Category Archives: Wes Phelan

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THE ART OF WAR by SUN TZU

THE ART OF WAR by SUN TZU , the ancient Chinese master of war, plays an important part in Awakening The Beast, second in the Beast book series. There was a recent blog about Sun Tzu. Now you can read excerpts from his book, The Art of War.

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All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.

If [the enemy] is secure at all points, be prepared for him. If he [has] superior strength, evade him.

Pretend to be weak, that [the enemy] may grow arrogant.

If [the enemy] is taking his ease, give him no rest. If his forces are united, separate them.

Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected.

WAGING WAR

Though we have heard of stupid haste in war, cleverness has never been seen associated with long delays.

There is no instance of a country having benefited from prolonged warfare.

Bring war materials with you from home, but forage on the enemy… One cartload of the enemy’s provisions is equivalent to twenty of one’s own.

In chariot fighting, when ten or more chariots have been taken, our own flags should be substituted for those of the enemy, and the chariots mingled and used in conjunction with ours. The captured soldiers should be [treated] kindly… This is called, using the conquered foe to augment one’s own strength.

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WHAT IS A CAMEL?

The camel plays an important role in Awakening the Beast.  They are unique animals that can survive  in the extreme heat of the desert for long periods of time without water. Below are excerpts from Wikipedia on the subject:

Dromedary camel

Dromedary camel

Camels are [a hooved animal with] distinctive fatty deposits [on their backs] known as “humps”. [There are two types-] the dromedary, or one-humped camel …of  the Middle East and … Africa; and the bactrian, or two-humped camel … [of] Central Asia. Both species have been domesticated; they provide milk, meat, [and hair for cloth]. [They] are working animals with tasks ranging from human transport to bearing loads.

The term “camel” is derived [from a] Hebrew [word [meaning] going without… This refers to [the animal’s] ability to go without food or water …

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Photo Tour Through Israel

This is a Photo Tour Through Israel.  The photo above is a tomb and one of two possible places where Jesus was placed after His crucifixion. My wife and I visited in April 2012. Israel is smaller than most states but packed with history and significance. Photos can’t capture the power of walking the ground or seeing the sites for yourself. Click on the photos below to enlarge them.

The remains of Herod's castle at Masada.

The remains of Herod’s palace at Masada.

Temple Mount from the Mount of Olives. The gold is the Dome of the Rock.

Temple Mount from the Mount of Olives. The gold is the Dome of the Rock.

The Wailing Wall. This is what remains of the original Temple Mount. The Dome of the Rock is on the top out of view.

The Wailing Wall. This is what remains of the original Temple Mount. The Dome of the Rock is on the top out of view.

 

The Gates of Hell in Caesarea Phillipi in northern Israel. Once the site of a temple to the god Pan. Where Jesus was when He said the Gates of Hell would not prevail.

The Gates of Hell in Caesarea Phillipi in northern Israel. Once the site of a temple to the god Pan. Where Jesus was when He said the Gates of Hell would not prevail.

The tomb where the body of Jesus was buried.

The tomb where the body of Jesus was buried.

Place inside the tomb where the body of Jesus was laid.

Place inside the tomb where the body of Jesus was laid.

Looking out from inside the tomb of Jesus.

Looking out from inside the tomb of Jesus.

Sea of Galilee at dawn. Sea is really a large lake.

Sea of Galilee at dawn. Sea is really a large lake.

Jordan River to the north.

Jordan River to the north.

Jordan River in southern Israel. This is where John the Baptist baptized Jesus. The site is seen from the Jordan side of the river.

Jordan River in southern Israel. This is where John the Baptist baptized Jesus. The site is seen from the Jordan side of the river.

Valley of Jezreel where the Battle of Armageddon will be fought.

Valley of Jezreel where the Battle of Armageddon will be fought.

Roman ruins at Beth Shean where the body of King Saul was hung up.

Roman ruins at Beth Shean where the body of King Saul was hung up.

Close up of the cliff of Golgotha. The face of a skull is still visible despite millennia of erosion.

Close up of the cliff of Golgotha where Jesus was crucified. The face of a skull is still visible despite millennia of erosion.

Standing on the ground where the angel announced the birth of Jesus to the shepherds.

Standing on the ground where the angel announced the birth of Jesus to the shepherds.

Ruins of Capernaum. In the background is a church built over the home of the Apostle Peter.

Ruins of Capernaum. In the background is a church built over the home of the Apostle Peter.

Garden of Gethsemane with ancient olive trees. One tree dates back to time of Jesus.

Garden of Gethsemane with ancient olive trees. One tree dates back to time of Jesus.

Church of the Holy Sepulchre with the possible sites of the Crucifixion and Burial of Jesus.

Church of the Holy Sepulchre with possible sites of the Crucifixion and Burial of Jesus.

Remains of Roman aqueduct in Caesarea

Remains of Roman aqueduct in Caesarea

Birth place of Jesus in Bethlehem.

Birth place of Jesus in Bethlehem.

 Ruins of the synagogue in Capernaum where Jesus read the scriptures to the Jews.


Ruins of the synagogue in Capernaum where Jesus read the scriptures to the Jews.

Friend riding a camel with the Mount of Temptations behind him.

Friend riding a camel with the Mount of Temptations behind him.

Gate in the wall around the city of Jerusalem

Gate in the wall around the city of Jerusalem

Cave of Qumran in the desert of southern Israel. This is where the first Dead Sea Scrolls were found.

Cave of Qumran in the desert of southern Israel. This is where the first Dead Sea Scrolls were found.

Site on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee the  where Jesus met the apostles after His resurrection and cooked fish.apostles.

Northern shore of the Sea of Galilee. Where Jesus met the apostles after His resurrection and cooked fish.

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SLAVERY

In Soul of the Beast, John and his mates are captured and taken somewhere to be sold as slaves. What is a slave?

The usual concept of a slave is someone who is owned by another person, much like a horse or a dog. The slave has no rights and must do anything the slave owner tells him or her to do. The owner can punish the slave as often and as severely as he or she chooses.  The owner can kill the slave for any and no reason. Using this definition, many people throughout history were in fact slaves even though they were called something else:

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Ziggurat at Ur

Ancient City of Ur

sumerian1The ancient city of Ur was real and is important to  Awakening the Beast. Ur was located in the southern Arabian Peninsula and mentioned in Genesis as the home of Abraham. It was an ancient city of the Sumerians, the earliest known civilization.  The remains of Ur were found in the 1920’s by an archeologist named Wolley..  Continue reading

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THE SOUTH AFRICAN GOLD RUSH

THE SOUTH AFRICAN GOLD RUSH

SOB Gold Rush2The Soul of the Beast happens at the time of the South African Gold Rush, John Sexton sails to South Africa and hides in the gold fields to escape  death from his family’s curse. Below are excerpts from an online article about the Gold Rush by goldavenue.com/Info .

The initial riches found in South Africa were diamonds, not gold. The first diamond was found near the … northern Cape Province in 1867… within three years, the region [was] alive with diggers … from all over the world [trying] to build up diamond fortunes … Among them was Cecil Rhodes [founder of the Rhodes scholarship] …. Continue reading

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Background: John Sexton, His Curse, His Mates

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John Sexton is a central character of Soul of the Beast and the person who tells the story. He was born into an aristocratic British family and grew up with all the benefits of wealth and social status. His life was perfect until the Curse began.

The Curse. One by one, the adult men of the Sexton family die mysteriously. After the last Sexton adult man dies, the sons die on the first day of their eighteenth year.  John Sexton is the next to turn eighteen. With his doom just months away, John attempts to escape his fate by sailing to South Africa and hiding among the gold fields.sob-goldmines

David is John’s mate and the son of a poor South African farmer. He has a claim in the gold fields near John’s. When miners attempt to kill John, David fights them off and saves John’s life. The two become mates and work their claims together. When John sails to Australia, David goes along to protect him.  sob-thuggees

Mick Kelly is another of John’s mates. He is the son of an Irish convict sentenced to ten years of forced labor in Australia.  Mick’s mother and father both die, and he is forced to live on the streets of Derby. Mick teaches himself to read and, with his street smarts, becomes a reporter for the local newspaper. Mick says, “A good reporter knows where the bodies are buried.”

Want to know more background to Soul of the Beast? Post your questions and comments below.  I’m ready to answer any questions you have about the book.

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What is Destiny?

Destiny plays a large and subtle part in the Soul of the Beast, Destiny is the invisible force that controls history  and, through a series of preordained events, leads to  inevitable outcomes. The words Destiny and Fate are used interchangeably but have a subtle difference. With Destiny, events and outcomes are determined by the inherent nature of the universe  and “fixed in stone”.  With Fate, events and outcomes are determined by the actions of people or a force, such as a god, and can be changed. Fate in ancient times was represented by the image of three women weaving the  lives of humans into a fabric.

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Quotes from Soul Of The Beast

Quotes  from Soul Of The Beast SOB fighting monk

(Regarding a poker game) It’s not cheating when all the money on the table is yours. (Mick)

When there is only one choice, choose it. (Mick)

When you got people afraid of you, you’ve got real power. (Mick)

Getting you in won’t be hard. But getting you out, that’s the tricky part.  (Mick)

(Also about a poker game) That wasn’t cheating. That was livening up the game. (Mick)

The only remedy for a bad defense was a good offense. (John)

SOB Himalayas6Thugs don’t leave witnesses, at least alive. (Mick)

Living on the streets teaches you where the bodies are buried. (Mick)

The live dog is better than a dead lion. (Mick quoting the Bible.) Continue reading

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What Is A Jackal?

The Jackal plays an important part in Awakening The Beast. However, the animals in the story are fiction. Real jackals are much smaller and none of them are pure black or have blue eyes. Below are excerpts from Wikipedia about real jackals.

ATBjackal1The jackal is a small- to medium-sized …[dog-like animal. There are] three species: the black-backed jackal, the side-striped jackal of sub-Saharan Africa, and the golden jackal of northern Africa … Continue reading