The Kingdom of Ten Thousand Things: An Impossible Journey from Kabul to Chiapas

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Overview

From war-torn Afghanistan, through the snow-capped Himalayas and across the burning sands of the Taklamakan desert, to a rapidly modernizing China and on to the Central American jungles: it is an impossible journey, but one that Gary Geddes eagerly undertook in order to retrace the voyage of the legendary 5th-century Buddhist monk Huishen. Geddes was long fascinated with stories of Huishen’s life and travels: this Afghan holy man fled Kabul for China and may have crossed the ...
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Overview

From war-torn Afghanistan, through the snow-capped Himalayas and across the burning sands of the Taklamakan desert, to a rapidly modernizing China and on to the Central American jungles: it is an impossible journey, but one that Gary Geddes eagerly undertook in order to retrace the voyage of the legendary 5th-century Buddhist monk Huishen. Geddes was long fascinated with stories of Huishen’s life and travels: this Afghan holy man fled Kabul for China and may have crossed the Pacific to North America 1,000 years before Columbus.
The length and breadth of this expedition, and its difficulty, would have been amazing enough on its own, but Geddes’s trip takes on an added dimension and poignancy due to its timing: he reaches Afghanistan one month before September 11, 2001 and arrives in China as the tragic events unfold.
Along the way, Geddes encounters Afghan refugees, Pakistani dissidents, Tibetan monks, Buddhist scholars, a KFC outlet in Luoyang, mysterious cairns in Haida Gwaii, and ghostly remains in Mexico. As the Silk Road morphs into superhighways, ancient sculptures turn into military targets, Geddes glimpses, in the collision of past and present history, important clues for imagining a workable future.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781615578948
  • Publisher: Sterling Publishing
  • Publication date: 3/1/2007
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Table of Contents


Prelude     vii
Crossroads     1
A Line in the Sand     59
Riding the Tiger     127
Conveyance by Water     233
The Buddha on the Road     311
Acknowledgments     379
Index     381
About the Author     384
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 5, 2010

    An impossible much ado...

    I read to the end, seeking some revealing truth, some self discovery. All I discovered was how an obsession with a scrap of historical information, an unlimited budget, and plenty of time can give license to write a book. Previously know facts are revealed such as riding mass transit in the third world is uncomfortable, women in Afghanistan are oppressed, and refugees harbor bitterness. World events swirl by with minimal comment while the author meticulously records the name of every person with whom he had a conversation on the journey. I expected beautifully turned phrase from a poet but was quite disappointed. The only adventure is in the Author's occasionally fertile imagination, the remainder is mundane. Perhaps that is the point - A kingdom of ten thousand things is a lot about nothing.

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