Scroll down to read Tim's biography in English, along with some of Tim's recent published and unpublished writings in English - ティム・ジャナコスのプロフィール
アメリカ合衆国、カリフォルニア州出身。 10歳から音楽を始め、2005年に来日。シンガーソングライターとして、現在は新潟市で活動中。 作詞、作曲の他、ピアノ、サックス、ギターを演奏。 去年までは仙台市で活動しており、ジャズフェスティバルの出演を始め、Date FMやNHK FM、また海外のラジオ番組でもオリジナル曲が採用され、活動の場を広げて来ました。
Tim Janakos (ティム・ジャナコス) - Energetic Emotional Healer, Singer/Song Writer, Musician, Novelist, Writer, Buddhist Activist
“There are no boundaries in the field of music. Music is the flower of culture-a language common to the entire world; it is a thing of beauty sought by all...” - Daisaku Ikeda "Lyrically Heartfelt, Soulfully Melodic. Truly in a class of his own, Tim Janakos is able to transpose his thoughts, feelings and dreams into a musical delight without the mimicry that is so common today. This CD is a prime example of how Tim Janakos has defined his own style while still maintaining diversity. Tim is the fresh young artists to watch."- Paul Monaco (Program Director / SWAKradio.com) Short Story: Tim Janakos is either a best selling author, a trickster and host of "From Time Without Beginning," from Kuon Ganjo, a grammy award winning singer/song writer and/or a trans-morphic, post-macro-neurotic, ex-vegan, excommunicated buddhist/certified, un-certified, post-certified, pre-certified, de-certified OR quasi-certified, student OR practitioner of either the Emotion Code, the Body Code, Quantum Touch 2.0, Three Dimensional Therapy, Access Consciousness, Healing Frequencies and/or other yet unnamed healing modalities that he has either personally discovered, co-discovered and/or remembered from some previous lifetime to break us out of this holographic matrix. He is the creator of many CDs and author of many books. He is here, if you please, to invalidate your reality of limitations. Tim's Music Bio Tim Janakos is an award winning singer/songwriter. After winning the grand prize in the 2nd annual Niigata Power Song Competition Finals in 2013, and after winning the audience choice award, in the 1st annual Niigata Power Song Competion Finals in 2012 (the only act to make the finals two years in a row), he just finished recording another new 3-song Japanese CD with a local Niigata, Japan Record Label, Oto No Hakko. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYTUzmvk1_A&list=UUCjrpCA7lWa1jNM-BXxX9dg&index=1&feature=plcp https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PfUJRBMyIKE In September of 2014, his original song, “It’s All Up to You,” was selected 1st out of over 1,400 entries to be featured first on the OxJam Unsigned MixTape to raise money for Oxfam, UK. http://tape.ly/oxjam-mixtape-unsigned-artists Tim’s newest full CD (his 3rd original CD release), with Wave Reader Productions, "The Beginning is Here," was released in 2012. https://timfm.bandcamp.com/album/2012-the-beginning-is-here Tim released two music videos for two of the songs on that CD. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTMuQEcAG2U https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9HefnDrgttM Since 2013, Tim has been singing lead and solo every weekend at Wedding Duo Grand Chariot, Niigata, Japan where he can be seen in this commercial at his weekly wedding location. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qILqvb3Nx1Y Throughout 2012 and 2013, Tim had many TV and Radio appearances, where he was interviewed and he sang his songs. Here are a couple https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ml7_5Pv1D50 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dl0JNOWy2-s He also won the Audience Choice on a TV performance competition that he was invited back to perform at 3 times: UX TV Egg Live https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7MSsk8j31A From 2005 to 2014 Tim has performed live in at least 30 cities in Japan, including Sendai, Niigata, Yamagata, Kofu (Yamanashi), Fukui, Tokyo, Chiba, Koriyama, Nagano, Matsumoto, Mito, Iwaki, Morioka (Iwate), Nagaoka, Shizuoka, Hamamatsu, Kanazawa, Akita, Nagoya, Takasaki, Utsunomiya, Maebashi, Ueda, Toyama, Nanyo, Tagajo, and Joetsu. From 2007 to 2010 Tim lead sang and arranged music for a big stage, brass band where he also played piano and saxophone. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40mxT0-kjwA https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iN53axQY-ZE Tim also fronted a few original and cover bands from about 2005 to 2008, called Southern California Sunshine, Drive-Thru Exciting and DaDoodz https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZXQaa3d3zo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NEEM8FOGM8w In the duet band, Dadoodz, he and his partner, Richie Gill were featured throughout Japan on the national TV station, NHK, doing a few duet harmony versions of Bridge Over Troubled Water and More Than Words. This replayed throughout Japan from 2007 to 2009 at least 3 times, but NHK won’t release a video of it to the artists due to copy right infringements, but here are 1st take studio recordings of the songs. http://www.ourstage.com/media_items/ICIBZSAGUDUC-bridge-over-troubled-water-simon http://www.ourstage.com/media_items/ZOGUOXXDDYXP-more-than-words-extreme-cover On the Our Stage Song Competitions his songs have 18 times ranked in the top 40 and 4 times in the top 10 http://www.ourstage.com/TimJanakos During his 13-plus years in college studying music, Tim Janakos played with many bands in Southern California, which include doing originals and covers with a trio group called Stranger’s Milk, where he played guitar, sax and sang lead and harmonies, and he played sax in a hippy trippy funk band called Zumbuladelic. He also played and sang in many college bands and choruses, including singing in goshel choirs, chamber singers, and playing in jazz, symphonic and marching bands on sax, french horn and trumpet during his high school and jr. high school days. Tim had his debut musical performance at about age 6 playing recorder for a children’s group that performed at the Shrine Auditorium and the Scottish Rites Hall, both in Los Angeles. And continued in singing and performance groups all through his elementary school days. Full Life Story: Born as Timothy Gianakos in the mountains of Big Bear, California to hippy parents, who were escaping the civilized world, Tim grew up surrounded by music. His mother's love for classic rock and especially David Bowie, gave him the dream at a very young age to be a singer/song writer and musician. His mother joined Soka Gakkai International (SGI-an international lay Buddhist organization, which focuses its activities on promoting peace, culture and education) before he turned 1 year old (against his father's wishes, which eventually led to their divorce 2 years later). Tim’s courageous, Buddhist mother raised him and his older brother for 7 years as a single parent. It was from her that they both developed their strong practice of Nichiren Daishonin's Buddhism. Tim had his debut musical performance with the SGI Junior Pioneers (an SGI kids organization, now called Future Division) where at age 6 he was scheduled to perform on the recorder at the Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles (However, he lost the recorder at a practice before the show and had to go on stage playing air recorder. Luckily he survived the stage fright to continue his music career). Growing up too poor to get private music lessons, Tim first learned to play music in the SGI Brass Band, where at age 10 he began playing the trumpet and performed his first parade in Washington DC at age 11. It was at this young age, when he first read an essay by Daisaku Ikeda, written for the SGI brass band that he confirmed his dream to be a musician for world peace and to, as Daisaku Ikeda wrote in the essay, “spread [his] music to all corners of the world [for the sake of peace].” Despite his upbringing in the Soka Gakkai, like many youth, Tim went through his very rebellious days in elementary school and junior high school, where he didn't do well in school and where he smoked marijuana on a regular basis. Despite this short hiatus from his dreams to change the world, during this rebellious time he was able to gain a lot of experience in what the youth of America have to live through. That delinquent time in his life became the subject of his novel, "Myth Shattering," where a young punk rock kid changes his life with his discovery of Buddhism. Despite this rebellious time, Tim's love of music caused him to join the symphonic band in Junior High School, where he learned to read music and play the saxophone at age 13. On his own, he later picked up the guitar, piano (no, he didn’t literally “pick it up,” it was too heavy), and French horn at about age 16. In the SGI Brass Band, he performed in many world peace cultural festivals: in Hawaii at age 14, in San Diego at age 15, in Seattle, Washington at age 17. (He was scheduled to perform at Madison Square Gardens in New York, with the brass band at age 16, but he wasn't able to get the money together, even though he practiced the music and routine with the brass band up until a week before they left to New York). In high school and college, he sang and played in many musical groups (jazz bands, rock bands, a gospel chorus, a salsa band, chamber singers, symphonic bands, marching bands, and more) and he began writing his own music about 18 years ago. He has thus far, written over 50 original songs. His song lyrics reflect his Buddhist belief in the unlimited potential of each human being to transform their life and the world in a positive way. Outside of school, he was a sax player in a hippy-trippy, funk music band called Zumbuladelic, where he did many shows in Hollywood and throughout Southern California. One of the songs on his first demo tape, “Song of Triumph” was featured on Orange County, California’s KSBR Radio’s “Local Artist Spot Light.” The highlight of his Orange County, California music life was for 3 years he played throughout Southern California, Big Bear and on Catalina Island in a 3-piece original and classic rock/acoustic band called “Stranger's Milk,” where he gained the confidence to eventually start playing solo original gigs, singing and playing piano and guitar. Throughout his many years in College, Tim supplemented his school study by reading almost every book of Daisaku Ikeda's he could get a hold of (or that was translated into English at the time), which led to his dream to along with being a singer/songwriter and musician, to also be a writer of many books. He finished writing his first novel before getting accepted into the first class of Soka University of America in Orange County, California in 2001, and he has since also published most of his writings from Soka University of America (which have now been published in over 3 volumes, amounting to well over 1,000 pages). After doing a study-abroad program in Japan, where he played his first concerts in Japan, and after graduating with honors in the 1st class of Soka University of America in 2005, Tim packed up his bags and moved to Sendai, Japan to give the Japanese audience a taste of his music and eventually a taste his book writing (once he finds a Japanese translator). In Japan, he changed his legal name (which was Timothy Van Campen at the time) to the Japanese name, Harada. After a few years in Sendai, he moved to Niigata where he found a producer, Remi for his new CD. In Sendai, Tim played many duet concerts with his regular act “daDoodz,” featuring guitar virtuoso, from New Zealand, Richie Gill, which at times becomes a trio, with the addition of either Takke Matsumo, an incredible drummer from Tokyo, or Moppy (Satoshi) on his dog box (Cajone). They played regularly at many of the Annual Jozenji Street Music Festivals, LLL (Love, Listen, Laugh), The Izumi Park-town Golf Resort Restaurant, Antre Lounge, The Green Shamrock Irish Pub, Club Shaft, the Satin Doll, Charly's Lemon Country among other places. Tim also performed solo at many other places in Sendai and other areas of Japan, including the Save Java, From Sendai Concert in Kotodai Koen (Park), the Tagajo Community Culture Center and many SGI community centers in Sendai, Niigata and Itoh, Japan. Along with playing with daDoodz, Tim also played in a couple of full bands in Sendai. The first one, “Southern California Sunshine” (with lead guitar player, Tokita Yasushi, previously with Ozaki Yutaka's band, bass player from Saitama, Takumi “Bill” Wada, and drummer from Miyagi, Mitsunobu “Mi” Sato and Tim on vocal, piano, keyboard, acoustic guitar and saxophone) featured his original music and the second, “Drive-thru Exciting” (with Rino Honda on vocals, Mikkie on bass, Takke Matsumo on drums, and Tim on vocals, piano, and guitar) was a cover band that performed weekly at LLL (Listen, Love, Laugh). Tim has had many of his songs played on radio stations in Niigata and Sendai, Japan. His original song “With You; With Me,” the second song on his first CD, “Love; The Only Proven Way to Fight Terrorism” had its first playing on the largest FM radio station in Sendai, Japan, Date FM, 71.1 on Honma Chan and Chicka Chan’s Friday Air Jams show, February, 2006. One of his recordings, “Will You Be My Wife?” was played on NHK FM, Sendai, Sept. 2006. After that, his live solo recording of his original “Come Alive” (live from Soka University of America) was played by Maynard, the singer of Monkey Majik on his weekly show, “Monkey House Music” on Date FM, Sendai, Japan, November 16th, 2006. In October of 2007, NHK FM-Sendai played his previous original band's live recording from the 16th Annual Jozenji Street Music Festival of his original song, “Princess.” On the internet, many poscasts around the world have podcasted many of Tim’s original songs. After winning the Audience Choice award in 2012 at the Niigata Power Song Competition Finals and after winning the Grand Prix award in 2013 at the same Niigata Song Competition, Tim had a string of Radio interview and TV performances, which included two interviews on FM Port, Niigata, two interviews on BSN Radio AM, and 3 performances on UX TV's Egg Live, where he won audience choice again in his first performance. He was also on a TV Show on BSN TV, called SuiYouBi Naito, where he was interviewed along with many other foreigners in Niigata about live in Niigata and he performed a song by Oda Kazumasa Along with having many of his songs on radio stations, Tim's performance with daDoodz at the 17th Annual Jozenji Street Music Festival was featured quite prominently throughout Japan on NHK TV'special on the Jozenji Street Music Festival in October of 2007. When Tim moved to Niigata, Japan he took a break from doing as many shows to record a new CD "The Beginning is Here" with Wave Reader Productions and also to promote the new release of his novel, Myth Shattering and his “Collected Writings From Soka University of America,” Volumes I - III. (See them at www.lulu.com.) Tim's old CD, “Acts of Sedition; Classified CIA Files” (Listen to it at http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/harada2) is a compilation of the best songs on his 3 previous CDs, and includes all the songs from his most recent CD “Love: The Only Proven Way to Fight Terrorism” (listen to it at http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/harada) The Love CD was a great departure from Tim’s two previous CDs of sad and introverted songs. His new CD, which goes way beyond love to address world issues and issues of human happiness and self empowerment can be found on Itunes, Amazon.com and almost everywhere else CDs or downloadable music are sold online. Search The Beginning is Here, By Tim Janakos. Tim's novel, Myth Shattering, a semi-autobiographical/cultural criticism/political protest novel of a young punk rock kid’s journey to Buddhism is now out on paperback at www.lulu.com. Tim released the first 3 volume of his Collected Writings from Soka University of America,” And a compilition of all 3 volumes was published in both hard cover and paperback in about 2008 at www.lulu.com. Along with writing books, Tim is also a certified energy healer, using the Body Code and Emotion Code along with a few other healing modalities and he has a bi-weekly call-in radio show where he does live long distant healings on all the people who call in. www.blogtalkradio.com/timjanakos Tim is now on the 4th year of his all Japan Station to Station music tour. Stay tuned as Tim Janakos’s music spreads throughout Japan and the world, and eventually makes it’s way back to Southern California. “Whenever one man, for whatever reason, has the opportunity to lead an extraordinary life, he has no right to keep it to himself” - Jacques Cousteau
Synopsis of Tim's Novel "Myth Shattering"
Myth Shattering, by Tim Janakos A Novel, Availible on paperback at http://www.lulu.com/shop/tim-janakos/myth-shattering/paperback/product-14414445.html 230 pages (40,922 words) A Brief Synopsis: A semi-autobiographical novel about a young punk rock kid in Wutherington Beach, Southern California. With his punk rock friends, he steals marijuana plants from his neighbor's backyards, smokes them in their underground clubhouse and shop lifts for munchies on a daily basis. However, on one summer afternoon, while trying to hide a large bag of marijuana in his apartment's garage, he discovers his dead father's revolutionary book collection. The things he reads in these books open his eyes wide to the nefarious history of the US government and the nefarious nature of their foreign and domestic policy. This awakening causes him to search for other like books, which further awaken him to the need for revolutionary change in his county. However, the more he learns, the more bewildered he becomes, and the more withdrawn from school and social life, until he is on the brink of total despair. What finally saves him are the books in his father's collection about religion and philosophy. One particular book, by a Japanese Buddhist philosopher named Ho Goku, entitled Unlocking the Mysteries of Birth and Death, gives him courage and faith that a change in his society and the world is possible, but only through an inner spiritual revolution of each individual. Penciled in the back of this book by Ho Goku, he finds a name and number of an old friend and colleague of his dead father. Though the number is wrong, he eventually locates this man on the Internet, and he adopts him as his spiritual teacher. The more he learns from his teacher, the more empowered he becomes. Though change is slow, he first realizes before he can change the world, he first has to change his own life and his own actions. (Full Chapter-by-Chapter Synopsis) Prelude- The opening scene describes a historical school (Huntington Beach High School), while also describing the political situation and culture of Huntington Beach [H.B.], Orange County (otherwise known as "The O.C." on the teenage T.V. Drama), Southern California (though I change the name of the city to Wutherington Beach, a reference to the twisted, if not demented state of Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights). The novel is a semi-autobiographical portrayal of my junior high school day's in the early to mid 80s, after the famous annual 4th of July riots, which were sparked by the over oppressiveness of the H.B. Police Department. Each year, the kids of Wutherington Beach High School grow more rebellious, as the laws grow stricter, "Like weeds that break though the city streets, they proved the forces of life only grow stronger against the countervailing forces, which attempt to suppress them." Instead of setting the novel in the 80s, however, I set it in the 90s, to intertwine the state of affairs of Wutherington Beach with the state of affairs in Washington D.C., during the Newt Gin-"Grich" so-called, conservative revolution, which I was living through while writing the novel. Though the city of Huntington Beach was described in the Orange County Register, in the early 90s, as the "safest city in America," the narrator of my novel argues, "It just depends on whose side you are on." A somewhat minor character, the narcotics officer, Mr. Sajak, which the kids call "Nark Spooge-whack" (who actually resembles a famous narcotics officer at Huntington Beach High School, during the 80s, whom my older, punk rock, drug dealing, H.B. High School brother used to love telling me stories about) is described, along with his history. He was a bullied kid, who failed in everything, including admission to the Huntington Beach Police Academy, so he's a little disgruntles to have to do his job, "'baby sitting snotty nose kids', as he calls it." It is the first day of school, and as Sajak is waiting guard in his golf/patrol cart, the last bell rings, and the kids all gush from the classrooms. The First Day- Two of the main characters (both new freshman at Wutherington Beach High) meet each other on the way home after leaving the first day of school. They are briefly described: Debussy Jensen (formerly Debussy Xanthankis), AKA "Debut X" is the most intelligent in his bunch and the protagonist of the novel, and Nathan Phelps, AKA "Nate" is the greatest trouble maker in school, but by far the most ignorant of his group. On the way home, they meet up with Christopher Andrews, AKA "Chris," who is the most scared and innocent one amongst the three, who goes along with Nate's misadventures, because he wants to be accepted in the group. They meet up in Lake Park (a famous park in Huntington Beach for after school fights). They do their normal horseplay and in the end dog pile on each other with Nathan, the heaviest, ending up on top. After they get tired a wrestling, Nathan finally announces to the group, which he is on top of, "Let's get stoned!" The other two go along with him, even though this year, their first year in high school, both Debut and Chris seem much less interested in their Junior High School stoner days. In this chapter, we also learn about Debussy's crush on a girl in his history class, Lori Thompson. Walking Wall- On the way home, the three walk on walls, which separate the backyards of track homes. This is how they have been able to get their weekly or sometimes daily dose of marijuana, which grows quite abundantly in most neighbor's backyards (Most of this is semi-autobiographical. This is how my friends and I got our marijuana, when we were in junior high school in Huntington Beach.) The kids recall times when they got in altercation with neighbors for walking walls and almost got caught steeling plants before. The plan of apprehension is detailed in this chapter: Debut's older brother Zeus is a paper boy and the other three have often helped him solicit door to door for new customers-each new customer gets them a weekly free trip to Punchy's Pizza and Arcade, with dinner and tokens to play video games. (Again, this is autobiographical. My brother, Adonis was a paperboy in junior high school, and we helped him get new customers in exchange for a night out at Chuck E. Cheese Pizza Time Theater.) Once they find a house with a marijuana plant in the backyard, they use soliciting door to door for papers as their alibi, to see if the resident is home or not. On their journey, they do find a large plant, so they make their plan. While Nate is trying to pull the plant out of the ground, and Debut is at the door pretending to be soliciting, the resident pulls up the driveway in his car. Debussy is at a loss of what to do to stall the homeowner, and he forgets his well rehearsed sales pitch, so the homeowner tells him to go away; he doesn't want any papers. By the time the homeowner goes to the backyard to water his plant, it is nothing but a mound of dirt. Luckily, Nate hides from the neighbor, who instead chases Chris in his car, but Chris manages to escape by jumping over a maze of backyards. Going underground - The kids finally meet up in their underground hideout in Hidden Valley (another famous park in Huntington Beach), where they laugh about their victory, and they make jokes about each other. Finally, Nate says they should smoke some of their prize, but Chris claims he's too tired now, from being chased by the man. However, Nathan taunts him with ridicule, until on the verge of tears, Chris finally gives in, and they all smoke out. While they are becoming sedated, Nathan makes jokes about Chris's belief in God, and they all cut into each other with more ridicule. Christopher's character is discussed much more in this chapter than the other two. Chris was a richer kid than the other two, and he moved to Southern California, from "Palookaville," Nebraska (Not a real city of course. I took the name from the famous movie quote, "I could a been a contender, ay; instead I got a one way ticket to Palookaville!") a few years prior, as a shy and well-behaved boy, only to meet Nathan, to become a forced trouble maker. He suffers from "mother love Asthma," having over baringly strict parents. His belief in God is perhaps more a fear of the consequences if he doesn't believe, than an actually faith that there really is a God. Debussy - The next chapter is a detailed history of the main character of the novel. Debussy (Debut) was born to freethinking, hippy parents. His late father, Charles Xanthankis was a writer, poet, musician and a well-known progressive Pacifica Radio commentator and journalist. He named Debussy after the last name of his favorite avant-garde composer, Claude Debussy. His father's death (or disappearance) is still a mystery to Debussy, who only knows that his father went to report on some political turmoil in Central America in the 80s and was never seen again. His mother, Justine Jenkins (J.J. as the kids call her) changed her name and has been in hiding, since shortly after Debussy's father disappeared. All of this is also a mystery to Debussy and his older brother, who because they were 2 and 4 years old, respectively, when their father disappeared, they were too young to understand really what happened. His mother gave Debut's older brother, the name "Zeus," because she was taking Greek mythology during her senior year in high school, when she became pregnant with him (Again much of this is semi-autobiographical. My older brother was named Adonis for the same reason as Zeus. My mom was in hiding since I was 2 and my older brother was 4. She changed our last name from "Gianakos" to "White." But she was in hiding from my dad, whom she ran away from, because she says he was abusive. As kids, we didn't understand any of this, and the facts, such as why we had a new name, were a mystery to us. Also, I was named by my father after Timothy Leary, who was equally as avant-garde as Claude Debussy, though in other ways I'm sure.) Debussy was an avid reader, and he had a very progressive outlook on life. The Discovery - The next chapter reminisces back to the previous summer, when Debussy made a life-changing discovery. After sneaking into their apartment's garage, which Debussy's mother kept locked at all time, Debussy found boxes of his late father's book collection. Books and authors, whom he had never heard of-revolutionary political books, history books and philosophical books. Books about the Black Panther Party, books about the CIA, books about the lost years of Jesus, books about Buddhism. He first became drawn to the political and historical books. He was especially drawn to the political works of Michael Parenti, Noam Chomsky, Gore Vidal and Howard Zinn. This brought him on a quest to his local library to find other works from these writers. This new quest for knowledge was one of the many reasons Debussy was far less interested in smoking marijuana everyday, as he had been the previous year in junior high school. Up into the Sun - The three main characters finally come up, out of their smoke filled, underground fort, on a ravaged search for food. It is a normal display of their craziness under the influence of marijuana, where, for example, they fight each other to get over the wall that separates Hidden Valley, with a large sprawling supermarket and strip mall. (This is all very much reminiscent of my junior high days in Hidden Valley.) Picnic Time - They make their way to the regular shop lifting sight, the local supermarket, where they enjoy a free picnic under a covered fruit stand. It is a fun filled chapter, where a lot of Debussy's new political views are exposed and contrasted with the views of his friends. White Lies - This chapter takes place in Debussy's freshman history class, shortly after Debussy just read the book, Lies My Teacher Told Me. We see how Debussy's authoritarian history teacher tries to indoctrinate the students to the false image of the US and the West in general, as the only true "civilization." Debussy wants to confront the teacher's biases, but after he experiences the verbal abuse his teacher unleashes on his fellow classmate, for other matters, he refrains. After the class, Debussy experience great anguish, trying to accept and reconcile the two worlds, portrayed by his father's book collection and his educational indoctrination at Wutherington Beach High School. However, none of his peers seem to be at all interested in, or even conscious of the indoctrination taking place there. In this chapter, we also see Debussy's growing infatuation with the previously mentioned girl in his history class, Lori Thompson, whom he is too afraid or shy to talk to, though he sits very close to her and he has a locker right underneath hers. Disillusionment - Debussy's inability to cope with all the shocking information he was learning from his dad's book collection and his investigations at his local library, and his inability to reconcile this with what he was being forced to learn in school, leads him to start skipping classes and spending most of his days educating himself. This crash course awakening to what was going on in the world, what was happening in his own country and what his government was doing around the world, brought him to a critical breakdown, where he couldn't read any more, and he couldn't think anymore. He just wanted to lie down in a park, watch the clouds pass by and try to shut off his mind. After a few weeks of doing nothing and trying not to think of everything he had learned, he found himself being drawn to the spiritual and religious books in his dad's book collection, which he had previously ignored. One particular author that drew the most of his attention was Ho Goku, a Buddhist Philosopher. However, the only book Debussy's father had from this author, was entitled Unlocking The Mysteries of Birth and Death. After reading it very quickly, he searches frantically for other books by the same author in his local library, but finds none. He makes his way to one of the huge corporate bookstores, where he also finds no books by this author. Just before he was about to give up on his search, he thinks to ask a young, cute girl (Jessica, a minor character that later surfaces near the end of the book) who is working at the bookstore, if she could find any books by Ho Goku in the bookstore's computer. When she finally does search the publisher's database, she is amazed to find over 100 books that he had authored or co-authored (on Buddhism, history, art, education and peace.), and they are both shocked to find none of them were in this huge two-story corporate bookstore, which had a quite extensive collection of other books of similar topics. She tells Debussy that she could order anyone of them, if he'd like, but by this time, his disillusionment leads him to resignation, and he say to her, "ah, no thanks, I'll look elsewhere." Winter - After looking more and not finding any books by Ho Goku in other libraries and bookstores, Debussy finally remembers seeing a name and number penciled in the back of his dad's copy of the book by Ho Goku. He gets excited at first, but he is also reluctant to even try the number, figuring it would be very unlikely that after 10 years in storage, the number would still be valid. He procrastinates calling it for many weeks, as he sits around letting his life pass before him. After some time, he manages to brake through his apprehension, and he calls the number, only to have his hopes shattered with a disconnected number. Finally, he decides to go to the library to search the Internet for the name that was penciled in the back of the book. He finally does find an email, and he emails it, but doesn't get a response for about a week. It turns out that the name in the back of the book, "Theodore Copland" who goes by the nickname "T.C.," was a fellow Pacifica Radio commentator with Debussy's father.rd president. T.C. had introduced Debussy's father to the Buddhist group before his father disappeared, but Debussy's father only showed a little interest in it and preferred to not join any one faith, but instead to remain "religiously eclectic," as he called it. On the way home from the library, Debussy falls asleep on the bus and dreams back to one of the riots he had been at with the Wutherington Beach Police (a very autobiographical account of my own recollections of the Huntington Beach Independence Day riots of the late 80s and early 90s), only to be awoken in the middle of the chaos by the turn of the bus, which had already passed his stop. Spring - Two months later, Debussy finally gets the courage to call Theodore Copland (T.C.) back, and he set's up an appointment to meet him. He waits with excitement until the day he will meet T.C. He assumes from talking to him on the phone, that he is an African American man in his late 40s or early 50s. Mentor - Debussy finally meets with T.C. at T.C.'s house, a very unusually looking house, which should be called the "International House." Every room in the house was a different theme, such as a Native America room, a Japanese tea ceremony room, a revolutionary African American activist's library/study, etc. In the library, T.C. loans Debussy many of the books from his collection and they have a great talk about many subjects, finally ending with the writings and philosophy of Ho Goku, which actually derives from the 13th century Japanese Buddhist philosopher, Nichiren Daishonin. After Debussy exhausts all of his seemingly endless questions, he asks to borrow more of Ho Goku's books, and he agrees to meet again with T.C. in the nearest future. Debussy decides to go home and put into practice what he learned from T.C. Above all, he begins chanting "Nam Myo-ho Ren-ge Kyo" the Japanese title of the Lotus Sutra, which is the historical Buddha's final teaching. This chanting drastically changes his outlook on everything. It makes him feel very optimism about his own life and about how he has the power within himself to drastically change all the things he sees in society that he had grown to despise. Human Revolution - Debussy puts everything in his life on hold, as he continues to barrow books from Theodore, by Ho Goku. He hides the books under his bed in his bedroom, and he opens each with the excitement a kid opens Christmas presents. He jumped from book to book, reading small parts, but with too much excitement to see what was in the other books, he never finishes reading any one of them completely. Many of them were dialogues that Ho Goku had published with many world leaders and activists around the world. There were also books Ho Goku wrote about the history of Buddhism and about the philosophy of Nichiren Daishonin. The ones Debussy enjoys the most, were a series called the Human Revolution, which was a novelized history of the Buddhist movement of the VCS, to which once again, Ho Goku is the 3rd president. It is a fascinating story of two educators in Japan before World War II, who try to reform the educational system of Japan to make it foster self empowered individuals who have the tools to lead happy, peaceful and productive lives. The society, originally an educational society, went up against the military government of Japan, which was instead trying to produce obedient subjects of their military expansion and domination of the rest of Asia. Eventually the Japanese military government imprisoned the founders of VCS as "thought criminals," and the founding president, Tsunesaburo Makiguchi died in prison during World War II. After World War II, the 2nd president of VCS, Josei Toda was released from prison, and freedom of religion was established in Japan. The VCS then transitioned from mostly an educational society to become mostly a Buddhist lay organization that focused its goals on its three pillars: peace, culture and education. The society grew quickly from a small handful of educators before World War II, to over 750,000 households in Japan before the 2nd President passed away in the late 50s. The growth the new Buddhist organization experienced under the 3rd From hundreds of thousands in Japan to tens of millions in Japan and millions more around the world, the organization started to affect every aspect of Japan and began even having an effect on international politics. president, Ho Goku, became synonymous with the unprecedented growth of Japan, from a completely war devastated nation, to a top economic and industrial nation, in just a few decades. In the beginning, the VCS was characterized in the Japanese tabloids, as an organization of the "sick and the poor" of Japan. Within a few decades, however, the tabloids started to lambaste it for instead being an organization of the "rich and powerful." Yet its unprecedented growth, and the success of its millions of members, showed proof of it's unprecedented philosophy of "value creation." It was the same poor and sick people who joined the organization at the beginning, who soon became the cultural and educational power behind Japan's growth as a nation. This was a "human revolution" that based its entire growth on self-empowerment, dialogue, cross-cultural understanding and peace-education. Debussy saw hope in the history of this movement, that maybe he too could be part of changing his own country's military and exploitive capitalist system, into a system based on peace, culture and education. The Power of One - As Debussy reads more about Buddhist philosophy, he sees how each person has so much untapped power to transform their lives and the world around them. He then studies other progressive movements in history, in which he sees the power of one individual to stand up and to cause a ground swell of change around them, which in turn causes great movements of people who would change the world for the better. After reading all 10 volumes of the Human Revolution, Debussy starts reading volumes of The New Human Revolution. He sees parallels between the revolutionary growth of the VCS in Japan and around the world, to another movement he starts to study in the US. This movement was started also by just one person, a courageous Maryknoll Priest, Father Roy Bourgeois, who started the School of the America's Watch (SOAW). After being kicked out of Bolivia, for helping to educate and feed the poor of Bolivia, Father Bourgeois started to study the school, which he felt he was a victim of. The School of the Americas (SOA-now called the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, WHISC), which was once stationed in Panama, but kicked out of Panama for it's ties to human rights abuses, is now stationed at Ft. Benning, Georgia. It is the school that trained the military dictator of Bolivia, Hugo Banzer, who overthrew the democratically elected government of Bolivia, in a military coup. Father Bourgeois felt that it was this school that was responsible for him being kicked out of Bolivia. Father Bourgeois started a thorough study of the SOA, in which he found that many of the military dictators in Latin America received their military training at this school. He also found that many of the officers trained at this school had been implemented in the worse atrocities throughout Latin America. Despite this school's negative reputation in Latin America, many in the US had been completely unaware of this school's tainted history. It took Father Bourgeois's courage to bring to light to so many US citizens this, the greatest terrorist training camp in the West. Father Bourgeois bought a place across the street from the school, to set up the office of the SOAW, a watchdog organization that studies the actions of this school and has worked for many years to shut it down. Debussy sees, through his study of this organization, how just one person can build a movement to change the world in a positive way. Through this study, he gains more confidence that someday he too could build a movement to change many of the things in the world he knows must be changed. Debussy also feels a strong connection to this school, because he realizes that people trained at this school may be responsible for his own father's disappearance. Julian- This chapter is about Debussy's new English composition class in high school, which a young, attractive and progressive substitute teacher, Amy Baldwin, teaches. Not only does he like this class because of the new teacher, but also his heartthrob, Lori Thompson is in this class. In this class, from the encouragement of his new teacher, Debussy gains a passion for writing, feeling that his writings can help change the world in a positive way. For many reason's, Debussy feels this is one of the first proofs that his Buddhist practice is having conspicuous results in his life. He had hoped for a positive change in his school environment. In one of his first assignments, he is asked to write about a novelist and one or more of that novelist's novels. He chooses to focus on Gore Vidal, and especially his historical fiction novel, Julian. As he studies about Gore Vidal and about Julian, he finds that Julian was one of the most important emperors of Rome, during a very dark time in Roman history. It was a time in which Julian witnessed a cult, which he called the "Galileans" take over the Roman Empire. However, their beliefs, very positive at root, if not benign, were instead manipulated by the Roman establishment to focus only on the most destructive of those beliefs, in fact to perpetuate the very antitheses of those beliefs, shrouded in the name of those beliefs. The original ideas of the "Galileans'" faith were turned on their heads. Everything the "Galileans" believed in was co-oped by powerful forces in Rome, and it was used, instead of liberating people as they were originally intended, to control the "Galileans" and the rest of the citizen's of Rome, and to make them all more obedient servants to the state. (sounds familiar huh?) In the process, Julian's uncle, Constantine, managed to create an "all embracing" religion, which, in the name of the teacher of the "Galileans," completely bastardizes his teachings. In a series of religious councils, most of the historical writings of their faith were expunged, along with much of the teacher's history and many of his paramount beliefs. The history of the teacher's 17 year travels to the East, to study other philosophies, from the time he was 13 until the time he was 30, were deleted from the history books. His belief in reincarnation was also deleted. His belief in the power of femininity was instead replaced with the domination of male power. The hundreds of historical writings of his contemporaries and others who wrote about it were scrapped, leaving only the barest, out of context remnants of their beliefs-only those that didn't contradict the political philosophy of the basest elements of power in the empire. Out of the left over shards, Constantine, with the help of his bishops created a book, which they conveniently titled, "The Book," as a tool of control over people in the empire and even people outside the empire. This book would soon replace all other books throughout the world, which were all summarily burned or destroyed by the hit men of Constantine. As Debussy studies this history and writes about it, he sees many parallels between the battle Julian waged against those who twisted faith for their own benefit, and what was going on currently between the VCS and the priesthood of Nichiren Shoshu. Ho Goku, the honorary president of VCS was battling the Nichiren Shoshu priesthood, which was manipulating the teachings of Nichiren Daishonin, to gain power and control over their believers, twisting faith as an instrument to deceive people. However, Julian wasn't trying to save the teachings of the Galileans. He was instead trying to protect the indigenous teachings of Rome and Greece. He was a Hellenist, who preferred the teaching of Socrates to any doomsday cult, and he was hoping to maintain religious plurality in the empire. The new "all embracing" religious instead, stole all the ceremonial days of every religious traditions of the time and before, and rewrote them into their tradition. All the old myths of Mithras, Demeter and Dionysus were incorporated into this new "all embracing" religion, with a new more ominous twist. In the same way that Julian was labeled by his contemporaries as the "Apostate," Ho Goku, who was fighting to protect the true teaching of Nichiren from destruction by the mad priesthood, was now being labeled by the powerful in Japan as a "billion dollar cult leader." Debussy also found much kinship with Julian, because both had lost their fathers at a young age. Also Julian, like Debussy was well aware of the diabolical things going on around him, while others around him somehow stayed completely aloof of what was happening. Both hoped to stop the destruction of their societies, which people in power were causing. Although Julian was unable to save the Roman Empire from his uncle, Constantine and Constantine's mad bishops, Debussy gains strength and courage from studying Julian's battle with tyranny. Debussy knows that now there is much more on the line. He knows that if he and his contemporaries don't stop the insanity that is going on in their government, more than just the US Empire would be destroyed, but possible all of human civilization. After Debussy finishes his writing and turns it in, the good grade he gets on it (the only redeeming grade he had received in all of his 9th grade classes) keeps him from failing out of his freshman year. Zeus- The next chapter is about Debussy's older brother, Zeus. Zeus is 3 years older than Debussy, and he is a much bigger troublemaker. He wears his hair spiked up in a tall Mohawk, adorned with a ripped leather jacket, ripped jeans and spiked steel toe combat boots. While Debussy is in his room, on his bed, reading some writings from Nichiren Daishonin, Zeus barges in on him. They share the same room, and Zeus constantly tries to make that hell for Debussy. He first taunts Debussy for being home alone and reading on a Saturday night, saying he's becoming a "brainiac." Then he turns on loud punk rock music and slam dances around the bedroom, kicking Debussy's leg or foot with his combat boots every time he circles near Debussy's bed. Finally, Debussy throws something at him and they get in a fight, which prompts their mom, Justine to come in and break it up and kick Zeus out of the house. Justine- This chapter is about their mother, Justine Jensen, once again also known as "J.J." to the kids and their friends. It's a continuation of the previous chapter, after Zeus has been kicked out of their room. Justine asks Debussy what is going on with him and why has he been acting so different lately. He says there is nothing wrong with him, he is just growing up and his friends aren't. Now that he is in high school, he doesn't feel like doing the same things he and his friends did in Junior High School. Justine says she's worried he is becoming more like his father. Debussy is shocked, because this is the first he can remember his mom saying anything about his late father. After this remark, they both sit in silence, not knowing what to say next, until finally Justine changes the subject and tells Debussy that she has found a new, much better paying job, and it will cause her to have to move the family to a different city, some distance away, which would make it hard for Debussy to continue going to the same school. Despite her fear that Debussy would be upset by this change, Debussy is glad. In fact, he had been chanting for them to move out of their roach infected apartment and for his mom to change her financial Karma. Justine is surprised that Debussy is not only happy with this change, but he says he had been hoping she would find a better job. She is also shocked that her son was thinking about her, which she thought most kids were too busy growing up to give much thought to their parent's lives. Finally, Debussy for the first time asks his mother about his dad. He asks, "Do you remember dad chanting Nam Myo-ho Ren-ge Kyo?" She is shocked, because she doesn't know how her son knew that his father once chanted, and also, she hadn't heard that phrase since shortly before he passed away. She hesitantly tries to talk a little with Debussy about her dead husband, but in the middle of a sentence, she starts to cry, so Debussy holds her. Though Debussy had witnessed his mother crying often over the years, this was the first time he saw her crying about his father. He never knew before what it was she was crying about. She would at times lock herself in the bathroom and cry in a hot bath, but Debussy never thought she was crying about anything, because every time he would ask her what was wrong, she would just say, "nothing. I'm just sad." Therefore, he just thought this was a normal thing that women do often. When Justine cried, it was usually after her ritual weekly house cleaning spree, where she would get drunk drinking Japanese, Akadama plum wine and blare David Bowie music. She would get so drunk, until she was finished cleaning, where she would take a bath and cry drunk in the tub. Debussy was usually the only other person home at these times, so he would sit outside the bathroom and ask if she was OK, but she always said there was nothing wrong. It was a very confusing time for Debussy, he wouldn't know what she was crying about, but in empathy, he would usually end up crying too. This started causing Debussy to also cry regularly. Debussy hoped smoking marijuana would help him not cry, but although it made him happy momentarily, after the buzz wore off, he ended up feeling sadder than before he started smoking pot. When Debussy first started chanting, it was the first time he was able to cry so powerfully, but this time he wasn't sad, it was as if the tears where washing away his sadness, and for the first time he was crying tears of joy. Nichiren- Through the encouragement of his substitute English teacher, Ms. Baldwin, Debussy feels that his mission in life is to be a writer. He feels through writing, he can help change the world, by changing people's thinking. Because he enjoyed Gore Vidal's two historical novels, Julian and Lincoln, so much, he decides he will begin his life as a writer by first writing a historical novel about Nichiren, the founder of the Buddhism he has been practicing. He sets the end of his 4 years in high school as the goal for finishing this first novel. In the mean time, he knows he has to study the life of Nichiren and study the Kamakura period of Japan, the time in the 1200s (C.E.) when Nichiren lived. He finds while studying about Nichiren that, like Jesus, Nichiren was persecuted for his revolutionary beliefs. However, it wasn't just his beliefs. Like in the case of Jesus, it was the actions he took to appose "false" beliefs that gained him so many enemies in high places. Like Jesus, who over turned the tables of profiteers, Nichiren constantly challenged the corruption of the religious and political establishment of his time, and like Jesus, the political powers took him to be executed. However, unlike many such revolutionaries (Jesus, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., etc), somehow Nichiren managed to escape or evade all death attempts, until finally the government and his other adversaries gave up on killing him and eventually pardoned him and allowed him to establish his own government-sanctioned school of Buddhism. Debussy feels that this remarkable ability to survive death over and over, was why Nichiren's life story surpasses in amazement all other such revolutionaries' life stories. Through studying Nichiren's life and his philosophy, Debussy begins to understand that all life is in the state of flux, yet as Nichiren wrote, a person who embraces change, and is solid in their beliefs in the face of change, will always find a way to use that change to move their life in the direction of happiness, and toward greater fulfillment of their mission in life. Debussy embraces the changes going on in his own life (the move to a new town, which his mother's new job necessitated, etc.) with the optimism that all these changes were in fact the answers to his own prayers. Star Belly Sneetches- On Debussy's way home from school, he runs into Christopher. Both are surprised to see each other. It has been since last semester that they hadn't seen each other. Christopher asks Debussy where he has been. Debussy explains how he has become burned out on doing all the things they did in Junior High School, and he has become sick of the high school cliques and everyone trying to be different. He says, "the more they tried to be different, the more they end up the same." He compares all the students in his high school, who try to keep up with the latest trends, with the Star Belly Sneetches, referring to the book, The Sneetches by Dr. Seuss. As he's walking home with Christopher, both seem happy to see each other and Debussy starts thinking about last summer, when he suddenly remembers, he won't be around this coming summer to enjoy the beach with Christopher, like he did the year before. He tells Christopher about his family's plan to move inland. And as he's thinking about moving away, he suddenly feels he will miss everything he did before in Wutherington Beach. He realizes now how much he has taken everything for granted, and now it will soon all be gone. Although he wouldn't be moving inland for a couple of months, he already starts missing everything, and he hopes their walk home will last forever. He then remembers the clubhouse and asks Christopher about it, but Christopher tells him the bad news-that it was found and destroyed by the police. At this point, he feels incredible regret that he hadn't gone there for such a long time. At this point, Debussy doesn't want to go home to his books anymore, he wants to experience the last two months of his beach community, which he will no longer be able to experience once he's moved. Finally, Christopher asks if Debussy wants to come over to his house, and Debussy accepts happily. Planting the Seed - The next chapter takes place in Christopher big house, while his parents are away at work and Debussy is visiting him. It is Debussy's first time in Christopher's house. He is surprised at how big and beautiful the house is. Christopher asks Debussy if he wants a snack. He is happily surprised, because in his run down apartment, there aren't usually any snacks worth having. He has time to contemplate his life, while Christopher is getting him a snack. He thinks about how poor his family is, and how he used that to justify shoplifting for food in the past. However, as he is learning about karma from his study of Buddhism, he sees how his desire to shop lift, unlike Christopher's is not only caused by his poor financial karma, but is also a cause to perpetuate his poor karma. He sees that his financial karma is already changing, after chanting only about six months, and during that time, he had not once shoplifted. He feels that his mother's new job, which promises a much higher income, is also a product of his changing financial karma, which is brought about by a change in his behavior. Though Debussy is a little envious of Christopher's financial fortune, he also senses Christopher's sadness, and how Christopher is more envious of Nathan's popularity. However, Christopher has yet to realize that Nathan's popularity is now all but gone in high school. Christopher is still clinging to the lost image of Nathan, as the class clown in junior high school, which has been replaced with the image of a punky freshmen high school student, who still hadn't yet grown up. Debussy feels empathy for the first time for Christopher's loneliness and his desire to belong. He wishes to share with Christopher the joy he has been experiencing, ever since learning how to chant. Although he is fearful of how to tell Christopher about Buddhism, without having him become scared of it, he decides anyway that he has to plant the seed of Buddhism in Christopher, knowing that someday it will be able to grow, when the time is right. Therefore, he teaches Christopher about the chant "Nam Myo-ho Ren-ge Kyo," without telling him it's a Buddhist chant. The Wondrous Law of the Lotus Blossom - This is a continuation of the previous chapter in Christopher's house, where Debussy gives a full explication of the meaning of the chant "Nam Myo-ho Ren-ge Kyo." Although Theodore has told Debussy not to give out too much information to someone who is new to the chant, for fear of confusing them, and getting them bogged down in the details, and missing the main point that you don't have to understand what the chant means or how it works, in order to try it, and to see positive changes in your life. However, Debussy has been studying way too much about it's meaning, and he can't help spewing out, ad nauseum every intricate detail of information he has acquired from his long study of the subject. He doesn't however, ever call it Buddhism, or explain it in a religious way. He instead relates it to quantum mechanics. Surprisingly, although much of his lecture is going over Christopher's head, Christopher is very amused by Debussy's lecture, and he is excited to know more, so he keeps egging Debussy on and on. Regardless of whether it is all sinking in or not, one thing is for sure, both Debussy and Christopher are having one of the most enjoyable times talking together than they have had in a long time. They continue talking until it becomes quite dark. Ten States of Life - When Debussy gets home that night, he feels so good. He feels he has been on a roller coaster of emotions all that day. He experiences first hand what he has been studying in his Buddhist books, called the "Ten World" (10 states of life). He learns first hand that day that Buddhism is not an abstract philosophy about other worldly experiences, but is a life philosophy that is designed to make a person understand all of their feelings, and to understand everything going on around them, and to be able to be in controlled of their life, their feelings and their environment. He also learns that day that he still has a long way to go to be in complete control of his life and his environment, so he can direct his life and the world in the direction of positive change. Even though he realizes he has a long way to go in his human revolution, he also realizes he is making sure steps in the direction of his life's mission. This realization makes him feel so great and so encouraged about his future. He wakes up the next morning and he feels so connected with nature and the universe that he writes his first poem. It is a poem about the inner connectedness of all life. Reunited- As Debussy is chanting that morning, many people come to his mind that he had not thought about for a long time. He wants to share the great feelings he is experiencing with all the people he knows. He starts chanting for the happiness of his deceased father, his mother, his brother, other friends and relatives he has not thought about for a while, and even people he had once considered his enemies. He chants that they all would one day find the Wondrous Law of the Lotus Blossom, so they too could feel as happy as he feels now. As he is chanting, the cute girl from the bookstore, who helped him try to find Ho Goku books a few months earlier, suddenly comes back to his mind. He is surprised that he had not thought of her since that day he met her, but now while he was chanting, her image came back to him. He couldn't remember her name, and he wondered if she still worked there. He thought to himself, "She must like books as much as I do. Why else would she want to work at a bookstore?" He then decides to go visit the store, to see if she still works there. He is happily surprised that not only does she (Jessica) still work there, but she also remembers him quite well, and she in fact had since meeting him ordered many books by Ho Goku from the publishers, to be shelved in the bookstore. Jessica was so shocked when he first came in, and they discovered that Ho Goku had written or co-written over 100 books, yet somehow not one of them were in this giant bookstore. This curiosity led her to order and read one of his books after another. She was so shocked about how great his writings were, and she was equally baffled as to why such a great and prolific writer would not have any of his books in what many thought was such a well shelved bookstore. This amazement caused her to request her managers to shelf more of his books. She also started sharing them with many of the customers and her other coworkers. Soon Ho Goku books started to become best sellers at her location, until the corporate offices started ordering his books for other locations. Debussy didn't realize that his inquiry a few months ago had started a snowball effect, awaking many people to the teaching of Buddhism. It was just like Theodore told him, to never underestimate the power of planting just one seed. One lotus seed, planted in a muddy swamp, can start the flowering of millions of beautiful lotus blossoms in time. It was true as the saying goes, "The muddier the swamp, the more beautiful the lotus blossoms." Jessica also tells Debussy that she has been chanting, but she pronounces the chant a little wrong, so Debussy tells her that there are introduction meetings that she can go to in Orange County to teach her how to chant correctly. She is shocked, because she thought the SCV was only in Japan. Jessica asks Debussy if he wants to hang out with her and talk on her lunch break, which was coming up shortly after he came into the store. Debussy is very excited. On her break, they talk about Buddhist philosophy, among other things, and they agree to meet again and go to an SCV introduction meeting. The Last Day- The last day of Debussy's freshmen year at Wutherington Beach High School is very clear, sunny and warm. Debussy cleans out his locker and turns in his textbooks. He sees Officer Sajak as he is walking off the campus, and for the first time he feels sorry for Sajak, so he decides to say good-bye to Sajak. Sajak is surprised, because most of the kids aren't nice to him, so he smiles and says good-bye back, and Debussy says to himself, "He's not such a bad guy." Then as he is just about to walk off the campus, a voice from beyond calls out to him. He turns around and to his surprise and delight, it is his heartthrob, Lori Thompson. This is the first time they ever talked to each other. She thanks him for the great writings he shared in their English composition class about Julian and especially about Nichiren. She says since he gave a speech in class about Nichiren, she has been trying to find books about him. He happily tells her that he can loan her some. She then says that her dad won't be picking her up today, and she asks if he would like to walk home together with her. She tells him that she lives right on his way home, next to Lake Park, where she has seen him out her window playing with his friends before. He is so excited that he fumbles on his words, but manages to accept, and they both walk off campus smiling as the sun is also smiling in the sky, with not a cloud in site (or is there). (This is definitely left to be continued in a second twisted love triangle novel with a big struggle between his two new friendships, with both Jessica and with Lori over the summer, and his struggle having to move away from both of them.)
Sample chapter of Tim's Novel "Myth Shattering"
Debussy Debussy was born into a very freethinking family. His late father, Charles Xanthankis, a writer, poet, and musician named him after his favorite composer of avant-garde music. He had the nurse of the hospital Debussy was born in grudgingly type in the column of his birth certificate that specified his religion “All or None!” Debussy’s mother and father were very progressive. He adopted their philosophy, which included questioning all beliefs and ideologies. It emphasized learning to think for yourself. While his mother, Justine Jensen (“J.J.” as everyone called her) was away at work, he loved to browse through the scientific journals that decorated her coffee table. He learned from them that the visible ends of the universe were now believed to be somewhere between fifteen to seventeen billion light years away. He couldn’t see how any modern thinker, armed with the latest scientific information, could logically fit some creator or that old “Heavenly Jerusalem” world-view into this new scientific equation, without completely ignoring it. Debussy’s father died when he was two years old. His older Brother, Zeus was almost four at the time. (Justine came up with Zeus’s name from the Greek Mythology class she was taking in High School, when she got pregnant with him in her senior year.) Although the kids were too young to really understand why or how their father died, and the mystery that stayed in their minds was kept to themselves, they loved to amuse their friends with fantastic and heroic stories. Out of fear, however, mostly of their mother’s reaction, over those preceding twelve or so years they never questioned her about his death. Equally mysterious to them was the reason their last name had been changed from the unusual Greek name Xanthankis, to a common name like Jensen-for which there were no other relatives on either side of the family sharing this new name. But the years simply passed by, and they never got around to asking her why. The two brothers shared a mixed heritage of Greek, Italian, German, Irish, and American Seminole Indian. The American Indian side was from their Father’s Grand Mother. After their father died his side of the family from back east lost touch with them, probably in part because of the sudden name change. However, Debussy, although only a fifth Native American held the most pride in that ancestry. He would often say he was half American Indian and half “European Mutt.” He would also say, “We are all born part angel and part devil. Though we must learn to keep the angel in control of the devil.” Since his mother worked two or three odd jobs at a time (As a hairdresser, a waitress, and a jewelry store clerk) the two boys mostly raised themselves. Although there were ever-changing babysitters, mostly Spanish speaking, who offered to watch them for next to nothing, these babysitters usually had many kids of their own and couldn’t give Debussy or Zeus too much individual attention. In addition, with the language barrier between them and their sitters, it was each brother relying on the other for advice and encouragement that got them through those early days of youth. Although Debussy looked up to Zeus, in many ways he felt he should have been born as the older brother. Perhaps he believed he had been in a previous life. Although Zeus was more organized with his physical possessions, Debussy felt a much greater control of his emotions, and seemed to have more direction in life. The former was more left-brain and anal retentive, while the latter was much more creative, intuitive, and clearly dominantly right brain. It was in this freethinking environment that Debussy adopted a dislike for anything dogmatic or authoritarian. He had an avid thirst for knowledge and an interest in any information that went against the mainstream glut, of what he would say was “misinformation fed to me at this white majority, ‘conservative’ institution.” The “institution” he referred to was obviously the school system that to him didn’t allow people to really grow into independent, thinking people. He felt the capitalistic educational system, and its huge corporate owned textbook manufacturers led people to become nothing but hard working corporate puppets, and acquiescent mindless “consumers.” He resented and refused to take part with such socialization, as being forced to take part in the daily solute to the “Bars and Stars.” He also had a predilection for reading that which was controversial or which caused him to stretch his mind beyond the plebeian concerns of his insular and extremely myopic community. Debussy’s mother supported his independence state of mind. One time he was called into the vice-principal’s office because he was the first boy at the school to pierce his ear. When Debussy refused to take out his earring, the vice-principal called in Justine for a parent’s conference. However, this proved fruitless, when Justine threaten to file charges of sexual discrimination. Her argument was: if girls were allowed to wear earrings at the school, there’s no reason why boys shouldn’t be able to. Although Justine was supportive of Debussy’s freethinking, due to the hardship of single parenting she had over the years slowly lost her own active zest for learning and revolutionary thinking. She had outgrown her belief that she could change the world, but luckily, Debussy was far more idealistic. The Discovery Last summer Debussy made a discovery, which would continue forever altering his perception of reality. It was a warm July weekday afternoon. He and Nathan were trying to find a hiding place to stash some weed they’d seized from a downtown neighbor’s backyard. His mother’s garage was kept locked at all times. It was used only to store boxes of various nick-knacks, which were leftovers from their move into their small apartment, shortly after Mr. Xanthankis’s death. Without her husband’s small income, Justine had to move the kids into this run down, cramped up apartment and stored away most of their belongings, until someday, when she hoped to move the family into a more spacious home. But now, it was twelve years later and that day still hadn’t come. This apartment complex they lived in (occupied by mostly Spanish speaking, migrant worker and their families) was situated on the outskirts of downtown, in an area many of the more affluent residents snobbishly referred to as “the projects.” Of course every middle-class beach community had to have a place where the cities trash truck drivers, gardeners, and widowed parents could live. And “Delaware Manor” was just the place. The apartment Debussy’s family shared was right above the garage units. The garages were separated by a thin wooden wall about six and a half feet tall, leaving an opening about two feet wide at the ceiling. The neighbor who shared the garage next door used his only to park his car and often left it wide open. At times he pulled the car out into the driveway, and could usually be found under the hood, doing regular maintenance on his jalopy. Debussy rarely conversed with his neighbors. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to; it was their lack of ability in the English language, which made any meaningful communication impossible. However, at times he would throw try to out the few Spanish words, which he had learned from his babysitter's kids. Everyone was amused by his bad pronunciation. That afternoon his next door neighbor left his garage door open all day. Debussy and Nathan climbed the dividing walls of the garage and went to hide their goods in one of the boxes that filled the garage. “Hey Nathan. Shit. Give me your lighter. I can’t see crap.” Debussy called out in the dark, trying not to trip over all the junk. “Ah! Ah damn!” He shouted, as he fell over a stack of magazines. “What? You need some fuckin’ training wheels to keep yourself up?” Nathan laughed. They lit the candles, which they kept in their stash bag. The garage was littered with cobwebs, dust, and boxes-hidden memories of the life Justine once shared with Charles. Nathan started opening boxes. “Books… Full… Ah, more books… Full… Shit how many fuckin’ books you guys got in here? You didn’t tell me your father ran a damn library.” “Let me see!” Debussy moved over to the candle light with excitement, and started sorting through them. “Ah, CIA and the Cult of Intelligence. Hemp: Lifeline to the Future. Unlocking the Mysteries of Birth and Death. Man these books are punk! Make-Believe Media.” He read the titles out loud as he flipped through the books, with intoxication. Getting annoyed, Nathan grabbed the candle and yelled out “What did we climb in here to fuckin’ study in the dark; or are we gonna find a place to stash our bud before your mom comes home?” “Come on; I just want to check out a few of these!” “Your mom’s gonna be home soon. We better hurry and hide this shit.” Nathan finally found a box that contained only a few antiques. He stuck the bag inside. “Dude just pour it in the box. I’m gonna put some of these books in that bag.” “OK, it’s gonna be your bust, when your mom finds pieces of leaf all over the bottom of the box.” “My mom hasn’t fuckin’ opened the damn garage for over a decade.” At this point, Debussy didn’t care much about the pot or hiding it. The boxes of books and their strange titles made his curiosity peak to the height of enthusiasm. He felt a sense of nostalgia, imagining these were the same books his father read-the dad whom the only memory he still recalled of was that big bag of cookies he left on the counter the day before the last trip of his life to Central America. Debussy crammed as many books as he could carry without ripping open the bag. From that day on, for the rest of the summer, Debussy would hide himself away somewhere, and veraciously eat away at the contents of these secret books. He kept the bag under his bed, safely tucked behind shoe boxes, so his mom wouldn’t notice he had them-afraid she might keep them from him had she’d known. Anyone would probably keep them from him, if they only knew the secrets they revealed-secrets that demolished those lies he’d been force fed by his barbarous culture-the propaganda that had been sold to him by Corporate America-the lame excuses for “news”, which he had been a victim of ever since he first learned to suck the “boob tube.” Every myth from “milk it does a body good” to “USA’s keeping the world safe for democracy” was slowly dispelled like ranking armpit odor being blown out by one refreshing spray of deodorant. Finally he had verifiable reason to distrust the mainstream, right-winged, “conservative” brain-washing, crap he already so despised. He always hated TV commercialism, and refused to be caught dead wearing their “just do it” child slave-labor made tennis shoes. He felt like busting the TV screen whenever he saw that despicable excuse of a public servant, Newt Gin"grinch" talk out his ass about his “Contract Against Americans.” He knew no corporate puppet head in Washington gave a damn about his mother working three jobs to keep the family alive- be them “Demican,” “Republicrat,” or one of those cross breed “Demo-Repulicrats” like Billy “ah, I didn’t inhale” Clinton. He believed, as Marx wrote, that the government in a capitalist system is simply the administrative arm of the rich, upper class, bourgeoisie. He must had somehow inherited a small gene of progressive intelligence from his father, which helped him intuitively discern between reality and the utter nonsense he was daily bombarded with in this fairy tail land of “Calafia.” These books contained the revolutionary political writings of such great minds as Dr. Michael Parenti, Gore Vidal, Noam Chomsky, Helen Caldicott-just to name a few. He dabbled in writings of historians like Toynbee, Sorokin, Spengler, and Quigley, and found magazines like “The Nation,” “The Progressive,” and “Mother Jones”-fabulous muck racking journals, all of which added insight to the works of these great revolutionaries. He read biographies and autobiographies of such heroes of humanity as Steven Biko, Che Guevara, Jose Marti, and Martin Luther King Jr.-men who risked their lives to stand up for truth and justice in a world where it was so lacking. He read things that although they disgusted him didn’t totally surprise him. After all, one of his slogans was “I love my country. But I can’t trust my government.” He read from Mortimer Adler what he had always expected-that his government was never founded as a “democracy,” and was never intended to represent one either. As Mortimer wrote, “The notion that this country was founded as a democracy, of course, is sheer rot. It was anything but that.” He learned that it was started as the greatest oligarchy ever, as Mortimer stated “ an oligarchy of the most severe kind.” Through these great books, he learned about how corrupt the CIA is, and how their initials could be more truly interpreted as the “Capitalist International Army” or perhaps the “Cocaine Import Agency.” Since true “Intelligence” was something they completely lack. It was no wonder to him why both the Kennedy brothers had been taken out, especially when both tried to limit the power of that evil “intelligence” organization. He learned about their nefarious dealings in Central, and South America, Asia and Africa. He read how, with the American tax payer’s money, death squads in all the countries of those continents were trained and covertly financed by this agency and other crooked arms of the state department, like the DOD, and DEA, through the “black budget”-that budget that not even congress was allowed to review, lest they be killed like the Kennedys. It involved drug dealing and other criminal acts to raise money for covert operations that no civil person would possibly approve. All in the interest of preventing democratic change, which might upset US and Western capital penetration and exploitation into these “mal-developed” and “over-exploited” countries, as Dr. Parenti called them. He also discovered how most, if not all, of the leaders of these death squads, and the military leaders and presidents of the countries that employed them, were often trained by the US, often on US soil, in such infantry schools as “The School of the Americas” in Fort Benning, Georgia. This school was dubbed by many humanitarian organizations in Latin America: “The School of The Assassins”-where decorated graduates became leaders of such criminal organizations as “The Contras”-that drug dealing Mafioso style organization that was funded by CIA drug money and trained by the CIA and other infamous parts of the so called US “Defense Department.” He learned that ruthless military dictators such as Manuel Noriega of Panama and Hugo Bonzer of Bolivia were amongst the school’s “Hall of Fame”-or as Senator Kennedy called it the “Hall of Shame.” He read how colonialism never really ended as his apologetic, revisionist history books tried to falsely portray it-as if it was some relic of some “past” America. These books taught him that it was just converted to a less costly form of what could be termed “Corporate Colonialism.” Big transnational “American” corporations, once they grew larger than the national government, and once they completely infiltrated the American and other so-called “first world” governments, found it much more profitable to extend their dominion by getting in bed with smaller government’s oligarchs. And when sex with these governments wasn’t submitted to, rape would follow. This prevented the corporations from being held accountable for any liability if their callous business dealings caused destruction or waste. The responsibility for cleaning up was dumped on the citizens of the nations, who were exploited at the hands of these rip-off artists. This practice was neatly referred to by economist as “externalizing cost” and “internalizing profits”-part of the master plans of such notorious WTO trade “agreements” like NAFTA and GATT, and financed by such undemocratic, elitist organizations, as The World Bank and The IMF. The corporations get the rewards, the citizens foot the bill, and the oligarch are fed handsomely by corporate kickbacks to subjugate their meek populations. If these governments didn’t sell off the people’s lands or support the huge corporations deceitful dealings, the “capitalist international army (CIA)” would help install a more “corporate friendly” government, like the murderous Indonesian, Iraqi, or Chilean governments, which the US helped prop up. However, they often had to destroy those governments and the people in those countries once they no longer acquiesced and did their bidding. Iraq was a classic example of such a change of heart by the US State Department. These governments, with their ruthless police and military forces, would up root people, who once live off the lands, and then they would sell great tracks of land to huge American and European agribusiness plantations and factories at garage sale prices. Of course these businesses were more than happy to employ the displaced and starving populous at practically slave wages. This helped cause much of the people in Central and South America, and other Asian, Middle Eastern, and African countries to live far below the poverty line. The books being his father’s were all at least a decade old. He wondered if this disruptive corporate behavior persisted till today. If so, why had he never heard any word of it in his school history books or in the main stream media? This curiosity brought him on a journey to the Wutherington Beach Public Library- a beautiful four-story glass building in the middle of Central Park. He walked down the stone spiraling walkway, which circled a flowing fountain. It led him to the bottom floor where the therapeutic sounds of running water enveloped him. He got on one of the computer catalogs and searched a subject, which he thought must be in this giant edifice-“controversial history.” Under that heading he found a very interesting book: Lies My Teacher Told me; Everything American History Books Got Wrong. He then searched under the heading-“Corporate Abuse.” There he found When Corporations Rule the World. Finally under “corruption in politics,” he found, Washington on Ten Million Dollar A Day, and Senator For Sale, a brilliant expose’ on Mr. Personality himself, Bob Dole. Then he started to search for books by his favorite author in his father’s collection, Michael Parenti. Under that author, he found an incredible book about American capitalist exploitation around the world, Against Empire. He also found The Sword and The Dollar, and Inventing Reality, a book about corruption in the US main stream media. He sat back in a chair as the sound of water cleansed him of societies hypnotizing myths. He inhaled the contents of these books, until he found some sense of clarity to his questioning. He was able to discover the reasons his history books and the corporate owned media overlooked or purposely avoided much of America’s unsavory history. To admit the past would be to admit the present, which is an ongoing extension of that hidden and forgotten past. He found that the so-called "Democracy” in America was really Plutocracy-a land ruled by money and greed, or perhaps a kleptocracy, ruled by criminals. Those with the money fiercely tried to keep the general public ignorant of how they had attained such wealth, by the blood, sweat, and toil of million of used and abused human beings.
Tim Janakos Personal Statement when applying for Soka University of America
(Tim Janakos was on the waiting list to get into SUA, until the very end. Perhaps this 7 page personal statement, when the SUA application said "should be only 2 pages" kept him from getting accepted early to SUA. Luckily, he was finally accepted and he went on to graduate with honors in the first class, 2005) Dear Soka Faculty and Staff May 3rd, 2000 Happy May 3rd! I feel it is a great privilege to have been raised in Orange County and to be fortunate enough to live so close to Soka University, Aliso Viejo. As Soka University celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2001, I too will be celebrating my 30th year of life (this time around), along with my mother’s 30th year of practice with the Soka Gakkai. I also feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to be at both groundbreaking ceremonies of SUA’s two previously planned California sites (San Diego and Los Angeles), along with the cornerstone laying ceremony of this campus’s Library. I still have fond memories of the tug-of-war matches and the other youth activities held in that open field between La Jolla and Scripps Ranch, back in the 80’s, to celebrate the 1st sight, which Soka University had just acquired in the US. At that time I was in junior high school. I thought it would give me the perfect opportunity to attend SUA, San Diego. I remember chanting to be accepted there once it opened. I also recall my mother’s discouragement: “It’s probably going to be too expensive,” which was her favorite saying back then, and still is. In addition, I still have cherished memories of the long days I spent with other SGI-USA youth members cleaning up the Calabasas campus, raking leaves and picking up branches in preparation for its opening ceremonies. I remember also thinking, “maybe I can go to the Calabasas campus, when it expands to a full four-year university.” However, the San Diego campus fell through. In addition, the Calabasas campus was never able to expand to become more than the graduate school it is now. Once I realized these two schools weren’t going to be available to me when I graduated high school, I decided instead to first go to Palomar Junior College. Unfortunately, my parents weren’t willing to support me going to school full time. Furthermore, my mother insisted I get a full time job and move out on my own as soon as I was able. Despite this, during my first semester I tried to show my parents I could do it on my own, by both going to school fulltime and working fulltime. However, it started to seem impossible to concentrate on my growing sales responsibilities at my new fulltime job and my youth leadership responsibilities in the Soka Gakkai, along with the tremendous amount of homework I had. Completely overburdened, I finally had to drop some of my classes. Over the last ten years, due to job changes and other challenges, I’ve moved around quite a bit and have found that one class per semester is about all I could fit into my busy schedule. This has brought me to study at Palomar College, Mesa College, Orange Coast College, Santiago Canyon College, Golden West College, Irvine Valley College, and Santa Ana College. However, since my goal has always been to be a writer of music, novels, and poetry and to be a musician, I’ve taken mostly music classes over the years and have only recently started taking general education classes. Seeing how most of my favorite writers (Daisaku Ikeda in particular) didn’t pursue a formal education, and they didn’t gain their wisdom from an academic institution, I decided to spend most of my time educating myself through my avid love of reading and musically through playing with many bands. I have read many books. My favorite subjects have been history, science, philosophy, religion, peace studies, and politics. I prefer reading nonfiction. My favorite author has always been Daisaku Ikeda, for whom I’ve read most of the books he’s had translated into English. My favorites of those have always been his dialogues. I am so glad Soka University has donated many of his books to the Aliso Viejo Library. Now I am finally able to start finishing the few, which I didn’t get a chance to read completely in the past. I am overjoyed, as well, to hear that SUA is considering keeping its library opened twenty-four hours a day. Therefore, I will be able to read until my hearts content. In addition, I am glad to know the library will include a large section of rare books. It seems many of the books I’ve enjoyed the most, which I’ve learned the most from, were books I could never find in those growing chain bookstores. Many of these rare books, which I’ve preferred, were hard to locate in most libraries as well. Although I have taken many music classes in college, my greatest musical education has been outside of school. I have played in so many types of bands. Those bands have included marching bands, symphonic bands, jazz bands, salsa bands, funk bands, acoustic bands, and rock bands. Over the years I have sang and played trumpet, French horn, saxophone, piano, and guitar. I am now halfway through recording my first 20-song CD, which will be released this year. My previous demo tape sold many copies at my shows. One of the songs on the tape, “Song of Triumph” was featured on the “Local Artist Spotlight” show on KSBR radio, from Saddleback College. In junior college I found, once I did start taking general education classes that many of the teachers, whom I hoped would further enlighten me, seemed ill prepared to teach me more than I could easily have learned on my own from reading books. In addition, I felt few had any in-depth grasp of any other subject, except for the narrow specialization of their select field of study. Even their knowledge of that select field of study, as well, seemed lacking. I have used most of my writings in these few academic classes as a desperate attempt to open the minds of these teachers. I also felt the professors didn’t give me enough opportunities to write about the subjects they were teaching me. Rather they spent most of the time having me memorize information, that I was expected to blindly except as fact. However, they gave me little opportunity to dispute this information or to offer more cogent information on the subjects. Fortunately, this educational experience in junior college motivated me to finally finish my first novel. It was not only a therapeutic exercise in venting my frustration with the condition of education in the West, but it was also a critical look at what our culture calls “information,” “knowledge,” and “wisdom.” In the forward to the novel I wrote, “Many feel that what has been termed the “Information Era,” is in fact an “Era of Misinformation.” I enjoyed reading both books available in English on Mr. Makaguchi, and on his Value Creation Pedagogue. The main character, Debussy in my novel, Myth Shattering stumbles upon Mr. Makaguchi’s educational philosophies. Makaguchi expresses the need to have education rooted in everyday life, and for students to have a well-rounded grasp of many different subjects-not to focus so much on specialization, which is the direction education seems obsessively driven toward in this country and elsewhere. It appears people are learning more and more about less and less. I feel this approach breeds extreme near-sightedness. A broadminded approach to education is what I hope a liberal arts degree at Soka University will entail. There are many things that disturb me about Western culture-many things that I believe Makaguchi’s broadminded ideas can help ameliorate. Among those are the growing prison industrial complex, which is locking up my fellow youths at alarming rates-many for non-violent acts and many for mental conditions, which are in part being aggravated by our cultures growing materialism, commercialism, and our further estrangement from the natural world. Another is this country’s growing militarism and our country’s leaders continued use of force in trying to solve global conflicts and their complete lack of willingness to use real dialogue. (The Rambuellet Accords with Yugoslavia is but one comedic example.) Still another is the incredible lack of democracy in global policies, being pushed upon the world by the business leaders of this country, who hold the purse strings of their talking heads in Washington, through such undemocratic and hierarchical institutions as the World Trade Organization, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund-most of these policies being increasingly decided behind closed doors, by non-elected officials, who are completely unaccountable to the people, for whom their decisions drastically effect. And if that sentence seems overly convoluted and verbose, it’s only because I chose to use the type of wording the corporate lawyers and trade bureaucrats, who are holding our democracy hostage, love to confuse people with. This kind of recondite language demonstrates how convoluted our system of democracy has become, thanks to the greedy concerns of those who do not care about the health of the system, only what they can steel from it. Although these are only a few of the problems that bother me, I feel at the heart of these problems and others is a complete lack of respect for the well being of individual human beings, along with a total disregard for the sanctity of all life-two things that Mr. Makaguchi’s education philosophy addresses. Along with this is the need for fostering mutual-coexistence, and changing our society into a win-win society, as opposed to the “winner take all” state we currently live under. It is true, as one scholar having a dialogue with Daisaku Ikeda said, “Education is the slowest means to social change. But it is the only lasting means.” However, it also seems from my experience, much of what universities try to pass as “education” in this country could be better defined as “miseducation,” and in some cases outright propaganda. Two simple examples of this are in the fields of medicine and economics. Here pharmaceutical companies and “neoliberal,” capitalist think tanks have such a tremendous strangle hold over academic research. This hijacking of the educational establishments by moneyed and self-serving interests has caused students hoping to become doctors to instead become little more than drug dealers. In addition, it has made those who wish to become economists to instead become no more than cheerleaders of corporate “free market” globalization. The more I have dialogues with my friends who went to the “prestigious institutes of higher learning,” and the more I read what the “experts” have to teach me, the more I understand Socrates disgust with those who profess to be wise. He admitted he didn’t know all there was to know. Therefore, with his knowledge of his own ignorance, he had to be wiser than those who profess to know everything, when in most cases they are the least informed about the real needs of the common people. Unfortunately, if we as a species don’t change the course we are on, and if our knowledge doesn’t make us wise, we won’t survive much longer. There are far too many problems in this world to stand by and remain ignorant and apathetic, while the profiteers of Wall Street are quickly extinguishing the world’s last resources to make their shareholders richer and richer, while the average people of the world become poorer and more ignorant of the true causes of their plight. In this regard, I feel it is absolutely paramount that the wisdom of Mr. Makaguchi be shared with the world, and a new approach to education be offered to the twenty first century. If we are to live up to the “self chosen title of Homo Sapient,” as Einstein says, we must start learning to tap into our own inherent wisdom, which lies deeply covered by folly, hostility, and greed. Then we must learn how to eliminate those poisons before they consume us. I believe that each person has the ability to positively change the world. Additionally, I believe it is the youth of the twenty first century who will be at the forefront of this struggle. It is for this reason that I wish to study at the institute Daisaku Ikeda has founded, on the principles Mr. Makaguchi outlined in his Value Creation Pedagogy-not simply for my own self-aggrandizement, but rather to be a part of raising the next generation of world leaders, who will help us steer Planet Earth back on a sustainable course. I’ve dedicated much of the last ten years to raising young people to be compassionate leaders, within and outside the Soka Gakkai. I started practicing Buddhism strongly when I was ten years old. Although, I must admit that I first started for selfish reasons, once I turned eighteen and moved out on my own, I started reading Daisaku Ikeda’s writings on a daily basis, which has drastically changed me. I have been able to find no greater leader and educator than he in all my studies. I have seen how much his writings have changed my intentions and have transformed my ways of thinking. Therefore, I know that my writings will also have the same effects on many young people, helping them to become more concerned with other people and the world at large. In this regard, I will continue to imbue my writings, both my song writings and my books, with an impassioned cry for the youth of the world to rise up to the challenges they will inevitably be confronted with in this turbulent and chaotic world. I plan to continue raising the youth even at Soka University, by being a big brother to all my fellow schoolmates and by helping them in their studies. I believe that in order for this school to succeed, all the students have to succeed. For this, I will not only be concerned with my own grades, but I will help tutor those who are struggling the most. I will also continue writing my second novel there, on my free time. In addition, I will fill the air of Soka University with my fragrant music and continue writing music that motivates the youth to never give up. Along with this, I hope to take Spanish at Soka University, and if possible study abroad in Cuba. I feel our country owes so much to the people of Cuba, in reparation for the barbaric embargo our government has forced them to try to survive under. I hope that in some small way my connection to Cuba during my studies abroad can open doors of dialogue between our countries and help in putting an end to the dreadful Helms-Burton Act, which is causing untold suffering to our Cuban neighbors. To prepare myself for this, I will take introductory Spanish next semester at Orange Coast College. In closing, I would like to offer congratulations to the entire faculty and staff of Soka University, whose hard work have brought this school this much closer to opening. As a tribute to all your hard work, I would like to dedicate to all of you a poem I wrote about spring. I have driven by Soka University’s budding campus many times this year and last. And each time I see it, the buildings slowly seem to be springing from the ground, like plants and trees in springtime. Soon those beautiful buildings will bear plentiful fruit. And you all will be to thank for that. Only one more year left! Keep up the great work. Spring From the Soiled Ground The seed sinks deep Into the fecund soil. Rain falls down So sweet, Imbuing love into the earth, Until life within it creeps. Breaking through its padded shell A new life has begun. Extending arms through dampened ground To greet the morning sun “Here I go. I will come of age. I will show what I can be, When I open up my cage.” Deeper down, its roots descend To embrace its mothers womb, So the plant may climb so high above And smile at the evening moon. Where once were dormant fields of snow Asleep in winter’s freeze, Soon branches spout and flowers spring To dance in the summer breeze “Yes I know, There must come a time, When we shall live in harmony, And not begrudge our lives.” Happy buzzing bees do come To kiss the budding tree, To spread its fragrance all around To other plants in need. They know their honored duty calls And flap their wings so load. For nature gives them all they need And always makes them proud. “I will show That others can embrace, A life of giving and of living, And darkness we can erase!” Thank you for your kind consideration, Tim Janakos