Tag Archives: life

Anxiety Disorder

anxietycartoonnourlforweb450pxHello All,

I promise that I am working on the next installment of my story, The Nietzsche Files.  But, I wanted to share that I have been going through a weaning period off my medication.  Two years ago I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder.  It is a very real problem and many people in the world suffer from some variety of anxiety. And to be honest, this is one of the major reasons I’ve never done a public appearance to promote my books.  Whenever focus is on me in a large group, I shut down.  I also prefer to text with people rather than talk on the phone.  It takes me a long time to get up the courage to actually meet someone face to face, or talk to them on the phone.  Once I feel comfortable, then I can talk your ear off.

Unfortunately, the medication I take has a high addiction rate, even though I’m not taking a high dosage — Klonopin.   This particular benzodiazepine — street name “benzos” — has nasty side-effects.  This is also becoming a serious problem for people who take it as recreational drug.  It is quickly becoming a new form of heroin.   And, like heroin, it takes its toll on the body and some damage can become permanent.

When I started to notice side effects, I went to my doctor and we both decided that it was time to wean myself off of them  — more drugs was not an option for me.  You can’t just quit them cold turkey because there can be dire effects — seizures, sickness, severe depression and suicidal thoughts.  Luckily, the only effects I am suffering from are hand tremors, anxiety episodes and lack of energy.  I will be off the pills in 75 days.

So this has caused me to be erratic with my social media and interactions with people.   Some days I just lay on the couch and stare at nothing.  But as the days go by I’ve learned other coping mechanisms — breathing, meditation, cutting out things that incite anxiety.  I am finally getting to a place where I can deal with it.

But this post is not about my personal struggle, I say it as a warning to anyone else who falls into the clutches of this drug, or any of its many siblings.  While it allows one to function, it eventually will require more of your soul to continue to “help you cope”.  Unfortunately, there are people who have disorders far worse than me.  I know too many people who have been subjected to terrible things.  I know too many people with PTSD and they’ve either chosen to medicate with alcohol or with drugs such as the one I am leaving behind.  Some are so medicated, they can’t function daily.  I know people, despite the drugs, that still can’t overcome their anxiety.

Another aspect to consider is that we are constantly bombarded with commercials for drugs.  We are being taught that better living can only be achieved through chemistry.  We are even being told that its okay to medicate our children, rather than face the problems head on.  Now this is not to say that all drugs are bad, some are absolutely necessary.  People do have maladies that require medication so that they can survive.  However, in my humble opinion, when it comes to maladies of the brain, we really need to be careful jumping right to drugs.  As I’m finding, the anxiety I was experiencing just required me to be more mindful of my surroundings and knowing myself.  I can overcome it, and I know that those who are suffering as I am, can also overcome.  It takes an understanding from the people around you, believing in yourself, and just taking every day as it comes.

My advice, and it is only from my own personal experience, is this; Identify what causes your anxiety and is it really worth worrying about?  Once you identify what causes your anxiety, you just have to work on dealing with it in a productive way.  That may require counseling or a support network.  There are ways to deal with anxiety without having to resort to pills.  The first step is simply learning to breathe and remind yourself that its okay.  The second step is to focus on the good and not the bad.  One way I did this is I don’t watch anything other than the weather.  I have found that the nightly news is geared to negativity.  We are subjected to story after story of horrible things in the world.  I’m here to tell you that the world is not nearly as terrible as it is depicted every night.  The final step is to recognize that none of us are perfect — you can’t be, what would be the fun in that?  People stress about keeping up with everyone else.  Be you.  And if people don’t like you for who you are, then they are not worth another thought.

Yes, I had anxiety putting this out there, but I have many friends on social media and on twitter, and I don’t want anyone to think I am ignoring them, or have forgotten about them.

I hope those of you going through the same issues as I am are able to find peace.  I just wanted to share this with you so you know you’re not alone.

Thank you as always for listening to me ramble.

Michael

The Lovecraft Effect

HP LovecraftGreetings, Dreamers!

Kat over at “The Gore Splattered Corner” blog asked me to write a guest post on how H.P. Lovecraft influenced my writing and my writing style.

Lovecraft and his style have always fascinated me.  I have been a fan since I was very young, and it wasn’t until recently one of my reviewers pointed out the similarity in style and writing.  Creating a mythos for Waking Dream was my goal from the beginning, but not expanding upon the Lovecraftian Mythos.  Since then I’ve tried my hand at a couple Lovecraft inspired stories, and have begun a minor expansion of the Mythos. This article explains how I got where I am as a writer.

You can head over to The Gore Splattered Corner and read my little trip down memory lane.

Thanks Kat for letting me ramble on your page!

The Ramblings of a Weird Author

MichaelHibbardGreetings, Dreamers!

I wanted to take a moment and talk a bit about who I am and what I write.  I’ve gained quite a few new followers so I though it was time that I gave you a little more insight into me, what I write, and what inspires me to continue.

I am laying it all out there, because I am a communicator, well, online that is.  In real life, I’m a bit of a recluse, and am not really good in social situations, which I am working on.

Who were my inspirations?

I’ve been an avid reader since I was really young.  The first adult book I read was “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” by Washington Irving.  I’ve always loved the supernatural, so I continued with other authors such as Poe, Lovecraft, King, Bradbury, F. Paul Wilson and many others.  Oddly, my two biggest influences were Lovecraft and F. Scott Fitzgerald.  Lovecraft is an inspiration because he loved description, words and his creation of the Cthulhu Mythos.  Fitzgerald is an inspiration for his writing style, his ability to expose the dark underbelly of our society, and for giving us my favorite book, The Great Gatsby.

The Waking Dream is not all that I write, but it is a huge focus on my career because it spans so many genres and deals with many social issues, both for adults and young adults.  I love to write horror, especially Lovecraftian Horror, because I do love a good scary tale, and it seems that there are not enough new ideas coming out.  I have not been scared by anything that has come out lately.  I abhor slasher type books, because the news does a pretty good job of covering that genre.  It’s all too real and close to home.

The inspiration for the Waking Dream truly came from my personal quest to understand the nature of reality.  I am inspired by a variety of things: the change of seasons, weird happenings, interactions between people, philosophy, religion, science and the paranormal.

When Did I Start Writing?

I really started writing stories when I was 12.  I was attending a Catholic School in Woodbury, New Jersey.  It was very old, and the basement was very creepy.  I wrote a screen play about dark rituals happening in the basement at night.  My teacher at the time, Mr. DuBois, fully supported me filming it and got permission for me to do so.  Unfortunately, before we could do the film, my parents moved to Pennsylvania.

I was an avid Role-Player, and I’ve played just about every table-top game there is, and I enjoyed being the storyteller more than the player.  I would write very involved campaigns, which were essentially interactive stories.  Then when I got on the internet, I went crazy in the chat rooms with story lines, and had three channels devoted to different settings.  Castle Nightshade was a high fantasy storyline set in a world I created with over 100 people playing at any given time.  Night City was a vampire based storyline with many of the same people playing back and forth.  And then finally, The Waking Dream which only had 12 players as a private group.

My first novel, which was published by Phantasm Books, is my crowning achievement as an author.  I was very pleased to have my book recognized so quickly without having been published anywhere before.  Waking Dream: Devlin is just the first of many to come.  I enjoyed writing it, hated the editing process, and have stressed the promotion.  But in the end, I am happy with what I have produced.

Here is the list of books I have written to date:

What is the Waking Dream All About?

I do get a lot of people who are very confused about the subject matter contained in the Waking Dream.  I have many journals with all of the particulars about the Waking Dream Universe, because it is quite expansive.  I am trying to create a world that is wholly unique, but emulates Cthulhu Mythos, or Frank Herbert’s Dune.

I am fascinated with the universe.  I rarely watch any non-science shows, because I want to understand the nature of reality.  So, I started the Waking Dream as a synthesis of all the concepts I feel to be true about our universe.  If the universe were just a dream we should be able to control it.  It’s just a matter of learning how to.  We are all children, no matter how old we get.  But, we tend to start to disbelieve that we have the power to change it.  We get wrapped up in politics, our daily jobs, acquiring things, and we stop believing that life really is very magical.  The fact that we exist at all is magical in of itself.

The Waking Dream is targeted to people who want to believe and it is appropriate for young adults, as well as adults.  I explore social issues, so there is a lot of allegory in the novel.  I also explore topics that plague our children today, such as coming of age, self-mutilation, poor self-esteem, dealing with loss, and how to fit in.  On the social level, I address self-sustaining communities, religion, reincarnation, the degradation of society, politics, and the struggle between good vs. evil.

What Do I Do for My Day Job?

Currently, I am a data analyst, and I do enjoy it, because it has helped my ability to market my book, and self-promote.  It all comes down to numbers.  But, on the side, I am a programmer and I can program in 11 different computer languages.  All of it self-taught, as I am a true autodidact.  Structured learning is not my thing.  I tend to learn better when I can move at my own pace.

However, I did not start out in this field.  I have had many many different jobs in my 43 years.  Here are the ones I can remember:

Gardener, Greenhouse Worker, Pastry Chef, Sous Chef, Line Cook, Toy Store Manager, Video Store Manager, Blockbuster Assistant Manager, Medical Sales, Web Designer, Project Manager, Grounds Keeper,  Coder, Software Architect, Business Architect, Graphic Designer, and now Published Author.

All of the jobs I’ve had contributed to my experience as a writer.  I have learned something valuable from each of them, though I wasn’t necessarily happy in each job.  Working at a toy store during Christmas was an absolute nightmare!

What Are My Hobbies?

I am a firm believer in the saying “I’ll sleep when I’m dead”.  Those of you who frequent my blog know that I try to post at least once a day.  But I also have my facebook pages, my four secret twitter accounts, and my main @arkangyl account.  So I do love social media.  But my other hobbies include:

Drawing/Illustration (I have designed all but one of my book covers), Guitar, Drums, Music in general, Cooking, Console and PC Gaming, Role-playing, Poetry, Reading, Philosophy, Quantum Physics, Mathematics, Programming Apps and Board Games.

Writing I do not consider a hobby.  This is what I ultimately want to do for a full-time job, and I feel confident that I will get there.  As I’ve said to my other fellow authors, who are just starting out, it takes patience.   Everything requires work and honing one’s craft.

Why Did I Do This?

First, I really did this because I wanted you all to know who I really am.  I believe that it is important to engage my friends, (I hate the term followers).  I do no spend all night looking for people to follow.  I tweet and if someone follows me, I’ll follow them back if it seems we’d be friends!  I always respond to everyone who engages me, because I do not want to sit on some pedestal and have people adore me.

Second, I am what I write.  I am not writing to become rich and famous.  I doubt I could deal very well with fame, as I am a recluse, as I mentioned.  If you know who I am, perhaps you’ll be more interested in the stuff I write, and more importantly, you’ll understand why I write the way I do.

Again, thank you for listening, and I am always interested in a good conversation, either here, on Facebook or on Twitter.

If you hit the Interview Menu at the top, you can listen or read about my other interviews.

Happy Friday the 13th, my friends!

So You Want to Be A Dreamer?

OneGreetings, Dreamers!

Today I wanted to tell you about  a new project I am working on.  This is something that I have given a great deal of thought to, and I have been asked by my friends and fans to discuss the philosophy behind my Waking Dream series.

The philosophy behind the Waking Dream is much more than a simple dark fantasy adventure story.  I truly believe that we all have the ability to change the course of our reality.  Dreamers are the ones who have that ability, and anyone can become a Dreamer, you just have to learn how to do so.

So, in response to all these questions from interviews, friends and fans, I am beginning a new project to be released at about the same time as the next book in the series, The Unkindness.  This book will be called The Little Book of Dreams – Libellus Somnium, and it will be a non-fiction view of a new philosophy I have formulated called Mism, the Merger of all Isms.  (Taoism, Buddhism, Catholicism, Communism, you get the idea).  You can read the abstract at this link, and my view on creation.  This is only the beginning.

The book is targeted to those who want to lead a more peaceful and meaningful existence.  This is not to say that I have perfected my implementation of Mism in my life, but that is because we are not, and cannot, be perfect.  Perfection is a myth, and a fruitless pursuit.  We will always be learning, experiencing and evolving.  But, I can say with profound certainty that we are eternal spirits.  The body you inhabit now is just a vehicle.  It allows you to experience the world, and experience the universe.  When it is broken, you fix it.  When it completely fails, you abandon it and get a new one to continue your journey.

Many people believe that there must be some specific purpose to life.  There is and there isn’t. You create your purpose based on what you want to experience.  The only innate purpose to life is to live and create the universe.  We are all responsible for taking care of ourselves and one another, because we share a Oneness with each other.  We all affect one another, therefore we are inexorably linked.  My action causes your reaction.  Reading this article will invoke thought, negative or positive, and that demonstrates the connection between us.

I always start off my blog posts calling you Dreamers, because those who read my blog are Dreamers, or want to be.  And the more people I draw in, the more we can share intellectual discourse on how best to reshape our world.  So writing The Little Book of Dreams will simply be a compilation of all that I have learned and infused into my life, as well as the stories and novels that make up the Waking Dream Universe.

I also believe in the Weirdness.  That may sound strange to you, because it is just my word for magic.  Do I believe that magic exists?  Not in the Tolkien way, such as fireballs, wizards and dragons.  I believe that each of us possesses an inherent ability that super-cedes conventional physics and what we perceive as impossible.  I have seen and experienced many of these abilities in other people.  Nothing is impossible — somethings just may not be probable, as we have learned through quantum mechanics.

At the core of Mism, we must understand that to completely understand ourselves and the universe, we must merge all of our disparate ideas into a cohesive framework that allows science and religion to coexist and explain each other.  We would remove the distinction between the two and label it a philosophy of life.  A Philosophy of Everything, if you will.

Now, you are probably asking yourself, who is this guy to tell me anything?  The answer to that is very simple, I am the sum of everything everyone living and dead has taught me.  And you are the sum of the same.  I did not create this by myself, all of you have contributed to this idea, in one way or another.

Finally, you are probably asking, why would I bother to write this all down.  And you are free to agree or disagree with me.  But I am writing this down, because it takes just one thought to make a change.  Look around you, look at the state of the world.  Is this the ideal world you want to live in? Do you feel that the right decisions are being made?  Do you have fear for the future?  Are you concerned about what we are leaving our children?  Have you lost your way?  Do you know what you want out of your life?

I am going to give you my perspective on what truly matters, and hopefully in the process, I will learn more about you, so that I can improve myself as a person, and in turn make the world a better place for us all.

Have a wonderful day, and I thank you for listening to me babble, as always.

Michael

Family

gramsIn all the bustle of my daily life, I wanted to take a moment to remember my Grandmother, Mary Pennisi.  It was just two years ago that we lost her, and her birthday is just a few weeks away.

My grandmother was born in 1919 and she died in 2011.  And though its been two years since her passing, there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t wish I could just see her once more.

She was much more than a grandmother to me.  Being from a big Italian family, she was the matriarch of her children and grandchildren.  She possessed wisdom that one could never gain from college or formal education.  She lived through the Great Depression, and she embodied everything that Rosie the Riveter stood for.  “We Can Do It!”.  And that is how she lived her life.

2012-04-23T17-35-34_15When my grandfather, Frederick, was diagnosed with brain cancer, she did not give up as most would.  She took care of him in the home they built together as poor Italian/Sicilian immigrants, despite his ever worsening condition.  She refused to put him in a home, determined to care for him by herself, rather than allow him to be away from his family and friends. She cared for him in their house until his passing in 1995.  And she stayed there with all those memories until she was unable to live with her own growing dementia, when it was her daughter’s turn, my Aunt Maryann, to take care of her.

My grandmother’s funeral taught me many things.  The most important is that I should never give a eulogy.  I was barely into the first two lines of it, when both myself and my cousin Kelly began to cry uncontrollably.  It took us 20 minutes to get through a eulogy that should have lasted less than 10 minutes.

She taught us all so much during her 92 years.  She taught us how to be strong, she taught us to follow our dreams, and she taught us that family is always the most important thing.  She taught us all the things we never would have learned in school, because she put value on family greater than most people did.

I just wanted everyone to know that she is with me in this time of my greatest success, and she has always been there in my times of sorrow.  And as her birthday approaches, I wanted to make sure that she’s never forgotten.  Though I mourn her death every day, I know we will be together at some other place and time, and we’ll laugh and talk as we used to, when I was just a boy.

Why the Waking Dream?

DevlinI get asked on many occasions why I’ve spent so much time working on this series before I wrote the book.  Part of it was procrastination, but the biggest reason was the allegory behind the Waking Dream.

When I was a kid, I was very much enamored by H.P. Lovecraft and the Cthulhu Mythos.  The idea of a writer creating a framework for other writers to contribute to was fascinating to me.  And since the story “The Call of Cthulhu” was released in 1926, scores of renowned authors have taken their turn to try to rouse the Ancient Ones from their slumber.

I initially came up with the idea for the Waking Dream in 1995 as a Dungeons and Dragons style role-playing game.  It was first premiered on Internet Relay Chat, where I had over 100 people playing at any given time.  But as I began to write these elaborate story lines for others to interact with, it occurred to me that it would be more useful to write stories and novels, rather than a bunch of rules and dice play.  The Waking Dream began to evolve.

I stepped away from the online role-play world and began to do serious research on how to make the Waking Dream a framework.  But along the way, it started to become something much more than that.  It started to become a philosophical debate on the nature of existence – a subject that has haunted me my entire adult life.  I have for a long time stopped reading fiction, and jumped headlong into physics, cosmology, religion, philosophy, mathematics and metaphysics.  And along the way, I created an entire universe populated by Dreamers, Sleepers and Immortals and solved — in my mind — the answers to our universe.

It does not matter really what comprises the universe, how it came to be, or where it will go from here.  What does matter is the voyage and exploration of the self and understanding that we are all connected at a fundamental level, and the universe is our playground.  We have gone about our search for the answer in the wrong way.  Rather than trying to understand our consciousness and our spirit, we’ve leaped into the abyss, searching for answers in the stars — but the answer is in each and every one of us.

The Waking Dream books and stories and framework are to give us a way to be children again, when we looked at everything with wonder. Magic and Monsters are everywhere, we’ve just chosen not to see them in the same way we once did.  We’ve allowed what we call the “common reality” — what the majority believes to be true — to make us blind to the true nature of the universe and thus, ourselves.

For me, the Waking Dream is not about making money, it’s about throwing a new idea out on the table for everyone to see.  And in turn, I expect others to take up the mantle and submit their own stories about the Waking Dream.  Because, in the Waking Dream anything is possible.  And if we all take a moment to realize the Dream as something wonderful, it will be wonderful.  But at the moment, we are creating a nightmare.

Waking Dream: Devlin is just the first of many novels to come.  If you are looking to escape for just a little while, and you believe in any of the things I have said, I believe you will enjoy walking with me in the Waking Dream.

Waking Dream (Part 3)

WeirdnessGreetings, Dreamers!

In my last post we discussed the concepts of Immortality in the Waking Dream Universe.  Today we are going to discuss the two other types of beings in the Waking Dream Universe — Dreamers and Sleepers.

But before we begin, I wanted to clarify that a Planet-Bound Immortal was once a Dreamer, and it is through the process of Awakening and Enlightenment that a Dreamer becomes an Immortal.

There is a two tiered allegorical argument when we speak of Dreamers and Sleepers.  Dreamers, and Immortals, are the Architects of the Waking Dream.  They are also those who will not sit idly by and allow their lives to be affected by others.  They are people from all walks of life, from white-collar to blue-collar.  Sleepers on the other hand, are the engineers or worker bees.  They are people who do not accept that they have control over their life and look to the Dreamers to lead them.  This is not meant as a derogatory statement, it is a simple observation.  In one sense, Dreamers are the observer, collectively, in a solipsistic world, where the Sleepers do not really exist other than to be actors in the Dreamer/Immortal play.

Of Sleepers and Dreamers

Sleepers

In the Waking Dream, Sleepers can best be thought of as automatons, or robots.  They are the vessel through which Dreamers can occupy the Waking Dream.  They are born, live their lives according to the design of the Dreamers and Immortals.  They are a function of the grand algorithm created at the beginning of the universe, as designed by the Creator.  Their main purposes are to make the world for the Dreamers to live in, and serve as bodies for the Dreamers to interact with the physical reality. As mentioned in my first post in the series, when a Dreamer dies, they return to the Spaces Between, which can be compared to the Afterlife, or what I like to call, the InBetweenLife.  It is the realm of the Weird, and it is from there that all consciousness emanates.

One point that needs to be made is that any living thing is a Dreamer, so it is not limited to humans.  It may be the desire of a Dreamer to inhabit an animal, or a tree, because the Waking Dream is about experiencing the universe.  We created the Waking Dream to explore every aspect of the universe, because it is a gift to have consciousness, and a gift to have such an amazingly diverse reality to explore.

Dreamers

Dreamers, at the base level, are pure consciousness.  When they are not inhabiting a Sleeper and affecting the Waking Dream, they can peer into the life of any Sleeper and determine whether they wish to inhabit them.  They also, for a limited time, can enter the Waking Dream, in an incorporeal form.  Both Sleepers and corporeal Dreamers, can sometimes see them in these ghostly forms, which is where ghost sightings come from.  Sometimes, they do forget that they are not in a body, and will return to a place they died again and again, depending on the manner of their death.  Particularly violent deaths can cause a Dreamer to temporarily get stuck in a pattern, and this is what constitutes a haunting.

When a Dreamer enters the body of a Sleeper, at any stage of the Sleeper’s life, they take on the memories and persona of that Dreamer, much like when one chooses a character in a game.  They forget all their past lives and memories, and the fact that they are a Dreamer.  This is when they begin the quest to Awaken and use their Weirdness to affect the Waking Dream.  One can think of this as learning how to operate a new vehicle.  Once the Dreamer has full control of the vehicle, and knows its limitations, both physically, mentally and socially, the Dreamer can then undergo the process of Awakening, which happens differently for everyone.  It is usually brought on by trauma of some variety, like someone slapping you in the face saying “Wake up!”.

Dreamers are connected to the Spaces Between by the Somnambula, or what used to be called the Silver Cord.  This is how they are able to channel the energy, or Weirdness, to affect the Waking Dream.  This also accounts for why Dreamers experience deja vu, as sometimes a location, conversation or experience, triggers a memory stored in the Weird.

All Dreamers exert their will on the Waking Dream in different ways, but they are usually subtle, as it takes a great deal of energy to create more dramatic effects, such as throwing a fireball at someone, which is possible, but usually only by Immortals who have a greater command of their Weirdness.  Dreamers usually exert their Weirdness through either mundane abilities such as charisma to become a leader, or extraordinary creative abilities such as musicians, artists or writers.  The more famous a Dreamer is usually tied to their Weirdness.

Other Dreamers exert their will in supernatural ways, such as practicing ritualistic magic, such as alchemy, Wicca, witchcraft or illusions.  Others have abilities such as empathy, telepathy, telekinesis, or second sight.  But there are many more ways in which Dreamers can exert their Weirdness.

Conclusion

In closing, I would like to propose to you a personal experiment.  While I am presenting these ideas of the Waking Dream as fiction, there are some truths woven within this view of the universe as a Waking Dream.  I tend to think that the only people who read my blog are Dreamers.  They are people seeking others to share their thoughts, and learn from one another.  They want to believe that they have greater control of their life and environment, yet they lack the solidarity from others with the same thoughts.  This can be seen with the development of religion.  Each religion has common beliefs among all of its members so that their beliefs become more real to the collective.

Take a look at your life, and see if you have your own Weirdness.  Is it possible that all of the universe is really not what we think it is?  Is it possible we are responsible for everything that happens on our planet on every level?  The universe is inherently weird in the way that it operates.  We still have not come to any conclusive evidence than anything we see is actually there.  There is no way to know, and that, my friends, makes life all the more mysterious, wonderful and exciting to explore.  If we have limits, it is because we have imposed those limits upon ourselves.

Next time, we will discuss Weird and Weirdness in the Waking Dream.

Waking Dream (Part 2)

OneGreetings, Dreamers!

This is part 2 in a the blog series about the Waking Dream Philosophy.  Today we are going to discuss my concept of Immortality and the difference between a Celestial Immortal and Planet Bound Immortals.

Let’s begin!

Before I get into the particulars specific to Immortality in the Waking Dream, I wanted to talk about the various forms and thoughts surrounding the concept of Immortality.  Many cultures throughout history have tried, and continue to try, to wrestle with their own mortality.  Death is the ultimate fear, and all fear ties back to death in some form or fashion.  But the pursuit of immortality is of the physical variety.  And were people able to be Immortal in physical form, we would soon over-populate the planet, unsustainable growth.  The planet has a capacity, and until we find means to move to other solar systems and galaxies, we cannot afford an immortal populace. With my fiction aside, my personal belief is that we are immortal spiritually.  Our consciousnesses, once formed, are permanently imprinted on the universe.  We become a never-ending story in the library of the universe.  Now on to Immortality in the Waking Dream.

The Story of Immortality

There are two types of Immortals in the Waking Dream Universe — The Celestial Immortals and the Planet bound Immortals.

The Celestials

There are several Celestial Immortals of note in the Waking Dream Universe.  Celestial Immortals are unique to every universe and they are different from all the other Immortals because they were “born” Immortal.  As mentioned in the Story of Creation, these Immortals are, with addition to a few mysterious entities, are:

  1. One
  2. The Magician
  3. The High Priestess
  4. The Charnel One
  5. The Dexter
  6. The Sinister
  7. The Angel
  8. The Beast

Each of these Immortals is responsible for a certain aspect of the Waking Dream, similar to other polytheistic religions, however they are by no means Gods.  They have existed since One had the first cogent thought in the vast nothing of the Spaces Between and awoke to the truth that the universe is a Waking Dream.  Celestial Immortals are free to roam the universe, within a physical construct.  They are also able to travel unhindered in the realm of the Weird, The Spaces Between (to be discussed in-depth in a later post).

It is seldom that Dreamers and Planet-Bound Immortals encounter these mysterious entities, and their true goals are completely unknown, though much speculation has been made.  These eight Celestials are an immutable number, and there will always be eight in every single universe in the multiverse.  They command the Weird with flawless accuracy and are not to be trifled with.

In addition to the eight Celestials, there is a mysterious ninth Celestial who is rumored to be the offspring of the Magician and the High Priestess.  Little is known about this Immortal, and it is believed he/she is a hybrid between the Celestials and the Planet-Bound Immortals.  He is simply known as the Hidden One, and is also rumored to possess the knowledge to wield the artifact, The Black Heart, to its full potential.

The Planet-Bound

There are two levels, so to speak, of Planet-Bound Immortals.  There are the Prime Immortals and the Lesser Immortals.  How the five Prime Immortals came to hold this stature over the other Immortals is not known, however, they are:

  1. Gabryal of Sumeria
  2. Shemhazai of Egypt
  3. Grigor Falken of Crete
  4. Olivia Morgan of The Celts
  5. Deakin Droon of Scandinavia

These Planet-Bound Immortal, as their name suggests, are unable to incarnate themselves anywhere than on our planet.  Little is understood why they are unable to leave the planet.  Once any Dreamer attains Immortality on their respective planet, they are unable to leave until that planet has run its course.  The only known way for a Planet-Bound Immortal to leave Earth is through destruction by super-nova. Once this has happened, they are free to choose another planet, whereby they will be bounded to their new home.

Deakin Droon was the last of the Prime Immortals to attain Immortality.  After his ascension, it was a thousand years before the Lesser Immortals began to emerge.  It is unknown what happened during the thousand years of spiritual darkness, however, any Dreamer attaining immortality since his ascension is considered Lesser.

Lesser Immortals tend to be between five hundred and a thousand years old.  They do not possess the same level of understanding of the Weird, and they tend to align themselves, either consciously or sub-consciously with one of the Prime Immortals.  It is unknown at the time of this writing how many Dreamers have attained this status.

More information about the Waking Dream universe is available at The Way of the Weird website.

Next blog post will be about the Dreamers and the Sleepers.

Waking Dream (Part 1)

Waking DreamGreetings, Dreamers!

Today I start a new series of posts describing the philosophy behind my upcoming novel, Waking Dream: Devlin Book I. The book will be going on sale on September 22, 2013 — The first day of Autumn.  As an side note, all dates in the book and the actual release dates all play into the overall mystery of the series.

Let’s Begin!

At the basis of it all, the concept of the Waking Dream stems from my own personal studies in a variety of areas.  Its more than just a series of fiction novels, it is an interwoven collection of things I have come to understand to be plausible with reference to the nature of our universe, the formation of life, the human soul and consciousness.  I assert that our present scientific endeavors are looking for the wrong things and that some of the things presented as fact are indeed quite wrong.  There are far too many unknowns, and most of all, we cannot understand nor explain the most fundamental aspect of our universe, Gravity.  In addition, there is this lack of unifying the physics of the big things in our universe (stars, galaxies, planets, life) and the physics of the very small, quantum level (atoms, electrons, singularities).  Even though there has been significant effort in this area, we are still no closer to a true Theory of Everything — well, not an accepted theory that is.  At the end of this post I will list some of the books that have helped shape my understanding of the universe.

The Story of Creation

I began with the Unmoved Mover principle posited by Aristotle in his work Metaphysics. I had been struggling with my own agnosticism at the time, and had been reading the works of St. Thomas Aquinas as a part of my theology curriculum.  After much study in this area, I determined that I had become more of a Deist and that we are responsible for how our lives unfold.  The essence of Free Will.  If the Creator is intervening in our lives, then we do not truly have Free Will.  And I think this is personified even in the bible as “If a man will not work, he shall not eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:10) [“God helps those who helps themselves” is an ancient Greek derivative of this, yet not found in the bible thusly quoted]

In the Waking Dream, the Creator set the parameters for the universe, then moved on to other places, perhaps checking in on us from time to time out of curiosity.  I have always found it quite paradoxical to think that an all supreme being would need us to worship him.  We have created a God to worship for a variety of reasons — mostly to explain the things we cannot explain.  But as time moves forward, we will require God less and less.  This is the fundamental aspect of my philosophy behind the Waking Dream.  Once we realize we are all One being, with each of us a facet of that one being, we will no longer need to rely on a God because we will realize that we are all God and One.

In the beginning, there was One — the first Immortal.  It is he who set into motion the creation of the stars, galaxies, planets.  And through this, other consciousnesses began to form in a place called The Spaces Between, the source of all the energy necessary for matter to exist.  Souls/Spirits coalesce much in the same way stars do, swirling thoughts that accreted from this primordial energy.

One is just the first, and not God.  And through him, the other Celestial Immortals were created through a predefined equation.  From his essence, the Magician and the High Priestess came into being.  They are the ones who created the parameters by which the incorporeal enter the physical realm of the Waking Dream. They also are the ones that defined the ability to affect the Waking Dream, known as Weirdness, my form of magic.

From the Magician and High Priestess, came the last of the Celestial Immortals, the Triad.  They are the Dexter who governs Order, the Sinister who governs Chaos, and the Charnel One who governs death and reincarnation.  And through the Triad the shells that our souls inhabit in the Waking Dream were created, the Sleepers.

All souls, or Dreamers and Immortals, must inhabit a body in the physical world to exist.  Once they have done so, they live out their lives and eventually Awaken to understand that the universe is a Waking Dream.  From this point, they are able to use the inherent Weirdness within all Dreamers to subtly affect the Waking Dream, making the world as it is today.  And when they die, they return to the Spaces Between to begin all over again.  A Dreamer does not consciously remember their former life, except through the phenomenon of Deja Vu.  But when they return to the Spaces Between they retain all of the knowledge of their multitude of lives.  This continues until they reach the state of Immortality, the goal of every Dreamer.

The next part in this series will explore Immortality and the differences between the Celestial Immortals and the Planet Bound Immortals.

List of References I’ve used to create the series:

Connections

neural network rotatorGreetings, Dreamers!

I apologize for the hiatus on something meaningful and thought-provoking, but the common reality has a way of getting in the way of what I wish to explore.

Today, I am going to discuss connections, for I feel that there is a need to further explore how we are all One, and how this is possible.  The more we can accept this simple truth the more chance we have of saving ourselves — and yes, it is a truth that I firmly and staunchly believe.

“Things fall apart — the center cannot hold. Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world. The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere. The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.” – The Second Coming by W.B. Yeats

This was the first poem I ever read when I started my English degree.  The class was British Modern Age Literature and this poem, of all the wonderful poems in Yeats’ body of work, has haunted me for my entire adult life.  But to put it in context of how it relates to our world is that We are all the center that cannot hold because we have lost our connections to the hub that is our Oneness — the singularity that binds us, yet allows us to explore our universe from different perspectives while sharing our observations.

My day job is filled with data analysis and I use artificial intelligences, namely neural networks, to process data.  But, coding these automatons requires a deeper understanding of the biological construct which inspired them — the human brain.  In the figure pictured above, you see how the billions of neurons in your brain are connected.  When the mind is thinking, it is a storm of electrical surges that ripple like lightning over a rain filled thundercloud.  Each neuron is connected, directly or indirectly to the whole through cause and effect.  Each neuron processes a bit of information, and signals other connected neurons to fire and assist in the deduction of the appropriate response.  For instance, when you see an apple, neurons fire that process color (red), shape (apple), ontology (fruit), context (edible) and spacial (distance).  All happening at the speed of light, to deduce that what you are seeing is in fact an apple.  But this does not happen without learning — i.e. positive and negative reinforcement.

An artificial intelligence is like a child.  It must be trained and given experience.  We train it by giving it known things.  Such as, if we want a neural network to be able to recognize faces, we given it pictures and have it find them.  When it is right, we “reward” it by telling it that it answered correctly.  When it is wrong, we “scold” it.  This process continues until we feel that the AI has a good grasp on what the general shape of a face is, but we do not over teach it, because we know that not all faces are created equal.  Also, if we are processing photos, lighting, age, weight and other obstructions, can be hard to distinguish.  We want the AI to be able to come to a conclusion on its own, with our gentle nudging in the right direction.

Simple ANNThis is a typical layout for a very simple AI.  We have three inputs, which are the variables or traits we know.  The hidden layer connects all of the input neurons to the output neurons, and acts as the “memory” of known answers.  This memory is all governed by very simple equations that strengthen or weaken connections between certain neurons.  The stronger the connections, the more likely they will fire and produce the correct answer.

Now, you may be asking, why do I care about any of this?  It’s very simple.  If you look at the world, with every living organism as a neuron, we have connections.  And, when we work in tandem, we produce an outcome.  Sometimes we stay “wired” to one another, and produce a similar outcome, other times, we drift apart and make different connections, different outcomes.  I have observed people in different settings.  In one setting they will come up with different outcomes to the same inputs, depending on who they are with.  As an example, you what to go to a movie.  If you go with Group A, you will probably see a Romantic Comedy.  If you go with Group B, you will probably go see a Horror film.  The outcome is governed by the collective behavior and connections within that group.  And if you decide you don’t want to see Romantic Comedies any longer, you will drift further from Group A when it comes to movie going, until the connection is weakened and possibly lost.

The point of this particular rambling is to punctuate that we as living organisms, not just humans, but all living things, function as a global mind.  It is a very difficult concept to accept for many because it infringes on the “self”.  However, every neuron in your brain is an individual, yet it must have input and connections to the rest of the brain to be of use.  If it is not being used, it simply dies.

This is just another example of how we are all connected.  Our global mind produces the outcomes that we experience in day-to-day life.  And if the outcomes are not what we want, we must relearn, retrain ourselves, until we can achieve what it is we want.  “Things fall apart”, yes, they have and do.  But it within our power to make amends before the “rough beast slouches towards Bethlehem to be born”.

This is my hypothesis on Oneness, and I am opening the floor to be challenged on the validity of my analogy as I formulate a cogent theory of Oneness and Global Consciousness.