Written by Rolf Gompertz

A creative dead end can produce wonders.

That was proved to me once again in a most dramatic way. It involvedrepparttar cover design of my new book, a provocative biblical novel, titled, “Abraham, The Dreamer / An Erotic and Sacred Love Story.”

I had submitted my thoughts forrepparttar 127043 cover design torepparttar 127044 publisher (iUniverse.com). I explained thatrepparttar 127045 story is about a love triangle, involving Abraham, his wife Sarah, and her handmaid, Hagar, “the other woman.” I suggested thatrepparttar 127046 cover capture that relationship.

Of course, there’s much more torepparttar 127047 story, and I filled inrepparttar 127048 details at some length. After all, this is not a contemporary novel in a contemporary setting. We are talking about life 4000 years ago, with its many gods and goddesses, its child sacrifices and erotic Sacred Marriage Rites. Abraham’s wife, Sarah, could very well have been, what I portray her to be, a high priestess serving Inanna,repparttar 127049 great goddess of Love and War. We have Abraham, who turned against his society to follow a new and different God. What made him do that, I wondered, as I tried to recreate his life and tell his story. Furthermore, what made him transfer his love from Sarah to Hagar?

I tried to giverepparttar 127050 designer a sense ofrepparttar 127051 individuals and ofrepparttar 127052 story that lay hidden inrepparttar 127053 laconic biblical account.

Whenrepparttar 127054 cover design came back to me I knew I was in trouble. The artwork suggested a knightly romance set in England duringrepparttar 127055 Middle Ages. Butrepparttar 127056 story is about Sumer, Canaan and Egypt, and nomadic, biblical characters who lived some three thousand years beforerepparttar 127057 Middle Ages. How couldrepparttar 127058 designers have been so far offrepparttar 127059 mark? I learned, what I had not known before, thatrepparttar 127060 design department was not set up to provide original artwork. The designers could only work with existing stock art and clip art. Though plentiful, this art could not producerepparttar 127061 “look” that I was looking for.

I was now faced with two problems. First, a deadline. I had about two weeks to come up with an idea that could be made to work. Otherwise,repparttar 127062 book would be canceled and I would have to start with it all over again as a “new” project.

Second, I didn’t know if I could come up with a satisfactory, workable cover idea. I considered hiring an outside graphic artist. A quick check indicated that there would not be enough time for this and that it would be costly, if not prohibitive.

So I did what was only proper under such circumstances: I freaked out! Or, to be perfectly honest, I freaked out — some more! I was desperate. I knew I had to stop thinking aboutrepparttar 127063 original cover concept. I had to stop my circular thinking, or, to put it another way, I had to start thinking outsiderepparttar 127064 box. In short, I had to think creatively.

The creative process itself is elusive. It works in a most mysterious way. It usually consists of statingrepparttar 127065 problem, defining it and turning it over to your mind to think about and solve. I have often found thatrepparttar 127066 answer,repparttar 127067 solution comes to me whenrepparttar 127068 mind is relaxed and at rest. Invariably, I wake up at two or three inrepparttar 127069 morning. At first I’m annoyed. I wonder why I woke up. Then I lie quietly. Presently, I become conscious of some answer or solution to a “problem” floating into view.

NDE - Throught the Tunnel

Written by Martin Brofman, Ph.D.

Through The Tunnel by Martin Brofman, Ph.D. A Personal Account of NDE by a Walk-In I was atrepparttar Episcopal Hospital in Philadelphia. I had just been told that I had a "blockage" in my spinal cord, fromrepparttar 127042 fourth torepparttar 127043 seventh cervical vertebrae atrepparttar 127044 level ofrepparttar 127045 neck, that had been responsible forrepparttar 127046 symptoms I had been experiencing. My right arm was paralyzed, my legs were spastic, and there were sensations like electric shocks running through my body when I moved my head.

I was told that I had to have an operation immediately, and that if I lived throughrepparttar 127047 operation, I might come out of it a quadriplegic. When I asked if I had time for a second opinion, I was told that if I coughed or sneezed at that time, I might die. Naturally, I agreed to haverepparttar 127048 operation in a few hours.

I realized that according to whatrepparttar 127049 doctors had said, I might be dead in a few hours. I went throughrepparttar 127050 stages that many people go through when they know they are about to die. First, there wasrepparttar 127051 sense that this was a movie set, and that these things were not really happening to me. I found myself negotiating with what was happening, bargaining if I could, for something different to happen. Slowly,repparttar 127052 realization that it was real, and happening to me, came closer and closer, until I had to emotionally accept that I might very soon be dead.

When I acceptedrepparttar 127053 unacceptable, my body shook violently as an intensity of energy moved through me. I opened more and more to it, and after one or two very long minutes it was complete. I felt a calm inside that I had not known before. All my senses were sharper. My vision was clearer. Colors were brighter. Hearing was clearer. Sensations were more alive.

I realized that I had released a perceptual filter that had been standing between me andrepparttar 127054 experience of life, and ironically, it had beenrepparttar 127055 fear of death. Now that I had released that fear, I was experiencing more of life, more of being alive, even if just for a short while longer.

I thought ofrepparttar 127056 life I had lived, andrepparttar 127057 things I could have done but didn't, and I found myself saying to myself, "I wish I had." There were a lot of "I wish I hads." I thought to myself that it was, in fact, a sad way to end a life, and that if I had to do it again, there would be a lot of "I'm glad I dids." I had to decide what I wanted to do withrepparttar 127058 short time I had left. If I spent my remaining time worrying or feeling bad about what was, in fact, inevitable, I would have just wastedrepparttar 127059 rest of my life, thrown it away, and it was too valuable for that.

I decided to spend my remaining time feeling good, and just thinking of things that helped me to feel good -repparttar 127060 color ofrepparttar 127061 paint onrepparttar 127062 walls,repparttar 127063 smell of flowers inrepparttar 127064 room, anything positive. I knew I could always find something.

Finally,repparttar 127065 time came. I was taken torepparttar 127066 operating room, and as I was being givenrepparttar 127067 anesthetic, I thought that this might berepparttar 127068 last experience I would ever have. I had no idea what might come afterwards. I had been agnostic, with no beliefs, believing in nothing that I had not experienced. Perhapsrepparttar 127069 next step after death was just oblivion. I let go.

I began to experience a vertigo, a sense of spinning, and it didn't feel good, so I stabilized myself inrepparttar 127070 center of it until I was still, and everything else was spinning around me. I was moving throughrepparttar 127071 spinning scenes, which were memories fromrepparttar 127072 life I had lived, memories which were calling for my attention. If I put my attention on them, though, I felt myself "pulled," because I was moving through these spinning memories, like being pulled through a tunnel, or falling down a well, but discovering that half-way downrepparttar 127073 well. Reaching forrepparttar 127074 walls would not work. My only hope would be to aim forrepparttar 127075 water atrepparttar 127076 bottom.

I had to withdraw my attention from these scenes, then, these memories, and put my attention onrepparttar 127077 place to which I was being drawn, aiming for it. I was headed there anyway, but aiming for it gave me more of a sense of being inrepparttar 127078 driver's seat, and that was a lot more comfortable for me. It was a bit like riding a roller coaster inrepparttar 127079 front car, and pretending that you're drivingrepparttar 127080 thing alongrepparttar 127081 tracks. It gives a totally different ride, I can assure you, than being swept out of control.

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