Why Is This Happening?

On this day of your life I believe God wants you to know that “Why is this happening?” is the most useless question in the Universe.

 

Neale Donald Walsch Daily Inspiration

IImage from:
Wikipedia

 

Neale Donald Walsch (NDS) has been an inspiration to me since I read his three volume set:
Conversations With God.  Might I also recommend the movie:
Conversations With God DVD.

 

The movie is quite different from the books but still worth watching.  I receive NDS daily email inspiration and it is one more spark I use when I write Wisdom and Life.

 

Asking why is silly for those of us who believe we are watched over.  We know there is a reason for all that happens. That’s why as Neale says in the above quote that:
Why is the most useless question in the Universe.

 

Image from:
Pixabay

Why is it useless?  Because we understand the answer is not always simple.  Don’t ask why, Why is backward. Life isn’t about going backward.  Life is about moving forward, putting one foot in front of the other.  Why is this happening doesn’t solve anything.

 

Move forward with your life.  Looking back and asking why is this happening won’t help you resolve the question.  You need to stop asking why and blaming others.  Face your life and the decisions you’ve made that have brought you to this place.  Nothing will change until and unless you realize that YOU are in charge of YOUR life.  Asking why won’t help anyway as major decisions have been made before you chose to incarnate.

 

If you know anything about my worldview, you understand that predestination plays an intricate role in my life. Asking why is this happening is especially meaningless in my own life,  Even though I may not understand why at the moment, I trust that there IS a reason and that my soul made the choice before I incarnated.  The other thing I can say without hesitation is when something challenging happens, there is ALWAYS a gift that’s left behind. We simply have to be open to finding it.

 

Stop asking why and start embracing life.  You’ll find more joy in life when you decide to move forward to stop looking behind you.

 

Be Happy!  Be Well! Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

Once you realize that life is eternal,
That our souls our eternal,
That we return to light and physical over and over;
We then lose all our distress
We then lose all our fear of dying.  For there truly is no end.

 

My Favorite Children’s Books

I’ve been a reader my entire life. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that reading as much as I did growing up helped my writing get to where it is today. Without reading, you’re not going to learn.

 

It’s why I mentioned Ray Bradbury’s quotes about libraries in an earlier column.  In one of the quotes, Bradbury said he is completely library educated.  Libraries and books are integral to everyone. My day job is at my local library.  Before I worked at my library I had the pleasure of working at RJ Julia Booksellers.  I’ve always loved the printed word, so much so that I’ve been writing longer than I’ve had a camera in my hand.  

 

These are my three favorite children’s books of all time:

Reading as a child helped me in many ways:
–Reading transported me to a safe place, just as writing did as I grew older.
–Reading was my friend, as I’ve been an introvert as long as I can recall.  Just click the previous link and you’ll see my columns at Wisdom and Life on introverts.
I’d rather curl up with a book or spend my alone time writing then being out with people i don’t know.

–Reading and writing have been my friends long before I had people friends.

 

 

 

I’m not saying any of this to garner sympathy.  I love the way I live.
–I love coming home and finding no one here.
–I love the freedom I have.  
The freedom to read when I want,
The freedom to write when I want.
The freedom to do what I want when I want.

 

So, I bet you’re wondering when I’m not only getting to the subject of today’s column, but what the column’s subject is.  Well, reading is the subject, more specifically, three of my favorite children’s books of all time:
Tuck Everlasting
A Wrinkle in Time
Charlotte’s Web

 

So do these books stand out to me?  The first two books have time as one of its major subjects. If you’re a long time reader of Wisdom and Life then you know I have an interest in the concept of time.

–That you can’t change anything without affecting everything else about your life.
–That time doesn’t really exist. That it’s simply a construct of humankind.

 

It’s why the first two books resonate so deeply with me. In Tuck Everlasting, there is the concept of aging and immortality. Sort of a retelling of Ponce De Leon and his search for the fountain of youth. I’ve sometimes considered the idea of immortality. Which is another reason why I connect with Tuck Everlasting. My writing will create the immortality I sometimes think about.

 

A Wrinkle In Time is another favorite. I’ve been fascinated by time and distortions in it for a long while.  I often find myself considering ACTUAL wrinkles and tears in the fabric of time itself. Which is why Madeleine L’Engle’s quintessential book has resonated with me.

 

And Charlotte’s Web?

That doesn’t fit in with the above two books at all you may believe. You’re right. However, Charlotte’s Web has long been a favorite, even before the Tuck Everlasting and A Wrinkle in Time.  Can’t really put a finger on why this particular book has been so deeply important. All I can say is that it is my favorite children’s book of all time.

 

What are your favorite children’s books?

 

Be Happy!  Be Well! Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

Once you realize that life is eternal,
That our souls our eternal,
That we return to light and physical over and over;
We then lose all our distress
We then lose all our fear of dying.  For there truly is no end.

 

Reveling in Solitude

Alone vs Loneliness.
Being an introvert has its positives and many people see those positives as negatives.

–Some see introverts as rude, because they don’t do small talk.
–Some see the tendency of the introvert’s need for alone time as out of sync with humanity, that people need people.

 

Image from:
Flickr

While that is ostensibly true, some of us who are introverts get burned out when we are “in the public eye” for long periods of time.  We need to decompress. And if we are influenced or forced to spend more time out, we will become more quiet, less likely to communicate.  We will find a solitary place in a crowd to decompress. We will hide.

 

When we are influenced to spend time with friends and family and we don’t want to, this action will conceivably bring more animus, with the introvert doubling down and finding a deeper hole to hide in.  So how do we merge these two dichotomous attributes and learn to live as an introvert and as someone who knows one?

 

I think the best approach one can take who knows an introvert is to learn to read the signs of your particular friend or family member.  If (s)he says I’d rather not do anything today then
–Don’t be insulted or hurt that they turned you down.  
–Don’t attempt to change their mind by creating guilt.
–Accept the choice and realize it has nothing to do with not wanting to see you it has more to do with taking care of themselves.

 

If the introvert IS out with you and they suddenly vanish again:
–Don’t be hurt.
–Don’t get angry at them.
–Don’t question the behavior.

It is the introvert’s method of ramping up again.

 

If you want to understand the introvert in your life better than you do now, I highly recommend reading what I believe is the introvert handbook:
Quiet:
The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

 

If you are in the presence of an introvert and the introvert is noticeably quiet, the worst thing you can do is ask is something wrong?  Why are you so quiet? Nothing is wrong! It’s likely as stated above they are merely decompressing.

 

So what’s with the Two words at the top of this column:
Alone and Loneliness

 

I believe I’ve covered this at Wisdom and Life previously.  Being alone and feeling lonely are completely different. I’ve been fortunate to hardly ever feeling lonely.  I can’t say for sure because I’m the only test subject I’m aware of. However, realizing that I’m an introvert, I sometimes wonder whether loneliness is an attribute that introverts in general are not afflicted with.

 

Be Happy!  Be Well! Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

Once you realize that life is eternal,
That our souls our eternal,
That we return to light and physical over and over;
We then lose all our distress
We then lose all our fear of dying.  For there truly is no end.

I Read a Book One Day

I read a book one day and my whole life changed.

Light The Dark:
Writers on Creativity, Inspiration,
and the Artistic Process

 

 

 

 

 

When someone asks me what I do, the first response is photographer. It should be writer THEN photographer.
I’ve been writing longer than I’ve had a camera in my hand; and I write more than I’m out with my camera. EVERY day as a matter of fact I’m at my computer tapping on my keyboard.

 

Light The Dark: Writers on Creativity, Inspiration, and the Artistic Process is the latest book I’m reading.  I’ve had a challenge finding any fiction to read recently, having borrowed several books from my library in the past six weeks or so.  No fiction has turned me on.  Nonfiction is where I find my inspiration now. Writing books have always been a favorite of mine, and this book along with several others have been an inspiration.  I highly recommend the two below:
Dancing on the Head of a Pen
Still Writing: The Perils and Pleasures of a Creative Life

 

Read my column that refers to Still Writing:
Writing Saved My Life

 

Reading and writing have been such an important aspect of my entire life.  I feel blessed that I followed my bliss and continued with my writing career even though roadblocks had been placed in my way.  Many people said:
No.  You can’t do that and expect to make a living.

 

So I went around the roadblocks and worked my way into the book field, working first at RJ Julia Booksellers, my local bookstore, then at The EC Scranton Library.  All the while I continued to write; first short stories then moving into blog content.  I let no one dissuade me.  In fact, as I may have said here previously, the BEST motivation anyone can give me is try telling me no.

 

And now, while I haven’t yet broken through and made a living writing, I DO have two books being published later this year.  So I will paraphrase the above quote:
Reading a book has changed my life for the better.

 

For without reading EVERYTHING, you can’t expect to accomplish ANYTHING!  Ray Bradbury I think said it best:
“I’m completely library educated. I’ve never been to college. I went down to the library when I was in grade school in Waukegan, and in high school in Los Angeles, and spent long days every summer in the library. I used to steal magazines from a store on Genesee Street, in Waukegan, and read them and then steal them back on the racks again. That way I took the print off with my eyeballs and stayed honest. I didn’t want to be a permanent thief, and I was very careful to wash my hands before I read them. But with the library, it’s like catnip, I suppose: you begin to run in circles because there’s so much to look at and read. And it’s far more fun than going to school, simply because you make up your own list and you don’t have to listen to anyone. When I would see some of the books my kids were forced to bring home and read by some of their teachers, and were graded on—well, what if you don’t like those books?”

 

And here’s another by Bradbury:
I spent three days a week for 10 years educating myself in the public library, and it’s better than college. People should educate themselves – you can get a complete education for no money. At the end of 10 years, I had read every book in the library and I’d written a thousand stories.

 

So turn off your television and immerse yourself in the written word.  
Your brain will thank you.
Your eyes will thank you.
Your writing will thank you.

 

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

Once you realize that life is eternal,
That our souls our eternal,
That we return to light and physical over and over;

We then lose all our distress
We then lose all our fear of dying.  For there truly is no end.

 

Your Soul Energy

Your soul is interested in how you use your energy—what you create and whether you achieve your greatest potential.  It sees the experiences of your life as part of a larger, richer, more complete picture than the one you can see

Thoughts from the Heart of the Soul

 

 

I use a variety of resources for inspiration, many books to help me write about the topics of Wisdom and Life.  Gary Zukov is an author I’ve followed for awhile. He’s in the same vein as Deepak Chopra and Wayne Dyer.  I recommend reading some of his content.

 

As I’ve maintained at Wisdom and Life almost from its inception we all have a plan that has been divinely planned before we incarnate.  How do you know what your soul has intended?

 

When you’re doing what you SHOULD be doing, as the quote above says, your energy level will rise and that’s what your soul is interested in:
High energy.

 

So how do you achieve high energy?

You follow your bliss.  Your bliss is how you feel when you are doing what you love.  And whatever you do do NOT let anyone dissuade you from your soul’s plan.  That’s the time when you lose your energy.

 

The reason your soul sees your life as part of a larger fabric is that before you incarnate, it knows EVERYTHING you will you will face:
–Your soul knows when you will return to spirit, to the ethereal.
–Your soul knows when you’ll find your soulmate, and how you will spend your time together, whether as friends, lovers or married.
–Your soul knows how you will spend your life, what kind of career you will have.  It will do everything it can to show you your gifts then push you to follow your bliss.  In the end it’s up to you whether you listen to your soul or outside influences.

 

Listen to your soul so that you live in bliss!

 

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

Once you realize that life is eternal,
That our souls our eternal,
That we return to light and physical over and over;

We then lose all our distress
We then lose all our fear of dying.  For there truly is no end.

Reincarnation Blues –A Review

Reincarnation Blues is a book right up my alley.

 

Milo has lived almost ten thousand lives, the maximum a soul can return until it reaches perfection. If the soul hasn’t reached perfection in ten thousand tries then they are blown into oblivion.

 

In between lives that Milo lives we see him in a kind of afterlife that exists as a mirror of incarnated life. Three other characters play a role in Milo’s life between lives.

 

Suzie, who is his “Death” that comes for him each time his passes. And two women who are his guides. He calls them Grandmother and Nana.

 

Each life, Milo lives (We, the readers are treated to his last five) could be an individual story but the setup works well.   Several of the life stories are really fleshed out and I liked reading them.   There are some definite undertones from Susan Baker’s The Incarnations in the way both books take on the different lives the protagonists live.  Each life becomes a story unto itself.

 

The difference being that The Incarnations is much darker and violent throughout.  That didn’t keep me compelled from reading however.  Both books are worth reading.

 

You don’t necessarily have to believe reincarnation is a reality to enjoy Reincarnation Blues or for that matter Susan Baker’s book. There are aspects to Reincarnation Blues that resonate with me and there are some things that don’t. But it didn’t stand in my way from enjoying the book.

 

Pick up either book and leaf through the first chapters of both.  You may find yourself intrigued.  I did.

 

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

Once you realize that life is eternal,
That our souls our eternal,
That we return to light and physical over and over;

We then lose all our distress
We then lose all our fear of dying.  For there truly is no end.

 

Fishing with my Grandfather

I’ve invoked Jonathan Carroll’s name at Wisdom and Life often.  He is one spectacular writer.  In The Ghost in Love, there is a scene where Ben Gould, the protagonist of the story visits himself at earlier times in his life.  The scene that is most memorable is one where Ben witnesses himself as a young boy on a swingset.  So what does this have to do with fishing with my grandfather?  

Image from:
Pixabay

 

I’ve also written at Wisdom and Life about going back in time.  With this column today, I’m asking if you could travel back to a previous experience in your life and interact with the experience, where would you want to go and why? Now mind you, you can’t attempt to change anything, because as you know from reading the previous link about going back in time, any change you make, big or small will send your life in a completely different trajectory.  

 

 

 

With that being said, as a bridge to last week’s column:
Don’t Take Time For Granted

 

where would you like to go?

 

 

Me?
I’d choose fishing with my grandfather at Blissville Pond in Lisbon, Connecticut.  It’s one memory I love, and sitting with a fishing pole in my hand at Blissville Pond is where I go when I meditate.  It’s my safe place.  As my long time readers understand, my maternal grandparents have been important in making me who I am.  As an example:
My grandfather was ostensibly the only routine male in my life who I identified with as a young boy.
My grandfather bought me my first camera.
My grandfather taught me to fish as can be seen from this column.

 

I spent so much time fishing at Blissville Pond growing up, sometimes with my grandfather, sometimes on my own.  As I’ve written at Wisdom and Life many times over, I felt so fortunate to grow up on Graham Terrace in Lisbon, Connecticut.  
My best friend, Joe lived just down the street.

I could walk to Blissville Pond.
I wouldn’t trade growing up there for a thing.

 

It’s why Blissville Pond holds such magic for me and it’s why that’s the one experience I’d like to eavesdrop on now as an adult.  I’d love to interact with myself as a young boy with my grandfather.

 

Where would you like to go?

 

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

Once you realize that life is eternal,
That our souls our eternal,
That we return to light and physical over and over;

We then lose all our distress
We then lose all our fear of dying.  For there truly is no end.

 

Ferdinand the Bull

My newest category at Wisdom and Life:
INFP is another topic I’ve started to discuss  INFP is on the Myers Briggs testing spectrum.  If you haven’t taken the test, it will reveal your personality as long as you are honest about the responses.  You can take the test here:
16 Personalities

 

I’ve mentioned Ferdinand The Bull at Wisdom and Life previously.

I’ve always loved the book and didn’t realize it until I recently understood my personality type connects on a completely different level with Ferdinand.  Ferdinand is definitely an INFP on the Myers Briggs spectrum. I now read Ferdinand in a completely different way.  I discovered that Ferdinand is an INFP after reading the book again in the last week.  Apparently, others feel the same way as can be seen from this Google search:
Ferdinand The Bull and INFP

 

After taking the Myers Briggs test and getting my results, I clearly see that I am an INFP.

 

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

Once you realize that life is eternal,
That our souls our eternal,
That we return to light and physical over and over;

We then lose all our distress
We then lose all our fear of dying.  For there truly is no end.

 

Rob Bell

I discovered Rob Bell several years ago through reading his book:
Love Wins.  

This book spoke volumes to me as it clearly identified the challenges I’ve experienced with organized religion.  Bell ruffled many feathers in the religious field with his thoughts.  He is still unsettling some in organized religion.  I feel like he is only stating the truth as he sees it.  One of the features of Love Wins that Bell writes about is:
If God is truly love, how and why would he forsake ANYONE?

 

Image from:
Wikipedia

I couldn’t agree more.  In a July 28, 2017 CNN article written by John Blake:
Outlaw pastor Rob Bell shakes up the Bible Belt Rob Bell continues to push for radical changes in the church.  Let me just say, that I don’t find the changes, he is calling for radical at all.  In fact, I embrace them.  One of the changes, Bell calls for is accepting women as priests or pastors.  He says:
Do you belong to a church that says women cannot be priests or pastors?
Bad move, Bell said.

Any church that does so betrays the example of Jesus, who treated women as equals. Women in Jesus’ times couldn’t even testify as witnesses in court.

“Yet all the gospels have women as the first witnesses to Jesus’ resurrection,” he said.

Makes sense?  Doesn’t it?  This is one of the many challenges I have with religion.  And I’m well aware that I may take flak for it.  However, Rob Bell brings up an interesting perspective:
–Any church that does so betrays the example of Jesus, who treated women as equals.
–Yet all the gospels have women as the first witnesses to Jesus’ resurrection.

 

Rob Bell has stirred something in many people.  Controversy can be a good thing as it brings people together who want to facilitate a change.  I give Bell credit for bringing his thoughts to a conservative area of the United States.  The Bible belt as some of the Southern States are called could be a “danger zone” for Bell as he has antagonized some in that area.  He didn’t let that stop him however.  I like that.  That he stands up doesn’t let controversy scare him away.  I have a lot of respect for Rob Bell.  I like that we are on the same page when it comes to our worldviews.  If you haven’t yet been introduced his books, I highly recommend starting with:
Love Wins

 

Bell certainly still has a following even after his ouster from his own megachurch.  You can see that following in the crowds he still amasses when he speaks.  It was with Rob Bell, that I realized my belief system had changed.  Bell voiced in Love Wins, what I always knew about myself but hadn’t been able to see in myself that as I stated in My Spirituality:
I believe God LOVES EVERYONE.

I believe God created us and he won’t forsake ANY of us.

I recently discovered Rob Bell’s Book Love Wins and after reading it I realized Mr Bell and I believe the same things.

Why is it so difficult to embrace this worldview?
Isn’t religion supposed to be inclusive?  I understand these are rhetorical questions.  They shouldn’t be, however.

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

Once you realize that life is eternal,
That our souls our eternal,
That we return to light and physical over and over;

We then lose all our distress
We then lose all our fear of dying.  For there truly is no end.

 

Jonathan Carroll

I’ve been writing reviews a bit more recently at Wisdom and Life.  I do my best however to ensure those reviews are compatible with Wisdom and Life’s guidelines.  Today, I’m featuring my favorite author:
Jonathan Carroll.  Hiis themes touch on many of Wisdom and LIfe’s themes as well:
Death and Dying
Love and many more.


Image from:
Wikimedia

When you read Today’s column you will see how much Carroll has impresesed me.  A new Jonathan Carroll book always warms my literary heart.  Mr Carroll is one of the few authors whose books I will buy sight unseen.  A few weeks ago, on October 21st when I returned from dinner I received an email from Jonathan Carroll’s website telling me his new book  Bathing the Lion was out in stores.  On my way back to work at the Scranton Library in Madison I made a detour across the street to RJ Julia Booksellers so I could hope beyond hope that a copy of the book was in.  There were two.  I grabbed one and was so happy I floated out of the store.

 

Jonathan Carroll has a plethora of books to choose from and I’ve read many of them.  With his latest book, Bathing the Lion Chaos returns a pseudo character that first graced the pages of his books with  White Apples and its sequel Glass Soup.

 

I started with White Apples when I worked at RJ Julia Booksellers.  I was given an advanced reader copy of White Apples and I read the book in a week.  As with all of Mr Carroll’s books by 45 pages in I understood that I was in the hands of a master storyteller and I wanted to keep reading the book but I became afraid that I was reading too fast.  In other words I didn’t want the book to end.  And when I FINALLY did finish.  I wanted to read it again for the first time.  As it has been with all of his books.

 

Someone recently asked me what is style was like.  The ONLY way I could think to describe him is he is:
Alice Hoffman on LSD.

 

White Apples and Glass Soup tells the story of Vincent Ettrich and his significant other Isabelle.  Vincent has died, but Isabelle brings him back from death because he needs to teach their unborn child what he’s learned in death because it will help their child defeat Chaos.

 

There are so many amazing passages in White Apples and Glass Soup.  One in particular in Glass Soup is discussed at one of my other blogs here:
Life is Controlled Chaos  Start reading from:
“This is how it began.

 

I think another reason I connect so well with Mr Carroll is that he seems to be on the same page with me when it comes to our worldview.  In his latest, Bathing the Lion he writes:

Burnt sienna:
The colors of the greatest love humans can feel for each other. It comes only when all others have burned off or faded away and what remains is a hundred percent pure. Like the color of the earth in direct sun  on a late fall afternoon. It’s the color of the truest human passion.

Bathing the Lion
Page 217

And again:

Dogs know what comes after death. It was not bad. THIS is the primary reason why most dogs are so merry and resilient:

Death is no more frightening than traveling to a distant land where the landscape is lushly tropical or glacially polar or simply unlike anyplace you’ve ever been.  Just the smells alone…

Bathing the Lion
Page
222

 

Death and Dying is a topic I feel strongly about and the above passage is my entire belief.  There’s more. The Burnt Sienna passage above is also another strong belief.  As is the column Life is Controlled Chaos.

 

Carroll has written other books as well and each one holds something special.  You simply MUST read him to see what type of writer he is.  Don’t miss this guy.  Don’t let him pass you by because you’re afraid to try something new.  I implore you to pick up one of his books.  I’m guessing some of you will come back to me and say the same thing I say:I want to read him so badly but I don’t want the book to end and when I’ve finally reached the last page I wish I could read his books again for the first time.

The Ghost in Love, Carroll’s previous book turned out better than Glass Soup as Glass Soup turned out better than White Apples.  The Ghost in Love, about a man who goes out in the middle of winter to walk his dog, he falls and cracks his head.  The man was scheduled to die with that fall but doesn’t.  Why?  You’ll have to read the book to discover the answer.

 

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

Once you realize that life is eternal,
That our souls our eternal,
That we return to light and physical over and over;

We then lose all our distress
We then lose all our fear of dying.  For there truly is no end.