Title Changing the Mind of Man - 55,000 words - short novel form.
Author Lou Nisbet, Jongleur House, Main Street, The Shore, East Wemyss. Fife KY1 4RX
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Synopsis of 'Changing the Mind of Man' - the first novel in a planned series of four novels entitled 'The Road to Power'.
The series, best thought of as a spiritual adventure story, describes the enlightenment of Ivanhoe Wilson. It tells of his fight against an evil sect, his progress as a bodhisattva and his eventual achievement of Buddhahood. The first novel describes the start of the mind training of Ivanhoe Wilson. Ivanhoe is a thirteen year old Scottish boy who is being taught by his uncle Matlock Wilson. Mind training is a Buddhist method of training people to achieve Buddha hood.
The story starts with Matlock commencing Ivanhoe's training on the shores of the Firth of Forth. Matlock is amazed at his nephew's innate ability for meditation. He teaches Ivanhoe the first stages of meditation and mind training. Matlock explains that mind training is not brain washing but a method used for two and a half millennia to focus a person's abilities to make them a mental champion, an Arhat or Bodhisattva, a type of Buddhist saint. Later, Matlock is dismayed to discover that there is a threat to him and his family. Ivanhoe and his mother May are at risk too. A strange, oriental sect ran by a megalomaniac named Dun Xia Po has targeted Matlock. This sect named The Church of the Light of Forever, sometimes called the CLF, has evil plans to subsume all other religions and Matlock seems to be in their way.
The church has an enforcement arm called the Sacrocers. The head of the Sacrocers, Wi Lo Shan is given a mission to destroy one of the church's enemies. A bishop of a different sect has refused to obey the commands of Dun Xia Po and the madman has dispatched the head of his assassins to murder the bishop's niece. When in his 'Dance of Death' Lo Shan is aided by his two warrior Siamese cats. When Lo Shan meets the girl named Jia, he is struck by her beauty and innocence and he is unable to kill her. Lo Shan and Jia flee China to save themselves from the CLF. Lo Shan decides to fly to Scotland to warn Matlock. Lo Shan has seen Matlock's name on a hitlist prepared by the CLF and he hopes that the CLF will not find Jia and him in Scotland.
When Lo Shan and Jia meet Matlock and his family Jia discovers that Ivanhoe has some strange power to alter people's perceptions. When Jia is introduced to Ivanhoe and she shakes his hand her mind is taken into a place that she has never experienced before. She does not know how or why this happens. She is even unsure if anyone else knows about Ivanhoe's strange ability. Matlock and his family decide to leave their home and along with Lo Shan and Jia they travel to the West Coast of Scotland in an attempt to escape the CLF. This attempt is in vain though as the CLF has influence at commissar level with the People's Republic of China and assassins from the CLF have traced them to Scotland. During their travels Matlock continues to teach Ivanhoe the Middle Way. This is the way taught by the Buddha, Gautama Siddhartha, two and a half thousand years ago. Ivanhoe's mind training shows him how to focus his mind, become 'one pointed' and includes the Tibetan practice of Tonglen. Tonglen is a powerful method used even by the Dalai Lama to change people's loss and defeat into joy and victory.
Ivanhoe is in that early stage of puberty when he appears to grow almost daily. Although small in stature, in mind his abilities dwarf those of the people around him. Half way up Mam Ratagan Pass, in a most beautiful area of Scotland, Ivanhoe has an epiphany. When he asks his uncle about it Matlock explains that he thinks Ivanhoe has touched the fundamental basis of the mind, a tremendous feat for any human to achieve, let alone a thirteen year old. After repulsing two attacks, the party of Matlock's family, Lo Shan and Jia are split up and Matlock, May and Jia are kidnapped. Lo Shan, Ivanhoe and Lo Shan's cats are left behind. Lo Shan and Ivanhoe vow to recover their friends and family. Lo Shan is sure that their companions will have been taken to China. Together they travel there to attempt a rescue.
As Ivanhoe and Lo Shan fly to China Lo Shan is amazed by the courage shown by the teenager. Unable to put his own fear behind him Lo Shan is so impressed by the effect that the mind training has had on Ivanhoe that he asks the teenager to become his teacher. Flabbergasted, Ivanhoe agrees and the two friends become each other's teacher as Lo Shan determines to teach Ivanhoe 'the best martial art for a Buddhist - the art of self defence without offence - Aikido. So together the two friends continue their journey. On arrival though they are split up as Lo Shan too is taken by the thugs of the Church of the Light of Forever. Injured and alone, except for Lo Shan's remarkable cats, Ivanhoe wanders through the streets of Nanning a city in South China. He is beset by demons in his injured state. Only Lo Shan's cats help him to maintain his control. As he struggles through a long dark night Ivanhoe realises that delusion is the only thing preventing him from progressing towards his goal to free his mother, uncle and friends. As he bursts through the mists of illusion he discovers a way to locate Lo Shan. The cats Rong Xi Fang and Rong Xi Feng assist Ivanhoe to find Lo Shan and together they escape to freedom.
Lo Shan takes Ivanhoe to an industrial complex in the city. Here they hatch a plot to free their friends and family. Ivanhoe is amazed to learn of a secret weapon that Lo Shan has perfected to help them. Lo Shan and the cats have a costume that Lo Shan has developed which makes it appear as if he is a man with three heads. Lo Shan explains to Ivanhoe the legend of the Chinese God Da Zhi. Da Zhi is a God of three heads. Two of the heads, legend says, detach themselves at night and creep up upon wrong doers to kill them and drink their blood. Lo Shan explains that he will use the superstitious beliefs of the followers of the Church of the Light of Forever against them in an attempt to breach the stronghold of the CLF. During the night before they intend to attack the fortress of the CLF Ivanhoe takes a great decision that he will never allow himself to be driven by hate and fear and that no matter what his enemies have done to his family and friends he would prevail. '
That night though Ivanhoe slept only fitfully. In his waking moments he imagined his mother and his uncle being tortured along with poor little Jia. In his dreams there was something else. A part of his mind that he had never accessed before seemed to come alive. It took him through the meditation of ALL the Four Immeasurables. He perfected in that one night the practice of loving-kindness, compassion, appreciative joy and the highest immeasurable, equanimity. All these powers he finally turned on the image of Dun Xia Po that he held in his mind. In conversation with Lo Shan in between bouts of training he had mentioned his recurring dream of a hideous giant that chased him. After careful questioning Lo Shan ventured a guess that his nightmare giant was, in his vision, if not in fact, Dun Xia Po. '
Despite what their enemies tried, Ivanhoe and Lo Shan prevailed against the might of the Church of the Light of Forever. The tale has a strange, perhaps wonderful and hopefully unexpected ending that leads into the next book in the series - ' The Company of Compassion' but as to that ending you will have to read the book. As an addendum ALL of the mind training techniques detailed in the book/s are factual. All can be learnt and used to springboard a person's exploration of their own 'Road to Power'. Even Ivanhoe's strange ability to empower people has a basis in fact. A long forgotten series of British experiments into meditation revealed, using early EEG readings recorded to computer tape, that a certain meditation master could pass on his mental state to people that he touched. The experiments show that there are five levels of mental states generally achieved by conscious humans. The meditation master's mental state was the highest measured in the experiment and he could transmit this level to others by simply touching them.