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shantaramI am reading an extraordinarily novel based on life experiences living in the slums of Mumbai (Bombay) the largest city in India, by the author Gregory David Roberts.  In his novel Shantaram, the author reveals and relives his escape from prison in Australia and into anonymity of the ubiquitous slums of the largest city in India. As a work of art and literature the book is a masterpiece. Certainly one of the very best of thousands of books I’ve read.

This book changed my  perspective on the selfless spirit and essential goodness of human beings. By contrast, the book exposes the rotting flesh of possession and wealth for it’s own sake — maniacally enforced on Earth by soul-crushing materialists.

I don’t know how to solve the disparity between wealth and poverty, good and evil, wisdom and stupidity. But, I am very sure that my Empathy has been magnified and focused by contrasting the squalid reality of daily life of sub-human slums in the shadow of the skyscrapers that house the wealthiest people in India. Empathy costs nothing except knowing that all sentient beings feel love and suffer the same pain we ourselves.   — Lawrence R. Spencer, 2015