Author, Novelist, Writer, & Public Speaker

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Is God Real?

April 21, 2014

The question is not, nor has it ever been, “Is God real?” This may seem like an issue of semantics, but trust me, it isn’t. God is the question of reality.

What is real?

Our minds’ interactions with our five senses dictate what we, as humans, perceive as real. We are the only species on our planet to build churches, mosques, shrines, and other such complexities to our God or gods. Ants may herd aphids. Dolphins and apes may have recognition of self. But, despite these complexities, none of those animals have a structured dogma. If they practice a faith it is so ingrained in their daily lives as to be indistinguishable from acts of instinct or survival.

So, God is the question of reality. If God only exists in our minds, is that any different from the concept of a separate entity? The classic Zen kōan: If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound? The tree exists. The tree makes a sound. The mind to perceive it is what is absent.

There is an individualistic taste to God. That has to do with the mind’s relationship to the concept – to reality. Why is God a paternal creator figure to some, and a destructive force to others? Which is real? The mind that interprets the stimulus defines the concept of real.

Again. Whether or not God is real does not matter, because God is the question of reality.

~Nick Shamhart

Like a Walrus With a Finger Jammed Up Its Ass

April 17, 2014

Kids love to stand on their heads, turn cartwheels, roll somersaults, even flip, and pretty much anything else they can do that inverts their perspectives. Their bodies and minds are so fluid and limber that juxtaposing earth and sky is an activity to giggle about. When was the last time you non-yogis tried it? I just did, and trust me, the noise I made didn’t come close to a giggle – more like a walrus having a proctological exam.

That fluidity of the physical is probably way behind me now, but, what about the mind? Children accept things at face-value, don’t they? That’s not always an issue of innocence and ignorance. Sometimes it is the suppleness of a mind unburdened with the weight of age. Can we drop that weight and allow our minds somersault again?

Cause and effect  are what most of human knowledge is built upon. That is the progression. But? What caused the Big Bang? Was it God speaking? Was it a repetitive cycle of collapse and expansion that has always existed? Is that possible? Perpetual universal motion outward then in, but again, where or what was the cause?

Perhaps to see the universe for what it is we need to stand on our heads like children do. Perhaps for things to make sense we have to unmake our beliefs. Perhaps, sometimes, the effect has to come before the cause? Perhaps to giggle again all we need to do is roll along with life as it sweeps us head over heels…

Or, we can just keep on grunting like a walrus with a finger jammed up its ass.

~Nick Shamhart

The Meaning of Life

April 11, 2014

I’m not overreaching. I do believe that I know the meaning of life. It’s simple. It’s something we all know and fear – Change.

Whether it is through the hands of God, Allah, Yahweh, or the complex system that chains so much together through guanineadeninethymine, or cytosine  it is still change. The universe needs to be in constant flux. If stagnation occurred it would spread, destroying everything. That progression, that elemental stimulation has so far culminated in sentient mind. Humanity’s meaning in this life is to be a catalyst for change. Good or bad, and other such labels have no bearing on change. Those are foisted on deeds and actions by humanity. The meaning is change. There is only change. We have evolved by design. We eliminate stagnation. We destroy. We create. We change.

Made in God’s image. He creates and destroys. Made of molecules and compounds evolved to create and destroy through ingestion, respiration, defecation, procreation, and more.

The meaning is change…but, the decision to view it  in a certain light is strictly a human characteristic. It can be a wondrously horrific change, or a monstrously delightful one. You choose how you see it. You choose the meaning of change.

~Nick Shamhart

Hope Springs Anew

April 10, 2014

I love the smell of a warm spring rain on a northern night. It’s the scent of hope. Winter has beaten us cruelly in body, mind, and spirit this year. Month after month of cold, snow, wind, ice, and chill. I sit here, looking out at the dark, and the occasional breeze blows the earthen aromas of mud, clay, water, and  newly budding greenery across my face. The dark and the cold have had their turn. Hope springs anew as the rain falls on.

~Nick Shamhart

Cattle-Prod Your Mind!

April 8, 2014

Mantras are important. Call them prayers if that fits better within your ideology. It’s a way to cattle-prod your mind along a path of focus. Our thoughts are so easily congested with inane babble.

…”Did I leave the oven on?” “I should workout more.” “Did Ross and Rachael ever end up together?” “What does he think of me?” “I should eat more fiber.” “What does she think of me?” “Why aren’t they called orange fish? They’re orange. Not gold.”… and on and on all day and night long.

Harnessing a mantra or prayer can can silence that garbled mess we call thinking, or, at least momentarily focus it. I recommend a phrase or benediction that holds multiple layers of meaning for you. Something that calms your nerves or lifts your spirits as the case may be.

If you want to borrow mine until you feel inspired, I’m happy to share. A set of mental training wheels, perhaps? In this chaotic swirl of day-to-day when I find myself agitated over thoughts of, “How are Stephen Hawking and Honey Boo Boo’s mom even the same species? …Or are they?” I remind myself that I’m just passing through. I’m only here for a limited amount of time. The cells, molecules, atoms, quarks, and strings that are ‘me’ have a shelf life just like the planets, stars, and galaxies. It’s all just passing through, but my mantra allows for momentary clarity and perspective. Everything is important and at the same time…worthless, when I’m just passing through.

~Nick Shamhart

 

Stupid or Lazy?

April 6, 2014

Why is it that people refuse to fully read? If someone reads past the first few sentences of anything the writer should consider themselves lucky. Most often it is only the headline or title that filters in and then the reader passes judgement based on next to no information, but for their own prejudices. Honestly if that was as far as it went I may be sad about it, but I could accept it.

I began adding “Blog Journal Posts” to this website on the advice of several public relations consultants and the unasked for suggestions from many fellow authors. I simply write what strikes my fancy on that day (hence why the post is dated) for the joy of writing.

The previous entry Do Vaccines Cause Autism? was an answer to how often I am asked about the unscientific, celebrity-based idea that vaccines cause autism. I have received a ludicrous amount of angry emails and posts on social media defaming, slandering, and ridiculing me for that blog entry. Any author has to have a thick skin for criticism. That’s par for the course.

If you’ve made it this far you are in the extreme minority of comprehensive readers. So, thorough reader, do you want to know the crazy part? Every single fucking one of those emails and criticisms was saying that I supported the claim of vaccines causing autism. One in particular was multiple paragraphs long, supposedly written by someone on the spectrum. Now, as I write this my severely autistic daughter (the one who the bestselling novel, soon to be motion picture The Fog Within was based on) is screaming because I will not let her squeeze onto the bottom shelf of the linen closest where she plans to hide with a tub of Ricotta cheese and do God knows what. She cannot speak. She cannot write. She cannot be left alone because she is self-injurious. It must be nice to be on the mild end of the spectrum where typed out diatribes are possible.

The message of this entry? Please, please fully read something before you make a judgement. And, never, ever venture an opinion in a slanderous manner when your point is exactly that of the author, but you were unable to suss that out due to illiteracy, lassitude, stupidity, or all three. It makes you look churlish and incompetent.

~Nick Shamhart

 

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