The ‘Why?’ is sorted (probably)

BLW The Last Judgement

The Last Judgement (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Well here’s a start.

Maybe this is the introduction.  Very much a first draft, but feedback would be welcome.

Apologies for the western slant. Perhaps it will not hold so true for readers with other cultural references (but I’d be fascinated to know how much of it does…).

So in place of a proper blog post this week, please accept and comment, if you wish, on this extract, while I get back to the matter of the book.

Why am I writing this book?

Because for many centuries people have been persuaded by religious leaders that, one way and another, they’ve failed miserably at being human, which means that a very nasty afterlife awaits them (unless of course they are either incredibly saintly and prepared to die to prove it, or obscenely rich and able to buy their way into Heaven via generous gifts to said religious leaders).

Because over the last few generations humans have largely stopped believing the Hell story and more-or-less let go of the Heaven one too.  They’ve settled for the RIP version, where we just doze off for eternity.  It doesn’t sound great, but is at least preferable to the Day of Judgement, when all those skeletons in the cupboard could begin rattling nastily.

Because given that there doesn’t seem a lot to look forward to, humans have invested a massive amount of time, energy and money into trying to cling on to life – to staying human for as long as possible.

Because the current attitude towards death is deeply weird.  On the one hand, we fill our television channels with police dramas, hospital dramas, whodunits and tales of autopsies, with news reports of starvation, wars, fatal accidents and murder.  We play video games in which killing is not only commonplace, but usually the entire point.  We conduct wars in which the technology enables ‘push button death’ with any emotional attachment carefully removed; a soldier no longer needs to see the whites of his opponent’s eyes in order to kill him.  WMDs and IEDs abound.  And yet… Death is a taboo.  We avoid discussing it wherever possible. We change the subject with a nervous laugh.  “Yes, well, shall we talk about something a bit more cheerful?”

Because when we hear that someone is terminally ill, we don’t know what to say.  When friends are bereaved, we don’t have ways to comfort them.  We maybe send a card with a bunch of white flowers or a vaguely ecclesiastical-looking gateway on it and tell them we hope they’re getting over it now and that, after all, life must go on.

Because those who feel the need to know that something conscious remains of those they have lost will turn to mediums and spiritualists who, apparently, have polite queues of departed souls waiting to reveal themselves as someone on the mother’s side who had a problem with her knees or a military man who smoked and had breathing problems. Not, please understand, that I’m suggesting the mediums themselves are charlatans.  It just seems strange that Great Uncle Cedric should be hanging about for eternity, waiting to reveal his penchant for growing prize vegetables to a great niece who had been hoping desperately for news of her recently departed mother.

I’m writing this book because none of the above sounds particularly healthy to me.  Death casts a long shadow, and I’d prefer it not to.  I’d prefer ‘life’ to be something wider, richer and stronger than inhabiting a physical body for a while.  I’d like it to encompass what came before and what comes after, with death as simply one of the transitional states that lies within it.

Creating Your Own Reality

Creation (47/52)

Creation (47/52) (Photo credit: Suus Wansink)

You the Creator

What have you made lately – a model; a cake; a piece of furniture; dinner; a mess…?  I’ll bet you’ve done quite a bit of creating over the last week or so.  And how did you do it?  You got some stuff; you changed it in some way – maybe shaping, or cutting, heating or cooling; you probably mixed it with, or joined it to other stuff and carried on changing or modifying it until your creation was complete.

OK, so you might be protesting that all you did was take a ready-meal out of the freezer, pierce the film lid and put it in the microwave, but you still created a hot, steaming meal out of a frozen lump.  You created something by changing stuff.  Hold that idea.  Hold it nice and tight.  We will return to it.

Dr Frankenstein, I presume?

Humankind has a tendency to blame itself for everything that goes wrong.  Once it was religion that prompted perfectly pleasant, law-abiding people to clamber bare-footed up the longest, steepest, rockiest slopes they could find, wearing nasty, itchy hair shirts, to get forgiveness for what they believed were their terrible sins, and to spend their entire lives in terror of the everlasting torment they felt was more or less inevitable after death.

To the rational scientists, and the philosophers who adopted their way of thinking about life, humans appeared to have all the most brutal and ruthless characteristics of the animal kingdom, without, apparently, any of the grace, wonder and beauty.

Today, we blame ourselves endlessly and exclusively for messing up the planet, despite the fact that climate change and species extinctions have been happening since long before matter started forming itself into humans.

Perfect Flower

We can find beauty and perfection in a flower, a snowflake or a sunset, but give us a mirror and we see only faults.

Maybe it’s just that we sense the hugeness of our own creative powers – and find them very scary.

Without doubt, our skills at creating have been quite awesome.  As you might expect when a few trillion holographic parts of God formed into something with tremendous curiosity, drive and intention – not to mention imagination – the creation really went into overdrive.  From the wheel to the microprocessor, people have created some pretty amazing new stuff.

What have you done?


Let’s move on now to some of the other things YOU created.  Quite definitely, you created sounds.  You might be a musician, who has recently composed a wonderful new song or symphony.  But then perhaps you hummed or whistled a tune or sang along to the radio; that’s still creating sounds.  Of course, your sounds might not have been musical.  There could have been a scream, a sob, a sharp intake of breath or spoken words.  Because we do these things all the time, we take them for granted, but once you stop and recognise how you manipulated and co-ordinated your breath, your tongue, your lips and your larynx to make each single speech sound, you can begin to appreciate what is going on here.

If you’ve used words, it’s more than likely that you have used them to create a situation – a persuasive argument, an angry outburst or an inspiring suggestion, for example.  Any of the above will almost certainly have created feelings – yours and other people’s.  Perhaps you ‘made’ someone happy, wistful, amazed, miserable or furious.  You might have ‘made’ yourself stop and think.

I hope you’re beginning to see by now just how creative you are, even as you jog along doing fairly mundane daily tasks.  You The Creator, as well as making physical stuff, interesting sounds, textures, tastes, and most certainly smells, are also creating ideas and thoughts, feelings and moods, fears and doubts, wishes and hopes.  You are creating them constantly in your own mind, and – by the things you say and do – you are helping to create them in other people’s minds, as well.

How do you do what you do to me?

So let’s stop for a moment and see if we can figure out what is going on while we are creating.  We’ve already discovered that we manipulate matter in various ways to make objects, sounds and smells.  We also recognised that we could create what are commonly called ‘states of mind’.  So what are we actually doing?

Well, all this creation involves using intention, does it not?  Perhaps things didn’t always turn out the way we expected, but we intentionally put the process in motion and caused things to happen.  We also used energy.  It takes energy to create a painting, a compost heap, a brilliant idea or a quarrel.

The way I understand it (and I’m no scientist, remember, so apologies for any bits I’ve got slightly wrong), while they are left to their own devices, the tiny electrons or photons inside your atoms have the potential to be either particles or waves.  Once the scientists start to observe them, though, the wave function apparently collapses; that is to say, they just start behaving like particles.

Dispersion relation

Let’s go over that one more time.  You start with minute little bits – tiny, tiny pieces of something that whiz about in very unexpected ways and have the potential to be particles (stuff) or waves (ways of transferring energy).  That potential remains intact until scientists use observation.  As we know, scientists are very keen on using observation.  They use physical senses and 3D measurements like distance, time and space to see what happens.  It’s not really surprising that their electrons all become particles – things that have mass and can be measured – is it?

Now let’s consider what might really be going on down at that sub-atomic level.  To do so, we need to return to your creative abilities.

Right.  So you are The Creator.  You are playing a Virtual Game which you have created.  By making choices, you are constantly creating your game as you go along.  You are also helping to create other people’s games.

Sometimes you create stuff – physical things made of atoms, which – of course – contain those minute electrons.  In other words, you intentionally move particles of that potential energy around.

Sometimes you create thoughts and ideas; ‘I’ve had a brainwave!’ you exclaim; or, ‘I was caught up in a wave of nostalgia’; or ‘he was overcome by waves of grief’.  You see?  Sometimes you create non-physical stuff – like feelings, desires or fears – by manipulating waves of potential energy.

Scientist using a stereo microscope outfitted ...

So there you have it.  You have two creative functions available to you.  You can use particles of stuff as building blocks for physical creation – making stuff, or you can use waves of energy to produce thoughts.  Those hard-working scientists can observe for all they’re worth, but by staring down a microscope they’re not going to find emotions, ideas or dreams.  There is far more creative potential in those tiny chunks of energy than they have been able to find.


This post is an edited extract from LIFE: A PLAYER’S GUIDE by Jan Stone available from Amazon, from  or through book shops.