My brother alerted me to this story from The New York Times [http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/21/world/asia/21japan.html?_r=1&emc=eta1] that to my mind shows the continuing impact of Western ways upon the rest of the world — not always to the non-Western world’s advantage. The old tradition seems pretty much gone, in Japan. Is that a bad thing? Good thing? Somewhat both? Neither? Your call. But one thing I know: We can and often do contact those on the other side. Some do it easier than others do, but if anyone at all can do it, then clearly it is a human ability.