Sorry I’ve been gone so long. I didn’t want to share a whole lot of self-pity and grief here, and after today I’m not going to in the future either. It’s been six weeks since Angus passed away, but it feels like a lifetime ago, so much has changed. I’ve discovered that emotions I’ve believed I’ve fully felt before were really just the tips of icebergs, and that sometimes when you fall and think that no one can halt your plummet, and that you’ll never stop going down, that there are hands that will catch you, and hold you tight until you find the strength to stand again. So now here I am – standing again.
I’m not afraid of dying anymore, because now I know for sure that that isn’t the end at all, and I also know without a doubt that after all my years of intellectually studying the religions of the world, and referring to whatever lay beyond as “The Universe” that I was wrong. God is all around, and so are a whole lot of His angels. I can honestly tell you that He buys you books, finds you parking, and fixes broken washing machines, and a whole lot more that you wouldn’t expect from Him. Don’t worry – I’m not going to start preaching at you. It’s just nice to know, and I’m truly grateful for His very direct and impossible to call coincidence approach these past weeks. It’s all been a bit miraculous.
Angus passed instantly, and I’m absolutely positive that he felt no pain. We had no inkling that he had any problems with his heart, and he generally bounced around like a horse. He was sitting on the chair next to mine drinking his coffee when he said that he felt faint and that was literally the end. I “felt” him leave, and I knew that he never left alone. There is absolutely no doubt in my heart and mind that he is alive and well in another room in this incredible realm of our existence with a whole lot of others already there. There you go – end of preaching.
And now on with living – because it’s important, and we’re supposed to enjoy it. I think that every little thing that we do is important in the grand old scheme of things. We spend so much of our time worrying about things that may never happen. M Scott Peck had a thing that he’d say to his patients when they were fearful or worried. He said that when those feelings arose that they should ask themselves what they’d be doing right then if they weren’t really busy being scared. The answers were always doing something that brought pleasure. The solution, he said, was to just start doing the happy thing.
Right now I’m trying to find my bearings as far as earning my crust is concerned – not overly keen on doing the whole starving and camping out under a tree thing with my feathered and furred horde – but I’m getting there as far as ideas go, so hold thumbs. I’m sure that I have more emails than the Dalai Lama, so please be patient with me while I get stuck in and catch up again. It’s good to be back here with you lovely guys again – I’ve missed you all and hope to be back to zooming.
Farewell my Angus – till we meet again.
Firstly I have to say that I’m not in any way religious. Not in the normal way at any rate. I do believe in a greater power, and I also believe that each of us has a purpose – something or things that we have to learn, do, or share along the way. So. I research a lot of old myths and legends for my Shadow People books, as well as ancient building sites and so on. I’ve been doing a lot of digging around about free will, death, the afterlife, reincarnation, angels and demons again too, and now I’ve given myself the proper willies. When I was writing Echoes of Narcissus I kept on thinking that some malignant narcissists are actually demonic entities inside. Having known my own, and seeing a couple of videos online they very often look and sound the part. Even if they’re physically gorgeous, it’s always in the eyes and the voice that you’ll see or hear those glimmers of darkness.
Some people believe that after you die you become pure spirit again, but I don’t reckon that sounds very logical. If you’ve been an evil sod during your life on Earth, why should you stop being an evil sod after popping your cork? No. You’ll enter your next incarnation with that evil remaining within you somewhere. I think that souls can be blackened by your choices, and once blackened you have to choose to unblacken them or they’ll just keep getting darker. I know that a lot of people don’t believe in any sort of life after death or spirits and that sort of thing, and that’s fine, and probably a lot less creepy, but I do believe in these things, and the more I research, the more I wonder about payback.
There is good and there is evil. It’s pretty obvious if you look around the world these days. Seeing good in any form gives you a good vibe, and seeing evil makes you feel bad – or angry or guilty. I like to think of myself as mostly as good as I can be these days, but I still do things that I know are wrong. Like those things we use in our daily lives that are produced to the detriment, pain, or deaths of others. I do try not to contribute to harm too much as I zoom along, but sometimes I’ve chosen to take the easy way and look away instead.
None of us know with any certainty whether there will be payback or not, but if there is some of us are in for a rather nasty surprise. Throughout history there have been people who have risen to greatness who shared pretty much the same messages of striving to be and do good. To do no harm and so on. While we as a species have raised them up and often worshipped them, as a whole we are all either doing, or allowing to be done, the opposite of all those things they said that we so strongly agree with.
We all appear to be watching helplessly as our world and all who sail on it are destroyed, but unless you are physically at the mercy of a stronger physical force I think that our helplessness is a choice. Free will. We are all able to be as good or as bad as we choose to be. Fair enough, heading off to have a stern talking to with those who somehow we’ve crazily allowed to rule the planet along the way isn’t going to happen (although really cool plot for a book!), but every single day we have choices that will either add or remove a black spot from our soul. Every little thing that we do is important I think, and life shouldn’t only be about self-gratification.
All of this research has me thinking now that all the bad you do, maybe you get to take that with you, and you get to stay that way until you exercise your right to free will. So those evil killers and torturers that have come and gone over the years. If they weren’t tossed into the deepest pits of hell, and if reincarnation is true, well then, they’re back with us today in some form or another, and they’ll either choose good or bad. Or maybe they’re just so bad that it’s too late for good. Or is it ever too late? Either way, there really are some evil buggers out there these days. Some pretty creepy photos of spooks too, never mind dancing with the devil in the pale moonlight.
Image Credit: Paul Rubens
It’s totally untrue that science fiction fans (and writers) are silly, nerdy, oddballs that like to dress up in Star Wars outfits, and believe in aliens. Well… they’re not silly at any rate. Sci-fi geeks are very clever people. Morgan Freeman is clearly one as the host of my favourite documentary, Through The Wormhole, and he has to be the un-geekiest person I’ve ever seen. I am a fully paid up member of the geek club.
A lot more research goes into writing science fiction than you would think. Even though you’re reading about something or some place that (apparently) doesn’t exist, the actual idea for it probably came about while the author was pulling on his Captain Spock leotard in front of the television set, watching a geeky science documentary. Theoretical science is my favourite playground, but actual science is very often a lot more mind blowing. Especially when it comes to the mind.
Good versus evil, reincarnation and time travel are all large parts of Shadow People and the stories to follow in the series. Do we have souls? Are these souls reborn good or evil? Is life all just about a physical form that is born and dies – The End. Not in Shadow People. Dragons reincarnate as humans, and angels become demons. There is lots of zooming around through time and space, and the fight between good and evil decides the fate of the universe. So. Even though none of us can prove any of these theories beyond a doubt, I do like to at least have a little insight into what I scribble about. This means that I have to find out as much as I can about these things from the actual current proofs and theories that are floating around. I’ve been amazed at how much I’ve found. Right now I’m eyeballing the evil. My dear Morgan explored the brains of truly evil people.
There is a part of the brain that controls empathy. If this doesn’t work you’re apparently not going to feel sorry for anyone or thing in pain or suffering. In the brains of psychopaths this area comes up cold blue in MRI scans. Aah, you say. It’s a physical thing then. I don’t think so. The doctor who discovered this did scans on his own family, and discovered to his horror that not only did he have the brain of a psychopath, he also had people in his family tree who actually had been cold-blooded, convicted killers. He’d never had vicious urges though. The only compulsions in his life had led only to him being an overachiever. He thinks that his saving grace was his incredibly loving family and idyllic childhood.
Aah, you say. It’s an environmental thing then. Maybe not. Another doctor conducted tests on babies around six months old. She put on little plays where one teddy was nice and another teddy was really nasty. Over eighty percent of the babies liked the nice teddies. This sort of shows that we have some small clue about good and bad way before anyone tells us the difference. She also found that even young babies tend to group with other babies who agree with them and shun those who don’t or are different to them. Again, way before their parents tell them it’s not cool to play with children that are “different” to them. These tests made it clear that while similar, babies know what they want or like from very early on. Just because they haven’t figured out how to chat, doesn’t mean that they each are not born as the person they’ll become.
I honestly didn’t come away after this particular programme with any good reason why people turn out to be killers or torturers. Definitely one or two have been made so by tumours pushing on relevant parts of their brains or have some other physical issues there, but not by a very long way for the majority of them. Some people have zero empathy and view the rest of the people in the world as objects. They don’t all turn in to rapists and killers. I’m sure there are quite a few that maybe don’t make a lot of friends, but harm nothing more than a turnip for their soup.
Then you get to that belief that both good and evil exist as forces in the universe, and that it’s up to those with free will to decide who wins in the end. I like this idea best. I’ve gotten a lot of things wrong in my life, but I like to think that once you realise you’ve done something horrible, and hurt someone or something with your actions, you really don’t have to do it again. That’s free will. If these cruel killers really and truly did not believe that what they do is wrong, why do they hide it so well? They don’t want to be caught, you say? Fair enough.
But still. I think that on some level they do know that their deeds are evil. It’s often hard to do the right thing for all of us, let alone for someone with a damaged brain, but the fact that they get through life for so long having everyone around them thinking that they actually are kind and nice, makes me think that they know exactly what kind and nice is. There are some people on this planet who get up to such awful things, that I personally would be more than happy to stomp on them with hobnailed boots. So – my opinion — Evil exists as a force in the universe, and should be exposed for what it is, and duly stomped on.
My Writing Hero for the month of January is author George Geisinger. I first met George when I happened across one of his short stories and read it. It was so beautiful that I commented, and we have been chatting ever since. I found his writing intriguing, and decided to make him one of my heroes before reading his book. I’m really glad I did. I’ve read and reviewed on Amazon, Memoirs Of A Flower Child. This book had me smiling and crying. It got me right in the gut, and I read it straight through. I’ve never read anything like this. I totally suggest that you buy this book, and read it right away. It will change your perspective on everything.
Here’s my Amazon review.
A Triumph!, January 31, 2013
Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: Memoirs of a Flower Child (Kindle Edition)
This book should be required reading for everyone on the planet. Especially those among us who think we can be parents. I can honestly say that I’ve never read anything that moved me more, or twanged at my heartstrings quite so much. George Geisinger has written a totally frank and honest account of his life. He’s gone about it with an honesty and bravery that most of us can only aspire to. The difference with this memoir and others that I’ve read is the skill of the writer. At no point do you want to skip a part.
This is the story of a child so badly abused, that he begun to smoke cigarettes and run away from home at the age of five. The damage inflicted on this intelligent, sensitive soul by an unbalanced and vicious father was not repairable by such a small child, nor the young man he became. Spiralling down into chronic schizophrenia brought on by acute toxic psychosis, this man has endured an existence of fear and solitude through no fault of his own. There are too many beautiful words in this book for me to write down here to give you examples of all that touched me, and all I can say is, that if you read only one book this year, make it this one. You will see life from a whole new perspective.
The beauty of his writing transcends this story, and answers his own question, wondering why God has brought him through everything, and alive today. The answer in my mind would be that this story has to be shared with all, so that they can see the road he walked, and pray never to have that happen to any child again. George says so much that makes life clearer to me. “I never learned how to take care of myself as people learn growing up.” The simple truth for all abused, neglected children. On his suicide attempts, he says, “…Hurting myself, expecting someone else to feel the pain.” There can be no better explanation for those desperate cries for help. This man’s wit, talent, and humour shine throughout.
He loved and lost everything. From sweet Peaches, to his beloved Yamaha guitar, until one day God found him in a Gazebo, and showed him the way on. People have tried to use him and hurt him, but I do believe he will be fine. I hope you find the love to ease your loneliness gentle man, and I thank you for making me see my life from a new angle of gratitude. This is a success story like no other I’ve seen. The dozens of books on this author’s list of published works attests to that. If I could give this story ten stars, I would, and whenever I think that my life is tough, I’ll open George Geisinger’s book. It’s a triumph.
“I ran into the woods, got all cut up on the Jagger bushes, made all the dogs bark, walked on water. Busy day.”
I asked George a little about himself. Enjoy his answers with me.
- What do you like to do when you’re not writing.
I do ordinary things mostly; surf Facebook and the web in general, and I like to crochet, mainly to make winter gear. That’s right, I’m a man who crochets. I also read when I’m not writing.
- Who are your favorite authors?
I like Ernest Hemingway, Sinclair Lewis, John Steinbeck, and Theodore Dreiser, to name a few. I enjoy recent classical authors, especially, and there happen to be several more on the list, but I figure these classicists are representative of what I like to read. I’d rather not read any more F Scott Fitzgerald, because I don’t want to cry with him any longer, about the fact that he has lost his money.
- When did you begin to write?
I can remember writing a diary at age thirteen. I don’t recall writing earlier than that. I’m in my sixties, so trying to remember such things is a challenge for me. Such memories seem silly to me, like some of the things I used to sing, when I was younger and still able to carry a tune.
- What do you love to eat and drink?
Before I got my dentures, I used to like to eat red meat. However, since I’m wearing dentures now, I prefer to eat things like chicken and sea food.
- What don’t you like?
I don’t like to eat vegetables, because some of my best friends are vegetables.
- Tell us a little about your next book.
I write exclusively short stories. I have an octogenarian friend where I live, who reads everything I write. I don’t have any specific plans for another series of short stories, nor do I have a book project in the works at the moment. If my reader here where I live tells me I’ve written a book, she’ll give me the name of the book, and designate which short stories are part of the book. This was the way I came up with Memoirs of a Flower Child, and Damn Yankee. What I’m hoping to do is write for more than one blog per day, for quite some time to come, so I get more readers for my work.
- I see from your memoir that you have had more than your share of burdens. What would you say was the single most important event that shaped the man you are today?
I experienced an epiphany in the summer of 1983, when God finally prevailed upon my altered state of mind, in order for me to stop taking mind-altering substances to establish a lasting sobriety. I have not had any alcohol or any other mind-altering chemical since that time. I had a rebellious childhood, where I was a chronic runaway, by the time I was five years old, do to my father’s violence around the house. The fact that I refused to submit myself to being parented as a child was the basis for why my life has had so many burdens. It is my faith which has turned the tide in my life.
- Number eight is not a question, but anything you’d like to share here.
I’m writing exclusively blog posts at the moment, with no plans to write any stories for sale in the near future.
My personal blog is https://geostan51.wordpress.com/ Other blogs where some of my work is published are
http://yezallstrongheart.weebly.com/2/category/read%20first%20free%20short%20storiesc7296749cd/1.html, where I no longer contribute, and http://iama2sonan.blogspot.com/?view=magazine, which is Don Martin’s blog, where I continue to contribute frequently at the moment. My personal blog has an extensive archives, of more than a 100 entries of approximately 30K per entry, like I do for my own blog.
My Amazon author’s page is http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=George+Geisinger&x=0&y=0 I have approximately 87 titles for sale for digital download to Kindle, which I have written, in addition to more than 100 blog entries, for a grand total of more than 300 documents I’ve created in my documents folder, since March of 2011.
I have re-sorted to writing blog posts exclusively, because my most major goal as a writer is to have readers of my work, not to make money with my work. Having Don Martin’s blog to contribute to, in addition to having my own, keeps me on my toes.