Delightful writings for the discerning reader
Author: Sam Waidyasekera
Stamford Lake Publication
Author: Sam Waidyasekara
Stamford Lake Publication
The books Cameos and Science and Spiritualism contain some
representative writings of the late Sam Waidyasekera who died at the
early age of 36.
They form a small part of a considerable number of manuscripts left
and have been edited and published partly in memory of his labours over
several years and partly as they provided an insight into his keen
powers of observation and philosophical mentality into many matters,
ranging from apparently trivial to ones of a more reflective nature.
Written in a clear, delightful and often humorous style and language,
the first book Cameos potrays the authorís attitude and observations on
ordinary and simple folk he met in real life and places he visited
during his ramblings and which created an impression on his vivid mind.
Each cameo presented is the consequence of an actual experience and
not a figment of a lively imagination. As such, what we read is the
genuine expression of keen observation and depth of feeling aroused in a
sensitive individual. Many of the situations described are common and
often we may simply pass them and forget.
The section in verse is very impressionistic and has a style of his
own. Whereas the first section is what he had seen, this is what he
sees-its there in front of him. What is also fascinating in the book is
the authorís trips to places of pilgrimage especially as they were
undertaken by the author alone, by public transport and most
importantly, at his own pace. The authorís descriptions of these
historic areas are so true to life, simple and innocent.
Science and Spiritualism consists of a series of essays which focus
attention on some thought provoking of unconventional matters which are
important to any person reflecting on the meaning and purpose of life
and the structure of the universe.
They deal with the relationship between science and the scientific
method and metaphysics, psychology and spiritualism. The authorís
grounding in material science has not prevented him from questioning its
limitations and the materialistic interpretation of life and the cosmos.
The thesis underlying these essays is the existence of and the
primacy of the spiritual and esoteric content of both the individual
microcosm and the macrocosmic universe.
The author born on January 23, 1936 was educated at St. Peter's
College, Colombo and the University of Ceylon, Colombo in the early
1960s where he read science. He, however, enlarged the scope of his
scientific knowledge by a wide reading of the arts and literature as
well as philosophy and metaphysics.
Even at an early age he showed signs of remarkable intelligence,
intellectual curiosity and independence of thought. It is a tragedy that
such a productive mind could not have had the chance to work longer on
his pet subjects, as he tragically passed away on 18 May 1972.
The foreword to Cameos has been written by Rodney St. John one of his
closest boyhood friends who also passed away recently in Australia while
the foreword to Science and Spiritualism is written by Gotz Nitzsche of
The books reviewed present two different aspects of life and
experiences of the author.
They are extremely interesting to perhaps different types of readers
but what is common is that they are written in clear, delightful often
humorous language though the issues in many instances are often of a
deep-seated character. They represent interesting reading to the general
public as well.
The writer was a close friend of the author and educated along with
him at St. Peterís College, Colombo.