Things that go bump in the night

Other posts of mine in Rhobin’s Round Robin:
What matters in today’s world?
One of my angels

This month’s topic from Rhobin Courtright is:
Do you believe in angels, spirits, ghosts, demons or other ethereal beings or locations? What do you think when they appear in stories? Have you used them in your own stories?
Image from, worth reading about Shintoism.

I have three separate answers to the three questions.

1. I don’t believe anything, being handicapped by a scientific upbringing. Unsupported belief is such a fuzzy tool for creating reality!

Since my teenage years, I’ve been constructing a model of the universe, based on the evidence I had at any given time. As new evidence came in, I tested my current model against it. If necessary, I revised the model, even rejected key aspects. This then gave me a new, but still tentative model.

As a result, I was forced to admit that there is life before birth and after death. I’ve studied and accepted the evidence for reincarnation, and through personal past-life recalls, and other, less subjective evidence, accept that the purpose of life is for us to grow spiritually, life after life, until we reach the level of a Jesus, a Buddha. After this, we’ve graduated, and don’t need to be born again, although some advanced souls choose to return, in order to be of service to the rest of us. The same evidence indicates that there are Superior Beings who guide us. My guess is, they are people who are spiritually mature, and choose to mentor us younger souls.

People who report angels may have encountered a person who no longer needs a material existence.

Ghosts? The normal process after death appears to be a conversation with a Superior Being, who guides the just-dead person through a re-experiencing of life. For some reason, this proceeds from death to birth. Instead of reliving personal experiences, souls feel the consequences of their actions for others. If I’ve insulted someone today, I’ll relive how my victim felt because of my action. Same if I’ve made someone feel good.

I can conceive the possibility that some people don’t enter this process, but hang on, staying as disembodied people who are preoccupied with some earthly concern. That would be a ghost. If they exist, the way to deal with them is the way to deal with any confused person on the wrong path: with compassion, respect, empathy. They need to be encouraged to let go and move on.

2. Demons, evil spirits, vampires, werewolves and the like don’t work for me. If, life after life, we sometimes go forward, sometimes back, but advance on the average, then there is a mechanism for generating benevolent spirits. But where would evil spirits come from?

So, I find it hard to get into the constructed reality that contains such inventions. If a werewolf ever bites my bum, I’ll change my mind.

Besides, horror as a genre repels me. Reality, out there, has so much horror I’d like to eliminate that I don’t need the artificial thrill of horror in fiction. Cruelty repels me in real life, and it repels me in my reading.

3. From all this, you can deduce the kinds of “supernatural” beings I have in my own writing. In Ascending Spiral, there is a Superior Person who guides my protagonist after each death, helping in the planning of the next life. In Sleeper, Awake, there are no supernatural beings at all, but two computer programs who are sufficiently intelligent and powerful that they might as well be gods.

I have an unpublished novel I am currently hawking around to publishers, Hit and Run, which several of my beta readers have said is my best to date. Reincarnation occurs there, but no superhuman beings, good or naughty.

In my current work, The Doom Healer, there is a source of evil. This wasn’t in my original plan. My young hero Bill was merely to battle the idiocy of humans who are driving us, and in fact all complex life, to extinction. However, the alien who came to our aid pointed out that there is something unique about humanity. It had helped millions of other species within the galaxy, but had never encountered things like nuclear bombs, childhood sexual abuse, wars of genocide, and the limitless accumulation of wealth. So, it deduced that there may be some active source of evil on earth. It’s not my doing, but such a person, a source of evil, did come into being within the story. This person in fact invented myths like Satan and other nasties. It wrote the Apocrypha, with the battle between Christ and Antichrist, to serve his own ends of destroying us.

In this case, my beliefs are irrelevant. I just write down what I am told to.

Other participants in Rhobin’s round robin:

Marci Baun
Margaret Fieland
Diane Bator
Beverley Bateman
A.J. Maguire
Fiona McGier
Anne Stenhouse
Helena Fairfax
Hollie Glover
Rachael Kosinski
Connie Vines
Rhobin Courtright
Skye Taylor

About Dr Bob Rich

I am a professional grandfather. My main motivation is to transform society to create a sustainable world in which my grandchildren and their grandchildren in perpetuity can have a life, and a life worth living. This means reversing environmental idiocy that's now threatening us with extinction, and replacing culture of greed and conflict with one of compassion and cooperation.
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10 Responses to Things that go bump in the night

  1. fionamcgier says:

    How interesting that you have scientifically decided that there is life before and after death. I do find the idea of reincarnation fascinating. I’d like to think that we get to experience this wonder of being alive more than once. I’ve come to believe that “God” is in every living thing: the blades of grass, the insects, and the animals around us. God is the life-force that we all have withing us, that allows for us to be alive. I was told that “Namaste” means, “The light within me salutes the light within you,” or, God in me says hello to God in you.

    Once you start to study religions, there are so many similarities. How tragic that the followers only see one way to be, and visit death and destruction upon everyone else. You’re right. There is so much evil in some people that there is no need to make up evil creatures. They live all around us.


    • Dr Bob Rich says:

      Fiona, thank you for your thoughtful comment.

      I have a free little book of essays “You too can live in contentment” that, among other things, summarises the evidence for reincarnation.

      You are in agreement with the aliens in my “Doom Healer” stories. I am sure they’ll be pleased about that. Only, they and I go a bit further: even every rock, speck of dust and drop of water is God.



  2. okwriter says:

    Great post, Bob, written from a very different perspective. It makes me think. Thanks for sharing.


  3. Marci Baun says:

    I’m with you on the horror. I don’t care to read it, have written one or two horror stories, but most of my stories aren’t. I tend to like happy endings because, as you stated, there’s enough horror in the world without me adding a horror book to it.

    It’s fascinating that your newest story contains an evil being when you don’t believe in it. Isn’t it amazing how the muse guides us?


    • Dr Bob Rich says:

      Thank you Marci, and thank you visiting.

      A muse sounds like something benevolent and exciting. Mine is more like a tyrant. When She grabs me, I am a puppet and am required to record. Later, I may revise, cut content, add, change things, but not while inspired. Then, what comes, comes.

      I think the evil person came into my current work because I can’t make sense of the world we live in. How can people torture and sexually abuse children, or for that matter any living thing? How can otherwise perfectly normal people go into a killing frenzy once a year, and slaughter dolphins by the hundreds? How can honest, upstanding decision-makers of large companies engage in little acts like bottling water in a drought-stricken area, hide scientific evidence that their main product is a carcinogen, or, as recently revealed about Exxon, that climate change is real, human-made, and threatens all complex life on this planet? How could a nuclear bomb ever have been detonated to kill people? Did you know, in the 1950s, there was an experiment in Australia? The Australian and British governments exploded a nuclear bomb so the radiation would hit the local Aboriginal people, and they lined up soldiers, merely telling them to close their eyes. This was a study of the effects of radiation.

      Given that human nature is full of generosity, decency, compassion, empathy, such things should be impossible. I think that why the Enemy entered my book. At the moment, he is throwing everything he can at my young hero, Bill.



  4. Rhobin says:

    I complete agree with you about horror, and learning more about the back ground history of Ascending Spiral was interesting.


  5. That’s an extraordinarily full response, Bob. There’s certainly going to be a wide variety of thought on this subject. Anne


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