Author, Poet & Novelist: Author of the Novel Spiritus Mundi
Spiritus Mundi, Novel by Robert Sheppard
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Robert Sheppard , Author, Poet & Novelist
Professor of World and Comparative Literature
Professor of International Law
Senior Associate, Committee for a Democratic United Nations (KDUN)

Robert Sheppard is the author of the acclaimed dual novel Spiritus Mundi, in two parts, Spiritus Mundi the Novel, Book I and … Read More
Robert Sheppard , Author, Poet & Novelist
Professor of World and Comparative Literature
Professor of International Law
Senior Associate, Committee for a Democratic United Nations (KDUN)

Robert Sheppard is the author of the acclaimed dual novel Spiritus Mundi, in two parts, Spiritus Mundi the Novel, Book I and Spiritus Mundi the Romance, Book II. The acclaimed “global novel” features espionage-terror-political-religious thriller-action criss-crossing the globe involving MI6. the CIA and Chinese MSS Intelligence as well as a "People Power" campaign to establish a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly on the model of the European Parliament, with action moving from Beijing to London to Washington, Mexico City and Jerusalem while presenting a vast panorama of the contemporary international world, including compelling action and surreal adventures. It also contains the unfolding sexual, romantic and family relationships of many of its principal and secondary characters, and a significant dimension of spiritual searching through "The Varieties of Religious Experience." It contains also significant discussions of World Literature, including Chinese, Indian, Western and American literature, and like Joyce's Ulysses, it incorporates a vast array of stylistic approaches as the story unfolds. Book II, Spiritus Mundi the Romance, dilates the setting, scope and continuing action as a Romance of fantasy adventure where the protagonists, still following the original action of Book I, embark on a quest to the realms of Middle Earth and its Crystal Bead Game in search of the Silmaril Missing Seed Crystal and thence through a wormhole to a "Council of the Immortals" in an Amphitheater in the center of the Milky Way Galaxy to plead for the continuance of the human race in the face of threatened extinction from a nuclear World War III involving the confrontation and military showdown between NATO, China, Russia and Iran unfolded from the espionage events of Book I. The contemporary epic culminates with the first convening of the United Nations Parliamentary Assembly, a world-scale version of the European Parliament installed as a new organ of the United Nations.

Dr. Sheppard presently serves as a Professor of International Law and World Literature at Peking University, Northeastern University and the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) of China, and has previously served as a Professor of International Law and MBA professor at Tsinghua University, Renmin People’s University, the China University of Politics and Law and at the Law Institute of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) in Beijing, China. Having studied Law, Comparative Literature and politics at the University of California, Berkeley (Ph. D.) Program in Comparative Literature), Northridge, Tübingen, Heidelberg, the People’s College and San Francisco, (BA, MA, JD), he additionally has been active as professor of International Trade, Private International Law, and Public International Law from 1993 to 1998 at Xiamen University, Beijing Foreign Studies University, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Graduate School (CASS), and the China University of Political Science and Law in Beijing. Since 2000 he has served as a Senior Consultant to the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in Beijing and has authored numerous papers on the democratic reform of the United Nations system. Read Less
Introducing Spiritus Mundi, a Novel by Robert Sheppard: Highlights

TO BUY SPIRITUS MUNDI BOOK I: THE NOVEL BY ROBERT SHEPPARD ONLINE NOW AT SMASHWORDS CLICK HERE:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/303856

TO BUY SPIRITUS MUNDI BOOK II: THE ROMANCE BY ROBERT SHEPPARD ONLINE NOW AT SMASHWORDS CLICK HERE:

htt… Read More
Introducing Spiritus Mundi, a Novel by Robert Sheppard: Highlights

TO BUY SPIRITUS MUNDI BOOK I: THE NOVEL BY ROBERT SHEPPARD ONLINE NOW AT SMASHWORDS CLICK HERE:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/303856

TO BUY SPIRITUS MUNDI BOOK II: THE ROMANCE BY ROBERT SHEPPARD ONLINE NOW AT SMASHWORDS CLICK HERE:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/303798



Introducing Spiritus Mundi, a Novel by Robert Sheppard
Author’s E-mail: rsheppard99_2000@yahoo.com
Related Links and Websites: Spiritus Mundi, Novel by Robert Sheppard
For Introduction and Overview of the Novel: https://spiritusmundinovel.wordpress.com/
For Updates on the Upcoming Movie Version of the Novel, Spiritus Mundi & Casting of Actors and Actresses for Leading Roles See: http://robertalexandersheppard.wordpress.com/
For Author’s Blog: https://robertalexandersheppard.wordpress.com//
To Read Abut the Occupy Wall Street Movement in Spiritus Mundi: http://occupywallstreetnovel.wordpress.com/
To Read a Sample Chapter from Spiritus Mundi: https://spiritusmundisamplechapters.wordpress.com/
To Read Fantasy, Myth and Magical Realism Excerpts from Spiritus Mundi: https://spiritusmundifantasymythandmagicalrealism.wordpress.com/
To Read Sexual Excerpts from Spiritus Mundi: The Varieties of Sexul Experience: https://spiritusmundivarietiesofsexualexperience.wordpress.com/
To Read Spy, Espionage and Counter-terrorism Thriller Excerpts from Spiritus Mundi: http://spiritusmundispyespionagecounterterrorism.wordpress.com/
To Read Geopolitical and World War Three Excerpts from Spiritus Mundi: https://spiritusmundigeopoliticalworldwar3.wordpress.com/
To Read Spiritual and Religious Excerpts from Spiritus Mundi: https://spiritusmundionspiritualityandreligion.wordpress.com/
To Read about the Global Campaign for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly in Spiritus Mundi: https://spiritusmundiunitednationsparliamentaryassembly.wordpress.com/
To Read Poetry from Spiritus Mundi:https://spiritusmundipoetry.wordpress.com/
For Discussions on World Literature and Literary Criticism in Spiritus Mundi: http://worldliteratureandliterarycriticism.wordpress.com/
For Discussions of World History and World Civilization in Spiritus Mundi: https://worldhistoryandcivilizationspiritusmundi.wordpress.com/
To Read the Blog of Eva Strong from Spiritus Mundi: https://evasblogfromspiritusmundi.wordpress.com/
To Read the Blog of Andreas Sarkozy from Spiritus Mundi: http://andreasblogfromspiritusmundi.wordpress.com/
To Read the Blog of Yoriko Oe from Spiritus Mundi: http://yorikosblogfromspiritusmundi.wordpress.com/
To Read the Blog of Robert Sartorius from Spiritus Mundi: http://sartoriusblogfromspiritusmundi.wordpress.com/


ON SPIRITUS MUNDI


“Read Robert Sheppard's sprawling, supple novel, Spiritus Mundi, an epic story of global intrigue and sexual and spiritual revelation. Compelling characters, wisdom, insight, and beautiful depictions of locations all over the world will power you through the book. You'll exit wishing the story lines would go on and on.” May 13, 2012

Robert McDowell, Editor, Writer, Marketer, Editorial Cra, The Nature of Words

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“Robert Sheppard's novel, "Spiritus Mundi," has everything. "Spiritus Mundi" is Latin, meaning "spirit" or "soul of the world." According to the Norton Anthology of English Literature, the phrase refers to "the spirit or soul of the universe" with which all individual souls are connected through the "Great Memory." This amazing novel is all inclusive and unceasingly riveting. If you are interested in politics, philosophy, human relationships, sex, intrigue, betrayal, poetry and even philosophy --- buy and read "Spiritus Mundi"!”November 18, 2012
Raymond P. Keen, School Psychologist, Department of Defense Dependents Schools (DODDS)
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“Robert Sheppard's new novel “Spiritus Mundi” is a new twist on a well-loved genre. Robert leaves no stone unturned in this compelling page turner you’ll experience mystery, suspense, thrills, and excitement. Robert touches on sexuality and spirituality in such a way that the reader is compelled to ask themselves “what would you do if faced with these trials?” Robert is a master at taking the reader out of their own lives and into the world he created. If you’re looking for a “can’t put down” read pick up Spiritus Mundi!” May 20, 2012

Nicole Breanne, Content Coordinator, Ranker.com
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“Longing for a thrilling experience of the sexual and spiritual world? Expecting a thorough summoning of your inner heart? Aspiring to find an extraordinary voice to enlighten your understanding heart? Then you can’t miss this extraordinary novel, Spiritus Mundi by Robert Sheppard. The author will spirit you into a exciting world filled with fantasy, myth, conflicts and wisdom from a fresh perspective. Don’t hesitate, just turn to the 1st page and start out enjoying this marvellous journey.”November 17, 2012
Alina Mu Liu, Official Interpreter, Editor & Translator, HM Courts & Tribunal Service, London UK & the United Nations
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“Robert Sheppard's Spiritus Mundi is a literary novel for those with an extensive vocabulary, and who believe how you tell a story is as important as what occurs in it. It is as current as today's headlines.

Jaime Martinez-Tolentino, Writer” November 19, 2012

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“Robert Sheppard's exciting new novel, Spiritus Mundi, is an unforgettable read and epic journey of high adventure and self-discovery across the scarred landscape of the modern world and into the mysteries beyond. Its compelling saga reveals the sexual and spiritual lives of struggling global protesters and idealists overcoming despair, nuclear terrorism, espionage and a threatened World War III to bring the world together from the brink of destruction with a revolutionary United Nations Parliamentary Assembly and spiritual rebirth. This modern epic is a must read and compelling vision of the future for all Citizens of the Modern World and a beacon of hope pointing us all towards a better world struggling against all odds to be born.” May 19, 2012

Lara Biyuts, Reviewer and Blogger at Goodreads.com and Revue Blanche

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“Robert Sheppard's "Spiritus Mundi" is a book of major importance and depth. A must read for any thinking, compassionate human being living in these perilous times. I highly recommend this powerful testament of the current course of our so-called life on his planet. April 25, 2012
Doug Draime Writer, Freelance
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“This new novel 'Spiritus Mundi' brings together history, politics, future society, and blends with a plausible World War Three scenario. I have read it and find it over the top fascinating. I am very glad to see Robert share his creativity with the world through this work of fiction, and know it will be a huge hit.” April 28, 2012
Jim Rogers, Owner and Director, AXL
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“Robert Sheppard is an exceptional thinker! His work should be read and made the subject of critical study.”May 26, 2012
Georgia Banks-Martin, Editor, New Mirage Journal
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“This novel rocks the reader with its supple strength. You want to say "No, No," and you end up saying, "Maybe." Political science fiction at its highest, most memorable level.”November 17, 2012
Carl Macki, Owner, Carl Macki Social Media
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“Robert Sheppard's Novel Spiritus Mundi confronts politics and philosophies of the world. He's examined multiple layers of personality in his characters; male, female, Chinese, Arab, English, and American melding them into a story of possible outcomes. How else can I convey the intelligent presentation of fiction woven with sensitivity to our world's governments, religious influences and sectarian principles? We must not forget the influence of a largely secular world. Robert tirelessly checked, rechecked and triple checked his resources in order to bring a fiction of occurrence, and psychological impact as set forth in his novel Spiritus Mundi.”November 18, 2012
Glenda Fralin, Author, Organization NWG
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“Robert was one of my best guests. His novel is as wide ranging as are his interests and expertise. He can explain his various ideas with great clarity and he does this with compassion. Novel is worthwhile reading.”November 18, 2012
Dr. Robert Rose, Radio Show Host, www.blogtalkradio.com/icdrrose
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I write to introduce to your attention my double novel Spiritus Mundi, consisting of Spiritus Mundi, the Novel—Book I, and Spiritus Mundi, the Romance—Book II. Book I’s espionage-terror-political-religious thriller-action criss-crosses the globe from Beijing to London to Washington, Mexico City and Jerusalem presenting a vast panorama of the contemporary international world, including compelling action, deep and realistic characters and surreal adventures, while Book II dialates the setting and scope into a fantasy (though still rooted in the real) adventure where the protagonists embark on a quest to the realms of Middle Earth and its Crystal Bead Game and through a wormhole to the Council of the Immortals in the Amphitheater in the center of the Milky Way Galaxy in search of the crucial Silmaril Crystal, and to plead for the continuance of the human race in the face of threatened extinction from a nuclear World War III, all followed by a triple-somersault thriller ending in which a common garden-variety terrorist attack is first uncovered by MI6 and the CIA as the opening gambit a Greatpower Game of States threatening World War III and then, incredibly, as the nexus of a Time Travel conspiracy involving an attempt by fascist forces of the 23rd Century to alter a benign World History by a time-travelling raid on their past and our present to provoke that World War III, foiled by the heroic efforts of the democratic 23rd Century world government, the Senate of the United States of Earth, to hunt down the fascist interlopers before their history is irrevocably altered for evil.

When activist Robert Sartorius, leading a global campaign to create a European Parliament-style world-wide United Nations Parliamentary Assembly presses the proposal in New York on his old friend the UN Secretary-General and is rebuffed due to the hostile pressure of the conservative American administration, his Committee resolves to fight back by launching a celebrity-driven Bono-Geldof-Band Aid/Live 8-style “People Power” media campaign and telethon spearheaded by rock superstars Isis and Osiris and former UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali to mobilize global public support and pressure in alliance with the Occupy Wall Street Movements worldwide. The Blogs of Sartorius, activist Eva Strong and Committee Chairman Andreas Sarkozy reveal the campaign’s working struggle, their tangled love affairs, a loss of faith, attempted suicide, reconciliation of father and son after divorce, and recovery of personal love and faith.

Things fall apart as the idealists’ global crusade is infiltrated by a cell of jihadist terrorists using it as a cover, then counter-infiltrated by CIA agent Jack McKinsey and British MI6 agent Etienne Dearlove. A cat-and-mouse game of espionage and intrigue ensues pitting them against the Chinese MSS espionage network allied with the Iranian Quds Force crossing Beijing, London, Moscow, Washington and Jerusalem unleashing an uncontrollable series of events which sees the American Olympic Track and Field Team bombed on an airplane in London, uncovers a secret conspiracy of China, Russia and Iran to jointly seize the oil reserves of the Middle-East, and witnesses Presidents Clinton and Carter taken hostage with Sartorius, McKinsey, Eva and other activists at a Jerusalem telethon rally cut short by the explosion of a concealed atomic device in a loaned Chinese Terracotta Warrior, then flown by capturing terrorists to Qom, Iran as “human shields” to deter a retaliatory nuclear attack.

In Book II, Spiritus Mundi, the Romance they encounter Iran’s Supreme Leader in Qom as the world teeters on the brink of nuclear confrontation and World War III, while mysterious events unfold leading Sartorius and McKinsey from their captivity in the underground nuclear facilities of Qom into a hidden neo-mythic dimension that takes them to a vast ocean and land at the center of the world, Middle Earth, Inner Shambhala, and to involvement in a mysterious Castalian “Crystal Bead Game” linked to the destiny of the human race on earth. They then embark on a quest for the Silmaril, or Missing Seed Crystal to the central island of Omphalos in the Great Central Sea in the middle of the globe, aided by Goethe, the Chinese Monkey King, Captain Nemo, the African God-Hero Ogun, and a Sufi mystic they traverse a ‘wormhole’ at the center of the earth guarded by ‘The Mothers’ and the fallen angel tribe of the Grigori (Genesis 6:1-4) which leads the way to critical meeting of the “Council of the Immortals” at the Black Hole in the center of the Milky Way Galaxy to determine the final fate of the human species. The heroes battle and overcome the treacherous opposition of Mephisto and his satanic subaltern Mundus through their Underworld and Otherworld adventures and successfully plead the cause of the continuation of the human species before the Immortals, returning with the critical Silmaril Crystal, resolving the Crystal Bead Game and thereby inspiring through the Archangel Gabriel a dream in the mind of Iran’s Supreme Leader which brings a new Revelation causing him to release the hostages and an end the crisis. China and Russia stand down from aiding Iran in seizing the Mid-East oil reserves, but in a treacherous blow the Chinese instead utilize their forward-positioned armies to attack their former ally Russia and seize Siberia with its large oil and gas reserves instead. President Barret Osama, America’s newly-elected first black President then invites Russia, Japan and South Korea to join NATO and together they succeed in expelling the Chinese from Siberia and usher in a new Eurasian and global balance of power and a New World Order.

Rock Superstar Osiris meanwhile, after undertaking a narcissistic Messianic mission in the wake of the Jerusalem atomic blast is dramatically assassinated on live world-wide television on Jerusalem’s Via Dolorosa by a disillusioned follower. His wife and rock-star partner Isis then leads a spiritual movement to reconcile and unite the clashing religions and catalyze a common global spiritual Renaissance through a Global Progressive Spiritual Alliance which seeks to construct an Inter-faith Temple on the ruins of the atomic blast in Jerusalem. In counter-reaction to the cataclysmic events the world finally implements Sartorius’ crusade for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly, but not before Sartorius has himself has died, Moses-like of a heart attack while helping to foil a metaconspiracy mediated by Time Travel in which a fascist agent from the 23rd Century who has time-transited back to our time to alter a benign history by causing WWIII and thus preventing the evolution of a democratic world government, the United States of Earth, which follows him through time and nabs him just in the “nick of time” to prevent Aramgeddon.

The book ends with the opening ceremony of the UN Parliamentary Assembly which is attended in Sartorius’ name by his widow Eva Strong, whom Sartorius had fallen in love with and married in the course of the novel, and by their son Euphy, newborn after Sartorius’ death. They are joined in cinematic climax at the ceremony by newly chosen UN Secretary-General Clinton, President Osama and UN Parliamentary Assembly Committee Chairman Andreas Sarkozy who have just received the Nobel Peace Prize for their work in creation of the world’s first world parliamentary assembly within the United Nations, bringing together the representative voices of the peoples of the world in face-to-face assembly and dialogue for the first time in world history.

Highlights:

All the Highlights of the novel cannot be contained in such a short Introduction, but a few of them would include:

1. Spiritus Mundi is the first novel in world history to portray the creation of a United Nations Parliamentary Assemblyon the working model, inter alia, of the European Parliament and the first novel to portray the Occupy Wall Street Movement and related movements worldwide;

2. Spiritus Mundi is a prophetic geo-political WWIII novel of the near future forseeing a conflict and conspiratorial surprise attack by a resurgent “Axis” of China, Russia and Iran seeking by a decisive blow in jointly seizing the Middle-East oil fields to radically alter the global balance of power vis-a-vis the West in the world and Eurasia. Like Clancy’s The Bear and the Dragon, it forsees the inclusion of Russia in NATO, and goes far beyond in forseeing the inclusion of South Korea and Japan, following a joint Chinese-Russian occupation of a collapsing North Korea and the Axis strike at the Middle-Eastern oil fields;

3. Spiritus Mundi is an exciting espionage thriller involving the American CIA. British MI6, the Chinese MSS, or Ministry of State Security and the Russian SVR contending in a deul of intrigue and espionage;

4. Spiritus Mundi is a Spellbinding Terrorism/Counterterrorism novel involving a global plot to conceal an atomic bomb in a Chinese Teracotta Warrior to be detonated in Jerusalem;

5. Features the romantic and sexual searching and encounters of dozens of idealist activists, rock-stars, CIA and MI6 agents, public-relations spinmeisters and billionaires with a detour into the bi-sexual and gay scenes of Beijing, New York, California, London and Tokyo:

6. Establishes and grounds the new genre of the Global Novel written in Global English, the international language of the world,

7. Spiritus Mundi is a novel of Spiritual Searching featuring the religious searching of Sufi mystic Mohammad ala Rushdie, as well as the loss of faith, depression, attempted suicide and recovery of faith in life of protagonist Sartorius. Follows bogus religious cult leaders and the Messiah-Complex megalomanic-narcissistic mission of rock superstar Osiris that leads to his dramatic assassination on worldwide television in Jerusalem, followed by the religious conversion of his wife and rock-star parner Isis;

8. Features the search for love and sexual fulfillment of Eva Strong, a deeply and realistically portrayed divorced single mother involved in the United Nations campaign, who reveals her tortured heart and soul in her Blog throughout several disastrous sexual affairs and ultimately through her final attainment of love and marriage to Sartorius;

9. Features Sartorius’ experience of a bitter divorce, alienation and reconciliation with his son, his loss of faith and attempted suicide, his battle against drugs and alcoholism, his surreal and sexual adventures in Mexico City, and his subsequent redeeming love and marriage to Eva Strong;

10. Contains the in–depth literary conversations of Sartorius and his best friend, Literature Nobel Laureate Günther Gross, as they conduct worldwide interviews and research for at book they are jointly writing on the emergence of the new institution of World Literature, building on Goethe’s original concept of “Weltliteratur” and its foundations and contributions from all the world’s traditions and cultures;

11. Predicts the emergence of the institution and quest of “The Great Global Novel” as a successor to the prior quest after “The Great American Novel” in the newer age of the globalization of literature in Global English and generally;

12. Features the cross-cultural experiences and search for roots, sexual and spiritual fulfillment and authenticity of Asian-American character Jennie Zheng, and Pari Kasiwar of India;

13. For the first time incorporates in the dramatic narrative flow of action the mythic traditions of all the cultures and literatures of the world, including such figures as Goethe, The Chinese Monkey King, the African God-Hero Ogun, surreal adventures in the ‘Theatro Magico’ in Mexico City bringing to life figures from the Mayan-Aztec Popul Vuh, Hanuman from the Indian classic the Ramayana, and many more;

14. Book Two, Spiritus Mundi, the Romance is a fantastic Fantasy, Myth and Magical Realism Rollercoaster Ride: The more mythic Book Two utilizes a Wellsian motif of Time Travel to explore the making of history and its attempted unmaking (a la Terminator) by a hositile raid from the future on the past, our present, and the foiling of the fascist attempt by an alliance of men and women of goodwill and courage from past, present and future generations united in a Commonwealth of Human Destiny; Like Thomas Pynchon’s Against the Day and Welles’ Journey to the Center of the Earth it involves a journey to an interior realm of the “Middle Earth;” it also contains a futuristic travel through a wormhole to the center of our Milky Way Galaxy for a meeting with the “Council of the Immortals” where the fate of the human race will be decided;

15. Is a fantastic read on a roller-coaster ride of high adventure and self-
exploration!

C Copyright 2012 Robert Sheppard All Rights Reserved

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Spiritus Mundi



By





Robert Sheppard





○C Copyright 2012 Robert Sheppard All Rights Reserved

ON SPIRITUS MUNDI



“Read Robert Sheppard's sprawling, supple novel, Spiritus Mundi, an epic story of global intrigue and sexual and spiritual revelation. Compelling characters, wisdom, insight, and beautiful depictions of locations all over the world will power you through the book. You'll exit wishing the story lines would go on and on.” May 13, 2012

Robert McDowell, Editor, Writer, Marketer, Editorial Cra, The Nature of Words

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“Robert Sheppard's novel, "Spiritus Mundi," has everything. "Spiritus Mundi" is Latin, meaning "spirit" or "soul of the world." According to the Norton Anthology of English Literature, the phrase refers to "the spirit or soul of the universe" with which all individual souls are connected through the "Great Memory." This amazing novel is all inclusive and unceasingly riveting. If you are interested in politics, philosophy, human relationships, sex, intrigue, betrayal, poetry and even philosophy --- buy and read "Spiritus Mundi"!”November 18, 2012
Raymond P. Keen, School Psychologist, Department of Defense Dependents Schools (DODDS)
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“Robert Sheppard's new novel “Spiritus Mundi” is a new twist on a well-loved genre. Robert leaves no stone unturned in this compelling page turner you’ll experience mystery, suspense, thrills, and excitement. Robert touches on sexuality and spirituality in such a way that the reader is compelled to ask themselves “what would you do if faced with these trials?” Robert is a master at taking the reader out of their own lives and into the world he created. If you’re looking for a “can’t put down” read pick up Spiritus Mundi!” May 20, 2012

Nicole Breanne, Content Coordinator, Ranker.com
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“Longing for a thrilling experience of the sexual and spiritual world? Expecting a thorough summoning of your inner heart? Aspiring to find an extraordinary voice to enlighten your understanding heart? Then you can’t miss this extraordinary novel, Spiritus Mundi by Robert Sheppard. The author will spirit you into a exciting world filled with fantasy, myth, conflicts and wisdom from a fresh perspective. Don’t hesitate, just turn to the 1st page and start out enjoying this marvellous journey.”November 17, 2012
Alina Mu Liu, Official Interpreter, Editor & Translator, HM Courts & Tribunal Service, London UK & the United Nations
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“Robert Sheppard's Spiritus Mundi is a literary novel for those with an extensive vocabulary, and who believe how you tell a story is as important as what occurs in it. It is as current as today's headlines.

Jaime Martinez-Tolentino, Writer” November 19, 2012

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“Robert Sheppard's exciting new novel, Spiritus Mundi, is an unforgettable read and epic journey of high adventure and self-discovery across the scarred landscape of the modern world and into the mysteries beyond. Its compelling saga reveals the sexual and spiritual lives of struggling global protesters and idealists overcoming despair, nuclear terrorism, espionage and a threatened World War III to bring the world together from the brink of destruction with a revolutionary United Nations Parliamentary Assembly and spiritual rebirth. This modern epic is a must read and compelling vision of the future for all Citizens of the Modern World and a beacon of hope pointing us all towards a better world struggling against all odds to be born.” May 19, 2012

Lara Biyuts, Reviewer and Blogger at Goodreads.com and Revue Blanche

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“Robert Sheppard's "Spiritus Mundi" is a book of major importance and depth. A must read for any thinking, compassionate human being living in these perilous times. I highly recommend this powerful testament of the current course of our so-called life on his planet. April 25, 2012
Doug Draime Writer, Freelance
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“This new novel 'Spiritus Mundi' brings together history, politics, future society, and blends with a plausible World War Three scenario. I have read it and find it over the top fascinating. I am very glad to see Robert share his creativity with the world through this work of fiction, and know it will be a huge hit.” April 28, 2012
Jim Rogers, Owner and Director, AXL
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“Robert Sheppard is an exceptional thinker! His work should be read and made the subject of critical study.”May 26, 2012
Georgia Banks-Martin, Editor, New Mirage Journal
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“This novel rocks the reader with its supple strength. You want to say "No, No," and you end up saying, "Maybe." Political science fiction at its highest, most memorable level.”November 17, 2012
Carl Macki, Owner, Carl Macki Social Media
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“Robert Sheppard's Novel Spiritus Mundi confronts politics and philosophies of the world. He's examined multiple layers of personality in his characters; male, female, Chinese, Arab, English, and American melding them into a story of possible outcomes. How else can I convey the intelligent presentation of fiction woven with sensitivity to our world's governments, religious influences and sectarian principles? We must not forget the influence of a largely secular world. Robert tirelessly checked, rechecked and triple checked his resources in order to bring a fiction of occurrence, and psychological impact as set forth in his novel Spiritus Mundi.”November 18, 2012
Glenda Fralin, Author, Organization NWG
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“Robert was one of my best guests. His novel is as wide ranging as are his interests and expertise. He can explain his various ideas with great clarity and he does this with compassion. Novel is worthwhile reading.”November 18, 2012
Dr. Robert Rose, Radio Show Host, www.blogtalkradio.com/icdrrose
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This is a work of fiction: Names, characters, places, incidents and references
herein either are solely the product of the author’s imagination or are
used totally fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual
persons, living or dead, or of the same or similar names,
or to other works, business establishments
events or locales is
entirely coincidental and unintended.





























THE SECOND COMING
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in the sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
William Butler Yeats



Mellonta Tauta:
In Utrumque Paratus


Spiritus Mundi
Contents


Book One Spiritus Mundi: The Novel Chapters 1-33

1. Departure (Beijing)
2. A Failing Quest (New York)
3. War Council & Counteroffensive (Geneva)
4. New Beginnings (London)
5. Republic of Letters (Berlin)
6. Fathers and Sons (Washington,D.C.)
7. Ulysses: Blogo Ergo Sum (Beijing)
8. Frequently Asked Questions (London)
9. In the Middle Kingdom (Beijing)
10. Past and Present (London-South Africa)
11. Telemachus (Washington, D.C.)
12. The Everlasting Nay (Beijing)
13. My Brother’s Keeper (London)
14. In the Global Village (Beijing-Tokyo)
15. Deceits and Revelations (London)
16. Be Ready for Anything (Beijing)
17. The Obscure Object of Desire (London-Pyongyang)
18. Sufferings (Beijing)
19. Of the Yearnings of the Caged Spirit (London)
20. Cyclops (Washington, D.C.)
21. The Engines of Illusion (Beijing)
22. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (London)
23. The Temptation of the Sirens (Beijing)
24. Truth or Consequences (London)
25. Lazarus Laughed (Beijing)
26. Neptune’s Fury & The Perils of the Sea (The Maldive Islands)
Naval Diaries and Ship’s Logs of Admiral Sir George Rose Sartorius (1780-1875)
27. Penelope (London)
28. The Volcano’s Underworld (Mexico City)
Teatro Magico
29. The Everlasting Yea (London)
30. Paradise Regained (Little Gidding)
31. To the South of Eden (Kenya-to Midrand-Johannesburg South Africa)
32. In a Glass Darkly (London)
33. Spiritus Mundi


Book Two Spiritus Mundi: The Romance Chapters 1-21

1. Gerusalemme Liberata & Orlando Furioso (Jerusalem)
2. In a Glass Darkly (London)
3. Great Expectations (Jerusalem)
4. The Parable of the Cave (Qom, Iran)
5. The Xth Day of the Crisis (London)
6. The Supreme Leader & The Three Messiahs (Qom)
7. Going for the Jugular (London)
8. The Night Journey, Goethe & The Monkey King (Qom)
9. The Central Sea, The Crystal Bead Game & The Quest
10. The Island of Omphalos & The Mothers
11. The Council of the Immortals & The Trial By Ordeal
12. Nemesis
13. Armageddon (London)
14. The Fever Breaks
15. High Noon & Showdown at the OK Corral (Washington, D.C.)
16. Ecce Homo (Jerusalem)
17. Deliverance (London/Lhasa)
18. For Every Action…. (Moscow/Beijing)
19. The Burial of the Dead (London/Little Gidding)
20. Spiritus Mundi (London/Jerusalem)
21. In My End is My Beginning
----The Convening of the First Meeting of the
United Nations Parliamentary Assembly (New York)


Appendix 1: A United Nations Parliamentary Assembly: Frequently Asked Questions
Appendix 2: Spiritus Mundi: Index of Principal Characters





Spiritus Mundi


Book One: The Novel






I. Departure

Night is far from over. Having rehearsed in his mind the preparations necessary to his flight to New York the next morning, and coming to the end of that rather concrete and practical chain of visualization, Professor Sartorius exhaled a long breath and paused to take in the silence of the room suspended in the deepening shadows of the dusk light of the wintery Beijing evening. He had not been back home for many years, for a wide variety of reasons, and, thumbing the wheel of his Zippo lighter, he took a long draw of his Zhongnanhai cigarette, held the breath in for a long while, conscious only of the closed and weighted concavity gathered behind his eyes, then emptied himself again across his cluttered desk.

In three days time he would be meeting with the principals of the United Nations Secretariat, the Eminent Persons Group in the UN General Assembly there, and two days later with the Global Appeal Mass Mobilization Working Group of the Committee in Geneva…………“Queer fellow,” he sub-vocalized to himself behind his closed eyelids as the recollection of his opposite number on the Geneva Group, Osiris, seemed to loom before him------he recalled him donning his faded-black motorcycle leathers strap-by-strap and disappearing into the traffic from the London solicitor’s office—Freshfields, that was it---- at their last encounter, topped off with an opaque-black-visored helmet to make sure he would not be recognized on the street…. Might be recognized by a couple of billion across this planet no doubt….…”Two kinds of tragedy” Wilde had said------Windermere’s Fan-----Not getting what one wants, and getting what one wants---------certainly got what he wanted if anybody ever had-------millions, four wives, lovers…..both sexes, paparazzi and rock-star celebrity up the ass, album covers, magazine covers, films, and now his latest incarnation as global saviour-----blood diamonds, Earth Day, Band Aid, Live 8, debt-forgiveness for Africa, AIDS relief, and now this…………….

Could he be taken seriously?--------Whim of the hour?---------higher vision or hype?---hard to make out--------but he was getting older and perhaps that implied more seriousness, and you couldn’t deny that he had, despite any discounted ulterior motives and theatrics, done a hell of a lot of good in this world that perhaps wouldn’t have been done otherwise…….the G8 and OECD wouldn’t have taken the debt-forgiveness seriously if he and people like him hadn’t put it on the agenda with their media-push----street to studio to summit. He was someone to have on your side, no doubt that………….regardless……...

Across the city he could hear the beginning of the cascade of Chinese fireworks-----they had made it legal again after ten years-----and the run-up to the Spring Festival and Chinese New Year was beginning even though there was still a late snow on the ground. He could see the distant coloured bursts light up the mist and pale-white ice cover of the Weiminghu---the famous “ Lake of No Name” under the eves of the faculty apartment building he had lived in for the last several years------supposedly the premiere university of China, but he had his doubts-----hopefully the fog would not delay the plane at the airport in the morning------And would his son be there when he got to New York? These were indeterminacies he took to bed with him after confirming the departure time on the website and making the confirmation call to the driver.


II… New York A Failing Quest

1

The flight from Beijing to New York was a long one, and Sartorius took a window seat as he loved to gaze out at the world below in an extended meditation on such long voyages, a habit first formed on his first trans-oceanic flight to Europe for his graduate studies when he first discovered a seeming entryway into an interstitial dimension of the soul at such altitudes. He pressed his forehead lightly against the double-pane of the plane’s window and watched his adopted home of the past several years whooshingly transformed into a plaything of the gods populated by ant-like homunculae who could still be minutely made out to be stopping cars at intersections or speeding along express arteries of an immense extended hive, web or extended organism in the receding scene below.

“So many, I had not thought the world had undone so many” he mused to himself out of the antechamber of the Inferno, as a further image zooming out of Google Earth rocketed the perspective of his mind past the Empyrian turning vaults of the Paradiso, finally coming to rest at gaze in his inner eye on the limned image, beautiful, blue and fragile---space-vessel earth, Mother Earth, blue and lovely, vessel of life and ark of life, yar and gay, riding small but serene at luminous full-stretched sail through the riddling endless sea of black infinity---coursed out of his memory of the television screen of the Apollo missions to the moon.

His meditation was interrupted, however, as he involuntarily glanced down the nave of the craft, taking in the small ruckus of the dinner cart pushed by two aging stewardesses replaying their questions and dispensing their secular communion along the padded pews. “Oh God” Sartorius groaned inwardly as he reflected on the fact that he was flying an American airline and therefore the stewardesses would be unpretty, middle-aged and surl, the bittersweet legacy of the rise of employment rights and tenure for women employees in the years that he had been flying. Younger countries were less just but still had their sex appeal------the Devil’s Dialectic, he groused.

After finishing a fair meal, Sartorius settled back, taking from his briefcase a few work papers which he would review in preparation for the meeting at the United Nations in New York, a copy of The Economist he had snapped up at the airport lounge kiosk, and his copy of A la recherche du temps perdu—Du cote de chez Swann, which he was interminably trying to finish re-reading at snatched intervals. He had had to abandon his doctoral studies in Comparative Literature after his son was born, which forced him financially to turn to law instead.

When Sartorius next had the sensation of pre-waking consciousness in the nave of the darkened craft he had not realized that he had been asleep. Indeed, his inner confusion was far extended and jumbled down such that his own position on or above the earth’s surface and his position in time remained a mystery to be contended with, and he had only the most rudimentary sense of existence, as destitute of qualities as any primal man or cave-dweller who had never been exposed to the art of language, or such an unformed sense of existence as might lurk in the depths of an animal. Such, in recent years to Sartorius it often happened, when he awoke like this with his mind struggling unsuccessfuly to discover where he was, and everything would be moving around him through the darkness: things, places, years. His body, still too heavy from sleep to move, searched a composite memory of ribs, elbows, knees, crotch, spasm and vertebrae in a vain effort to discover in what room, bed or chair or context it may have last fallen asleep. He felt his head pressed against the softness of a pillow, bearing up against a slight pain in his lower neck and shoulder as the warm side of his forehead pressed against the cold plasticized glass of the porthole. The stiffened side of his body queried the padded surface below it in an effort to remember how it could have gotten there. A sense of bodily absence vaguely became perceptible, an absence of pressure and permeating warmth of a longed-for woman’s body, long absent to the touch and skin. His sleep had been so heavy that he lost all sense of place or time that he had gone to sleep, and at first he could not be sure who he was. As he groped in the inner darkness a small movement of his eyelid bathed his mind in the milky light of the full moon suspended above the midnight mid-Pacific clouds and waves, and he caught the endless reflection of lunar light reflected across the surface of the looming sea beneath the numinous clouds. He seemed to be floating naked, adrift in mid-ocean in this sea of light and wave, clutching for life at something keeping him afloat. What was it, a spar from a shipwreck, his briefcase floating on the churning waves, his hand gripping ironly, fiercely, and desperately its leathern handle? He had the sense of being a sea-wrecked sailor adrift on a wide sea, desperately trying to float, swim, drift homewards, fighting wayward currents and the adverse wind in his face. He felt a dull sub-migrane pain spread icy-hot along the centerline of the nave of his bobbing brain. He seemed to hear a young boy’s voice out of the mist above the moonlit waters, a voice vague and imperceptible at first as from a boat hidden in shrouded mists of an ocean fog and passing near…… heard a bell and the voice again louder again. He strained to make it out and then it became intelliglble. “Daaddy” the voice called out searchingly, “Daaaadddy” it repeated over again, pausing as the sound carried over the enshrouded waters and waiting for a hoped for reply, as if from a searching rescue boat. The source of the voice grew nearer, and changed in pitch, from that of a young boy to that of a young man, “Faather” it more deeply intoned as it passed close by but still invisible to his eye. Sartorius struggled to answer, but paralyzed his voice failed him and he could only grate out a low moan clutching to his spar or case. The receding voice faded as seemingly the boat moved away through the impenetrable white mist. Sartorius started as his eyes sprang wide open. His thought raced forward with his racing heart-beats---- his son, his son------. As he lurched forward fully awake he saw that his arms and lips were trembling and his right fist was locked in a tight sweat to the handle of his large leather briefcase.

The divorce had not been a happy one. To Sartorius occurred the corollary to Tolstoy’s dictum: that all unhappy divorces are the same. Everyone is a loser, particularly the children, and loss, pain and suffering are hosts partaken of universally in this Devil’s Communion. In his case his ex-wife had run away with the boy, taking him back to the East Coast, and after several attempts at reconciliation a long custody dispute of several years ensued, with the courts ruling as ever in favor of keeping the children with the mother. His family life shattered and emerging from several years of depression, he escaped by returning to his international career and public service career, which he had abandoned for his family obligations, again practicing and teaching law in Europe and Asia, and writing several books and innumerable journal and magazine articles on law, literature, and his cause célèbre, the reform of the United Nations system including the development of a United Nations world parliament, or a global United Nations Parliamentary Assembly based on the successful model of the European Union Parliament.

At first he had tried to keep up regular contact with the boy, but this proved impossible as his ex-wife kept him on the East Coast three thousand miles away, and from fear of losing him and backed by the local court refused to let him visit the West Coast. After several years of depression and frustration Sartorius had set off for Europe and Asia to pick up the thread of his former life, hoping the boy would eventually join him. This never occurred and the sense of loss haunted him beneath the surface of daily life. In the end he argued with himself that in that kind of no-win situation somebody had to lose and it was his duty to accept the burden of loss and get on with life on some other basis. After several years as an expatriate he found himself teaching International Law in Beijing and trying to console himself with making a contribution to bettering the world in his small way. Sartorius hoped that his work would somehow bring them together but his extended absence inevitably generated a sense of abandonment and betrayal on the part of the boy and their relations were strained. The boy painfully missing his father could not forgive his expatriate absence and blamed his father rather than his mother for the separation. Sartorius’ visits were always strained and tainted with this accumulated hostility and he was at a loss as to how to undo the effects of the past in this regard. After his frustrated visits Sartorius often flagellated himself with guilt and self-loathing and recalled to himself in his depression the words of St. Paul: “The good that I should have done I have done not, and the evil that I would not, that I have done.” By now his pain was a permanent feature of his life, though dulled by time and habit, but always buried but a shallow distance from the surface of his daily life.

By the time the plane had finally descended over Kennedy Airport at New York Sartorius had had time to nurse his meditations for several hours, return to sleep, breakfast and work for several hours on his documents and e-mails preparatory to his meetings at the United Nations. He would meet with the Secretary-General and his staff, the British and French delegations and with the American Ambassador to the United Nations, Richard “Buck” Bolger, who was also his old law school classmate. The Committee liaison met him at the airport and took him to the Millennium UN Plaza Hotel where the other members of the contact group were staying and after checking in he looked through the messages waiting for him. Three dealt with the Committee appointments for the week in New York but the fourth struck a heavy blow as he closed his eyes after reading it. His son, Jack, would not be coming up from Washington, D.C. to meet him……. special committee meeting……….regrets..

After a half hour of agitated pacing he could not stay in his room but felt an uncontrollable desire to get out and walk in the open air. He walked without any notion of where he was or where he was going, and was dimly aware of the rush of traffic around him. By the time he had recovered himself he had no notion of how long he had been walking or where he was. He glanced across the street and slowly recognized the imposing façade of the Metropolitan Art Museum, now closed, and realized that he had got all the way to Central Park. A heavy tiredness overcame his body, settling like a leaden black weight within his tired limbs, and with the effects of jet lag setting in he felt unsteady on his feet and had a slight fear he would actually black out. But steadying himself against the lamppost he hailed a taxi and got in.

“Where to?” the Pakistani driver turned and asked.
Sartorius did not answer. His unfocused eyes stared vaguely forward seemingly unaware of his surroundings…….
“Come on, where to already?..............Do I look like I have all night to waste? I’ve got six children and a mother-in-law to feed so let’s get going already, he whined nasally in his high Sub-continental lilt.”
Sartorius became aware of the indignant high-tones of an odd-sounding voice wheezing at him from somewhere in a grey shadow, then slowly recovering his sense of himself, strained to think of where to go.
“United Nations” was the only thing he could think of, and he mumbled these words out hesitantly, and the cab sped off around the corner to turn back in the opposite direction.

By the time the cab had reached the corner of Park and 42nd Street Sartorius had reformed his thoughts sufficiently to know that he couldn’t go back to the hotel room but he couldn’t keep walking under the drag of the jet lag. Now feeling the gnawing growl of hunger beneath the fatigue at the pit of his stomach, he remembered a steakhouse near the United Nations compound where he had gone when he had worked as a young aide there, and instructed the driver to let him off there.

At Ben and Jack’s Steakhouse he felt restored to himself after a real Texan super-sized American steak dinner, which he had much missed in China, along with a buffet salad with lots of assorted cheeses, another sorely missed item absent from his accustomed Chinese fare, and the recovered strength of his body seemed to restore equilibrium to his mind as well. Then feeling the renewed undertow of the jet lag and the heaviness of digestion he recalled from his boyhood the common joke that if you dug a hole through the middle of the earth you would come up in China.

While not literally true it was true to the extent that the time zone difference placed you exactly twelve hours on the other side of the day as well as the other side of the world and therefore your biological clock and its appended intuitions would be exactly wrong…….Day for Night…. Truffaut, La Nuite Americaine…Apollo and Dionysos…Long Days Journey into Night….these free associations bounced through his mind along with the dull ache of the jet lag which dragged up in involuntary memory the fatigue of innumerable telephone conferences in Beijing in the middle of the night connecting with New York and London. He soon sensed that he would need to get back to the hotel to avoid passing out on the table of the restaurant., and he gathered sufficient strength to pay, get out the door and into the taxi, where the brush of cold night air bolstered him up sufficiently to get him through the lobby and into his room, where he undressed and collapsed onto his soft spongy bed. When behind his closed eyes he finally drifted below the horizon of consciousness, willingly submerging for the moment his looming appointment with Bolger for lunch the next day, he lapsed into sleep not without an inner wry smile at the very laws of biological as well as geographical nature which seemingly so inextricably demanded that states of consciousness in the land of his birth must remain so apodictically 180 degrees out of sync with those of the rest of the world….

He awoke in the morning with an odd sensation of surprise that he had no recollection of having slept or dreamed, but as if someone had merely momentarily switched the light off and then on again. Nonetheless he felt refreshed and energetic and hurried down to meet the contact group in the atrium of the hotel for a light breakfast and to compare notes prior to going over to the Secretariat building for their morning meetings. He got a quick update of the situation from Andreas, the Executive Coordinator from the Berlin Committee headquarters, and heard from the three other “Superkids” as he called them. The were all exemplary in their seriousness, brightness and idealism, graduate school students or recent graduates with enough family resources to forgo a “real job” for some years while dedicating themselves to “the good cause.” Beautiful in their way, he thought, but inevitably inexperienced and innocent. But without much in the way of money resources, it was on such youthful idealists that the Committee depended for the bulk of the real work, and he hoped they would get the measure of recognition and reward their dedicated efforts deserved and which might make the work in the long run more sustainable.

Walking over to the United Nations compound Andreas had a mobile-phone call from the personal secretary of the Secretary-General to the effect that he would be delayed an hour on some urgent Mideast business and that he could see them at 10:30 rather than 9:30 and then only for ten minutes.

“Damn!” burst out Andreas, clearly miffed at the news by the shrinkage of the opportunity after his long, long flight all the way out from Berlin. “But we have no choice but to take what we can get at this point.” When they had cleared security the coordinator from the Secretary’s office apologetically offered to show them about the buildings until the Secretary-General would be available, and as for the younger “Superkids,” this being their first visit, they took up the offer of a more extensive tour whilst Sartorius followed them part of the way then broke off to amble a bit alone with his thoughts.

Crossing the public lobby Sartorius glanced up at the blue and guled color-tones of the Chagall stained glass windows of the General Assembly with its archetypally simple and tender child wreathed in flowers being kissed by an angelic face, and somewhere in the back of his mind he could make out some intimation of a voice crying out, indistinct at first, then as he focused his concentration he made out faintly the broken intonations: “Freude”……………...then………Freude, schone ………………….Götterfunken………. Tochter…………….”
Then somewhere from the lower levels of his mind’s inner eye or ear, repeating like the record player with its broken stylus “Nicht diese Töne……….Nicht diese Tone…………Nicht diese Töne……….Nicht diese Töne………………”
He gazed up at the angelic face and wished to himself that he could believe in angels again, Rilke’s Angels, Duino, the glancing of the angel’s wing searing one’s heart with joy…Blake’s angel in the tree his father beat him for….. O God, we needed angels now, where were they?
As he continued to walk aimlessly, he came to an unconscious halt as his eyes followed the hypnotic swing of the gold ball of the Foucault Pendulum and the broken stylus in his inner Victrola player at the back of his mind changed channels and involuntarily skipped tracks:

All the sisters of mercy are not all departed and gone,
They came to me then when I thought that I could not go on,
And they brought me this comfort and later they brought me this song,
I hope you run into them, you who’ve been waiting so long………

I have heard the mermaids singing each to each……….
I do not think that they will sing to me………

What the thunder said………Da………Datta……………..
Shantih…………….Shantih…………Shantih………Shantih………….Shantih

His inward diversion was however arrested with the sensation of a hand clasping the back of his elbow. “Robert, do you not care to join us to take a quick look-in about the chambers and the Dag Hammarskjold library ?” intoned the sympathetic voice of Andreas.
“No, Andreas, don’t worry about me…you go with the others….I’ve seen it all many times before so you can just leave me to myself and ring me on my cell phone when the word comes down from the Secretariat.”
As Sartorius parted from Andreas and continued his amble, heard behind him and off to his left was the deep chime of a ceremonial bell ringing out sharply across the hall. Glancing over, he saw beneath the gay upsloping corners of the blue roof of a small Shinto shrine, a Japanese man in a ceremonial kimono striking a bell with a small wooden log suspended from a chain.
“Ah, I had forgotten” he thought, “the Vernal Equinox……….it must be the first day of Spring…………………….April is the cruelest month…………………..
It was the Japanese Peace Bell ceremony, rung twice a year only, once on the equinox with the commencement of spring and the hopes of the new year, and once in September on Peace Day. Sartorius had been there as a young UN aide in 1995 when Boutros Boutros-Ghali celebrated its 50th anniversary, recalling his words:

"whenever it has sounded, this Japanese Peace Bell has sent a clear message. The message is addressed to all humanity. Peace is precious. It is not enough to yearn for peace. Peace requires work -- long, hard, difficult work."

There had been a lot of water under the bridge since that time, he recollected and recovered his chain of thought as the bell continued to toll its peals to the assembled crowd of onlookers before the shrine. “April……….April……….April is the cruellest month………….

Whan that April with his showres soote
The droughte of March hath pieced to the roote………..
So priketh hem Nature in her corages
Thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages…………

And palmers go to seeking out strange strands,
To distant shrines well known in sundry lands.

As these fragments of poetry he had memorized in his studies re-crossed his mind, he recalled the image of Dr. Goodmanson, his first high school English teacher who had believed in him and inspired him at that early age. He recalled Goodmanson’s philosophy, which Sartorius had stood up in class once to heatedly criticize, that students must memorize and recite long passages of Shakespeare and other grand poetry. He said, sure rote memorization is empty without understanding, but you will have plenty of time later in life for explication. If you memorize now, these poems will be with you for the rest of your life when all the fancy theories and cant have long evaporated. He could sympathize with the old man now……….Being a professor he mused that there were three kinds of teachers: those who are forgotten, those who are remembered and hated----and, the third set-----those who are remembered and forgiven. He wondered which set would include him.
But these thoughts were cut short by the ringtone of his mobile phone, followed by the anxious voice of Andreas, “Robert, the Secretary-General is ready for us, we’ve only got ten minutes until he leaves for Cairo-----meet you at the Secretariat elevator double-quick.”
As the pair exited the private elevator leading to the penthouse office of the Secretary-General Sartorius’ eye was involuntarily drawn to the vast panorama beyond the high plate-glass windows overlooking the East River and trailing off into the horizon of the seascape traced over with the woof and warp of the crossed lines of ships and shipping of every description entrancing and exiting the great harbor and the stacks of aircraft spiraling and shuttling down to the runways of Kennedy international airport. As the executive secretary shepherded them into the private office of the Secretary-General Sartorius observed a kindly smile and half-nod of greeting and recognition around the eyes of a white-haired African face behind a sheaf of documents being read as he held the telephone receiver in the crook of his neck while simultaneously talking and flipping through the pages of the folder, motioning in the direction of the sofa opposite him, inviting them to kindly make themselves comfortable until he could finish the telephone conversation.
When he was finally able to set down the telephone receiver he stepped out from behind the very large desk and extended a handshake and arm-embrace across Sartorius’ shoulders, saying “Robert, I am so sorry, so sorry that this Middle-Eastern affair has taken all my time away. But it is so good to see an old friend and colleague again---you are looking well. Mr. Sarkozy, very glad to meet you and my apologies as well. Perhaps Robert has told you we used to work here together many years ago on the administrative staff when we had quite a few fewer white hairs between us.”
The Secretary-General informally slid a chair next to the sofa and continued in a melodious apologetic tone mixing an African sociability with an innate gentlemanly courtesy: “Since we have but so little time together before I must board the airplane for Cairo let me apologize in advance for being a bit brusque in summing up where we stand. First of all, let me say I fully know why you are here and I want to convey my deepest, deepest admiration and appreciation for your great work regarding creation of the United Nations Parliamentary Assembly, both in my official capacity and individually as well. You are working for a dream which I have long shared and personally strongly support, and which in the long-run must come to fruition. I further appreciate the great energy of your Committee and its recent initiatives. I know you wish to advance the matter to action and a vote in the General Assembly and that you have come for my support and endorsement. I must, however, regretfully, and I must say very and most deeply regretfully, disappoint your hopes. Privately, I am with you completely and I will do everything I can do informally to advance the concept at the level of study, development and consciousness raising at all levels. With the success of the European Parliament before our eyes the global extension of the same idea of an international assembly within the United Nations system becomes in the longer term more and more inevitable. However I have six peacekeeping missions in the field without funds and I must keep together the coalition which sustains their immediate work. Many lives depend on it. The Americans and the strong powers are down my back to avoid diluting their influence and insist we shelve the proposal for the present and they have impounded their share of the peacekeeping funds until the matter is shelved off for further study in the General Assembly. And you know Bolton, the American UN Ambassador, has been a very credible annoyance for us all. All I can do is appoint the former Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali who has been supporting your Committee to head up a study committee and report back in a year or two. I will help you behind the scenes but I cannot break up our fragile coalition on these other matters by pushing this matter too immediately. I hope you will understand and accept for the moment my apologies and regrets.”
“I can only hope that circumstances change quickly enough that we can have your active support as a sitting Secretary-General and not have to wait until you too become another former Secretary-General to join our ranks as well.” lamented Sartorius glumly.
“Yes, it is an irony and contradiction only too painful and too true------When one dreams and struggles to get into this chair one has the illusion that if only one held this office one would finally have the freedom do as one wants and the power to change the world for the better. But I get here and I discover that as a holder of power, if it may be called power at all, I am in large measure but a slave to circumstance, affairs and bitter necessity and try as one might one’s dreams remain but dreams deferred,-------------one of life’s little ironies--------Ah, But I am forgetting that I am also the slave of time and I must obey my most unforgiving master and get to that aeroplane, so you…….. I hope you will excuse me until a better next time.----------Constance, are we all packed?------Let’s go, and please show these gentlemen to the dining hall.”


As Sartorius led his small entourage of youngish colleagues to the Delegates Dining Room for their one o’clock reservation for their luncheon conference he caught sight of a similar small group of three or four entering from the opposite doorway on the upper level, led by a man whose first peculiarity was the contrast of the youthful dark-brown auburn tinged hair of his head with the stark-white of his walrus-like mustache. In the back of his mind Sartorius registered that he must be dying his hair, and recalled the warnings on the Clairol packages his ex-wife often bought advising that such hair colour should not be used for mustaches or eyebrows as this might cause blindness. Yes, Bolger was likely to be precisely that peculiar mixture of vanity and anality such that he would defy absurdity to colour the one but not the other. He had not met him in person these fifteen years, though he had often seen him on television on CNN in Beijing and traded the occasional e-mail. Along with his own ritual before the mirror each morning, he had gotten into the habit of making note of the effects of the passage of time on the faces and bodies of his acquaintances. He recalled him in law school as reasonably good looking but socially unsuccessful with both women and men, though always with a keen though unconventional mind. His mind was indeed radical, though veering to the radical right in the form of its libertarian extreme in his younger days, though more serviceable to the interests of moneyed capital and the high priesthood of the mysterious benignity of the marketplace in more recent years. In law school Bolger and he had been part of the same iconoclastic set for a short time in the first years, but had quarreled and drifted apart. He noticed that he had put on about as much weight as he himself had…..hard to keep down without incessant exercise….and his face was fuller and showing “character lines,” or the graven ravages of time, depending on your habits of perception.

As Sartorius moved with his youthful cohort to the towering circular staircase leading to the private elite rooms on the upper level he glanced upward and observed the looming presence of stately, plump “Buck Bolger” as he was nicknamed in law school, leaning mock-menacingly over the upper banister:

“Come on up, Quixote, you fearful Fabian Philosopher-King!”
Containing his little embarrassment in front of his young followers at his counterpart’s use of the derogative nickname out of Cervantes he had flogged him with in law school, Sartorius spiraled up the twisting stairs to find himself face-to-face with the dandified presence of Buck Bolger, resting cross-armed, one buttock on the top of the banister and swinging his free leg playfully beneath his extended hand with his artistically custom-cut suit and ornate cuffs evocative of a Tory makeover of Oscar Wilde.
“Good to see you Buck, a lot of water under the bridge since last time, no?” rejoined Sartorius.
“Quite so, quite so….Our Ingenious Gentleman Don Sartorius!......You have got to come back home more often from your knight errantry in the Middle Kingdom.”
“Allow me to present my colleagues…………this is Andreas Sarkozy, Executive Director of our Committee staff in Berlin, and this is Maya Zameret and Anna Maria Iglesias. We are here to the end of the week canvassing the principal delegations and have just come from meeting with the Secretary-General.”
“Yes, yes of course. Very pleased to meet you all. Let’s move into the private room and enjoy the excellent wine and table. I think you’ll find it quite an improvement over the dreck we had to put up with at Boalt Hall.”
As they entered the high-perched exclusive private dining room overlooking the East River’s flow to the sea below, Buck Bolger poured out an expensive wine and proposed a toast of welcome:
“Let us offer libations of humble thanks to the gods, for the safe return of our wandering idealist, our Don Quixot, Gilgamesh, Galahad, great Odysseus back from across the storm–tossed, wine-dark sea, Epi oinopa ponton, home from the fearful whale-road, home from Patmos shipwreck and lotus-leafed captivity in the Pleasure Domes of the Middle Kingdom, forsaking all to come back from his epic questings to bring us, long-praying, humbled and awed, his Great Boon to humanity and the brethren of native shores.”
“Buck, you’re incorrigible. But speaking of whale-roads, isn’t putting you in charge of this place like putting Captain Ahab in charge of Save the Whales?”
“We do intend to give them a shock to the system,” Bolger retorted, motioning to the waiter to refill the glasses, “and as for Save the Whales, we have had quite enough of that anyway. You should know your Nietzsche. Just look at these people around here, aren’t they the very image of his predators with broken teeth, mouthing their hypocritical golden sweet ideals and moralities as a thug’s concealed weapon to get by glib guile what they are too weak to do openly by force? Save the Whales? Why our limp-dicked bourgeois society has sunk so low that now we have come to Save the Sharks as the far more appropriate crusade, for they are the real endangered species. But don’t you start on another one of your silly crusades for them, because the sharks, Ahab and the Übermenschen will save themselves.”
“Well, the last time I read the book I don’t think Ahab had quite such a happy ending, but then let’s drink to Captain Ahab, and pray to the gods that he attains enlightenment through the tragic mysteries of the whale-road,” rejoined Sartorius, and emptying their glasses a second time they all sat back down into their seats enjoying a light banter of quips, one-upmanship, reminiscences, and observing the better social graces towards the younger colleagues as the excellent salmon lunch was served.
“Andreas” asked Bolger, drawing in the smoke of a Havana cigar, “you aren’t the Andreas Sarkozy who published that piece on the Middle East situation in the December number of Foreign Affairs, are you?”
“Why yes,” answered Andreas, “I do a few articles for various journals on assorted topics in addition to my work at the Committee.
“Oh really? I am surprised that you are so young as you are. I took it for the work of a much older man. It was really quite excellent, though I didn’t agree with all your conclusions. If you get tired of tilting at windmills come see me sometime and we may find some real work for you.”
After an hour of amiable talk and banter, when he judged the dynamics of the mood of the little party had reached a favourable point Sartorius decided to do his duty by the Committee and make his appeal, though he saw but small chance of success:

“But seriously Buck, we have a great opportunity to give the world something of millennial importance. You know the successes of the European Parliament in bringing together the elected representatives of twenty-seven nations in an unprecedented and evolving international democratic institution. They have been the pathbreakers and have shown that global governance rooted in democratic principles and institutions is indeed possible. You could have laughed down and ridiculed Robert Schuman and Jean Monnet as tilting at windmills when they sat in the ashes of post-WWII Europe and dreamed of a European Union, united, democratic and free of war, but their will and vision created the present then-inconceivable reality, imperfect as it may yet be. Now we have the Parliamentary Assemblies of the African Union, the Arab League, an Inter-American Assembly, the Inter-parliamentary Union, and other similar institutions which are not pipe-dreams but real if embryonic institutions evolving out of that successful model. Now the time is ripe for us to work together to give the world something analogous at the global scale through the United Nations. And Article 22 of the UN Charter allows the General Assembly to create such subsidiary organs without the need to re-negotiate and revise the entire United Nations Charter. We just need your help to get the program to a vote in the General Assembly without a blackball veto or opposition and I am sure we can prevail. From the point of view of simple reason this is really a no-brainer, as it is obvious that all the serious problem of the world, Global Warming and the environment, war and peace, the globalization of the economy, crises of the financial system and the WTO, terrorism, drugs, AIDS and other epidemics, all of these are more and more international and beyond the capacity of any one nation to manage or solve on their own, whether within their own borders or beyond, and you know well that includes our own American Superpower as well as any other nation, so it is entirely obvious that we need to evolve a system of global governance, step-by-step, founded on democratic principles to assure its legitimacy and acceptance, and accountable to the peoples of the world that will have the only chance of solving these global problems that are otherwise unsolvable and unmanageable. The model we are proposing for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly is merely the first step in a process of evolution that is inevitable. It will create a democratically accountable forum for developing global consciousness and evolving global governance. It is initially weak and does not amount to any sort of a mandatory “world government” which would prematurely threaten the sovereignty or prerogatives of established nation-states, so it will not limit the freedom of action of America within its own borders or internationally. In the end it will enhance America’s security and power while institutionalizing its core values. We are simply asking to take the first embryonic step forward in the development of a system of global governance that is as essential and needed as it is ineleluctable in our globalized world.”
“That is precisely the first step that I refuse to take, Robert. I will not see the world’s only Superpower tied down by Lilliputian strings until his power is rendered impotent. If we negotiate one-on-one with any nation in the world we have the leverage, strength, and bargaining power to get what we want and what we need. If we allow these Lilliputian dwarfs to gang up on us we will be like Gulliver tied down on his beach. No, Robert, I am not going to give in to the Siren Song of your golden-tongued idealism. We deal here in the harder currency of Realpolitik. I am here to serve the interests of my nation and my government, not to save the whales….or the world.”

“And another thing,” Bolger continued “there are two kinds of people in this world…………..the Givers and the Takers. You, Robert, are a Giver. You want to serve some great ideal and give the world something ideal and wonderful to help those in need. You mostly fail but you do some good in the world which everyone can appreciate. But I and my clan, the Takers, we are the ones who make things happen and energize the real progress of the human race. We build, we invent, we makes dreams come true precisely by pursuing our own selfish interests and lighting up and mobilizing the selfish energies of all those around us, and as an incidental by-product we create a hundred times more well-being for your sentimentalized huddled masses of humanity than ever you do-gooders and givers ever do. Andreas, you are a young man of talent and potential. Come over to our side and you will be useful and well rewarded. Robert here I fear is a dog too old and far gone in his delusions to help.”

“Buck, don’t you have any sense of responsibility to the world in your position? You are standing at the switch of the key crossroad of history and good fortune has given you the very position where you have the power to do something of immense historical importance. Millions dream of having the opportunity that lies in your hands. We talked of changing the world when we were in school and now you have that very chance. Isn’t there anything that can change your mind?

“Robert, I have a responsibility to myself and to the people who put me in this position and I intend to carry it out………And don’t go on with your petty chastisement that I and my tribe somehow are cruel in our lack of compassion and bleeding heart social conscience…..we are the Doers and Builders, and the doing licenses a touch of cruelty to get things done……In fact my theory of life makes me certain that to be Great is to be cruel. To be just is for ordinary men----it is reserved for the great to be unjust. Successful “injustice” and a dose of occasional necessary cruelty have been the only forces by which individuals or nations have ascended. Justice is an afterthought. Whenever a nation or an individual cowers in its greater endeavors and becomes incapable of committing necessary acts of possible cruelty and injustice it is swept into the dustbin of history……You, Robert, you are a good example in point that a good man will not make a good politician…………..God save us from people who mean well!.........……… For Christ’s sake, Sartorius, don’t you ever grow up? We’re over fifty and you are still chasing pipe-dreams and tilting at windmills just like when you were wearing your long hair around when we were in law school. What was it then…….oh yes Calpirg…right, right……going to use the brains of the world to control nefarious capitalist greed and political corruption! Nobody in our class is tithing 10% of their lifetime income to your noble causes like you pleaded, they are just worried about getting over ten percent on their next investments and working for the highest bidder! And they are absolutely right to do so. Grow up! There’s not much of your pretty long hair left now, so you had better wise up already! This world is survival of the fittest not survival of the cutest and glibbest! And it is the Takers of the world who make things happen and make it better, not you and your pretty-boy givers and bleeding-hearts who only tie down the real doers! At your age I’d expect you would have learned something of the real world by now! At any rate I have enjoyed our little reunion and we have both done our duty by our respective organizations, so I will ask you to excuse us to meet our pressing schedule. I do enjoy seeing you and crossing swords with you, but I am sorry to say I cannot help you. Good Afternoon.”

As they left, Sartorius buried his face and eyes in the palms of his hands saying after several moments “I am sorry Andreas. I am afraid I didn’t handle that very well. Perhaps you would have done better without me.”
“No, Robert. Don’t blame yourself. There is no way to turn around the thinking of such a man and the men he answers to on a dime. You gave it your best shot and you had the best chance to reach him if anyone ever did. Remember your own words----------you said turning these people around is like turning a supertanker under full steam in the opposite direction. It can’t be done at one moment but by slow deflections degree by degree. We knew we would hit a wall this time round but we will succeed in the long run.”

“Yes, and in the long run we will all be dead’ quipped back Sartorius, standing and emptying his full glass of brandy with his eyes closed and head cocked back as at the next moment he let fling the glass violently, shattering it against the marble-floored corner of the room.
“Let’s get out of here” he bolted up and strode abruptly out the door.
2

The next morning Sartorius saw off his Committee associates, the “Superkids” from the hotel lobby as they caught the shuttlebus to the airport. He had left an extra open day on his itinerary after the United Nations meeting, which he had hoped to spend with his son Jack, but which was now flaggingly open as his son had failed to meet him in New York. The emptiness of his schedule was matched by the discontent and emptiness of his feelings as he returned to the bleak hotel room after seeing them off. He clicked on the television, then surfed the channels with the control, listening to the same news three times in a row, not remembering a thing, before downing four mini-bottles of rum and scotch with coke and soda, then giving in to surf through the x-rated offerings, then finally shutting off the set in a spasm of depression. Pacing back and forth he could not contain himself, feeling suffocated in the small space, heavy with his feelings of defeat from the events of the prior day at the United Nations, and now with the grinding pain of his son’s absence.
In a fit of restlessness, he went down to the hotel’s bar, mostly empty at an early hour, and downed several rum coco’s. He picked at the honey peanuts and at the cheese dip and corn chips on offer, then downed a gin and tonic and made his exit, having no idea where he was going. Abandoning himself to following the crowd, Sartorius found himself strolling up 5th Avenue northwards until hitting the 80’s, then noticing the Metropolitan Museum of Art along the Central Park side, he crossed over and entered. Sartorius had been a serious student of the best art, modern and classical, all his life, but in his present mood he could do little more than follow the crowd while trying to evade his own thoughts. He turned a dull eye upon the Tiffany glass collection and the time-hallowed classics of Gilbert Stuart’s portrait of Washington and Leutze’s Washington Crossing the Delaware. Only vaguely did he sense the looming presence of the monumental stone Iammasu, or guardian figures, of the Assyrian king Ashurnasipal. He lost himself for a half-hour in the costumes of Balanciaga, Chanel and Versace, and retraced the steps of his years, passing from the Beatles to David Bowie to Madonna, before loitering unmoved amoung the portraits and canvases of Van Gogh, Breughel and El Greco. Only the Rodin cast of The Burghers of Calais seemed to draw him out of himself.
After closing hour, Sartorius continued to lose himself on the streets of New York. He walked from midtown down towards Greenwich Villiage, where he had often spent time in his younger days, and heading southward he was struck, not having been in the City for some years, by the absence of the twin towers of the World Trade Center which he had often visited. He grew more and more tired on his feet, but the more tired he became the more impossible it seemed for him to return to his hotel room. Stopping briefly for a cappuccino he continued wandering through the Villiage, sometimes looking in at his old haunts and sometimes just letting his feet lead him where they seemed to want to go, until late in the night.
Then, heading south along Broadway he spotted a rag-tag gaggle of marchers, mostly students and street characters, with signs heading towards Wall Street and the site of “Ground Zero” where the towers had been. He felt a twinge of nostalgia as the demonstrators took him back to the days of his student activism in Berkeley and he tagged along, wondering where they could be going at such a late hour. He read the signs they carried and the belated chants they made: “We are the 99%” and “Occupy Wall Street—Occupy Zuccotti Park!” Five or ten would occasionally chant to onlookers: “Take Back Wall Street!---Take Back the American Dream!” and “The People United, Shall Never Be Defeated!” Sartorius was happy to find an escape from his own cares and joined in the raucous crowd of demonstrators, raising himself to join in the chanting: “The People United, Shall Never Be Defeated” just as he had done in the Sixties, and he was cheered and welcomed into the fold by a muscular sandy-haired young union organizer and his Nordic-looking girlfriend. He introduced himself as Garry Bonoir, who was a labor activist working with Change to Win, a splinter labor group calling for a new initiative in the labor movement. Sartorius learned that he was part of a group calling themselves “The Counterforce” which sought to fight back against the predatory elite 1% of wealthholders who, along with the effects of an unbalanced globalization and the financial crisis of the world economy were assaulting the American Dream of “The 99%.” They said they were fighting for “Economic Democracy” and social justice, pointing to a large graph which they carried as a banner showing how the income of the top 1% had gone from 10% in 1980 up to 25% while the wages of workers had not risen at all in real terms and unemployment had shot up to over 10%.
“Join the Counterforce” Garry shouted as the stream of protesters entered the tent city they had erected in Zuccotti park near Wall Street, and immediately all the rest echoed with “Join the Counterforce” which mass-repetition, like a Greek chorus, they called “the human microphone” which they used because they could not get a loudspeaker permit from the NYPD. As they walked Sartorius told Garry and his girlfriend Simone about his own work for global democracy through the United Nations Parliamentary Assembly movement and they exchanged e-mails and joined each other’s organizations, expressing a firm desire to support each other, mobilizing support from the bottom-up and using “People Power” to leverage their causes against the entrenched institutions. Garry, seeing that Sartorius was exhausted and looking fevered and unwell, invited Sartorius to share their food and coffee and spend the night, if he wished, in their tent. They sat down to talk about their respective interests. Sartorius learned that Garry had been an Iraq war vet before getting involved in the labor movement. His girlfriend Simone studied sociology at the University of Michigan and was becoming known as a newly-successful Read Less
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