Tag Archives: wesphelan

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Sun Tzu, The Man

Sun Tzu was an ancient Chinese military general. His book, The Art of War, is still used today and plays a significant part in Awakening The Beast. Below are excerpts from Wikipedia on the subject.

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Sun Tzu … was a [Sixth Century BC] Chinese military general …. [and] the author of The Art of War, an extremely influential ancient Chinese book on military strategy. …

Interesting story about Sun Tzu

… Before hiring Sun Tzu, the King … tested Sun Tzu’s skills by commanding him to train a harem of 180 concubines into soldiers. Sun Tzu divided them into two companies, appointing the two concubines most favored by the king as the company commanders. When Sun Tzu first ordered the concubines to face right, they giggled …Sun Tzu … reiterated the command, and again the concubines giggled. Sun Tzu then ordered the execution of the king’s two favored concubines.…After both concubines were killed, new officers were chosen to replace them. Afterwards, both companies… performed their maneuvers flawlessly. Continue reading

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Was Calcutta Poverty Really That Bad?

WAS CALCUTTA POVERTY REALLY THAT BAD?

The main characters in Soul of the Beast travel to Calcutta, India and experience the extreme poverty that still exists today. When someone says  the poor of America are rich compared with Calcutta, Americans often scoff.  But Mother Theresa knew this was true and spent her life giving comfort to the poor of Calcutta. Below are excerpts from an online article on the subject by Backpacking Tips Asia:

India is an amazing country to travel in …But unfortunately, the poverty [ in India is overwhelming.] Poverty can roughly be divided into absolute poverty, [what we see in India] or relative poverty [what we see in the United States].

calcutta5Absolute poverty is what you see on television … when they show skinny children from… Africa…the absolute poverty line is $1.25 per day.In other words, if a person is living on $1.25 or less per day, that person is living in absolute poverty. Continue reading

Garden Tomb of Jesus

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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HIMALAYAN MONKS

tibetan-monk1Himalayan monks play a huge part in the Beast Series. This is part of the collection of monk photos I assembled during my research for the books. The collection is extensive and very interesting. The photos come from National Geographic and other online sources. To see the rest of the photos, click here: MONK PHOTOS

 

 

 

 

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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