[Imc-atlanta-audio] An Introduction to The Tree of Life Bookstore
DRKANYA at aol.com
DRKANYA at aol.com
Tue Jan 3 10:14:33 PST 2006
An Introduction to The Tree of Life Bookstore of Harlem.
I thought you might be interested in the TREMENDOUS appeal we have found for
our SPIRITUAL BOOKS of HEALTH & WELL BEING as well as benefit to the General
populace since our founding in Harlem in 1969.
Dr. Moore (Master Herbalist) & Kanya
- March 1975 in New York City -
Kanya at the Tree of Life
- Harlem 1978 -
Thirty-five years ago I moved to New York City from Cleveland, Ohio in order
to get an underwriting commitment from Bache & Co for the Everyman Mutual
Fund. Founded by my father in 1966, it was the world's first mutual fund begun
by an African/American.
To make a long story short, I was indeed successful in securing an
underwriting agreement for the Fund only to fall victim to the market crash of 1970
which decimated both the Everyman Fund and McGhee & Co., our securities broker
dealership similarly founded by my father in 1952.
Now here's where the fun begins: I decided to take a year or so and
experiment with an old dream. A dream I had conceived while teaching elementary
school in California back in the early 60's. It involved gathering 2 or 3 copies
of books I loved from my own private collection and making them available to
the citizens of New York City in a free reading room on 125th and Lenox in
Harlem to see if anyone else would find them as interesting as I did. Also
available for sale.
What made these books different was that they mainly consisted of books of
Self improvement and inner consciousness like "As A Man Thinketh", "The
Finding of the Third Eye" and "Back to Eden" etc.. Imagine my surprise when the
year or two I had planned to give to this experiment almost miraculously
extended itself to 10 years and soon we had a store of 12,000 square feet with an
average monthly patronage of more than 15,000 persons from all over the world,
of all races and creeds. We called the bookstore "The Tree of Life".
The building was unfortunately torn down in 1980 to make way for a hotel
convention center that was never built and on that corner for 22 years was a
parking lot! But the concept of The Tree of Life is every much as valid today as
it was 35 years ago and I'd like to share the story with you. It's
particularly valid now because quite a few persons were school drop-outs who learned
to read in our "Aquarian Science Reading Room" and quite a few drug abusers
decided to get "high" off books instead of shooting up dope.
Likewise we extended the same efforts to those in prison with similar
results. It is quite a story and I am very pleased to share it with you. For it
seems that the same problems we addressed in Harlem are present everywhere. I am
looking forward to communicating with you and discussing how we can mutually
benefit from an expanded understanding of our different perspectives.
For the past 35 years we have demonstrated successful innovations in
Education, Drug Abuse, Crime, the Prisons and entrepreneurship. This is the PERFECT
School for the New Indigo Children.
Kanya Vashon McGhee
Founder & Director
A Portrait of Kanya Vashon McGhee
By Deardra Shuler
Dr. Kanya Vashon McGhee is a fascinating man. He is a man who has committed
his life to learning and the acquisition of knowledge; ALL knowledge --
including spiritual, scientific, historic and ancient knowledge. At one time, his
bookstore The Tree of Life, attracted 15,000 patrons a month. Scholars,
theologians and wisdom seekers from all over the world came to the Center to
take advantage of this vast wealth of information. School dropouts and former
drug abusers came to the Center to study in the store's Aquarian Science Free
The Tree of Life became so revered as an edifice of learning, it was known
as UCLA, (The University at the Corner of Lenox Avenue) Harlem's metaphysical
Mecca for seekers of truth. The Tree of Life bookstore was the pride of
Harlem until myopic Harlem politicians decided monetary wealth was more valuable
than intellectual and spiritual wealth. These politicos forced the bookstore
off the corner of 125th Street and Lenox Avenue even though Harlem Community
Planning Board #10 had given The Tree of Life a mandate to remain at the site
for 20 years.
Born Norman L. McGhee, Jr., in Cleveland, Ohio, Dr. McGhee (a.k.a. Dr.
Kanya) had an innate spiritual gift that enabled him to tune into his spiritual
nature. He was very aware that he was born for a specific purpose. Educated in
the predominately Jewish Glenville High School, Kanya went on to study civil
engineering at Case Institute of Technology but it didn't hold his interest.
Conflicted, Dr. Kanya was drafted into the Army for a year and a half. After
his stint in the service he returned to college and attended Baldwin-Wallace
College in Berea, Ohio.
Berea, Ohio and Baldwin-Wallace were too narrow minded for his taste so
Kanya decided to seek his education elsewhere. He ended up attending McGill
University (a.k.a. the Harvard of Canada) in Montreal, Quebec where he studied
science and business. "While at McGill, I learned that fraternities and
sororities in Ivy League schools were very different from fraternities and
sororities in black schools. In white schools these organizations are about business.
They help the sons and daughters of the privileged to place themselves in
powerful positions, gain influential connections and marry into the "right"
social strata in order to keep the power within a small circle of elites."
McGhee stumbled upon a book while at the university entitled "Cosmic
Consciousness" written by Richard Maurice Bucke, MD, a famous psychiatrist who had
attended McGill University. The doctor's book turned Kanya onto the 3 levels
of consciousness and how they are changing. As well as how man's higher
consciousness could be accessed.
These books left Kanya thirsty for knowledge and set him off on a quest to
obtain greater understanding. He followed his quest to England where he sought
to study under Dr. Sarvepelli Radhakrishnan, an Indian professor at Oxford
University, but unknown to Kanya on leave of absence to be Vice President of
His area of interest then became psychology and philosophy. However, Oxford
did not offer him the spiritual philosophy he sought. Eventually, the roving
scholar heard that the American Academy of Asian Studies, founded by Alan
Watts in San Francisco (a Graduate School of the University of the Pacific) was
offering MA's and PhD's so he pursued courses which eventually earned him a
Masters degree in the Study of Comparative Philosophy.
After securing his degree, Kanya realized he would need to pursue something
more practical to earn money. Because his father was the first black man to
found a mutual fund (The Everyman Fund, 1966), he decided to move to New York
where he formed a partnership with Wall Street's Bache & Co., in an effort
to underwrite the Everyman Mutual Fund. The funding effort was successful
until the stock market crash of 1970.
"In 1969, I started the Tree of Life bookstore as an avocational
experiment," stated Dr. Kanya. I founded the bookstore, because at the time, I
discovered 80% of the kids in Harlem dropped out of school before completing high
school. I found out that many of these kids got into drugs, crime & violence and
into prison. I began seminars in San Quentin Prison in California and
discovered that many of the men in prison were highly intelligent. Initially, I set
up a booth within the African Market right next door to the famous Michaud's
African National Bookstore. Most of the people going into Michaud's went
there to read the works of black authors. My books were metaphysical and focused
on the inner invisible man rather than the outer visible man.
"In the process, these books turned on so many people that we ended up
subletting the entire African Market which was 12,000 square feet of space. That
marked the official beginning of The Tree of Life Bookstore of Harlem. The
Tree of Life was in operation 10 years when Congressman Charles Rangel decided
he wanted to put up a $100 million dollar Trade Center Hotel Complex right on
the corner where the Tree of Life was located," alleged Kanya.
"Finally, these politicians and forces that be got together, accused me of
being a squatter, suppressed the information I showed them to prove I wasn't,
took me to Court, evicted me, and tore down the building that housed the Tree
of Life leaving a Parking Lot there for 22 years!. As a result, a serious
project to aid and educate our black community in Harlem was temporarily lost."
Kanya was bankrupted. "Therefore, I decided to move to Atlanta in 1993 where
I could live rent free with my aunt. I thought a bookstore of the Tree of
Life's caliber might have a better chance in Atlanta. I started doing radio and
TV shows, seminars and classes and set up the store in the basement of my
aunt's home. However, to date, for lack of funds, I haven't been able to
reinstate the Tree of Life in a way that would be most advantageous and beneficial
to its long term growth and survival," explained the educator.
Kanya is the host of The Tree of Life Show on BlakeRadio.com, Channel 5, an
Internet radio station, where he features guests and subject matters such as
Consciousness; God; Karma; the New Sexuality; Life, Death and Reincarnation;
Enlightenment; Astrology; Drugs; Mind Control and a myriad of subject matter
to enlighten and influence mankind.
Married to his work, Kanya sees his patrons as the children of his mission
in life, which is the opening of knowledge within each person. "I am not a
teacher per se but rather a 'nudger' that enables people to find the wisdom
within. We have a saying that says: "The books at the Tree of Life contain
knowledge that you know but that you do not know that you know," states Kanya.
Dr. Kanya is presently seeking partners to enable the Tree of Life to
continue its Mission of educating the New Indigo and Crystal Children.
For further information:"God" is Divine MIND - "The Creator" is THOUGHT
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