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Meeting Dennis Wilson (serialized novel, 2013)

All seven books - bestMeeting Dennis Wilson was my first published novel and is the third book in my story timeline. It’s available as seven serialized volumes and in an omnibus edition. Here’s how you can order copies.

PDF e-book editions (readable or printable on any device without loss of formatting) are available from my store at Selz.com. Click here for more information on the  PDF e-books.

Print editions are available from any online or brick-and-mortar bookshop. Here are the ISBNs to order. Books 1-4 each contain a “bonus track” extra story.

Book One (ISBN 978-1484950029)
Book Two  (ISBN 978-1490303116)
Book Three (ISBN 978-1490581859)
Book Four (ISBN 978-1490904733)
Book Five (ISBN 978-1491241332)
Book Six (ISBN 978-1492243137)
Book Seven (ISBN 978-1493520206)
Omnibus edition (contains all seven books minus bonus stories)(ISBN 978-1494325695)

Kindle Editions are available directly from the Kindle store at Amazon.com.

On Barry Levinson’s PATERNO…

Sometimes I don’t realize what a movie or a story is MISSING until after I’ve read a good critique of it. That was the case with Paterno, Barry Levinson’s movie about the Jerry Sandusky scandal.

paterno002The movie was pretty tightly focused on the last couple weeks of Joe Paterno’s coaching tenure at Penn State: his 409th career win as a Division I coach, and then, less than two weeks later, his firing.

The main criticism of the movie seemed to be that it “didn’t draw any conclusions.” 

But my problem with it was that it left the big question unanswered: how did someone like Sandusky get away with what he did for over two decades before he was finally formally charged? It was a lot more nuanced than just Joe Paterno “looking the other way.”

Sandusky was the founder of a children’s charity which helped disadvantaged and troubled boys. That was where he found his victims. How was it possible that he was affiliated with that charity for over two decades without someone NOTICING that something was “off”?

The uneasy answer is that most of the people who knew him professionally– including licensed psychologists, childcare professionals, and law enforcement officials– didn’t know exactly what they were seeing when they looked at Jerry Sandusky. He was considered not just a noble person, but a hero of sorts as a protector and advocate of the very children he was abusing in private. The idea that he was doing what he did was shockingly at odds with his image.

That is part of the way that child molesters work.

A friend of mine whose parents live in Lock Haven PA told me that after Sandusky left Penn State but a few years before he was formally charged, he was a volunteer coach at a local high school up there. One afternoon, another coach caught him in a compromising position with a teen boy in the gym. Sandusky jumped up and stammered that he was showing the boy “wrestling moves.” No charges were filed, but Sandusky was let go as a volunteer.

My friend said that when the story hit the local paper, residents were outraged, but not in the way you’d think now.

“How dare someone try to besmirch the character of this fine upstanding gentleman who has done so much to help children in this community” was the tone of the outrage.

It seems to me, therefore, that as a writer, if someone REALLY wanted to tell this story, they’d take the following tack: show Sandusky as he appeared to almost everyone around him before there was any hint of this. 

33E2823100000578-3575517-image-m-45_1462503827937Show the seemingly benign, “goofy and childlike” (the words of a former player) children’s advocate as he appeared to his players, family, church members, the college community, and the people at his charity.

Make him look like the saint everyone thought he was, and then proceed from there.

The audience has to be sympathetic to Sandusky and manipulated into dismissing anything that looks the slightest bit unseemly.

Just like most of the people around him were for almost 30 years.

Occupy my mind…

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Laurel: I can’t stay awake if I’ve got nothing to occupy my mind.
Hardy: I’ll give you something to “occupy your mind”…

One of my favorite mystical teachers, A. Ramana, said that the rational mind “just loves to ‘get it.’ Just loves to have all this knowledge, all this wisdom, all this insight, all this understanding. It feeds on it. Thrives on it. You need to put it on a fast.”
I realized tonight that any belief in a secondary cause (any cause of the phenomena of life outside of my I AM, God within me, “my own wonderful human imagination”) really puts (or keeps) the rational mind right where it wants to be.
Because if I believe that I’m NOT the sole cause of the phenomena of my life, then the question becomes “what is?” And that’s a rabbithole of a question.
Did I also mention that the mind loves a rabbithole?
If I AM the sole cause, then all those problems have a simple short answer: “I created it.” And that ends the discussion.
Did I also mention that the rational mind hates to have the discussion ended?

“We aren’t speaking of anything ‘rational’ in this world.” ~ Neville Goddard

Law of….?

100_2181[1]Here are some further insights from my journal, spurred by Neville Goddard quotes that I’m typing into the manuscript of the upcoming Still More Neville From My Notebook e-book I’m assembling.

First the Neville quote (from his lecture Test Yourselves)…

See the world as nothing more than yourself pushed out, and everything in it as aiding the birth of your imagination, for the behavior of the world relative to you (is) determined by the concept you hold of yourself! It doesn’t really matter what your individual personal life is; the whole vast world is yourself pushed out and everyone in it is there to aid the birth of all of your imaginal acts. Regardless of whether it takes one or one hundred thousand, everyone will play his part, and you don’t have to ask his permission, for your world is animated by your own wonderful human imagination.

…and now, from my journal:

I quote and parrot this line of Neville’s frequently, remind myself of it — everything I see is myself pushed out– but reading this longer passage, it struck me differently. Especially this line:

“The whole vast world is yourself pushed out and everyone in it is there to aid the birth of all of your imaginal acts.”

This is true especially for things that I ASSUME TO BE TRUE. 

When I assume a truth, I assume a state. In that sense, the law that Neville speaks of is really “the law of assumption.”

Neville often asked, “What do you think is the cause of the phenomena of life?” 

The answer is: we do not realize that by assuming a truth, we are assuming a state. And so we create the phenomena of our lives by giving life. And when that which we assume to be true springs forth, we say, “Look! See? That’s what I told you would happen!” We believe it’s true and thus re-create it, cementing it into place, so to speak.

That’s the cycle:

I believe X is true. X comes forth in my world, which I take as verification that X is true.

So Neville’s teaching really addresses, to me, the often unspoken question of “Why is my life the way it is?” As A. Ramana said, “Think your assumptions might have anything to do with that?”

What so many teachers and students of this stuff apparently pervert is that they practice law of ATTRACTION. When I see that something is “off” in my world, I want to fix it. I see LACK as an indication of need, in the sense that if I feel like I’m lacking, I believe that getting that which I lack will solve the problem. Or: if I feel that my lack is the cause of my unhappiness, then getting that which I lack will bring my happiness.

The tendency is to want to attract the opposite of that which I feel I’m suffering from. So if I’m poor, I think money will bring me happiness and solve my problem. If I’m ill, health will solve my problem. If I’m lonely, sex or love or companionship. Etc etc. Very shallow superficial examples. But they all sort of try to treat the effect by substituting another effect. And the underlying questions– why is my life the way it is? What is the cause of the phenomena of my life?– go unanswered, or only partially answered. Instead, we put our energy into attracting an antidote.

So law of ASSUMPTION implies that the law is working through what we ASSUME to be true. I can take that in a million different directions, but to me the greatest value is that it answers those two underlying questions.

 


Neville From My Notebook

and

More Neville From My Notebook

Cover 2Cover

Two collections of quotes, passages and lectures from the mystical teachings of Neville Goddard, available now as e-books.

Click here for more information and to order!

 

Lifting the cross

100_2134
Photo by the author

While typing quotes for a third Neville From My Notebook collection, I came across this, from Neville Goddard’s lecture Bear Ye One Another’s Burdens:

Don’t limit your friend because of his financial, social, or intellectual background. That’s a heavy cross for him to bear. Rather, lift his cross and set him free… You and I can lift the cross from our own shoulders, for as I lift your cross, I am lifting mine, and in a way I do not know, the burden is lifted from me.

It’s funny that Neville used the phrase “in a way I do not know,” because in the very next sentence of this lecture, he answers why this is true:

Everyone you meet is yourself made visible, for there is nothing but yourself in the world.

I get it. And I’m sure Neville did, too.

The proposition Neville put forth repeatedly in his teachings, which he urged us to put to the test, is that, in the words of poet William Blake, “all that you behold, though it appears without, it is within, in your imagination, of which this world of mortality is but a shadow.” “Seeming others” express and reflect that which I believe to be true.

So… if I “lift the cross” of “another,” I am, in effect, revising and changing what I assume to be true. And so I am changing self AND “lifting the cross.” Because that other is just reflecting me. So change “them” in imagination and I have changed self. Or, rather, change “self” in imagination, and then “they”– myself pushed out– is also changed.

That is the answer to “the way I do not know.”


Neville From My Notebook

and

More Neville From My Notebook

Cover 2Cover

Two collections of quotes, passages and lectures from the mystical teachings of Neville Goddard, available now as e-books.

Click here for more information and to order!

 

 

Dismissive and lukewarm

Jerry-Lewis-Max-RoseI’m repeatedly amazed when I read lukewarmly dismissive reviews of movies or books or recordings that moved me in some way.

I finally saw Max Rose, which was Jerry Lewis’s last movie, a drama about an aging jazz pianist whose wife has just died, and who has discovered a memento of hers that suggests that she had an ongoing affair during their 65-year marriage. I didn’t think it was a “classic” but I thought it was beautifully and sensitively done. I thought Jerry Lewis’s take on the aging widower was just PERFECT, and it resonated with what I loved most about the movie: a sensitive depiction of old age. Unless there’s a film subgenre I’ve been missing, this is a rare thing in popular entertainment. 

And yet… I read a few capsule reviews of the movie that just seemed to miss this altogether.

“A soggy, fragile feature… mawkish, leaden drama… a maudlin, inconsequential waste… a truly unfortunate encore (for Lewis)…”

These are the lead lines in some of the negative reviews I scanned online.

And, as so often happens when I read such reviews, my reaction was: “Did this reviewer even watch the movie?”

This was no two-star tossoff. 

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Jerry Lewis with co-star Kerry Bishe in MAX ROSE.

This is telling: Max Rose is an hour and twenty minutes long. Not two hours, not three hours, not even ninety minutes. Barely 80 minutes. The filmmakers told the story and got out of there. Compactness in a movie is a rare thing lately. 

Beautiful, sensitive, understated, concise, emotional. 

If that’s not GREAT, it’s at least admirable, and certainly not deserving of the lukewarm and dismissive reviews I read.

I’m glad I finally got to see it, and Lewis must have been proud of it, and I’m glad he got to see it screened for appreciative audiences before his death.

And, yet again, I’m reminded that I should never read or put stock in reviews before I see a film. Had I seen those reviews of Max Rose, I may have never given it a chance.

And it deserves much more than “a chance.”

“What you have assumed that you are, you will become…”

Meme - Neville - You have already become what you are

From Neville Goddard’s lecture What Is Man?

We are living in a world that really is a psychological world. All things take place in the imagination of man… all things. And so, because they do take place there, let them take place there first before we expect to see them on the outside. So assume that you are the man that you would like to be. Believe that you are. Try to catch all the feeling that would be yours if it were true. Give it all the tones and the feeling of reality. And then sleep. Go sound asleep in that assumption that you are already the one that you want to be. Try that, and I assure you, from my own experience, what you have assumed that you are, you will become. You have already become what you are because you once assumed that you are it. Everything in the world is just like that. It’s all imagination.

“‘And all that you behold, though it appears without, really it is within, in your own wonderful human imagination, of which this world of mortality is but a shadow.’

“You bring the whole thing into this world. So you lose it? You can repeat it, for the reality never disappears. This is the shadow world. So how do you bring it back? By contemplating the state, and bringing it back once again,and feeling that you are now what you want to be. And bring it right back into your world. Man thinks it’s done and gone for good– no. The eternal forms are forever. They never disappear.

“One day you’re going to have this experience. You will see man differently. You will see everything differently. And when you see it, and you are in control of your own being, you’re going to see the whole vast world is dead. Actually dead. And you are the living reality of the world.”

Click here to listen to or download a recording of the lecture “What Is Man?” 

For more Neville Goddard resources, click here.


Neville From My Notebook

and

More Neville From My Notebook

Cover 2Cover

Two collections of quotes, passages and lectures from the mystical teachings of Neville Goddard, available now as e-books.

Click here for more information and to order!