of the weave of voices of the musical fugue or canon—–the counter-melody of the Four Quartets, punctus contra punctum———-to the nose for money………

Fare thee not well but fare forward then, O Brothers and Sisters! ….Our voyaging eyes thusly forever transfixed upon the floating horizons, the great horizons of human life and of human existence, that our voyage might hasten the morphing evolution of a newer human race—–a race that sprouted horns, occult eyes for newer and finer wavelengths, transcendent whiskers for brushes with the unseen, antennae sensitive to the divine trembling in the aether, so that…………………………

 

 

 

 

 

 Dynamic Principles of Art and Literature:

1)     The Apollinian—formal beauty and achieved balance of aesthetic perfection;

2)     The Dionysian—Magnification and channeling of the infinite energies of Life and the Cosmos

3)     The Promethean—The Creative and Self-Creative Impulse: Declaration of Independence from the powers of the gods and of nature—Revolutionary Humanism—-The Faustian Aspirational

4)     The Transformational—Maturation, Self-transformation and Re-harmonization of creative man with the sustaining energies of Nature, Spirit, the World and the Cosmos; Continuity of Life and Death, the Living, Dead and Yet Unborn—Evolutionary Sustainability.

 

Possible Standards of Intrinsic/Extrinsic Literary Merit (for evaluating candidates for inclusion in the corpus of World Literature:

1)     Relative Comprehensiveness of Vision

2)     Degree of Power of Expression/Skill of Technique

3)     Degree of Intensity of Experience and Memorableness Evoked

4)     Degree of Beauty and Pleasure Experienced

Plus:  Standards of Extrinsic Literary Merit:

5)     Degree of Cultural and Historical Impact, Influence and Embodiment

6)     Degree to which the Work has become Foundational to Values and World Views of Major Cultures, Traditions and Civilizations

7)     Degree of Universality and Cross-Cultural Validity and Influence Attained

8)     Subjective: Degree of Contribution to Strengthening of Collective and Individual Life Force/Enhancement of Human Powers for the Struggle of Human Life within the Cosmos

 

 

How the New Enters the World:  The Function of the Modern Writer at the Present Time

 

            The function of the modern writer is to mediate between the greatness of the past and the new. This implies a progressive conservatism of the future:  its goal is the preservation of a core of values around which, in beautiful forms, the new might crystallize. Art and the imagination supply the missing seed crystals of this process. This also implies the hermeneutic imperative to understand and interpret our experience of the world and the ongoing life of which we are a part. To inherit something one has to understand it; inheritance is, after all, culture. Life is also inheritance and transformation, ever evolving onward, down to the double helical core of every cell of our inner being.

 

NOTE: The above is an excerpt from “Sartorius’ Blog,” appearing in the new  novel Spiritus Mundi, by Robert Sheppard.

 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ON SPIRITUS MUNDI, NOVEL BY ROBERT SHEPPARD: 

Related Links and Websites: Spiritus Mundi, Novel by Robert Sheppard

For Introduction and Overview of the Novel: https://spiritusmundinovel.wordpress.com/

For Updates on the Upcoming Movie Version of the Novel, Spiritus Mundi & Casting of Actors and Actresses for Leading Roles See: https://robertalexandersheppard.wordpress.com/

For Author’s Blog: https://robertalexandersheppard.wordpress.com//

To Read Abut the Occupy Wall Street Movement in Spiritus Mundi:  http://occupywallstreetnovel.wordpress.com/

To Read a Sample Chapter from Spiritus Mundi: https://spiritusmundisamplechapters.wordpress.com/

To Read Fantasy, Myth and Magical Realism Excerpts from Spiritus Mundi: https://spiritusmundifantasymythandmagicalrealism.wordpress.com/

To Read Sexual Excerpts from Spiritus Mundi: The Varieties of Sexual Experience: https://spiritusmundivarietiesofsexualexperience.wordpress.com/

To Read Spy, Espionage and Counter-terrorism Thriller Excerpts from Spiritus Mundi: http://spiritusmundispyespionagecounterterrorism.wordpress.com/

To Read Geopolitical and World War Three Excerpts from Spiritus Mundi: https://spiritusmundigeopoliticalworldwar3.wordpress.com/

To Read Spiritual and Religious Excerpts from Spiritus Mundi: https://spiritusmundionspiritualityandreligion.wordpress.com/

To Read about the Global Campaign for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly in Spiritus Mundi: https://spiritusmundiunitednationsparliamentaryassembly.wordpress.com/

To Read Poetry from Spiritus Mundihttps://spiritusmundipoetry.wordpress.com/

For Discussions on World Literature and Literary Criticism in Spiritus Mundi: http://worldliteratureandliterarycriticism.wordpress.com/

For Discussions of World History and World Civilization in Spiritus Mundi: https://worldhistoryandcivilizationspiritusmundi.wordpress.com/

To Read the Blog of Eva Strong from Spiritus Mundi: https://evasblogfromspiritusmundi.wordpress.com/

To Read the Blog of Andreas Sarkozy from Spiritus Mundi: http://andreasblogfromspiritusmundi.wordpress.com/

To Read the Blog of Yoriko Oe from Spiritus Mundi: http://yorikosblogfromspiritusmundi.wordpress.com/

To Read the Blog of Robert Sartorius from Spiritus Mundi: http://sartoriusblogfromspiritusmundi.wordpress.com/

 

ON SPIRITUS MUNDI  

 

                             

“Read Robert Sheppard’s sprawling, supple novel, Spiritus Mundi, an epic story of global intrigue and sexual and spiritual revelation. Compelling characters, wisdom, insight, and beautiful depictions of locations all over the world will power you through the book. You’ll exit wishing the story lines would go on and on.” May 13, 2012

Robert McDowell, Editor, Writer, Marketer, Editorial Cra, The Nature of Words

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“Robert Sheppard’s novel, “Spiritus Mundi,” has everything. “Spiritus Mundi” is Latin, meaning “spirit” or “soul of the world.” According to the Norton Anthology of English Literature, the phrase refers to “the spirit or soul of the universe” with which all individual souls are connected through the “Great Memory.” This amazing novel is all inclusive and unceasingly riveting. If you are interested in politics, philosophy, human relationships, sex, intrigue, betrayal, poetry and even philosophy — buy and read “Spiritus Mundi”!”November 18, 2012

Raymond P. Keen, School Psychologist, Department of Defense Dependents Schools (DODDS)

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“Robert Sheppard’s new novel “Spiritus Mundi” is a new twist on a well-loved genre. Robert leaves no stone unturned in this compelling page turner you’ll experience mystery, suspense, thrills, and excitement. Robert touches on sexuality and spirituality in such a way that the reader is compelled to ask themselves “what would you do if faced with these trials?” Robert is a master at taking the reader out of their own lives and into the world he created. If you’re looking for a “can’t put down” read pick up Spiritus Mundi!” May 20, 2012

Nicole Breanne, Content Coordinator, Ranker.com
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“Longing for a thrilling experience of the sexual and spiritual world? Expecting a thorough summoning of your inner heart? Aspiring to find an extraordinary voice to enlighten your understanding heart? Then you can’t miss this extraordinary novel, Spiritus Mundi by Robert Sheppard. The author will spirit you into a exciting world filled with fantasy, myth, conflicts and wisdom from a fresh perspective. Don’t hesitate, just turn to the 1st page and start out enjoying this marvellous journey.”November 17, 2012

Alina Mu Liu, Official Interpreter, Editor & Translator, HM Courts & Tribunal Service, London UK & the United Nations

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“Robert Sheppard’s Spiritus Mundi is a literary novel for those with an extensive vocabulary, and who believe how you tell a story is as important as what occurs in it. It is as current as today’s headlines.

Jaime Martinez-Tolentino, Writer” November 19, 2012

 

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“Robert Sheppard’s exciting new novel, Spiritus Mundi, is an unforgettable read and epic journey of high adventure and self-discovery across the scarred landscape of the modern world and into the mysteries beyond. Its compelling saga reveals the sexual and spiritual lives of struggling global protesters and idealists overcoming despair, nuclear terrorism, espionage and a threatened World War III to bring the world together from the brink of destruction with a revolutionary United Nations Parliamentary Assembly and spiritual rebirth. This modern epic is a must read and compelling vision of the future for all Citizens of the Modern World and a beacon of hope pointing us all towards a better world struggling against all odds to be born.” May 19, 2012

Lara Biyuts, Reviewer and Blogger at Goodreads.com and Revue Blanche

 

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“Robert Sheppard’s “Spiritus Mundi” is a book of major importance and depth. A must read for any thinking, compassionate human being living in these perilous times. I highly recommend this powerful testament of the current course of our so-called life on his planet. April 25, 2012

Doug Draime Writer, Freelance

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“This new novel ‘Spiritus Mundi’ brings together history, politics, future society, and blends with a plausible World War Three scenario. I have read it and find it over the top fascinating. I am very glad to see Robert share his creativity with the world through this work of fiction, and know it will be a huge hit.” April 28, 2012

Jim Rogers, Owner and Director, AXL

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“Robert Sheppard is an exceptional thinker! His work should be read and made the subject of critical study.”May 26, 2012

Georgia Banks-Martin, Editor, New Mirage Journal

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“This novel rocks the reader with its supple strength. You want to say “No, No,” and you end up saying, “Maybe.” Political science fiction at its highest, most memorable level.”November 17, 2012

Carl Macki, Owner, Carl Macki Social Media

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 “Robert Sheppard’s Novel Spiritus Mundi confronts politics and philosophies of the world. He’s examined multiple layers of personality in his characters; male, female, Chinese, Arab, English, and American melding them into a story of possible outcomes. How else can I convey the intelligent presentation of fiction woven with sensitivity to our world’s governments, religious influences and sectarian principles? We must not forget the influence of a largely secular world. Robert tirelessly checked, rechecked and triple checked his resources in order to bring a fiction of occurrence, and psychological impact as set forth in his novel Spiritus Mundi.”November 18, 2012

Glenda Fralin, Author, Organization NWG

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“Robert was one of my best guests. His novel is as wide ranging as are his interests and expertise. He can explain his various ideas with great clarity and he does this with compassion. Novel is worthwhile reading.”November 18, 2012

Dr. Robert Rose, Radio Show Host, http://www.blogtalkradio.com/icdrrose

 

Copyright Robert Sheppard 2013 All Rights Reserved

 

About robertalexandersheppard

Robert Sheppard , Author, Poet & Novelist Pushcart Prize fof Literature 2014 Nominee Professor of World and Comparative Literature Professor of International Law Senior Associate, Committee for a Democratic United Nations (KDUN) E-mail: rsheppard99_2000@yahoo.com Robert Sheppard is the author of the acclaimed dual novel Spiritus Mundi, nominated for the prestigious 2014 Pushcart Prize for Literature in two parts, Spiritus Mundi the Novel, Book I and Spiritus Mundi the Romance, Book II. The acclaimed “global novel” features espionage-terror-political-religious-thriller action criss-crossing the contemporary world involving MI6, the CIA and Chinese MSS Intelligence as well as a "People Power" campaign to establish a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly on the model of the European Parliament, with action moving from Beijing to London to Washington, Mexico City and Jerusalem while presenting a vast panorama of the contemporary international world, including compelling action and surreal adventures. It also contains the unfolding sexual, romantic and family relationships of many of its principal and secondary characters, and a significant dimension of spiritual searching through "The Varieties of Religious Experience." It contains also significant discussions of World Literature, including Chinese, Indian, Western and American literature, and like Joyce's Ulysses, it incorposates a vast array of stylistic approaches as the story unfolds. Dr. Sheppard presently serves as a Professor of International Law and World Literature at Peking University, Northeastern University and the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) of China, and has previously served as a Professor of International Law and MBA professor at Tsinghua University, Renmin People’s University, the China University of Politics and Law and at the Law Institute of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) in Beijing, China. Having studied Law, Comparative Literature and politics at the University of California, Berkeley (Ph. D.Program in Comparative Literature), Northridge, Tübingen, Heidelberg, the People’s College and San Francisco, (BA, MA, JD), he additionally has been active as professor of International Trade, Private International Law, and Public International Law from 1993 to 1998 at Xiamen University, Beijing Foreign Studies University, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Graduate School (CASS), and the China University of Political Science and Law in Beijing. Since 2000 he has served as a Senior Consultant to the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in Beijing and has authored numerous papers on the democratic reform of the United Nations system.
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2 Responses to ON THE ONWARD EVOLUTION OF THE HUMAN SPIRIT IN OUR TIME

  1. bonniebaby61 says:

    I particularly enjoyed this series of blogs, Robert. “The Odyssey” was imaginative and actually hopeful–something I don’t often feel about man in the modern world. I also like your idea that if there is no God, “we must do the work of God.” I wish our current politicians felt as you do! My favorite blog came from Spiritus Mundi and the line: “To inherit something, you must understand it. . .” I have thought about that one sentence for hours to feel what it means to me. It’s a most unusual and original statement. At least, I haven’t heard anything quite like it ever before. I thought of the title “To Inherit the Wind” in a new way. I am thinking about inheriting traits from our parents and how your statement applies there, or if it does. To inherit land maybe is much more than just to be left a parcel of property in a will. Anyway, you have provoked thought or what passes for thought! Thank you very much. –Bonnie Roberts

    On Sun, Mar 17, 2013 at 2:25 PM, Robert Sheppard Literary Blog wrote:

    > ** > robertalexandersheppard posted: ” Odyssey A man is > movement, motion, a continuum. There is no beginning and no end to his > voyage. He runs through his ancestors, and the only beginning is the primal > beginning of the single cell in the slime. The essential > connect”

  2. bonniebaby61 says:

    I particularly enjoyed this series of blogs, Robert. “The Odyssey” was imaginative and actually hopeful–something I don’t often feel about man in the modern world. The mystery of the curve on the graph when sometimes life in this world seems like a straight line into utter doom.🙂 I also like your idea that if there is no God, “we must do the work of God.” I wish our current politicians felt as you do! My favorite blog came from Spiritus Mundi and the line: “To inherit something, you must understand it. . .” I have thought about that one sentence for hours in order to feel what it means to me. It’s a most unusual and original statement. At least, I haven’t heard anything quite like it ever before. I thought of the title “To Inherit the Wind” in a new way. I am thinking about inheriting traits from our parents and how your statement applies there, or if it does. To inherit land maybe is much more than just to be left a parcel of property in a will. Anyway, you have provoked thought or what passes for thought! Thank you very much. –Bonnie Roberts

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