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To think or not to think, that is the question

To think or not to think, that is the question

The other day I received an email with a YouTube link to a video where Neil deGrasse Tyson talks about how stupid Americans are due to their ignorance (and in some cases fear) of science and knowledge in general. After watching it, I clicked on a link to another video where he talks about how to NOT raise your children, thank you to the person who posted it. He makes a good point about the state of the education system. I’ve often said school is about “regurgitating on command” as I call it, “Take these books, memories what’s in them, they’ll be a test on it later this month.” In other words, it’s a memory test. Schools don’t teach kids how to think for themselves. It’s also been my experience that they teach what I call “binary thinking”, seeing the world in simple black and white. “This is the problem, X is the solution. No discussion! No debate! X is either right or wrong! It either works all the time, or it never works!” I remember in school being asked questions like “Should Canada legalize marijuana?” (we did legalize it, but that was years later, after I graduated) or “Should Canada legalize the death penalty?” I would often point out that you need to look at it on a case by case basis, to which my teachers would always respond – in a rather condescending tone no less – “Don’t be wishy-washy! Don’t sit on the fence!” In other words, “Don’t actually think about the problem, just give us the answer we want to hear!”

The problem with education, and it’s symbolic of the larger problem of society, is that people fear teaching kids how to think for themselves. I remember my co-worker (the one whom I’ve written about in previous blogs) who is a militant atheist, who criticizes those who blindly follow organized religion once tell me that the problem with kids today is that they think too much. Now think about that for a minute (despite his insistence that you don’t), he doesn’t want people to blindly follow the dogmatism of religion, but he doesn’t want them to think for themselves? So what’s the message here? “Hey kids, don’t blindly follow their dogmatism, blindly follow my dogmatism, because mine is the correct one!” How does that make you any different from the religion you claim to hate so much? All you’ve really done is substitute one form of dogmatism for another. In fact I remember I once said that to him, I pointed out how communist dictatorships officially denounce religion, yet paint their leaders as if they’re divine beings, like some sort of communist god sent them to save the masses. Upon hearing this, my co-worker seemed very offended by this, first dismissing this as a lie, then making the rather bizarre counter argument, “If you believe in God then how come there’s no alien life out there?!” And all I could think was “What does that have to do with any of this?” He was using the same tactic often used by many religions; always attack, never defend.

As the book “Conversations with God” pointed out, most people are afraid of teaching children to think for themselves, because if we teach kids how to think for themselves, they might (HORROR OF HORRORS) come up with an idea that’s different from ours. They might actually realize that the way our society has been doing things for several thousands of years isn’t working. They might – AND THIS IS THE MOST FRIGHTENING PART OF IT ALL – they might actually find a better way. As someone (I’m sorry to say I forget who) once said, “nothing compels a [person] to argue harder than being proven wrong.” The good news is that more and more people are awakening to this, another example of how “woke” is becoming more mainstream, more acceptable (which is a good thing, despite my above mentioned co-worker – and many others – still dismissing “woke” as bad). The world is awakening, the world is becoming more “woke”. Now you dear reader have a choice in life: do you see this as a good thing and help become a part of this global shift in consciousness? Or do you choose to surrender to fear become part of the problem and try to hold humanity back, to regress us to a more primitive state? For if you fear “woke” then you’re not afraid of “liberal indoctrination in our schools” as the radical right claims, you’re afraid of independent thought.

When waters are disturbed, let them settle

When waters are disturbed, let them settle

I’d like to share with you a story about the Buddha that I once heard years ago. One that struck a cord with me and I’ve found helpful in life. May it serve you as well as it serves me:

Once Buddha and some of his disciples were travelling when they came to a body of water (a lake or a river, I forget, though honestly that’s not important). Buddha asked one of his disciples to get him some water to drink. The disciple went to the water only to find the water was muddy and not safe to drink (some person either walked through or pulled some heavy cart through the water earlier and stirred up the mud at the bottom). Thus he couldn’t bring back any water for Buddha to drink. About an hour later, Buddha again asked his disciple if he could bring back some water to drink. The disciple again went down to the water but still found it too muddy for drinking. So he again returned and told Buddha the water wasn’t safe for drinking. Some time later (I forget how long, another hour or more I believe) Buddha again asked his disciple to please fetch some water for drinking. The disciple went back to the water and found that the mud had settled, the water was now clear at it was safe to drink. He filled a pot with water and took it back to the Buddha. Buddha looked at the water and told his disciple “see what you did to make the water clean? You let it be. You let it settle down and now you have clear water. Your mind is like that too. When it is disturbed, just let it be. Give it a little time and it will settle on its own. You don’t have to put in any effort to calm it down. It will happen it is effortless. Having peace of mind is not a strenuous job. It is an effortless process, so keep your mind cool and have a great life ahead.”

I bring this up because of some recently disturbed waters in my mind. Thanks to a good friend of mine I met in LinkedIn, Deborah Aderemi, I’ve recently begun marketing and promotion for my books. Shortly afterwards, I was being contacted by people on Instagram wanting to review my books. This naturally got me excited at the prospect of more book sales and more royalties coming in as many people were saying how interested they were in checking out my books. Needless to say I was slightly crushed when I logged into Tellwell and noticed my sales report showed virtually no sales for my books over the summer. I told myself that these things take time, however there was still that lingering doubt in the back of my mind. That doubt that points out that just because someone is interested in my books, doesn’t automatically mean they’re going to buy a copy (especially now when inflation has made many non essential items luxuries that we simply can’t afford).

This brings me to the next part of my story. I’ve been without a car since June as my old car (a 2006 Chevy Malibu) had brake problems and was no longer safe to drive (and my mechanic couldn’t replace the parts as they’re no longer made). I had already told my mechanic to scrap the car and asked him to buy me a newer used car, which he did. However between inflation driving up the price of used cars, not to mention having to once again spend money on car insurance, plus other expenses in life I was worrying about how I’m going to afford just being able to live. This is where the story of the Buddha that I mentioned above comes into play. The waters of my mind were disturbed. I began worrying about “How can I afford this? How will I pay off that?” Most of us have gone through such problems in life, often multiple times. The simple fact is worrying about the problem won’t make it go away. If anything it’ll only make the problem worse. We all know that stress can lead to health problems, which in turn can manifest into physical ailments, which in turn result in us getting sick, missing work which in turn makes us lose money and thus only compounds the problem. After a few hours the mud in my mind settled and I realized that by putting in some overtime at work, asking for my vacation pay and if necessary not paying off the full amount on my credit card bills will help deal with the financial issues. It won’t solve the problems in the short term but in the long run things will work out. As for book sales? Again it will happen in due time.

The problem with our society especially now with the internet is we expect instant results. We want it all and we want it right now! Life doesn’t work that way. Whether were talking recovering from an illness or injury, suffering a personal tragedy like the death of a loved one or a messy breakup/divorce, or even financial matters like profits/sales, things work out in their own time. The universe doesn’t care if the results aren’t fast enough, or good enough for us. “Good” and “bad” are subjective terms. If something is “bad” in our lives, it’s because we’ve chosen to label it as “bad”. Sometimes even tragic events happen for a reason, because said event in our live isn’t serving us thus we need the “bad” so we can see how it isn’t serving us and if necessary remove it from our lives. This in turn can lead to better things in the future. Hence the phrase “a blessing in disguise”.

Thus I’ve chosen to share this with all of you as a reminder that you have the power to decide whether you live in a friendly world, or a hostile one. While we can’t control what happens around us, or what other people do to us, we can control how we react to it. So you can either worry, or get mad at how bad things are in your life; but ask yourself this, “How will that solve my problems?” As I’ve often said, strong emotions have a nasty habit of clouding one’s judgment.

Thank you for your time, feel free to share this with others, or feel free to dismiss everything I’ve said, it’s your choice. Just remember your choices determine your reality. Choose what serves you best! Namaste!

Is it just me, or as people get older does “be stubborn” move higher up on their list of priorities?

Is it just me, or as people get older does “be stubborn” move higher up on their list of priorities?

With pride month, having come to a close I wanted to share a little anecdote about an incident that happened at my workplace last week. A couple of days ago I was talking with my co-worker (the one I’ve mentioned in some of my previous blogs) about health and the healthcare industry. He complained (like he always does) about how the healthcare industry only treats the symptoms while not addressing the root causes of the problems. Now I don’t disagree on that, but I pointed out the fact that many of our problems are due to stress and people stressing themselves out over things that aren’t really that big of a deal. For example, conservatives getting themselves all worked up over, woke, pride flags and transgender. Naturally this set him off and in doing so, proving my point. I couldn’t help but find it ironic that a man who complains about not addressing the root causes of health problems due to stress then goes on to ignore the very problems he acknowledges. It amazes me how people can be so blind to their own hypocrisy.

I pointed out how most people who complain about “woke” can’t even define the word. I quoted a phrase I heard someone say online, that woke “just means you’re not a closed minded moron.” To which my co-worker countered “that’s what it used to mean”. I told him the right perverted the term to mean anything they don’t like, to which he agreed and promptly defended that definition. In other words my co-worker basically admitted, “yeah I know ‘woke’ has become a catch all term for anything I don’t like and I’m okay with that. I agree with that!” (he didn’t actually say that but that’s what I got from his rant). So since the radical right co-opted the term woke, does that apply to other things too? When Putin, unjustly, invaded Ukraine he adopted the letter ‘Z’ as his war symbol. Does that mean that anyone who uses the letter ‘Z’ in anything automatically supports the war? Do we ban the last letter of the alphabet? When the anti-vaccine “freedom” convoy caused their disruption in Ottawa other protesters across the world used our flag as a symbol of support. Does that mean anyone who displays a Canadian flag is one of the “freedom” convoy?

He then went off ranting about transgender because “if you call someone by the wrong pronoun they start shouting at you.” Now I don’t know if that was an actual incident that happened to him. Maybe he met someone who was having a bad day, he called them by the wrong pronoun and that was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Maybe it’s was my co-worker’s karma. He’s a closed minded intolerant man who met another closed minded person who lashed out the way my co-worker would, now he assumes that all trans-people do it. Or more likely, he saw/read it online and believed it. The truth is more likely that if people are getting upset at you for using the wrong gender pronouns it’s probably because you’re deliberately choosing to use the wrong pronouns, in which case you’re getting what you deserve.

He then went off about how we’re not strict enough with kids and that parents are letting kids as young as 14 go out at 3 o’clock in the morning. Now first of all, I’m not saying that never happens, but it’s not the huge problem he makes it out to be. It’s not a rampant problem spreading all over the world like wildfire. Secondly, is he implying that the reason the trans-community even exists is because kids are out partying at 3 AM? I’m pretty sure that’s not a thing. Now I personally don’t know any trans-people (at least not that I’m aware of because I don’t pry into people’s gender identity, it’s none of my business), but I’m pretty sure that if someone’s gender identity doesn’t align with the gender they were assigned at birth, it’s NOT because their parents let them go out partying all night long before they hit puberty. That’s not a thing.

The irony of course is that if we were to take his advice about being more strict and stop “babying” people (he always claims people are too sensitive and we “baby” them too much) and apply that to him; start yelling at him to stop being such a sensitive little baby or otherwise discipline him every time he starts acting out this way, I’m certain he’d just dig in his heels and double down because being a stubborn old geezer is more important to him. It just proves that he really has no idea what he’s talking about. As I’ve often pointed out, the more you tell someone “NO” the more likely they are to defy you out of spite, I admit I’m guilty of that (more so when I was younger). I should also point out that he often complains that no one treats anyone with respect, then turns around and does the very thing he accuses others of doing. So what’s the moral of the story? Discrimination is wrong…unless it’s against group X, then it’s okay?!

The truth is that it doesn’t matter what people like him think. The world is changing, humanity in general is becoming more open minded, more tolerant than we were years ago. I know it doesn’t seem that way but that’s only because people like my co-worker are the “vocal minority”. They’re only a small percentage of the general population but because they whine and complain the loudest people assume their numbers are greater than they actually are. The fact is more and more young people are becoming more enlightened, more “woke”. More millennials (people my age, who are technically middle age now) are not becoming more conservative as we get older (actually I’ve gotten more progressive as I’ve gotten older). We on the left are growing in numbers, while those on the right are shrinking. That’s the real reason conservatives have gotten more extreme is because they know the world is changing, and they don’t like it, they can’t stop it. They’re really just scared, frightened little children lashing out at a world they don’t understand, they don’t want to understand. Unfortunately for them, the world’s not going to go back to the way it was, the way they want it to be. Thus like small children, they’re throwing a collective temper tantrum because they’re not getting their way.

Fan fic/old news article:

Fan fic/old news article:

While going through some old files on my computer, I found this short story/fan fic/news article that I had written years ago and had long since forgotten. This was years before I began publishing my books, thus it could be considered something of a dry run, practise for when I would later begin my literary career.

First a bit of context; Growing up I was a fan of Gordon Korman (author of the “Bruno and Boots”/“MacDonald Hall” series). One of my favourite books of his was called I want to go home. The story is about an antisocial parody sue character named “Rudy Miller” who is a naturally gifted athlete but hates sports and thus is not very happy to be sent to a remote summer camp where he’s forced to spend his days playing sports and socializing with other boys his age (something I could relate to growing up, except for being a gifted athlete. I was never good a sports and only took gym in school because they made me, not by choice). While at camp Algonkian, he befriends another boy named “Mike Webster” who also hates camp and sports. Soon they start causing all manner of hilarious trouble for the camp counsellors, specifically their bunk counsellor “Chip”. Not long after, Rudy and Mike decide to take a boat and escape, only to repeatedly get caught and forced back to the island.

This was one of my favourite books growing up, and even as an adult I still enjoy it. Thus years ago, I decided to write a fictional news article about the events of the book as if I were a reporter for a local newspaper. Thus I’d like to share that original article with all of you now. If nothing else to show how much my writing has improved when comparing this to my own book series later.

Now for legal reasons, I should point out that I don’t own any of the characters or name listed below. Nor did I write this for profit, this was simply a fan fic of mine, similar to how a student would get such an assignment from their school teacher. Also just to reiterate, the characters, locations and events listed below are all fictional. Any similarities to real persons, places or events is purely coincidental and unintentional. Now with that out of the way, enjoy:


Summer camp may be more like prison camp, according to reports

Parents thinking of sending their boys to camp Algonkian island this summer may want to reconsider. Evidence has surfaced indicating that the remote summer camp for boys located in rural Northern Ontario may in fact be more like a Soviet gulag run by psychotic camp counsellors who routinely torture their campers for fun. A letter written by an anonymous camper detailing the horrors young boys are forced to endure while at camp has recently surfaced.

“The letter looks as if it was written while being chased by a bear.” our experts claim. In the letter, the author describes being forced to endure such things as sleeping in trees, eating food which is “spoiled and poisonous”, drinking contaminated water – causing a typhoid outbreak and being forced to haul garbage daily while fending off wild animals. But perhaps the most disturbing of all is the claim of the author’s counsellor, identified only as “Chip” being a “reformed axe-murderer on parole”. One who “yells a lot and keeps an axe under his mattress.”

While it’s not uncommon for boys to exaggerate the negative aspects of camp in the hope of their parents coming to take them home, this appears to be more than a simple case of home sick boys wanting to leave a camp they simply don’t like. Others have noticed disturbing trends in the behaviour of Algonkian counsellors. Last summer, campers from Algonkian island visited neighbouring camp Cedar Ridge for an inter-camp soccer game. According to witnesses, one Algonkian camper, identified only as “Webster” attempted to escape in the middle of a soccer game. When counsellors couldn’t find him, they attempted to “squeeze” the information out of another camper via threats of breaking his neck, stretching him on a rack and being fed to alligators. “I wouldn’t go to that Algonkain place,” said one Cedar Ridge camper, “they torture you there!”

Sadly this wasn’t an isolated incident. Shortly afterwards, Algonkian campers went to a dance being held at an all girls camp called Silver Lake. While at Silver Lake, the counsellors from Algonkian reportedly stopped the dance mid way through and proceeded to run into the woods in the middle of the night for no apparent reason. During which they engaged in such bizarre acts such as chasing squirrels up trees and starting fights with bears. One counsellor identified only as “Dave” got into an altercation with a skunk, it’s unclear which one started the incident, but upon returning to Silver Lake was denied entry by staff as they now feared for their safety. “They were like a bunch of crazy savages!” a Silver Lake counsellor was quoted saying.

It seems this “Chip” counsellor may be the ringleader of this psychotic group. An Algonkian camper, identified only as “Miller” spoke of many of Chip’s bizarre antics. Antics such as attacking a wooden cabin, smashing a wooden table (earning him the nickname “The phantom wood butcher”), throwing spaghetti at another camper, jumping into the lake repeatedly and even trying to water ski on his face.

The counsellors of Algonkian island have vehemently denied such accusations, insisting that the author of this letter is simply trying to “slander our camp’s good name”. Arthur Warden, director of the camp has not only insisted such accusations are untrue, but also denies that any camper could simply not love camp. “All cats love meat and all boys love camp.” he told reporters, “That’s the way it was in the days of my grandfather [camp founder Elias Warden] and that’s the way it is now.”

If this is indeed “the way” this camp was founded, it’s no wonder many boys have attempted to steal boats in a desperate attempt to flee this prison of an island. Residents of the nearby town of Snow Hill have reported, on multiple occasions, seeing boys taking boats and attempting to flee the island only to be chased down and forcibly dragged back. One resident – who did not want to be identified, out of fear – told us how he witnessed two boys, having recently escaped the island, being chased through the town by dozens of counsellors. “It was like something out of one of those action movies,” he told us, “you know the ones where someone is wrongfully accused of a crime and has the entire FBI on a manhunt for them. My wife and I were thinking of sending our boys to Algonkian next summer, but after this we may end up just taking them to Vegas instead.”

Sadly it seems campers aren’t the only ones the counsellors attempt to hold hostage on the island. Another man, who did not want to be identified, once ferried the boat that delivered supplies to the island, until one day when he had the misfortune of meeting this “Chip” counsellor. “I delivered my supplies to the island the way I always used to,” he told us, “one day after dropping my supplies off, I pulled away in my boat when I heard a voice screaming ‘STOP! STOP!’ I turned to see this counsellor jump into the water and start swimming after my boat. Then two more got into a motor boat, sailed out, forced me back to the island where they wouldn’t let me leave until [Chip] finished attacking a large box in my stern. After hearing what I heard about this place, I can see now why these kids would want to leave.” Ontario provincial police have promised to look into these events.

“When did we become a society of people who are so afraid of one another that we think all interactions may be malicious.”

“When did we become a society of people who are so afraid of one another that we think all interactions may be malicious.”

I apologize for not blogging for quite a while. I admit I’d been racking my brains trying to think up something but nothing seemed sufficient. So instead I’m going to repost a brief article my father found on Quora and sent to me in an email. I don’t know the people in this story, I’ve never met them but I was so moved by this story that I just had to share it. All credit for what’s written below goes to the original author. I’m simply the messenger, helping to spread the word:

When did we become a society of people who are so afraid of one another that we think all interactions may be malicious.”

Author: Vanessa Fregoso (From Quora)

“This evening I made a quick run to the supermarket with my 13 year-old stepdaughter, and my 23 month-old daughter. While I was in line my 2-year-old was eyeballing a little stuffed dog from her stroller. There was an older man in front of us in line who was only buying ice cream. He then asked her ‘what are you looking at?’

When he saw her point to the dog, he picked it up and put it in her hand.

I’ll admit, I freaked out a little. We have only one income, which means we can’t just buy things for the kids on a whim. Things like that need to be planned in our family.

As soon as I saw the look on my baby’s face as she stared into the dog’s big plastic eyes, I was already dreading taking it away from her and hearing her heartbreaking cry.

But then the stranger did something unexpected. He looked at me with such a kind smile on his face and said ‘I’ll buy it for her.’ I was shocked at his kindness and I immediately felt guilty.

Because the other reason I freaked out was because a stranger was getting close to my daughter.

Because I didn’t know what his intentions were.

Because his hand brushed hers when he handed her the dog.

Really, it shouldn’t be that way.

When did we become a society of people who are so afraid of one another that we think all interactions may be malicious.

More importantly, when did I let myself become so disillusioned about others that I automatically think the worst.

The man interacted with my daughter for a minute or so, giggling her little heart out.

It really warmed my heart. It was just a stuffed animal, but really it was so much more. I’m always telling my kids about how important kindness is, and how I feel as though not enough people are kind anymore.

I was glad my eldest stepdaughter was there to see how touched I was by the man’s gesture. I want her, and all my kids for that matter, to go out into the world knowing how important kindness is and how some small things can really be big things.

As we were leaving my stepdaughter looked at me and said “Mommy, that man was so nice!”

My daughter hasn’t put the dog (“Bacon” as my other children have named him) down ever since we left the store. I was so surprised by what happened that I didn’t even think to get the strangers name.

But I did ask for a picture because I wanted to remember that no act of kindness is too small.”

Credit: Vanessa Fregoso

To awaken or to sleepwalk

To awaken or to sleepwalk

I recently had a conversation with one of my co-workers, I mentioned a video I watched about someone claiming that Gen Z’s are having financial problems because they’re drinking too many margaritas (the person in the video incidentally own a restaurant that serves margaritas for $13 to $17). While my co-worker agreed that said person’s claim was ludicrous, he quickly made the unusual leap that most of the problems in the world are due to “woke garbage”. Ignoring the fact that our conversation had nothing to do with woke, I still found it rather odd that he came to such an equally ludicrous conclusion. To claim woke is to blame for most of the world’s problems is like claiming firefighters are to blame for fires starting in the first place, as if house fires wouldn’t happen if there weren’t firefighters to put them out.

It always amazes me how people can be blinded to their own hypocrisy. My co-worker for example, often complains that “we’re babying people”, yet whenever a mass shooting occurs and there’s talk of gun regulation he starts whining about such laws only hurt the “good” gun owners. He once told me, gun control laws won’t stop mass shootings but will only hurt the paintball industry and thus the economy. I’m not sure how big a role the paintball industry plays in Canada’s (or America’s) economy but I’m sure it’s very, very small. He claims people are “too sensitive” yet during his rant he was getting all upset about the trans community; insisting that there are only “two genders”, ignoring the fact that it’s not about creating a new gender but respecting people’s right to choose which gender they identify with regardless if it matches the gender you were born into (not to mention our conversation had nothing to do with transgender). His justification being that some people look androgynous, thus he doesn’t know whether to use “he” or “she”. It sounds to me like he’s saying people shouldn’t be allowed to choose their gender identity because he’s afraid he might accidentally call them by the wrong gender pronoun. Seems to me like he’s the one whose overly sensitive. My co-worker is also very critical of Putin’s unjust invasion of Ukraine (he’s not wrong about that) yet his solution to the problem is for the rest of the world to simply invade and attack Russia like their doing to Ukraine. In other words, stop the war in Ukraine by starting World War III. He was also married to a woman who wouldn’t get an abortion due to her religious beliefs, despite his wish to not have children – as he pointed out, they couldn’t afford to have one – yet he seems to object to abortion rights on the grounds that (in his mind) women seem to be arbitrarily aborting their unborn children because the whim randomly strikes them at the spur of the moment (which again is totally inaccurate). I also find it ironic that he’s a militant atheist who criticizes religion for encouraging people to blindly follow the church, yet also stated that the problem with young people is that they “think for themselves”. So he doesn’t want people to follow religion but also doesn’t want them to think for themselves? He wants them to blindly follow someone else? His views and beliefs maybe?

As a “woke progressive” myself, woke is about treating others with respect, about acknowledging the problems of the world and working to find solutions to them. It’s about opening your eyes and seeing the truth, that we are all one and by hurting one another we’re indirectly hurting ourselves. That’s what being woke means; as in you’ve “awoken” to see the truth. To see through the illusion that we’re all separate. Yet according to my co-worker, that’s a bad thing? Trying to fix something that’s broken will somehow make things worse? The best solution is to ignore problems and they’ll just go away? That’s like being on a ship, lost at sea, in the middle of a storm. Being tossed around at the whim of the wind and waves. Knowing your vessel could capsize any minute. And when someone comes along and offers to show you a way out of the storm, to guide your ship safely back to shore, instead of accepting their help, you blame them for being trapped in the storm and insisting that continuing to let the waves toss you about will somehow get you safely back to shore. It’s as the law of attraction states, “what you resist persists”. The more you view the world as a negative place full of problems, the more problems you see everywhere you look. Let’s be perfectly honest here, most conservatives use “woke” like “socialism” or “communism”. When they use these terms, it really means “I don’t like this”. “Pay poor people a descent wage?! WE CAN’T THAT’S COMMUNISM! THAT’S WOKE!” “Universal healthcare?! THAT’S SOCIALISM! THAT’S WOKE!” “Starbucks discontinued my favourite frappuccino?! THEY’RE RUN BY WOKE COMMUNISTS!” Ironically my anti-woke co-worker supports better wages for the working class and universal healthcare. (I don’t know about whether or not he likes Starbucks though, but that’s another matter.)

As I stated in my next book, Mystical Force: Vol. 5 Shadows and Darkness (which should be out early spring):

While her [Chiyoko, one of my characters] life was far from perfect, it was all she’d known. That was one of the strange things about people; they often seemed more afraid of uncertainty. A life of hell still seemed better than the chance that paradise may not be as perfect as we’d like. Better the devil you know, Chiyoko recalled hearing on more than one occasion.

Ultimately this is the real reason conservatives attack “woke” as being a bad thing. They’re lashing out in fear of that which they don’t understand, or don’t want to understand. Because they fear change, that which is different/unfamiliar; thus they’d rather continue on the same path our society has been on for centuries, even when they know it’s not getting us to where we say we want to go as a society. As someone once said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” So be not afraid of change dear reader, for you can no more stop society from progressing, from evolving than you can stop the sun from rising in the morning, or cause the river to reverse course and flow upstream.

As Greta Thunberg once stated, “They are starting to get more and more desperate. This shows that we’re winning.” and she’s correct. Conservatives and the radical right are so desperate to stop “woke”, despite having no valid arguments to support their claims that they’ll say anything. They’re so desperate to fight woke, that any argument, no matter how convoluted, baseless or without fact or merit is still valid in their mind.

I should also point out that my co-worker has numerous health problems and has missed several days of work due to health related issues. The sad truth is, my co-worker brings most of these problems on himself. We all know that stress and poor mental health can cause physical ailments. The irony is that in doing so, in “worrying yourself sick” you make yourself sick, which in turn causes you to miss work, lose money and in turn creates more stress. Thus it becomes a vicious cycle. While a part of me genuinely feels sorry for my co-worker and his son who also has medical issues, another part of me – I’m sorry to say – also thinks, “You brought this on yourself. You have no one to blame but yourself.” Forgive me if that sounds cold but I’m simply being honest. I admit I sometimes have a nasty habit of telling the truth, even when people don’t want to hear it. People say you need to “pick your battles”, so ask yourself these questions, “Is this the hill I’m willing to die on? Is it really worth it?”

The real problem here is the choice being made. Ultimately, all of us have only two real choices in life: do we embrace love, or do we surrender to fear? Which do you choose?

Spirituality and Health

Spirituality and Health

I recently received this in an email. While I’m sorry to say I forget who originally wrote this, what I found here was too valuable, too important for me to simply keep in my email until I read it and deleted. So to whomever originally wrote this, I thank you for sharing this and I’m grateful to get to share it myself. Hopefully you dear reader will find this as insightful as I did. Namaste!


Everyone has their own, very personal definition of spirituality. No matter what parameters the concept of spirituality is given, science has begun to realize that it plays a very important role in one’s well being.

Numerous studies have shown that spirituality can help improve quality of life for people with chronic diseases like cancer. According to a recently published study, spirituality can also have a positive impact on the quality of life for heart patients. It further concludes spirituality should be considered a potential target for palliative care interventions to improve patient-centered and clinical outcomes in these individuals.

“Patients who have heart failure experience a poorer quality of life compared to their peers, with high levels of depression, anxiety and spiritual distress,” said Rachel S. Tobin, MD, resident in Internal Medicine at Duke University Hospital, and lead author of the study. “Contributing to diminished quality of life is the fact that heart failure, unlike many other chronic diseases, is very unpredictable and can lead to hopelessness, isolation and altered self-image.”

The American College of Cardiology and other major cardiovascular societies recommend palliative care for heart failure patients. Spirituality is a core domain of palliative care, with the goal of identifying and addressing spiritual concerns and providing patients with appropriate spiritual and religious resources. However, limited research has been conducted on spirituality’s impact on patients and there are no known tools designed to measure it.

According to the researchers, spirituality is hard to define, but they reference several definitions that describe spirituality as how individuals find meaning and purpose in life, which can be separate from religious beliefs.

For instance, the Institute of Medicine defines spirituality as “the needs and expectations which humans have to find meaning, purpose and value in their life. Such needs can be specifically religious, but even people who have no religious faith or are not members of an organized religion have belief systems that give their lives meaning and purpose.”

“The literature suggests not only can spirituality improve quality of life for the patient, it can help support caregivers and potentially help patients from needing to be readmitted to the hospital,” Tobin said. “What we have suggested and are now doing is developing a spirituality screening tool, similar to the ones used to screen for depression. This can be used to identify patients who are at risk for spiritual distress. However, this is just a start. More research needs to be done.”

What do we know about humanity?

What do we know about humanity?


I received this email which I just had to share. It makes a very profound point:

What do we know about humanity?

That humanity can take literally anything and ruin it.

Take modern day American evangelical Christianity, for example.

They managed to take Jesus-a wine drinking, peace loving hippie who loved the poor and preached about loving your neighbor-and made him into a symbol of hate. They took Jesus and made him a symbol for transphobia, homophobia, and islamaphobia, not to mention not liking immigrants, poor people and being against free healthcare. Which is absolutely insane, considering:

1.Jesus never preached against being trans.

2.Jesus literally never once condemned homosexuality and never taught that gay couples went to hell.

3.Jesus was literally an immigrant himself.

4.Jesus was poor. In fact, he was at times borderline homeless.

5.Jesus literally gave out free healthcare. He never charged for his healing services, not once.

Modern day evangelical conservative Christianity is one big fat lie. It resembles nothing like the true teachings of Jesus, and if Jesus were here today, he would be ashamed and shocked that these people even call themselves Christian.

Jesus preached love, not hate. Remember that.

This statement makes a valid point, even God says so. In the book ‘Conversations with God’, God outright states:

  1. The Bible was written hundreds of years after Jesus died, the people who wrote the new testament never actually met Jesus.
  2. Many so-called ‘devout’ Christians wouldn’t know Jesus if they bumped into him on the street.

This is why I consider myself a spiritualist. God, again in ‘Conversations with God’, says to seek spirituality not religion. Because spirituality teaches us to look within to find the answers. It shows us that the answers we seek are already inside of us, we’ve simply forgotten them. Religion by contrast teaches us to ignore our instincts, our inner wisdom and blindly accept what others say as indisputable truth. The reason many people do this is because it’s easier that way. It means you don’t have to think for yourself.

Now I should point out that this doesn’t apply to all religious people (not just Christians). I’ve met some religious people who are perfectly descent people. People who love and accept others regardless of their gender identity, sexual orientation, race, religious beliefs (or lack there of), politics and/or income level. The one’s I object to are those who feel a sense of moral superiority and feel it’s their right to force their beliefs on others, ironically while using arguments of ‘freedom’ and ‘liberty’ to justify it while simultaneously trying to deny that same ‘freedom’ and ‘liberty’ to anyone whose views don’t conform to theirs.

Ironically the same can be said about atheists. I’ve met some atheists who are descent people, who love and accept others and don’t care what their religious beliefs (or lack there of) are. I’ve also seen atheists who like these devout conservative evangelicals, think themselves superior for not believing in God and openly mock anyone who believes. People who can’t or simply refuse to see the difference between spirituality and religion and lump them both together. I’ve heard people debate whether atheism should be considered a religion with some arguing that it isn’t because there are no rules to follow. I find it ironic that there are those who would argue in favour of the later because of the lack of rules yet still insist that spirituality is no different that religion when there also are no rules in spirituality.

I suppose what I’m really trying to say here is it’s all about accepting others for who they are. It’s not a question of what is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ but ‘what serves you’. If your beliefs serves you than keep them. If they bring you happiness, then enjoy and cherish them. If your beliefs however, cause you problems or distress, then perhaps it’s time to look within and re-examine those beliefs. Also, if others have beliefs or viewpoints that you don’t agree with, that cause you distress, then may you should ask yourself, “Is it because their view is ‘wrong’ or is because I’ve chosen to label it as ‘wrong’?”

When you see beyond yourself than you may find peace of mind is waiting there. And the time will come when you’ll see we’re all one and life flows on within you and without you.

– Within You Without You,

The Beatles

Two profound books to read (besides my own)

Two profound books to read (besides my own)

I received this email from my father and thought it was so profound, that I just had to post it and share it with everyone. The following words are my father’s, not mine, however I do agree with what he’s saying. My own words are the brief snippets in bold, encased in brackets “[ ]”. I wanted to share this with you for the same reason I am writing both “Mystical Force” and “Liberator: the People’s Guard” to help encourage you to think for yourself. As the “Complete Conversations with God” says, most people don’t want to think for themselves. That’s why they follow religion, people on social media and elect certain politicians because it requires no independent thought. We’ve seen it with these Trump supporters/Capitol rioters whose only defence seems to be “I was only following Trump’s orders.” When people choose not to think for themselves, it removes all responsibility from them (at least in their minds). Then they sit and wonder why their lives haven’t turned out the way they wanted. They’re left wondering “where, when, why, how did it all go so wrong?!” Again, as the “Complete Conversations with God” says, It all went wrong when you abandoned your mind, the greatest creative tool you were ever given. Now with my foreword completed, I give you the email I received, courtesy of my father:

“A Journey of Souls” A must read book for those interested in what happens when you pass over to the other side. Why am I recommending this book? Because it verifies, clarifies and explains the things my father-in-law [my maternal grandfather] told me after his visit to the other side [the afterlife/spirit world, call it whatever you like] after his heart attack. Doctors and scientists call it a “near death experience” because they can’t accept the fact that someone can die for a few minutes or 40 minutes or more and then be revived or come back because it’s not yet their time to leave the earth plain. Someone can be clinically dead for a few minutes but have spent hours, days, weeks, or even months in the spirit plain. Time has no relevance between the two realms.

After his heart attack, my wife [my mother] and I went up to visit him. My mother-in-law [my maternal grandmother] came to me and said “Dad wants to talk to you alone in the bedroom and lock the door” He was recuperating from his recent heart attack and so spent most of his time in bed. We had a nice long talk about his experience. He told me “I love my girls (he had five daughters [my mother and four aunts]) but they don’t mean anything to me. They’re not my family on the other side.” That statement intrigued me and this book explains it. There was a women in the book who when she passed over was expecting to be met by her father from this incarnation whom she loved and was very close to. Instead someone else met her and later she saw her father in the background. He eventually came up to her and greeted her, but explained that he could only stay briefly and she couldn’t follow him because she was not part of his family. Once she met her own family (soul group) and her memory of her previous lives returned to her, she understood and was happy to see all her friends and family in the spirit plain.

We had a nice long talk about how the church is all wrong and actually keeps people away from God. The Christian Bible has been rewritten so many time by various ecumenical councils to say what the Church leaders wanted in order to maintain control that it no longer has any relation to what Jesus taught 2000 years ago. For example, the Book of Joshua which is referenced in the Bible and was once part of the Bible has been removed because it told the truth and that was something the church leaders couldn’t allow. In it Joshua tells how Moses and his council (the leaders of the various tribes) decided that they needed a set of rules or laws to govern their people. They went up into the mountains and created a set of rules and decided that in order to give them some authority, they would say these were commandments from God. In “The Complete Conversations With God” (another book I recommend) God tells the author “There is no such thing as the Ten Commandments”.

AMORC (The Ancient Mystical Order Rosae Crucis) traces its origin to Mystery Schools established in Egypt during the reign of Pharaoh Thutmose III 1479 – 1425 BC. According to the Rosicrucian records after the incident at Calvary, Jesus went to the arcane school that the Essenes had at Mount Carmel and taught his wisdom to the students there. He lived a long life and when he passed, the buried him in a secret spot. Jesus did not die on the cross until some centuries after his death when Constantine had the Bible rewritten to say that Jesus died on the cross because the church needed a martyr. The current Christian Bible only has 12 disciples and they are all male. Whereas Jesus had over 120 disciples and almost half were women. The most prominent was Mary Magdalene his partner and wife. I don’t know what Constantine had against Mary or women, but he had the Bible rewritten to say that Mary was a prostitute and so the Roman Catholic churches campaign to subjugate women and relegate them to second class status and servants of man began. How is it that I’m familiar with Rosicrucian literature? I’ve been a member since 1975. [my father is a member, I am not. Also I wasn’t born until 1982].

In the “Complete Conversations with God” there are several discussions about the current bible. The author questions God about the bible, he quotes “Vengeance is Mine, sayeth the Lord” and God replies “I never said that. One of you made that up, and you believed it”. God also discusses about how he is portrayed in the bible. He says “These behaviors are the behaviors historically demanded of their subjects by monarchs – usually ego-maniacal, insecure, tyrannical monarchs at that.” He explains that the God in the bible does not represent Him at all. He tells the author to “Return to spirituality. Forget about religion”. When the author asks why, He replies “Because it is not good for you”. And that is obvious. One only has to look at countries where religion is dominant such as Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the Taliban in Afghanistan with their control over women. And then you have the Taliban’s Christian cousins the Roman Catholic church and the Evangelicals with their extreme conservative views on controlling women’s bodies. But everything discussed in the book matches what my father-in-law and I talked about.

These two books I recommend for your reading. Why? To make you think, to open your mind, to free your soul so that in can evolve, grow. You have free will. You can ignore this or you can read the books and make up your own mind. Either way makes no difference to me. God says to “Love everyone”, and I love everyone and wish the best for them. And some people I know who mistakenly sincerely believe that they are faithful Christians [“Conversations with God” even states that most so called Christians wouldn’t know Jesus if they bumped into him on the street, even those who wrote the Bible never met Jesus. The Bible was written hundreds of years after Jesus died], I wish the best for them. And the best thing that could happen to them is that they have the same beautiful life changing enlightening experience that my father-in-law had. What their reaction will be when they discover that their church has been misleading and lying to them I can’t say. But it will do them good to learn the truth.



The Taman Knights are a monastic religious order originating from the Planet Thalia. The character of Shi-ria is a member of this organization.


The Taman is the energy and will of the universe and all things that exist within the universe.

– Quote from the book of Taman

The word “Taman” roughly translates as universeenergy, balance or whole. The universe is energy, specifically positive and negative energies called “the Kolri and the Koldar”. The word “Kolri” roughly translates as inner good or inner light, while “Koldar” means inner evil or inner darkness. These two forces are the only constants in the universe. They exist in all living creatures and shall always exist in perfect balance. Their belief is that good and evil exist in all people and in order to maintain balance in life one must use the Kolri (inner light) to control the Koldar (inner darkness) to maintain balance, peace and harmony in themselves and thus the universe. Without this balance the universe, according to their philosophy, will be thrown into chaos.

The Koldar gives the Taman strength, but thou cannot control this alone; for without the Kolri, the balance of goodness and light, one cannot hope to use the Koldar for good but it shall use thee for death and destruction.

– Quote from the book of Taman

According to their beliefs, a Taman knight draws their strength from the Koldar (their negative emotions: anger, aggression, hatred, selfishness) but it also states that such power is inevitably corrupting and will destroy you so one must first learn to use the Kolri (positive emotions: joy, love, compassion, selflessness) to control this inner darkness so its power can be used for constructive purposes rather than destructive ones. According to their teachings, the Koldar is too powerful and only a Taman Knight with the power of the Kolri to help them, can control the Koldar and use it’s dark powers for good instead of evil. When one uses the Koldar, they grow more powerful but due to their emotions it makes it more difficult to control their powers. When one uses the Kolri their powers may not be as strong but they have clarity so they know how to use patience and strategy to defeat an opponent instead of simply overpowering them by brute force alone. Those who succumb to the dark powers of the Koldar are known as Koldar Warriors (Dark Taman knights).

According to their philosophy, matter and energy are related. The Taman Knights teach that all matter is composed of protons, neutrons and electrons, which are composed of quarks, which are energy. Thus the entire universe is a giant ocean of energy. That energy is the Taman, an energy that they use to help protect the innocent and defend justice.

The Taman knights use the Taman for the pursuit knowledge and wisdom. For peace, harmony and also defend the innocent. The Taman is never to be used for aggression and attack, nor to gain power simply for the sake of gaining power.

– Quote from the book of Taman

Since all people have this inner darkness Taman knights are encouraged to control this with their inner light. This involves meditating to attain a calming state and focusing on positive reinforcement in both thought and action. Taman philosophy teaches to respect all living creatures and to resolve conflicts through peaceful means. It encourages listening, thinking and waiting rather than acting rash.


The powers and abilities of a Taman knight vary depending on the individual. Their level of training, experience and personal strength are all factors in determining how strong their abilities are. Like any skill, anyone can learn these powers, depending on how much time one spends developing it determines the extent of their powers, but it’s not the only factor. Just as one person may be more gifted in the arts than in mathematics for example, some people are more in tune with the Taman than others. The following is a general list of powers used by Taman knights.

Taman Alchemy:

Since they’re taught that matter and energy are interchangeable, Taman knights have the ability to transform energy directly into matter manifesting into a physical object. Usually this is used to create weapons for self defence, but it can be used to create other things such as tools or to repair a damaged object. Likewise it can also be used to turn matter back into energy (for example: disintegrating the bullets in a gun, thus rendering the weapon useless).

Taman or Kolri Heal:

The ability of a Taman Knight to quickly heal from injuries that would otherwise take much longer to recover from. The amount of time it takes one to heal from an injury depends on the severity of said injury. Thus if the wound is severe enough, they could die before healing themselves enough for their injury to be non life threatening. A Taman knight also cannot grow back a limb or body part that has been cut off or lost due to battle, injury or disease, though they can create cybernetic limbs via Taman Alchemy. This power also strengthens their immune systems but does not ensure they will never get sick.

Taman Enhancement:

The ability to use the energy of the Taman to run faster, jump higher and so on. This also allows them to function with less sleep than a normal person, go longer without eating and even survive in a thin atmosphere (thought they cannot survive without any atmosphere, such as in space). Despite this ability Taman knights cannot go without sleeping or eating for an indefinite period of time. This ability is to help them survive longer in a hostile environment and give them a better chance to escape it.

Gravity Manipulation:

The ability of a Taman Knight to slow ones decent when falling, thus allowing them to jump/fall from heights which would otherwise kill them. It also allows them to slow other falling objects giving them time to rescue others or prevent themselves from being crushed by falling debris. They cannot however make themselves or other persons/objects independent of gravity.

Taman Reading:

Equivalent to what we known as E.S.P. More specifically: clairvoyance, clairaudience, clairsentience, precognition, retro cognition and empathic abilities. In other words, it allows them to see events that have already happened or events that have not yet transpired. They also have the ability to sense the emotional state of others, as well as to tell if someone is lying. This power is generally used by placing themselves into a meditative trance and focusing on a specific person, object or event.