Why “Outlander”?

The word “outlander” conveys a mystery and strangeness not existing in words like “foreigner” or “outsider.”  It has become increasingly prevalent in our English-speaking culture, even beyond the movies, books, television and computer games that so entertainingly employ it.

The very last thing that I wrote for Johnny Outlander before submitting it for publication was the following:

“For more than a thousand years, in Wales and environs, those who were strangers or without land have been known as ‘outlanders.’   These strangers never quite fit in with the native peoples, never quite belonged, and the appellation followed them wherever they roamed.  In time, it became their identity.”

These words caught the imagination of everyone!  They were picked up on and quoted, at least in part, by all who have written about the book.

Why then Outlander?  Because it speaks to our loneliness, our isolation, our search for ourselves and our place in a world that too often feels without anchor or reason.  In this respect, we share this identity.  We are Outlanders.

When Animals Know You Are a Steward

In answering a recent comment, it occurred to me that the relationship between Stewards and animals needs explaining.  Our human purpose on this planet is to be its Stewards, basically to care for the Earth itself and all the life upon it.  More specifically, our purpose is NOT to exploit and destroy our Earth, our resources, or the animals and plants that share this planet with us.  We are caretakers, not a raiding scourge.

Over millennia, many of us humans, descendants of the original Stewards, have lost our way, forgotten who we are and why we are here.  Enter the animals.  They know and have always known about the Stewards, and even when we lost our way, they did not.  They have always remembered and the animals have always tried to tell us.  Animals seek out Stewards — they recognize Stewardship in us even when we don’t.  When a person realizes — remembers or accepts — that he or she is a Steward, it is like a beacon light that animals recognize.  Not only do our family pets and animal partners bond more closely and communicate more fully, but all animals try to attract our attention.  They want to be heard and we need to hear them.

If you are a Steward, reading Johnny Outlander may well resonate with you.  You may realize or remember your purpose.  And the animals — all animals — will begin to communicate more clearly.  Animals are far wiser than most give them credit for, and have a great deal to say to us.  Our job is to listen.

Johnny Outlander — read the adventure!

Johnny Outlander is an adventure which will take you into worlds you have never known.  From an isolated childhood in the concrete and manicured suburbs of Los Angeles, Johnny makes his way north to the other-worldly surroundings of old growth redwood forests.  Here trees so large that Johnny feels “like a lost Lilliputian” hide an untouched world of primal energies, animals who have a great deal to say, and a motley group of people who all have something to hide.

Can you imagine a world where giant redwoods resonate with the energy of the Universe?  Where wolves hold well-earned grudges?  Where crows soar overhead as messengers?  This is a world where instinct rules and where people are not what they seem.

Johnny finds a haven with an unknown and oddly talented grandmother who knows more about him than Johnny knows about himself.   He arrives as a castaway in a strange land, only to find that the animals, the people, and the forest have been waiting for him.

Join Johnny on his journey.  Read the adventure!

Magic in the Redwoods

There is magic in the redwoods. In Johnny Outlander I write of the flow of energy and wisdom that Johnny finds in the redwood groves and of the life that radiates from these ancient trees, but there is so much more. We humans believe ourselves so complex in comparison to other life forms. But did you know that the genome of a redwood is ten times larger than that of a human being? Or that a redwood has six sets of chromosomes, compared to only two sets in people? Redwoods, and their inland cousins the giant sequoias, are some of the most complex and astounding life forms on Earth.

The tallest living thing is a redwood. In modern times they have been measured at a height of almost 380 feet, and who knows what the tallest ever was? Our redwoods once ranged from Canada to Southern California but, since 1850, we have cut down 95% of all old growth redwood trees. Only 5% remain.

Redwoods and sequoias are among the oldest of living things. Today there is a redwood we know to be at least 2,520 years old and a giant sequoia that is 3,240 years old. That redwood was a seedling half a millennium BEFORE the birth of Christ, and that sequoia was well over a thousand years old before the advent of the Christian Era. The largest and oldest of the redwoods were cut down over a century ago and who knows what ages they knew, what world history they survived. Much of it would have been before civilization as we know it…in a single tree.

Is it any wonder that the redwoods hold the energy of the Earth and the wisdom of the Universe? The next time you are near one, put the flat of your hands upon its bark or lean your forehead against the redwood trunk. Close your eyes. Breathe. Feel the energy and listen to the wisdom.  These are magical forest giants. Protect them.

The Science of Intuitive Communication

Intuitive communication is an intrinsic part of the book Johnny Outlander, and it will be helpful to take a look at what this is.  Intuitive communication exists and is quite commonplace, despite what many people think.  Yes, it includes actual wordless exchange of information, but it also includes myriad everyday occurrences experienced by all.  Every mother who suddenly “knows” when something is wrong with her absent child, every dog who “magically” knows when his person is coming home, no matter how irregular the arrival, every out-of-the-blue thought about a long-lost friend who then astonishingly calls — all are examples of intuitive communication.

Some of us are better than others at catching or receiving these thoughts.  Close relationships can help (i.e., mother/child) but having an open mind and the ability to clear needless chatter from one’s thoughts is better still.  Absolutely anyone can improve their abilities in intuitive communication.

This is not magic.  It is science, and one day will be universally known as such.  Electricity and magnetism were once considered magic, not to mention such now-everyday occurrences such as flying, space exploration, or even computers and artificial intelligence.  Yesterday’s magic is today’s mere science.  And so it will inevitably be with  “intuitive communication.”

Quantum physicists know that thoughts are “things,” that neutrinos, traveling at the speed of light, measurably react to the thoughts of the scientists observing them.  At 186,000 miles per second, neutrinos could easily produce the “instant knowledge” associated with intuitive communication.  In my opinion, they do.  One day “neutrino knowledge” may mean the same thing as “intuitive knowledge” and we can all stop the reactive fear of the “magical unknown” and get about the real business of optimizing our scientific  understanding and communications in the world.

The Lost Destiny of the Stewards

In the world of Johnny Outlander, the Legend of the Stewards becomes a reality.   Deep in the redwoods of Northern California, Johnny’s mysterious and peculiarly talented grandmother, Bryn Evan, finally tells him about Stewards:

“If you are to believe the legends, the writings, and of course the animals, it goes back further than you could possibly imagine  — back to when man first walked on Earth.  It was originally our job, as humans, to protect the land, the animals, and all who inhabited this once peaceful blue planet.  We were the Stewards of the Earth.  Unfortunately, some took this to mean we were to possess and exploit the Earth and all that dwelt within.  But the Stewards persevered, often in isolation, even as others came to challenge and overpower them.  The Stewards have always existed, and exist to this day, but the connecting network has been lost in time.  Most of us don’t know it, don’t know this is our heritage.  There is a disconnected world of Stewards out there.”

To truly understand Johnny’s journey from neglected child to Steward, one must travel with him into a world where a fleeting childhood collides with a heritage born of adventure, violence and a world which wrenches him into manhood as he discovers the lost destiny of the Stewards.

What is a Steward?

What is a Steward?  The chances are, if you have read Johnny Outlander and are reading this now, you may feel an affinity with Stewards.  Stewards go way back.  Way, way back.  Back to when man first set foot on Earth.  The theory of Stewards (yes, always with a capital “S”) goes back to the dawn of time. There are so many directions to go with this, but I am sticking here to answering the title question.  What is a Steward?

Stewards are the care-takers of the Earth.  Man is here quite literally to take care of the Earth and all life upon it, not to exploit, consume and destroy it.  It is a sacred duty.  The Legend of Stewards tells us that this is the purpose of man’s original presence on this planet, that Stewarding the Earth is a birthright that we have carried  from antiquity, passed down through millennia of generations.  In time, most of us have forgotten our purpose, our birthright.   We have gone on with our lives, earning our livings, but more and more often working in some capacity with animals, plants and nature — or at least treasuring and appreciating them.  Often animals have bonded with us, showing us insights to life and spirit we may not have seen before.  Quantum physicists listen to the Universe and see a world we all continue to create. As the world becomes more precarious, more people are looking to all life and beginning to listen to the world around them. We know in our hearts that we have a purpose in this world, have something very important to do…but we don’t quite know what it is.  The Legend of Stewards is clear:  we are Stewards.  And as the world devolves in chaos, we begin to remember who we are and why we are here.   For many of us, the term resonates deep in our hearts and psyches.  We are Stewards.

Animals are Sentient Beings

In the short paragraph “About the Author” one accomplishment mentioned is that I taught classes in Intuitive Communication.  I did more than teach, I worked as a professional communicator specializing in medical and psychological communication for people…and animals.  My clients have included doctors, veterinarians, animal rescue workers, and animal welfare agencies and charities.  I do not charge for these services and I no longer do this for the general public.  It became overwhelming.

Over the course of the past decades, I learned repeatedly what every animal lover and every child born on the planet knows instinctively:  animals are cognitive, sentient beings, whose intelligence is ridiculously underrated and whose concept of life often puts ours to shame.  Yes, animals can tell us what toys and foods they like, where it hurts, and why they miss a lost companion, but they can and do communicate so much more. For years they have been trying to tell us that we are needed, that humanity is here with a job to do.  They know we are supposed to be Stewards and they are trying very, very hard to tell us.

We, as people, tend to settle for surface responses, reasons, and stimuli.  Open your hearts and minds and listen a little more carefully.  The animals we rescue, we love, and with whom we share our lives are trying to tell us something much more profound.

Are you one of the caretakers of the Earth?

Stewards are the caretakers of the Earth.  How can you tell if you are a Steward?  One of the first ways is to listen to that voice inside which has always told you that you are here for a purpose.  In the book,  Johnny Outlander, Bryn Evan tells Johnny, “There are many people who do know something, harboring in their hearts the torch they were born to carry, but don’t know exactly what this means.”  If you have felt you had a greater purpose in life, beyond career, possessions and material gains, you are probably a caretaker of our planet, a Steward.

If you love animals, you are probably a Steward.  As Bryn tells Johnny, “An amazing percentage of people who work with animals, who rescue them are really Stewards, but they don’t know it. The animals try to tell them, the Universe tries to enlighten them, but their purpose has largely been lost in history.”  She goes on to say, “But the animals still know; the animals have always recognized the Stewards.  And through the centuries, the animals all knew and passed down the legend…”

Are animals sentient beings? Yes.

Do they really know that man’s place on Earth is to be the planet’s caretaker, its Steward?  Yes.

Can they and do they try to tell us?  Yes.

How?  I’ll explain that next.

Today is January 1st, 2018

The holidays were hectic and everything Johnny Outlander was put on hold.  Today is January 1st, 2018 and it is time to get back to the business at hand, even though the first of January is also the eighth day of Christmas and (if you’re into traditional Christmas carols) we should all be expecting “eight maids a-milking, seven swans a-swimming,” etc.

I’m not sure why, but apparently these posts appear with dates that are one day later than I have written and posted them, so this will probably show a date of January 2nd.  I assure you, it is now the first.  I didn’t want the new year to start without welcoming it here.

As are most of us, I am hopeful that 2018 will bring great achievements and far, far fewer natural and manmade disasters.  The first day of the first month of the new year is a time for new beginnings and positive energies.  It is also a time to be kind to ourselves, and to not judge early slips and trips as harbingers of failure or bad tidings.  As a wise physician once told me, real change is not measured in days and weeks, but in months and years.  That truth has helped my impatient nature more than I can say.

If I can place one thought before you today, it would be to make 2018 a year where you are gentle with yourself, where you take care of yourself, value and forgive yourself, and then — inevitably — your kindness, caring,  acceptance and forgiveness will grow and extend to others.  In 2018 the world will be a better place and we can proudly be a part of it.