Thoughts on Thinking

"When somebody persuades me that I am wrong, I change my mind. What do you do?" John Maynard Keynes

"If you're unhappy with your life, change your thinking." Charles Fillmore

"The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it." Eckhart Tolle

"People are not disturbed by things, but by the view they take of them." Epictetus

"The unexamined life is not worth living." Socrates

"Consciousness is a terrible thing to waste." PunditGeorge

Friday, November 08, 2019

JD!

Jeanette Danette (JD) Lambert sold her soul to marry into the Louisiana political family.  Decades later, divorced and her daughter in college, JD wants her soul back.  She's running for Mayor.  Against her Ex.  What could possibly go right?

You can find out Saturday December 7 or Sunday December 8.  The Company Repertory Theatre and the Bossier Arts Council presents a Readers Theatre production of this new comedy by yours truly at the Eastbank Theatre in Bossier City.

Director Richard Folmer has assembled some of the regions top talent for this production:
Susan Kirton, Mary Zapczynski, Dick King, Logan Jarecki, Brittany Williams, Patrick Kirton, and Shawn Dion.  Ginger Folmer is narrator.  Stage manager is Denise Dion and lighting design by Marissa Brown.

Tickets are available at the door or online:



         




Wednesday, November 06, 2019

The Old Soldier explains...

Corporal Julius Franklin Howell, CSA, reflects on his life, the Civil War, and the manner of thinking of a young Virginian.  History direct.  Thoughtful fellow, "General" Howell.


Monday, October 14, 2019

Autumn Musings


The Golden Rule is perhaps the finest “day-to-day” philosophy for successful living known to us. 

There is a huge difference between living “don’t do to others what is hateful to you” and “do unto others what you would have them do unto you.”  In the former (and older) “I disagree with you!  I want to punch you in the nose!  But I won’t, because I don’t want you to punch me.”  What’s the deal?  A focus on the other person and what he/she is doing that offends the observer.  The emphasis is on the action – punch the nose!  That’s where the emotion lies. 

Contrast with the latter (Jesus version) “I treat you with love and respect as this is how I wish to be treated.”  Focus in on the individual not the other/outer person/situation.  Action?  I think and act as I wish to be, and allow you to do the same (uh, “art of allowing?” anyone?)  Person acts, rather than re-acts to what is observed in others.  Huge, huge difference.  And, not everyone gets it.

***

I had one of those "back to basics" moments the other day while strolling around the neighborhood.  The pavement, the trash containers, the street light poles, the automobiles, the roofs, the doors, the door knobs, the sidewalks...everything comes from Earth.  The tires on the car.  The radio.  My smart phone.  Plastic.  Beer.  Steel.  Paper.  Cloth.  Our wonderful standard of living is provided.  All that was necessary was to learn how to use it.

Learn.  What is that?  To be conscious. 

***
  
Allowing Toleration

To tolerate, or not to tolerate, that is the question.

Well, yes it is a question.  To tolerate means, in this sense, to endure and put up with someone/something (unhappily.)  In effect, “I don’t like (it, you, them, etc., ) but I won’t (can’t) waste anymore of my time fussing with (it, you, them, etc., )  Toleration is a quantum improvement over attacking, fighting, resisting, against anything that displeases you, or is not aligned with your usual way of thinking (a.k.a. belief.)

It’s axiomatic that anything someone wants and does is rooted in an expectation that he/she will feel better for having it.  There’s nothing complicated about this.  How often have you had the thought “I’d be better off if only (it, you, them, etc.) would ________ (fill in the blank.)  There’s a contradiction at play that cancels the desired good feeling – the focus on the mischief/mis-deed/whatever about (it, you, them, etc.,).  Just as two physical objects cannot occupy the same space at the same time, it’s not possible for a good feeling and a negative (bad) feeling to occupy the same attention at the same time.  Thus the problem with toleration.

Toleration is a good thing.  It beats the heck out of a never-ending struggle and resentment towards (it, you, them, etc.,).  Toleration creates literal time and energy for the pursuit of happiness.  Think about it.  For this reason, tolerance is considered a virtue, and it is, compared to ardent struggle.  Becoming more tolerant results in greater physical relief, not to mention emotional and mental benefits.  Note:  Many people have a belief system that uses the word “forgiveness” in a similar vein as tolerance.  Forgiveness works wonders provided it’s understood to benefit the forgiver and not something for (it, you, them, etc.,).  Forgiveness, and tolerance, are often considered “letting (it, you, them, etc.,) get off of the hook, or getting away with something.  Not at all.  It’s a shift from giving attention to something disturbing to something preferred or desired.  That shift in itself is quantum.  It gets better.

There is a strata of perspective a notch above toleration.  It’s called Allowing.  Someone eaten up with resentment may, in a moment of frustration, comprehend the concept of toleration or forgiveness.  It’s unlikely, however, they could grasp a concept of allowing at that moment.  Someone who has developed the ability to tolerate (it, you, them, etc., ) may be able to catch a glimpse of allowing.

The difference between the two is subtle yet vast.  Very similar to the subtle yet vast difference between a thought of that which is hateful to yourself do not unto another and do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  Toleration carries with it the idea, the memory, the picture of whatever it is about (it, you, them, etc., ) that offends/angers you.  Allowing is free of that burden and (it, you, them, etc., ) are allowed to be what/who they are – sans judgment.

It’s the without judgment part that blocks access to this level of thought for many people.  Allowing and judging cannot occupy the same mind at the same time.  To judge is to seek and find fault, however defined.  The solution is for the judged to correct the “fault.”  For instance, in New York city there was a ruckus over newborns having formula for food.  Who decides if a newborn is breast or bottle fed?  In this spat the judgment is from the state (city government) to force the mothers to breast feed by making formula very difficult to access in a city hospital.  Is this justice?  It is judgment.

So, the value of any judgment is relative to who/what is judging and who/what is judged.  Floating just above that clamor is the old adage live and let live, which is an application of Allowing.

The subtle difference between tolerance and allowing is very similar to the distinction between being grateful for something and appreciating something.

The bottom line is that many people deprive themselves of joy simply by the manner of their thinking. 

Sunday, September 22, 2019

A Change of Attitude That Went Bump in the Night

Folks familiar with this blog understand its purpose to promote thought awareness and the ability to change a manner of thinking, such as practicing to be Complaint Free.  A recurring theme is forgiveness, releasing anger and resentment for your benefit.  (No it's not letting the S.O.B. "off the hook!")  From time to time I come upon a true story where a change of mind, attitude, proves beneficial.  Here it is.


“I don’t recall hearing the lock click,” recalled Jennifer, probing into the previous evening.  This morning, stepping outside to the driveway to take her daughter to school and herself to work, she was puzzled by the sight of two strange bicycles on the ground.  Where her Chevy Traverse should be.  But it wasn’t.  The sinking feeling in her stomach was more than matched by the anger of the realization, my car’s been stolen!  Inside the unlocked car was a spare car key.

It was a rude awakening, for sure, but one that led to a surprising ending.  At least for Jennifer.

The theft was reported to the police and OnStar notified which then stopped the Traverse.  As the car came to a halt a police cruiser pulled up behind.  The cruiser’s video camera would later show four young men bailing out of the car and running off.  Only the driver was apprehended.  In the mean time Jennifer had all of the locks to their house changed since there might have been a spare house key in the car.

Jennifer got the call that her car had been recovered, perhaps just barely.  It would take nearly $5,000 worth of body work to repair the multiple dents, scrapes, and gashing.  All the contents of the car were taken including her daughter’s computer.  In all, another $1,500.  Most disturbing was the can of gasoline in the back of the car.  It was likely that after the “joy ride” the perpetrators were planning to burn the vehicle.

Charged with the theft was the fifteen years old driver.  The Juvenile authorities were taking this case to trial.  This was unnerving for Jennifer – she would have to be in court.  And, a few months later, she received a subpoena to do just that.

Looking around the courtroom that day, she noticed a woman, probably the driver’s mother and a few other people.  Then a teenaged girl entered the courtroom in an orange jumpsuit and handcuffs.  She was alone in the courtroom, no family, no one.  Jennifer felt for her.  Then the Judge ordered everyone not associated with her case to exit.

Back in the courtroom, the Judge asked Jennifer if she had given the teenager permission to drive her car.  No.

Months later, Jennifer was present at a probation hearing for the driver.  He would have to come up with $400 to reimburse Jennifer for his “share” of the loss.  The mother approached Jennifer, “I’m sorry for what my son did.”  Jennifer glared at the driver.  He sheepishly stepped towards her, “I’m sorry for what I did.”

Once outside of the courtroom, in a move that surprised her, the driver stepped towards her with open arms.  Jennifer stepped to the teen and hugged him, saying, “Stay out of trouble.”  His mother look astonished, as did a deputy.  Walking beside Jennifer as she left the courthouse, the deputy noted “That’s never happened before.” 

“I hope it helps him,” she answered.

The car was repaired and the gasoline smell finally removed and Jennifer and her family continued their usual life.  Later she received a letter from the court updating her on the driver’s effort to raise the $400. 

“If he manages to pay me the $400, I’ll donate it to a charity that helps kids like him,” she told her daughter.  The daughter was a bit taken with that approach, not finding in it a semblance of anger.  The daughter was still angry – that was her computer!

“It happened,” Jennifer explained.  “Being angry wouldn’t change the outcome and it would keep interfere with my resuming life.  I’m forgiving him for my sake.  If it helps him, then wonderful.” 

It’s the little things, she later thought, that do add up and affect people.

Embracing the driver was an unexpected act of kindness and concern.  And, quite possibly the only time the teen had ever received a hug.  Regardless, because of that thought that went bump in the night, Jennifer did not permit anger and resentment to consume her.

Forgiveness – it’s not for the S.O.B., it’s for you.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

The twist to "A Turn at the Point"


A behind the scenes look at how a novel comes together!

Where the hell did he come from?  I mean, the scene was flowing along rather well, it seemed to me,  then a new character decided to make an entrance and throw a curve into otherwise linear chapter.  This required a chat with the intruder.  Glad I did!  It turned out that one of the established characters was a player in the intruder’s back story.  I could visualize how a new twist and turn might enrich the developing plot, and thus the intruder was given a name and welcomed into the novel.

Yes, this is how the plot thickens - unruly characters jostle for story position and make their case to the author, who must decide which road is taken. Then again, sometimes I think:  "To hell with the road, I'm writing cross country!" It turned out that allowing the characters to roam freely in such an uncharted landscape worked, certainly for this trek into a paranormal mystery. And that, in the proverbial nutshell, is how A Turn at the Point came together.

Writing Cross Country resulted in a couple of "out of the blue" moments for yours truly. About half-way through the novel there was a distinct pause in the process, a.k.a. writers block. I don't care for that phrase yet there was an impasse as I pondered how to coherently connect two subplots.
Available at Amazon
It wasn't a dark and stormy night, but night it was when the telephone rang. Most calls to the residential line were junk yet for some reason I answered this one. "Hello?" said I. "Is this George Sewell?" asked the caller. An intriguing hour long conversation ensued and I realized that this was the needed element. Fictionalized, another character entered the weave and the yarn was again off and running. For a while.

All of the characters and elements were poised for the race to the finish line known as The End. Then the Muse whispered "catch me if you can!" Another bout of a.k.a..

Months later I went to Sedona, Arizona to attend a lecture by one of my favorite authors, Graham Hancock. Colleague Dan Baldwin came up from Mesa for the event. We wiled away the hours before the presentation by enjoying the wonder of Cathedral Rock and Oak Creek.

Staying an extra night in Sedona, I fired up the laptop and declared, "Okay, Muse, gotcha! Let's finish this!" That's when the aforementioned "intruder character" wanted to literally be dropped into the scene. Sedona magic? Who knows? But three days later, I got to type "The End."



Friday, August 16, 2019

The Krismere


This fall I will be releasing A Turn at the Point, a paranormal mystery.  Psychologist Harry Wilson is drawn into a multidimensional quest to accelerate the evolution of Homo Sapiens.  What if the life expectancy of human beings could be extended three to five hundred years?  What beneficial perspective could result if people no longer “glimpsed” things in the corner of their eye, but could interact with the life forms in those frequencies?  No longer speculation, an effort to modify the human genome has been underway for over a century.  And, it might just work.

There is a back story for A Turn at the Point, and that is The Krismere, a novel I wrote ten years ago.  I have made a Kindle version of The Krismere, which is now live.  In this suspense thriller and paranormal mystery psychologist Harry Wilson has a strange dream that targets him as an essential component in a black ops experiment.  He is manipulated by a covert alliance of government agencies, select individuals, and a philanthropic institution into an experiment through time to capture data from an event 54,000 years ago that destroyed a high civilization.  Harry is the key for a rare technology to target time and place, then and now.  What unfolds is not according to the design.  The mysterious Rosalyn DuBois and enigmatic Thomas Snead are introduced as well.  They return for A Turn at the Point.

If you want to prepare for A Turn at the Point by reading The Krismere, you can do Kindle, or if you prefer paperback, it is still available here.

UPDATE:  As "A Turn at the Point" moves closer to release, it's time for a tease!


SYNOPSIS

From the corner of his eye, psychologist Harry Wilson glimpsed something.  The fleeting image heralds an entrance into the paranormal where Harry encounters people who have something in common despite separations in time and space.  Pieces of a grand puzzle fall into place, revealing the next step in evolution for Homo Sapiens, at an interdimensional roundabout known as the Point.


And,  a work in progress is artist Timothy Higgins vision of the cover:

Update: 
Soon you can do this!