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In writers' circles, it is often said these days that you should concentrate on a single genre, or even a single topic, so as not to "confuse" your potential readers.So why have I obviously chosen to ignore this piece of "conventional wisdom"?
It's simple, really. During the course of my lifetime, I have delved into a number of areas which fascinated me, and so it seems only natural that I now write about them in order to share some of the insights I have gathered, as well as developed.
I have studied keyboard (piano, harpsichord, clavichord, as well as digital keyboards) for most of my life, and spent years teaching piano in Germany. While living in Spain, I gave many recitals (harpsichord), both as a soloist, as well as an accompanist. My book on "How to Memorize Music" explains the methods I used when I had to commit music to memory. Like all my non-fiction books, it is based more on practical experience than on theory, and is designed to help the learner accomplish a task as quickly as possible.
In 1977, I began to look into astrology. Not because I was a "believer"; quite the opposite: I thought that areas such as astrology were "nonsense", yet not being satisfied with merely opining, I wanted to prove that there was nothing at all to astrology. Imagine my surprise when, after months of intense study, I saw again and again that, contrary to what I had believed, astrology was indeed able to give a good picture of "what a person was like" in a great many respects - not to mention the fact that it could also provide important clues as to the tendencies of one's future.
My books on astrology aim at giving the reader the tools he/she will need to get a good picture of "what you can do" with astrology, while avoiding two extremes: that is, either totally rejecting astrology, or else believing that with astrology, you can tell everything about a person, or the future. The truth in this area - as in many areas of life - lies somewhere between these two extremes.
The area of self-improvement is obviously one which should be of interest to everyone on the planet!
Improving oneself mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually should be more than just an "interest" - it should be a way of life, and a major life goal, if you want to fully develop your potential as a human being. Therefore, exploring the limits of the mind has always fascinated me, for only by acquiring an understanding of how our minds work will we be able to shape them in such a way as to enable us to truly improve in any area of life.
In my early 20s, I therefore learned hypnosis, and was most surprised by what I learned about the incredible abilities of the mind. Yet I was also dismayed by how we so often do not use those abilities, simply because we are not consciously aware of the great powers that lie within us.
In many of my books, regardless of genre, you will find that I never tire of encouraging people to believe in that inner power, to explore their own possibilities, and to open their minds so that they may be able to more effectively solve their problems, overcome their weaknesses, develop their innate talents, and last but not least - lead happy, fulfilling lives!
When I was in my teens, if someone had told me that I would someday write books on the subject of clairvoyance, I would have declared him mad. At that time, clairvoyance was, in my opinion, like astrology: "hogwash". Yet when I was in my early twenties, I met a psychic whose astoundingly uncanny abilities could not be "explained away" by "cold reading" or coincidence.
Here, too, I chose to explore the subject rather than close-mindedly dismiss it off hand. The subsequent research I did in this area over the years showed me quite plainly that yes, "psychic powers" DO exist. My book "Seven Psychics" is a summary of the amazing things I witnessed, and that convinced me that certain individuals are indeed able to "see" things that are generally inaccessible to our "logical" minds.
I have been a passionate, life-long student of a number of subjects:
... it is only by understanding where we came from that we will ever be able to see where we are going. Or, as George Santayana put it: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
... by seeing what people have achieved in the past, we can get a better of idea of what we ourselves are capable of as individuals.
... last, but not least, history, when well written, is more entertaining than even the best novel, and all the more so because the events depicted really did happen; the people described once lived, breathed, enjoyed, suffered, and loved, just as we do; and we, before very long, will be just as dead as are those we read about in history books. As William Makepiece Thackeray put it: "good or bad, handsome or ugly, rich or poor, they are all equal now." Food for thought, to be sure!
... everything we experience - see, hear, feel, touch, smell or taste - can only be perceived and interpreted by our minds. Thus, it is not WHAT we experience in life that causes suffering, or happiness; it is HOW our minds interpret it. And how can we ever understand ourselves - let alone others - if we have no idea at all about how our minds work? Indeed, no matter what one's area, knowledge of psychology should be considered as a fundament for deeper understanding.
... it shows us how humans gradually came to understand life, and themselves, through rational thought.
... it helps us to avoid the excesses of unbridled emotion by using reason as our guide.
... it shows us how distorted reasoning (for not all philosophers were wise!) can lead to mental confusion, and even terrible upheavals in society.
... at its best, it can show us the path towards greater understanding, and even true happiness.
(Or did you think that philosophy was just some boring subject they tortured you with at school?)
... in times of joy, it increases our exuberance.
... in times of sadness or distress, it is a comfort and a solace.
... in times of apathy, it reminds us of the overwhelming beauty that life holds.
... it is capable of expressing harmony, and true beauty, far beyond that which could ever be put into words.
... it uplifts our spirits, even to the point of giving us an insight into "the world beyond"
Not that all music offers such a plethora of gifts; far from it! But anyone who has opened his or her mind and soul to the music of the great masters - Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, and many others - will know exactly what I mean. And to those who haven't: What are you waiting for? Please come in, my friends! You don't yet know what you have been missing - and you have nothing to lose but your prejudices. The feast is prepared - you have only to partake, and enjoy!
Politics, economics, social studies and the like, because...
... we really should move away from partisanship, by gaining a deeper understanding of the mistakes that are being made in countries all over the globe, as well as explore open-mindedly what could be done to make a better world for future generations.
... it teaches us to acquire the mental discipline necessary to both analyze and to reach conclusions (however temporary these may sometimes be).
... it is an indispensable companion when trying to understand everything in the material world, from the smallest particle to the entire universe.
... it is so often extremely practical, and useful!
... it has always astonished and bewildered me that people can come to firmly believe such peculiar things.
... to the practiced observer, it reveals so much about how people think and feel. Describe to me your God, and I will tell you what kind of person you are.
... I have come to the conclusion, after many decades of thought, study, and experience, that there is indeed more to "reality" than the physical world, and that there is much more to you or me than the physical bodies we currently inhabit. For me, religion is, at its purest, just what the word's origin implies: "re- + ligare" = "to bind again", that is, religion is the study of how man might (re-)discover his spiritual connection to All that Is, to the "One".
My book, "God, UFOs and the Death of JFK: An Alien Perspective on Belief and Reason" touches upon this aspect of religion. "To Hell with You!" deals with the official teachings of the Catholic Church on the existence of Hell and the Devil.
A host of other areas, because...
...I am incurably curious by nature!
Just in case you were expecting a more "traditional" sort of bio, here is some basic info...
I was born in Baltimore, and lived in a rather dangerous neighborhood (think: "The Wire") until I was 13, when my family moved to Hanover, Pa. I attended university at West Chester, Pa. where I studied music, and then German language and literature.
At 21, I moved to Germany, where I lived for 14 years, and was co-owner of a music school and a translation agency.
In 1990, I moved to Spain, where I taught English, German, and Astrology. I was also involved in software design. While living in Madrid, I gave frequent harpsichord recitals. I spent 19 years in Spain, and I must admit that I do miss it!
Since 2009, I have been living in Japan, where I have done most of my writing. Here, I engage in occasional work as an extra/actor for Japanese TV and movies.
I welcome feedback from my readers, or from anyone else, for that matter!
So don't hesitate to write me, at: dboltoncreations AT gmail.com
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