Posts Tagged ‘Robert B. Parker’


A rescue from Pawsitive Match is what brings a bit of brightness into what can feel like an eternal darkness of c-tine as winter encroaches, supposed Daylight Savings time begins which pitches us deeper into literal darkness during the day. Compounded at this time of year in my history mourning many of our elders that came before, can create a heart fog and soul sludge.

Yet into the dark night of the soul, the light of Mum, shines out.

As my ever lovin’ soul mate would point out when we stumbled across Rose, and set up to apply to adopt, and then meet. In the midst of October, in a period of time when we had lost Mum 7 years ago is when the paper work would start. She would share, how she felt my Mum’s spirit looking out for us, the time of year, how Rose, was a part of my Mum’s name, Rosemary. Nothing could waver her heart on this.

To today, catching the back photo of favourite author my Mum and I shared. Sharing the stories either as the Spenser for Hire television show, made for t.v. movies, or reading the books together, up until she could not read any more due to the crushing blows of the cancer on her whole being.

Spenser, ‘with an “s”, like the poet. Wise cracking Boston PI with partner in do righting- Hawk (for my Trekkie friends, the same actor as Sisko), and Spenser’s loving partner, Susan Silverman PhD. yet there was a fourth member of the intrepid team of mystery solvers– Rose the Wonder Dog, modelled on author Robert B. Parker’s own dog:

Okay, Mum, message heard loud and clear.

We love you.

And know that no matter what, you love us…

Introducing our very own,
Rosie Posie- Ro- Ro…

Rose the Wonder Pup

Still not a fan of this thing called winter

What are the moments in time, you know, those who have gone before to the great Tea Party in Paradise, care for you and show love?


Image result for Jesse Stone the Bitterest PillThe encroachment of Boston, and the growth within Paradise, MA has Chief Jesse Stone dealing with the big city issues in their once quiet vacation-fishing town. Reed Farrel Coleman, takes Robert B. Parker’s characters into the current world with The Bitterest Pill (2019).

The book opens with a guiding quote to ponder about the war on drugs in the USA being 50 years old and at over a trillion dollars, asking the reader if something different needs to be done? The story itself is typical Coleman/Parker. Hard-hitting, and raising questions about the role of addiction and recovery in life. Jesse is a few months sober from alcohol out of treatment, and struggling with the triggers that come to have him wanting his old friend, scotch.

The town is shook by the popular girl overdose, which casts a light on the local school. It is a winding story that shows the ease of slipping into usage as a way to dull pain- is it physical pain? Traumatic pain? How does the overlords for lack of a better term fund their endeavors? Recruit the front-line hustlers and sellers? How far will one go to feed an addiction? It was a hard read for a mystery, but it was winding and good. It made a reader think of the reality of the latest drug epidemic in North America. Cause and effect, and what ifs, also for the astute reader it can raise other questions:

  1. What are the ripple effects of the addict? Family? Community?
  2. We need to question our stereotypes and realize that it can affect anyone, like other nefarious things of recruitment of the young, it is not always the “loner” type that is targetted.
  3. Abstinence and harm reduction. Note they are put together in my writing, not polar opposites, but a spectrum of ways to heal, and what a person needs, meeting them where they are at. As Coleman writes of Naloxone, and the drive being to keep life, one knows Paradise is on the spectrum… where does that put our society?

How much do we value life? How much do we value healing?

For me, as the question the book opened with, the concept of a war is a clear enemy, with a winner and loser. What if we reframe, no check that… throw out the idea of war, and ask a different question:

Are we prepared for the truth and reconciliation of the addiction complex?

Are we willing to create space for healing and the long journey ahead.

Image result for addiction cycleImage may contain: 1 person, text


The cross burned outside of Stone’s old home.

Reed Farrel Coleman’s latest addition to the Jesse Stone mythos is Robert B. Parker’s Colorblind (2018). For the uninitiated Jesse Stone is the Chief of Paradise, Mass. and was a former homicide cop in LA, via blown out shoulder so he couldn’t play in the big league’s of baseball (aside from strong novels, it is a good movie series starring Tom Selleck). Stone was hired as chief not for his expertise, but the perceived ability to control a divorced-co-dependent-alcoholic cop by a corrupt town council. As each story has proven there are more layers to this character than the proverbial onion.

Colorblind opens 2 months after Stone returns to Paradise from rehab. He enters a life not struggling not to simply not drink, but to actually live sober. An astute difference of circumstance and struggle that Coleman show’s in the internal struggle where the ritual of alcohol was so central to Stone’s process of crime solving, but also self destruction. Through subtle writing you see the struggle within and without for the entomology that is addiction, but trying to understand what redemption and healing can look like. Much like Paradise being a town on the crux of change with the influx of new, so is Stone a living embodiment of this change.

In ripped from life fashion, the S.S. comes to town to spark a regression back to the horrible old days of hate and never was days. But are they more than just pamphlets as interracial couples are targetted? And the “first” (hard for those who love the movies/books who always saw officer Crane as African American) African American Officer, Alisha, is hired, and struggles through what happens when the Nazi’s come to town and show hate is more cult like than any religion.

Paradise becomes the living metaphor of the struggle for healing from addiction, as hate may seem destructive yet it feeds on paranoia that change is bad and will bring worse tidings than simply embracing the “devil we know”. The same voice that rings in an addict’s ear when hiccups hit, and one glass or one shot won’t harm…

As always there is more along the surface, as an enigma comes to town in the midst of the struggle of light and darkness.

Suit is still coply and following his intuition. Crane is motherly and strong. Healy is the dour-acidic old cop. And quite possibly as normal Stone is in over his head, but unwilling to allow legal-illegal to be the only benchmark for justice when wrong has overcome right.

A good read for the mystery. A better read for the conversation on the resurgence of Nazism in North America and what it says about the state of our soul.


Robert B. Parker (1932-2010) was a prolific (to put it mildly) writer of fiction, and mystery-adventures. Usually character driven not suspense. Most will know of his because of the 1980’s t.v. show Spenser for Hire (and the 1990’s t.v. movies), which followed the exploits of super-sleuth, Spenser, his partner the enigmatic Hawk, and Spenser’s life partner Susan Silverman. Whose adventures have been continued since Parker’s passing by Ace Atkins rather admirably. That was on pocket of Parker’s universe, his writing also spawned the Sunny Randall series; many stand alone works. He also crafted the western series Hitch & Cole, which the first novel was used as the basis for the western movie Appaloosa (2008), with the novels being continued and this pocket of Parkerverse growing with the writings of Robert Knott.

Yet there is one series that I keep being drawn back to. It was started as Parker wanted to consider writing a series from third person perspective. It was the story of an LAPD Homicide detective, former minor league ball player, and active alcoholic hired by a corrupt town council for a fresh start in Paradise, just outside of Boston. Jess Stone was the character. He is complex and simple all at the same time. He is an alcoholic seeking redemption, still trapped in a weird co-dependence cycle with his ex-wife (who he slips up and calls wife). His psychologist, Dix, is also a former cop that is the inverse of the alcoholism of Jesse. Where Jesse drinks less because of the work, it was the work that caused Dix to drink.

That is just a sliver of the colourful characters that inhabit paradise. From Hastie Hathaway to Suitcase Simpson to Dr. Perkins to Molly to Rose State Homicide Detective Healy to a colourful repertoire of rogues that work for and against the work of angels. It is a journey of a man that has filled 9 movies, and 16 books. Told on the page by Parker, Michael Brandman and currently, Reed Farrell Coleman.  It is a series that shows the struggle of addiction from triggers to habit:

“I’m having 2 drinks at night.”

-Jesse Stone explaining his system to Dix

To what it means to allow people inside the armour that has been built to survive in the darkness, and the price that is paid when it backfires. That loss is not simply death, it can be losing touch, or not realizing when something has happened because you are lost in your own muck. It is also those moments of stepping outside of the norm, and seeing the person behind the behavior.

“You have a hyper-inflated sense of responsibility”

-Dix to Jesse

For taking responsibility for everything that happens in your world. It is an intriguing story, for he can be read as a tragic character, a failed human being or even someone that may not be highly likable.

“I am very fond of you Jesse”

-Hasty Hathaway

Hired to be easily controlled by the corrupt powers, yet having his own drive to prove he was not the fall down drunk he once was on the job. Not the failed short stop with the torn shoulder. Always willing to give someone else a second chance, but crawling into a bottle at his own failures and refusing to let go.

Image result for jesse stone 2018Following, reading, enjoying the story of Jesse Stone, is a story of a man on a journey of redemption. It is not outward redemption. But an inward redemption that needs to begin with himself. Will he ever truly find a release from his alcohol? Will he ever see that he is forgivable? Loveable? Redeemable?

Will Jesse ever have a moment of true reconciliation with himself. That is being able to accept his past scars and all, and enter into the fresh start he sought in Paradise, Massachusetts?

It is the story of you or I?

Are we able to begin a new?

Truly?


Education. Business. Entertainment. Sports. Religion. Child Welfare. Politics. Persons with Disabilities support systems. Justice System.

Jesse Stone: Men may know somethings.

Molly Crane: Rape is something women know.

-Jesse Stone: Stone Cold T.V. Movie (2005)

#Timesup. #Metoo.  On one night…January 24, 2018 3 prominent Canadian politicians went down as the lid was blown off the badly kept secret of abusive misogyny in politics. I state badly kept, because the greater country may act like they did not know, but that is because they have been ignoring that which they did not want to know. They have ignored the voices that are being called out for complicity—that were ones shouting from the rooftops. The signs were so easily there, from a premier in 1934 booted from office; to how such Canadian politicians as Sheila Copps and former PM Kim Campbell were treated to name but a few.  This past week a Claresholm town Councillor having her life threatened in her own home by an invader for being political, check any female politicians twitter feed to note the abuse and stalker-like behavioural patterns.

Many astute commentators pointed out it is not a partisan issue, but rather an institutional issue.

Yet, sadly,  it does not surprise me. For the same power over people structures that allow this abuse to be ingrained generation over generation that it is acceptable and our voice does not matter. That perpetuates forced silence of the abused. The #Metoo movement is re-telling an ancient, and modern story. We saw it with the bravery in Sheldon Kennedy breaking the silence over sexual violence in hockey. In the persons with disabilities world silence breakers. We first saw it with the monsters revealed preying on our daughters in classrooms, and now showing that predators come in both genders (although how Riverdale got away with putting forward Archie-Miss Grundy as a relationship and not what it was—teacher rape of a student, though there was some minor redemption with the Black Hood story-line of season 2. But be honest with yourself, it could not have been played off as a relationship or affair if it had been Veronica and Mr. Weatherbee).

Spotlight and the breaking of silence around Cleric abuse in the Roman Catholic Church. That we know statistically is the same within all religious systems, where power works to silence the abused (regardless of gender or sexuality). We can hypothesize the sexual violence against women based on report versus non-report, against males it is harder because of the societal constructs working against it (note the Archie-Grundy myth perpetuating). But the story is not different it is the use of power.

It is a multi-generational trauma highlighted in the TRC in Canada; yet we need to understand it is a generational trauma passed down through thousands of years of conquering/colonialism that stretches at the very least back to the Roman Empire, but probably pre-dates that.

It is a society knowing homelessness, addiction, violence, mental illness and crime are symptoms of something deeper but would rather deal with the symptoms than the actual cancer.  Root cause missed in entertainment with stars blowing out, crashing mentally, overdosing, or doing 180’s that made no sense…the bread crumbs were there if we only wanted to know…

Same as the pain from acting out athletes, or the children of religious sexual violence.

But it is a system that allows Bountiful, B.C.’s pedophile community to declare themselves polygamous. A system where the person is commodified, and not seen as truly a whole person.

Yes, we are more open about talking about sexual violence than we have been in the past. In the past, though there were those in families or communities that worked hard to try to protect the young from it being passed on. Even as simple as a matriarch or patriarch refusing the grandchild to sleepover knowing the other was a predator. Neighbours that would become sanctuaries for children or others in need.

            Why does it continue?

Because we allow our voice to be divided. We allow the command, power and control to continue setting the story. We can speak of #timesup, but without unity of those abused by the corrupt structures of power …speaking as one to shatter them…it will all to easily be lost as a news story and relegated to just another news cycle ala school shootings in the U.S.A., or the annual story that churches should really do something about misogyny.

I wish I could say this is a problem of the last 100 or so years. Yet it is a problem heightened in the social media world of Millennials and Generation Z where they see the power abuse structure as so normative that social media is used to terrorize, commodity individuals until they believe their only option for safety is death. Let that sink in for where we are at in human history.

For I have contemplated these verses many time in my ministry. Told time and again that they were to be read in light of his Easter Resurrection, yet today in history I am convinced more than ever they speak to our world transformation. The foundations we are to shake:

18On account of this, the Jews demanded, “What sign can You show us to prove Your authority to do these things?” 19Jesus answered, “Destroy thistemple, and in three days I will raise it up again.”20“This temple took forty-six years to build,” the Jews replied, “and You are going to raise it up in three days?”…

-John 2:18-20 (Berean Study Bible)

The Temple of Jesus’ day was corrupted: used by the powers to be to oppress, abuse, commodity of human beings and use the people. Sound familiar?

His Mother, Mary of Nazareth and his earthly father, Joseph, led the way in showing what could exist with true equality and a new way. The way Jesus taught. One of full inclusion, equality and love for all in the human family and creation.

That is what verse 19 is truly about. Shattering the corruption. Tearing down the temple and rebuilding what is truly meant to be. Or in our hashtag world to the monsters and predators in one unified voice: #timesup.

And the response is the one that is still heard today by the command and control power structure—this took so long to build what are you going to do in 3 days.

Well according to ancient myth poetry of Jesus’ people, in the first 3 days of creation the Holy Mystery, well, she birthed the very good foundation of the cosmos.

Today, let us join voices together across all those who have been abused. Let our voices that are new to the fight, or have been battling longer unheard than any not lose sight of the goal. Let us join our voices together without labels, in the truth that we need to stand firm in. Let us shatter this corrupt temple, and yes…let us build the world where we all belong, we are all honoured, and we know true love of self and neighbour.

Join in tearing down…so that together we can birth the new hope that this light is shining.

The statement for this day is not do we believe. But rather do we stand firm that this must end.

Is it not time to build a world we keep paying lip service to.

A world where all are safe and belong.

A world where the true cause of pain has been exorcised and light truly reigns?

Are we ready to stand with our neighbour against those that prey?

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The bookstore awning had fallen in due to the build up of rain. First 8 days of the bloomin’ month and the precipitation total for the month had been reached, never mind the thunder, lightning and hail. Speare chuckled, his Dad always told him that thunder was just Thor’s chariot rattling the heavens.

Cool aside on Thor’s goats, they were great to have around for he could kill and eat them, as long as he laid out the bones on the pelt’s each night they would regenerate. Loki played a trick, and snapped a leg bone one night, so the one goat always had a limp.

But Sax had more answers to this twisting charade.  It was where Shades redirected him after almost blowing his head off in MacCurtis’ office. Thankfully she let him go before the police showed up and sent him to a cell again.  The question that kept reverberating in his mind, there seemed to be a deeper knowing of this murder victim by the name of Reesa, but nothing she would reveal to him.

Sax was trying to hit the Hollywood seen with the display window, as Speare pulled his ball cap down to keep the rain off. Robert Ludlum’s Bourne books. The originals were great, unfortunately since Van Lustbader took over they lost that essential pinnace that made them work. Also the graphic novels of Suicide Squad—the New 52 take was excellent, except for Amanda Waller, re-imagining her as a super model tough bitch kinda sidelined her character, hard to take tough as nails seriously when you know the villain is trying to mind fuck her…ah but he has collections up of the original John Ostrander run and the Rebirth single that brought back the true Waller…the best of both worlds.

That was the eclecticness of Sax’s shop to meet all generations of readers to hit their understanding of the hero, no matter how wrong Speare thought it was.

Sax was elbow deep in book cart shelving the top ten best seller shelf, unlike other stores that used a system where publishers could purchase a spot for release, Sax used an algorithm for internet sales that his partner Natan had designed. So this little indy store actually had an accurate top ten reflection, which baffled publishers with his stock ordering.

“Speare how can I help my insomniac book-a-holic friend, new James Rollins is in.”

Speare shakes his head. “Na, when his books were around 400 pages he was good in the quasi-ancient history conspiracy theory genre, but since making it big and having the co-writer series, he has become pedantic. Although make sure you save a copy of the new Jesse Stone by Coleman, that man is channeling Parker’s ghost for sure.” Sax laughed at this quick assessment, Speare was an enigma to him, hard to know where he came from.

The crow’s feet in Speare’s eyes told a different story. There was a burden on this man’s heart, was he able to break through the fog? Was something coming through that nobody was sure about? “Come to me all who are burdened and weary and I will give you rest.”

“Jesus complex now Sax, seriously?”

“Na, hubby bats for the other team y’know that. Any who, what is troubling you Speare?” Sax moves to a coffee nook and pours two cups.

Speare takes one, and sips. The beauty of caffeine re-entering his system allowing for his mind to calm a little. A simple mindfulness practice that aids in quieting the noise around, the enhanced flurry of data from the world around.

Speare scratches his whiskers as he looks at his long time friend, it suddenly hit him how weird it is that a professional thug (ala Spenserism) would have such a close compatriot that ran a bookstore.  “What aren’t you telling me Sax?”

                Her lips brushed his ear. A little giggle.

                Bullets zing past as the jeep tears over dessert terrain.

                “This is where we live up to the name Martyr’s ya Sexy Beast.”

“Prophets and Martyrs play for keeps but by different rules.” Sax said.


For those that have followed my winding writing career, they may recall a short-lived e-letter I published in the ealry 2000’s that covered general thoughts, politics, current events, and some short writings. So riding back from Red Deer, AB road trip with the family, and thinking of all the writing projects in my mind, this came to mind as the best format… so without further ado welcome to Ecclectica 2015 edition dear reader.

Spiritual Life April 2015:

It is astounding the liberation of the soul that came over me, as I stood before the Calgary Centre for Spiritual Living on April 19 with my son, and wife. As each of us was asked to share our thoughts around the Centre, my son, who has inspired me to ensure the love of the Cosmic Christ always comes first, scooped the mircrophone, brought his vocal spasticity under control, and very clearly said to the crowd at SAIT’s Orpheus Theatre “Thank you for welcoming me, love you.” And yes the long night of the soul for a journey of home has been found.

It is also unique as this was the month at Unity of Calgary, that the wife and I stumbled across the Metaphysical Bible Courses offered by SEE Outreach, and yes, it has invigorated our family’s historic faith story, with the new fork in the road we are following.

Alberta Votes 2015

  • Election called a year early and reveals the cracks in the 44 year dynasty of PC’s. Not the least of which being Education Minister Gordon Dirks blaming school boards for his decisions, or Premier Jim Prentice showing his sexism at the leader’s debate.
  • Greg Clarke leader of the Alberta Party released a great policy platform that I hope other parties will adopt and make a reality, a reduction of Legislature seats from 87 to 61. I would go even further and say cut them directly in half.
  • It is becoming more and more evident the major cost for the social safety net, health care and public education is the command and control bureaucratic infrastructure. So the easiest way to redirect monies to the core services needed would be to abolish the administrators and management tears between the minister and the local administrator. As well, merge seperate/charter/public schools into one public institution, and force private schools to fund themselves 100% NO PUBLIC FUNDS (oh and the same for private health care inititatives).
  • Please Alberta Liberals, Alberta Party and Green Party following this election cycle aid all citizens and MERGE into one centre-left option.
  • Remember this election has come 1 year early. It was called after poltiical backroom shenanigans that saw the Official Opposition gutted by a mass floor crossing (Yes Wildrose and PC’s why should we trust?), and a budget that put the middle, working and lower Class Albertans ability to afford to live clearly in the target sites, while allowing corporations and the wealthy to continue growing their wealth.
  • May 5, 2015 please make this the election you vote in.

Before May 5, I encourage you to gather with neighbours and friends in your living rooms and kitchens over tea and coffee and discuss the issues, and question the local candidates about what you need from an MLA.

Robert B. Parker Paperdoll

This is just an aside as I have been working at collection Robert B. Parker novels since his passing (I loved them from high school forward). And the re-read of Paperdoll was a great scene that shows how literature can normalize life. It is a scene with Spenser and Farrell (a cop) discussing Farrell’s life partner dying of AIDS. The just is beautiful, as Spenser the penultimate thug, basically lays out to Farrell what a crappy situation he is in to be loosing the one he loves.

Canada Votes 2015

Six months until voters go to the polls Federally, so I encourage you to begin meeting with your neighbours to discuss the state of our Confederation, and how to make it better (remembering the first step is always marking your X on election day).

One of the out there ideas for reform that came from a coffee klatch I was apart of is abolishing the Senate, Governor General and House of Commons altogether and replacing these federal bodies with an annual meeting of provincial and territorial leaders, the 13 gathered would need to elect a chairperson, and then through consensus craft the budget for the coming year.

Taxes: a progressive income tax would be good, increased corporate tax rates, and an simplification of tax structures. Canada Revenue knows if they owe you or you owe them. April 30 just have a bill or cheque come to one’s mail box. In regards to small business and GST, just have it collected and sent. For rebates to private citizens, just knock it off, what a wasteful bureacracy.

Harper continuing Mulroney Era sell off of Canada with this week’s fire sale of the WCB to Saudi Arabia.

Finding Joe–the Hero’s Journey

Calgary Centre for Spiritual Living’s Friday Night Happy Hour was movie night, and the movie was inspiring as it tied modern day teachers, actors, and entrepreneurs into Joseph Campbell’s teachings around the Hero’s Journey.

This brought out two thoughts on my part:

  1. I am re-entering the fun of the late 1980’s run fof Justice League International the era of “One Punch”, “Bwahahahaha”, “Blue  & Gold”, and “oreos” to name but a few. It was a team of quirks that each story cycle had something new discovered, look them up for a fun read.
  2. For my own journey and passions. Chase one’s bliss, the family is working on recreating our vision at home after a few bumpy years of forced sabbatical, and that is moving to a home that is a community hub. Which if all goes as planned will include a little living library in our front lawn, and the back yard being redeveloped as community garden, with a metaphysical bible study in the fall, and sporadic movie nights ourselves.
  3. But the second thought coupled with the Spiritual homecoming, has led to a sense of coming discernment for renewing my pastoral vows within New Thought, and which well of this stream of the river is to be drank from.

Paddington the Movie

The family road trip today that sparked this throw back, enjoyed a trip to Red Deer’s cheap cinema where I could share a piece of my childhood, Paddington Bear, with my kids with the new movie that came out. The prognosis, if you want a fun movie watch it. If you want a movie for a spiritual movie discussion night–watch it. If you want a movie for a family movie night–watch it.

The Paddington Movie is a hero’s journey to discover one’s bliss of belonging in a home and family.

A story all to familair in the West for how ofter it is not achieved. So this week dear reader, spend time discovering and following your bliss.

Spend time, living into and out of a sense of home where ever you find yourself.

-30-


First off, I must admit I have been a Robert B. Parker fan, since the Spenser for Hire television series. I have read everything he has written (all 70 plus books) and even though the writers that took over Jesse Stone and Spenser aren’t there yet I continue to pick these series up from the library because of the glimmer of the familiar. For those who have not had the pleasure of experiencing the works of the Dean of the American Mystery, it is part mystery, part action, part philosophy, part psychology, and highly character driven. Whether on screen with Spenser t.v. or movies, Jesse Stone Movies or the Appaloosa feature film or any of the books, it is the characters that bring you to a Parker story.

After his passing, Robert Knott (involved with the Appaloosa movie) took over writing chores on Cole & Hitch. It is a western series that Parker created, he wrote four of the novels, and Knott so far has added three more. It is the story of two gun hands Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch. They start out as being hired law in Appaloosa, move on to being circuitous aiders of justice in various towns (Brimstone & Resolution) before coming back to Appaloosa and eventually becoming territorial marshals.

The stories under current is what is law, but more profoundly examining what is justice? The system of defining right and wrong, but walking under that journey is the ability to define morality, relationship and love. Yes love. The love story within this is centered on the character of Allie. A woman of the times reflected on behaviours for survival. The survival mode of using men, but also a relationship growing with Cole and her, and what it means to love and forgive. With Hitch a relationship also blossoms.

The story also speaks to what is family? As things progress, an adoptive teenage daughter comes into part of the journey, and looks to what redemption family brings to a person’s soul with Laurel, and then there is Pony, a mixed-blood Aboriginal, and his personal struggles between the world’s he straddles.

These are stories that speak to more than just a shoot `em up western. Although gun play is an integral part, and one where the characters speak to the times, the purpose, and the effects of such actions.

So are you a fan of westerns? Or simply a fan of the metaphor of life? The high questions of morality, life and relationships. A way into the dialogue and discussion of the unity of Spirit that permeates everything and everything exists within.