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Spiritually inspired recording artist, Denis Morreau

Spiritually inspired recording artist, Denis Morreau

Spiritually inspired recording artist, Denis Moreau has offered some very unique and insightful comments, after reading my spiritual allegory, Song of George: Portrait of an Unlikely Holy Man. My wife, Lilasuka, and I are big fans of Denis, so the comments are special, coming from him.

Here is a brief bio of Denis from his facebook profile:

Born in Temiscaming Quebec, a small paper mill town, Denis received his musical training early, in the church choir. By the time he was 15, his attention leaned toward the music of the day. Inspired he learned how to play guitar and harmonica then soon lost interest in all others matters. He hitchhiked across Canada and parts of the US mingling with the citizens and sharing his music.

At 25 years of age, yearning for spiritual awakening, he donned the robes of a monk. For the following 15 years he was fully engaged in meditation, devotional practices, and welfare activities. His services led him to different parts of Canada, the United States, and the Far East.

In 1995 he renewed his efforts in music while living in New York City. Since, he has been recording and touring many festivals and venues performing in theaters, clubs, coffee houses, retirement communities and charitable outreaches. 

And the following are Denis’ comments regarding Song of George: Portrait of an Unlikely Holy Man:

“Here is a voice that defies the boundaries of sanity, and beckons me to drop certain preconceived notions of sanctity.

This voice wanders in the midst of horror, cynicism, absurdity, and wisdom, inviting me to bare my soul before the human condition— all along urging me to look for the spiritual thread tying it all together.”            –Denis Moreau

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Kabir was the first Saint to manifest in each of the four ages (Yugas)

Dear Reader, 
     I came to the conclusion that certain parts of my poem, below, were too cryptic. I like cryptic, but it was not my intention here.
     For one thing, the transition at the end was too abrubpt. Other things too, that I first perceived as subtleties, were making the meaning sort of ambiguous. So I made a few changes. 
     Should anyone be kind enough to take another look, I hope these changes facilitate understanding.      jesse

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It’s long been my understanding that the Kali Yuga is the most auspicious age. It is really the winding down or the growing old time of the creation, or that part of the creation that is sometimes called the material world. Russell Perkins, former editor of Sant Bani Magazine and author of Impact of a Saint, once used a beautiful analogy of a spring that is unwinding until, unchecked it simply flies apart, to explain the parodox of Kali Yuga.

The beauty of it is that the grand illusion that we’re under is becoming more obvious all the time. The impermance of things is very much in our face these days–these years–it very much has been so from the beginning of the age, I think. And with the illusion coming undone, the idea of spirituality gains popularity, and the implementation of various types of spiritual practices becomes more prevalent. Kirpal Singh, the great Mystic Saint of the Path of Surat Shabd Yoga (Sant Mat), told us that in Kali Yuga there would be more “fragrant Saints” coming into the world to show us the Way.

So, in a way, we could say the world is gone into it’s twilight years. It may still be coming to it’s very dark years; some folks certainly believe that it is, I don’t know. In any case, some of us have been practicing (or more accurately, attempting to practice in cases such as mine) spirituality for the better part of our lives and we are now entering into our own twilight years. For many of us, our Masters who have loved us and inititiated us, years ago, have now left the body. They haven’t left us in the truest sense, but physically we have had to go on without them. It is natural to seek out “our old friend in a new coat”.

With that long introduction in place, I do hope you will appreciate my little poem, the path in twilight, which I dedicate to all of my old and new brothers and sisters, who, touched by the love of the fragrant saints, is going forward in the shelter of the same.

Thanks for stopping by my blog and I invite you to comment if so inclined. 
                                                                                jesse s. hanson

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the path in twilight
                   jesse s. hanson

I am your true kin
your brother
your sister
taken in by the same mysterious and otherworldly benefactor as were you
we were brought together by the wonder of, in the awe of that love
Who took us into the home
where we were fed and clothed and taught right from wrong
told stories of lovers as well as of cruel lords
and of the true gravity of our ghostly lives in this world of ghosts
of our perpetual births and deaths
told stories of lovers by our hero of love
until the time when the embodiment of that love left us
orphans…  again
confused, disoriented, wandering, as before, over the parched wasteland
in fear and sickness and terrible dread of our future

 long times go by
…ages
by remembering we live, but forgetting we near perish.

in the distance, shadows cross the path in twilight
remind us of our loved one
you turn that way and I turn this
chasing shadows in search of bliss
He asked if we would not recognize our friend, come in a new coat
but also added, “Don’t follow the false one.”

in love, I send you greetings, I write a letter 
my old friend, my brother, my sister
will you, in turn, write me off at worst
or worry about or worry for me at best          
saying, truth is truth, is it not?

so has the perfect love from the perfect lover become imperfect
by our imperfection
by some fatal mistake?
do our anguished cries of separation and longing that caught our beloved’s ear now fall on deaf ears?
has the heart that would melt like wax at the pain of the children, of the dear ones, now become as hard as the stone?
are we thrown back to the wolves?
what then of love
what then of perfect love

perfect love is perfect love, is it not?
so if my friend wears a coat of cotton
and yours a coat of mail
and if now you’ve found you’re not forgotten
I’ve also found that love can never fail

Some folks know, Lilasuka and I have plans (informal ones, I mean, not blueprints) for a house on our little piece of property in West Virginia. Although, completely realizeable, God willing, it has taken on the status of a dream house to some extent. I wrote a little poem about it, which is the subject of this post. Since the house does not exist yet, except in our minds and hearts, I’ve included a picture of/from the site of the house to be in twilight.

As always, I hope you enjoy the post and I thank you for stopping by and visiting my blog. Please leave a comment if you’re so inclined. jesse

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O House
jesse s. hanson

O house of our future, upon the hill
I’ve sat in you, perfectly still on a fair day
with the sun going easily across the sky
and sometimes I wonder
as the soft bundled clouds go strolling by, I tag along
remembering, forgetting, as I please

Yet, now I’m on my knees
they call this longing, love
I hope that’s what it is­—and that it’s not an end in itself
because the appetite of the world is a dragon of lust and violence,
anxiety and madness
and I have this eternal, ageless longing
and I’m ultimately defenseless
and I’m so afraid that it’s all endless

In our house that sits among the stars
where we belong, where we are on a quiet night
your voice and mine sound good and true
our hearts full of wonder
listening to the night birds tender song, and to you singing along
thoughtful, hopeful, part of it all

Later, crying out
It’s just a dream; you had a bad dream
But, wasn’t it so all along—with every moment flitting by?
There’ll be nothing left, because nothing ever really was but entertaining
scenes, so well contrived, we’re just the dead that are alive
What seems most real is the awful heartache
that, with tears of sympathy, survives
so sadly watching, twas never born and never died

O house of dreams, made for children
a place to play, a little buildin’, in the morning sun
dress up and dress down, I hear you chant and I meditate
is it any wonder
the teapot’s whistling, “It’s not too late!”: more to it than fate
keep remembering—always—don’t forget

Lilasuka and I had coffee with our friends Andy and Ruth Fraenkel this past weekend. Andy is a wonderful storyteller. In fact, he is a professional storyteller: I’ve included the link to his multi-cultural storytelling website at the end of this post. But he also has a very interesting spiritually focused blog (again the link is at the botttom of this post). I asked Andy if he would consider doing a guest post for me and he agreed–and here it is.

As always, thanks for stopping by, and i hope you will enjoy Andy’s interesting commentary about the Bhagavad Gita.

 

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Andy Fraenkel ~ Muliti-Cultural Storyteller

Started writing and this is what I have, if you want to use it

 
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Gita Jayanti – Dec 16 by Andy Fraenkel
For Hindus, Gita Jayanti commemorates the speaking of the Bhagavad Gita by Sri Krishna. The Gita was spoken to the warrior-prince Arjuna right before a great battle. Sometimes our daily lives assume the shape of a struggle or battle. Mahatma Gandhi said of the Gita:
  
“When doubts haunt me, when disappointments stare me in the face, and I see not one ray of hope on the horizon, I turn to Bhagavad-Gita and find a verse to comfort me; and I immediately begin to smile in the midst of overwhelming sorrow. Those who meditate on the Gita will derive fresh joy and new meanings from it every day.”

The sages tell us that Bhagavad Gita is a remedy for the Kaliyuga, this age of anxiety, of stress and quarrel. In the Kaliyuga, everyone is going at such a hectic pace, trying to meet goals and deadlines and payments. People feel worn out and fatigued. We forget what’s important. We lose sight of how to act properly and of our eternal, spiritual nature. We may feel that we are drying up or that we are being struck by the sharp arrows of worldly existence. Krishna’s words can give us insight and guide us, just as thousands of years ago, His message calmed the mind of Arjuna who had lost his composure and was confused as to what course of action to take.

Albert Schweitzer wrote, “The Bhagavad-Gita has a profound influence on the spirit of mankind by its devotion to God, which is manifested by actions.” Bhagavad Gita provides the foundations of yoga, which is not so much about postures but, as Schweitzer observed, more about actions and how we conduct ourselves and what our intentions are.

It’s important to take time for introspection, to slow down from the hectic pace that we often find ourselves in. The Hopis of the southwest have an ancient prediction that there will come a time when life’s pace speeds out of control, and at that time we must make a conscious effort to slow down. That time is now. Slowing down and living with sacred intention can be achieved through meditation on the names of God. There are many names found in sacred traditions all over the world.

Arjuna was not a scholar, a sage or a renunciate. He was a family man, a warrior, a man with worldly duties and responsibilities. Sometimes, as Arjuna, we may also become confused. And as Arjuna, our minds and spirits can become refreshed by hearing the words of Sri Krishna. By introspection and meditation a tremendous change can come about by what seems to be one little activity or effort.

“I owed a magnificent day to the Bhagavad-Gita. It was the first of books; it was as if an empire spoke to us, nothing small or unworthy, but large, serene, consistent, the voice of an old intelligence which in another age and climate had pondered and thus disposed of the same questions which exercise us.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

more musings at  www.Dharmajournal.blogspot.com

Andy’s Multi-Cultural Storytelling website  http://sacredvoices.com/

I’ve just created a new page here on my blog to display Christine Sherwood’s wonderful  pencil illustrations (they’re full size on the new page) for my spiritual fiction novel, Song of George: Portrait of an Unlikely Holy Man. See the link at the top of this page or click https://jesseshanson.wordpress.com/song-of-george-illustrations-by-christine-sherwood/

I wanted to repost this little article (which is definitely NOT a HOW TO) on the subject of self-promotion that I wrote last March, shortly after creating my blog. I am especially feeling it, in the promotion of my novel, as I reach out, specifically to friends, brothers and sisters on the spiritual journey, people who are very important and dear to me.
I’ve updated it only slightly. Updates are in bold print.
As always, thanks for stopping by my blog. Please feel free to comment.
 
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     Unfortunately, these days, more than ever before, if one is pursuing artistic endeavors, one is put in the position of having to promote, promote, and self-promote. It’s true for musicians, writers, visual artists, any type of artist. With a great measure of success, perhaps, one gets beyond it to a greater or lesser extent… i wouldn’t know.

     i’m saying this because having spent years writing a spiritual fiction novel, putting my heart and soul into it, and with it now enroute to becoming  a product (It was since published in July, 2010 by All Things That Matter Press), i find myself in such a position. True, i have been involved in self-promotion all along, not only in regards to my music with The Primatives, but in the submission process for short stories (excerpts in my case), poetry, and the novel manuscripts themselves. But now it’s become even more necessary, lest my work become just another bubble that forms and pops instantly and quietly into oblivion in the vast ocean of published literature.

     So i’m just asking that my friends, my fans, my brothers and sisters in spirituality, and my associates in general, bear with me as i make the efforts in this process of trying to inform the world about the existence and merits of my novel and other work. Please don’t find me arrogant, although i don’t claim to possess true humility either. And please don’t find me a bore, as it seems to be a necessary and unavoidable process, one in which i may at times, in my lack of knowledge, pursue innapropriately. Try and try my best i may have some measure of success or i may fail, but it would certainly be a failure, in one sense, if i should lose or annoy my friends and supporters.                         
              As always, i thank you for reading,   jesse s. hanson


I was quite gratified by this review of Song of George, by Jerry Scwartz, author of Pixels of Young Mueller. It’s very perceptive and it clearly conveys some of what I would like people to know about my book.

As always, thanks for stopping by my blog and feel free to make comments to your heart’s content. (:<)> jesse s. hanson

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Posted By Jerry Schwartz

Song of George

Song of George: Portrait of an Unlikely Holy Man. Jesse S. Hanson. All Things That Matter Press, 2010. 248 pp. $16.99.

I enjoyed reading Jesse Hanson’s Song of George, the story of “a guru in the prison mental ward.” Graduate students Ansel, Ozwald, and Jeff are permitted to study and record the inmates of floor 41 for two months, during which time they learn not only what life is like in a large federal correctional institution, but also of the effect that George, the “unlikely holy man,” has on his fellow inmates.

Hanson’s unorthodox approach to telling George’s story appealed to me from the beginning. Through a hodgepodge of quotes, songs, inmates’ recollections, messages of George transcribed by Ansel, and poetry, the spirituality of Hanson’s work shines as he relates his tale. I give Hanson extra points for making George a vegetarian. (How spiritual can you truly be when you are eating your fellow creatures?)

Admittedly, on several occasions, I became lost when reading this book. For instance, at one point, when the narrative switched to verse, I found myself wondering who “wrote” the poem. One of the inmates? Or was it the author stepping out from behind the curtain to assist me? My solution was to keep reading, and each time, I was rewarded. I love it when an author takes chances, and I like it even more when those risks pay off.

Song of George: Portrait of an Unlikely Holy Man is well written, engaging, and inspirational–four out of five stars.

“The United States has 5% of the world’s population, and 25% of the world’s prisoners.”

My friend, Dr. Sylvia Scholar, has been an unfailing source of encourageent to me in my literary efforts, especially in regards to my recently published novel, Song of George: Portrait of an Unlikely Holy Man, which is set in the mental ward of a fictional U.S. Federal Prison.

It’s through Sylvia that I’ve become aware of the remarkable UK based forum, “Open Democracy-free thinking for the world“. The following series of posts from The Unheard Voices Project, published by Open Democracy, clearly reveal the devastation caused by America’s stubborn and brutal insistence on waging the drug war on their own hapless individual citizens who are easily detained and prosecuted. Long term prison sentences and life with a record for these, while the real corporate criminals of our society live high and easy.

These articles are not of the world of fiction. “Truth is stranger…” as the very profound cliche’ states. Please take a few minutes, go to the website http://www.opendemocracy.net/unheard-voices and read about this most American phenomenon as reported by The Unheard Voices Project.

As always, thanks for stopping by. You’re certainly more than welcome to comment.
                                                                                       jesse s. hanson

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The Unheard Voices Project

The Unheard Voices Project is a documentary archive of testimonies from offenders, ex-offenders, family members, and experts on the far-ranging consequences of the American criminal justice system.

Unheard Voices was inspired by Steven Spielberg’s Shoah Foundation Institute, another documentary archive project that gathered video testimonies from survivors and other witnesses to the Holocaust. In many respects, the American criminal justice system, and the drug war that has driven its explosion, has resulted in a cultural holocaust. So many people are in prison, so many families and communities have been destroyed, and so many generations have been lost, that those who do succeed us will need a living record of the devastating impact these policies had on American society.

The United States has 5% of the world’s population, and 25% of the world’s prisoners. At 2.5 million, the US has more prisoners than China. Not more prisoners per capita, more prisoners. And there are an additional 5 million under what’s known as “Correctional Supervision” (probation, parole, and court monitoring). On top of that, the security and livelihood of millions more has forever been altered by an arrest or conviction record. This so-called “Land of the Free” punishes more of its citizens than the rest of the world, prompting even the conservative Economist to declare that “never in the civilized world have so many been locked up for so little.”

The testimonies of The Unheard Voices Project testimonies will help put a human face on a critical social issue that has been overwhelmed by fear, politics, racial prejudice, and intolerance, in an era where the public attitude has been, “out of sight, out of mind.”

When the stories hit home, the policies begin to change. 

Thursday 30th September

Charles Shaw, 30 September 2010
This is the story of Anthony Reed, a promising young man with a very bright future who was arrested and charged with a felony under the infamous “Analogue Act” for possessing one dose of 2C-I, what he thought was a “legal” substance. Includes an interview with Alexander “Sasha” Shulgin, the inventor of 2C-I.

Tuesday 28th September

Mark Weiss and Charles Shaw, 28 September 2010
We lead this week with the release of the much anticipated trailer from Charles Shaw and openDemocracy’s The Unheard Voices Project, a testimonial documentary about the far-ranging consequences of the American criminal justice system.

Sunday 26th September

Charles Shaw, 26 September 2010
The Unheard Voices Project has just released a four-minute trailer of their documentary archive of testimonies from prisoners, ex-offenders, family members, and notable experts on the far-ranging consequences of the American criminal justice system.

Monday 5th July

Charles Shaw, 5 July 2010
The Unheard Voices documentary project is seeking interviews and testimonials from offenders, ex-offenders, family members, and relevant experts on the far ranging consequences of a criminal conviction.

Found the following quote by Sant Kirpal Singh Ji on facebook. It brought back a flood of emotion to me, as this profoundly hopeful statement by Him (perhaps in a different form, but this sentiment) was like a lifeline to me so many years ago in the most difficult times of my life.
And seeing it again, I realize that it still has the same effect.        jesse s. hanson

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What can other people know of the condition of one’s heart? If the enigma of the
mystery of life enters the heart, the person knows no peace until it has
been solved.         Sant Kirpal Singh

Sant Kirpal Singh Ji Maharaj

Some people might say that this book, Song of George: Portrait of an Unlikely Holy Man,is too wild – to the point of being fantastic, even sacreligious.
Others, less inclined toward the possibility of Divine intervention, might say, “It’s too pious – even naive, this allegory of a God Man.
Well, it’s all up to the reader. Why not get a copy and decide for yourself? It’s about the price of dinner for one at a very modest restaurant. But I think you’ll remember it for a lot longer.

Jesse S. Hanson’s spiritual fiction novel

Jesse S. Hanson's spiritual fiction novel

Click picture to Buy or learn about my novel