Category Archives: Stories

What Are the Odds Against the Human Race?

Created March 18, 2022

Welcome to this week’s Bill Harvey Blog.

Today I gathered by Zoom with a few lifelong friends. One of them a man I’ve always admired and have learned a lot from about the advertising and media business. He’s as much a genius as ever and as much of a realist. And, whereas I’ve almost always been an optimist, he’s still a pessimist.

Today my mentor (I’ve been lucky to have many) argued persuasively about the end approaching. The quality of our leaders willing to put up with being endlessly mocked and slandered has fallen precipitously. Both our political parties taken over by their most radical activists, the parties locked into such hatred for each other as is hard to imagine ever going away. The leaders of big companies hypnotized, like Putin, by their own worldview, and seemingly unwilling to study the relevant facts and the numbers deeply themselves. Everyone below the top afraid to speak up because someone with greater power might be offended by something. 

My friend sums up the problem as The Age of Me, which he perceives came in about a half century ago, replacing The Age of We. Now everyone is so self-focused it’s as if their IQs have been effectively factored way down.

Ahead he sees revolutions, a total breakdown in civilization, only a minority living through it and rebuilding. And then the cycle possibly repeating itself, first rebuilding, and then hubris setting in, and it all falling apart again.

I agreed that we have had a mental illness pandemic for a long time and that the only pragmatic cure for it is for each of us pull himself and herself up by carefully watching and clarifying one’s own thinking. I added that our ability to communicate with one another also allows us to help each other in this process.

My mind flashes back to when I was about five. I always listened to my parents’ conversations and stopped them to ask what was meant by certain phrases. They were very patient and always answered. I remember asking what they meant by “Life Imitates Art”. My father explained that it works both ways, art imitates life (he pointed to one of my mother’s realistic paintings), and life imitates art, people identify with characters in plays and learn from their experiences vicariously.

So, from very early on I was always aware that perceptions make reality, fiction becomes fact as fact becomes fiction. “Thinking makes it so,” as Shakespeare put it.

In Mind Magic I wrote that we tend to perceive what we expect to perceive.

In Connectedness I pointed out that foremost modern quantum physicist John Wheeler theorized that we co-create reality. Jane Roberts’ Seth book series reframed this ancient idea for modern minds in the 1970s. Many people first heard this idea from The Secret, whose Law of Attraction echoes the concept of Karma. People have been considering such out of box yet logical ideas for at least 10,000 years.

All of this is relevant to our moral imperative for the existential threat of today. Regardless of how dire things look right now, it only makes things worse to dwell on problem definition, one must build into one’s own mental reflexes the immediate switch to solution orientation, which presumes hope and not hopelessness. As songwriter and playwright Stan Satlin said on the Zoom today, “We can’t accept defeat.” Every time our mind turns back to concern we must rechannel it into positive next steps we can take that will help even if only in a very small way, help ourselves, our loved ones, everyone and anyone.

Pagliacci knew that a clown’s role was to laugh and make people laugh, even if on the inside he was crying. Calm, patient, empathetic, we can help people creatively clarify their options and optimize their decisions for the closest thing available to a win/win outcome. The more of us take on this attitude and role, the faster we will recover from the brink.

Don’t be attached to success. Whether we collectively pull out of the nosedive is not the point. Another thing my father taught me when I was five was “It doesn’t matter whether you win or lose, what matters is how you play the game.”  

What are the odds against us? It all depends on how we play it. If we tone down the rhetoric and discuss calmly and soberly, the odds in our favor are excellent. If we continue the current raucous and insane behavior, we have to pray for divine intervention, it becomes our best hope.

Best to all,

Bill

Our story continues!

Excerpt from my new science fiction novel, The First Son.

We continue our story where we left off last week, with the second part of a chapter excerpted from my new science fiction/alternative history novel, The First Son.

As we mentioned last week, many of you will feel a familiarity with the story revealed in this chapter, yet here and throughout the novel, ancient legends and mysteries are seen in a different light, connecting seemingly disconnected fragments of history over a climactic 3100-year period, and introducing the invisible side of things as they might have happened.

We do hope you enjoyed last week’s excerpt and will enjoy this next excerpt as well. You can read the first few chapters right on Amazon, get them as free sample with the Kindle app or buy the book here.  If you love it, we hope you’ll want to gift friends and family with the Kindle version, just released on Amazon in time for Christmas!

Now, let’s continue our story with our five characters witnessing and participating in an epochal unfolding event as Agents of Cosmic Intelligence in Bethlehem…

However, I might choose to let you be born, Perse went on, and share equally with me in everything from this day.

Share insanity with you, brother? Yeshua responded kindly.

The whole multiverse—yes granted, it’s all insane, even me, I get it—but you’re even crazier than the rest of us if you don’t admit it, Perse argued in his best style. Yeshua laughed appreciatively as if this was just a comedy act. However, it did hurt him to know that even The One Self was hurt that Lucifer was going through this hell. This wasn’t fun anymore.

Get thee behind me, Yeshua said. Perse stared at him then laughed ruefully.

What, you can’t say “kiss my ass” like the rest of us? Perse asked and haughtily disappeared.

Mary’s water broke. Layla cleansed her. Joseph sat on the bed and held Mary’s hand. The chickens had settled down in a semicircle watching the humans and seemed to be in a meditative state. A white dove fluttered onto the windowsill above and watched, soon joined by its mate. Within minutes the windowsill was filled with birds of many kinds. The baby lamb and its mother cuddled up at the foot of the bed with a cat, dog and immaculate piglet. There were two horses watching, spouses. The cow also watched.

It seemed as if the gathering twilight outside had rebounded and it were now somehow sunrise, for as the moments quietly passed, listening to Mary’s breathing, it was getting lighter outside. Joseph went outside to see what was going on. Nobody was around. There was a strange light. He looked straight up and saw directly above the brightest star he had ever seen.

Atlantis! Maitreya pathed first, and they all got it.

Wouldn’t miss this for the world, pathed the great ship above, Atlantis by name.

But you were dead, Nastassia said.

Yes, and resurrected, badder than ever, Atlantis said. Great to see you folks again. The Agents and the ship excitedly greeted each other for some time, swapping war stories. To Joseph, who ran inside to report the star, it was a silent night thereafter.

He went into meditation and without moving his eyes he was able to see everything whenever he wanted to focus on the external. He started with his eyes open and drank in the great beauty of the scene. He was already in an exalted state. He had everything he had ever wanted in life. His service to Hillel and now to God was in process of the highest fulfillment. His beautiful and brilliant wife was peaceful, in a state of grace. He himself could see her halo! He had heard of such things but never before had he beheld it with his own eyes. Still his eyeballs did not move to study the phenomenon, for it was not that important somehow.

And these birds and animals, and this young girl Mary, if that was her real name or maybe she meant she was a nun too, all of it was amusing but not important to Joseph. How beautiful they all were, and so caring, and tender. He closed his eyes.

Mary was in a similar state. She need not keep her eyes open to see what was around her, in complete detail as if with her eyes. This had never happened to her before. She felt her first contraction, and Layla and Joseph both sensed it and sprang to hold her, but it had not been so painful.

Many miles away, Elizabeth was in the same phase, and Mary and Elizabeth sensed each other and knew this. They were both aware when Yeshua sent his love and congratulations to the Baptist, and both babies kicked, dancing with joy at the same time.

Yeshua sent greetings to His Father and that’s when Layla first heard the singing. At first it was hard to hear, and indistinct, but as she contemplated it and let it in, it gradually became part of her, as if she were singing, and then as reality merged with other realities superimposed, she found she was singing and somehow knew the words and the melody. Her last verbal thought for a while was that The One Self was now fully in control of her. The difference she had been had vanished.

Yeshua then sent greeting to Hillel and to the other Agents by name, and to Atlantis, and to each Agent on Earth, and he kept radiating these messages to beings both near and far across all of existence. The average heartbeat on Earth stepped up a notch. The Schumann Rhythm became a soliton standing wave in the Earth’s magnetic field. All beings on Earth became more sentient and breathed more deeply of whatever they were breathing. All perceptions for a time were drenched with this suchness to all perceivers.

The contractions were coming more frequently and now Layla was in position at the end of the bed amidst the dog, cat, pig, sheep, and lamb. All necessary implements were at her fingertips. And now the baby was coming!

Cosmic Birth/Sacred Moment in Time, by Mary Southard

Layla felt The One moving within her as her with every movement heartburstingly perfect, the singing ringing from the rafters, her fingers gently on the tiny head of The First Son, in the most important of His births in multiverse history. Tears ran freely down her face in the exultant joy of being thus privileged.

It became clear that they were all within each other’s minds, and that each was fully aware of it, the animals, the Agents, the humans, and The One Self. One could look in any direction and see forever, see all of the creatures ever projected by The One Self, in every action that ever occurred was occurring or will occur. Nothing was hidden from sight, a memory that would be especially hard for the animals to bring back into consciousness, although none would ever forget it. Mary and Joseph saw the full Truth, more than even they had ever imagined—the concept of them each being The One Self having never occurred to them. Now the God they adored and obeyed was their selves.
And now they lifted up the baby and slapped its little tushy, but that was for form, as the baby had joined lustily in the singing, becoming the lead soprano, even before the symbolic slap.

Excerpted from THE FIRST SON, Chapter 24, pp 123–126, ©2018, Bill Harvey
Illustration: Cosmic Birth/Sacred Moment in Time, by Mary Southard / marysouthardart.org/

THE FIRST SON book and Kindle edition are now available on Amazon.
At your favorite bookstore too.

Peace, Joy & Love to All. Merry Christmas! 

With appreciation and gratitude,
Bill

Follow my regular media blog contribution, In Terms of ROI at MediaVillage.com. Here is the link to my latest post.

A Holiday Gift to Our Readers

With affection and gratitude for you, our best friends and readers, this post and the next one will be a chapter out of my new science fiction book, The First Son, an alternate view of the great turning points in history over the climactic period from 3100 BC through the Resurrection.

The First Son by Bill Harvey

Many of you will sense a familiarity with the story in this chapter. What’s new is the viewpoint of five characters who are witnessing and participating in the unfolding event as Agents of Cosmic Intelligence, which is also the name of the series of 15 novels I am currently writing.

In this first published book of the series, ancient legends and mysteries are seen in a different light, connecting seemingly disconnected fragments of history, and introducing the invisible side of things as they might have happened.

Without further ado, let me tell you a story…

One night as Mary sat in meditation in her cell in the Temple, an unusual light crept to the barred arched window high above. It drew her attention and as she watched, the light grew brighter and expanded slowly down the walls until the room shone as if a full moon was exactly at the correct angle to illumine the room. Enchanted by this thought, she stood and tried to step into position to see the full moon but it was not there, and then she remembered that she had seen the full moon a week or so ago, so the light could not be coming from the moon.

Mary, a kind voice said in her mind and she was suddenly very alert. Her heart was beating loudly in her ears. Don’t be afraid, Mary, the voice said, for you have found favor in God’s eyes.

The Agents invisibly present were silent out of respect for an Archangel. It was Gabriel, also invisible, and come from far away as messenger of The One.

Mary prostrated herself on the floor, realizing it was an Angel, and sensing other Angels around her. Technically, Agents were of a different order than Angels, but Mary did not know of such distinctions. She spoke aloud, softly. What can I do for God that He sends you to me? Please name it, and I shall obey.”

You shall have a son, who will be The First Son of God, and you shall name him Yeshua Immanuel. He comes to free Israel and all creatures on Earth of the reign of sinfulness, the Angel responded.

“But I am a virgin, and betrothed to Joseph,” Mary said before she could stop herself, and then regretted having said anything that showed doubt.

You will still be a virgin when you marry Joseph, although by that time God will have planted His seed in you.

“You know that I could be stoned to death as an adulteress. Even Joseph who is good, and trusts me, may depart from me.”

You are protected, Mary, I shall speak with Joseph, and no harm will befall you. When you are married and Joseph knows you for the first time, his faith in you will be vindicated forever.

“Then I am the Lord’s handmaiden, to be done with as He wilt.” She felt something overtake her then and had to lie down. A softness gently pressed her from above, and she felt infinite joy and wellbeing, swooning as she felt the first stirrings of a new life within her.

Mary confided to Joseph what had happened the next time he visited her. He believed her but still felt conflicted until Gabriel visited him in a dream and set his mind to rest. Once Mary told Hillel, he advised her to spend the rest of her pregnancy with Mary’s cousin Elizabeth and Elizabeth’s husband Zachariah in a hill town of Judea, in order to avoid trouble as the pregnancy began to show and most people would be cynical. Elizabeth, he told her, had an unusual pregnancy too, given her advanced age. An Angel had also come to Zachariah to inform him that as he and his wife had long prayed, they would have a son, who would be an important servant of God. When Elizabeth welcomed Mary, Elizabeth felt her son jump for joy in her belly. Her son would later become an Essene known as John the Baptist. He had also been Ezekiel. His real name of course was Melchizedek.

Mary returned home in time to give birth in Nazareth, but upon arriving, Joseph told her they would have to set out for Bethlehem to register in the census ordered by Caesar Augustus. Bethlehem was back in Judea, from whence Mary had just come. “Why Bethlehem?” she asked.

“Because I am—and we are—of the house of David,” Joseph said, and Bethlehem was the city of David. Now that they were married, Joseph fully trusted her, having confirmed for himself that she was still a virgin on their wedding night. This miracle affirmed everything he had been taught by Hillel and everything that his intuition had told him was true since his earliest memories.

I suspect the whole census hokum was cooked up to find Him. Templegard/Menachem expressed all of their feelings, except Melchizedek’s, who was only half-awake within the Baptist, in Elizabeth’s womb.

Herod’s magicians sensed it and read it in the omens, Maitreya/Hillel reminded them. All of Herod’s Arya were semi-awake Rebels. Kings decreeing the slaughter of all male sons was a well-established Rebel practice whenever the shamans sensed an enemy being born. It had gone on for millennia on Earth, and much longer across the multiverse. This was old hat to the Agents.

When Mary and Joseph arrived in Bethlehem, Mary was weary and felt her time to be near. Joseph had rehearsed and was ready to tell a guard at the gate why he was ordered to enter and about Mary’s condition, when the guard winked. Joseph was startled and stared as the guard gently led them in, suspiciously not even saying a word of explanation to the other guards and the officer. Nastassia, appearing as a burly young male, led the couple in and although a foreign mercenary who would be expected to be hustling them along all the more cruelly for supposedly knowing Mary’s condition—Joseph somehow had a feeling that he knew—did nothing to hasten their pace, which given the journey was that of a much older couple.

“She’ll be coming soon,” Nastassia observed to Joseph. Joseph looked at him levelly, wondering at the intimacy and if the guard had evil intent.

“We could have found a room, actually. Despite the horde of visitors there are still kin who have space,” Nastassia explained, leading them to an active barn with many animals, many of them chickens trailing chicks, but no other people. Layla was also there but not presently visible. Joseph’s nose crinkled in disgust at the smells of animals where Nastassia now pointed at a very clean and large bed made of hay in a charming corner with outside lighting. There were rose petals on it. Mary petted a baby lamb that had rubbed her calf and looked up adoringly. The chickens ran in all directions with their tail of chicks as the humans and pseudohuman came into the space.

“There are misguided people who want your child to die,” Nastassia whispered in Joseph’s ear, confirming his worst fears. “Don’t panic, we your friends are all around you. You’re always safe in God’s hands.”

Joseph and Mary both profusely thanked the young man, who smiled back and said, “My sister will be here to help with the birth. She’s right outside.”

In the alleyway where nobody could see, Layla appeared in a clean white apron, with towels and pockets stuffed with things, and holding a silver bowl of slightly steamy water. She had a red bandana on her blonde head and a pink scarf, and no shoes. She peeked in and saw the couple waving her to come in, so she did. Nastassia disappeared as soon as “he” stepped out of sight.

Joseph and Layla helped Mary get comfortable on the bed. “What’s your name, sister?” Mary inquired respectfully of the girl even younger than herself.

“I’m a Mary too,” Layla said, and Mary took her meaning that they were both nuns.

“Thank you so much,” Joseph said to the other Mary.

Inside the soon-to-be mother Mary was a confrontation of which she was caused to be unaware, although this was against Perse’s will. Perse had come to intimidate his older brother, or perhaps even tempt him, depending on how it went.

You know I could kill you right now, Perse pathed, and Yeshua merely smiled inside Mary’s womb. Maitreya, Templegard and Nastassia prepared for mental combat, as did Layla, though showing no sign of it.

Excerpted from THE FIRST SON, Chapters 23–24, pp 118–123, ©2018, Bill Harvey

Best to all,

Bill

Old Wounds Can Eventually Heal

Volume 4, Issue 25. Originally published September 4, 2014

Young Bill on stage with his dad Ned and mom Sandy in wingsThe year was 1954. My parents, whom I called Pop and Sandy at that time (later Ned was renamed “The Chief” by a Native American horn player in his band and I then switched from Pop), took me out to dinner in Manhattan, which I loved. (We lived in Brooklyn.) Gallaghe’s Steakhouse or perhaps it was Joe Marsh’s Candlelight Clurb, which isn’t there anymore. I had a steak. We had a terrific time. I was in a warm glow by the end of dinner when they revealed to me their secret purpose for me that night.

Joel Grey’s “Star Time Kids” was shot at the CBS studio around the corner and I was to be on live TV that night, in fact, right after dinner.

I went from cloud 9 to hell in one second flat. I couldn’t explain why the idea was out of the question, I was too upset to think clearly.

They had always gotten what they wanted out of me in terms of onstage performances. They inculcated in me from my earliest memories that I had been born in a trunk and there was no question of me not getting up there and doing whatever the act was at the time. I don’t remember ever putting up any resistance to it until the night in question, since resistance was futile. Nevertheless, suddenly I was in a situation where for reasons I could not even articulate to myself, this trouper was going to let the public down. “The show must go on” (years later my father said this with a choke in his voice, the night he went to the club the day Sandy died) but in my case the show would not go on.

They tried to compromise with me, first saying, “Okay, just sit in the peanut gallery and you won’t even have to say anything,” but I would not hear of it. The best they could do was to get me to peek in at the studio, hoping that I would relent at the last minute and show what a trouper I really was. But one look at the blinding battery of klieg lights was it. I had my fill, and we went home in a sad cloud.

Sandy tried to make us all feel better. She explained what had happened, saying, “Billy is a trouper. But he is a perfectionist and wants to prepare fully to give his best performance every time. This time we forgot that and thought it would be easier on him to not have him know about it until the last minute. It was our fault.”

Ned agreed she was right but it never made me feel any better. All my life, whenever I was having a bad moment for any reason, this was one of the regretful memories that I would beat myself up with once again.

Separately I wondered from time to time how my life might have been totally different if I had gone the other way that night.

***

One night I was dreaming that Lalita and I were at an advertising/media industry conference somewhere, not in NY. I would be speaking that night. We were meeting people before the conference. Yana, my editor (who puts in all these commas), would be joining us but was late as the conference was about to begin. At the last second she came running faster than I have ever seen her move, down the long empty corridor with a red face and a big smile.

The conference started and a gent got up and gave a tepid 5-minute opening remark. Then the MC — of all people, the late Ben Wallach, who had been the Athletic/Social Activities Director at the Hotel Brickman — called me to go on next.

In the dream I suddenly realized we had forgotten to bring the slides. I didn’t even know what the conference was about.

In previous dreams of this kind there was a hideous moment and then I would wake up.

This time was different. I realized I had no idea what I would say, but something in me felt perfectly willing to go up there and see what would come out of me. I started for the stage.

And then I woke up.

When I told the story to Lalita she said, “You woke yourself just in time to not have to experience making a fool of yourself.”

But it wasn’t like that at all. I woke up feeling exhilarated. I didn’t know exactly why at first. I knew I was pleased with myself for the total acceptance of the challenge that traditionally had been my Waterloo: being unprepared for public performance. I knew that the way I react in dreams is exactly what I would do in the future. I felt liberated, released.

Then it hit me: this was the erasure of the Star Time experience. Closure of that karma. Full circle. After a lifetime of disappointment in myself for how I’d handled that moment, I had redeemed myself. I am a trouper.

So what’s the point of my sharing this story? What do you, the reader, get out of it?

We all have deep wounds. Some are papered over by repression and some may be with us all the time. Whatever they are, if we take them out and look at them from time to time, and make it an active intention all our lives to become that which we hold as our own ideal self in real everyday life, inevitably in time — sometimes decades as in this case — we get there.

Best to all,

Bill

Follow my regular media blog contribution, “In Terms of ROI“ at MediaVillage.com under MediaBizBloggers.