A serialization of a forthcoming book to be published by Manhandle Press
Most people who leave their home and are forced into a private law case simply to be allowed to continue bringing-up their own children, are never the same person again - and yes, most of these people are fathers.
Realising that a Court of Law can be both blatantly biased, but also perfectly legal, on an issue so fundamental to your rights and existence as a human being is a shock that can unhinge a person's core beliefs.
Help is available on how to cope with the economics of your divorced or separation, and how to survive the psychological & emotional abuse of the Family Court's 'Mother Centric' policy. Yet there are no answers on how to transform yourself after the event, once you realise that many of the precepts you held on fairness, justice, law, love and loyalty, were all illusionary.
Some people spend the rest of their lives campaigning for change in the Family Courts and the law. Others blame the unbalancing cult of feminism, and join in the 'battle of the sexes.' Many pick-themselves-up and try again, in the courts, or in a new relationship. A few search for an altogether new way of living, while some others simply let go.
We are all beautifully different and diverse. There is no way of prescribing your transformation. What I try to do below is offer some readings that may act as a catalyst, [Manhandle Press].
Ajahn Sucitto is a remarkable British Buddhist Monk of the Thai Theravada tradition. He studied in Thailand before becoming part of a community under Abbot Ajahn Sumedho, now retired, who was sent to the UK with the teachings of a Thai monk from Nong Khai: the Venerable Ajahn Chah.
Buddhism teaches enlightenment through mediation, not thinking, and non-attachment – to almost anything including: a name, a place, possessions, and personal attachments. Few have demonstrated this to me in practice as much as Ajahn Sucitto. He was appointed Abbot of two-monasteries in the UK, and then gave-up his position and instead wanders the world in his saffron robes following invites to teach meditation and Buddhism. Yet, he shuns followers.
Some say Dharma (Buddhist teachings) cannot be written down, as it is in the spoken words of a spiritual teacher at a particular moment in time. The author was clear: this book is not Dharma. What it does offer are the sparse words and imagery of someone who may be closer to understanding Dharma than the rest of us, and in those thoughts, inspire us. In what way, I do not know.
An out-of-print book, but one Manhandle Press will be relaunching. In the meantime, a re-edited Amazon-Kindle Ebook (only) version is available under a different title: Sugar Baby . Manhandle Press, UK. By Mark Lindsay.
This is a work of fiction that explores the chaotic relationship of love, infatuation and sex, within the human condition. It is set against the backdrop of a recently divorced, corporate manager, Peter James, out to recreate a gap-year by backpacking across The Philippines, but who, with his barriers down, is easily seduced by a wayward, younger woman.
Written at a time when Hollywood films and TV programs were borrowing Buddhist concepts, such as: The Matrix, My name is Earl, and Avatar, the book is set in the late 1990s. Pop-music had first entered the era of overt sexualisation and burlesque dancing - until then only found in escort bars - the Spice Girls had just released their first single, and smoking was still allowed on aeroplanes. Throughout the story, supported by three male protagonists, are commentaries on the cultural changes of the 1900s, the effects of feminism, and the permissive society. As such, Peter’s tale can be seen as a turn-of-the- 21st Century combination of: Coming up for air, Burmese Days, Lolita, and Saint Jack.
The author attacks feminism – “the most influential social ideology of our age” – which he says has fostered a perverted orthodoxy, poisoning relations between men and women. Rather than being an emancipating force, Lyndon argues that the sex war is hopelessly outdated and against the interests of most men and women, which, he argues, are mostly identical.
Lyndon says he wrote the book in three-months following a bitter Family Court battle over his son. It certainly reads like it was written in three-months, and clearly the author is a newspaper journalist first and novelist second or third. If you can find your way through his self-indulgent ranting, within this book is one of the first voices of dissent to the PC world in which all in the UK are now forced to live.
Available in Print and Kindle Ebook ISBN: 978-0-86171-111-6. Wisdom Publications, MA. USA, 1997.
Buddhist enlightenment, or nibbāna, is often taken to be a mythical concept, or in other ways unattainable, except perhaps through the teachings and practices reserved for monks. Buddhadasa Bhikku was the founder of the first modern forest monastery in Thailand, called Wat Suan Mokkhablarama (Suan Mokkh for short), 640 Km South of Bangkok. He taught a practice of meditation open to all which detailed a sixteen-step process to reach a state of consciousness similar to that attained by the Buddha. What is remarkable, as well as the fact he taught lay-practitioners, was that someone wrote it down. Thankfully, this was then translated from Thai.
If you can get passed the repetitive and stilted-language, typical of such works, and the tiresome referrals to Pali words, this book might enable you to practice mediation as taught by Buddha in his Anapanasati Sutta. You can take lessons in the first steps of this practice at the Dharma Heritage Hermitage (and international meditation centre) attached to Wat Suan Mokkh.
A one of the best books of the genre: how things are done from the point of view of a lawyer (who is being paid to be there and has nothing to lose). It is out of date, and so not for those in the midst of a court case, but what it does have is readability. For those who are considering a second-go at the Family Courts, delving into this work is likely to broaden your understanding of the thinking behind, and the processes of, Court paperwork and hearings. Unlike others, such as Lucy Reed’s tome, it does not bury you in detail or hit you over the head with a bunch of law-student notes. It has a wealth of practical tips, for example, on drafting statements, addressing the court, answering questions during cross-examination and dealing with lawyers at court.
In print and Ebook (notably not Kindle) ISBN: 9780241351642 and audio book versions. Allen Lane, (Imprint, Penguin Books Ltd), 2018. By Jordan Peterson.
I have to include Jordan Peterson in this reading list, simply because he is a hot current writer. As an acclaimed clinical psychologist, he has become one of the world's most popular public thinkers with his lectures drawing tens of millions of viewers.
In this book, Peterson claims to provide twelve practical principles for how to live a meaningful life, from setting your house in order before criticising others to comparing yourself to who you were yesterday, not someone else today. Happiness, he says, is a pointless goal. Instead, we must search for meaning, not for its own sake, but as a defence against the suffering that is intrinsic to our existence. 12 Rules for Life sets out to offer us an antidote to the chaos in our lives.