Bobbing Around Volume 19 Number 7

Anyone who denies the climate catastrophe, anyone who stands in the way of emergency action, is a mass murderer on a scale never before seen, as in billions.

The planet would cease to support life without the services insects provide. If insect populations are in decline, so are the populations of larger animals such as birds and lizards that feed on them.
Yeates et al.

Bobbing Around

Volume Nineteen, Number Seven,
January, 2019

Bob Rich’s rave

email    previous issues

*About Bobbing Around
guidelines for contributions

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

*From me to you
Letter to the Prime Minister of Norway
A wish for you

*New stuff

*Blog posts during December

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.

The Republican party is no longer a political party: it is a cult. And given the policies pursued by Trump do harm to low income earners and the planet as a whole, it is a death cult.
Greg Jericho

Despite being noisy and boisterous and seemingly common, gulls are on the decline. They’re already struggling with changes to fish populations and disturbance to nesting sites — and eating elastic bands and fishing waste does nothing to ease their plight.
Rachel Holder

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

Letter to the Prime Minister of Norway
A wish for you



Thank you, all the lovely people who have enquired about my safety. We’ve had days of extreme heat and high winds, but so far the worst here has been a couple days of smoke blanketing everything. But the Australian fire season peaks in February, and used to end in early April. The start and end of the fire season have been extending, so there is a long way to go yet.

People, including politicians, say some idiotic things. Yes, Australia has experienced fire danger every summer for thousands of years. Yes, some years are better, some worse. But that doesn’t mean that climate change is not responsible for the tragedy striking this country.

Climate change moves averages. An area that sometimes suffers floods will now have them more often, and they will be worse. (I’ve read a comment from a woman in such an area: “Oh, we’ve had three ‘hundred year floods’ in the past few years, but that’s just bad luck.”) Where tornadoes are a danger, they will occur earlier and later in the year, be stronger and more frequent. And so on.

Same for bushfires. Australia and the west of North America used to share firefighting equipment and personnel. Now, the two fire seasons overlap, so this is no longer possible. 13th January, 1939 was the worst day of fire of the 20th century in eastern Australia. A Fire Danger Index was devised, in which the temperature, humidity and wind speed of that day were set at 100.

7th February, 2009 had a Fire Danger Index of 150, which was completely unheard of. The fires of that year made 1939 mild in comparison.

This year, already, many days have had a FDI exceeding that of 2009, and the damage and loss of life have exceeded that year, and what used to be the fire season has barely started.

This is climate change.

As for me personally, I am OK. If the fires come here, I’ll probably survive. If not, it’s as good a cause of death as any other. It’s not how long you live, and how well. All that matters is what you take with you when you die, and what you leave behind in the hears of others. Everything else is monopoly money.

Letter to the Prime Minister of Norway

Dear Prime Minister,

Your country’s state-owned business, Equinor, is attempting to do something terrible.

The Great Australian Bight is the breeding ground for many species of whales. It is in many other ways an environmental wonderland — for now.

Seismic exploration involves sonic booms that torture, disorient, damage and even kill cetaceans. These creatures are intelligent, communicate with one another, remember, feel emotions. Attacking them in this was is nothing short of criminal.

You no doubt know that we are in the 6th extinction event of earth, with extinction rates over 1000 times the “background rate.” An oil spill in the Bight would cause incalculable damage, speeding up the extinction of all complex life on earth. This doesn’t just mean Australian marine plants and animals. All things are connected. It also means you, and people you love. When we unravel the web of life, we also fall through the hole.

The Bight is a place of great storms and rough seas. The sea bottom is far deeper than where BP’s Deepwater Horizon disaster occurred.

Please don’t allow this environmental crime to proceed.

Bob Rich, PhD

A wish for you

New stuff

Petrea King

Denial is terror under the surface

My parents are driving me to suicide
She pulled me out of depression

Deeper Issues
Motivational list for the new year

Look over a writer’s shoulder

I approve of these announcements
Bill Parker’s new book

Heaven on Earth by Kamal Gabry
Bipolar: Living With It, by Ian Higgins
From Depression to Contentment, reviewed by Bodan Bouldercombe

Solemn Beauty, by Laurie Corzett


Petrea King

Petrea and I have only met in spirit, never in person, but she is one of the people I admire the most on this planet, because for over 40 years, her every action has been to be of service to people with life-threatening health conditions. You just have to read her books.

She listened to my sample sentence from the coming audio version of my depression book, and wrote this to me:

Hi Bob

You have a great voice to do the reading and I’m sure Jenny will be able to fit in with the ‘other’ voice… I think it will be very personal, warm and useful for people to hear your book read in addition to reading it. As you know, when we read something, the brain translates what it has read through a different neuronal pathway system than the aural system. When we hear the same information through a different system, we ‘get’ it as if for the first time.

I’ve often been impressed by this fact — and have used it therapeutically. For instance, if a person has tried to resolve an issue over and over again by talking about it, then I’d suggest they write to the person instead. This way the person can often ‘receive’ the information as they’re taking it on via a different system in the brain.

Sorry to be long-winded!

Have a lovely Sunday afternoon, Bob. We have a family of 4 lyrebirds singing their collective hearts out just outside our window. They have a fabulous time scratching their way through our gardens. Between them, the whip bird, the koel, the golden whistler and sundry galahs and other parrots, our garden is a delight to the ears and heart!

Petrea x

Thank you, Petrea. Of course, like most people, I don’t like the sound of my own voice.

In my final year in high school, the English teacher railroaded me into joining the debating team. When I heard my recorded voice, I swore never to speak again! I was the whip, and we came second in all of NSW. We only lost because this blonde nobbled me. :))

Those 4 lyrebirds are a teenage gang. Lovely people. I used to have a male with his territory next to my house at Moora Moora, and he entertained us with his practice singing for months. He could even do a chainsaw!

Much metta to you,

Time to let go that negative view of your voice, Bob.

Your voice is fully of warmth and long experience. Speak from your belly — embody the sounds and they will come forth powerfully. I always ask all my good guys to be present when I’m on radio, speaking or recording — St Francis, Bhagwan and Ama, Paramahansa Yogananda, Jesus — whichever good guys come to mind. I align my energy with theirs and speak from that.

Many years ago, when I was quite sick and coming to terms with my impending death, I was in the back of a car being driven from Frankfurt to Italy. I was resting, feeling insignificant, powerless, despairing while my 5 travel companions chatted animatedly in German. Out of the blue, the man sitting beside me turned and said to me, “You’re going to heal people with your voice” — and went back to speaking in German to his friends. Nothing could have been further from my mind than to think my presence on the planet could be a blessing. All I felt was a curse. I dismissed his comments but never forgot them.

Having worked a lot on radio — 20 years of monthly interviews with Richard Glover on ABC’s Midweek Conference — (where I discuss how to live skilfully in difficult circumstances), and in teaching meditation for 40 years, the power is not in the words, it’s in the voice. The timbre and sound of the voice carries power. The only thing more powerful than the human voice speaking a truth is silence, especially on radio. In 20 years of monthly interviews, that sacred and powerful silence has happened only twice. Once was after an on-air meditation where the presenter didn’t resurface at the appropriate time… and it created a magical silence that allowed everyone to drop into that space. The other time was when I told a very powerful story which left us all so deeply moved that speech wasn’t possible.

Meditate beforehand, and speak from that deep place within yourself. Remember the power of silences. They’re more powerful than the words. The art is in embodying the words and speaking them as your truth.

I love radio for the same reason. It’s very anonymous. Just you and the listener. Imagine the listener is sitting beside you in an easy chair. Keep all the souls you’ve guided in your heart and mind.

I know it will be brilliant, Bob, and they will touch the hearts and minds of those who are fortunate enough to hear your recordings. I look forward to hearing more than a snippet when the time is right. If you want any feedback, feel free to send to me.


Thank you, dear friend.

After reading what you wrote, I asked, OK, who do I want beside me when I am recording my book, or giving my next interview? And there was no question, no choice: Petrea.

May I reproduce your answer in the next Bobbing Around?

with metta,


Denial is terror under the surface

The evidence that we are now (not in the future) caught in a major environmental catastrophe is overwhelming. You might expect it to be as universally accepted as, for example, the germ theory of infectious disease.

And yet, denial is also increasing. Their new term for my kind is “alarmist.” You know, the person who knocks on your door and shouts that your house is on fire?

How can anyone ignore the evidence in everyday life, even if they don’t understand the science?

Please read The Psychology of Denial by Jack and Sara Gorman

In my book on depression, I explain it like this:

    A major reason for dread, despair and unhappiness for many people is that they accurately see disaster looming. For an even larger number this knowledge is there, but suppressed, denied, unacknowledged. That denial takes tremendous effort, which makes people tired, reduces their motivation (“There is no point to anything. Why bother?”), leads them to turn to activities like gambling addictions expensive holidays — anything to focus on other than the danger. Such people either ignore the facts or are missionary in their spirit of denial. Those facts cannot be true; are due to a conspiracy or based on false science or whatever. It goes something like this, not in thought-out words but underneath consciousness: “If that were true, I’d have to make complete changes in how I live. If that were true, my loved ones would be in terrible danger. So of course it cannot be true.”

    They then go through endless and often ingenious mental gymnastics to hide from the all too overwhelming reality.

      My book also offers tools for staying sane, and yes, even contented. despite the disasters of the recent past and of the far worse ones of the near future.

      Because I understand where denial comes from, I am not angry at such people, however frustrating I find them, and even though they are complicit in a terrible crime by carrying on business as usual. I pity them.

      One of the confabulations is that it is a socialist plot. Here is a list of links to people and organisations that cannot be accused of being socialist, who have urged for immediate action on climate:

      The US military

      Pope Francis

      Exxon, 40 years ago

      Ford Motor Company

      A large group of US government-employed scientists who risked their jobs by participating


      My parents are driving me to suicide
      She pulled me out of depression


      My parents are driving me to suicide

      For a while now I’ve had a lot of problems going on. I can’t seem to do anything right in life and it seems like everything is just getting worse and worse. I’ve had a nasty argument with my dad very recently, which hasn’t helped things at all. He seems to get along better with literally anyone else than me and doesn’t seem to respect my ideas and opinions. We don’t get along with each other at all, there’s always more and more disagreements. My mom seems to be ashamed of me and has essentially implied that I’ve been more of a burden to them both than anything else. She’s also implied that she wishes I wasn’t their son. I’ve just about had it at this point and want to quit being a burden to everyone. I don’t find myself looking forward to the future at all, I dread each coming day more than the last. I’m lost and I don’t know what to do at this point anymore. I just feel like a miserable failure, a burden, and I don’t want to feel like this anymore. I’m tired of feeling like this. I just want this all to end.

      My friend, just because you were born to be the child of some people, or related to them in some other way, it doesn’t mean you need to stay part of their family. I have had several clients who “divorced” their parents. One lady actually put classified advertisements in the papers stating that she was no longer the daughter of X and Y.

      Consider this action. If you choose to do it (you don’t need the classified ad), it will give you a feeling of enormous power. I don’t know your living arrangements. Naturally, you will need to move out of their home if that’s where you live now. It would help if you could actually move to a different city or town, and of course this may mean changing jobs. But this is not necessary.

      If you need to take practical steps before you can divorce them, keep it a secret for now, and work on the various problems. In the meantime, this will calmly allow you to ignore their abuse.

      If for any reason you choose to stay their son, then realize that their opinion of you is THEIR problem. Let them say whatever they want. No need to argue with them. It is just noise, like the neighbor’s TV sound coming in through an open window. Let them blow hot air, why not?

      When their opinion no longer matters, it cannot hurt. There is no need to defend yourself, to argue, to counterattack. Simply accept, let it all go, and get on with your own life.

      This whole approach is set out in more detail in my book, From Depression to Contentment. If you can’t afford the few dollars for an electronic copy, go to my blog, Bobbing Around, and send me a message via my contacts page. I’ll email you a copy for free.

      Have a good life. You can.

      She pulled me out of depression

      On the suicide prevention blog I visit, a young man posted a desperately unhappy note. I answered, and then a week or so later he wrote:

        I thank you very much for this comment since I posted it I found a girl that I liked very much and became friends and I believe on asking her out for a date since then all these thoughts have gone away and for once in my life I feel relieved. I thank you for your opinion and trying to help me. I will never forget how much you changed my life with a comment and I wish that no one has to go through this. I am happy that you replied to this and I will never forget how much your words helped me thank you.

      Here is my reply:

      P, that’s wonderful.

      You may permanently team up with this girl, and spend many years of contentment together. You can improve the chances of this by both of you reading How to have a good relationship.

      At the same time, the next step is to maintain your inner strength regardless of what goes on in your life. Tomorrow, you may part with this young lady. Who knows? But how you live is not dependent on her, on any other person, but on yourself.

      If some tragedy strikes, use your recent depression as a resource. “I felt so terrible I wanted to kill myself, then X came into my life. Now my situation is again bad, but in five minutes or five days or five years, it could be wonderful again.”

      Also, it is not how long something lasts, but how you turn any situation into benefit.

      And you are both welcome to join my global family of grandchildren.

      Deeper Issues

      Motivational list for the new year

      You will enjoy skimming, or even slowly reading, this list of 90 quotes. Some are from famous people, others from that prolific author, Unknown, but all are interesting. I approve of about 90% of the 90.

      Here is what I wrote to the person who’d sent the link to me:

        Matt, I do like your collection of quotes, particularly about money: 55. “The real measure of your wealth is how much you’d be worth if you lost all your money.” — Unknown

        If you were familiar with my writing, you’d find lots more you could use, in all your categories.

        You may find one about love at my page on relationships:

        “The difference between giving love and grasping love is the little word ‘me:’ ‘I want someone to love’ vs. ‘I want someone to love me.’ If both partners practice giving love, you have a lifetime of beauty.”

        Basically, most, although not all, of the quotes you selected are in accordance with Buddhist philosophy, which has the same implications for living as (true) Christianity. They are also in accord with positive psychology.

      Look over a writer’s shoulder


      Labels can be the most hurtful things thrown at you. They were driving Shelly to suicide. For the December, 2019 Rhobin’s Rounds, our assignment was to post a short story. Labels is 8200 words, but I think it’ll hold your interest. And the title really makes sense in the last sentence.


      I approve of these announcements

      Bill Parker’s new book
      Free book lists 1531 paying publishers


      Bill Parker’s new book

      I am not crazy. I told you that Elm Cove really did exist in this time stream, and I was right. When I was just a young boy, I was caught up in an alien insurrection happening right here on Earth, but I was the only person that saw anything. No one believed me. They said it was all just a bad dream, but it wasn’t. Even so, my life went on, but I was never the same.

      It all caught up with me when my Kasha returned to Earth twenty years later. High Command was about to wipe out all life on Earth, but I sent their own damned extinction device back through their own quantum wormhole. I killed almost a million souls that day. I thought that ended it, but I was wrong.

      Matthew Lockhart was the next human sucked into the whirling vortex of this intrigue. Kiiahni Plan-B killed his wife and put him on the run. But they had crossed the wrong man. Matthew was determined to take his pound of flesh. Unfortunately, Laura Malone was also sucked into that whirling cauldron of conflict. Everyone thought that she was just the Girl Friday… they were wrong.

      Girl Friday by Bill Parker

      Free book lists 1531 paying publishers

      I am writing to give you a free copy of The Paid Publishing Guidebook for 2020.

      The book now includes an incredible 1531 publishers that pay writers. Plus, payment rates and contact information for nearly all of them.

      Get your free copy of the book here.


      Jacob Jans
      Authors Publish


      Heaven on Earth by Kamal Gabry
      Bipolar: Living With It, by Ian Higgins
      From Depression to Contentment, reviewed by Bodan Bouldercombe


      Heaven on Earth by Kamal Gabry

      This is a remarkable book. The blurb states that it’s continuing the tradition of Kahil Gibran and Eckhardt Tolle. As it happens, The Prophet didn’t do much for me, but I’ve had major benefit from reading Heaven on Earth.

      It is poetry in prose, and at first I needed to get used to the language. Truth cannot be expressed directly, only through metaphor, story, myth, music or mathematics. So, Kamal has created a myth that expresses the same Truth as Jesus’ teachings, those of the Buddha, of Confucius: our Universe, the Creator, the All, is Love.

      A Shintoist saying is, “There are many mountains to God, and many paths up each mountain.” Heaven on Earth signposts a path for you that you’ll find to be a joy to follow and explore.

      Kamal’s metaphor is that the Soul knows this, and is all Love. However, what he calls the Ego puts a fence around the soul, a helmet and shield, and these barriers are fear. He gives a devastating but accurate picture of the Ego, what I call the global culture, and how it divides, causes greed and hate and unhappiness of self and others.

      The end few chapters are particularly inspiring. You can become a Seed of Heaven on Earth, and when you combine with other Seeds, become part of an Orchard of Heaven.
      If you are unhappy in your world and want to change it, you can’t do better than to immerse yourself in the joyful dance to awakening Kamal prescribes for you.

      Bipolar: Living With It, by Ian Higgins
      Ian was diagnosed with late-onset bipolar as an old man, but from the book it’s clear that he had the condition from infancy.

      I’ve worked with many clients who experienced bipolar, and also have knowledge of the condition through my long term friendship with Alfredo Zotti, who has published several books about his experiences and expertise. All the same, Ian’s little book has added to my gut (as distinct from head) understanding.

      Ian was an inspiring, effective Uniting Church minister until his retirement, as was his wife Barbara. They used to care for neighbouring parishes. He also authored an excellent textbook on comparative religion aimed at high school students, which presents each religion from within its framework.

      In Bipolar, his humour, creativity and intelligence shine through. While this is an autobiography, and a case of one, it is also an illumination both of the gifts and of the tribulations of the racing mind and deadly depression of living with bipolar.

      You may have bipolar yourself, or have an undiagnosed tendency. Chances are, you know or even love someone with the condition. But even if you don’t, you will get a lot out of this lovely little account. If you don’t need to read it for self-validation, or for education, you should still read it for pleasure.

      From Depression to Contentment, reviewed by Bodan Bouldercombe

      I can confidently say that this is one of the best books I’ve ever read. After reading it, I have come to a better understanding of my own depression and have had a complete shift in how I view myself and the world around me. 5 out of 5 stars, 2 thumbs way up. I sincerely hope that Bob does an audio version. I will be recommending this book to anyone who will listen.


      Solemn Beauty, by Laurie Corzett

                Mourning memories, deep emotion steeped in beauty
                no other mind will see

                When beauty’s smile could greet our eyes,
                define new mornings as we rise, why would we
                otherwise choose?
                I am consecrated to beauty, in all its terrible majesty,
                the power to move the rhythm of my heart,
                the power to chide me as gloriously inadequate,
                to inspire me to reach to the stars.
                Exquisite agony everywhere to be discovered, held dearly, set free.
                I quest through epic verse, mystic lore, fairy tales —
                lovely, lyrical adventures that lead into complex emotion,
                ecstatic movement and poetry, a need to share.

                Have I reached the bridge upon the crossroads, the glimmering?
                Magick’s sea through which I now may travel, native soul
                returned, having earned my keep, my long journeyman’s
                wage. I have looked as age, deep reflective pond, plays
                soft consort with lingering light, echoing.
                Freed to meet my mission, to accept desire,
                immortal pleasure, the opportunity to sketch,
                to draw out beauty, to paint leisurely upon prism glass.
                A wild road calls, beyond this threshold, sculpted by
                primal prophecies, oceanic rifts and meteors.

                To see, to feel, to merge and undulate
                through; to discover, uncover, swim in the glory
                of original grace, ecstatic beauty.
                The tinsel of starlight; the subtle scent of conflagrated pain;
                the feather touch of eternity.
                I fall into velvet voice, enchanting form.
                Move with the rhythm
                song singing hallelujahs,
                starsbursts, sunrays, miracles ablaze.

                Beauty must disturb, impel waves displaying meaning
                into neural crevices, thus saying:
                Stay deeply in this brief eternity …

                I am shaken; I am atomized through that eternity.
                As beauty demands sacrifice,
                sacrifice demands such beauty.

      Laurie Corzett is always seeking outlet for those crazy thoughtstreams, is always moving into new (or resurrected) projects, including Emerging Visions visionary art ‘zine; theme-based chapbooks of her writings; an experimental metafiction (working title: Something Sacred); night’s pages, {patchwork narrative} a flash fiction serial following the story of a child vampire, the eternal child monster working out that existence; and more…

      Posts during December



      Worrying about future generations?

      A picture says it all


      Five climate experts with hope


      Even fundamental Christianity wants to get rid of Trump


      The onion and the pearl


      Should we use Mars as a lifeboat for humanity?


      What the BookLife Prize judge thinks of From Depression to Contentment

      How to write a review

      How to write an application


      From Depression to Contentment, reviewed by Kamal Gabry

      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, 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;
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      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.

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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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4 Responses to Bobbing Around Volume 19 Number 7

  1. Dr Bob Rich says:

    Thank you, Carolyn. Love joyfully accepted, but you do know it’s a boomerang?


  2. Carolyn Howard-Johnson says:

    I look forward to your emails. I have been watching the fires in Australia–as one environmentalist to another. As one sufferer of wild fire effects myself. Sending you love.


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