Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Tribute to ‘Jack’ McIntosh (1940-2019)

John Duncan Lawrence "Jack" MCINTOSH
Born: September 19, 1940 — Whitewood, SK
Died: May 29, 2019 — Richmond, BC — Age 79, cancer.


This shy bibliographer from the University of British Columbia (UBC) was a brilliant and generous scholar that many of us will miss. He was a friendly soul who wished the best for each of us regardless of our religion, politics, or education.

He was born in Saskatchewan and raised in the Castlegar area among Doukhobors, where he began to learn Russian from classmates at Stanley Humphries Secondary School. After studying Russian for two years at UBC, Jack studied in Russia where he attended sectarian Baptist meetings. Upon returning to Canada, he got ‘great on-the-job training’ translating for government, journals and the Soviet press. He entered the Librarian program at UBC, where he was employed, excelled, retired in 2001, and continued to volunteer. He managed the UBC Doukhobor Collection.

Jack and I exchanged historic materials on the Doukhobors, Lev N. Tolstoy, and peace-making since the 1960s. He gifted me a copy of his Expanded Bibliography on the Doukhobors that he hoped to get published, but never did. The Bibliography served me well. Whenever I needed some important source, he was able to provide me a photocopy, or email a file.

In the early 1980s, Jack was invited to interpret and participate in the Expanded Kootenay Committee on Intergroup Relations (EKCIR). We trusted him due to his honesty and many years of personal exposure to and knowledge of Doukhobors. Jack was impressed with Ashleigh Androsoff's observations and conclusions of the hearings. See her 2011 PhD thesis: Spirit Wrestling Identity Conflict and the Canadian “Doukhobor Problem,” 1899-1999 (pages 386, 390-392; and search for 'EKCIR').

In the early 1990s Jack was our guest during a Learned Societies conference here. He soon was in our basement looking over my history collection, and I recall how elated he was to find material for his current study.

It is remarkable that a Scottish lad learned Russian so well, and that he boldly shared insights that others did not. In the special issue of the Canadian Ethnic Studies in 1995 about Doukhobors, he challenged the accuracy of George Woodcock’s publications.

Jack was sensitive to the oral history of the Doukhobors, and drew on his wide readings to distinguish fact from fiction. His transliteration skills were precise: borshch, pirogi, sobranie, Petrov Den’, stikhi, etc. He wrote with dedication and thoroughness.

When I needed help with the creation of a CD version of Plakun Trava: The Doukhobors, Jack volunteered corrections and suggestions.

Jack McIntosh was a dear colleague whom I could trust in time of need. I don’t know of anyone who can fill his void.

Obituary: 'John McIntosh’, Vancouver Sun, June 8, 2019.


By Jack about Doukhobors

Unfortunately, none of his work is online, open source.

‘Jack McIntosh — Bibliographer (1940-2019)’. In forthcoming eBook by Koozma J. Tarasoff and Andrei Conovaloff, Spirit Wrestlers: Doukhobor Pioneers and Friends. Submitted 2018. Proposed publication 2020.

‘Maintaining community among a small, dispersed people: Canadian Doukhobor periodical publications on the wall, in the mail and on the Internet’. In Andrew Donskov, John Woodsworth and Chad Gaffield (eds.), The Doukhobor Centenary in Canada (2000): 277-289.

‘Rarely-Cited “Gems” in the Doukhobor Bibliography: Why So Obscure? What Can be Done?’ In Canadian Ethnic Studies, vol. XXVII, No. 8, 1995: 262-269.

‘Update 1973-1993: Excerpts From the Doukhobor Bibliography, Expanded Updated Edition’. In Koozma J. Tarasoff and Robert B. Klymasz, Spirit Wrestlers. Centennial Papers in Honour of Canada’s Doukhobor Heritage (1995): 187-216.

Horvath’s Doukhobor Bibliography (in Progress). Revised and Expanded. Unpublished 1989 version, 428 pp.

Unpublished papers:
  • ‘Maintaining community among a small, dispersed people: Canadian Doukhobor periodical publications on the wall, in the mail and on the Internet, at The Doukhobor Centenary in Canada: a multi-disciplinary perspective on their unity and diversity, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario. 1999 October 22-24. — Though not on the program, Jack gave half of his time to Jonathan Kalmakoff and Andrei Conovaloff to show their new web sites.
  • ‘The Doukhobor Migration That Never Was’. Panel: ‘Doukhobors in Canada — 100 Years and Beyond’. Canadian Association of Slavists Meeting, Ottawa, Ontario. 1998 June 1.

Tuesday, 4 June 2019

Remembering Alex Ewashen (1932-2019)

EWASHEN Alex May 20, 2019 aged 87 in Creston B.C., Canada. Beloved husband of Julie, (née O'Neill), father of Alexandra and Brian. Funeral service in Creston & District Community Complex, B.C., Canada, on Saturday June 1 at 1.00 p.m (The Irish Times)

Alex Jacob Ewashen (February 21, 1932 ~ May 20, 2019)
Born in Nanton, Alberta. Passed away on May 20th, 2019 in Creston, B.C. 87 years of age. Celebration of Life: Saturday, June 1st, 2019 at 1:00pm, Creston and District Community Complex, “Creston Room”, 312 19th Ave North, Creston, B.C. (G. F. Oliver funeral Chapel)

His brother Larry reported: ‘A very moving funeral yesterday with a choir from the Kootenays.’

Lorne Eckerley. Opinon: Pangs of Loss, This is the Life, Creston Valley Advance, May 20, 2019. — Reporter and friend remembers Alex as a 'moral compass'.

Alex J. Ewashen, Obituaries, Creston Valley Advance, May 20, 2019. — Biography.

Click on image to enlarge.

A Tribute and note for his 'Celebration' on June 1, 2019

Dear Julie and children, Ewashen brothers and many friends,

Alex Ewashen was an outstanding intelligent bright person, with much curiosity, open to the world, with humour, and a good friend to all of us.

AlexEwashen_book_2014.jpegIn his book Rags To Riches...My Way (2014), which he sent to me and my wife Kristina, Alex inscribed the following words: ‘Koozma and Kristina. Thanks for being a Lifelong Friend. Alex.’

I published a review of his book in July 2015, which Alex proofread via the Internet while he was in the Republic of Georgia on the Doukhobor Heritage Tour, led by Verna Postnikoff.

Also see: Auctioneer publishes memoir, Rags to Riches, by Lorne Eckersley, Creston Valley Advance, October 2, 2014, page 3.

For us, it was a pleasure to meet Alex on many occasions, to correspond with him, and being a lifelong friend is an honour. With Kristina, we were hosted at his home and he and Julie stayed at our place during the visit of the 100-member Voices for Peace Choir to Ottawa in 1995. At one of our visits at his house, we made a nice video interview with Alex and Julie.

Alex was indeed a Doukhobor pioneer. I included him in my big book celebrating over 200 pioneers who showed the way to peace and justice in Canada and helped create a better world. He had curiosity, intelligence, compassion and valued hard work. His life was proof of his Doukhobor philosophy and beliefs. He recognized himself as ‘A Peacenik’ for most of his life and was a bridge-builder. He was creative and talented. With Larry and Bob they created a musical trio and participated in many Doukhobor and public events.

Alex was brave — not afraid to take on new adventures. In 1984, when a Quaker neighbour offered an opportunity to participate in a 50,000 km. Peace and Friendship Caravan, he signed on within a two-hour deadline notice. Then he joined a handful of concerned activists for a 3.5 month travel through 22 countries in Europe promoting Sister Cityship and student exchanges.

Alex had an interesting rich life and a beautiful family! Here are many stories to be shared…. All of us will miss him. However, the good memories will remain.

Вечная память ему. Rest in peace Alex!
With deep condolences to the whole family,

Koozma and Kristina

Stop CANSEC 2019

Peace Movement Determined to Shut Down CANSEC Arms Trade Show in Canada

OTTAWA, ONT., May 29th, 2019. — 100 peace activists paraded in front of the EY Centre entrance, adjacent to Ottawa International Airport, during Canada’s largest military trade fair, CANSEC 2019, held May 29. See 106 photos.

Protesters slowed incoming traffic to persuade some of the 11,500 registrants that Canada should sell peace not war, and stop CANSEC in the future.

Backed up traffic stopped every 30 seconds.
Police cooperated with protesters. Relations between the Ottawa City Police and the activists were cordial at the entry gate of the EY Centre. When police first met with activists on site in early that morning, the officers suggested a friendly arrangement to allow for equal time for their police work, and our peace work. Protesters could stop the traffic for 30 seconds, then allow the traffic to proceed for 30 seconds — stop and go every minute. That eventually stretched the traffic at the gate to a 100-second stall.

We were allowed to block 2 of the 3 entrances to the EY Centre. The northern entrance was used by security. Protesters divided into 2 groups, then many joined to hear the speakers. The protest lasted about 2 hours.


This arrangement slowed down the traffic considerably, up to the freeway. Show attendees in vehicles were exposed to about 2 minutes of our peace messages and concerns for discontinuing CANSEC.

Event co-organizer Brent Patterson reported: ‘The picket lines also helped snarl traffic on Uplands Drive [in front of the EY Centre] and delay the cars, taxis and shuttle buses making their way to hear Canadian Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan's opening keynote address.’

We noticed that nearly all the cars passing by us to the parking lot had closed windows. Though most CANSEC attendees did not hear, or would not listen to our message, nearly all could see our signs and banners.


Also see

Saturday, 4 May 2019

Murray McCheyne Thomson (1922 - 2019)

Tribute to ‘a renaissance man of peace’


It is sad to hear about the passing at the age of 96 of our dear Friend (Quaker) Murray McCheyne Thomson on May 2nd, 2019, in Ottawa, Ontario.

He was born in China, raised by parents who where Christian missionaries, came to Canada as a child, grew, joined the Society of Friends, and persistently advocated for world peace to the end of his life. I really admired him, as did many here.

I last saw him on March 30, 2019 at the 'Say No to NATO' demonstration in downtown Ottawa during a blizzardy snowy cold day. He came out on his walker. I took pictures of Murray and briefly talked about the Big Issues of society — of disarmament and peace.

We have had a long relationship with Murray over the years. I first met him in Saskatchewan in the early1950s when Murray worked as an adult educator. We met again in the 1970s at the Grindstone Island Peace Education Centre, where Murray was one of the founders. (See his paper below.)

Despite protesting the Canadian military, Murray was decorated as an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2001, and the Pearson Medal of Peace in 1990 from the United Nations Association of Canada. He is renowned for co-founding 7 peace organizations from 1976 to 2012.

In 1982 Murray was one of the signatories with me to a UN appeal at the International Doukhobor Intergroup Symposium, Castlegar, BC, sent to the Second Special Session on Disarmament of the United Nations.

In October 2008 we published Murray’s proposal that the traditional Canadian peace groups — Doukhobors, Mennonites and Quakers — unite to stimulate an anti-NATO initiative, to promote a world without wars.

Murray indeed will be missed. He played the violin, had a great connection to people, with lots of enthusiasm and authority as well as humour. He was a renaissance man of peace — and he and his deeds need to be remembered so as to help us save our civilization from the scourge of wars.

I believe we all need to follow his example — stand up and be counted in searching and working for world peace and social justice. With the Doomsday Clock of Scientists at one minute to midnight, the need to speak out today is very urgent!


By and about Murray

Murray Thomson, Wikipedia

Murray Thomson, Ottawa Quakers active in peace work (a selection), Quakers.org.

Fonds RC0129 - Murray Thomson fonds, 1941-2011 (Creation), Archives and Collections, McMaster University Library, Hamilton, Ontario.

Murray Thomson. ‘The Relevance of our Testimonies to Peace’, Symposium Proceedings: International Doukhobor Intergroup Symposium. Castlegar, British Columbia, Canada, June 25-28, 1982. Pages 58-59. Koozma J. Tarasoff (Coordinator and Editor).

Murray Thomson. The Grindstone Era: Looking Back, Looking Ahead, The Canadian Quaker History Journal, No. 66, 2001, pages 12-15. — Paper given at the 2001 Annual Meeting of the CFHA

Murray Thomson. Minutes to midnight : Why more than 800 Order of Canada recipients call for nuclear disarmament (PDF). Ottawa, ON. 2005.

Murray Thomson. ‘Toward a Culture of Peace’, Press Release from the Religious Society of Friends: 30 August 2006 — Announcement for the Gardner Lecture at the Yearly Meeting of the Society of Friends, Winnipeg, Manitoba, given by Murray: 'Toward a Culture of Peace: Can We Afford to Pay the Price?'

Koozma J. Tarasoff. Ottawa Peace Festival Provides Hope for an Ailing World : 1st Ottawa Peace Festival 2007 Review. October 3, 2007.

Murray Thomson. Traditional Peace Groups Explore Withdrawal from NATO. October 24, 2008, Spirit Wrestlers website.

Koozma J. Tarasoff. Peacemaker Murray Thomson at 90, plus 108 photographs, 55 showing Murray. December 10, 2012. Spirit Wrestlers website.

Age is More : Murray Thompson’ (3.5 min video), The Revera and Reel Youth Age is More Film Project. Youtube, July 3, 2014.

Walk with Us, (poster) Ottawa Peace Festival 2015.

Nuclear war still threatens world, experts say; disarmament only solution, CBC News, May 17, 2016 — Murray Thomson has over 800 Order of Canada winners supporting disarmament in new book.

Peace activist says it's time to speak up about nuclear disarmament, BC Almanac, Episode 300249841 (22:39 min. audio), CBC Radio, May 16, 2016 — Can Canada help lead the world to nuclear disarmament? An Order of Canada winner says yes — but the people need to speak up, and the politicians need to listen.

Murray Thomson (#151): 150+ Canadians who contributed to peace. Peace Quest, July 2, 2017.

Koozma J. Tarasoff. ‘Music Against War’ versus CANSEC — May 30, 2018, plus 96 photos, 2 showing Murray. June 4, 2018. Spirit Wrestlers website.

Koozma J. Tarasoff. No to NATO and War — Yes to Peace and Progress, plus 40 photos, 6 showing Murray, taken in Ottawa. March 3, 2019, updated March 30, 2019. Spirit Wrestlers blog.

Dennis Gruending. 'Peace activist Murray Thomson dies at 96'. May 5, 2019.

Murray Thomson, co-founder Project Ploughshares, 1922-2019 : requiescal in pace, Project Ploughshares, May 6, 2019.

Cresky, Jim. Murray Thomson: from RCAF pilot to pacifist, The Hill Times, May. 8, 2019

On the loss of Murray Thomson …a fine fellow with a great sense of humour, PeaceQuest, May 17, 2019. — Links to 5 more articles.

Sunday, 3 March 2019

No to NATO and War
— Yes to Peace and Progress

On March 30, 2019 the Regina Peace Council in Saskatchewan is holding a peace conference and noon rally to condemn NATO and celebrate 70 years of the World Peace Council and affiliated peace organizations. NATO is 70 years old also.

See album of 31 photos of speakers, rally and march.

Speakers
For more information, call Ed Lehman 306-718-8010 or write edrae1133@gmail.com. Ed said he borrowed their event title from the larger annual event held in Washington D.C. by World Beyond War, and doing it on a Saturday 4 days earlier.

News Updates

— Newspaper

Group of Reginans protest Canada's involvement in NATO,
Regina Leaper-Post, March 31, 2019.

— Radio

'Listen Up', Regina Community Radio, 91.3 FM CJTR, April 2, 2019, 11 a.m. – noon, current events hosted by Dave Morgan. Download 1 hour audio file to play on your computer. The second half of the broadcast, beginning at minute 25 to 54 (move time slider), are 25 minutes of interviews with '... Andre Vltchek, war correspondent: Laura Savinkoff, Canadian Peace Congress & Dave Gehl, Regina Peace Council “Yes to Peace & Progress: No to NATO, War & Aggression”.'

— Ottawa

On March 30 in Ottawa, Canada, a small group braved the weather to call on the Government of Canada to get out of NATO at the time when NATO is celebrating its 70th birthday. I took 40 photos posted here: Say No to NATO. Ken "Kensky" Billings included news on his monthly e-zine: Digileak Canada, April 2019, slides 31+.

— Toronto

Tamara Lorinez, Canadian Voice of Women for Peace, reports from Toronto, in solidarity with Regina and Ottawa.

Hello Ottawa friends! Well done protesting NATO in our capital! We were in solidarity with you in Toronto. We had two actions in Toronto: on Wednesday, March 27 we protested the “Women & NATO” conference; and on Saturday, March 30 we had very rainy rally. See 14 photos from March 30, plus all my albums.
In January I began a monthly protest against NATO outside the NATO Association of Canada, 60 Harbour St., Toronto. Join us on April 24, noon to 1 pm.

— Doukhobors

Mae Popoff reports: 'Neither I nor members of the Saskatoon Peace Coalition went to the Regina Peace Conference, though Laura Savinkoff was a speaker. With Regrets but many responsibilities.

Koozma J. Tarasoff replied: 'Sorry to hear that no one from the Doukhobor community went to the "No to NATO" rally in Regina on March 30th. I was hoping that Western Canadian Doukhobors would reinvigorate their peace mission as we did when Peter G. Makaroff and others did in 1964-1965. Think about it! Anticipate the next moment soon....The world needs our voices to help preserve the human civilization on Planet Earth. This means you, me, our children and grandchildren.'


Peace Bill Board

This year the Regina Peace Council will construct their own peace billboard on donated farm land along the highway just outside of Regina. Their major cost will be the large plastic fabric sign, a considerable savings compared to their first sign last year Peace Billboard in Saskatchewan, 6 June 2018.


Related

Thursday, 7 February 2019

Anyone can donate a kidney for
Jonathan Kalmakoff

Our very productive, passionate, award winning, genealogist-historian Jonathan Kalmakoff needs a working kidney.

In 2002 he was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease (PKD), an inherited disease. In 2015 he began to cut back on activities, and by 2018 required dialysis which he is doing daily at home.

He also needs our financial support to raise his 3 kids and to continue to add to the thousands of articles, names, locations, ancestries and records posted on his Doukhobor Genealogy Website and Doukhobor Message Board since 1999. Jon is still young and only about half done with his research. Don't let him stop.

The USCC announced Jon's dilemma during the 2018 Christmas Eve program, also on live stream video December 24, with other announcements projected on the large screen using images from his websites. See the video segment at time 57:21 to 58:35. A month later his former home town newspaper published an article about his illness. Jon lives and works in Regina, 240 km southwest of Canora.
Though several of his friends and family members offered to be living donors and were disqualified, anyone can donate a kidney for Jonathan.

The Kidney Paired Donation (KPD) Program of Canada allows anyone to donate a kidney to any recipient, whether or not their kidneys match, and from anyplace in the world.

The KPD Program increases the probability for people in need of a kidney transplant, like Jon, to be restored to better health, and saved from death.

If your kidney is incompatible (not a match) for Jon, your kidney data goes into the Canadian Transplant Registry (CTR), a database that matches your kidney to the best recipient (not Jon), and a different kidney from the registry goes to Jon. It's like if one puts money in a bank in BC to give to someone who takes the money out in SK. We know it's not exactly the same money, but the value is the same. Meanwhile, the money you deposited in BC gets circulated to other people.


On the average, 4 to 5 people get a kidney due to the chain of transplants from 1 donated kidney.

People who donate a kidney can live normal lives with only one kidney because "...the single normal kidney will increase in size to compensate for the loss of the donated kidney." Recovery after surgery varies. See What to Expect After Donation. To donate a kidney, contact your provincial organ donor office. More than 99% do not regret donating their kidney. Best of all, Jon will be your buddy for life.

If you cannot donate your kidney, please donate a few dollars to support his research costs.


Update 19 February 2019

A "Prayer Circle Service for Jonathan Kalmakoff was conducted during the DSSC Conference held on 16 February 2019 in Saskatoon.


Update 27 February 2019

On his Facebook page, Jon shared a photo of him on dialysis, pleads for more organ donors, and links to Canadians are Dying Because Our Organ Donation Rate is Dismally Low, by David Suzuki, The Nature of Things, CBC-TV, September 16, 2017.


Update 13 March 2019

From The Canora Courier, 11 January 2019:
National Gallery of Saskatchewan brings artistic presence to Canora
Jon Kalmakoff, formerly of Canora, commissioned the work after receiving a gift certificate from his mother Oney Pollock of Canora. Kalmakoff wrote "The Doukhobor Trading Company in Canora" series which was previously featured in the Canora Courier [in 5 parts during March 2018, and in Iskra].
After Kalmakoff took ill there was some concern over whether he would be able to cover the full cost of the painting. But his sister Janna Kalmakoff started a fundraiser and the full $1,500 had been raised by Christmas.

Update 22 March 2019

CTV News Regina, May 22, 2019

Father of three pleads for kidney donor, by Cally Stephanow, CTV News Regina, May 22, 2019. —  After a 30 second commercial, Jon and his daughters are interviewed.

Details

Note: Alvin Roth and Lloyd Shapley were awarded the 2012 Nobel Prize in economic science for developing the algorithms that are required to match large numbers of donors and recipients in KPD. See their math: Massó, Jordi. The theory of stable allocations and the practice of market design. The Nobel Prize in Economics 2012 for Alvin E. Roth and Lloyd S. Shapley, Contributions to Science 11:103-112 (2015)

Sunday, 3 February 2019

Q82 — Does Our Civilization Have a Future?

From a Russian scholar, Moscow, Russian Federation.

Дорогой Кузьма!
Вот и еще один год прошел, пролетел, подхваченный ветром времён. И наступает новый 2019 год - таинственный и немного страшный, потому что жить в этом мире становится всё страшнее и страшнее. Ощущение приближающейся 3 Мировой войны становится всё более явственным. Мне кажется, что мы все никогда не были от нее так близко. Это ощущение постоянно рождает в голове мысль: а надо ли вообще что-то делать, к чему-то стремиться и чего-то добиваться, если все в один момент может исчезнуть, и тогда ничего и никому будет уже не нужно. На меня эта мысль действует очень плохо, хотя вопреки ей я стараюсь продолжать работать.

My Translation:

Dear Koozma!
So another year has passed, it flew by, caught up by the wind of times. And the new year 2019 is coming — mysterious and a bit scary, because living in this world is getting more and more dangerous. The feeling of the approaching World War 3 is becoming more pronounced. It seems to me that we have never been so close to this. This feeling constantly gives birth to the idea: is it necessary to do something at all, to strive for something and to achieve something, if everything can disappear in one moment and then nothing will be necessary for anyone. This thought has a very bad effect on me, although in spite of it I try to keep working.


In 2019, The Doomsday Clock reaffirmed
the "two minutes to midnight" time.
Koozma’s Answer

I agree and have extensively written about our future (list below).

A similar view was expressed in (‘We’re Headed To War With Russia, and No One Seems to Care’, Russia Insider, March 26, 2018).

How can I give hope and optimism to my Russian friend in 2019 when The Doomsday Clock by concerned scientists warn us of eminent danger of nuclear weapons to our civilization, when many politicians continue to rely on NATO to protect their empires, and when the US threatens world peace with its rage for endless wars? With the New Cold War in process, fueled by the military industrial complex and elites drunk with making money from the killing field, what hope can we provide to ensure a real future for humanity? Let’s remember that the former Soviet Union lost over 27 million citizens in fighting the Nazi invaders. We need to respect Russia because it won the war at great cost to protect our world from destruction.

We all need to Wake Up, Become Educated and Act Humanly to save our beautiful world from catastrophe.

2018 October 13 — World Beyond War Conference 2018, Toronto, Ontario, September 21-22.
2018 May 9 — Celebrating a World Without Wars : Russian Victory Day
2018 April 4 — Issues for the World Peace Forum
2018 March 17 — Peace Networking with Professor Beissel
2017 November 13 — Remember peace and nuclear disarmament on ‘Remembrance Day’
2017 August 9 — Hiroshima and Nagasaki Remembered — What are we waiting for?
2017 May-August — What I Have Learned From Peace Activism in the World

Monday, 21 January 2019

4 gods-within us — continued

For the past 6 years, 3 friends and myself occasionally meet for coffee in downtown Ottawa . We first met at local peace events and discovered we shared a common humanity of ‘the god-within’. We enjoyed meeting for coffee, and soon called ourselves the ‘4 gods-within’.

This is my third report about our meetings which began in December 2013.


We are: Bill, a retired political scientist, author and Gandhian fellow; Mony, MBA, author and television producer and her artist husband Alberto; and me.

On January 16 we began our 2019 meeting with a flood of new ideas heralding a new era of nonkilling, love and joy.

Koozma presented two ethical stories from Jon-Lee.

Story One was about a group of alumni who got together for a visit with their wise professor. When the conversation soon turned to complaints about endless stress of work and life, the professor offered his guests coffee. He returned from the kitchen with a large pot of coffee and an eclectic assortment of cups: ‘porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal, some plain, some expensive, some quite exquisite.’ Quietly he invited them to help themselves to some fresh coffee.
As his former student had a cup of coffee in hand, the professor quietly cleared his throat and began to patiently address the small gathering. ‘You may have noticed that all of the nicer looking cups were taken up first, leaving behind the plainer and cheaper ones. While it is only natural for you to want only the best for yourself yet that is actually the source of much of your stress-related problems.’
He continued. ‘Be assured that the cup itself adds no quality to the coffee. In fact, the cup merely disguises or dresses up what we drink. What each of you really wanted was coffee, not a cup, but you instinctively went for the best cups. Then you began eyeing each other’s cups.
‘Now consider this: Life is coffee. Jobs, money and position in society are merely cups. They are just tools to shape and contain life, and the type of cup we have does not truly define nor change the quality of the life we live. Often, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee….’
The happiest people don’t have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything. So please remember: Live Simply. Love Generously. Care Deeply .Speak Kindly.
And remember — the richest person is not the one who has the most, but the one who needs the least.
Story Two was about a 92-year-old wise man, whose wife just died. He was waiting patiently in the lobby of a nursing home, ready to move in himself. As he maneuvered his walker to the elevator, the nurse provided a visual description of his tiny room, including the eyelet sheets that had been hung on his window.
‘I love it,’ he stated with enthusiasm.
‘Mr. Jones, you haven’t seen the room; just wait.’
‘That doesn’t have anything to do with it,’ he replied.
‘Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time. Whether I like my room or not doesn’t depend on how the furniture is arranged....it’s how I arrange my mind. I already decided to love it. It’s a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I have a choice; I can spend the day in bed recounting the difficulty
'I have with parts of my body that no longer work, or get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that do.
‘Each day is a gift, and as long as my eyes open, I’ll focus on the new day and all the happy memories I’ve stored away. Just for this time in my life.
‘Wise age is like a bank account. You withdraw from what you’ve put in.
‘So, my advice to you would be to deposit a lot of happiness in the bank account of memories! Thank you for your part in filling my Memory bank. I am still depositing.’
Remember the simple rules to be happy:
    1. Free your heart from hatred.
    2. Free your mind from worries.
    3. Live simply.
    4. Give more.
    5. Expect less.
We discussed 5 films
  1. The Good Place ’ is a fantasy comedy series on Netflix on common grounds of morals and ethics. It reminded me of my University of Saskatchewan days where I took a fascinating philosophy course on Morals and Ethics from the memorable Dr. Robert Paton.
  2. The Reluctant Saint ’ is a 1962 film about Joseph of Cupertino, a 17th-century Italian Franciscan friar and mystic, who did not seem to fit in anywhere, but found a solid place in society with simple actions of love.
  3. Inner Worlds, Outer Worlds ’ is a 5-part series on YouTube, which explores the inner and outer worlds via different philosophies. It provides us with a wider perspective in seeing ourselves as part of nature.
  4. Brother, Son, Sister, Moon’ is another classic film, an examination of the life of Saint Francis of Assisi. This man spoke to the poor in France and other parts of Europe by denouncing the wealth of the Catholic Church, while rejecting many Catholic dogmas and doctrines, especially the need for ordained priesthood, and working towards a world without wars.
  5. Roma’ is a 2018 film about life of a housemaid in a Mexican neighbourhood Colonia Roma — highly recommended! It is said to be an antidote to our highly fast-paced Smartphone society. We need to stop, look and listen to life in our environment, and enjoy its existence.
We talked briefly about the Mondragon cooperatives in Spain, founded in 1956 by graduates of the local technical college. Its first product was paraffin heaters. By 2014, it employed 74,117 people in 257 companies and organizations in four business divisions: finance, industry, retail and knowledge. Today, they have over 100,000 members, all owners of their workplaces with votes in their businesses.

What is the essence of the god-within?

We ended with this question. Invoking ‘the higher God’ was creatively refrained towards the ‘inner god-within’ as a way to get to the core of humanity. Instead of invoking Jesus Christ, Buddha, Allah, etc., why don’t we simply invoke ourselves by our actions as showing the way of love, beauty, compassion, and nonkilling? Is that not the essence of truth into the mysterious realm of spirituality? After all, are we not real energy-driven instruments of these practical qualities that make us human?

The story of the Greek Gods and Godesses is history. Most people today would acknowledge that ancient story of divine and semi-divine figures as mythology and religion.

In the 21st century, can we now acknowledge that man is connected to divine energy? Can we now publicly proclaim ‘I am an instrument of love and compassion?’ Or ‘I am an instrument of peace?’ When congruent, our intent and our actions of the gods-within form the strategic map of reality as part of one common humanity of brothers and sisters in spirit. The old ethical maxim (‘Do unto others as you wish them to do onto you’) has been enriched. The traditional wisdom masters of the past (Jesus Christ, Buddha, Allah, Lev N. Tolstoy, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., etc.) would be pleased.

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Lev Tolstoy and American Philosophy

Lev Tolstoy and American Philosophy” (Лев Толстой и американская философия), including Canadian Doukhobors, was an open lecture with a Microsoft PowerPoint slide presentation given in Russia on October 11, 2018, at 5 pm by Dr. Irina A. Anosova.

This lecture stems from her 1995 PhD dissertation: "American Philosophy in the Context of Leo Tolstoy’s Spiritual Legacy." While researching Tolstoy, she became interested in Doukhobors, contacted Koozma, and came to Canada in 2005 and 2010 for field research. This short lecture was an overview of her message to appreciate Tolstoy and Doukhobors.

She was the second speaker for the event “Tolstoy Library: a century-long project” (Библиотека Толстого: проект длиною в век) celebrating the 190th birthday of Lev Tolstoy and the 100th anniversary of the Lev Tolstoy Library (No 2) on Vasilievsky Island, a bourough in the center of St. Petersburg, Russia.

Tolstoy Library and event poster.

The library was founded in 1918 and named in 1920 to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the death of L.N. Tolstoy. The library displays history, art, film and video, has meeting rooms and about 89,000 books.

Anosova's 23-slide presentation was in Russian, which she sent to Koozma to post online. We translated, edited, and added links. Slide #18 (Doukhobor meetings) was added because she mislabeled slide #17 (USCC dove formation, 1999) as a “regular Doukhobor meeting.”

Download the enhanced Microsoft PowerPoint slide file (PPT 5,436 KB). <2018_Anosova_Tolstoy_American_Philosophy.ppt>

Dr. Anosova (centre) showing title slide in the library "green room".

Dr. Anosova reviewed the many American philosophers who influenced Tolstoy, and explained Tolstoy's connection with Canadian Doukhobors. She began with American transcendentalism from the 1700s through the mid 1800s (Franklin, Jefferson, Paine, Channing, Emerson, Thoreau); progressed to nonresisters (Mennonites, Quakers, Ballou, Garrison); then introduced Doukhobors.

Several photos gathered during her 2010 trip across Canada were used — women pulling plow, painting of a village in Saskatchewan, USCC centennial, USCC human dove formation, staff of the Doukhobor Discovery Centre, and a tribute to Koozma J. Tarasoff for all his help.

Other speakers presented the website “All of Tolstoy in one click” (Весь Толстой в один клик), readings from Tolstoy's three novels, the exhibit “Discovering Tolstoy again” (Открывая Толстого заново), and a Tolstoy family tree poster.

The event was announced in a poster (above), formal press release (below), then reported on a news blog with 6 photos (below) taken at the event attended by about 15 people. We hope many will see this story and the slides.

More by Dr. Irina Anosova,
Dept.of Philosophy, St. Petersburg State University of Culture and Arts, Russian Federation.

Saturday, 5 January 2019

Gubanov, Russian Doukhobor Artist Dies

Губанов Владимир Петрович (1951-2018)

Vladimir (‘Volodia’) Petrovich Gubanov will long be remembered as an talented Russian Doukhobor sculptor and artist. He died December 17, 2018 at his home in the town of Nebug, Tuapsinsky district, Krasnodar krai, on the Black Sea, 130 km. (80 mi.) north of Sochi. He was 67 years old.

Gubanov: in USSR c. 1970, Canada 1995, and Georgia 2014.

Canadian Doukhobors met him in 1995 during his 4-month expedition across Canada. He produced nearly 40 portrait sketches of Doukhobors, many of which were published in Spirit Wrestlers: Doukhobor Pioneers’ Strategies for Living (2002).

In an August 1995 interview, Volodia said:
I believe the Doukhobor movement has a future. As a Doukhobor I believe that people must preserve planet earth. If people are quiet about wars, then there is no future for our civilization. (Spirit Wrestlers ..., page 223).
Vladimir was invited to Canada to commemorate the 1995 Centennial of the 1895 arms burning by Doukhobors in Russia. He came with sketches of Russian Doukhobors, several oil paintings, and a huge mural: "The Doukhobors' Destruction of Weapons", oil on canvas, 100 x 200 cm. The mural was promoted on this poster-calendar 'Spirit of '95'.

Click here to enlarge poster.

Vladimir Gubanov was born in the Doukhobor village of Orlovka (map by Johnathan Kalmakoff), Bogdanovskoy district, Georgian S.S.R. — near the site of the 1895 arms burning. His father herded cattle on the kolhoz (collective farm), but later in the 1970s left for Nalchik, in northern Caucasus. The Gubanovs resided across the entire former Soviet Union and Vladimir’s grandfather was exiled to a Koylma gulag labor camp in Siberia for 10 years because he owned 11 cows instead of the allotted one per family and was charged under Stalin with the crime of being a kulak.

In 1974 Vladimir left home to study art in Rostov-on-Don, Moscow and the Far East. In 1989 he completed studies at the Stroganov Moscow State Academy of Arts and Industry. He eventually landed a job at the large health-spa hotel resort "Molniya Yamal" in Nebug, where he continued to paint, do interior design and sculptures on commission.

He soon acquired a plot of land less than a kilometer uphill from the resort to build his own art studio and home. Slowly it became a modern three-story motel apartment designed in the shape of a ship (from above), with studio (muzei-masterskaya) and gallery (kartinnaya galereya) where he made and displayed his art. In 1993 he dedicated part of the gallery as a Doukhobor Cultural Centre to promote the world-wide Doukhobor movement, where he hoped to host international conferences. The Gallery was incorporated in 2006.


For the Doukhobors, Vladimir had planned a renaissance in the development of culture with a balance between individual and social needs. He said: ‘If we lose our culture and our social charter, we will lose our soul.’ In his studies, he discovered that the first Doukhobors were not vegetarians, they were not against dancing and song, and bowing to the ground was not essential. He urged Canadian Doukhobors to embrace the use of all the creative resources to attract youth to their social movement. Vladimir Gubanov was indeed a renaissance man with deep respect for culture and the future of humanity.


More
  1. ‘A Russian Artist’s Odyssey to Preserve the Future’. In Koozma J. Tarasoff, Spirit Wrestlers: Doukhobor Pioneers’ Strategies for Living (2002), pages 223-225.
  2. Koozma J. Tarasoff. ‘The Events that Shook the World in 1895’. In Ahimsa Nonviolence, Vol. II, No 3, May-June 2006: 244-246.
  3. Tolstoy & Doukhobors — 42 image CD’. Spirit Wrestlers Blog, Sept. 8, 2011.
  4. Владимир Губанов (Vladimir Gubanov), Odnoklasniki, last updated 31 May 2014. — Similar to U.S.A. Facebook.
  5. International Doukhobor Meeting-Exhibit. Proposal to Build Bridges between East and West'. November 11, 2016.
  6. Koozma J. Tarasoff and Andrei Conovaloff. Images — paintings and drawings depicting the event (see image 6) in ‘Historic 1895 Burning of Guns: descriptions, selections and translations’. See image 6. Updated May 21, 2018.
  7. Leo Tolstoy and the Doukhobors: Conscientious Objection’. Gandhi Information Centre, 2019.
  8. Visual Arts and Nonkilling. A mural commemorating the 100th Anniversary of Arms Burning in Russia.’ #3 in Nonkilling Arts Research Committee Letter: Vol. 3, N. 1 (January - February 2019).