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Paradigms – Life’s Railroad

A paradigm can save your skin or drive you over the edge of insanity. We all have them. We all live by them. Even when you never heard of them before.

Paradigm is defined as:

  • a typical example or pattern of something; a pattern or model.
    “society’s paradigm of the ‘ideal woman’”
  • a world view underlying the theories and methodology of a particular scientific subject.
    “the discovery of universal gravitation became the paradigm of successful science”

Paradigms are patterns or standards. Those which I am thinking of are the patterns of thought, of habit which accompany us though life. Paradigms are learned. They become set in stone to help us through life. But watch out, paradigm’s can be our ruin if we allow them.

As I write I am sitting in a train. The train runs on steel tracks laid out on the ground and guide the train in one direction and one direction only. There is no turning to the right or to the left unless the tracks make the turn. The train has no choice but to follow the track.

Paradigms are like this. If you drive a car you probably find yourself doing many things other than driving: tuning the radio, searching your pockets, eating a sandwich, grabbing something off the passenger seat. Do you remember when you first sat behind the wheel? Everything was new. Everything required great effort. Everything had to be remembered all at once. But now, after years of practice, you drive that car without thinking. You have formed a habit. You body and mind know what to do and your thinking mind can be busy thinking other things. You have built a paradigm.

A paradigm is nothing more than a pattern of thoughts, a set of ideas belonging together, a habit of action. We get so used to doing something a certain way or thinking in a certain way that it becomes very difficult to break the habit or change the paradigm. You get set in your ways like a train in its tracks.

If life were simple and predictable there would be no problem with that. In fact many of those patterns will serve you a lifetime and never need to be changed. But life is what it is and the time will come when the old paradigms no longer serve you. You lose a job, have an accident, fall ill, get divorced. A friend betrays you, a family member disappoints you. A tornado destroys your home, or a flood ruins everything you have. Whatever it is, when it hits you, you will find some of your paradigms don’t work anymore and you will have great difficulty admitting it.

Your habits will need to change. You will walk different paths, get different trains, meet different people. Your beliefs will alter. Yes, beliefs are the biggest and most stubborn of all paradigms. I know because my belief paradigms were shattered many years ago. I believed in a certain way that the world was made in a certain way and that life had a certain purpose. Until a several life changing events happened and My habits and beliefs needed to change.

This is the point if life when you either bludgeon on and crash or you make a deliberate choice and change direction. You get off the rails and set out on a new path. And as with any new way there is uncertainty and fear. But keep on. You will form a new paradigm, lay down new paths and reach new heights.

I want to encourage you that if you find yourself at a crossroads consider the untrodden path. It will lead to to light and a life you never imagined.

As a writer my characters often meet such crossroads. When you read my books let me know what you think. By the way, Pursuit is free when you subscribe to my newsletter.

 

Beaghmore Stone Circles in Northern Ireland

Growing up in Northern Ireland in the city of Belfast I never knew we had stone circle formations until recently. During a recent visit and looking for somewhere to go our son pointed out these stone circles on a map near Cookstown. I had never been to Cookstown either so we decided to visit.

Cookstown is situated on the West of Lough Neagh, a large inland lake around which are the six counties of Northern Ireland. Any trips we made from Belfast took us either North to Portrush, south to Newcastle, East to Bangor or West to Enniskillen. All of these journeys bypassed the area hidden West behind the lough. So for me it was a trip of discovery.

The town is a delightful broad and long main street with plenty of shops and places to eat on either side. It offers views of the hills in the distance. But it was the mysterious stone circles which had

attracted our attention, and after a short stay in Cookstown we made our way into the hills in search of them. They weren’t hard to find as we soon found the familiar brown signs pointing the way.

The surprise was multiplied when we discovered that this site displayed a whole set of seven stone circles. One was even filled with hundreds of smaller rocks – a depiction of the sky? Some larger stones were arranged in rows rather like a passageway. There is some suggestion that the whole layout describes meteors or comets.

Discovered under a layer of peat in 1940 the stones offer a fascination for ancient historians and megalithic enthusiasts. And many questions arise which remain unanswered. When were the circles build? Who built them? And the biggest question of all – Why were they built? It is pointed out that the site lines up with other ancients sites in the greater region and there are astronomical alignments also. This is no surprise as this is a repeating pattern throughout the planet where such sites align with each other and with the stars.

Were they built to preserve a story of the past, perhaps one of impending danger which they expect to repeat itself in the distant future? Were they built to send a message or make a mark for beings in the sky? Or were they intended to be some kind of communication device? Or perhaps a transportation portal as suggested in my novel “The Giants of Glorborin.”

Whatever their purpose do make an effort to visit the Beaghmore Stone Circles and make up your own mind. What do you think they are? Why do you think they were built? Do you think they were built my dumb stone age humans or some forgotten intelligent civilization? Share your answers in the comments below.

 

 

 

Tick Tock Tear

The following is my result from an exercise at a workshop on dialogue at the Geneva Writer’s Group. A teenage daughter comes home at 3 a.m. and the father is waiting. Here I experimented with both direct and hidden dialogue.

 

“It’s three in the morning.” I wore my big watch, her big clock, with the loud tick, on the table.

“Oh hi Dad. Thanks, I had a good time.”

I rose to embrace. She pulled away.

“Dog’s sniff.”

Our eyes met. She shrugged a wince and yawned, pointing to her room’s door.

I moved in again.

“No sniffing,” I said. This time she received my arms.

“I was just concerned.”

“I know.” The wince became a smile, weak and wet-eyed.

“Glad you’re home.”

She held her hands, fingers agitating, head dropping.

“It was awful.” A tear raced to the floor, silently splattering pain.

An iPhone and Positive Thinking

Currently vacationing in Jakarta, Indonesia, I had a positive experience yesterday after leaving my iPhone behind in a Bluebird Taxi.

What are the chances of finding your phone when left in a taxi? Yesterday my wife and I travelled in a Bluebird taxi to the popular Grand Indonesia Shopping Mall. In the process of switching cables from a booster-battery between phones and paying the driver I got out of the taxi, leaving my phone on the back seat. Three girls wearing Hijab headdress immediately got into the taxi which drove off. Inside the mall is a security scanner. When I went through I searched for my phone only to realise I had left it in the taxi.

I am generally a positive person, and wasn’t ready to accept the loss of my mobile device. The first thing I did was to go outside and find a Bluebird coordinator, a young man with a walkie-talkie. He led me back inside to the Mall’s Concierge service and between them they took the details of the phone, the pickup location and radioed to HQ to locate the driver. The Concierge, a young man who was very positive, assured me that they would find my phone. With nothing else to do but wait we went off to shop.

Then I had the idea of using my wife’s phone to find where my phone was. So I went back to the concierge to show him then I thought I would try to call my phone. The first call wasn’t picked up, but the second call was answered. The kind concierge took the phone and spoke to whoever was there. After some minutes of conversation he told me that a taxi was bringing my phone back to the Mall.

Less than forty minutes later as I went back to check at the concierge’s desk I was told that my phone had been returned. They radioed the Taxi-coordinator who promptly brought me my found phone. What a pleasant experience and an example of positivity. And such an example of normal human honesty.

Did I fear that the Muslim girls who got into the taxi would steal my phone? The thought did occur, but I also thought that these are religious girls, they won’t steal, and they didn’t.

Did I panic? No. That would not have brought any positive results. I left it in the hands of the good people at the Mall and Bluebird Taxi’s and trusted in the process of bringing my phone back to me.

I love examples of human behaviour where people display their natural positive relations with others, where neither religion nor culture get in the way of human love and compassion.

What would you have done? Have you had a similar experience you would like to share?

Thanks again to the Concierge staff at the Grand Indonesia and Bluebird Taxis.

Lost in the Alps

Well I wasn’t exactly lost, just a little disorientated. And it wasn’t exactly the Alps, but close. This is a story of being human.

It all began when I went across the street from where I live in Chur, Switzerland, to the Post Bus station. I was wanting to get a bus to Trin to get my haircut. Sure there were closer hairdressers, but this one was special.

Cavels is run by Carmen, who is the sister on my son Dan’s girlfriend, Nina. Her hair studio was designed and fitted out with the interior design expertise of Dan and Nina. They have a lifestyle shop in Valbella called Vinval. And if you like those websites they were designed by my son Dave at Firn Studio.

This was my first time going to Cavels and to Trin. I have been driven to it and past it but this was the first time I went by myself. Two buses were waiting. One said Trin, the other said Non-stop to Trin-Mulin. So I thought I’d take the quicker bus.

Being the modern traveller I am, I was checking emails on my iphone when I became aware of a tunnel. I knew there was a tunnel and my memory was prodding me that this tunnel actually bypassed Trin. Confused I stayed on when the bus passed the designated Trin-Mulin. OK, I thought, Trin must be next.

No, it wasn’t. Next came Flims. I knew I had gone too far which was confirmed by a quick exchange with the driver who said I could get the next bus back to Trin.

So out I got, watching a bulldozer shovel the last fall of snow into a lorry. The next bus came and in I got. My appointment was in 30 minutes. I’ll make it, I thought, as it only takes a few minutes. Maybe it was the automated announcement in the bus or the internal sign, but something told me that this bus was going through the tunnel. I asked the driver who confirmed. He stopped at Trin-Mulin to let me off.

Now you would think that a place named Trin-Mulin would have some proximity to Trin. Well perhaps if you had a car, but not on foot. With no village in sight I began to walk along the road. It would take twenty minutes at least and time was running short.

Two cars passed by and ignored my thumb. A third, a Range Rover, stopped mid-street, forcing the car behind to stop. The window went down and I asked are you going to Trin. Yes of course she was, that was the only direction and it was only 3 minutes drive away. This was enough time to say that I had an appointment at the hairdresser and, of course she knew exactly where to drop me off. She was a friend and customer of Carmen’s.

So being human can have its challenges, but being human can be uplifting, especially when another human lends a helping hand. Being human is interacting and being friendly with other humans. I was helped. I got to Cavels on time and got my short hair cut shorter. Thank you Carmen. And thank you to the lady who got me there on time.

If you find yourself in Trin call in to Cavels and get your hair done and mention this funny story.

Is there really good and evil?

Featured image: https://flic.kr/p/pTj8dH

Today I saw a post by someone stating that if you believe in things spiritual then you must also believe in good versus evil. She was claiming that Satan was out to get her. Let me be quite frank here, I don’t believe in a personal evil entity as portrayed by our religions.

People often feel that their lives are under attack. They have days where everything goes wrong. They may be living a life where everywhere they go there is disaster and every relationship they enter ends in a catastrophic breakup.

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Many will come out of these situations and thank God for His goodness, but they weren’t so grateful while they were in the darkness. They claim that God is watching over them and taking care of them.

But when things go bad they blame the devil, Satan, that old evil one which their religion has told them is out to get them and make their lives a living hell.

But wait a minute. Is the devil only selective in who he torments? Or is he too busy to bother with those living good lives? Take a step back and look at what is going on. What is the one single common denominator in your life of chaos? If you are facing trials and disasters what one thing is your common companion? God? Satan? Or yourself?

Now, setting aside the conflict situations of our planet, caused not by devils but by men of greed, look at your individual life. Compare how you think and speak about the events in your life. Do you know someone who always seems to have things working out for them? Have a look at how they speak and act. See any correlations?

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Many look on the world through such a negative filter that it is a wonder anything goes right for them. The three monkeys are not just a funny ornament. They remind us that what goes in is what comes out.

If you constantly fill your mind with war and murder through what you watch, listen to and constantly speak and think about bad things, then expect such things to meet you in your life’s journey.

Evil is the lack of good. Evil intentions will bring evil towards you. Doing good is more than a holy religious act, it is an essential ingredient for a healthy and good life.

Don’t get caught in the downward spiral of blaming others, even the devil, for all the bad that happens. Take responsibility and change how you view life, speak and think wholesome things. If you do your health and life will improve accordingly.

“Found Again” is here

I am very proud to release my new novel “Found Again.” It is now available on Amazon and soon in many other stores. Look out for it and let me know where you find it.

Although romance has found its way into my other novels, none have approached it so closely as this one. Hilda’s journey toward her new/old love is one of exciting adventure, danger, doubt and surprise.

As you follow her from the dream which sets her on her path of change to an archaeological dig in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, to Paris, London and Morocco, you find yourself taken back in time viewing past lives through her eyes and feeling through her heart.

“Found Again” challenges its readers to see the world differently to their perhaps pre-conceived perceptions. Have we lived before? Is there such a thing as karma? Are we trapped in circumstances? Can we ever break out and change?

Hilda faces these questions and seeks their answers in “Found Again.” I’d love to here what you think as you read of her adventures. Be prepared for an emotional roller-coaster where you will laugh and cry and maybe even get mad along with Hilda.

Who are the Amazigh?

The main character in “Found Again“, Hilda, remembers a number of past lives, one of these is as a young Amazigh woman in Morocco centuries ago. The Amazigh are the non-Arab, indigenous people of much of North Africa. They are often referred to as the Berbers, which is a name given by the Romans, meaning much the same as Barbarians, and not a name you should use if you befriend an Amazigh.

Who they are

Traces of the Amazigh people goes back more than 10,000 years. The name means “free men” and they were initially mixed with the Phoenicians who traded with them. Later they were conquered by the Romans, subjugated over centuries by the Arabs, and more recently ruled by the Europeans.

The Amazigh actually look very European with blonde and red hair and blues being very common amongst them. Their language is also quite unique and that with their features has linked them to the Basques of northern Spain, Bretons of Brittany and even the Celts including the Helvetics of modern day Switzerland.

These links are suggested by some to originate from the lost land of Atlantis. So are the Amazigh descendants from the sunken island?

Who the are not

It is clear, contrary to some more modern attempts to assimilate the Amazigh into the Arab world, that the Amazigh are not Arab. They have adapted over time the Muslim religion and have been forced over time to learn Arabic, but they remain distinct. Their ancient language and cultures have survived and their language is even taught in schools although this is a more recent development. The flag shown here is a recognised emblem of the Amazigh showing a
letter from their alphabet symbolising a free man.

The Amazigh in “Found Again”

In “Found Again” Hilda meets a few Amazigh girls who invite her to a “Berber Dance.” The word “Berber is used to identify them, even they themselves use it, but they will be quick to correct you if you insist on calling them Berber that they are Amazigh. Hilda also has dreams and remembers a life as an Amazigh girl in an age where Arabs suppressed the Amazigh people.

Today you can be assured that the paler North Africans are most likely Amazigh and not Arab in origin. So when you visit Morocco watch out for the blonde and red-headed locals.

Giving Your Power Away

It is amazing how often we humans give away our personal power to others. We are powerful individual beings and we possess abilities to change the future. So why do many insist in allowing others to make their decisions for them.

Habit

Habit is the most subtle in power stealing. We go on and on through our days in habitual repetition getting nowhere and we make decisions based on habit. You will eat that cereal because you have always eaten it. You will buy that product because your mother and grandmother always bought it. You go to certain places of entertainment because that’s where everyone else goes. You respond in certain ways to situations because that’s the way everyone else responds and it’s how you are programmed to respond through TV and other media.

Peer Pressure

Following what others do is a self-esteem destroyer. You do things and go places, not because you want to, but because you feel obliged. You fear what others might say if you don’t. You trot along like a little sheep afraid to question why you do what you do. Oh it is written, they will say, it is God’s will, they will tell you, it is the right thing to do, they argue. And you listen and follow along and become more and more unhappy.

Religion

You could basically place everything I’ve written so far into this paragraph. Many people give their power away to religion. Religion is used to manipulate their thinking that they fear the consequences of not obeying. What a great way to get people to do things which they don’t want to do. Make them believe in a higher being who naturally has their well-being in mind, but who will obliterate them from the face of the Earth if they dare not believe or do other than what is commanded. Religion destroys our ability to think for ourselves and to look on truths which contradict the religious mindset. It takes away our freedom and God forbid you have any self-esteem.

“Found Again”

Hilda, the main character in the first-person novel, “Found Again“, which I will be publishing later this month (Feb. 2017), struggled with a lack of self-esteem and self-determination. She suffered a life of abuse at the hands of her brothers, uncles, boyfriends and husbands. She constantly wanted the other person to give her the happiness she wanted. She even tried religion and that only made things worse.

Eventually, after a series of dreams and memories from past lives, Hilda began to take her life into her own hands. She understood her personal power and stopped looking for happiness outside of herself.

Read more about “Found Againhere. You can get a free preview copy here.

What are Dreams?

What do you dream about in your sleep? Do you have repeating dreams? Are your dreams pleasant, scary, or just neutral? Have you had anything in your dreams come true afterwards? What are dreams?

Our dreams are still quite a mystery to science. Sigmunddreaming-0 Freud suggests that they are a window into the sub-conscious mind. Scientists haven’t a clue and can only come up with ideas and theories. I don’t claim to know the answer either but in my novels you’ll find that dreams play a significant role. So here is my take on the subject.

My next novel (now in the editing stage – I’ll put the title and link here once that is made public) begins with an actual dream I had. I’ll share that dream in a separate post. In the novel I lend the dream to the main protagonist, Hilda. In her case the dream is a memory of some past life. Is it something from my past? I don’t know. The dream sets Hilda searching for answers and the meaning of the dream.

She has other dreams which are also memories, but one dream, another borrowed from a dream which I had, has her being chased by some guy throwing knives from his lofty throne. This is obviously not a real event and therefore may have some other meaning. Hilda does her own searching for what it may mean for her.

In the Dragons and Visions series, the characters are often in a dreamlike, meditative state. In this state, very similar to dreaming, they encounter dragons and even loved ones who have passed on. They have conversations which they remember afterwards. When dreaming we often do not remember dreaming at all, although it is the common understanding that we always dream.

2015-10-03-1443872687-5396224-luciddreamingwithgalantamine-thumbScience says that dreaming is simply an activity of the mind. Of course their understanding of the mind is limited to their scientific proof. I believe that the mind is multifaceted consisting of the conscious mind, the sub-conscious mind and the super-conscious mind. You may have other names for these but basically they are the thoughts, the feelings and memories, and the higher self. I think that when in sleep we either connect to the memories in the sub-conscious mind or messages from the higher-self.

Your dreams may be memories of your current life, or maybe even memories from a previous life. However your dreams may be a cryptic message from your higher being or from some other person on the other side. Interpreting dreams is the tricky thing and there are many books with suggestions on what symbols and events may mean.

What has your dream experience been? What do you think dreams are?

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