Tag Archives: Tolstoy

The Gospel of Thomas, from The Nag Hammadi Scriptures

Cygnus Loop supernova

Cygnus Loop supernova

Excerpts from The Gospel of Thomas, from The Nag Hammadi Scriptures, ed. Marvin Meyer, 2007 

“Jesus said, ‘I am the light that is over all things. I am all: from me all has come forth, and to me all has reached. Split a piece of wood; I am there. Lift up the stone, and you will find me there.'”

“Jesus said, ‘I am the light that is over all things. I am all: from me all has come forth, and to me all has reached. Split a piece of wood; I am there. Lift up the stone, and you will find me there.'”

“Jesus said, ‘If you bring forth what is within you, what you have will save you. If you do not have that within you, what you do not have within you will kill you.'”

“Jesus said, ‘Blessed are those who are alone and chosen, for you will find the kingdom. For you have come from it, and you will return there again.'”* (Footnote #91: “Or ‘solitary’ (Coptic monakhos).”)

“Jesus said, ‘Be passersby.'” (Footnote #79: “Cf. an Arabic inscription at the site of a mosque at Fatehpur Sikri, India…”)

“Jesus said, ‘If they say to you, ‘Where have you come from?’ say to them, ‘We have come from the light, from the place where the light came into being by itself, established itself, and appeared in their image.'”

“Jesus said, ‘One who seeks will find; for one who knocks it will be opened.'”

“Jesus said, ‘When you make the two into one, you will become children of humanity, and when you say, ‘Mountain, move from here, it will move.'” (Footnote #184: “Or ‘sons of man.'”)

“Jesus said, ‘Whoever drinks from my mouth will become like me. I myself shall become that person, and the hidden things will be revealed to that person.'”

“Jesus said, ‘Woe to the flesh that depends on the soul. Woe to the soul that depends on the flesh.'”

“His disciples said to him, ‘When will the kingdom come?’ ‘It will not come by watching for it. It will not be said, ‘Look, here it is,’ or ‘Look, there it is.’ Rather, the Father’s kingdom is spread out upon the earth, and people do not see it.'”


“I and my Father are one.” –Jesus Christ, Gospel of John (KJV) 10:30

“Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, Ye are gods?'” John 10:34; Pslam 82 

“The Father is in me and I am in the Father.” John 10:38


Jesus Christ did not create denominations. Neither the Christianity of consubstantiation nor the Christianity of transubstantiation.

Is it any wonder that the Council of Nicaea sought to destroy the teachings of Christ, as Dostoevsky understood so well in his chapter on The Grand Inquisitor, and Tolstoy when he condemned the doctrines of the Russian Orthodox Church as “sorcery”? Little did Constantine and the bishops know that quantum physics would restore them…

Frederick Glaysher

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The Myth of the Enlightenment. Essays.

The Myth of the Enlightenment: Essays

The Myth of the Enlightenment: Essays
Hardcover. ISBN: 9780982677834. Earthrise Press, September 2014. 230 pages.

The Myth of the Enlightenment: Essays. Published September, 2014.

Hardcover. ISBN: 9780982677834. Earthrise Press, September 2014. 230 pages. $22.95. Ships free in the USA within 24 hours. If purchased from this website, free shipping in the UK (from the printer in Milton Keynes) and to anywhere in the European Union, and in Australia (from the printer in Scoresby, Victoria). Elsewhere see Order Books Worldwide. DRM-free PDF $17.95. 
Free PDF Copy of the entire book
 for evaluation: The Myth of the Enlightenment: Essays

I’m afraid I’ve had to be away from The Globe for several months in order to focus on and finish writing The Myth of the Enlightenment. Now that it’s out and setup well on much of the Internet around the world, I hope to have more time to come back here and post my thoughts on things, at least once in a while.

There have been three review / blurb responses to the book so far, with more coming, I hope, with time…

Frederick Glaysher

From the Book Flaps:

Fourteen years in the making, The Myth of the Enlightenment is Frederick Glaysher’s first collection of literary essays since The Grove of the Eumenides in 2007. Divided into three sections, these essays and reviews were all written during the 21st Century, with many of them central to his evolving intellectual and spiritual struggle to write his epic poem, The Parliament of Poets, which he completed and published in late 2012.

These essays open up Glaysher’s own biography and his life-long interest in the writings of Leo Tolstoy, Rabindranath Tagore, John Milton, Saul Bellow, Robert Hayden, and other poets and writers, offering a fresh, new vision for literature and culture…


"We need Glaysher’s voice more than ever." —Phillip M. Richards, Colgate University

“In an era in which the value of human life has become as precarious and narrow as the study of the humanities itself, we need Glaysher’s voice more than ever.”
—Phillip M. Richards, Colgate University

“In short this is a book I’ll be returning to for the rest of this year and no doubt afterward. I’m glad it exists and I’m grateful for the wisdom it sends my way.” —Laurence Goldstein, University of Michigan, Department of English

“Frederick Glaysher throws down a gauntlet to all who consider themselves informed and reflective thinkers. He compels us to consider the daunting question of what we read and why. His persuasive answer is constituted by the thoughtful criticism of the Myth of Enlightenment, which insightfully examines important texts from Milton, Tagore, Tolstoy and others of that eminence. Through a series of astute readings, he grounds the canonical status of these works in their high worth as a wisdom literature. That is, they constitute the experiential knowledge gained from the examined lives of our greatest writers. Whatever one’s final judgment of this claim, it must be considered if only for the literary acumen of this author. In an era in which the value of human life has become as precarious and narrow as the study of the humanities itself, we need Glaysher’s voice more than ever.” —Phillip M. Richards, Colgate University, Department of English, author of Black Heart: The Moral Life of Recent African American Letters

“This is a marvelous book of eloquent essays by Frederick Glaysher, one that honors the old literary masters, East and West, while exploring the deepest corners of spirituality and its implication for ameliorating the conditions of modern humanity. Reading each essay, whether it be Rabindranath Tagore, Saul Bellow, Tolstoy, or Robert Hayden, as examples, feels like entering into the secret chambers of the writer’s consciousness struggling “with what is universal in the human being”—struggling to express the universality of the human spirit:

Now more than ever, after centuries of falling down into the bottomless pit of nihilism, the world needs to recover the vision of universality, what the great religions and people of various centuries and cultures have in common. For all too long, humanity has obsessed with what distinguishes and separates, what divides people from one another, setting up our little racial, nationalistic gods and idols….Universality embraces all persuasions and transcends them. That is the great challenge.

“This quest is, as Glaysher clearly reveals, the never ceasing search for creative unity to which he and many others have given over their life, through their thoughts, words, and actions. The essays in this book aim for the author’s highest vision; that is, an attempt to “embody and represent the fullness of human reflection,” an inclination intended not just for academics, but a voice for all, and one that speaks to our time. And to that end, Glaysher has allowed himself to draw “from the soil of literature and culture whatever they need to produce and sustain their fruit.” In talking about his relationship with Robert Hayden, Glaysher tells us, “his own poetry had worked its way deep in to my consciousness.” I cannot think of a better way to describe how this book impresses itself on the reader; if there are millions of people waiting for a sign, as Allan Bloom is cited as saying, then this book is assuredly evidence of what such a sign looks like.” —Julie Clayton, New Consciousness Review


Preface xi

I The Myth of the Enlightenment

“Of True Religion” by John Milton 15

Tolstoy and the Last Station of Modernity 21

Leo Tolstoy’s Hadji Murad 39

The Poet’s Religion of Rabindranath Tagore 43

Tagore and Literary Adaptation 72

Saul Bellow’s Ravelstein—The Closing of the American Soul 79

Robert Hayden Under a High Window of Angell Hall 87

Aristotle’s Poetics and Epic Poetry 104

Decadence, East and West 108

The Post-Gutenberg Revolution—A Manifesto 129

II Reviews and an Interview

Ben Jonson’s Bartholomew Fair 155

The American Scholar and the Decline of the English Department 157

Fang Lizhi and Human Rights in China 162

Bitter Winds, Indeed 167

Global Tragedies of Our Own Making 171

To My Opposite Number in Texas 173

Interview of the Author of The Bower of Nil 179

III Race in America

Robert Hayden’s Angle of Ascent 191

Creating Equal. Ward Connerly 198

Enough… Juan Williams 199

White Guilt. Shelby Steele 203

Reawakening the Dream. Shelby Steele 207

The Quest for Cosmic Justice. Thomas Sowell 210

Black Rednecks and White Liberals. Thomas Sowell 213

For Betty—Oh God, What Have We Done. David Horowitz 220

Winning the Race. John McWhorter 222

FROM the Preface

For over three-hundred years, civilization has been under the sway of the Myth of the Enlightenment. While the Enlightenment initiated a highly beneficial movement away from autocratic government and religion, a stifling reliance on past authorities, accompanied by an ever-increasing scientific and practical development, very early on stress and cracks began to be felt in the structure of the psyche and society. The twentieth century witnessed those cracks transmogrifying into crevasses of gaping and violent proportions, often circling the globe.

The last few decades have borne all the more testimony that the Myth of the Enlightenment has become part of the problem and no longer sufficiently comprises what is needed to resolve and heal what civilization is suffering from.

Speaking broadly, to reach the imagination of the entire culture, the cultural richness and plenitude of the humanities are essential and must include all of the religious and wisdom traditions. Story, myth, and drama reach the deepest into the psyche, as Carl Jung, Joseph Campbell, among others, understood, as they had learned from the greatest works of art and myth that were in fact at the core of their own studies.

Science cannot alone heal the divide that it, too, suffered as a result of the upheavals of the seventeenth century and modernity, though quantum physics suggests a transition of worldview. Neither can literature and the humanities alone heal the wound of civilization. It can only be done together, an act in itself that at last demonstrates the divide has been crossed, dramatizing it, as it were, for all to understand…

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Finished the 7th Draft of The Parliament of Poets

Man on the Moon

On June 6th I finished the 7th Draft of The Parliament of Poets, an epic poem. Tolstoy set the standard for me with his seven drafts of War and Peace. Reading about that years ago, I have never been able to forget it. He, with his wife’s help (much contention around that fact in later years), wrote out the entire manuscript, over 1,000 pages in most editions, by hand, seven times! Awesome just to think of the physical energy expended, let alone the mental, especially after having written by hand my manuscript of a mere 280 pages, five times, puny by comparison! Argh, perhaps in other ways, self-doubt barking, though I dare to think otherwise, while knowing the ultimate judgment resides with readers… as it should.

At least, I tell myself, I have, in my own terms, achieved what I set out to do, as long ago as the early 1980s: Write an epic poem, a serious one, though laden with delight, that attempts to stand with Homer, Virgil, Dante, and Milton, the other great epic poets, East and West, one that confronts, attempts to confront, the fullness of modern life, in all its global complexity, humanity’s many strands, and weave a new, universal vision of epic song. It’s been a long and lonely, arduous journey. Whatever comes of it, whatever readers think, like or detest it, ignore or spurn it, for the first time in over thirty years, it’s not a weight on my consciousness, not one I’ve yet to deliver, but done, setting on my desk.

Read my other reflections on my epic poem in the Epic Category to the right >

Frederick Glaysher


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Note on eReading and eBooks

Note on eReading and eBooks.

ebooks, eReading

ebooks, eReading

Almost all of the books and articles mentioned in my essay on Tolstoy, and many unmentioned,  were read in ePub and PDF editions from Google Books or elsewhere online.  I was often struck by the fact that I could obtain obscure works on Tolstoy that few libraries even have copies of today, including excellent early biographies, such as Alymer Maud’s two volume work, and many other books and translations. With the click of the mouse, I found myself reading some pieces that I haven’t read in thirty-five years,  previously available only through a university library. It’s shocking that there are still some people who seem to think that’s not good for literature and culture . They seriously lag behind in understanding the Post-Gutenberg Age.

Original publication in ebooks will only assure that every book may very well become a lasting part of the intellectual and cultural heritage of humanity, or at least never go out of print.

Corporate and putatively literary publishing do not constitute some kind of privileged system or means for identifying and promoting the “best” writers; in fact, they are self-serving, commercial enterprises that shore up both the nihilistic vision of life that has become endemic during the last 150 years and the monetary bottom-lines based on such received wisdom.

Little beyond the most predictable, secular, despairing visions of life that have made up the cliched canned goods of modernity can be found coming from most of the publishing industry today.

I stopped looking to them, and the so-called literary magazines, for anything worthwhile in the early 1990s, went into my study, and closed the door. I believe it’s the best thing I could ever have done.

I would argue that the publishing industry intentionally cultivates the notion that they alone are NOT self-interested, a complete falsehood, especially when one realizes they’re taking 88% or more of the profit from the sale of a book! They have no special right to it. Only writers who are gullible fools would give it to them in this age when it is now so easy for authors to reach readers directly by themselves.

It’s not merely a matter of money for writers. It’s also about the freedom of ideas and communication, censorship, who receives a hearing and who doesn’t, the free exchange of ideas. The gatekeepers imagine they know who and what and how society should be influenced and shaped, but, in reality, the cynical, decadent publishing industry, along with the university, has destroyed culture, literature, and poetry, marginalized it by driving it ever further from life, into the pathetic games of deconstruction, “language,” and so on.

One part of the Post-Gutenberg Age is that it has provided the technological means to reach, develop, cultivate an entirely new stage of human civilization, purpose, and meaning. The pathetic executives of publishing corporations aren’t even remotely interested in exploring anything substantively challenging to the received bottom-line they inherited… figuratively and literally.

The real shift in culture I’m arguing for isn’t about me. It’s about life outside my head… that is what would constitute an aesthetic revolution today. The Internet, eBooks, and social networks make that a distinct possibility.

Here is what every writer on the planet can now do for under a hundred dollars: https://books.fglaysher.com

The publishing industry has been downhill for decades. Jason Epstein is an enlightening source in that regard. eBooks already constitute, by objective industry account, 5 to 8% of all book sales. Within a few years, at present growth, it will be over 50% of ALL BOOKS SOLD. The “big publishers” will only have left about 25% of printed book sales, so “big” isn’t a word they’re going to be hanging on to.

Many publishers are delusional about the value they bring to the art. Nada… The self-serving justifications of the NY publishers and their ilk are pathetic and laughable. They should be worrying about ebooks because they indeed do spell “the end” for many of them.

Faber, Carcanet, New Directions, et al… Add in all of the major magazines and journals… Every one of them dedicated to a small, narrow, exhausted vision of life and poetry… All they guarantee is that there will be NOTHING unexpected in their pages. That’s a major part of the reason why the art and the academy have lost the community. They’re no different from the community… The arguments defending publishers are all the usual, tiresome ones, cliches. Speaking about them as ideas, they’re weak ideas in the extreme. It’s painful letting go of icons that become senile and sully themselves…

Banding together into coteries is ALWAYS a sign in literary history of exhaustion, imaginative, spiritual, literary exhauuuussstion… That’s what much of the problem is with the art. eBooks and eReading offer a way to go around the decadent and worthless way in which the art has been manipulated and controlled for decades, often by publishers and the self-appointed cliques. It’s a tremendously exciting sign of HOPE for the future.

A book or poem is something other than the way it is printed, cuneiform tablet, papyrus, vellum, etc. Poetry and writing are ideas, consciousness codified, constituting the true Platonic Book.

Codex or scroll, poets today can have either… It’s merely a matter of *coding.* Aren’t there already remedial html workshops for poets springing up all over the country? Now there’s an idea that probably somebody could definitely cash in on…

The middlemen have changed, as have the incentives that drive them. Many are, and have clearly been, catering to transferring the vanity press business to POD and ebooks. Others are seriously OPEN to new relationships with writers… So, publishing, ePublishing and otherwise, has become a complex picture, as life is, but has definitely emerged into a Post-Gutenberg Age… leaving many behind.

Every age has its Luddities. There are plenty of eLuddites about, moaning and groaning, while time passes them by. I believe many writers of the past would have welcomed the sheer opportunity and excitement of ebooks and seized the day…

Any writer or poet can now SURF across the lake and sell his or her books in the UK and almost anywhere else on the planet. Kobo Books

Any writer who can use a word processor ought to be able to create an ePub ebook, all of which will only become easier and easier…. Poets hawked their broadsides in the streets of London… There isn’t any reason why they shouldn’t on the information highway…

Poets need to get their heads out of the electronic sand on ebooks… before the entire younger generation is lost to the art.

Further reflections on epublishing at Post-Gutenberg Publishing.

Frederick Glaysher

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