East is East / West is West

The term "Occident" comes from the Latin "occidens," meaning "sunset,"
while "Orient" comes from the Latin "oriens," meaning "sunrise."

The English-language name Anatolia derives from the Greek Ἀνατολή (Anatolḗ) meaning "the East"
and designating (from a Greek point of view) eastern regions in general.
The Greek word refers to the direction where the sun rises, coming from ἀνατέλλω anatello '(Ι) rise up,'
comparable to terms in other languages such as "levant" from Latin levo 'to rise,' "orient" from Latin orior 'to arise, to originate,'
Hebrew מִזְרָח mizraḥ 'east' from זָרַח zaraḥ 'to rise, to shine,' Aramaic מִדְנָח midnaḥ from דְּנַח denaḥ 'to rise, to shine.'

East - West Symmetry

The Babylon Papers

Sunset in the West

My earliest stories of the Wild West were related to me by an old cowboy who lived next door to our house in Shoshone, Idaho.  I was five years old and Grandpa Durfey was probably 70 at the time--he knew all about cowboys and Indians from experience. My grandparents on both sides had homesteaded farms in the Idaho territory in the late 1800’s. They came by covered wagon from North Dakota via the Oregon Trail, believe it or not. This was before the Union Pacific Rail Road was laid across Southern Idaho, through the tiny town where I grew up.

In 1944 my mother and sister and I took the train (via Salt Lake) to San Diego — where I soon had my first experience of life in the City. After college in 1954 I drove 482 miles North to the San Francisco Bay Area —where there were orchards and farms on all sides.

At Stanford I sat under half a dozen Nobel Prize winning scholars in Physics hoping they would explain the meaning of life to me. As awesome and impressive as these men were something was missing. Finding the purpose for which I was brought into the world was of prime importance so I spent three days a week for the next two and a half years in Freudian Psychoanalysis. Freud was an atheist and I was an agnostic so I eventually switched to a Jungian Analyst, and I started buying books from the East-West book store in Menlo Park and I discovered Alan Watts on KPFA Berkeley. See also The Mesa Daze.

It was back then that I learned that the traditional Western world view was not the only way to see and experience the world! 

What LSD did for me

Yin, Yang, the Tao, and Wholeness

Remote Viewing, Channeling, ESP, and the Power of God

Calamity Howling


When I read Freud’s book “The Future of an Illusion” I saw right away that there must be a God.  It was in the Fall of 1962  in my 30th year that I first experienced the reality of Jesus Christ in a radical way, I then turned my main attention to knowing the Bible and the path of Christianity in the West. Yet I could not ignore the call of the East.

India 1971

I was Ten Years “away” from my church 1972-1982

Thirteen trips to Egypt!

The Return of the Prodigal 1982

Geophysics and the Temple Mount 1982-2005

Geophysical Exploration in Israel

The Occluded Years 2006-2019

Renaissance: Born Again-Again 

The Sunset of the West and the Sunrise in the East

In both East and West, since the First Century, many millions have entered into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and been "saved." Their entire lives have been archived in heaven.

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into

an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 

who are being protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, even if now for a little while you have had to suffer various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith—being more precious than gold that, though perishable, is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honour when Jesus Christ is revealed. Although you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, for you are receiving the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls." (1 Peter 1:3-9)

God often prospers a whole nation because there exists within it a vigorous remnant of embedded Christians. The externals of religion and church history can, however be misleading. If the citizenry is God-fearing and respects the rights of minorities that nation will be useful in the overall program of God--that nation will have its place in the sun and its great place in God's history books. Israel's 70 year captivity in Babylon is one example. God severely judge His covenant people saving only remnant to Babylon for seventy years. Israel was demoted from the center of attention then and is yet to be restored. But the Jews in Babylon prospered learning all about banking, commerce and trade while leaving behind the grave clothes of their indulgence in the pagan religion of the Canaanites.

But prosperity and power can quickly ruin a people! It has happened over and over again down through human history! Great civilizations have risen and fallen down through history why should we be an exception to the rule? Here is a quick look at the rise and fall of a few "great civilizations." 

The Aztec Civilization: 1325 A.D. – 1521 A.D. 199 years 5 generations 
The Roman Civilization: 753 B.C. – 476 A.D. 277 years 7 generations 
The Persian Civilization: 550 B.C. – 331 B.C. 219 years 5.5 generations 
The Ancient Greek Civilization: 2700 B.C. – 479 B.C. 1654 years 41 generations 
The Chinese Civilization: 1600 B.C. – 1046 B.C. 554 years 14 generations 
The Mayan Civilization: 2600 B.C. – 900 A.D. 3500 years 88 generations 
The Ancient Egyptian Civilization: 3150 B.C. – 30 B.C. 3100 years 78 generations 
The Mesopotamian Civilization: 6,500 B.C. – 539 B.C. 5961 years 149 generations 
The Indus Valley Civilization: 2600 B.C. – 1900 B.C. 700 years 18 generations

Egyptian civilization coalesced around 3150 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under the first pharaoh. Mesopotamia was home to several powerful empires that came to rule almost the entire Middle East—particularly the Assyrian Empires of 1365–1076 BC and the Neo-Assyrian Empire of 911–609 BC. From the early 7th century BC and onward, the Iranian Medes followed by the Achaemenid Empire and other subsequent Iranian states and empires dominated the region. In the 1st century BC, the expanding Roman Republic absorbed the whole Eastern Mediterranean, which included much of the Near East. The Eastern Roman Empire, today commonly known as the Byzantine Empire, ruling from the Balkans to the Euphrates, became increasingly defined by and dogmatic about Christianity, gradually creating religious rifts between the doctrines dictated by the establishment in Constantinople and believers in many parts of the Middle East. From the 3rd century up to the course of the 7th century AD, the entire Middle East was dominated by the Byzantines and the Sasanian Empire. From the 7th century, a new power was rising in the Middle East, that of Islam. The dominance of the Arabs came to a sudden end in the mid-11th century with the arrival of the Seljuq dynasty. In the early 13th century, a new wave of invaders, the armies of the Mongol Empire, mainly Turkic, swept through the region. By the early 15th century, a new power had arisen in western Anatolia, the Ottoman emirs, linguistically Turkic and religiously Islamic, who in 1453 captured the Christian Byzantine capital of Constantinople and made themselves sultans.

Large parts of the Middle East became a war ground between the Ottomans and the Iranian Safavid dynasty for centuries, starting in the early 16th century. By 1700, the Ottomans had been driven out of the Kingdom of Hungary and the balance of power along the frontier had shifted decisively in favor of the Western world. The British Empire also established effective control of the Persian Gulf, and the French colonial empire extended its influence into Lebanon and Syria. In 1912, the Kingdom of Italy seized Libya and the Dodecanese islands, just off the coast of the Ottoman heartland of Anatolia. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Middle Eastern rulers tried to modernize their states to compete more effectively with the European powers. A turning point in the history of the Middle East came when >oil was discovered, first in Persia in 1908 and later in Saudi Arabia (in 1938) and the other Persian Gulf states, and also in Libya and Algeria. A Western dependence on Middle Eastern oil and the decline of British influence led to a growing American interest in the region.

During the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s, Syria and Egypt made moves towards independence. The British, the French, and the Soviet Union departed from many parts of the Middle East during and after World War II (1939–1945). The Arab–Israeli conflict in Palestine culminated in the 1947 United Nations plan to partition Palestine. Later in the midst of Cold War tensions, the Arabic-speaking countries of Western Asia and Northern Africa saw the rise of pan-Arabism. The departure of the European powers from direct control of the region, the establishment of Israel, and the increasing importance of the petroleum industry, marked the creation of the modern Middle East. In most Middle Eastern countries, the growth of market economies was inhibited by political restrictions, corruption and cronyism, overspending on arms and prestige projects, and over-dependence on oil revenues. The wealthiest economies in the region per capita are the small oil-rich countries of Persian Gulf: Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates. (Wikipedia)


Jerusalem: Crossroads of History / Center of the World

The word of the Lord concerning Israel: Thus says the Lord, who stretched out the heavens and founded the earth and formed the human spirit within: See, I am about to make Jerusalem a cup of reeling for all the surrounding peoples; it will be against Judah also in the siege against Jerusalem. On that day I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples; all who lift it shall grievously hurt themselves. And all the nations of the earth shall come together against it. On that day, says the Lord, I will strike every horse with panic, and its rider with madness. But on the house of Judah I will keep a watchful eye, when I strike every horse of the peoples with blindness. Then the clans of Judah shall say to themselves, ‘The inhabitants of Jerusalem have strength through the Lord of hosts, their God.’

On that day I will make the clans of Judah like a blazing pot on a pile of wood, like a flaming torch among sheaves; and they shall devour to the right and to the left all the surrounding peoples, while Jerusalem shall again be inhabited in its place, in Jerusalem.

And the Lord will give victory to the tents of Judah first, so that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem may not be exalted over that of Judah. On that day the Lord will shield the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the feeblest among them on that day shall be like David, and the house of David shall be like God, like the angel of the Lord, at their head. And on that day I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.

And I will pour out a spirit of compassion and supplication on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that, when they look on the one whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn. On that day the mourning in Jerusalem will be as great as the mourning for Hadad-rimmon in the plain of Megiddo. The land shall mourn, each family by itself; the family of the house of David by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Nathan by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Levi by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the Shimeites by itself, and their wives by themselves; and all the families that are left, each by itself, and their wives by themselves.

On that day a fountain shall be opened for the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity.

On that day, says the Lord of hosts, I will cut off the names of the idols from the land, so that they shall be remembered no more; and also I will remove from the land the prophets and the unclean spirit. And if any prophets appear again, their fathers and mothers who bore them will say to them, ‘You shall not live, for you speak lies in the name of the Lord’; and their fathers and their mothers who bore them shall pierce them through when they prophesy. On that day the prophets will be ashamed, every one, of their visions when they prophesy; they will not put on a hairy mantle in order to deceive, 5but each of them will say, ‘I am no prophet, I am a tiller of the soil; for the land has been my possession since my youth.’ And if anyone asks them, ‘What are these wounds on your chest?’ the answer will be ‘The wounds I received in the house of my friends.’ 

 ‘Awake, O sword, against my shepherd,
   against the man who is my associate,’ 

says the Lord of hosts.
Strike the shepherd, that the sheep may be scattered;
   I will turn my hand against the little ones. 
In the whole land, says the Lord,
   two-thirds shall be cut off and perish,
   and one-third shall be left alive. 
And I will put this third into the fire,
   refine them as one refines silver,
   and test them as gold is tested.
They will call on my name,
   and I will answer them.
I will say, ‘They are my people’;
and they will say, ‘The Lord is our God.’ 

See, a day is coming for the Lord, when the plunder taken from you will be divided in your midst. For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken and the houses looted and the women raped; half the city shall go into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be cut off from the city.  Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations as when he fights on a day of battle. On that day his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives, which lies before Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two from east to west by a very wide valley; so that half of the Mount shall withdraw northwards, and the other half southwards. And you shall flee by the valley of the Lord’s mountain, for the valley between the mountains shall reach to Azal; and you shall flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of King Uzziah of Judah. Then the Lord my God will come, and all the holy ones with him.

On that day there shall not be either cold or frost. And there shall be continuous day (it is known to the Lord), not day and not night, for at evening time there shall be light.

On that day living waters shall flow out from Jerusalem, half of them to the eastern sea and half of them to the western sea; it shall continue in summer as in winter.

And the Lord will become king over all the earth; on that day the Lord will be one and his name one.

The whole land shall be turned into a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem. But Jerusalem shall remain aloft on its site from the Gate of Benjamin to the place of the former gate, to the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananel to the king’s wine presses. And it shall be inhabited, for never again shall it be doomed to destruction; Jerusalem shall abide in security.

This shall be the plague with which the Lord will strike all the peoples that wage war against Jerusalem: their flesh shall rot while they are still on their feet; their eyes shall rot in their sockets, and their tongues shall rot in their mouths. On that day a great panic from the Lord shall fall on them, so that each will seize the hand of a neighbour, and the hand of one will be raised against the hand of the other; even Judah will fight at Jerusalem. And the wealth of all the surrounding nations shall be collected—gold, silver, and garments in great abundance. And a plague like this plague shall fall on the horses, the mules, the camels, the donkeys, and whatever animals may be in those camps.

Then all who survive of the nations that have come against Jerusalem shall go up year by year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the festival of booths. If any of the families of the earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, there will be no rain upon them. And if the family of Egypt do not go up and present themselves, then on them shall come the plague that the Lord inflicts on the nations that do not go up to keep the festival of booths. Such shall be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all the nations that do not go up to keep the festival of booths.

On that day there shall be inscribed on the bells of the horses, ‘Holy to the Lord.’ And the cooking-pots in the house of the Lord shall be as holy as the bowls in front of the altar; and every cooking-pot in Jerusalem and Judah shall be sacred to the Lord of hosts, so that all who sacrifice may come and use them to boil the flesh of the sacrifice. And there shall no longer be traders in the house of the Lord of hosts on that day. (Zechariah 12-14)

Roman Empire East and West

Jerusalem to Baghdad is 546 miles, (879 km) mostly East, 32 degrees North Latitude

The Western Church and the Eastern Church

As seen by the Eastern Church

Administrative Dioceses of the Roman Empire, c. 300

Jesus is Logos and Sophia

The Lord saw it, and it displeased him
   that there was no justice. 
He saw that there was no one,
   and was appalled that there was no one to intervene;
so his own arm brought him victory,
   and his righteousness upheld him. 
He put on righteousness like a breastplate,
   and a helmet of salvation on his head;
he put on garments of vengeance for clothing,
   and wrapped himself in fury as in a mantle. 
According to their deeds, so will he repay;
   wrath to his adversaries, requital to his enemies;
   to the coastlands he will render requital. 
So those in the west shall fear the name of the Lord,
   and those in the east, his glory;
for he will come like a pent-up stream
   that the wind of the Lord drives on. 

And he will come to Zion as Redeemer,
   to those in Jacob who turn from transgression, says the Lord. 

And as for me, this is my covenant with them, says the Lord:
my spirit that is upon you, and my words that I have put in your mouth,
shall not depart out of your mouth, or out of the mouths of your children,
or out of the mouths of your children’s children, says the Lord, from now on and for ever.
(Isaiah 59:15-21)

The Union of Jews and Christians in Christ

"And you who were dead through the trespasses and sins in which you once lived,
following the course of this world, following the ruler of the power of the air,
the spirit that is now at work among those who are disobedient. 
All of us once lived among them in the passions of our flesh, following the desires of flesh and senses,
and we were by nature children of wrath, like everyone else. 
But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us 
even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ
—by grace you have been saved—
and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 
so that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness towards us in Christ Jesus. 
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God
—not the result of works, so that no one may boast. 
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works,
which God prepared beforehand for us to walk in them."

So then, remember that at one time you Gentiles by birth, 
called ‘the uncircumcision’ by those who are called ‘the circumcision’
—a physical circumcision made in the flesh by human hands
—remember that you were at that time without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel,
and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 
But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall,
that is, the hostility between us. He has abolished the law with its commandments and ordinances,
so that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the two, thus making peace, 
and might reconcile both groups to God in one body through the cross, thus putting to death that hostility through it. 
So he came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; f
or through him both of us have access in one Spirit to the Father. 
So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God, 
built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. 
In him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; 
in whom you also are built together spiritually into a dwelling-place for God." (Ephesians 2:1-22)

A Glorious Church

Back to Rudyard Kipling

Kipling's Ballad of East and West is fictional but the opening section is enigmatic.

Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet,
Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God's great Judgment Seat;|

But there is neither East nor West, Border, nor Breed, nor Birth,
When two strong men stand face to face, though they come from the ends of the earth!

Surely this about the final resolution of conflicts between East and West, the differences in Male and Female, Logos and Sophia? All this to be brought about by Jesus, Pantokrator.

What about the last line? It is suggestive of the final show down between Jesus in Jerusalem deposing the False Messiah and finishing off the Antichrist (the Second Nimrod) in Babylon?

This presupposes the rebuilding of ancient Babylon soon, and that city in Iraq becoming the hub of all world commerce, trade and banking,
--the penultimate meeting place of East and West under the final one-world government of the coming Antichrist.

It has been suggested that the Antichrist may arise, not from the West as usually supposed, but perhaps from radical Islam.

The Antichrist

The Two Nimrods

Babylon Notes

The Organization for World Peace

"See, the day is coming, burning like an oven,
when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble;
the day that comes shall burn them up, says the Lord of hosts,
so that it will leave them neither root nor branch. 
But for you who revere my name |

the sun of righteousness shall rise,
with healing in his wings.

You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall.
And you shall tread down the wicked, f
or they will be ashes under the soles of your feet,
on the day when I act, says the Lord of hosts." (Malachi 4:1-3)

Reference Notes from Wikipedia

The term "Orient" derives from the Latin word oriens meaning "east" (lit. "rising" orior " rise"). The use of the word for "rising" to refer to the east (where the sun rises) has analogs from many languages: compare the terms "Arevelk" in Armenian: Արեւելք (Armenian Arevelk means "East" or "Sunrise"), "Levant" (French levant "rising"), "Vostok" Russian: Восток ( Russian voskhod Russian: восход "sunrise"), "Anatolia" (Greek anatole), "mizrahi" in Hebrew ("zriha" meaning sunrise), "sharq" Arabic: (Arabic yashriq "rise", shurūqArabic: شروق "rising"), "shygys" Kazakh: шығыс (Kazakh shygu Kazakh: шығу "come out"), Turkish: doğu (Turkish doğmak to be born; to rise), "xavar" Persian: خاور (meaning east), Chinese: 東 (pinyin: dōng, a pictograph of the sun rising behind a tree) and "The Land of the Rising Sun" to refer to Japan. Also, many ancient temples, including pagan temples and the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, were built with their main entrances facing the East. This tradition was  carried on in Christian churches. To situate them in such a manner was to "orient" them in the proper direction. When something was facing the correct direction, it was said to be in the proper orientation.

Another explanation of the term stems from Rome during the Roman Empire, specifically the Eastern Roman Empire, or the "Roman Orient", during the Byzantine Empire. Although the original East-West (or Orient-Occident) line was the Italian Peninsula's East Coast, around 600 AD this would shift to the City of Rome. Any area below the City of Rome was considered the Orient, as well as the ethnicities inhabiting the land, such as Dalmatian Italians, (modern Neapolitans along with Sicilians, Libyans, Moroccans, Greeks, etc.), as well as everything East of Southern Italy, hence the Italian name "Italia nord-orientale" (in English Northeast Italy) for Le Tre Venezie (the 3 Venices) located above the Roman latitude line separating it from modern Abruzzo; the beginning of the Orient in the East, while Lazio is its beginning in the West of the Italian Peninsula.

The opposite term "Occident" derives from the Latin word occidens, meaning west (lit. setting < occido fall/set). This term meant the west (where the sun sets) but has fallen into disuse in English, in favor of "Western world."

Late Roman Diocese of the Orient, c. 400

Territorialization of the Roman term Orient occurred during the reign of emperor Diocletian (284-305), when the Diocese of the Orient (Latin: Dioecesis Orientis) was formed. Later in the 4th century, the Praetorian prefecture of the Orient (Latin: Praefectura Praetorio Orientis) was also formed, including most of the Eastern Roman Empire, from the Thrace eastwards; its easternmost part was the original Diocese of the Orient, corresponding roughly to the region of Syria.

Over time, the common understanding of "the Orient" has continually shifted eastwards, as European people traveled farther into Asia. It finally reached the Pacific Ocean, in what Westerners came to call "the Far East". These shifts in time and identification sometimes confuse the scope (historical and geographic) of Oriental Studies. Yet there remain contexts where "the Orient" and "Oriental" have kept their older meanings (e.g., "Oriental spices" typically are from the regions extending from the Middle East to sub-continental India to Indo-China). Travelers may again take the Orient Express train from Paris to its terminus in the European part of Istanbul, a route established in the early 20th century.

In European historiography, the meaning of "the Orient" changed in scope several times. Originally, the term referred to Egypt, the Levant, and adjoining areas, as far west as Morocco. During the 1800s, India, and to a lesser extent China, began to displace the Levant as the primary subject of Orientalist research, while the term also appears in mid-century works to describe an appearance or perceived similarity to "Oriental" government or culture, such as in Tolstoy's 1869 novel War and Peace, Napoleon, upon seeing the "oriental beauty" of Moscow, calls it "That Asiatic city of the innumerable churches, holy Moscow!", while in 1843 the American historian William Prescott uses the phrase "barbaric pomp, truly Oriental" to describe the court life of Aztec nobility in his history of the conquest of Mexico. As late as 1957 Karl Wittfogel included Rome and the Incan Empire in his study of what he called Oriental Despotism, demonstrating the term still carries a meaning in Western thoughtthat transcends geography. By the mid-20th century, Western scholars generally considered "the Orient" as just East Asia, Southeast Asia, and eastern Central Asia. As recently as the early 20th century, the term "Orient" often continued to be used in ways that included North Africa. Today, the term primarily evokes images of China, Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Mongolia, and peninsular Southeast Asia. "The Orient" being largely a cultural term, large parts of Asia—Siberia most notably—were excluded from the scholarly notion of "the Orient".

The famous English writer Rudyard Kipling, especially popular in Russia for his The Ballad of East and West poem, had been applying the term to the Russian people. In The Man Who Was (1890, never translated to Russian), he wrote: "Let it be clearly understood that the Russian is a delightful person till he tucks in his shirt. As an Oriental he is charming. It is only when he insists upon being treated as the most easterly of western peoples instead of the most westerly of easterns that he becomes a racial anomaly extremely difficult to handle. The host never knows which side of his nature is going to turn up next".

Equally valid terms for the Orient still exist in the English language in such collocations as Oriental studies (now Asian Studies in some countries).

The adjectival term Oriental has been used by the West to mean cultures, peoples, countries, Asian rugs, and goods from the Orient. "Oriental" means generally "eastern". It is a traditional designation (especially when capitalized) for anything belonging to the Orient or "East" (for Asia), and especially of its Eastern culture. It indicated the eastern direction in historical astronomy, often abbreviated "Ori". In contemporary American English, Oriental usually refers to things from the parts of East Asia traditionally occupied by East Asians and most Central Asians and Southeast Asians racially categorized as "Mongoloid". This excludes Jews, Indians, Arabs, and most other South or West Asian peoples. Because of historical discrimination against Chinese, Korean and Japanese, in some parts of the United States, some people consider the term derogatory. For example, Washington state prohibits the word "Oriental" in legislation and government documents, preferring the word "Asian" instead.

In more local uses, "oriental" is also used for eastern parts of countries, for example Morocco's Oriental Region. Oriental may also be used as an synonym of "eastern", especially in Romance languages. Examples include the "oriental" and "occidental" provinces of Mindoro and Negros in the Philippines, and the French département of Pyrénées-Orientales.

Since the 19th century, "orientalist" has been the traditional term for a scholar of Oriental studies; however, the use in English of "Orientalism" to describe academic "Oriental studies" is rare: the Oxford English Dictionary cites only one such usage, by Lord Byron in 1812. Orientalism is more widely used to refer to the works of the many 19th-century artists who specialized in "Oriental" subjects, often drawing on their travels to North Africa and Western Asia. Artists as well as scholars were already described as "Orientalists" in the 19th century. In 1978, Palestinian-American scholar Edward Said published his influential and controversial book, Orientalism; he used the term to describe a pervasive Western tradition, both academic and artistic, of prejudiced outsider interpretations of the Arab and Muslim worlds, shaped by the attitudes of European imperialism in the 18th and 19th centuries.

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September 4, 2021