Preferred Perception

to create reality is life's purpose – lessons from Nowheim

ABC Stories


Astronaut Zato by Wilma Reiber

Astronaut Zato’s name was in the headlines, his face on the covers of all gossip magazines.

Before his last mission on the international space station, his third and last, nobody beside his family and friends and the people at NASA, of course, knew much about him.

Clearly, he had become famous overnight through a few incoherent words rather than through his commendable accomplishments as an astronaut and scientist.

Despite NASA’s refutal and his attempts to retract his infamous words, the mystery hungry media as well as self-proclaimed protectors of the integrity of science and humankind’s welfare picked them up and ran with them.

Earth was not real, and neither was the rest of the universe?

Fascinated as many people were by this bold idea, most reacted angry or fearful.

God would not let this blasphemy go unpunished.

He created this world, and calling it unreal was calling Him a liar.

It was horrifying enough to doubt His creation, but to say that God was nothing but an energy soup or a field of infinite possibilities was the ultimate sin and had to be punished, if not by the Almighty then by his servants.

Jeers and threats though, worried Zato less than people who seemed to take random, fragmented words as some kind of gospel and people who used them to promote their own agenda.

Knowing that nothing he could say at that point would make any difference except help sell more magazines and increase ratings, he declined all requests for interviews.

Least of all, he wanted to be quoted again and more misinterpreted than he was already.

Media and, sad to say, even his friends only heard what they wanted to hear anyway, not what he actually said.

No wonder he withdrew from social life and became even more introverted.

Over time, hardly anybody remembered Zato, the astronaut who had uttered the words that had taken on a life of their own and had become the mantra of a whole generation.

Perhaps he should have tried harder to clarify that his words had been distorted by poor reception, or maybe even confess that he had briefly passed out on that memorable spacewalk.

Quintessence … is … oh … God … all a dream … It’s so unreal …” were the few words that had made it clearly through the ether while the rest had been scrambled in transmission and, unfortunately, also in his memory.

Researchers tried to save peace and funding by stating that dark energy and quantum mechanics did not necessarily mean the world was not God’s creation, but their words were not heard on either side.

Slogans die hard, and “quintessentially energy soup” was too catchy to forget.

T-shirts, coffee mugs, posters, you name it, with the letters QuES were still popular years later, especially since a smart entrepreneur had registered them as her trademark.

Unbelievable as it may sound, a few words, spoken off the record and misinterpreted at that, brought more awareness to the public’s mind than any Nobel laureate could have.

Vexed by how his words were kidnapped, used to express the opposite of his own convictions and, to top it, prostituted as brand name for a clothing line, he became determined to figure the truth out for himself.

Was God life force, or was He the creator of all that is (including himself), or was He the creator of this universe and residing in a higher level universe, or was He an abstract, representing the sum of all natural laws?

X or Y or Z, all scenarios made some sense, but none satisfied him to the point where he could stop looking for other possibilities.

Years passed, new theories came up as to who or what God might really be, and he started to suspect that recognizing God might be the purpose of humans’ life.

Zato died peacefully and with a knowing smile on his face, a poster over his bed with the letters: “QuES” and in his handwriting underneath: “Quod erat sentiendum”.

Just Imagine by Wilma Reiber

 All is not well in the state of Denmark.

Be it the state of Denmark or the state of humankind, all is not well indeed.

Conflicting thoughts and emotions keep me wandering between despair and hope and resignation.

Does nobody see the dark clouds hanging over us?

Either I am crazy, or the world is blind.

Floods, droughts and storms, even wildfires are part of nature, and we must live with them.

Geological disasters such as earthquakes and volcano eruptions put all living on the planet into their place.

However, how we treat one another, is our choice.

It’s not only Castle Elsinore that’s haunted but mankind too.

Justice is the name of the persuasive ghost, and we have blindly followed its command.

Killing in the name of justice or any punishment for that matter does not bring peace as we hope it would.

Laws meticulously define crime and mandate different punishments for different criminal acts.

Morality is being prescribed to us, and common sense and compassion are no longer required.

Nobody seems to see the madness in the motto “an eye for an eye” which eventually leaves everybody blind.

Of all places, Denmark seems to be rethinking and moving towards a different way to bring people back into society with dignity.

Perhaps they have realized that, true to the law of attraction, focusing solely on the negative only propagates it and wastes energy that could be used to work towards positive changes.

Quagmires tend to become worse when we harp upon problems rather than look for alternative ways to handle things.

Revenge is the name of our ghost’s twin brother, and they are very hard to tell apart.

Sometimes, I wonder whether there are really two brothers, or whether one is just fooling us.

They or he drove Hamlet to insanity and managed to kill off the whole family.

Unless we turn inwards and start honoring our souls, the fish will continue to “rot from the head down”.

Visions of a future with less crime and no overpopulated prisons and no government sanctioned killings are not utopian.

Wild West mentality would have to change, and more attention, time, money and energy would have to be invested in education, family care and an equal rights and opportunity society – something like the lip service we have been hearing and may have given up on.

Xenophobia, greed, recklessness and the feeling of powerlessness could be softened or even eliminated if we only wanted to change and look inwards to recognize that all souls are fellow souls.

You’ve done me wrong, and that makes my doing you wrong right isn’t working.

Zoom forward, or better inward, with me and imagine a safe and fair environment where people respect one another, have common sense and don’t feel powerless or cheated and where the ghost brothers may get a rest.

Trophy Hunting by Wilma Reiber

A cat sits on the lurk, watches and waits.

Born to kill its food, it feels no remorse.

Cats also practice their hunting skills by playing with their victims.

Does that mean they are cruel?

Every mouse who has been tormented and left to live or die may think so.

From the human observer’s angle, it does look cruel.

Given that the cat needs to learn and practice hunting in order to survive, we forgive it.

Hunting is a skill we humans had to learn as well before we domesticated our food.

I am not sure which is crueler: hunting or raising to slaughter en masse.

Jungle and indigenous life is quite different from our so called civilized life.

Killing is not automated and done by people we pay so we don’t have to do the ‘dirty’ work but is done with respect and appreciation.

Life on our planet requires that all species coexist and ideally cooperate in a symbiotic structure which includes food chains.

Most people have forgotten that and act as if the world’s only purpose was to serve us humans.

Nature will take us down with it if we destroy it because we always reap what we sow.

Of course, I am not saying we shouldn’t kill to eat.

Plants as well as animals and humans are food to some other species.

Questionable is whether killing for trophies is honorable and what it does to our souls.

Respect for all living things is necessary to maintain a balance in nature and also to be the responsible humans as which we like to see ourselves.

Sometimes, I wonder if we are so desensitized and so removed from nature that we no longer hold life sacred.

There are so many ways to prove one’s toughness and courage that I see absolutely no point in killing an innocent animal and display its head on the living room wall.

Using ambush, helpers and a weapon doesn’t look like as much courage to me as riding a bicycle on a narrow mountain ridge.

Victimizing an un-provoking animal is not a sport and nothing to be proud of.

When the trophy hunter tries to impress somebody or himself or compensate for some perceived shortcoming, it usually backfires in the end and only perpetuates that need.

Xenophobes, for example, don’t get better by avoiding other people nor by mistreating them.

You can only become a powerful, happy and independent person when you learn to love yourself unconditionally and stop looking for approval or admiration from others.

Zest for life is what will free you from self-damaging behavior, not killing, not condemning, not judging, not comparing.