In the far distant future and far beyond this solar system but not beyond this galaxy, spins a planet somewhat like our own. It is larger than Earth, its lands and seas more evenly distributed, with both poles formed of ice-capped island continents; its tropical and temperate zones are very much like those on our own planet. There are mountains and plains, deserts and forests and grasslands, fresh water and salty. Its name is Adamadas; its sun, the star Myk’l, brings the day and at night its two moons, Neos and Oanta, race across the sky. So there is much that is similar. Earth (which is known as Old Erth on this other planet), after all, was the prototype, the template, the first to be given life that would in turn help bring life to other planets and star systems. Like its people, who began life as physical beings, Old Erth became a spirit-place, beautiful beyond description and wonderful beyond imagination: it set the pattern for all. The physical seems ageless to the physical but it is the spiritual that attains eternity.
Not all spirits live forever. But spirits, even the doomed, certainly live trillennia longer than physical beings. There are only two ways of life; whichever is chosen belongs either to El or to Chaya (aka Tcha’a). El is true, Chaya is deception. It’s all very simple. In our world, now, the same ways apply though we know them under different names; in our world, for now, ChayaWay dominates but on Adamadas, at the time when its chronicles were being compiled, it is ElWay that rules. Still, there must be testing and so El allows a remnant of ChayaWay to be an agent for proving who will walk in ElWay and who will not. Creation, after all, belongs to its creator, not to the usurper.
After the EndWar when the evil spirit, Chaya, was destroyed and his followers with him, Adamadas was given a millennium to walk in ElWay. After six millennia of ChayaWay the results were profound; but still there must be testing. Ancient writings had been preserved and from these a foul remnant of ChayaWay was re-established in hidden places to emerge around two hundred years – or anos, as they are known there – before the culmination of the physical phase of the planet. The evil began in secret, as evil does until it feels strong enough to show itself, corrupting those susceptible to lust, greed and flattery. Some advocates followed the ‘new’ way to reclaim Chaya, other declared they were free of any loyalties, obligations and responsibilities, that they were responsible only to and for themselves; all were deceived, and most were deceived willingly.
This is the underlying theme of the Adamadas Chronicles, as compiled by LynMiller, utilising the research and resources of RellimNyl, historian exemplar of the famed Alkebula University in the land of K’nyika-Zamb’we. The next post will outline some aspects of the story of the refugee orphan, Asha, who overcame her fears to become Queen of Blue, as related in the First Book of the Adamadas Chronicles.

We are at War

I love to travel. I love to savour other cultures, especially those that retain some tribal purity — they’re the ones largely uncontaminated by globalism. They are unique and very precious. These pockets of tradition, like heritage seeds, have long been in danger of extinction. Like all of us now. War has come to destroy civilisation.
This world is being violently swept of its history and the integrity, not only of nations and their cultures, but of individual rights. Frenzied broom-wielders demand that all people conform to their insane ideas of ‘harmony’ and ‘sustainability’, ideas which are neither harmonious nor sustainable. Concepts of right and wrong, of good and evil, are denounced and defamed by the broom-wielders, although these same concepts have kept nations from extinguishing themselves for millennia; the insane broom-wielders have no such record — indeed, history proves that their ways have never worked.
“It’s polluted!” scream the broom-wielders as they raise clouds of dust and debris. “We must change the world! The sky is falling!” But they themselves do not change.
This is war. In every war there are battles for territory and for hearts and minds. In every war soldiers die to protect either their territory or their broom-wielders, whole cultures are imprisoned or murdered, and the masses believe the propaganda or simply surrender to the warmonger for the sake of a false peace. But in every war there are also those who resist the broom-wielders, those who help others survive, those who refuse to bow to the broom.
Not all resistance takes place in occupied territory; indeed, the bravest resistance occurs in the territory of the aggressors. And when war ends the broom-wielders are executed, the soldiers are either honoured or condemned, the masses rejoice or cry for their loss, and the Resistance become heros.
In our war, whether it’s fought in the Middle East, once ‘the cradle of civilisation’, once fertile but now filled with savagery and ruin, or in The West, once renowned for its freedom and endeavour but now corrupted by carnality and greed, or in the interests of ‘global ethics’, which are not ethical at all, soldiers will still die, the broom-wielders will still reign, the masses will still accept the lie — and still the Resistance will refuse to bow before the broom; but this war, too, will end.
So, when it does, where will we stand in history? If we stand at all, where do we stand now?

Thoughts on the reality of spirit

According to the Bible, the soul dies with the body when its spirit returns to God, to provide the template for each person’s resurrection, either to a temporary physical life or permanent death (not continual burning), or to everlasting spirit life. The only thing you take with you when you die is your character. Throughout history, mankind has postulated many alternatives to this truth. Egyptian pharaohs took their wealth and their slaves with them to the grave, seeking to continue their lifestyle in some new world. Hindus believe in reincarnation. Most Christians, despite what the Bible clearly states, believe in a Heaven or Hell destiny (this belief being adopted from paganism from early times, though not by the original followers) to attract more adherents. Paradise, Valhalla or Vólkvangr, Nirvana, Elysium, Jannah and many other ideas are all variants of after-death destinies based on human ideas.
Atheism, yet another religion, claims that this physical life is all there is and that there is no spirit element either in this life or anywhere else; yet we can all recognise that spirit gives life when we see that light leave a dying creature’s eyes, or when a body, that still retains its physical properties, is obviously lacking both life and whatever it held that made it somebody. How many people have said that a corpse no longer ‘looks’ like the person they knew? That’s not because death somehow ‘masks’ them but because their spirit has left them.
Is spirit real, then, or just something made up to satisfy human dreams of eternal life? Non-believers say spirit doesn’t exist because it cannot be scientifically proven; current scientific proof requires only physical tests – how can that work? Spirit is not physical. It is spiritual. The premise is wrong. It’s like carbon-dating cave-paintings to prove they’re 40,000 years old when the ‘paint’ is made from 40,000-year-old ochres.
Sometimes, talking to atheists about spiritual truths is like talking to a Flat-Earth advocate about the solar system; they also base their claims on false premises. For instance, some Flat-Earthers assert that the Bible supports their view of a disc-shaped Earth edged by ice walls (Antarctica) but it does not. There are at least two references to the Earth being what it actually is – a globe suspended in the universe. The word ‘globe’ can be translated as ‘circle’ (if you draw a globe you naturally scribe a circle) but not as ‘disk’. The disk idea was promoted by Plato, whose philosophy was influenced by the pagan beliefs of his culture. As for the sun being described as crossing the sky, don’t we say the same thing even now? The sun’s perceived movement reveals the Earth’s rotation, and the seasons its orbit – not the sun’s. We know that the sun spins, too (though faster at its centre than at its poles), and we know that it, along with our whole solar system, orbits our Milky Way Galaxy. Logically, galaxies themselves must orbit their universe. There’s still so much to learn about creation!
And spirit life is part of creation. The reason people will not believe that spirit exists is because that do not believe that God, who is spirit, exists, or that he created anything. They prefer to believe that everything came from nothing – a very unscientific position. And one that requires an enormous amount of blind faith in human reasoning. Now, that’s a scary thought…

What is Balance?

Is ‘tolerance’ just another way of saying ‘balance’? Is it unbalanced to be intolerant? Let’s take a look.
‘Tolerance’, is currently a popular term on media forums. “Balance”, however, is less fashionable, perhaps because it implies a need for judgement.
I will use three anecdotes to illustrate three points about balance.
When I went droving with Frank and old Ken during the last big drought, the cattle were watered from a portable tank, which Frank filled from whatever source he was able to tap. There were no water-filled ditches in the long paddock so the mob was eager to drink when they saw the tanker truck arriving. (It was like something from a Joliffe cartoon; people stopped their cars to take photos of it.) There were a few large plastic tanks for water (and smaller ones, filled later, with a water and molasses mix that boosted their stamina; the cattle loved it, but I didn’t think much of it). In a race to drink first, one pushy cow barrelled through the mob and slipped on the muddy ground around the tank. She lost her balance and toppled straight into the water and lay there on her back like Lady Muck, head, legs and udder waving at the sky. The other cattle backed away and stared in disgust and dismay as their drinking water was fouled. It took a lot of effort by Frank and his ute, and discomfort to the cow, to get her back on her feet, and much precious water was lost in the process.
The point: An individual filled with ambition, greed and self-interest demands tolerance for her, or his, actions – but does not practice it.
In the 70’s, last century, platform shoes and flared pants were the ‘in thing’. Flares got wider and wider until clothing companies realised how much all that material was costing them and popularised ‘stovepipes’, and tights. In their hey-day, flares reached circumferences of 40 inches – sort of like wearing a skirt on each leg. They were balanced only in having one flare to each leg but they often unbalanced fashion addicts. Imagine a windy, wet day in London. Imagine stepping off the big red bus and struggling to raise your brolly while holding onto trendy shopping bags which are flapping in the gale… the wind whips the flares around your legs and you go head-over-heels into the gutter. And people laugh at you. Today they’d take videos and post them on facebook.
The point: What is fashionable may be tolerated, but it may not be truly balanced.
When I was younger, I had a friend who was into piano-bar music; as I was the one with the car, I was called upon to act as her chauffeur. She knew the band at Around Midnight and we often went there after she finished her gig in the City. The band usually saved seats for us but one night we missed out. There were barstools around the piano bar, with a narrow space behind them, and then another row of barstools against the wall. On the night in question, we took barstools against the wall. Just in front of us, at the piano-bar, sat a man, his girlfriend and the girlfriend’s son, who was about 18. While my friend chatted to a sailor next to her, I watched the dynamics of this trio. The man was drunk and a show-off. The son hated him. The girlfriend/mother sat in the middle trying to please them both. When she went to the Ladies Room, the man immediately began eyeing every other female in sight, even turning around to see what was behind him. The son was obviously annoyed and hunched over the single beer he’d been nursing all night. The drunk man rocked back and forth on his barstool; he looked at my lap and I knew he was estimating the distance, just in case he ‘fell’. The barstool beside the sailor was vacant so I urged him and my friend to move down one seat, as did I, leaving my seat empty. The drunken Lothario, secure in his estimation of all things, and above making any last checks, rocked again, went too far, and of course he fell – cracking his head on my empty barstool before he hit the floor. He lay there, too drunk to be really hurt, staring up in surprise that his funny man act, his deliberate lack of balance, had triggered such an embarrassing result, with men laughing, women shrieking and the disgusted son seeing everything in a flash of understanding. It was one of those exquisite moments that you never forget.
The point: Imbalance has, of course, nothing to do with balance and everything to do with lust. It demands tolerance and is shocked when tolerance is withdrawn.
Tolerance requires compromise and the juggling of ethics; balance is a prime principle – it cannot be adulterated. True balance is pure. Purity cannot tolerate impurity – an impossible demand because the pure is always corrupted by the impure.
Today, ‘tolerance’ outweighs ‘balance’ in our social order because true balance will not be compromised. And this world is all about compromise.
Truth, not tolerance, must always be the fulcrum of our balance.

A Place Called Home

Habitats are the natural surroundings of plants and animals and the term is also applied to the living environments of humans. Do habitats make the man or man the habitat? Probably both. People strive to make their environments comfortable, to make their places recognisable to others as well as to themselves, whether the place is only temporary or transitory, a place of internment, a simple shelter, or a real home.
It is not until we have what we feel is a permanent home, a place of our own, that our true identities are revealed. When we live in temporary dwellings we ‘add our mark’ but knowing that it won’t last, that we’ll move on, our marks tend to be portable things that can move with us. People who live on the streets, carrying their possessions in plastic bags, or aboard a stolen shopping trolley, follow this urge just as much as the refugee spending years in tented communities with the belongings they carried in their flight from war, or the prisoners clutching a locket or a small Bible or some other treasure until these precious things are forced from their grasp. Sometimes one’s place is just a dry niche under a bridge and a filthy blanket for warmth; others, though better off, simply move on endlessly, never belonging anywhere, never calling any place ‘home’.
For wildlife, habitats provide shelter and food and territories. For mankind, habitats stir up a far greater longing, a lasting need, to build a place called Home. We have become wanderers, by and large, as we move from here to there, from job to job, and our relationships and habitats move with us as temporary assets. We do not always take the security of childhood, if we were blessed to have that, with us into adulthood. The days when families lived together for generations in the same environment are largely gone. They went with the cave painters who were slaughtered by enemies, with farmers swept away by big business, with contented villagers sold to a false ‘progress’. They are lost to wars, to liars and lies, to savages who kill and maim and steal children from their parents and parents from their children. They are wiped out by the greed of the corrupt, the polluters of society, the destroyers of the world.
But the day is coming when people will again find their true place in the world, when their habitats will be sure and no one will take them away. Everyone who was ever born will have the chance to live as their Creator God intended and the world will be rich in vivid cultures that will never be forced into the neutral shades of pretend living that we see all around us now in this Age of the Adversary.
Imagine what that world will be like. Imagine the inventions, the skills, the growth available to everyone as people are finally allowed to develop their full potential in a real world that understands and follows real values. What could we build then, what habitats and talents, in a world unencumbered by wars, by debt, by broken laws and broken lives? Imagine!

Assumptions and Perceptions

Assumptions and Perceptions
Many years ago, I read an anecdote by a young woman who was wheelchair-bound due to a degenerative disease, that did not affect her mind. She wrote that strangers usually treated her as if she had nothing intelligent to say, no ability to make lifestyle choices, or even that she could hear; so often they (including doctors) would speak over her head to the person assisting her and completely ignore her. Then she had a fall and broke her leg.
Suddenly, she was fully and competently human in the eyes of strangers. With her leg in a cast, people assumed that was the reason she was in a wheelchair, and they spoke to her normally, joking and consoling and just passing the time of day. It felt wonderful, she wrote, but why couldn’t they treat her as ‘normal’ all the time?
I have a close friend with progressive MS. Let’s call her Trixie. She, too, spends most of her waking hours in a wheelchair. Her friends don’t treat her presumptuously – they know she’s intelligent, bright and fully involved in her life. She facilitates, voluntarily, in two very different fields, English as a Second Language and Digital Photography, attends art classes, consults on civic issues, contributes to her church activities and keeps her family links oiled and operating. Trixie said that strangers, including doctors who should know better, often treat her with the disregard felt by the young woman mentioned above; they speak about her to her husband – when she is right there beside him, and if they speak to her at all they assume she’s deaf and they shout! We both laughed about that, knowing her reaction.
Once she went to a new two-storey public library; it was well-designed, except for disabled patrons. The toilet facilities were adequate – the problem was that they were on the upper level, with only stairway access. What does that say about both the designer and the approval committee? Trixie’s one bugbear is disability awareness in public places. Civil engineers and architects seem to regard the disabled as a nuisance factor rather than incorporating their needs into general planning and seeing it as a practical advantage for everyone.
For instance, disabled parking is generally inadequate in large cities and often there is no sensible flow-on from the parking space to the door of a public building, whether civic or business; instead of a gentle gradient, there is a ten centimeter gutter to manouvre, a path of broken pavement, potholes or loose gravel, all of which forces both the wheelchair and helper (if there is one) into the dangers of the roadway.
Toilet facilities are another disaster area. Trixie has missed a number of presentations, thankyou dinners and get-togethers because the venue’s disabled facilities aren’t functional to anyone in a wheelchair; this is an area where organisers ought to check things out properly before they book such events – and that doesn’t mean taking the manager’s word for it. Wide doorways, doors that slide open, space to turn a wheelchair and adequate grab-rails are obvious practicalities to put in place.
Architects, designers and students, there is a simple solution! Make templates based on reality research. Get into a wheelchair and strap your legs together, make your way into ‘disability friendly’ facilities and see what really works. Is there room to get from chair to toilet with the door closed? Would you like to sit there with it open? When you’ve done that, tie a blindfold around your eyes and do it again. Then find a frail old lady and see if she can actually open the doors without help. Our disabled friends want to be as independent as possible; they want to use facilities without needing to ask somebody to tag along as a doorman or act as a privacy shield.
Do the walk from the parking lot to the store – is that rolling ramp too steep for wheelchairs? Try it out. Is there long grass or soft fill to cross on the way to the duck pond in the park? Try manouvering through that with a walking frame or on one leg with crutches.
Does your motel’s ‘disabled unit’ actually have a functionable entrance? Does the bathroom suit people who can’t lift their feet over a shower sill? A flat doorway drain works just as well. Are the sink, taps, handwash and dryer or towel dispenser placed within reach or is the user forced to use slippery, wet hands on crutches or wheels to get to them? Are they placed at a sensible height? Is lighting clear and switches within reach? Are grab rails strong and well-sited? Do cupboards have pull-out drawers? Is there thick carpet on the floor or is it wheelchair-friendly? This goes beyond OH&S – it’s empathy in action and to apply that understanding means that the unit will never be empty.
Newer shopping centres are usually thoughtfully designed, and they are the ones that disabled shoppers go to – along with their helpers, their friends and other disabled people they’ve recommended those centres to. It is simply good business to put thoughtfulness into action; not only does the business gain custom but all that goodwill generates more popularity. And no lawsuits. Try it. You’ll like it.

Collecting Friends

The word ‘collect’ originated in Middle English from Old French collecte and from Latin collecta, meaning ‘gathering’. It is part of the human psyche to collect things. Some people collect rich things, some collect odd and whimsical things, some gather photos or stamps or letters or music and place them in albums and boxes to be kept safe and available. Others collect artifacts or fossils or seashells or stones. Some people collect junk, and others jewels. Some people become so engrossed in their collecting that their homes fill up and they need to rent outside storage places. Some become so obsessed that outsiders are called in to clean away their hoarding; others open museums.
Then there are those who collect abstract things, like ideas or emotional responses and these they store within themselves. I like to collect people; they are stored in my memory so that I have them there with me even after they die or when they’re very far away.
People are fascinating. Rich or poor or somewhere in between, young or old or somewhere in between, formally educated or learning through the lessons of life or somewhere between the two, they all have their own special treasure, their unique being, all reflecting their creator’s love of variety.
Book3 of the Adamadas Chronicles is about Rogan, the man who lost his beloved wife to murderous aliens in the Last War, which was written of in ‘Blue’, Book1 of the Chronicles. Rogan’s story of loss and recovery is filled with the people he collects in his life and the richness they give to it. But Rogan is a giver, not a user, and so his friendships endure.
Collecting people is really about friendship, after all. Simply meeting people doesn’t qualify; using people for one’s own needs or purposes destroys the possibility of real and enduring friendship. Giving doesn’t mean handing out money but the giving of support and talents, the giving of friendship itself.

May You Have an Interesting Life

An old Chinese curse, it is said, growls “May you have an interesting life.” A true curse is to live a wasted life. An interesting life is, at least, interesting – and memoirs can follow, for retribution and even recompense! But a wasted life has nothing of value, either to gain or to give. It’s your life that makes you interesting, not what you know (or think you know) about other lives – that’s just lazy living. A well-lived life is not about looks or money. Intelligence certainly helps but lacking a formal education is not an impassable barrier
In his youth, my Dad knew a rabbiter. Rabbiting was a lowly job, usually performed by uneducated, poor and reclusive men who shot or trapped rabbits when they were in plague proportions, before the days of mass poisoning. Dad said this man, Peter, lived in a shack by the river. He didn’t live long but he was the best historian my father had ever met. Peter had learned to read in the few years he’d had at school. History fascinated him. Instead of buying beer he bought history books; these he kept, protectively wrapped in newspaper, on the shelf in his shack. He was an interesting man, and very wise. In his resurrection, when he has his first real opportunity to expand his horizons, he will be amazing.
When I was a teenager I met three-year-old Thèresa, who had cancer. She wasn’t supposed to live that long. There were lumps all over her head and body. She was the most positive and endearing child I’d ever met; she knew she was dying and she made the most of her life by being happy, by making others happy. Her mind was way past her years. Her one goal, the thing that kept her alive beyond all expectations, was that her mother was pregnant and she wanted to meet her baby sister. And she did. She died a week and a half after the birth. That little girl also has an awesome potential. And decades later I still remember Thèresa, though I only met her only once, for a short while – because she was interesting, fascinating.
I knew some teenage boys once. I remember them (if not their names), not because they were interesting but because they were mind-numbingly boring. Their idea of a wild weekend was getting drunk and fighting, preferably with somebody defenceless. I knew another youth, TK, who came from a poorer home than any of those other boys. He worked after school and in his holidays to pay for karate classes and flying lessons. He had his first pilot’s licence at sixteen, and his black belt when he finished high school. Life was never an easy run for TK but he fought his way through every barrier to achieve his goals and he fought well. He moved to another nation so he could fly the jets he longed to fly. He went to university. He played football. He went on assignment for the UN to Columbia. He rode an old motorbike with his cousin as far as Mexico, revelling in adventures all the way, and when his cousin had to go home, TK carried on alone, photographing his journey in exquisite detail; and training three hoods in Mexico City not to prey on lone tourists… TK is now a Captain in the Royal Canadian Air Force, a leader who trains leaders.
In a leafy Sydney suburb an old lady buried her husband; she was 82. All her life she had served her family. All her life she’d dreamed of being an artist. With nobody else to care for, she finally had time to live the dream, and she did. In the four remaining years of her life she had six solo exhibitions, earned fame as an artist and became a local celebrity.
Live life to the full. May your life, and you, be truly interesting!