Monthly Archives: April 2013

A New Book by Keith A. Buzzell Reviewed by John Robert Colombo

A New Conception of God

AA

With the appearance of each new book written by Keith A. Buzzell, I gulp. There are a number of reasons why I gulp, and here are a few of them.

AA

Dr. Buzzell writes long, serious, deep, and indeed heavy analyses of concepts and mechanisms that we take for granted in the work of Gurdjieff. His books are not easy to read; they are not Gurdjieff Lite. Nor are they easy to review, for there is so much detail in his publications and so much analysis that there is a real need of the sixty or so black-and-white or multi-coloured diagrams that accompany the text of this publication. Despite this, it is sometimes difficult to see the forest for the trees – in this instance, to see the familiar “lay of the land” – as described in the pages of (say) P.D. Ouspensky’s “In Search of the Miraculous” – for all the geographical and geological factors that underlie and shape the landscape.

AA

Dr. Buzzell was born in Boston in 1932, studied music at Bowdoin College and Boston University, and received his medical doctorate in 1960 at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. “He has lectured widely on the neuro-physiological influences of television on the developing human brain and on the evolution of man’s triune brain.” (I am quoting from the biographical note that appears in his current book.) “For the past thirty-eighty years, he has been a rural family physician in Fryeburg, Maine, a staff member of Bridgton Hospital and currently holds the position of medical director at the Fryeburg Health Care Centre.”

AA

He and his wife Marlena became students of Irmis Popoff in 1971 and they formed Work groups under her supervision. “It was in 1988 that they met Annie Lou Staveley, founder of Two Rivers Farm in Oregon, and maintained a Work relationship with her until her death.” Both Marlena and Keith have been active in the All and Everything International Humanities Conferences from 1995 to the present.

AA

Dr. Buzzell has a dedicated publisher in Fifth Press. The imprint is based in Salt Lake City, and its personnel (including Bonnie Phillips) have drawn the Plimpsoll line for design and dedication. To date, five books of his books are listed and described in its on-line catalogue < http://www.fifthpress.org > and here are their titles are:

AA

Perspectives on Beelzebub’s Tales” (2005), a collection of essays. “Explorations in Active Mentation” (2006) about Legominism, etc. “Man–A Three-Brained Being” (2007), a scientific study of the brain. “Reflections on Gurdjieff’s Whim” (2012), a study of man’s nature. And now “A New Conception of God” (2013), which travels the rails of the previous book in particular.

AA

Combined, these five books offer more than 1,240 pages of text that examine the bases – or the single basis – of Gurdjieff’s cosmology and psychology, begging comparison in importance for serious students of these matters with Ouspensky’s “In Search of the Miraculous” and Maurice Nicol’s five-volume set of “Psychological Commentaries on the Teaching of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky,” except for the fact that Ouspensky was not really a mathematician (and eschewed descriptions that implied that he was) and Nicoll was not really a scientist (being a Jungian analyst by training), whereas Dr. Buzzell does have scientific standing and a theoretical and practical understanding of the neurology and physiology of the human body and brain. When I think of his achievement, I recall Yogi Berra’s enigmatical remark: “Theoretically, theory and practice are the same thing.”

AA

In earlier columns of mine on this website, I have offered impressions of some of these publications. But instead of summarizing his arguments, which are invariably technical in nature, I am treating the current book as an independent publication, rather than as a continuation of an ongoing analysis, so here I will describe it and it alone. The full title and subtitle of the present volume are “A New Conception of God: Further Reflections on Gurdjieff’s Whim.”

AA

The trade paperback measures 9.5″ x 6.5″ and the pagination runs like this: x + 311 + iii. The pages are glued rather than sewn, but because of the fact that the slightly off-white text stock is sturdy, the book opens easily and the typography is such that the text is a pleasure to read. There is hardly a page without its source-note. In all, there are about 156,000 words plus more than sixty or so pastel-coloured illustrations, pleasing to the eye as well as revealing to the mind.

AA

There are sixteen chapters, but that is not all of it, because in addition to these chapters there are six more sections: Contents, Foreword (by Joseph Azize), Author’s Preface, followed by three Appendices, References, and Bibliography. So this is a serious, well-thought-out publication.

AA

Joseph Azize, the contributor of the Foreword, was a pupil of Helen and George Adie of Sydney, Australia, from 1981 to 1989, and is the author of a suggestive study of the work of this remarkably influential couple. Azize is also a solicitor and a regular contributor to the present website. The Foreword he has written for this volume is remarkable for its suggestiveness, combining intelligence and emotion in equal parts.

AA

I will merely quote from its somewhat involved final sentence for it encapsulates his impression of Dr. Buzzell and his work. It goes like this: “The level of thought, the balance of mind and feeling bringing a palpable sense of wonder and love of knowledge, and the objectivity of the work, all confirm the opinion which has arisen in me more than once: if I have met a genuine terrestrial scientist, then it is Keith Buzzell.”

AA

The author himself in his Preface undertakes “to understand the depths of Gurdjieff’s ‘new conception of God in the world.’” That is a tall order. The “conception” must embrace everything “from fundamental matter to the starry heavens” – cosmology; it must explain “the roles of human life” – sociology; it must “give form to all the mysteries confronting man” – psychology; and it must “provide guidance and methodology for fulfilling the purposes and ‘laws’ of higher worlds” – religion; and it must “comfort, enliven, correct, guide, discipline and reward the individual and the collective” – philosophy.

AA

To what this new “conception” must do, I have added the appropriate “-ologies,” though other systematic studies might do just as well. Here the author advances beyond those statements and takes a religious or spiritual turn, alluding to the role of “the great Messengers” as “powerful motivators of _behaviour_.” Let me quote him at greater length:

AA

It is our understanding that in his presentation on Time, the three Holy Forces, Okidanokh and the principles of Triamazikamno and Heptaparaparshinokh, Gurdjieff elaborated a perspective which is wholly consistent with modern science and, in particular, with quantum mechanical principles and relativity. Within these multilayered presentations, lies an approach to reconciliation of the principles espoused by both the Great Traditions _and_ modern science.”

AA

This is an even taller order, for while “understanding” Gurdjieff’s system is tall enough, finding a rapprochement with Quantum mechanics (perhaps Quantum psychology or Quantum dynamics are better terms) is an even taller order. Dr. Buzzell is well situated to succeed in this undertaking. Whether he accomplishes it or not – whether it can be accomplished at all – is a matter that readers of this review will have to decide for themselves.

AA

The rest of the Preface serves as an abstract outline of the contents of the book’s sixteen chapters from the perspective of Gurdjieff’s “conception” – “to highlight in some detail the remarkable reconciliation of spiritual and scientific perspectives that Gurdjieff’s teaching accomplishes.” Because it is so general it is worth rereading, like rechecking a roadmap, to confirm the direction taken and the distance clocked. To that end, here is the sketchiest of roadmaps to the book’s sixteen chapters, not a Google-eyed map but a goggle-eyed view – a series of impressions, essentially.

AA

Chapter 1: “Renewed Concept of Conscience.” The author links Conscience with Higher Reason rather than with higher or lower emotion or sensation, for it is related to understanding rather than to feeling. Yet he quotes Gurdjieff who links it with feeling: “Conscience is a state in which a man _feels all at once_ everything that he in general feels, or can feel.” It is to be distinguished from morality, and it is related to consciousness: “Consciousness is a state in which a man _knows all at once_ everything that he in general knows.” Paradoxically, consciousness to the intellect is equivalent to conscience to the emotions. What follows is a discussion of man as a three-brained being.

AA

The author quotes J.G. Bennett as locating conscience in the _world of possibilities_, “a word that requires the third state of consciousness. Only in this world is automatism transcended.” Dr. Buzzell states, “It is our view that Conscience stands at a pinnacle of Gurdjieff’s ‘new conception of God in the world.’” Interestingly, this fact is invoked to account for the ancient notion of the sorrows of the Creator. The chapter continues in detail to place conscience with respect to Kundabuffer, in light of the enneagram, in terms of its origin in Endlessness, to the need to earn a soul, involution and evolution, struggle, etc. The argument is associative but comprehensive.

AA

Chapter 2: “ … A Crimson Thread …. ” Dr. Buzzell’s argument counterpoints general declarative sentences with passages of the involved syntax and vocabulary of Gurdjieff’s “Beelzebub’s Tales.” It is possible to see his argument as a gloss on Gurdjieff’s text. Courting some confusion, the author adopts Gurdjieff’s use of the term “subconsciousness” to refer to mechanized functions and manifestations. In a rare passage of reminiscence, he describes how when he reached the age of fifteen, he had absorbed images associated with battles of World War II to such a degree that sixty-five years later he is able to evoke the feelings associated with them.

AA

Their subconscious presence in my feeling memory became apparently only when the Work actively entered my life and I began slowly to ‘see’ the reflections from the subconscious from the past into my everyday life.” There follows a discussion of the leader-follower relationship and the ultimate causes of war which are triadic. The role of hazard is interestingly described with respect to egoism and its manifestations. He inquires about the individual and collective roles and responses to this condition and its “exceptional cosmic events.”

AA

Chapter 3: “Kundabuffer and Work.” There is a discussion of buffers generally and then Kundabuffer in particular. I have equated Kundabuffer and the Wendigo in my own mind, although most people will find it farfetched to speak of this implanted organ with the Algonkian spirit of cannibalism, the boogie man to Native children, the spectre of “cabin fever” to Native elders, except that the Algonkian word means “me, for myself” and it may refer not just to demonic entities but also to attitudes and especially combines and corporations. There is a short excursus on “Pleasure and Sex Energy” about which little has been written in the past, though Ouspensky deals with infra-sex and supra-sex in some detail in “Tertium Organum.” Here the subject of the biochemical or hormonal and the psychical or neural bases is discussed most interestingly.

AA

It is an absence of consciousness between the brains that inevitably leads to their dissociated functions,” the author writes, in italics, and the rest of the chapter examines the chemical connections and their absences. The second half of this chapter is devoted to the functions of the three brains and these offer unexpected insights, for instance, to the nature of imagery (Hydrogen 24) which is related to attention, or light, with nine of its characteristics mentioned. The author discusses the statement “You are your attention.”

AA

Chapter 4: “Sensing and Feeling.” When I first learned via Ouspensky’s Psychology of Man’s Possible Evolution of the four-fold nature of man with its centres (intellectual, emotional, mechanical, moving), subsequently reduced to three centres with the amalgamation of the last two into a recognizable moving or physical centre, to yield the triune nature, I immediately related the scheme to W.H. Sheldon’s somatotyping or body typology (ectomorph, endomorph, mesomorph).

AA

This typology was popular in the United States in the 1920s and so in the 1950s it seemed somewhat familiar, not at all Eastern. I equated the relationship between the sympathetic system and the parasympathetic system with the moving and the mechanical parts of man’s physical nature, one being voluntary (like walking), the other being involuntary (like heart-beats). Later I equated the three brains with the anatomical features: reptilian cortex, limbic system, neocortex, Dr. Buzzell begins with the first two systems and goes on to equate them with the various hydrogens of sensation and feeling.

AA

The exposition here is masterful for it is based on human anatomy and the nervous system with its “little brains” (a neat term for nerve nodes) and it takes into account human evolution from what seem to be primordial times to the present day characterized by human beings capable of “active mentation.” The imbalance among centres “is characteristic of the vast majority of otherwise accomplished individuals” who fail to realize their human potential. “The artistic / spiritual expressions demonstrate a degree of resonant functioning of Higher Emotional Centre, whereas the theoretical and experimental physicist, mathematician or biologist demonstrates a degree of resonant functioning of Higher Intellectual Centre.” Yet, the author asserts, the Higher Centres “are present and functioning in all three-brained beings.”

AA

Chapter 5: “Gurdjieff’s ‘Conscious’ and ‘Unconscious.’” Perhaps the key statement in this well realized chapter — and at six pages very short – is the following sentence: “The feeling and thinking brains should be the centres that, when functioning in accordance with their real potential, are the neural instruments that assist the coating process of the Higher Bodies; they are the developmental centres for the inner and outer manifestations of all self-other relationships, Conscience and Objective Reason.” Exercises to attain this end or these ends are mentioned in passing.

AA

Chapter 6: “Conception.” The mechanism of conception in human beings is reviewed in this short chapter and described on the microscopic level, though “it is not possible to create an accurate or true image of this event.” The question is asked, “Does the conception of a Kesdjan Body occur in an analogous fashion?”

AA

Chapter 7: “Origins.” What Gurdjieff and the author call “Great Nature” is discussed in terms of “the Lateral Octave of the Ray of Creation” and the evolution of the Three Brains. Here there is an unexpected discussion of our human forebears who it seems are anatomically and neuro-anatomically no different from ourselves. One footnote asserts as follows: “Newborns transferred by early adoption, from aboriginal settings into the urban western 20th century world, are developmentally indistinguishable from children born in the West.” I wonder about the evidence for this statement.

AA

Here the author skims over ethnographic and sociological studies rather in the manner of David Brooks, “New York Times” correspondent and television commentator, who steps gingerly from one generalization to another based on summaries of scientific studies. It is a short chapter but it bristles with ideas, especially those about the role of feeling in groups.

AA

Chapter 8: “Bodies and Centres.” It never occurred to me to distinguish between bodies and centres but this chapter begins with Gurdjieff’s differentiation. The presentation discusses the states of consciousness, including Higher Emotional Centre and Higher Being-body and Higher Intellectual Centre, with respect to the intervention of “conscious shocks.” Then there is a distinction between functions and bodies. This is another short chapter, one that ends with a clear expression of respective functionalities:

AA

Kesdjan and Higher Being-body are bodies (who, unified states which are quite separate from their material substrate). Higher Emotional and Higher Intellectual Centres are brained, processing and creative units which, as they refine and mature their functioning, contribute vitally to the coalescence (coating) of the Higher Bodies.”

AA

Chapter 9: “Do–Re–Mi of the Octaves of Food, Air and Impressions.” Three brains require three food sources. “Our exploration will continue into the correspondences and analogies between the three Octaves (Food, Air and Impressions) and into basic features of the enneagram itself. Use will be made of examples – drawn from our everyday Work-life – to relate these ideas to their practical application.”

AA

As to be expected from its contents, this chapter is a long one, fifty pages in length, written with accustomed clarity, about the digestion of food and how it makes possible the transformation of life. Here, almost at random, but in sequential order, are the titles of some of the subsections of the analysis: Physical Food, Role of Air, Mind Influencing Matter, The Substrate of Sensation and Feeling, “Sound is our energy,” Magnetism and Emanation, The Emergence of Self-Other, Impressions, Sex Energy, Brained Origins of Attention.

AA

Outer attention must be balanced with inner attention, and close to the chapter’s end, the author writes about … what he is able to write about: “MI 12 of the Impressions Octave is more difficult to describe as an ‘elemental.’ The primary reason for this difficulty lies within the limited development of the author. One can only see or understand at a level resonant with one’s _being_. The perspective put forward here, on MI 12 and beyond, is limited by the author’s ordinary personhood.”

AA

Chapter 10: “Knowledge and Being.” Dr. Buzzell is able to make his way through the thicket of Gurdjieff’s terminological conceptions because his inquiry is grounded in contemporary knowledge of human anatomy with its cellular, biochemical and neural processes of which we as a species are largely ignorant. In fact, he quotes Irmis Popoff as saying, “You cannot expect to gain and understand extraordinary knowledge unless you already have ordinary knowledge.”

AA

The more scientific information and knowledge that we acquire, the better able are we through “directed attention” to appreciate what takes place within us – “the more we can gain knowledge of the cellular, biochemical and neural processes taking place in our body, the more we can experience and substantiate our mechanicalness.” He quotes Jacob Needleman on “the discipline of inner experience” or “inner empiricism” that match the empiricism of systematic outer inquiries.

AA

Chapter 11: “Three Bodies.” This chapter seems to be a “catching up” in the sense that everyone knows about the existence of the three bodies but everyone knows very little in particular about their constituent elements and functions. Adding to our knowledge, Dr. Buzzell introduces the roles of imagery, visualization and imagination which, “intentionally produced via directed attention,” can lead to “the actualization of Faith (what I really Am), Hope (what I commit myself to into an indeterminate future) and Love (_good will_ toward All and Everything).” So perhaps the key notion to be found in this short chapter is the paragraph that follows:

AA

Kesdjan and Higher Being-bodies do not ‘exist’ in the forms of the cellular, molecular / atomic world (which ends in H 96). We must make the effort to _feel_ and _think_ of their substance as being of the feeling and thinking worlds. Their space and time are not of our sensory / motor world, extending into dimensions that we have to ‘measure’ in a totally different way. Compassion, consideration, nature, Conscience and joy and sorrow are of the _nature_ of Kesdjan. A _body_ formed of these attributes and qualities would be both _individual_ and _shared_ (interpenetrating) with other _bodies_. Similarly, Higher Being-body, formed of the impartial understanding of cosmic law and their levels of manifestation, ‘absorbs’ the qualities and attributes of the Kesdjan Body and becomes both the ‘image’ and a unique manifestation of perfected man.”

AA

Chapter 12: “Reason.” This chapter begins with a discussion of reason in terms of the Table of Hydrogens and then offers a brief historical overview of its significance. Then “the relativity of reason” is stressed from the perspective of points of the Ray of Creation. The chapter becomes relevant to the individual when the discourse turns to work on self.

AA

At every step of this _inner inquiry_, the importance of group work and Work with other methods (inner exercises, Movements, work days, reading, study, music, meditation / contemplation) becomes increasingly evidence, contributing in a myriad of ways to the strengthening of the directed attention and the clarity of self-observation. Each and all of these contribute in essential ways to the digestive processes taking place in the ‘hydrogen’ 48-24-12 levels. One is coming to ‘Know thyself.’”

AA

I do not recall any earlier encounter with the word “automaticities,” but I find the plural noun useful here to refer to instances of “mechanicality” not particularly with respect to one level of being but especially with respect to various levels of being where its nature varies. (Oddly, it is here that I found one extraordinarily minor misprint in the text. The author writes, “Automaticities in other are seen as the same as automaticity in oneself.” Surely he means “in others”; this typo may be an oversight, but I secretly hope it is an instance of an entasis.)

AA

There is also an interesting discussion of the difference between “Reason-of-knowing” and “Reason-of-Understanding.” In fact, this is one of the most rewarding chapters of the book, no doubt the product of much time and effort.

AA

Chapter 13: “The Triadic Nature of ‘Is’ and Attention.” Attention is paid to Paul MacLean’s work on the three-brain concept along with the advent of fMRIs, PET scans and electroencephalography. This is an easy-to-read section despite the fact that “the evolution of the brain was, minimally, a 600 million year enterprise.” Attention is then paid to the notion of “attention” and to the parallel notion of “attentions” (in the plural). Dr. Buzzell attempts the localization in the brain of some of the centres, bodies, and functions known and unknown to man. The discussion leads to the role of will. What the author calls “extremely _unordinary_ circumstances” are required “to coalesce the _attention_ and the _will_ to the greatest degree possible.” He has in mind the experience of Work.

AA

Chapter 14: “The Triune Will.” This chapter offers a discussion of World One which despite its unity exhibits “the outlines of a triad of ‘powers.’” Nothing is quite what it seems when viewed from a different level. Throughout the literature of the Work there are veiled references to “the coating process.” Here it comes into its own following a discussion of Will Power “via the derivative and ‘automatic’ (Okidanokh).” A coloured spectrum illustrates the electromagnetic range of Okidanokh: from extremely low frequency waves through radiowaves, microwaves, infra-red, ultra-violet, X-rays, to gamma rays.

AA

The author concludes this short chapter with the following paragraph: “All three aspects of the Triune Will are present, with varying emphasis, at every step of the process. Each step is a part of the Oskiano of Essence; the education to the responsible life which is inextricably interwoven with Gurdjieff’s ‘new concept of God in the work.’”

AA

Chapter 15: “Laws and the Three Food Octaves.” Here we have a very general discussion about the descent of the Ray of Creation, the increasing restrictions, and the expressions of the six laws. “The automaticities of the laws lie in the _mechanicalness_ of the _images_ because those images have derived from _bodily_ expressions of ordinary life (Itoklanoz and the consequences of Kundabuffer).”

AA

Various triads are discussed and the discussion ranges over emergence of the brain, digestion of food, images, Holy-Reconciling (etc.), and other matters. Every book needs a chapter of odds and ends, so Chapter 15 is the one in question. There is a major discussion of the unquiet brain and “what determines our awareness of the moment.”

AA

Chapter 16: “Attention (H 12), the Greatest Gift to Life; the Power to Pursue Meaning and Purpose.” There is an Overview of H 12, of attentions, and, intriguingly, what is called “The Great Photon.” This is a speculative section that is erected on the background the electromagnetic spectrum. Indeed, the analysis seems to hop, skip and jump along the spectrum, drawing together considerations of brain function and first and subsequent conscious shocks. It seems something of an anticlimax to the book itself.

AA

But the book, long as it is, does not end here, for there are three appendices. Appendix I consists of three pleasing diagrams for “A Symbol of the Cosmos and Its Laws.” The first is in triadic form, the second in circular form, and the third in “will point form.”

AA

Appendix II consists of a discussion of “As Above, So Below: Analogies between World Six and World 48.” This section is quite interesting as it considers changes from World One through World 48.

AA

Appendix III consists of “The Thrust of the Laws within the Ray of Creation.” The illustrations here resemble “decision trees” (even “differential diagnoses”) emerging from a central point.

AA

Recommended Reading – References” consists of lists of books written by nineteen authors, about forty books in all, the listings being supplemental to the longer list in the volume to which this one is a sequel: “Reflections on Gurdjieff’s Whim.”

AA

All in all, all in everything, “A New Conception of God: Further Reflections on Gurdjieff’s Whim” is a considerable achievement, hardly likely to be bettered, in our era at least, though further developments in science and technology will likely add to the complexity that Dr. Buzzell suspects to be there all the time. But there is a reservation that I have; two reservations in fact.

AA

The main reservation is the use of the noun, name, pronoun, or collective “God” in the title. While there are references to what might be called the godhead throughout the text, it seems Gurdjieff’s teachings and this book dwell not on a deity like a pantocrator, but on Creation itself with its laws, some sort of absolute along with its conditions.

AA

There is also the minor reservation, the notion of “whim,” which is an interesting term, though an odd one that I take to be synonymous with “will” or “aim.” However, in his earlier book, Dr. Buzzell quoted the comment of a colleague: “In a rare moment of divulgence, Gurdjieff revealed his own whim: to bring to mankind a new understanding of God.” So I find myself arguing not with Dr. Buzzell but with Gurdjieff about the matter!

AA

Allow me to conclude this review (which is essentially a series of impressions based on the chapters of this book) on an anecdotal note. I undertook to write this review to figure out what Dr. Buzzell himself is writing about, as I am in no position to argue with him about any of his discoveries, insights or conjectures. I did gulp when I opened his book, because of its seriousness, though I decided to swallow my hesitations and write about it anyway. So I think the anecdote has some relevance to the work at hand.

AA

About six months ago I spent an evening with Norman Doidge, the Toronto-based psychiatrist who wrote the semi-popular study called “The Brain that Changes Itself.” This is the book that has drawn wide-spread attention to recent scientific advances in the field of neuroplasticity, the brain’s ability to repair itself and restore function. Currently he is working on its sequel.

AA

I told him, “I have a suggestion for the title of the sequel.” He looked a little surprised, so I continued. “I was much impressed with the years of research that you conducted before writing ‘The Brain that Changes Itself.’ I paid particular attention to the index to your book. Did you compile it yourself?”

AA

He continued to look surprised, perhaps a little guarded. “Yes, and I spent a lot of time on it.”

AA

I continued, “I have no doubt that you did so, because it is thorough and comprehensive. But I noticed one curious absence in the index.” He looked wary, so I chose my words warily. “I found that it has columns devoted to references to the word Brain, as one would expect, but there is no entry at all for the word Mind. That index entry is missing.”

AA

He smiled and said, “But I did include individual entries for the functions of the Mind, functions like Memory and Imagination. Besides, the word Mind is very difficult to define.”

AA

I replied, “My observation does not imply any criticism of your text. But it occurred to me that the various functions of the Mind presumably affect the multifarious functions of the Brain. So you might consider the title that I am going to suggest for your book’s sequel. I think you should call it ‘The Mind that Changes the Brain that Changes Itself.’”

AA

Dr. Doidge groaned, conceding that if I did not have a neurological point to make, at least I was making a cultural point. But I think I was making a point that the so-called higher functions of the mind’s mentation affect the brain’s operation. I see Dr. Buzzell’s contributions, like Dr. Doidge’s, as offering theories and practices that mediate between the mind and the brain, producing some sort of human plasticity, the sort that begs a familiarity with Gurdjieff’s Work.

AA

13 April 2013

AA

AA

John Robert Colombo is an author and anthologist with a special interest in Canadiana and the world of mysteries. His two most recent books are compilations of stories and memoirs of the English author Sax Rohmer, the creator of Dr. Fu Manchu – “The Crime Magnet” and “Pipe Dreams” – as well as a collection of poems called “A Standing Wave.” His website is < http://www.colombo.ca > .