“The Carneeg” – A Novel ‘WE’ Are Writing!

Would you enjoy being part of the creation of a new novel? One that I believe will be a very book-419589_1280big success?  If  your answer is YES, then you are about to join me in its creation! Welcome!

In 2012, I began writing “The Carneeg (c)” based on a dare from a friend who said it could not be done after I explained the premise.  Over the last 5 years, I have had lots of interruptions as I sold my house, my practice and moved to Fl. Since it is 5/2017 and it is not completed that is clear.  Now all these challenges are gone and “The Carneeg” is 60 pages longer that it was in 2012, almost 200 pages total so far.

As I work on the Novel, I intend to keep you updated with what is happening.  What I hope will be the fun part is that you get to comment and offer suggestions and so be part of the insight into what writing an unusual Sci-Fi novel is all about.

Several rulesrules-1752405_1280

  • I will read  all suggestions, but not promise to follow any of them
  • How to share your thoughts: Comments may be added to the page, as almost all pages on this blog allow. You may also send me a private comment at JanrSsor (AT) Gmail.com 
  • I will not tell you the whole story as that would ruin it for you.
  • If I use your suggestion,  or follow anything anyone recommends in this process, you/they are not entitled to any financial compensation or credit. If you feel otherwise, don’t participate.
  • This is an experiment. If I find it less than productive, I may choose to terminate it.

Gimp.writer.creationHere is the story concept:  In reality, Dale Carnegie wrote a book almost as wide read as The Bible.  It is called “How To Win Friends And Influence People.”   If we all followed his suggestions, this would likely be a near perfect world.  I told my best friend, Steve Ross  (a brother by another mother) that I was going to write a Sci-Fi book based on a world that actually followed many of his concepts (sort of) and was near perfect. The catch was it would not be Earth but it might be 🙂    He laughed and said, you cannot do that. Well never tell me you cannot do something!  That makes me want to prove it can be done since I don’t believe anything is impossible.

The growing story now involves several “Nations” that each are their own unique worlds. They are each so unique that they each require their own world building.  It is a very complex and exciting story.  The most fascinating part of its creation is making it possible!  Can I really create a near perfect world?  How different from us would it be? What challenges would they face in being part of our not so perfect universe?  What if you accidentally found yourself there how would you get back home and would you want to? How would a “paradise” come to be in a universe ruled by survival of the fittest?  Could it come about as a result of immense death and destruction?

Lots of these questions have been resolved in the first 200 pages.  Our heros are lost in this world because of an incredible evil that destroyed their world.  What if the evil could follow them here?

Welcome to the writing of “The Carneeg”  (c)  Copyright 5/20/2017  Janr Ssor publications and Dr Joseph A Ross, 15300 Lake Wildflower Drive, Delray Beach, Florida, 33484

 

Memories Of Ex-Cons & Wallkill Prison

Today I got up early today, by my standards, and had two choices eat or write. Since I need to lose weight I thought I would write.  I wrote to a new author colleague of mine, Walt, who grew up in the tough neighborhoods of Cincinnati.  Walt is writing a novel about violent criminals and their experience growing up involved with the Mafia.  I had just recalled my minimal experience with criminals too and wanted to share it with Walt.  This is what I wrote to Walt.

I Just recalled that I had had a minimalist experience of your relationship with violent dangerous people in the late 60’s.  My dad had started a business in Brooklyn NY making the first Plastic Eyeglass lenses in America. We called it Zepher Optical. We needed employees who were trained and my dad knew where to get them and wanted to help them too.

Up near Neuburg, NY was a prison called WallKill where they had a “rehabilitation prowalkill1gram” for training inmates to be Opticians. My dad decided he would only hire Inmates from Wallkill prison if possible. I worked there, over my summer vacation,  as his technology trouble shooter. I spent my days with Bank Robbers, Murderers, and if I am not mistaken a Rapist. These were uniformly “Big” guys but oddly enough the most gentle soft spoken people I can recall ever working with. I spent a summer working with these guys all day every day and I had lunch with one or two of them each day too.

I would NEVER have suspected that any of them would have or could have been violent, callous or cruel from the time we spent together. I became best friends with one guy, also from Wallkill, who worked with me later in another office. His name was Tommy Wise. Tommy had been an Armed Robber and I got to know him far better than any of the other guys as I worked together with for 2 years. We also worked with other ex-cons who graduated from Wallkill on their way to freedom. I loved Tommy like he was my own brother but our paths drifted apart and he ended up on an Island opening his own optical office with a million dollar opportunity.

Tommy called me one day when I lived in Spring Valley, NY and asked me to move to the island and be his partner as the eye doc. He said we would be rich and retired in no time and I bet he was right. He was brilliant and had talent for nearly anything I suspected. I felt that I had to turn him down as my daughter was 6 or 7  years old and I could not picture taking her from her family and friends (which had happened to me too many times growing up). I probably made a bad financial decision.  I never saw or heard from Tommy again.

What amazed me most in retrospect, and I why I wanted to share this story with my new friend Walt, was how much some of these guys had totally managed to change and become powerful and effective citizens in our society. No one would ever suspect their degree in opticianry was earned at the College of hard knocks, Wallkill Prison. To this day, I miss Tommy Wise. I suspect his rebirth was the magic of what still existed back then in America, “Free Enterprise.” Before Tommy vanished to the Islands, I asked him one day, “Would you ever go back to bank robbing?” He looked at me and smiled and said, “No way! What I am getting paid for work today is robbery!  Why should I ever take that risk!” He was right too, he was that good and everyone knew it.

America was and still is the land of opportunity.  Nothings perfect though!

Why Coughing Into Your Elbow Is Wrong

flu-1679104_640THE CDC apparently does poor research! Learn how coughing into your elbow spreads disease! Doubt this?  Just watch someone next to you do this, especially if they have bare arms!  Most of the cough will end up in the air or on you!

Bill Allin: Turning It Around

Why Coughing Into Your Elbow Is Wrong

You likely grew up, as I did, being told to cover your mouth and nose with your hand when you cough or sneeze. That has changed. We are now told to cough or sneeze into the elbow of a sleeve. One commercial currently on television shows a woman carrying a laundry basket and coughing into her shoulder. All in the aid of avoiding the spread of “germs.” Here’s the problem. Rather, a combination of them. Let’s begin with the objective, confining germs that would normally be spread into the air by coughing or sneezing. When you cover your mouth and nose with your hand, you prevent most of what comes out of them from reaching anyone else. Witness the fact that sometimes your hand got a bit wet. (I know, the subject is unpleasant, but the title should have warned you.) When you…

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The Joy Of American Culture – and Its MeetUps

In Europe the “well educated” and those with centuries old ancestry may at times look down on America as neo-nascent, primitive and lacking culture but they are wrong. Our gift of culture is a lack of “being their culture” and an ongoing effort of us to create and re-create ours. Let me explain!

Yesterday I was privileged to host a small MeetUp group of bright diverse thinkers. We meetupcall ourselves M’s Conversationalists. We are one of many others, a phenomenon that is an echo of 1776 as a way of thinking. We are often the echo of openness to diverse cultures that drives people to leave their homes on the other side of the Earth to come and join us. Join us so that they might  experience America. What does this have to do with meetUps?

Consider our small group or another I belong to. In these groups there are what some might call “bleeding heart” liberals,  there are some “staunch” stubborn conservatives, there are Libertarians, there are theists, there are atheists, there are those who chose to seek fun each day,  there are  those who seek complexity and depth and there are even those whose heart is filled with the cultural beauty of their religious heritage but no belief in God himself.  The diversity is astoundingly American.  The tolerance is astoundingly American.  Oddly enough it is not immune to manipulation. It is part of  something recently driven to near civil war by the efforts of “intellectuals elitists”  who think they know so much more than us “average” American people, something they can manipulate via the new media.  This is something that FaceBook, Twitter and the likes does with great power and  deceptive tyranny.

Think of it for just a moment so you can see how our MeetUp can at times be quite the opposite. In FaceBook during the recent election, if you had a strong liberal or conservative viewpoint, many  people succumbed to the desire to “unfriend”  or “mute” the conversations of frequently annoying self-love-65693_640opposing viewpoints (especially those driven by elitist celebrities or right wing extremists). It became tiresome to listen to the statements or see the posted images describing viewpoints that showed Hillary or Trump in ways our “intuition” told us was ridiculous! So little by little people cut off the sounds of voices that challenged their chosen paradigm.  Day after day their discussion room grew smaller and smaller,  and the walls shinier and brighter until all they could see in them was a reflection of themselves kissing themselves for being so right!  This is the frightening and divisive potential side of social media, even in America!  It is how terrorists (Islamic or otherwise) can raise up an Army of fanatics that will kill people of opposing viewpoints.

On the other side there are many Americans who have chosen for centuries to not be deluded by the limitations of cultural, religious, or even intellectual academic arrogance. We called this phenomena America and it is why people still come to us from diverse cultures, religions and thinking.  It is a potential openness to eclectic ideas, diverse art expression, unusual music, varied foods, new cultures and more.  We Americans, in fact, have an appetite for change and a desire to try the new. I believe it is what makes us the most creative nation on Earth and if kept alive, will make us a nation of survivors and leaders that history has yet to know.   But what does this have to do with a a meetup of mostly retired people in South Florida? Everything!

The rules of a good meetup are: civility, tolerance, humor, intelligence, some knowledge, a willingness to think outside the box,  a willingness to think,  a willingness to share and unite-1830758_640defend you opinion, an openness to sharing who you are,  an acceptance of the importance of knowing people who think differently than you do and at least hear their values, certainly an appreciation of the value of change and the courteous patience to listen without interruption.  What comes of this is not that you may change your mind on issues but that you get to know that those who differ with you have as good a heart as you do!  You may also realize that no matter how much you read or think you know, you just may find yourself changing you opinion a year from today. What a great opportunity that is, because it is your choice!

So what is so special about meetUp?  Nothing really, but the people who make its groups are!  It is many American’s who are civil, polite and open to other opinions, knowing that they cannot always be right. It is people who have very opposing opinions, sharing humor and their heart. It is the light heartedness of discussing your favorite food, movie, book or games. It is openness that I believe is unmatched in the rest of the world.

dancing-dave-minion-510835_640In our little corners, we call ourselves M’s Conversationalists.  We are not terribly unusual or unique but we are a meeting that is a short drive for most of us to attend and so there are many interesting people who join us.  I hope many others are sharing this fun and American openness of expression and thinking.

Janr Ssor . . .

………………  To not ignore what others will likely otherwise comment was my omission in writing this is  a sad note for MeetUp.com. They broke with the spirit of their creation by posting #Resist in every MeetUp members face and creating “sham empty” #Resist groups all accross America.  The founders of MeetUp chose to use the financial contributions of its diverse connections and their paid MeetUp organizations money to push MeetUp’s political agenda and opinion.  I hope they will wake up and not become another oppressive media. After all, what makes them think they are so bright as to be right and smarter than many of us,  rather than just another American opinion?……………………

 

 

Would you like your A.I. with or without consciousness?

Google “geniuses” are telling us that we are 12 years away from an A.I. that is more “intelligent” than human beings. What does this mean?  Are they right?  In common use, people define the word intelligence with many different expectations despite how dictionaries try to expound upon its classical definition.  Intelligence is a word invented by academics to explain a predictable phenomena that can be graduated like a fever thermometer. Its most succinct definition reads as follows “the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills.”  I like that  definition as it is easy to utilize.  However, defining I.Q. in this way fails our unconscious expectations of its application being performed judiciously. So it fails  us seriously when that it does not encompass creativity and other facets of applying knowledge such as doing so in a way that does not create collateral damage. Consider as an example the hand-1571851_640wonders of pharmaceuticals that stop one disease and create two or three new issues…. you know what I mean, you see the commercials. We all wonder if this is intelligence.  At least some times it seems to be so when an antibiotic works and saves your life.  Of course if a fluoroquinolone and your tendons tear from its use crippling you, you are not quite as pleased.

People born with higher I.Q.s do learn faster, in some cases much faster.  They can often apply what they learn quickly and even effectively.  If we create and A.I. that can learn and apply what it has learned quickly and effectively will that mean in is smarter than a human?  Of course we now have to define “smart.” I chose smart, for fun, and because that grasps the popular meaning of intelligence that is more generalized.

Actually I am skeptical that we will have a “true” A.I. anytime soon, at least the type that Isaac Asimov wrote about and endeared his readers to. Isaac’s robots were “smart” and very humanoid.  Isaac’s A.I.s duplicated humanity and is some ways outshined us. They were not only Artificial Intelligences but they were conscious and supremely ethical as required by Asimov’s 3 laws of robotics: A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law. 

But lets get back to consciousness and try to define it. What is consciousness? We see it often defined as “the state of being awake and aware of one’s surroundings.” I prefer to think of it as being aware that I am regardless of whatever surroundings I may find myself in. This harkens back to the famously debated statement, “I think, therefore I am.”  Here, thought is used as a proof of one’s existence and perhaps mindfulness. Proving to oneself that you exist is also consciousness as I see it.  Can we create consciousness or is that “God given” only via a soul as some think?

We already have the ability to create sensory apparatus and motorized limbs that can closely duplicate many human physical endowments. What is appears to be lacking is the intellectual gifts that make a physical being animate itself. When we have the possibly soon to come capacity of creating nearly infinite memory with a holographic compression tool and a possible subatomic substrate, we will be one hand-697264_640step in the direction of creating the Asimov like A.I.  However, nearly endless memory is not enough. Human memory is prodigious and likely soon matched but it will not create self cognizance.

Perhaps what we now need is to add problem solving. As we grow from childhood to maturity our ability to solve problems grows with our experience. We come into this world programmed with the rudimentary skills to do this and we add to it with age and experience.  This can be programmed. What is left now to create a Asimov like A.I. may be consciousness?

When I say “I think therefore I am” it implies that I have a reason to think and this may be consciousness.  However if you mix memory with problem solving skills (a definition of intelligence) it is not likely to get up and fix your car without commands to do so.  It is not self commanding, so to speak.  What makes us self motivating?  At first blush this is quite simple, human need. A piece of metal and crystal with computer form has no clear needs; humans do. But what if it had? Would it become conscious?  We frail humans have many needs. Some of the more obvious are: food (fuel), shelter (pain avoidance), companionship and emotional gratification.  Would giving this to a computer create consciousness?  We could do this!

A computer could have pain sensors helping it avoid damage. Our cars already do in the form of crash detectors. Our cars also know when they are low on fuel, their food. Our A.I. with these skills might now avoid rain, walking into deep water and running out of fuel. It will to some extent be self activating but not conscious. What if we programmed it with a need to have companionship and to see the benefits of working in teams with beings like itself? It could be programmed to “instinctively” form robot tribes to protect itself from the pain of destruction by competitive A.I.s eagle-1245681_640who might take its fuel and shelter if these needs were in short supply.  It would likely now be more self activated but still not conscious. What now if we add emotional needs? It is quite possible to program an inner pain when other A.I.s out perform it in group activities such as searching for fuel etc.  We could even program in some “boasting” into
A.I.s that would create “jealousy” in other A.I.s.  We could in fact, create “pride feelings” in those who achieve more. We could program in competitiveness too, perhaps as a desire to soar with the eagles.  However it is not likely to lead to self awareness.  What is still missing?  How about death?

We could design in an inevitable death in which the CPU-Mind simply degrades and stops functioning as a process of memory overloading or randomness inherently created by the repetitive use of its subatomic substrate. In other words it wears out at the subatomic level by being overwhelmed from its self created complexity.  If you don’t like this cause, we can come up with another one more suitable however the bottom line is it dies.  How will this affect possible consciousness?  The A.I. might begin to seek solutions to this issue, it could be self activating all the time.  Is that consciousness?  How about if we make it possible for the A.I. to have sex with an opposite sex A.I. to reproduce itself. Could we also create in its mind a sense of woman-1339124_640family and the special value of family?  Consider that we know trees do this!  Why not A.I.s?  We could even make it possible that each A.I. inherit certain A.I. characteristics from a parent A.I., like genetics. Successful A.I. lives could modify genes so that those inheriting them would be more likely to succeed at survival and reproduction. Would this now endow the A.I. with human consciousness like behavior?   I suspect we are getting close. The sexual behavior could also be sensually and emotionally rewarding so as to be a positive motivating experience as it can be for humans. It could also be only occasionally productive by programming.  The desire for sex would also end with the climax so that the A.I. would not be stuck in a pleasure seeking loop.  We could put this all under the control of a chemical charging system that creates urgency as charge builds in a system much like hormones. It might even be connected to the cycles of the moon and the timing created by the rhythm of the Schumann Resonance.  In this way the “need” to attempt reproduction (sex) would not be a constant.  The A.I. could be programmed to recognize its “child” as its link to immortality and a strength added to its tribe, since death is inevitable.

crucifix-1802224_640We should also create an intellectual skill allowing an A.I. the ability to “put itself in another A.I.’s shoes.” This could be the beginning of compassion and sensitivity. This ability to feel another’s pain, especially at death would add an appreciation for life and perhaps an urgency to live it well. With this programmed, an A.I. might one day say, “let he who has not sinned cast the first water!”

Would we now have consciousness?  It is beginning to me to look like the A.I. will behave in a conscious fashion. Would it now begin to wonder if it will have an existence after “death?” We could of course program an electromagnetic transport for an archive of its experience to a cosmic archive. From this archive we might even pass its experience to a subsequent generation of its family, though placing it at a lower subconscious level of mental access to increase its likelihood of survival after “birth”  or to create new born prodigies.

I think at this point the A.I. will be like Asimov’s.  Will it be conscious?  I am not sure but it makes me wonder if we are too!

 

 

God Is NOT Dead! Science Found Him.

Here is a humorous, but not deeply thought out cartoon strip (on YouTube) that its creator believes proves there is no God. To me however it proves that its author, who appears creative,  has  no great intelligence spent on this project of disproving God. This cartoon assumes the logic that infinities have limits that are “kind of far off.”  You
colliding-spiral-galaxies-604173_640blow up one God and his or her infinity and that God finds itself in the next layer above, where a greater God reigns.  This is “silly” but the author feels it disproves God’s existence, since God cannot just come from nowhere (well at least so the author thinks). The cartoon is arguing that if God created us, who created God? The author feels that there is no ultimate God who Created God and so the concept of God is illogical.  This is the limited and curious nature of human logic when trying to understand the infinite.  It is, to me, an illogical and silly argument. Spinoza did not worry about this and perhaps rightfully so, but being human, I am not sure as I am limited by my knowledge.  On the other hand, I can derive a lot from what I do know and doing so offers interesting possible explanations..

In defining the Ultimate Substance (God?)  Spinoza left out nothing. As a result all dimensions of reality are included whether higher or lower.  Infinity can be both infinitely large and infinitely small (it defies logic but seems to make intuitive sense).  How does this make for a “consciousness” of God like proportion?  I am not sure that that question even makes sense for mere mortals like me to ask.  However, intuitively we can extrapolate from what we are learning through science (yes science) and see the line that the dots connect and where it takes us.  Let’s try that for a moment.
Consider that we know that the lightning phenomena  Schumann Resonance creates Brain
sky-1662469_640Entrainment and Affects our Psychobiology.  This means that our minds basic resonance, was likely established by our interaction with the Earth’s very sky high electromagnetic discharge layer;  our brain functions are electromagnetically connected to the Earth!   Sun cycles, seasons, affect human sleep cycles, our basic physiology and mind.  The moon’s gravitational wave probably affects human mood as it does the tide of the ocean (though still debated, most of us see its proof on the day of a full moon).  The biome of the Earth (if Monsanto doesn’t poison it) is the basis of our life generating ability to eat food from the Earth. In fact there are more Earth Bacteria than genetic cells in our bodies!  So, our brains are connected to the Sky electromagnetically and our bodies are connected to the ground of Earth biologically.   WE are connected to the Earth in ways we may never have imagined!  Our skin is not the boundary of our bodies as we like to think. There is LOTS more to this.
Ok…. so that is our first dot on our graph soon be drawn. Now consider that the interaction of the sun, even though 93 million miles away, affects our survival and may in fact also alter our genetics through energetic waves that reach us.  All the planets in the solar system affect all of the rest by gravitational effects.  In essence, the whole darn solar system is connected with mathematical precision and communicating with each other by gravitational tugs of war.
Moving on we find that there is strong evidence that every galaxy (we are part of one) has a black hole at its center. A hole that creates an infinity……   This massive “hole” connects the whole galaxy together in a mathematically perfect communication of space-time distortion (our vortex like Galaxy) and rules of interaction and function (which just may black-hole-92358_640be life at a level too big for us to comprehend!). You’re questioning this life assumption of life…? We recently learned that all the trees we cut down have families and know their children and relatives.  We also learned that they communicate via fungal rhizomes which are like their Internet. The communication allows one tree to talk to another at a distance and ask for nutritional help and receive it…. in proportion to how related they are (just like human families).  If trees can talk why not planets?  You say trees don’t have brains? Yes, but they apparently don’t need them! In fact slime molds, also without brains, learn! This is redefining intelligence.   When Einstein said we only know 1% of what there is to know, he was being way too egotistic!
 
Moving down the ladder in size do not forget that bacteria are NOW known to communicate and wage war much more effectively than we can as human armies.  we call it Quorum Sensing but keep in mind it is Communication and Cooperation. Moving even further down, we discover that entangled atomic particles can communicate at any distance instantaneously … even if we cannot yet figure out how to use that for ourselves without disentangling them.  In essence, there is no speed limit on data in the universe nor does the universe conceive of distance as the limitation it appears to be for us humans! If there is no distance when it comes to entangled particles communicating,  God would have no limits in his reach even assuming he had to follow his own laws.
I think we have a several dots on our graph now.  What does this tell us?    It tells us how little we know about the “size” of sentient beings!  It tells us that our boundaries are not our skin but our planet, our solar system our galaxy, our universe and possibly infinity.  It tells us that intelligence and communication are not just the province  of human beings; but, likely something the entire Galaxy does in one way or another (and don’t expect the understanding of the language of Stars anytime soon as their longevity and environment makes it pretty close to impossible to ever grasp..maybe).
So what is the point of this discussion and graphing the ever expanding human knowledge of how the universe communicates? It is to say that this graphical path very likely points at angel-749625_640God. God being a “being” of infinite size, infinite power and infinite knowledge.  In fact the dots point to logical and meaningful communication at every level of scale we can imagine and that hints at intelligence and NOT simple mechanical interaction.  At least if we are intelligent (and that assumes a lot) the infinite God is far beyond us.  God is not likely a woman wearing a stunning white robe who passes judgment on us….. but I cannot be totally sure as I am human and limited….. I think.
In any case, it appears we have just found God. Name him / her what you will, but I will argue that God clearly lives and exists.  Oh yes, and that this God needs no creator since it is the sum total of all…..
PS:  OK…. I hear an objection as to what created all from nothing. The answer is nothing!  You certainly cannot deny that there is something here like maybe you and I?  Think about it, without something you cannot have nothing so existence may be like everything else we perceive, a sine wave.  There are sine waves for all electromagnetic radiation, hot and cold,  dense and vacuum, loud sound and quiet, if so why not a sine wave of nothing and everything?  Your disbelief and my belief create reality we are just looking at it in different cycles. So you are just coming through in waves, your lips move but I cannot hear what you say!  
Janr Ssor

Discovering The Touch – a short story

Janr’s mind, clinging to oblivion, vaguely began to sense that his whole body was caught in a taut muscular arch insisting upon continuation.  As the reluctant fog slightly cleared from his mind he universe-1044107_640realized he was stretching his lower back,  cramped from a night of being forced to sleep on the hard unfolded convertible couch. He tried ever so gently to initiate a meditative relaxation, to avoid consciousness, but it was futile. The soft rain of his intentions to sleep made the fertile soil of his mind yield a garden of sprouting questions as to why. Consciousness was about to bloom despite his best efforts. Even with years of meditation experience, its narcotic like balm could still be elusive.

He did not want to awaken, even to daydreams he might control, reality today was just too cold and empty! Childhood had been just around the corner and now he was 70 years old and remembering.  This particular remembering was just too painful and confusing.  What had happened to his mind years ago?  Were his emotional daydreams  of pre-adolescence really reborn childhood memories that he had long ago buried to help keep his sanity? He closed his eyes in one last attempt to avoid full consciousness but thoughts that had just broken soil were now tall plants growing and blossoming all around him. His memories of childhood were rapidly filling the landscape and converting the desert plain into what he now recalled looked like the dense Everglades back in the 60’s when he had moved to Miami, Florida. Consciousness was the sunlight illuminating their time-lapse like photographic growth.  There was nothing he could do about it.

strangler.fig.goole.for.ruesHe wondered, was this experience something that happened to your brain about this time in life,  when you were 70 or so years old?  Like it or not memories long buried with intention, no matter how strong that intention, would blossom into being or depending on their content crawl from their graves like strangling vines that could not rest in peace.

One such vine like memory engulfed a tree,  soon  its dendritic crawlers found other trees and quickly they networked to claim a forest. The vines were memories,  the reborn but familiar memories of alien thoughts, alien sensations, alien amusement that he sensed as a child. He was just in middle school when it began. He still recalled resenting it!  He mentally dug in the soil to unroot them but out came more vines painting pictures of the invasion that other young people did not appear to sense and he wondered why did they not perceive it? Were they blind or where they just lying about their telepathic skills for some reason?  Was this knowledge not allowed for children? Would they admit it when he was older?

The vines blossomed and their hypnotic scent took over Janr’s thoughts. Wondering ceased and he was young again. He was walking down the street called Calle Doce De Octubre in Hato Rey, Puerto Rico with the Sun just coming up on his left.  Mitsy was tugging excitedly at the 5 foot chain on her body harness as she sought the next blade of grass with a message from another dog. As he looked down the street to his right he could see 12 year old  Lecticia Delacruz swinging up and back on the porch swing chair in the front of her home.  As he watched her long brown curly hair float in the breeze of her movement, he wished he could be there with her.  She had been suddenly friendly to him when Janr came to call on Junior, her brother, to go out and fly kites.  She had in fact hung around them and tried to distract Janr from his kite flying.  She had snuck up and tickled him,  run by and pulled the kite string making it dance and even tossed water at him from her refilled soda bottle. It had made no sense until today.  Today as he watched her long legs stretch forward and backward to propel her chair he noted her skirt rise in the breeze and had a funny unfamiliar hunger creep through his body. For some reason he just wanted to be on the chair with her and gently touch those long muscular legs. He was embarrassed by these odd thoughts he had never contemplated before and would not share them; however his privacy would soon be invaded!

As images of his hand gently caressing the sensuous curved muscles of her thighs imagined themselves into being so did another uninvited energy.  He had sensed this intrusion before, it was like someone uninvited looking over your shoulder. He was awakening to the annoying sixth sense of being watched in a secretive fashion. He was too young to put it into adult words but he too had been the secret observer himself at times. Janr then recalled such an incident. When watching birds flying overhead, he had wished he could see through dove’s eyes as they soared above the palm trees and then it had happened, he did!  He recalled walking Mitsy as he was doing now doing and feeling her wet nose touch the blades of grass. Then the world would burst into a kaleidoscope of  dogs of many shapes and forms until Mitsy found the one who had left the message.  This thought lead to another reminding him of the night before. He recalled being half asleep under the mosquito netting hanging from his bedposts.  His body’s  muscles were heavy with oncoming sleep but his mind still alert. It was then he sensed something flittering through his mind with the gentle touch of a butterfly, it was looking at his day’s memories. With fascination, he watched it watching him and he was able to sense its thoughts.  It wondered what were the picture images of his days experiences and what sort of anatomical feature could allow such perception?  It wondered what his hands were like to use and what they would have sensed if they had touched the other beings body? Then it sensed Janr watching it and it was gone!

Janr told his mom the next morning about his dream. She said, it was a family thing to have odd and creative dreams. She said to just ignore them and they would go away. As Janr ate his Corn Flakes and slices of fresh cut mango, he recalled his mom playing with the Ouija WeeGee Board and somehow he knew it would be a long time if ever before the odd sensations of being watched went away.

Janr had buried these memories with exquisitely complex mental tools, developed over years of effort as he had searched for how to mentally survive this intrusion on his privacy.  He had succeeded until this morning.

With the reemergence of his childhood memories, creative concepts to explain the new reality he lived in burst into being as did imaginative solutions to his potential new dilemma. He chose not to worry, after all it did no good, and brushed these thoughts aside. Then he  recalled just a few years back lying on his chiropractor’s adjustment table. There was a hot pack on his lower back ButterFly.Onlyas he waited the ten minutes for her return. It was then he sensed the old familiar touch of a mental butterfly wing but this time it was different! This time the being asked for permission to view his memories.  It was an older man who loved the lady who was Janr’s friend and chiropractor. He sensed Janr’s compassion for his daughter’s current plight and it was this knowledge he was seeking. Janr was sure there was no danger and so he acquiesced, after all this was not an invasion it was a pleading request. The being looked through Janr’s memories of that afternoon with Anne, the chiropractor, and then smiled and thanked Janr, though he had no physical face to smile with.

When Anne returned to complete the treatment, Janr chose to risk sharing his experience with Anne. They had known each other for 20 years and she would know he was not crazy. In addition they were both part of an alternative healing group and were open to new ideas that might lead to healing.  After he told her about his psychic experience, Anne told Janr that her father who was also her bookkeeper for many years, had died nearly a year ago to that date.  He had died at a time when Anne’s associates had bankrupted her practice, her husband had left her alone to support three children and her home had burned down.  He had been concerned for her future and now perhaps he would rest in peace knowing of her rising from the ashes of disaster like the mythological Phoenix.

TheTouch.Butterly.Starburst.highRes.Radio.Image.pngJanr had slowly learned from these kinds of experiences. He now realized that disembodied travelers could not control a body, as learning to use muscle that was not yours was very complex. They also could not see through eyes that were not theirs.  All they could do was look at your memories and wonder, if you let them. He decided to stop fighting off the growing forest of old memories. Seventy years later, he did not feel invaded, he now had mastery of his mind and could invite or deny; he wondered what it would be like to again soar with the Eagles?

———————————————

Did you enjoy this paranormal experience?  If so read The Touch, now on Amazon.com.

Janr

The Taking Of America 1 2 3

THE GIFT OF CULTURAL DIVERSITY IS FOR PEOPLE NOT CORPORATIONS. 

We have all heard a story that begins like this: “When they came for the Jews, I stood silent, When they came for the Gypsy’s, I said nothing, Now their coming for me; who will stand up for me?”

In very few words this historical reminder of Germany’s greatest failure, reminds us of a similar experience and one of the reasons our founding fathers formed America. Our nation was to be a cohesive nation made strong, not weak, by our differences! We would respect the minorities and treat them as equals. We chose to do this for selfish reasons as well as idealistic ones. One of these selfish being our own protection, as the German story reminds us. Of course we, in our great experiment with democracy, have learned of many more reasons to be diverse.

In the poem, “I hear America Singing,” by Walt Whitman, we discover some of the magic that professional diversity affords us. Each industrious worker is seen doing his job. As Americans we should remember the different nations that joined us each bringing their unique skill. This is the key to our longevity and what has made us greater than any other nation on Earth!

Since I was a little kid, I heard stories of the Mohawks who helped build skyscrapers. In 1886, a Canadian company, building a bridge over the St. Lawrence river discovered the Mohawk’s fearless nature, when they hired them to help build the bridge. The Mohawks climbed steel like it was second nature. When a span collapsed killing 30 of their tribesmen, they came in greater numbers seeing it as a challenge not a failure.

About half of the 19th century Italian immigrants were laborers, compared to 1/3 of the Irish and Germans. Contracted out by professional labor brokers known as “Padrones” they dug tunnels, built bridges, laid tracks and helped build skyscrapers. In Chicago over 90% of the steel workers were Italians.

Each nation brought its skills and the blessings of its unique gene pool and culture. The Jews became lawyers, doctors and business owners. The Irish made our cities safe as, policemen, firemen and other city workers. The list goes on and on…

But back to the story of “When they came for the Jews…” President Eisenhower warned us to beware of the “Military Industrial Complex.” He was warning us of the dangerous political influence that corporate America had discovered was within its grasp. He was warning us that we needed to stay true to our principles by keeping the values of our founding fathers, our Judeo-Christian values.

Now nearly a quarter of a century back, corporate America was noting that it could not balance its books, when it kept its contractual obligations to its employees. For example, GM had promised to be the healthcare “god” to its workers and this expenditure was now causing them to pass along too much of this financial burden to car buyers. Many corporations were guilty of this as well, as in promising retirement plans they could not afford later. Our Government was one of the very worst of those in promising both to its employees and then passing along this unearned expense to taxpayers.

In the Clinton era, an unholy alliance was forming. Corporate money for elections, if you take the burden off the corporate books and put it on the taxpayers! Hillary could now smell election victory as the first female president; all she needed was healthcare reform.

Government should be about doing the right thing for the people but, it has become about getting re-elected and serving whatever master has the most money. This it turns out, is the corporate alliance that Ike warned us about. As a result, the medical profession, then made of loosely knit organizations of individual entrepreneurs became their target. The real issues of health care reform and efficiency were never tackled because it dealt with death and dying. Death and dying means dealing with religious values as well as philosophical ones, which are hard to face and too easy to skirt. A huge majority of healthcare expenses comes from what we call “heroic” efforts to keep the sick, dying, very old alive. This effort often ends in their suffering a degrading death at the hands of too many technicians and doctors. Witness to this is in the form of the ever growing number of Living Wills, Do Not Resuscitate Agreements and Health Care Proxys.

The doctors of America were the ideal target for corporate savings; they were small business owners and had no unions to defend them.. Over the next quarter century doctors were then bled into bankruptcy. As a result, individual doctors, practicing privately, are now a rarity. Doctor’s incomes have dropped so significantly, thanks to corporate run managed care, that the majority of doctors are part time mom’s or foreigners from impoverished nations such as India (not to say the Indians are not excellent doctors).

In every song we need a refrain that repeats, so here it comes again. “When they came for the Jews…” Are you beginning to see that pattern of history?

The corporations next discovered that they could make more money if they hired foreigners from third world nations and yet still claimed to be American companies. They claimed to be American companies to keep all the benefits of your paying for their defense with your life should they be threatened. Of course your life would not matter as they fired you and hired the workers overseas. Oh yes, they would bribe you with the short sighted benefit of low cost Chinese products,  until your bank account ran out. Soon you and your neighbors lost their jobs and were forced into low paying service jobs at Home Depot or Walmart to sell the foreign products that were putting you out of work.

More recently the government has decided that the taxpayers should pay for corporate failures by being obligated to pay for corporate financial losses and fraud.

Lets try the refrain again with a little update, “When they came for the Doctors, I stood silent, When they came for the blue collar workers, I said nothing, Now they are coming for me; who will stand up for me?”

When you laugh at the disorganized rag tag protestors of “Wall Street.” Remember you are part of America and their concerns are in many ways yours. If you are an aging Hippy or a proud Viet Nam era vet note that you are not dead yet. America is not dead yet. America gains its power from diversity not homogeneity. Before they take America, take it back! Overcome the illusions of disagreement and remember that we are all in this together and for Each Other. Corporations and Governments are soul-less institutions that have taken over the rights of God’s children.  Trump promised to bring business back to America to employ Americans and he promised to keep the influence of government for the people, by the people and of the people (not corporate bribes to congressmen).  Let’s see that Trump keeps his promises and not let the media divide Americans.

I believe our founding fathers would organize against the corporatocracy that has taken over America, what about you?  Hold Trump to his promises and stay united for all.

…Janr Ssor

 

Joy, Hope And The Plasticity Of People

At a social meetup called “Coffee and Conversation”  I had way too much fun last night (if coffeconversationthere is such a thing as too much fun). It made me think a lot all the way home.  I thought about 3 things: My brother in law’s visit,  what made this MeetUp gathering so much fun and that there might be hope for America despite what appears to be the immaturity of Millennials.

I was given the opportunity of hosting the social meetup, because Mike (the usual host) was not available for personal reasons and Marty who founded the group asked if I would help. The meetup is simple. All those attending are asked to write a questions on provided paper squares (like secret messages we passed in middle school) and add  the folded surprise questions to one of two ziploc bags labeled:  “Current Events” or  “Fun Topics.”

The host (me last night) then passes the bags to a person next to them who gets to choose a question from either bag.  The host then times them giving them 2 minutes to respond. Others just listen and do not comment. The Same Question, goes around the table where all are seated and each person gets  up to two minutes to comment. If they choose not to comment the bags of questions moves on to the next person. When it gets back to the person who chose it originally, the floor is open to for discussion should the group desire. There is one unspoken rule…. treat everyone and their opinions with respect whether yrespect.jpgou agree with them or not! What is this event? Is it a game? Is it rules for polite conversation? Is it a social gathering? Is it conversation for intellectuals?  To me it is a little of all and more as it engenders a lot of fun and a  potential creation of friendship and camaraderie among all types of interesting informed people.  It seems to attract a wonderful variety of people whose tolerance and respect for others in conversation, should be a model for our nation’s future growth.

One question, at last night’s gathering, that took me by surprise read “What was the best thing that happened to you this last week?”  I could not answer it at first, though I picked it from the bag, so I chose not to answer then  but to pass it to my left to Gerrie and then answer it when it came back to me and I had more time to think (another rule: you may pass on a question if you wish).  Listening to my companions share their experiences reminded me of what I would like to share (attitude) so I did when the question finally came back to me. I talked about my Brother-In-Law, Jose.

This is what I said in response to the paper question: About four years ago, Jose’s wife had a stroke. It left her with a paralysis of the left side of her body (she was left handed) and it motivation-2084506_640left Jose with a major challenge at nearly 70 years of age. However, Jose is a model of the potential plasticity of human beings (their resilience) and, to me, one of my heroes in life!  Jose and his wife Margie came to stay with us for a weeks invited vacation at our cozy 2 bedroom villa in Florida (they live in NJ).  When we took them to the airport a week later, on the way home I had trouble not crying. I already missed them too much!  Jose, who always loved people and being an entertaining host, taught me a lot about enjoying life, every day.  Jose never complained about the extra work he had to assume to help his wife dress, walk, shower etc., no he actually made it mostly fun.  Jose and I like to cook so we cooked nearly everything (we never ate out) together in the kitchen and had a great time together doing it (I was the sous chef).  We took long walks together,  when my wife gave Jose a break  from his well accepted responsibility as she spent time with her sister (his wife). We had a lot of fun talking as we walked for miles around our community. We had a dance party one evening at our community social center and there you could see the magic that Jose had created.  Though his wife could not truly “dance” fluidly (as she had to drag one leg and hold on to him for support) he got her up on the dance floor many times and held her hand while dancing with twice as much enthusiasm. He had his joy reflected back at him by the unceasing laughter and smile on her face.  When she was tired and sat one out or if the music was just “too fast,”  Jose often got up on the floor near her and danced with her walking cane (without being shy)  and made her and everyone around laugh with his very apparent enthusiasm (at making his wife smile).  His enthusiasm for life and joy in living was contagious!  By the end of the evening, out of the hundred or more people at the event, many had come up to ask Jose to move to the community as they needed him there!  Others had asked us to see if we could talk him into moving to our community. I wanted him and Margie to move down here too!  It was no wonder that when we left him off at PBI airport and drove home, the air seemed to have been sucked out of the room in the car. My wife and I have a good relationship and we have fun neighbors and what I would call a good life. We are blessed; however, Jose had taught us all something. It was the plasticity of enthusiastic people who rose to the challenge of what others called pain and suffering and turned it into joy. Not that he does not get tired, not that he does not have challenging  moments; however, he has chosen joy and surely makes that his life!

So what made the MeetUp fun?  It was the attitude and intentions of the people sitting at the table with me. Like Jose, they decided that life would be fun, they chose to not let unity-1767694_640anyone’s opinions be cause for negativity but rather an opportunity to learn. They chose to treat each other with respect and Always Be Positive (an unspoken rule). They chose to talk from their heart with integrity and in so doing engender trust and respect from others attending.  They chose to be light hearted and find the best they could. At that particular meeting, I don’t believe anyone choses “current events.”  We were all tired of the political divisions that the media and elitist celebrities have been beating America with for months, since Donald Trump’s election.  It was a good decision for all of us.  However, even when we do choose “current events” which is most often the choice,  this group has learned to discuss important issues in a positive and respectful manner.  If anyone cannot follow this rule (and that is very rare), they are politely asked to change their attitude or not return. In 6 months of attending, this has only happened once.

Finally how is there hope for Millennials and America?  From what I have seen of Millennials (in my case being a senior citizen it is mostly from the media) they are not impressive. They seem to have lost the “Power Of Positive Thinking”  and dwell in fear, anger, anxiety and frustration. They could use a lesson from Jose about how to deal with change in a positive way,  one that too many parents and college professors seem to have let die years ago. Yes, a reward for “showing up” is illogical!  They don’t seem educated despite attending educational institutions for that purpose. They also don’t seem to have the communication skills and social graces to lead a nation. They cannot even talk to each other over dinner  as they would rather text each other while sitting at the same table.  On the other hand, each generation seems to be molded by the challenges of its times. It makes them often look odd and clumsy to their older fellow Americans,  those of the last generation.  This made me think about how my father could not understand my generation, which seemed infected with the dream state of the “The Hippies.”

Driving home from the meetUp, I thought about how odd the millennials were from my perspective as a baby boomer. Some that I knew told me they did not date, Yikes that shocked me! They did not have girlfriends, they did not “go steady” and they did not plan on marrying or rushing to have kids as we did.  Instead they met on social media and sent message to each other painted with Pound signs like ” #BORED,   what should I do?‘ ”  On the the other hand the millennials have adapted to change with plasticity that is inborn in youth and fought for by adults.  They use social media (despite its horrific illusions and deceit) to form groups and keep in touch in some ways.  They use their phones almost like a rudimentary telepathy to track and share what is going on in each others life so they don’t ….miss out.  Many of them still “go out” in groups and dance together, though that millenials-smartphonemay be becoming more of a GenX phenomena.

Years back, Orson Scott Card wrote the Sci-fi book Ender’s Game. It was a story of how a teenager who was good at playing war games was seduced by the military to join a “competition of gamers to end all games.”  In reality the war game he thought he was playing on simulators was a real war and the alien race of insect like creatures (the misperceived enemies) he succeeded in annihilating were a real live civilization!   In essence, his growing up a a nerdy gamer, empowered his civilization to win a war against what was perceived as dangerous enemies.  The lesson?  Growing up different is a way to adapt to a changing technological and cultural environment.  Because it is different from the last generation does not make it wrong or weak, it just makes it strange. Yes they do appear as cry babies but we will see what happens when push comes to shove and they must make it in the real world (out of college).  I would not write them off too quickly.  On the other hand, in Ender’s Game the reality was that because of barriers to communication and cultural misunderstanding, Earth did not recognize that the Aliens were capable of  peaceful interaction with humanity. We missed out on an opportunity to expand our horizons and share knowledge with a whole new life form. It concerns me that communication via FaceBook, Twitter and other media may do the same for our nation, especially as it is more and more in the hands of Millennials. At the same time, if we baby boomers could detach from our TVs and TV Dinners to date, dance organize and keep America running, perhaps the same will be true for the most recent generation.  Keep your fingers crossed and be positive!