cygnus blog

Diane Baker: The Best That It Can Be…

Posted on Updated on

An Article From: The Chris Thomas Files

Honey Bee Shot Image One
06-28-2020

The Best That It Can Be…
On the face of it, this is a good statement: the positive approach to our life and the way we live it. Why should it, our life, not be the best that it can be?

Three events occurred and, together, they drove my patience out the window. First of all, a friend chatted to me about her concern for her son and daughter-in-law, about how they were working all hours to buy new furniture for their new house and, that every time they came to stay, she had to take all the packaging off the food in her fridge, otherwise, they would throw it out if it was anywhere near its date. Then, I watched Countryfile on the BBC and they were showing how a whole new industry was growing around waste food collection and its use to create energy for our homes. Then, I read an article in Positive News where a tribe in India stood to lose their land because a huge conglomerate wished to mine for bauxite (raw aluminum). This is such a toxic substance that mining for it poisons all the land and the people. The article was in Positive News because the tribe won their case. Sadly, there are many other stories where the outcome is not so happy.

We humans, mostly in the west (I regret to say our influence is spreading), have come to believe we deserve the best. We have interpreted the best it can be into all aspects of our lives. This means we should aspire to the best house, best kitchen, the best car, furniture, clothes, television, computer, mobile phone and, of course, the best food. Our food has Best Before written on it so, subconsciously, we see it is not good enough for us if it is near that date or, that the apple has a blemish or, the potato and cucumber are a bit knobbly…so, we throw it away. [A]re we not worthy of the best?

How Much Does Best Cost?
The consequences of all of these choices are that, currently, the world is at war over mineral rights, (Darfur is only one example of genocide and destruction based on the greed of the west for [minerals] used in mobile phones and other electrical equipment). [M]en and women are used as slave labour to make our clothes, the planet is being carved up and, the rivers polluted for the copper, zinc, etc…to go into our newest, and best, electronic toys […]. Billions of tons of food is thrown away each year because it is considered not to be the best it can be, whilst those that live in the countries that grow our food starve.

Bumblebee Image Two
09-14-2019

I am not advocating a hair shirt, sleeping under a hedge or eating rotten food and starving but, in all things, there is a balance. And, yes, I do have a mobile phone which is second-hand, over six years old and works perfectly for the rare emergency calls I make. The balance is, I do not feel I need to change it every time a new, improved model comes on the market. Millions of mobile phones are put into landfill and are not recycled. The price we may pay for misunderstanding best that it can be… is monumental. There are many people affected by our choices that we never see or think of. The people who grow the food or mine the mineral do so at a very high price. If a people [live] on a land that is rich in minerals, that land will be torn away from them, they will be placed in camps and the reason why, is…you. Our misunderstanding of what makes us special, a success [or] admired, is, now, tightly bound up with possessions, material goods and if I do not have the best and newest of everything, I will be judged a failure.

A Complete Consciousness
It is the best that we can be, as a human and, as a complete consciousness. The best that we are is not made up of, or lack of, possessions. It is about how we live our lives in relation to the rest of the universe and, in particular, with each other. It is we, the so called civilised world, who are so insecure in who we are as souls that we need the third world to be plundered so that we can surround ourselves with our props and say to the world Look. I am worthy. I have the best that there can be.

Think About It
In his book The Human Soul, my husband, Chris Thomas, asks that we Think About It. Think about the consequences your actions will have on others and, then, make the choice that feels right to you. It is your choice and you cannot blame the consequences on anyone else. Everything we buy is made from the planet, itself. This is the planet which has given us the choice of physical life rather than a free-floating soul. Chris has said in his book that we are here to prove that it is possible to have a full soul in physical form and, that, the whole of our existence has been to prove that that is possible. Everything that is happening on Earth, our solar system, our galaxy and the universe beyond, is currently happening in order to help us to be the best human beings we can whilst remaining on Earth. The Human Soul can help you to determine where you are within that process. With Christmas fast approaching, your love and affection to your family without buying something that would cause another family [on] the other side of the world pain and suffering? Think about it. Are you the best that you can be?

Best Wishes,
Diane

© Diane Baker 2010

Cygnus Review Magazine (Issue 12, Page 12, December 2010/Download & Share)
The Blog Post (Cygnus Review Blog…with the wrong author credited)

Chris Thomas: Confusion?

Posted on Updated on

An Article From: The Chris Thomas Files

Confusion Image One
Image Credit: NPR

“Firstly, we are not a slave race.” ~ Chris Thomas

Those of us who have a more alternative view of world events are receiving increasingly confusing stories of who we are and, just what is the purpose of life on this wonderful planet of ours…all of this confusion being centred [around] the dates of 2011 and 2012. Over the past few years, I have taken delivery of a growing number of letters and emails and, had conversations with people who are becoming progressively more confused over information they have received, from numerous sources, about a race who call themselves Annunaki. All of this information claims that we are somehow [ascending], somewhere unspecified, where we will magically transport ourselves to a Fifth Dimension.

How do we make the leap?
Deep down, we all know we are here on Earth for a reason but, at our current level of consciousness, can’t quite grasp the details of our story. We know that we are changing, we also know that, as a race, we are set to make a huge leap in consciousness awareness…but, how? This is where the confusion arises. [H]ow do we achieve what we know we should be achieving as there does not appear to be any guidelines? This lack of known direction is creating a void, a lack of certainty, which is proving to be very unsettling.

The problem is that all of this discussion about Ascension has its attractions but, with that sense of attraction, also comes confusion. This has arisen because, while we know we should be on our amazing Earth, at the same time, this offer of ‘Ascension’ suggests that we might be able to achieve a raised consciousness by leaving the planet but, without solving any of the problems we have generated. Into this void has arisen a story which, on the face of it, has many attractions. Here we have an alien race that claim to be our makers and who have returned to Earth, at this time, to help us through our transition to a ‘fifth dimension.’ These claims centre [around] a Galactic Committee, of varying names and descriptions, who control a large fleet of space-ships, under the control of Ashtar Command, that are arriving in our solar system with the intention of transporting us off the planet.

Leaving our troubles behind…
This Annunaki Plan is seductive, offering to take care of all our troubles for us…we (humans) are taken off the planet and, so, we no longer need to worry about global warming, nuclear weapons, pollution, overpopulation and food shortages… We wouldn’t have to deal with those kinds of problems as these kind aliens will sort all of that out for us. But…having read a great deal of the information these aliens are channelling, nowhere do they state where they are meant to be taking us. Somehow or other, ascending to a fifth dimension is meant to solve all of our problems, cure all of our ills and, lead us into a future where all will be beyond our wildest dreams. However, wherever these aliens take us to, it will not be on Earth. These aliens also state that they created humans to be a race enslaved to the Annunaki. This enslavement should also be taken into account when we consider this ‘Annunaki Plan’.

Confusion Image Two
Image Credit: Pymnts

The Alternative
My own viewpoint is that, having researched and written about human history, as recorded in the Akashic, for the past thirty years or so, there is an alternative to this alien ‘Annunaki Plan.’ Firstly, we are not a slave race. When we were first created, we freely chose to come to Earth to explore a request made by the Creator…is human life possible? This is our purpose on Earth. There is no other. Secondly, we are close to answering the Creator’s question. This is what the dates of 2011 and 2012 are about…the completion of The Human Plan, the completion of the Creator’s quest for an answer. Given we are so close to answering the Creator’s question, why would we want to leave the Earth? The answer[?] [We] don’t. If we leave the Earth, we fail in our chosen task and the repercussions of abandoning our Earth will send shock-waves through the whole Universe.

This is my purpose for writing The Annunaki Plan? or The Human Plan?, to try and clarify what our choices are […]. [It] is our choice to make. Do we abandon the Earth and travel to an unknown destination and, [an] unknown future with an alien race who claim to have created humans as their slaves? Or, do we stay on Earth and complete the task we set ourselves on, [for] the Creator’s behalf and create for ourselves a human future without limits?

Answering the Creator’s question…
Once we have answered the Creator’s question, we bring ourselves all of the answers that we need to resolve all of the problems here on Earth. [We] can save ourselves and the planet with this one act of completion. Abandoning the Earth means that we leave the Creator’s question unanswered.

[We need] to try and clarify this confusion over the ‘fifth dimension.’ As someone who has worked with the energies of the human body for over thirty years (as a psychic surgeon), my experience has taught me that the body contains a surprising amount of energy (around 12 dimensions). [Try] applying Einstein’s E=mc2 equation to the body and you will see what I mean. The ‘fifth dimension’ actually relates to the third chakra…about navel level. I am sure we would all agree that ascending to your navel is not a major step forwards in human evolution!

© Chris Thomas 2010

Cygnus Review Magazine (Issue 10, Page 9, October 2010/Download & Share)
The Blog Post (Cygnus Review Blog…with the wrong author credited)

Chris Thomas: Truth Is The Greatest Healer

Posted on Updated on

An Article From: The Chris Thomas Files

Magic Bowls Unsplash Image One
Photo Credit: Magic Bowls on Unsplash

Most of us are beginning to realise that the commodity least available to us is the truth. Politicised news now has so much spin attached to it, that it is impossible to unravel the knots. Scientific news is proven to be wrong so many times that most have stopped listening. Flu pandemics turn out not to happen and the pharmaceutical responses turn out to have more severe side effects than if we had just put up with a few days of unpleasant symptoms. The sovereignty of every European country has been swept away in Lisbon and, the Copenhagen Conference finished in shambles because the global climate has not changed for the last ten years. With all of these lies and half-truths in the “official” world, is it any wonder that so many are turning to “channelled” sources for information? [T]hen, we find that the likes of “Lord Sananda” and “Lord Metatron” are, at the least, very unreliable, with the best interests of the Earth, and humanity, not being served. Question…why would beings who claim to be at the pinnacle of soul development still have an ego that requires the title “Lord”?

Then, we are urged to take part in mass-meditation exercises which are supposed to help the planet. The first example of this was in 2007 with the cry we must “fire up the grid.” This turned out to be an exercise by those who carry out psychic attacks to see if the population was gullible enough to fall for the ploy. The “grid” in question that everyone was so keen to “fire up” was, in fact, the grid on the United Nations’ flag. Many are drawn to the story of the Annunaki and see them as humanity’s hope but, then, we discover that Lords Sananda and Metatron are Annunaki. These are not our “Gods” but, beings who claim to have built humans as a slave race to serve them. And, on top of all this, 2012 is approaching very rapidly. Is it any wonder that we are concerned and confused? So, where do we go from here? How do we obtain the answers we so desperately need? Believe it or not, the answer is very simple. We have become so used to being told what to do by others that we have forgotten our own inner voice.

Raising Our Energies

Since 1996, we have been changing our energy patterns, raising our personal energies to the point where we connect directly to our Higher Self. As we raise our energies and connect with the greater part of the soul, we begin to realise that we are not as small as we thought we were. With this knowledge also arrives the ability to recognise truth. This is how we can recognise the lies for what they are. A few years ago, we would have accepted what “authority” figures told us without question but, as we begin to fully connect to our own inner reality, our own inner “higher” voice also begins to speak. [We] have begun to recognise that there is an agenda at work which does not seem to serve our best interests.

Soulsana Unsplsah Image Two
Photo Credit: Soulsana on Unsplash

No, this is not “another conspiracy theory.” All you have to do is to carry out some research for yourselves. What you will find is that you only need to scratch the surface. [You] do not need to dig very deeply and all sorts of half-truths come to light. If you do dig deeper, you will find all sorts of agendas at work, all designed to remove freedom of choice and to exert control over the population. All of this we can counter, if it is what we choose to do. By “we” I mean each and every individual making their own choices and acting on them. It is no good taking to the streets to demonstrate, as all that will do is increase the amount of legislation designed to curtail our freedom to demonstrate.

An Inner Revolution

What we need is a quiet revolution that takes place on an inner level. And, this is what all of these agendas are designed to disrupt…our process of reintegration. We are not “ascending” anywhere. [E]ven the term ascending was coined to deliberately mislead. [W]hat we are doing is bringing the whole of the soul back into the body. Take a deep breath and do it. Start by making a positive affirmation quietly to yourself. This needs to be a clear statement of intent to your higher self saying “I wish to reintegrate my soul without interference.” With that intent sincerely made, the next stage is to make room for the higher self to enter the body. This can only be achieved by clearing space, cleaning out all of the emotional debris we all carry around. The best, and simplest, way of doing this is to use the giveaway (see below).

We all carry emotions from our past and these need to be cleared. You will need to use the giveaway many times, not just once. [Y]ou will know you have cleared a situation when you can think back on an event, think about a relative, a sibling, a parent, ex-partner, employer, etc…and all we see is the event without any emotions attached. If you still feel angry or upset, you will need to do more giveaways. The more of these emotions you clear, the lighter and freer you will feel and, the more you progress. The more you progress, the more you will “know” and the less you will be taken in by misleading information from whatever source.

The Giveaway

Take an old newspaper and a pencil. On the newspaper, write letters to those who have caused you upsets in the past. Once you have finished writing a piece, rip it up and get rid of it, preferably by burning. And, then, start again with a new sheet of newspaper. Do not read it back, otherwise, you will take the emotions back in and have to start again.

[Addendum: Chris has also added that writing on newspaper makes it hard to read back. He suggested low light while writing and…some wine, as well. ~Vic]

© Chris Thomas 2010

Cygnus Review Magazine (Issue 2, Page 7, 2010/Issuu Website)
The Blog Post (Cygnus Review Blog…with the wrong author credited)
Download The PDF & Share

Chris Thomas: Cholesterol Con

Posted on Updated on

A Blog Post From: The Chris Thomas Files

Eggs In The Metal Basket Image One
Photo Credit: Kaboom Pics on Pexels

“Have you ever wondered why eggs contain so much cholesterol? It is because it takes one hell of a lot of cholesterol to make a chicken.”

Dr. Malcolm Kendrick, Author of The Great Cholesterol Con

The same applies to you. If your mother did not have sufficient cholesterol when you were conceived, you would not be here. Cholesterol is one of the most important substances the body produces. It is manufactured in the liver and is needed by every single cell of the body…brain cells in particular…every single second of the day. If your cholesterol levels drop, you begin to have organ failure, elastic tissue problems, memory loss, as well as depression and, if the level drops too low, aggression, suicidal tendencies and, ultimately, death.

Ever since this cholesterol question came up, I have been investigating it, psychically, and have not been able to find any real answers. Margarine companies, doctors and some scientific papers all say cholesterol is bad but, when I have worked with my healing clients over this issue, I have never found a cholesterol-related problem in their bodies, even when they have a medical diagnosis of ‘high cholesterol’. If we put something toxic into the body, the body rejects it and excretes it. Substances produced by the body’s internal chemistry are only what the body needs. In other words, the body does not poison itself. All symptoms of illness are controlled by the higher self and blood problems relate to the heart chakra (see my book Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Your Body). However, even heart chakra problems do not raise cholesterol levels, especially, as you will not find cholesterol in the blood. At long last, I have found a doctor who talks some sense on this issue…Dr. Malcolm Kendrick, author of The Great Cholesterol Con. So, this next section is a precis of what Dr. Kendrick has to say.

If you go to a doctor for a cholesterol blood test, the result that you are given is not a measure of cholesterol. What the blood test measures is lipoproteins. There are four different types of lipoprotein, the two most well known being LDL and HDL. These initials stand for Low and High Density Lipoproteins. We are constantly being told that HDL is good and LDL is bad, whereas in fact, both are vital for distributing the needed cholesterol around the body. Both types are cholesterol transporters. LDL collects cholesterol from the liver and delivers it to every single cell that needs it. The cell then absorbs the whole LDL. If there is any cholesterol that is above the amount needed by the cell at any particular time, the HDL collects it and returns it to the liver for re-processing. This way, the liver only produces the exact amount of cholesterol the body needs at any given time. Reducing your LDL levels actually causes major problems as the cells do not receive the cholesterol they require.

Where is fat, especially saturated fat, in all this? Cholesterol is manufactured by an immensely complicated chemical process in the liver and nobody has been able to connect fat with this process. You can eat as much fat as you like, of almost any variety and it will not affect either your cholesterol level or your LDL/HDL levels.

Cholesterol Image Two
Image Credit: familydoctor.org & Shutterstock

All of the above are scientific medical facts, borne out by a huge number of medical studies (for details see Dr. Kendrick’s book). The origins of the fat-cholesterol ‘myth’ lie in a very clever advertising campaign by margarine companies. The LDL/HDL ‘myth’ has been around for about 20 years, ever since the drug companies invented ‘statin’ drugs. This one drug-type currently gives the drug manufacturers annual sales of $26 billion. Those are 26 billion incentives to create a good myth. The total cost of this one type of drug to the NHS runs to about £2 billion per year. The known side effects of statins are the ones listed above for reduced cholesterol levels.

Leaving aside Dr. Kendrick, the main problem seems to be, according to a practice nurse I know, that doctors in the main do not read drug trial reports. They rely totally on the information supplied by the drug companies who are trying to sell doctors their drugs. Needless to say, with these kinds of sales at stake, the drug companies will present trial result statistics in the best light. For example, it is claimed that statins reduce LDL (the ‘bad cholesterol’) levels. This is true but, only by accident. Statins work by blocking the liver from producing as much cholesterol. [With] less cholesterol to distribute, fewer LDLs are needed so, the body does not manufacture them. The types of fats that do cause problems in the body are ‘trans fats’, made by a process called ‘hydrogenation’. These types of fats are totally unnatural as they do not exist in nature. Trans fats will only be found in fast foods, ‘ready meals’, some vegetable oils (labelled partially hydrogenated) and, especially, margarines.

It is complicated to explain but, essentially, vegetable fats are liquid at room temperature because of their molecular structure. By bombarding the molecules with hydrogen atoms, the oils solidify. When you eat trans fats, you also eat all of the spare hydrogen atoms that did not ‘bond’ with the oil molecules and these un-paired atoms act as a dangerous form of free radicals. This is why trans fats are seen as ‘dangerous’ and why the Mayor of New York banned them last year. Saturated fats, on the other hand, provide the body with fat soluble vitamins which are vital to the body’s health.

It’s a confusing old world, isn’t it?

© Chris Thomas 2007

The Blog Post (Cygnus Review Blog…with the wrong author credited)
Download The PDF & Share

Chris Thomas: The End of the World?

Posted on Updated on

A Blog Post From: The Chris Thomas Files

End Is Near Image
Image Credit: cafcandnothingelsematters.blogspot.com

Dear Friends,

Oh deary, deary me. What a fine mess we seem to have gotten ourselves into. Just as we were beginning to believe all the messages that we are changing for the better, we seem to be surrounded by more and more chaos and, confusion. If we are changing, raising our energy frequencies, how come everything seems to be becoming worse?

As we undergo our ‘changes’, what we are actually doing is bringing more and more of our soul energy into the body, until we once again become a true human being. Let me explain: For the past 7,000 years our human form has been divided into a ‘physical self’ and a ‘higher self’. The physical self, that which we refer to as the human body, has only contained about one-quarter of our total consciousness, our total soul. The higher self has made up the other three-quarters.

At long, long last we have found the way to reintegrate the whole, to bring the whole soul back into the physical body. That is why I always explain to people that we are not ‘ascending’ anywhere. We are just becoming ‘whole’, we are just becoming human. This is what is meant by change.

Always remember that, fundamentally, we are energy. Einstein’s Theory of Relativity is correct: all things ‘physical’ are made of energy and that energy cannot be destroyed, it can only be altered. The same applies to consciousness energy, the energy that is the soul. Consciousness is not just seated within one small region of the brain, as current scientific thinking is suggesting. The energy that is the soul infuses all the cells of the body and, extends via the chakras and aura far beyond the physical confines of the body.

We began this process of soul reintegration back in 1996 and, as we did so, we began to realise that we had a great deal of accumulated emotional debris to clear. Our state of seeming chaos is entirely brought about by the amount of emotional debris we have built up over the past seven thousand years.

We have become used to not being us. We have become used to wearing masks, presenting faces to the world that we think the world wants to see. We have become so un-used to showing our true selves and, we have kept our true selves so hidden that, even we do not know who we truly are any longer. We have become accustomed to believing the web of falsities we have woven around ourselves and the journey to re-discovering who we really are is proving uncomfortable. This is the reason for the chaos. This is the reason for the confusion.

Keep Calm & Be Honest Image Two
Image Credit: pinterest.com

The simple answer is that we have become used to not being honest and this lack of honesty has led to all the confusion (conflicts, wars and prejudice) that we are currently experiencing.

As we reintegrate the higher elements of consciousness, our higher selves are requesting us to become more and more honest with ourselves and, with those with whom we share our lives. The further we progress through the process of re-integration, the more this request becomes an imperative and the less we can hide from the requirements of the higher self, the requirements of the soul.

We have also begun to realise that truth has its own vibration. Words spoken to us by others become recognised for what they are: the truth or not. This ‘feeling’ for truth is also adding to our confusion. Conventions or ideologies we accepted as truth in the past are now being seen as less than truth.

What we, now, need to do is to bring all our new understanding, of what is honest and what is not, to bear on all aspects of our lives. The way to remove the chaos from our lives, and from humanity as a whole, is to be as honest as possible within every situation…honest with ourselves and honest with those around us. This is how we complete our process of change…by being totally honest in everything we do. If we all became totally honest tomorrow, we could all complete our reintegrations the day after. The truth is that powerful!

Becoming honest begins with little steps. If someone asks you a question, reply in as honest a way as possible. This does not mean forgetting about diplomacy but, it does mean expressing your truth. If someone makes you angry or sad, or upsets you in any way, let them know as honestly as possible what their actions have done. It is no good trying to ‘let it go with love’ any longer, as that is a false situation and, it will only lead to resentment and a delay in your personal development. Neither is it good to think that, by being honest, you will ‘hurt the other person’s feelings’. You are assuming that your honest reaction is going to be hurtful but, how are you able to judge what price the other person has put on their feelings? Being dishonest, by not expressing your true feelings, always creates more harm and damage than being honest does. Of course we need to be as diplomatic as the situation or person warrants but, we all need to begin to realise that we cannot pre-judge someone else’s reactions. Do not forget that being honest with someone gives them full permission to be honest in return and that builds a stronger relationship.

The soul, the higher self, is not a hard taskmaster. All that it requires of us is that we be ourselves and be as honest as it is possible to be in any given situation. It is not a question of being rude or unthinking, just of being who we truly are without masks.

The end of 2011 is the date we humans have set ourselves to finally complete our process of reintegration. Every single person on the planet has the potential and capability to fulfil the task we have set ourselves. Whilst time seems short, all that is needed is honest communication…with ourselves and others. Once honest communication in all aspects of our lives is achieved, individually and collectively, we automatically and, without further effort, become more than we have ever dreamed possible.

With love and good wishes,
Chris

Original Post (Web Archive 2006)
The Blog Post (Cygnus Review Blog 2010)
Download the PDF & Share

The End of the World?

Posted on Updated on

An Article From: The Chris Thomas Files

End Is Near Photo
Photo Credit: wanttoknow.nl

Dear Friends,

Oh deary, deary me. What a fine mess we seem to have gotten ourselves into. Just as we were beginning to believe all the messages that we are changing for the better, we seem to be surrounded by more and more chaos and, confusion. If we are changing, raising our energy frequencies, how come everything seems to be becoming worse?

As we undergo our ‘changes’, what we are actually doing is bringing more and more of our soul energy into the body, until we once again become a true human being. Let me explain: For the past 7,000 years our human form has been divided into a ‘physical self’ and a ‘higher self’. The physical self, that which we refer to as the human body, has only contained about one-quarter of our total consciousness, our total soul. The higher self has made up the other three-quarters.

At long, long last we have found the way to reintegrate the whole, to bring the whole soul back into the physical body. That is why I always explain to people that we are not ‘ascending’ anywhere. We are just becoming ‘whole’, we are just becoming human. This is what is meant by change.

Always remember that, fundamentally, we are energy. Einstein’s Theory of Relativity is correct: all things ‘physical’ are made of energy and that energy cannot be destroyed, it can only be altered. The same applies to consciousness energy, the energy that is the soul. Consciousness is not just seated within one small region of the brain, as current scientific thinking is suggesting. The energy that is the soul infuses all the cells of the body and, extends via the chakras and aura far beyond the physical confines of the body.

We began this process of soul reintegration back in 1996 and, as we did so, we began to realise that we had a great deal of accumulated emotional debris to clear. Our state of seeming chaos is entirely brought about by the amount of emotional debris we have built up over the past seven thousand years.

We have become used to not being us. We have become used to wearing masks, presenting faces to the world that we think the world wants to see. We have become so un-used to showing our true selves and, we have kept our true selves so hidden that, even we do not know who we truly are any longer. We have become accustomed to believing the web of falsities we have woven around ourselves and the journey to re-discovering who we really are is proving uncomfortable. This is the reason for the chaos. This is the reason for the confusion.

Continue reading or download the PDF version HERE.

[Note: The original article was written and posted on the now defunct Cygnus Review Blog in February 2006.]