Bobbing Around Volume 19 Number 6

The primary end of personal possessions is to relieve hunger, thirst, and nakedness, and if more than sufficient remains it should be transmitted into good works.
Galen


Habitat loss, pesticide use, invasive species, and climate change all have likely played a role, but we posit here that artificial light at night is another important—but often overlooked—bringer of the insect apocalypse.
Avalon et al.


Bobbing Around

Volume Nineteen, Number Six,
December, 2019

Bob Rich’s rave

email

bobswriting.com    anxietyanddepression-help.com/    mudsmith.net/    previous issues

*About Bobbing Around
subscribe/unsubscribe
guidelines for contributions

Comments are welcome — on the bottom of every post and page here, including this one.

*From me to you
Mr Palmer replied — sort of
A message to another climate criminal
New Book Review Site strikes again
Interviewed from the male perspective
My new project

*New stuff

*Blog posts during November


I am responsible for anything I have written. However, where I reproduce contributions from other people, I do not necessarily endorse their opinions. I may or may not agree with them, but give them the courtesy of a forum.


Let us grow the economy to extinction!
Dr Bob Rich


Sea levels are now rising more than twice as quickly as they were last century, and they’re still accelerating.
IPCC report, 25th September 2019


Bobbing Around is COPYRIGHTED. No part of it may be reproduced in any form, at any venue, without the express permission of the publisher (ME!) and the author if that is another person.


From me to you

Mr Palmer replied — sort of
A message to another climate criminal
New Book Review Site strikes again
Interviewed from the male perspective
My new project

 

Mr Palmer replied — sort of

Last month, I reproduced a message I sent to Clive Palmer, who is trying to open a huge coal mine.

To my immense surprise, I got a reply:

    Good ,You should become a member of my foundation and I will assist you in any project of your dream as my fan . You have to Contact ” Austin Crawford ” my Personal Assistant at his email austincrwford@gmail.com to have him process your membership.

    Full name
    Address
    Country
    occupation
    Phone Number
    Email Address

    You can also contact me on my telephone number, you can text me or chat me up on WhatApps and make sure you don’t share my contact with anyone for security purpose. Telephone Number: (omitted).

My reply:

    While I find it surprising that Mr Palmer’s personal assistant would have a gmail address, I am following up. I also note that the phone number is American, not Australian, and that the message is worded unprofessionally and contains several typos and grammatical inaccuracies.

    Personally, I don’t need anything. My occupation is Professional Grandfather: I want a survivable future for all the young people on earth, and a future worth surviving in.

    Naturally, that message will have come from an administrative assistant, or more likely is an autoreply. If Mr Palmer really wants to do something for me, he can personally read my message, and reverse his decision to open up the Carmichael Basin coal mine. He should put his flair and intelligence into reducing the cause of tragedies like the terrible drought in Australia at present, the dying of the Great Barrier Reef, of the kelp forests off the southern Australian shore, the mangrove forests of the NT. He can do something about the threatened extinction of much of our wildlife — and about the coming extinction of humanity.

    Sincerely,

    Bob Rich.


A message to another climate criminal

This is the CEO of Equinor, the Norwegian oil company that is doing everything it can to explore for oil in the Great Australian Bight, which is so difficult a location that even BP has abandoned it.

    Dear Mr. Eldar Sætre,

    The Great Australian Bight is a breeding ground for whales, and is one of the world’s richest coastal ecosystems. We are now in the 6th extinction event of earth, and when we unravel the web of life, we also fall through the hole.

    Depth of the water is hugely greater than BP’s Deepwater Horizon disaster, and the weather can be extremely turbulent. Your chance of a major leak was shown by your own publications to be considerable.

    Please go away. For survival, we need to keep unexploited oil the way it is, contained.

    There are no profits on a dead planet.

    Yours sincerely,
    Bob Rich, PhD


New Book Review Site strikes again

Please have a look at Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s post of a mysteriously obtained review. At the minimum, the author’s bio will amuse you.


Interviewed from the male perspective


Only… the interviewer was a nice young lady, Lana Turner. I don’t know why she does things from the male perspective, but don’t mind either.

Almost everyone seems to like my interviews, but there is at least one exception — me. Please have a look and listen, then reassure me, even if you need to join me in being a storyteller.

I did put a lot of my passion into this conversation, so if you approve, please spread the word about it.


My new project

The publisher of Loving Healing Press, Victor Volkman, wants to do an audio version of From Depression to Contentment. To save him money, and so the book is more personal, I am having a go at recording it myself, and have struck all sorts of challenges.

I want headings and block quotes in a contrasting voice. My friend Charlene has recently retired as a radio person, and agreed to do it, but… she is having breathing difficulties, and after coaching me for some weeks had to withdraw. OK, so I found another friend, Jenny who is keen to do it. As of this moment, I haven’t heard her recorded voice yet, but I am sure we can make it work.

In the meantime, my vintage computer has developed a canary inside. When the fan comes on, the computer whistles. Fortunately, I have an even more vintage computer that sits around because the keyboard no longer works. So, I’ve put the book on that, and the audio program on my wife’s, and have spent a bit of time between 5 and 6 am in recording a little sample. Here it is.

Let me know if you think I should proceed, or allow the professionals to handle it.



New stuff

Inspiration
Francis: get rid of nukes!

Psychology
Anxiety help
Positive psychology
Contemplating suicide
War inside my head
My husband and son don’t get along

Deeper Issues
The Meaning of Life

Health
Drugs and oral health

Look over a writer’s shoulder
Writing a persuasive essay?

I approve of these announcements
Share a video about the forests of the Amazon
Green investment
Free nature book from award-winning photographer
Are you a scientist? You can sign this
Help Australia’s victims

Reviews
From Depression to Contentment, reviewed by Hendrika de Vries
From Depression to Contentment, reviewed by Shagun Chetri
Distorted Perception, by S. Karki
Taming Chronic Pain, by Amy Orr
So Man Created God in His Own Image, by Romain Gagnon

Poetry
The Lyrebird

Fun
Book fun


Inspiration

Francis: get rid of nukes!

One of the humans I most admire has commemorated the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by visiting Japan.

His message is one of sanity: stop the nuclear arms race, get rid of the nuclear weapons, and invest all the immense resources going into war into benefits for all of us.

You know, my catchcry: a survivable future, and one worth surviving in?


Psychology

Anxiety help
Positive psychology
Contemplating suicide
War inside my head
My husband and son don’t get along

 

Anxiety help

I regularly get approached to place links on my psych contacts page.

One I received early in November concerns anxiety experienced by college students, but I found it to be much more widely relevant. If you, or someone you care for, suffers from anxiety, you’ll get a lot out of reading it.


Positive psychology

If you have read From Depression to Contentment, you’ll know that the cure for depression (and other monsters like anxiety) largely depends on a collection of positive psychology measures. Here you will find 17 of them that will improve your life, whatever your circumstances. There are also 6 printable mantras you can use as visual reminders.


Contemplating suicide

Recently I was invited to participate in a suicide prevention blog at Quora. I am still struggling with technicalities, but managed to answer this young woman:

I’ve had previous attempts before & I’m thinking about doing it again. I don’t want to die, but I’m extremely depressed & at this point it seems like this is the only thing I can do to end the pain. I’ve tried therapy, psych wards, pills, other drugs, etc. and nothing works. no matter what I do I just feel so overwhelmed with sadness and loneliness, even when I’m surrounded by friends and family. Every day is a struggle for me and I get verbally, mentally, physically, and emotionally abused by the people in my life and up until about 4 weeks ago I was being sexually abused by my ex. I know some people are there for me but I still feel alone, like nobody really means what they say and nobody understands how I feel. I heard the generic “things will get better; time will heal your pain; we care” all the time and it doesn’t help one bit and I don’t know what’s wrong with me. It’s like I’m drowning and no matter how hard I try to reach the surface I never will. I think it’s time to end my life, I don’t wanna deal with this anymore. There’s nothing I can do.

Destiny, while I’ve gone about my day, I had your heartfelt cry for help in the back of my mind. It reminded me of what I felt like as a young person. Often, I felt I was an empty space inside a black steel box with no light in, and no way out.

You have suffered trauma. Me too. You’ve been abused, by the people who should be your supports. Me too.

One day, somehow, I reached out a hand and found that the black steel wall in front of me was actually a black curtain. I looked outside at sunshine. Between the ages of 21 and 23, I did therapy on myself, without knowing that I was doing it.

I am now 76.5 years old. The other day, I was chatting with a stranger. As we were parting, I gave one of my usual, and said, “Have a good life.”

She looked surprised, and answered, “You too.”

I told her, “I already have.”

I have. Not despite all the suffering in my past, but because of it.

You can make this choice too. In the same way I did, to get benefit from your suffering, can you look for what lessons you can learn from it. Rather than looking at your life as hopeless, believe it or not, you can choose to seek the path out.

It’s not for me to say how, but some of my suggestions for you to consider are:

* Cut loose from people who abuse you (especially the sexual abuse).

* Avoid substances that are known to depress mood. The main ones are alcohol and marijuana.

* I bet your day has very little fun, uplifting, enjoyable in it. Put it in. However artificial and forced it feels, do fun stuff.

* You have suffered trauma. Feeling like you do is a very frequent reaction to that. There are effective techniques for processing trauma. One is “Traumatic Incident Reduction.” Go to www.tir.org and see if there is a practitioner near you. Or you can do this kind of work through hypnosis, or EMDR, with a suitably qualified psychologist.

Some of what you did in the past may have involved something like this, and it failed.

There are two possible reasons for such failure, and both may be present. One is, if you’re still in a war zone, you simply can’t. The first requirement is to feel safe. That’s why my first suggestion was to stop the abuse. More of that later. The second requirement is to carry the activity to an “endpoint.” This is when you can re-experience the reliving of a trauma, and stay calm. This happens, but the path to it is horrible. When people discontinue before reaching the endpoint, the activity fails, and can even make matters worse. I processed trauma for myself, without a helper, and have worked with hundreds of other survivors. Let me tell you: if you reach an endpoint, the trauma is gone.
Now, how to stop the abuse. People you are in a long term relationship with (family, acquaintances, work colleagues) have habitual reactions to you, and the easiest way of stopping abuse from them is divorce. Get them out of your life at least temporarily until you are strong enough, and have developed inner poise and self-confidence. But if you are still broadcasting “I am a victim. Kick me!” then new abusers will come into your life. That happened to me, until I was 21. Then I made certain changes in how I thought of myself, and what I broadcast was “Respect me!” and people did.
Here is an example. Thanks to my abusive stepfather, one of my inner clichés was “If there is a wrong way of doing something, or even if there isn’t, I’ll do it that way first.” I noticed, though, that if someone else can do it, I can learn it. So, that was my immediate riposte to this thought. In the same way, I found something to counter each of my habitual self-bashing thoughts.

You can do the same. Keep a record of thoughts that put yourself down, and find a counter to each. The counter-thought needs to be self-respecting, and true.

Look, I’ve got all this and more set out in my book, From Depression to Contentment. If you can’t afford the few dollars for an electronic copy, go to Bobbing Around and fill out the contact form. I’ll email you a free copy.

Have a good life, my dear.
You can.

To my delight, I got a reply: “I can’t thank you enough. Really. You gave me hope again. I’ll be sure to take your advice. you’re a good man 🙂 I’ll buy your book immediately.

Naturally, the immediate response from the poor little boy I carry around inside me was, “A good man, me? If only she knew the real me!” But I smilingly patted him on the head and told him to go back to sleep. I may have saved a life, or decades of suffering for a stranger on a different continent. If that’s not good, what is?


War inside my head

From the same source:

I’m new here.

I want to die, swallow blades, drink poisonous liquids, just get rid of the pain.

I know if I have a suicide attempt, my friend will probably attempt to. She has attempted a lot recently.

I want to cut, usually I would by now, to get my mind off the suicidal thoughts l, but I told my friend I wouldn’t. There’s also the problem of the fact that it is my cuts is part of the reason I want to die.

Why do I always feel like a burden?

What I hear is that you are caught in a terrible conflict with yourself. People cut and do other self-damaging actions for various reasons. I don’t know why you have formed this habit, but can see that you would love to stop it.

You can, but it is hard work.

Look, I once had a client, a middle-aged man, who was worried about falling over. There was no risk of that at all, but what happened was that for some reason, one day he noticed that he was swaying a little when standing still. We all do that, it is the way people stand. But he thought there was something wrong, and after this, all his attention was focused on it. “Oh no! I am swaying again! What’s wrong?”

The more he worried, the worse it got.

I don’t know why you started having suicidal thoughts, and injuring yourself. But now, you want it to stop, and all your attention is focused on it.

So, here is the first aid. Force yourself to get involved in other things. Examples are:

Study.

A sport.

Volunteering to help other people. That’s the best there is.

Work in the garden. Nature is wonderful.

Play music, however badly at first. You’ll improve with practice.

Write poems or short stories or essays. They are allowed to express your despair, but it’s better if you choose to focus on beauty, courage, good things.

Collect jokes, and make people laugh with them.

In addition, help is available. I don’t know where you live, or what resources your family has, but seeing a good psychologist for 8 to 20 sessions will be the best investment in your life.
Please visit my blog, Bobbing Around where I have a contact form. You can send me an email so I can continue to be here for you.

Your new grandfather,
Bob


My husband and son don’t get along

I have been with my husband now for 1 yr and I’m currently pregnant with our daughter. My 11 yr old son was raised by my mom & dad and he was very spoiled.

My husband calls my son a spoiled brat without caring how he feels. I hate when he calls him names, but as for me I don’t believe in spoiling my kids for no reason, so agree that my son is somewhat of a spoiled (brat).

My husband and my son seem to clash a lot and my husband talks to my son to behave better because my son does talk back to him so much.

He also calls my other 2 kids names all the time. We are not ok with it and have had talks with him, but they don’t seem to help at all.

Now my husband is tired of it and when he talks to him they just seem to argue instead of talking. Last night was the ugly one where I put them both in a room to settle this, but they didn’t talk, just ignored each other and I told my husband that I don’t know how we plan to stay together if he can’t or won’t try to talk to my son anymore I don’t know how to help them get along anymore I need advice.

Belinda my dear, this is a common problem. Your family is not alone. What has worked for other families will probably work for you.

If you can afford it or have insurance to cover it, a few session with a good psychologist will guide you to fix the problem.

Twenty-five years ago, my son was in a similar situation to your husband. His new lady had two daughters. The 6-year-old just ignored him, but the 4-year-old was so hostile he thought she may need an exorcism! I told him no, she is just testing you to see if you deserve to replace her father, and from her point of view, is protecting her mother.

What he did was to completely pull back from discipline. The mother did all the disciplining. The two of them did have discussions about what and how, but never when the kids were around.

Instead, he started regular fun activities with the girls, sometimes one at a time, sometimes both, sometimes the whole family. He took them to places they wanted to go, helped them with school projects, taught them enjoyable things to do. Naturally, at first this seemed to have no effect, but over time he made a difference. When the younger girl had problems with other kids at school, she came to him. When she learned to drive, she insisted that he did the teaching. Now she is a young adult (about your age), and they are great friends.

So, my recommendation to your husband is to do the same: leave all discipline and rule setting to you. Whenever he speaks with them, or in their hearing, be pleasant and polite. He should do everything possible to be of help and service to your 3 kids, make sure they enjoy having him around, work on becoming their friend.

At first, this will have no effect, but he needs to keep going until it does.

I also have advice for your son.

When I was a little boy, I was just like him, except more sneaky about it. I made life for my stepfather hell, because I wanted to drive him out of our lives. It was constant hate both ways. I won every battle, but he won the war. Before I turned 14, he managed to get rid of me, out of the family, into a different country.

Then I met him again when I was 21. To my surprise, I liked him. I learned his story, and felt sorry for him, and couldn’t hate him anymore.

At that time, I was seriously suffering from depression. Forgiving my stepfather, and making friends with him, was the start of my healing.

I tell the story of all this in a book, Anikó: The stranger who loved me. This book has some sex scenes in it, and some violence, so it may not yet be suitable for your son to read, but you and your husband may enjoy it, and it will give you both an understanding of where your son is coming from.

Your family can sort this out.
Bob


Deeper Issues

The Meaning of Life

This is a reprint from an ancient Bobbing Around. I found it while looking for something else, and liked it enough to, well, see if you like it too.

A young client has been tortured for years by questions like, ‘What’s the point of it all? I’m going to die anyway, sooner or later, and then it’s all over. Why bother with anything?’

Of course, these ideas got him immensely depressed.

On thinking and talking over these issues, he and I found an answer.

Let us start with a worst case assumption: ‘There is no God. There is no meaning to the Universe, it’s all an accidental collection of junk, and we are mere accidental byproducts, with no meaning, no purpose.’

“OK,” I told him, “in that case, initially, that’s all there was: an immense collection of rocks and gases, whirling around in an ordered yet chaotic way. But eventually, somewhere — either here on earth or in a faraway galaxy — life evolved.”

If a dying tree still has one living green leaf, the tree is still alive. An otherwise dead collection of junk is alive if it has one spot where primitive unicellular organisms live.

It is possible that life is limited to our planet. But that seems improbable to both of us. We feel there just have to be a myriad different planets with incredibly varied life forms. There may be types of life that exist independently of planets, basking in a star’s radiant energy and eating orbiting rubble. The Gaia hypothesis may be right: maybe the planet itself is a living, conscious entity, with us whales and elephants and humans and trees and paramecia merely lice on Her side.

But that doesn’t matter. The Universe is alive as long as some of its components are alive.

Life diversified, and eventually some life forms became intelligent: able to reason, remember, hope and fear and love and hate. Horses and dogs come to mind.

At that stage, the Universe became intelligent, because it had some intelligent components. You are intelligent, even though the nail on your left little toe isn’t. The Universe is intelligent, even if the overwhelming proportion of its mass isn’t.

And then, somewhere, maybe here, but somewhere, sentience arose. Beings could conceive of a future. They could distinguish themselves from their environment, plan, and ask questions like, ‘Why am I alive? What is the meaning of it all? Is there a purpose to existence? Is there a God?’

And at that moment, the Universe became sentient. At that moment, the Universe became God: all encompassing, all-powerful, infinite — and sentient.

Another way of looking at the same thing is this. Suppose Mercury is just a rock orbiting the Sun. Suppose Venus has life, but not sentient life. Then, an accident that pushes Mercury into the Sun is of no consequence. There is one less rock in the Universe. So what. An accident that destroys Venus is much worse, because it has killed. Oh sure, life feeds on death in an endless cycle, but with the destruction of Venus, the whole cycle is destroyed, and all life in one small part of the Universe has been wiped out.

But if OUR planet was destroyed, it would be far, far worse, because the sentience of the Universe would be lessened. In the (perhaps unlikely) event that we are the only sentient beings, basically God would die, and the Universe would go back to a lower level. But even if there is sentience elsewhere, our destruction would be a tragedy.

So, our conclusion was that if we make the worst possible assumption that there is no Creator, no God, then inevitably there is a God, because there are sentient beings like us around.

Isn’t that wonderful?


Health

Drugs and oral health

My psychology site has a Contacts and Links page, which is a frequently accessed guide. Over the past 5 years or more, I’ve been flooded with requests to list addiction-related links, to the point that I gently but firmly refuse to add any more.

However, I got one that’s different from the others. It concerns the effects of various nasty brain-scramblers like tobacco, alcohol, opiates and all the others on the health of your mouth.

I learned a lot in reading it. You will too. Have a look.


Look over a writer’s shoulder

Writing a persuasive essay?

All of us sometimes need to do our best to convince other people of something. When it’s in writing, that’s a persuasive essay. In case you need to do just that, you will get useful instruction from this essay on how to write a persuasive essay.


I approve of these announcements

Share a video about the forests of the Amazon
Green investment
Free nature book from award-winning photographer
Are you a scientist? You can sign this
Help Australia’s victims

 

Share a video about the forests of the Amazon

Dear Bob,

The fires that ravaged millions of acres of Amazon rainforest over the summer have subsided, but the toll on indigenous peoples — on the rich wildlife within their lands, on their water sources and food-crops, and on their health — will be felt for years to come.

As the ash settles over burnt forests, we believe that the global community must hear directly from indigenous peoples living on the frontlines of this global assault on their lands and livelihoods.

Together with our allies at Land is Life, we have produced a series of short videos from the frontlines of the fires. As indigenous peoples rebuild their communities, now is the time for the global community to commit to becoming better and more effective allies and advocates. And that starts with listening. Please take these stories to heart. Share this video with your friends and networks.

Over the coming weeks we will be sharing more short videos from the frontlines, and updating you on our joint efforts to support indigenous communities in rebuilding their communities, re-establishing food crops, and advocating for their rights to their territories.

Thank you.

For the Amazon,
Amazon Frontlines & Land is Life Teams

I did share. However, I suggest you watch it first, and take note.


Green investment

I don’t have the money to buy shares, but some of my wonderful readers probably do. So, I am passing on this message, although you do need to do your homework before investing with ANYBODY:

How much longer will investors who care about the planet financially support the corporations most to blame for the climate crisis? It’s time to divest.

In 1982, the Exxon Research and Engineering Company predicted the rise in global temperatures and atmospheric carbon dioxide. Exxon knew.

For 40 years, oil and gas companies have misled the public and their shareholders about climate change and the risk it poses to the planet. Yet countless Americans are still, knowingly or unknowingly, invested in the fossil fuel industry.

If we’re concerned about climate change, why are we supporting the most environmentally-reckless companies?

Well, some of us aren’t. The Green Century Funds are entirely fossil fuel free. And you can be too. Align your investments with your values today.

Sincerely,
Leslie Samuelrich
President
Green Century Capital Management


Free nature book from award-winning photographer

She is TA Sullivan, who sent me this:

    “Life and Nature” is a symbol of my affection for everyone and everything that shares the planet with me.

    As an avid photographer and writer, I’ve pulled together some of my favorite images and combined them with some inspirational (and I hope, moving) words. The book is meant as an encouraging and moving mixture of words and pictures that illustrate our planet’s range of beauty and wonder. It is a book filled with love, beauty, inspiration, and caring.

    The International Society of Photographers awarded me the Outstanding Amateur Photographer award, as well as the Outstanding Achievements award. I also won the esteemed Golden Leaf award from “Field and Forest” magazine for my exceptional work in nature photography.

    I have been capturing the beauty of the world around me since I received my first camera at the age of nine. My photos have appeared in two photographic anthologies, “Images of the Mind” and “Forever in a Moment,” and in two table-top books, “Journey Into the Imagination” and “Wandering Spirits.”

    The book is free and can be found at Apple, GooglePlay, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, just to name a few.


Are you a scientist? You can sign this

Dear Colleague,

Our paper “World Scientists’ Warning of a Climate Emergency” was recently published in BioScience, and you are one of more than 11,000 scientist signatories on the paper paper, which is open access and free to everyone.

When published, the paper was widely reported on by the mass media. We are now in the process of collecting more signatories on the paper. Therefore, please contact your colleagues about signing the paper. These additional scientists can sign the paper here.

Thank you for being an official signatory on this paper. Now, please share the message of this paper on social media such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


Help Australia’s victims

Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers is a crime against humanity, and breaks the convention on refugees this country is signatory to.

I support organisations that fight this injustice, both with money and action.

Can you please join me in donating a few dollars? You will be saving lives, and proving that human nature has good in it.


Reviews

From Depression to Contentment, reviewed by Hendrika de Vries
From Depression to Contentment, reviewed by Shagun Chetri
Distorted Perception, by S. Karki
Taming Chronic Pain, by Amy Orr
So Man Created God in His Own Image, by Romain Gagnon

 

From Depression to Contentment, reviewed by Hendrika de Vries

In all my over thirty years of practicing psychotherapy I have read and recommended many self-help books, but seldom have I found one that speaks to me with the spiritual wisdom of Bob Rich’s From DEPRESSION to CONTENTMENT. Here is a book that offers an attitude to life that can change your world-view even if you are not suffering from depression. It is a book not to be read in one sitting, but to be turned to again and again for daily words of wisdom and encouragement.

Dr. Rich puts our current epidemic of depression in a larger framework that helps the reader understand the nature of suffering and provides incremental small steps, baby steps, to move through the helplessness and overwhelm. He generously shares his personal experiences but also reminds us of the deep wisdom found in such timeless works as Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning and Mihály Csikszentmihályi’s Flow. He even includes a chapter on reincarnation and past lives that I found especially fascinating.

It’s like being given a spiritual tool kit. I have a daughter who is a sculptor. When she was a little girl, my father, a craftsman, taught her to use tools. Upon his death, the only thing she desired was his old tool kit. It had everything in it she needed, she said, because his love was in the tools he taught her to use. This book reminds me of that. Not just a self-help book, but a tool kit filled with the timeless wisdom available to us whether we need guidance to move through depression or just a refresher course in the meaning of life.

Hendrika de Vries––Author of When a Toy Dog Became a Wolf and the Moon Broke Curfew . . .a memoir


From Depression to Contentment, reviewed by Shagun Chetri

What I loved about this book is how informative and easy to understand it was. For someone who is not directly related to that field of depression, the book comes across as a very effortless to understand kind of book, even though depression is complex and has many layers to it.

As the world is getting more busy and digital, I think that this book is the perfect tool to have around as it has easy ways for you to simply open a chapter and read about some of the ways you could get out of the depressive emotion. I like the variety of ways this book offers to get past depression because not everyone is alike and it offers plenty of different methods for different kind of people.


Distorted Perception, by S. Karki

The author approached me for a review, and provided a free copy. Having read the introduction online, I was interested, because this book shares many of my values. We chatted by email while I was reading, and I was flabbergasted that such wisdom could have been written by a person of only 22 years of age.

If you enjoy profound insights offered in a few well-chosen words of beauty, you must read Distorted Perception.

I am glad to have read this little book, and will keep it handy within my computer for occasional spiritual refreshment.

S. Karki is an emerging Nepalese author, poetess and philosopher with her poetic and philosophical outpourings, her vision is to inspire her readers to see life through a different lens, and ultimately awaken them on an intrinsic level.


Taming Chronic Pain, by Amy Orr


I’ve worked with many clients who suffered chronic pain, and had the unpleasant experience of living with pain myself. I thought I knew all about it, but was surprised at the amount I learned from reading this book. In fact, I wish I had this book to recommend to my clients before I retired — and not only to those suffering from physical pain. Emotional pain is not that different, and we can handle both in much the same way. Certainly, parts of the book are specific to physical pain, but the strategies Amy teaches will work with any form of suffering.

Amy states that she is a scientist. However, she doesn’t write like a scientist, but more like a talented teacher, in that complex concepts are explained in clear, simple language, and set out in a logical way. I was not surprised when reading her bio at the end of the book that she has also written fiction.

There are “exercises” at the end of each chapter, but many of them are more like attitude challenges than anything else. If followed through, they will improve the reader’s life. My one caveat is that many people, particularly those with lives disrupted by chronic pain, will not have the perseverance and self-discipline to do the scientist thing and systematically explore, record and analyse, as she recommends time and again.

If you, or someone in your circle, experience chronic pain, you need this book.


So Man Created God in His Own Image, by Romain Gagnon

Romain writes that this book has taken him 15 years to write. I can believe it, given the meticulous documentation, drawn from literally dozens of fields of human knowledge, the wide breadth of issues he considers, and the deep thought that must have gone into every page of this long book.

The person I was 45 years ago would have agreed with every one of his conclusions and admonitions. Given my interpretation of the evidence available to me now, I still agree with much of it, but not all.

I agree with his evidence-based arguments against a Puppet-Master in the Sky, the cultural, human-created basis of religions, and the damage and horror people have excused with religion, from ancient times to the present day.

My disagreement is about the reductionist viewpoint: that everything can be explained by looking at the material universe, that consciousness is nothing but an expression of the nervous system. Rather, I now agree with Petrea King that our body is merely a spacesuit for surviving on this planet.

But that’s all right. A review is not the place for a philosophical/scientific argument.

To enjoy this book, you need to be highly intelligent, well-educated with an interest in a wide diversity of fields, and with the ability to assess evidence. If you are within this select readership, I recommend you take up Romain’s challenges and read the book.


Poetry

The Lyrebird

This is one of the little poems from my unpublished collection, A Young Greenie’s Alphabet.

            The lyrebird with the lyre tail is a wonderful kind of bird.
            His feet are big. His voice is loud, with the funniest song you’ve heard.
            He imitates all other birds that live around his home,
            And while he sings, he dances around like a funny little gnome.
            And all the while, his ladylove walks unconcernedly by,
            Scratching for a grub or two, or looking at the sky.
            But, if she likes the performance, an egg she’ll contribute.
            She’ll hatch the egg, and raise the chick. The male bird thinks this beaut.

lyredance


Fun

Book fun

I can’t do better than direct you to this fun post about books from Tricia Sullivan.

If it makes a grumpy old man laugh, it will tickle everyone.



Posts during November

ENVIRONMENT

Rachel Carson was right
The pesticide industry is killing everything.

Don’t be tricked into reducing pressure on the fossil criminals

Insect apocalypse

A person from India is worried. Please read my answer.

Yet another way coal is a killer: mercury.

POLITICS

Consequences — the best teacher

Exxon knew — but coal knew too

INSPIRATION

Greta’s wisdom

Love and admire them both
Two people on this planet everyone needs to copy.

How to protest: empathy beats confrontation

Please meet Georgina Byrnes, Farmer, and be inspired.

PSYCHOLOGY

What point is there in living if humans have destroyed the planet and there’s nothing good left in it?

DEEPER ISSUES

Nobel laureate knocks the GDP

TECHNOLOGY

Plastic stopper

Completing the cycle of nature: loop the poop

LOOK OVER A WRITER’S SHOULDER

A fun writing collaboration

Oddballs from an oddball, my November contribution to Rhobin’s Rounds.


About Bobbing Around

If you received a copy of Bobbing Around and don’t want a repeat, it’s simple. Drop me a line and I’ll drop you from my list.

You may know someone who would enjoy reading my rave. Bobbing Around is being archived at http://mudsmith.net/bobbing.html, or you can forward a copy to your friend. However, you are NOT ALLOWED to pass on parts of the newsletter, without express permission of the article’s author and the Editor (hey, the second one is me.)

I’d love you to follow my blog. That will automatically get you a copy of this newsletter, and other posts. Alternatively, you can subscribe to the newsletter. To do so, email me. Subject should be ‘subscribe Bobbing Around’ (it will be if you click the link in this paragraph). In the body, please state your name, email address (get it right!), your country and something about yourself. I also want to know how you found your way to my newsletter. I hope we can become friends.

Contributions are welcome, although I reserve the right to decline anything, or to request changes before acceptance. Welcome are:

  • Announcements, but note that publication date is neither fixed nor guaranteed;
  • Brags of achievements that may be of general interest, for example publication of your book;
  • Poems or very short stories and essays that fit the philosophy and style of Bobbing Around;
  • Above all, responses to items in past issues. I will not reject or censor such comments, even if I disagree with them.

Submission Guidelines

It is a FALSE RUMOUR that you need to buy one of my books before your submission is accepted. Not that I cry when someone does so.

Above all, contributions should be brief. I may shorten them if necessary.

Content should be non-discriminatory, polite and relevant. Announcements should be 100 to 200 words, shorter if possible. Book reviews, essays and stories should be at the very most 500 words, poems up to 30 lines.

Author bios should be about 50 words, and if possible include a web address.

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.
This entry was posted in Bob's Books. Bookmark the permalink.