AUTHOR  Windows on the world



Northern Back Streets
Born in the industrial north of England in the post-war era of austerity and ration books, I earned my passport away from the back streets with a grammar school scholarship and a professional qualification. Then, with a new wife, came the usual struggle involving hard work, risk, disappointment, achievement and adjustment, in my case culminating in an unexpected rags-to-riches story.

Rejecting the Business World
I became a successful businessman, traveling the world and providing financial expertise for complex deals of corporate acquisitions and mergers. As a company director on four continents I was also responsible for overseeing the affairs of our high-tech operating subsidiaries. But at the age of 42 I turned my back on the financial rewards of the business world to write a spiritual book.

From the Pentagon to Lhasa
First came the years in the wilderness, or more correctly, years living with my wife and son in relative seclusion on the edge of a lake. My career had taken me to coffee plantations in the West Indies, a steel mill in the jungles of Central America, the Stock Exchange in London, The Pentagon in Washington, and large computer installations in a score of countries. I had always made time for other experiences: a night-time ascent of Blue Mountain Peak in Jamaica; walking through the Forbidden City in Beijing; flying over Australia's Great Dividing Range in a light aircraft; visiting the Buddhist Temples of Bangkok; but now the focus of my journey became self-discovery. Months spent in solitary introspection restoring a neglected piece of Cumbrian woodland were interspersed with exotic trips: white-water rafting on the Zambezi; attending the Ceremony of the Tooth in Sri Lanka; seeing the living goddess Kumari in Kathmandu; ascending to the roof the Potala in Lhasa. I joined two local Buddhist groups and had a short poem entitled Full Moon published in a Buddhist magazine. Then I began to write the book that feels like my life’s work.

The Secret Doctrine
I first read Madame Blavatsky’s The Secret Doctrine when I was still in my teens, and throughout my business years her unified concept of spiritual and physical evolution (which she called 'Theosophy') made more and more sense. It brought together philosophical and spiritual teachings from around the world, for Blavatsky claimed that most modern religions have a common source. The Secret Doctrine is dense, almost impenetrable, prose writing covering fifteen hundred pages with small print. The ideas within could do much to dispel the ignorance behind our abuse of the planet, its resources and its inhabitants, but very few people take the trouble to read it. I set out to re-package Blavatsky’s ideas in a form which anyone could understand. The result is
O Lanoo!

Given the opportunity we would all like to make a difference. I hope that O Lanoo! will make a difference ~ that people will read it and accept on some level the concept of unity which will help us move towards a more harmonious future.

Climate Change
After O Lanoo! I returned to the business world, working in a voluntary capacity as a director of a community wind farm co-operative.  In the seven years that followed I was instrumental in establishing Energy4All, a not-for-profit company that helps communities establish their own renewable energy projects.  Individuals working as a community, in harmony with nature for the good of the planet and all life forms?  This was theosophy in action!  

The Bigger-Picture 
In the Dalai Lama's book Ancient Wisdom, Modern World, His Holiness comments on the earth's population of some six billion. He suggests that less than one billion are dedicated religious practitioners, and following this line of thought I have to accept that the ideas in O Lanoo! are going to be ignored by the vast majority of people. Nevertheless, I feel that my unique blend of skill and experience, gathered from a broad range of human activities, might benefit others. This site, therefore, is a simple commentary on some of today's current affairs. It focuses on harmony and unity, rather than God, but remains true to the concepts outlined in The Secret Doctrine and O Lanoo! A few poems are there for entertainment only, but in each article I strive to present a Bigger-Picture.

Harvey Tordoff
December 2006