It’s all about the Connections in our Beliefs…

Hallelujah and Namu Myoho Renge Kyo

Editor’s Note:

0Namu Myoho Renge Kyo means Glory to the Sutra of the Lotus of the Supreme Law and is the central mantra chanted within all forms of Nichiren Buddhism.

Hallelujah is a transliteration of the Hebrew word הַלְּלוּיָהּ, which is composed of two elements: הַלְּלוּ (an exhortation to “praise” addressed to several people) and יָהּ (the name of God) and is generally translated as “Praise be to God.”

1I have a Master’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, which is a fancier way of saying: “I see the connections in everything.”

I believe that connections exist everywhere, all the time, and it is our privilege as humans—if we want to grow and expand our knowledge—to find these connections.

I was born a Roman Catholic and baptized, and received my first Holy Communion. Then a major change in my family life occurred. Oddly enough, I was the child who started this roller coaster ride when I came home one day and asked my dad why we didn’t read the Bible. Soon afterwards, my father left the Catholic Church, taking us along with him, and we became “Born Again Christians” attending a fundamentalist Baptist Church.

3Since this transformation at the age of eleven, I have been mindful…more like consumed with the topic of religion, eternal life, who goes to heaven, who doesn’t and why. Is there a heaven, or is it a stream of energy in the Universe, or the now more popular term: Multiverses?

This has been a journey for over four decades. I have written a thesis on the topic and my fascination with formal religion, or a more broad way of looking at it…spirituality. I have finally decided that I categorize myself as the latter of the two. My disappointment with formalized religious doctrine, is just that. I see it as doctrine. Humans often times crave or look for rules to guide or decide which way to go. I believe that these rules should be more like guidelines. This is my personal belief. That said, I have extreme respect for all people and all religions and hope they will share their stories with me throughout my lifetime.

4Anonymous Andy wrote an article on the Secret Chord…this secret chord we will strike with our life. He then went on to talk about Shrek (one of my favorite movies, for different reasons), but most of all the song, with lyrics. I got caught up in the Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah…almost to infinity, and that is what Hallelujah represents. It represents the word of all words in Christianity…Praise be to God. When all words fail us, it is this incredible chorus to sing, in repetition as a comfort. It is the chorus of Handel’s Messiah and many other hymns, I am sure many of you have sung on multiple occasions, if you are Christian.

5So, there you have it. It is a mantra. I do jokingly call myself a Catholic/Buddhist. Much to my father’s dismay (if he knew), I would have to say that Catholicism is my culture, in my DNA, and impossible to dismiss completely.

I have had the chance to attend many different religious ceremonies and have felt welcomed wherever I have visited. I got the chance to chant at a Buddhist service and although I didn’t completely feel the transformation, I did feel the connection with this group for the hour I joined them in chanting.  As I learned, the purpose of chanting, is to attain perfect and complete awakening and unify with the spiritual force which animates the Universe.

6As humans, we are so small. Yet, we want to feel important, and that is where the Ego comes in. At times, we have to dismiss our own egos to become a part of something greater than ourselves. Something greater that leads us to another life—eternal life or this stream of eternal energy.


It’s what makes us feel less lonely on this planet. Yes, so, I do get the organized religious stuff. We crave a sense of belonging. We want to grow and expand our knowledge—to find these connections.

‘All From One,’ Unity Amid Diversity Exhibit in South Africa…

_640 COVER PAST All From ONE

How can we go forward together if we don’t look at our past? Photo Credit: Palaeontological Scientific Trust (PAST)

On Tuesday, January 19th, 2016, Day 42 of the Golf & Life Journey to South Africa, after playing the East Golf Course of Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Club, I ventured up to Pretoria to do some sightseeing.  What I saw was the PAST ‘All From One’ exhibit outside the Standard Bank offices in Rosebank.

You know how you know that a single brief interaction of a chance meeting with someone can change your life? Well this was one of those experiences with the ‘All From One’ exhibit and exhibit guide Gary Trower. It was brief but the seed was planted and of course the pictures taken for documentation purposes and future digestion of all the impacts.

With archaeologist Gary Trower at the 'All From One' exhibit in Pretoria, South Africa.

With archaeologist Gary Trower at the ‘All From One’ exhibit in Pretoria, South Africa.

While I am not a scientist in this regard, truth be known, we all do come from the same ancestors and are 99.9% alike yet why does the world focus on our differences?

‘All From One’ is the scientific base for our spiritual unity…

Here is more from the Palaeontological Scientific Trust (PAST) website and below the words are in the pictures to follow along in the exhibit just like I did during my visit to South Africa. Images courtesy of John Gurche.


I hope that you can commit to tolerance, unity, collaboration and conservation as I did that fateful day in South Africa.  We are all ‘spiritual beings living a human life,’ and ‘we are a part of nature, not apart from nature!’ TROML Baby!



The science of our origins reveals the shared African roots of all people. PAST uses Africa’s ancient fossil heritage to build African dignity, promote social cohesion and environmental conservation, inspire scientific curiosity among school-going youth, and establish African leadership in the sciences related to our origins.

‘Unity Amid Diversity.’ Cultural and physical differences ensure the uniqueness of every individual. Yet underlying this diversity is a deeply woven humanity common to all people.

Our Place in Nature. Africa’s fossil heritage shows that the environment played a major role in the evolution of life and humankind. If the pace and extent of environmental change is too rapid or large for species to adapt, some will go extinct.

'Unity Amid Diversity.' Photo Credit: John Gurche

‘Unity Amid Diversity.’ Photo Credit: John Gurche

Welcome to the website version of the PAST ‘All From One’ exhibition. The physical version of the exhibition opened on 10 November 2015 and is touring South Africa. It has thus far stood outside the Standard Bank offices in Rosebank, Johannesburg, the Soweto Theatre in Soweto, the Iziko South African Museum in Cape Town, and Maropeng in the Cradle of Humankind outside Johannesburg.

The exhibition is a striking structure recalling both a DNA double helix and the skeletons of two large prehistoric animals. A smaller, reconfigured version of the exhibition was produced as part of the South African Treasures exhibition at the United Nation’s World Intellectual Property Organization General Assembly in Geneva in October 2016.

_Humans part not apartThis website version of the exhibition contains similar information and some of the images from the two physical versions, plus additional information in “Dig Deeper” pages.

The ‘All From One’ exhibition draws on scientific evidence about our shared human origins and the shared origins of all life forms in order to challenge commonly held ideas about humankind and our place in nature.

You will see that you are unique, but that you share strong bonds of similarity with all other people, based on a deeply rooted common humanity. As a species, you will see we are but one twig among millions on the tree of life that sustains us all.

All told, you will see that shared origins is a potent force for tolerance, unity, collaboration and conservation.