Origins and Sources for The Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy- Part 1

Inspiration and the Author

Whatever That Means

As soon as I input the word inspiration, something inside of me asks, “what?” At once I understand. Inspiration is defined by Google as “the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative”. Does that help? Not for me. Like so many things, it raises more questions than answers and the stimulation is not just mental.

A familiar image is of the author sitting before a typewriter (now a computer) waiting for something to stir him or her or give them direction. First off we have to wonder why the author came to sit there if there was no clear inclination of direction or clarity of substance.

Inspiration does seem to have an independent life of its own. Partly because books of fiction have roots inside ourselves. Nonfiction may be simply our need to give clarity to a real world subject. But fiction is another matter.

A Process Without Clear Delineation

At the same time it just may be that we are wasting our time trying to define inspiration because we are led into a cave with a myriad turning points and possibilities. Sometimes it just may be that we have to accept that we are being stirred by something we cannot immediately define. It may be that where we begin may be nowhere near where we end up.

As such it may be best to see what we can do to focus an idea no matter how vague and see if an outline of some sort may emerge. As a psychologist I often come back to the idea that things are often not what they seem. What we call reality has anything but a hard edge and certainly inspiration may be fuzzy. We may have to simply take inspiration off its leash or find a way to do that.

A Road or An Adventure

In fiction we are certainly looking for a way down a road, an adventure of some sort. The beginning is to simply start down the road. And the road we choose may be very different depending upon the stage of our lives. We may be searching a purpose for ourselves, looking to reveal something to others or even doing an assessment of where we have been and its meaning.

Finding a Beginning Point

Looking back I have to wonder where the beginning of the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy really was. There were just two general thoughts. One was that in my life I search for possibilities and that I’m entranced by mythology. The simple explanation was that I found myself focused on the meaning of mermaids. In their own way they are so prominent. As a story began to develop it became clear that women were central and that another root was the matter of the empowerment of women.

From there I found an outline was becoming insistent and steadily clarified as it grew and grew and grew. Since I am hardly at the beginning of my life I had to realize I was doing an assessment and was turning pages to think further about what may lie in our collective future. Together we can see where it leads and search out the substance of meanings.

What is inspiration for you?

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

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Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt

A Collage of Reality

 

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A Collage of Reality

Are we really jugglers when it comes to reality?

A Mutable Reality

In fact, the mutable nature of reality as we see it is not strictly related to ourselves. It also relates to what is happening in the world around us. Concerning ourselves with reality is not just a personal phenomenon. Certainly we have to keep oriented in a world filled with stimuli. Maintaining a reality relates to things personal, social and environmental. We have to relate to all the different facets of our lives.

There is the matter of what we experience moment to moment but also phenomena and relationships throughout our life which, in itself, is a developmental process. And where we are going may be very different from where we think we are going.

Accepting Ongoing Adaptation

There was a time when vocational life was pretty much stable over our lifetime. A man would take up farming and that would be his life. A man would go to work for a company and retire from it. That is no longer the case. We cannot predict what our vocational future may be and cannot be sure of the duration of our relationships. All of those factors mean there must be many periods of adaptation.

Looking at our modern lives in that way shows why we must have an enduring belief in a stable reality. It is simply not feasible to consider all the possible variables at one given moment. It is really a tribute to our adaptability that we can maintain what we call sanity through all the changes and different stimuli. Finding enduring truth is difficult and keeping tabs on reality is a challenge.

The Larger Context

But, in the end, we have to move beyond personal considerations because there is an inevitable social context and we also keep an eye on the future of our species. In those contexts it is important for us to not simply watch developments among segments of people and political struggles. These things can confine our perceptions.

And it is the larger matters which concern me. In the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy I concern myself with the portrayal of what might be and how it might occur. It is not just a focus on stewardship and the wellbeing of the world. Certainly those are considerations, but within those issues lie the very real issue of how women will be seen and how they will participate. Again and again I come back to the belief that we are at a tipping point and the single most important issue to which we must attend is what is happening with women and where it will lead us.

Do you have a larger focus?

 

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

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Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt

Time for World Reformation or Devastation?

 

Is this a picture of the dawn of hope or the end of the world in fire?

Keeping Our Eyes Open and Head Clear

We seem to be teetering on the edge of something but the question is “of what?”.

Nothing Is Eternal

As I’ve said previously it was not long ago that we were looking at a world of dawning hope. The Arab Spring was growing, Europe showed ever so much promise and the world in general suggested progress. And then the downward spiral began.

The deterioration in the Middle East was striking, Europe showed signs of strain as Brexit surfaced and crises built across the world. What we need to ask ourselves is where this will lead. It may be something like how things were before World War I leading to decades of devastation of all kinds or it may indicate cracks in the facade of how things are which may mean opportunity.

Opportunity For Change

Whether we learned from the conflicts of the twentieth center is a key question. If we learned, then each crisis may be an opportunity in itself. Europe has seen what happened to Britain’s economy when they chose Brexit and it is hardly wonderful. In the Middle East we are seeing signs of new cooperation between nations and factions. And in the United States the old two party system is frayed and people are asking interesting questions. It may be that we can forge new alliances which can build new, more modern parties and open unexpected vistas for our population.

Facing Facts

Clearly we need new thinking and the end of the old system. It is clear that many kinds of industry are disappearing while new systems including information technology are appearing. But we need to rethink how we approach our economy and how jobs are shaped. People are going to have to be retrained and preparation for employment in general needs a new face.

How Novel!

In this postcapitalism era one of the ideas is for governments to provide a basic universal payment to all families. Say what? In fact, Switzerland is toying with just such an idea. Provide a fundamental base of support and you obviate many of the current forms of support such as disability payments, food programs and so forth. It is a fascinating idea which suggests exploration.

Building Constructive Change

We are entering a new era and, as stated above, we can view it is an opportunity for reform or resist it and inadvertently abet chaos and failure.

But, one thing is certain. The pace of change is increasing and we had best pay attention. New systems are evolving. Old industries and methods are going away. If nothing else, it is time to explore and see what we can sight on the horizon and how we might shape it.

What novel ideas would you like to explore?

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt

A New Movement

A New System

There is a new movement concerning how we handle problem issues in our personal lives. That may mean the things we have called mental illness. It’s about time.

As a psychologist I’ve had to wrestle with my profession and the allied profession of psychiatry. Fundamentally I’m not a huge fan of the term mental illness. Obviously no one would be enthusiastic about mental illness. But I’m talking about my reservations about the whole concept and how we respond to problems and crises in our lives.

Long ago we dragged problems assumed to be associated with demonic possession and related issues away from the church and gave it to the medical professions. Not a bad idea but it is long overdue to reformulate our concepts. Time for a redefinition.

Down With Mental Illness!

Certainly there are biochemical issues which can be devastating. I’m thinking of such things as schizophrenia. But there are also a class of problems with varying severity we all have to contend with. Then recently I heard a discussion about new approaches.

The people presenting were fundamentally talking about management. They pointed out, for example, that anxiety is a significant problem for many people and probably all of us from time to time. There are a number of diagnoses associated with anxiety. But there is the suggestion that we need to approach it differently. Certainly it can be a major problem but it is also useful in that it alerts us to danger and problems and pushes us to seek cause and management. Now that it a conceptualization I like.

Life Management

We may have a life coach but we actually need to conceive of ourselves as in the business of life management for ourselves. We tend to do it in our day to day lives when we take time off, go to the gym or give ourselves a treat. But management goes well beyond that.

We have to understand how we are. Introverts manage their tendency to withdraw. They come to understand that they are much more comfortable when they are clear how they should react and manage a situation. I remember Johnny Carson talking about how introverted he was. But night after night he went before an audience as a comedian. He spoke at one point about how well it worked when he was well prepared and knew what he was doing exactly. He knew how to manage it and he looked like an extravert.

Specific Issues

Extraverts have to learn to back off with some people and be engaging but not too engaging. For more serious issues we have PTSD and Autism for example. The new movement is taking a different approach.

PTSD is, in many ways, completely understandable. If you live day to day being forced to kill people or trying not to be killed, it is going to take a toll. A change of perspective rather than seeing oneself as a failure for reacting is helpful. Also there are ways to help a person decondition with exposure to specific stimuli. These examples merely hint at productive approaches.

Then there is autism. When we listen to the issues autistic people deal with, each of us will identify specifics which are at issue for us as well. The difference may be of degree and the number of different issues present. Managing in discrete areas will help.

Stepfamilies pose another set of issues. Often everyone in the family is making a life change adjustment at the same time. It’s very stressful and requires attention to management for adults and children. Is it pathological or a mental illness? Of course not. It requires understanding and management.

The Bottom Line

New thinking is leading us away from the concept of mental illness. Now it seems we are turning to management when we use such things as exposure to stimuli, cognitive behavior management. We can now stop threatening people with stigma and help them manage their lives in new ways. At last!

What are your primary life management issues?

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt

Expanding Our World

 

Other Life Forms

On a day to day basis there isn’t much reason to consider the possibility of other life forms. That doesn’t mean rabbits, deer and water buffalo. Other life forms refers to the ones we cannot ordinarily perceive. But the possibility keeps coming up.

When I started working on the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy I found story lines often led to other life forms. If humankind is, in fact, moving toward some kind of denouement or transformation, is it possible we would come in contact with or form an alliance with other forms, possibly from the spirit world? Belief in such being or brushes with them are pervasive.

There It Was Again

Recently my wife asked if I would like to go to a workshop about dowsing. Immediately I was intrigued. It had been a long time but I had had a brush with it long ago. We were living in an eighteenth century house in a lovely rural valley. Our water came from a thirty foot dug well in front of the house. One day it was apparent that the sewage system had backed up into it. Time for a new well.

But where were we to drill. I decided to take up water witching or dowsing. The result stunned me. I’d never done it before but could feel tugs and in one place off to the side of the house the tug was very, very strong. We had the well drilled there. What a gusher! The company had left the pipe sticking 3 feet out of the ground and the water settled just six inches form the top. We would have had an artesian well without it.

Another Opportunity

The idea of the workshop was intriguing but I didn’t really know much about dowsing. I learned about entities, spirit guides and other powers. There we were asking questions and getting answers. It is a rich system related to other kinds of life forms and powers.

Then I remembered something. Many years ago I had gone to a dump to drop something off and was struck by terrible feelings of fear and despair. There were two employee working at the dump and when they looked up the fear and devastation in their eyes was terrible. I came away with a terrible impression of a murder. Not just a sudden murder but a tortured prolonged affair.

Energy Systems

Human beings appear to be made up of energy systems and other forms are all around us. In the workshop I learned about entities and pervasive systems. It seems I had experienced a residual effect of a cataclysmic event. I’m pleased to say I have never encountered another one.

But the richness of dowsing goes well beyond water witching. The workshop connected me to the experiences I related previously about a ghost at one house and the spirits around another place I had lived.

Easy to Dismiss

It’s easy to proclaim that these phenomena are figments of our imagination. But, while I don’t spend a lot of time interacting with these alternative worlds, I’m impressed with their possibilities. And then when I turned to fiction and considered the possibilities of transformation as humankind reached yet another turning point I found myself back in that world.

It is enriching to consider these alternatives and more than that, it just may be that the entities, spirits and other being are important to our growth, our development and our future.

May The Force Be With You!

What of this have you encountered?

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt

Transformation/Women Rising

 

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Keeping a Broad Focus

With our twenty-four our news cycle we become obsessed with the story of the moment. Such a focus means we often do not see the big picture. Women’s issues are not to be overlooked even amidst our strife with autocracy. In America there is a struggle for the maintenance of women’s health care. In the Middle East women are struggling against their invisibility while they are being cloaked from sight. The stories are varied across the world but hold a common theme of suppression and resistance.

Which leads us to the necessity to question what is happening in the larger picture. In part, the larger picture is conveyed by Sally Armstrong in her book Uprising: A New Age Is Dawning for Every Mother’s Daughter. I’m a huge fan of this book because it helps us shape and understand the breadth of what is happening.

The Struggle with Change

In our day to day existence we often miss the impact of change even as it settles upon us personally. Today I sit here writing on my computer which did not exist not so long ago. I wanted to confirm the reference to Sally Armstrong’s book and had it within seconds. Looking back I see asymptotic changes in many areas. And I believe such changes are not merely happening in the world of technology. How we deal with them is another matter.

Culture Sweeps Us Along

Leslie White, the distinguished anthropologist, defined culture for us and referred to it as an extrasomatic stream since it flows outside of humankind. It is, indeed, a process and a stream which has a life of its own as it flows in us and around us. Calculus was “invented” by three people at the same time when they were not in contact with each other. The basis for calculus was in the stream.

And now we have a stream process which is impacting the roles of women which means all of us. I would contend that we have a process of incalculable meaning. This is not a battle for just one issue like equality of pay or reproductive rights. This is a monumental movement. After all of human history we are seeing women coming to power and that means true partnership with men.

Choosing the Core

It was precisely because of this groundswell that is becoming an asymptote that I chose women as the moving force in my trilogy of Gaia’s Majesty. Put it how you will, we are seeing something which will almost surely be transformational for humanity and the benefits we are only just now beginning to see. Women are more social, less inclined to put power first and offer a range of creativity among other things. As they rise amongst us it will surely have beneficial effects we can only dimly perceive. But it will involve monumental struggle. The shape of the transformation is yet to come into view.

What form of transformation do you want or expect?

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Struggle/Stewardship

Defining the World

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What is your dominant view of the future of the world?

Each of us has an identity and it may be complex and multifaceted. How we are composes just a portion of our world. The world as it is and how we view it, represents another set of forces to be dealt with. And it can come to be personal.

Competing Views

Our view of the world may dominate our thinking and our choices. Currently there are two largely competing views. Many themes about the world suggest an unimaginable developing crisis which might lead to an uninhabitable world and lead to the extinction of humankind. We see this view encompassed in dystopian novels. Perhaps there is a triumph or perhaps ultimate disaster.

In contrast there is a view that a very different picture is developing suggesting an alternative reality of a very different outcome. The view of the world being on the edge of destruction is one you are probably acquainted with. But if you read Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think by Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler you will get a stunningly different view. It is perfectly conceivable that we may mature and find abundance. Looking at human history shows us with considerable potential. We are yet to see if we will tip over the edge into destruction or reach a golden age.

Making a Choice

It is not my plan to pursue detailing of these different viewpoints here. I’ll leave that exploration to you. What you may see is that you find one or the other viewpoint particularly attractive. The one about doom is essential because we need to be concerned about what might go wrong. Such a viewpoint is essential to our personal safety and future and may lead us to the choice of working for stewardship of our planet and ourselves. It could lead us to fulfillment of our hopes and dreams. We have to ask ourselves which view of the world and the future we choose to embrace.

Even if we choose to believe in a dystopian future we are left with struggle. In fact, both alternatives involve struggle. We are, after all animals, and when we view the animals of our planet, all of them are struggling for a future. And out of that future comes their development whether it is some form of social development or genetically. What we choose becomes an identity and where we put our energies.

Belief Shaping Fiction

These views of the world help shape fiction writing just as does the identity of ourselves. Surely we have all read a dystopian novel which ends in disaster or leaves us at least with a feeling that we are close to an inevitable disaster. Maybe there is only a small hope at the end that the participants may manage to prevail in some distant future. Or do we lead them to triumph and personal fulfillment through the story and to the conclusion. We, as the writers, display ourselves in such a decision.

Is humankind looking at a looming choice? And what might that choice be? Is it beyond what we might have expected? The Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy (coming soon) provides a scenario.

What is the scenario in which you believe?

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