Title: This Soul’d World: The Rise of Consciousness
Author: William Disdale
Genre: Speculative Fiction / Magical Realism / Enlightenment
This Soul'd World is the trial, tribulation and revelation of materialist space-time scientist, Callison Trebla, who has a destiny calling from a parallel dimension.
Upon retirement from his almost life-long employer, Quanta Laboratories, Callison 'borrows' equipment to complete an as-yet unproven time-portal and smuggles it home to go solo on the project.
At the same time, his life takes a strange turn and offers him coincidences and synchronous events that begin to ripple through his awareness. The ripples build to unstoppable waves of change, culminating in a mysterious unfolding of the secrets needed to make the time-portal work.
The day he actually opens the portal, Quanta come knocking and reveal their dark, conspiratorial, lethal intent. They claim the portal is their intellectual property to do with as they please, including suppressing it and keeping the knowledge for themselves. Callison's only route of escape becomes the newly opened inter-dimensional doorway.
He makes the leap and unwittingly falls down a rabbit hole of infinite depth, exploring behind the veil and in the process learning how to get around Quanta Laboratories. He also learns how to process the mystery of life itself and the loss of his young son 30 years previous.
This Soul'd World is a story of hope for the coming age, that pulls the reader down parallel realities and explores all the space between. It's a medley of Science Fiction, Forgotten Philosophies and Spiritual Enlightenment, and readdresses the balance between the search of the world for answers, and the search of the self for questions.
Excerpt from Chapter 3 – Basket Case.
Callison begrudgingly agrees to speak to a psychiatrist to help him with retirement and the resulting free time it created for his thoughts. After a defensive start, progress comes:
‘So why are you here do you think?’ Was the next question.
Callison paused. ‘You want the truth?’
‘I want to know what you think the truth is.’
Callison sat up and faced him. ‘Because I hate the world. I hate this stupid world. I hate the fools who fall into line and accept life as this wonderful thing. I hate the evangelical pursuit of money by corporations that judge themselves more important than human life. I hate seeing war, crime, poverty and negativity on the news every night. I hate the driver of the car that killed my son. I hate the fact that I’m scared to go to bed at night because I know I’m going to have the same nightmare about the day my son got run over.’ Callison took a breath, slightly red cheeked.
Dr Smith remained silent, still writing notes.
‘There’s more,’ Callison went on. ‘I can’t fathom how life can be so cruel and so superficial. I can’t fathom all the dreams I have, or even why I dream. I can’t fathom coincidence. I’m a scientist, and I should be able to answer these questions. I’ve wondered before whether I should end it all and take my own life. The only reason I don’t is because I couldn’t bear to leave my wife alone in this circus!’ He flopped back in the seat and crossed his arms defensively. The precursors to tears were shining in his weathered eyes and he breathed heavily. There he’d said it. And he felt mysteriously better straight away.
Dr Smith remained quiet. After some time he raised his eyebrows. ‘Finished?’
After a short pause, Callison gave a small resigned nod. ‘Yeah, I guess. Analyse that.’ Meaning over to you.
‘Okay, Callison, you mentioned your wife. She must be a positive factor in your life. Tell me about her.’
Callison remained on the back of the couch. ‘My wife isn’t my problem; she’s my saviour. Why should I talk about her?’
‘Callison, I suspect you’ve been devoting a lot of mental energy to the negative aspects of your life. Spending some time talking about positive things may make you feel more confident to talk about your fears later. We still have fifty-five minutes.’ He paused. ‘Now, let’s talk about your wife. For instance, how did you meet?’
A small smile began to break through as Callison thought back with fond nostalgia. Another coincidence he realised. ‘It was three pennies.’
‘Well, a car accident really.’ Callison shook his head slightly in disbelief. ‘Thirty-eight years ago in 1970, I was sitting in my car at the traffic lights on Penny Wright Avenue. The first penny. Then the radio started to play Penny Lane – you know, by the Beatles. It had just started playing when suddenly, wham!’ Callison punched the palm of his other hand. ‘Eleanor ran into the back of me in her mother’s Chevette.’ Callison was enjoying the memory. ‘We got out and inspected the damage. Eleanor told me she was coming to a stop when some coins on her dashboard started to slide off and she tried to grab them. By the time her eyes were back on the road she had run into the back of me. The only coin that remained on the dashboard was a penny.’ He paused for a moment. ‘I don’t know if it meant anything, but we’ve thought about it ever since. My wife and I joke about it sometimes.’ Callison thought to himself about the latest coincidences that had now transpired. Were they really only chance?
‘Most intriguing. So what happened after that? When did you think you wanted to spend the rest of your life with her?’ Dr Smith probed.
Callison had started to relax. ‘Pretty much as soon as I saw her I knew she’d be my wife. It was hard to say why. She had a glint in her eye, I guess. She was worried her mother would never forgive her for the damage.’ Callison smiled. ‘My mother-in-law was strict and very set in her ways.’
‘Mothers-in-law usually are.’ chuckled Dr Smith.
The smile lengthened on Callison’s face. ‘Eleanor started to cry after the crash, so I helped to get the car fixed that day. The damage wasn’t too bad, but it took half a month’s salary. I still don’t know why I offered to pay. Anyway, I asked her to the pictures that evening and she said yes.’
‘That’s a charming story. And you still love your wife?’
A tear started to roll down Callison’s cheek. He found it hard to speak ‘I… I… love her with all my heart. I love her more than she knows.’ He closed his eyes and let his emotion run. His stubborn ego stood aside. He felt exposed to be crying in front of another man, but he couldn’t hold it back. ‘She… she’s been through all of the pain I have, but she just keeps going. We’ve spoken on and off about our son’s death and she just seems to deal with things better than me. So, yes, I love her. I love her so much.’
Dr Smith walked over to pass Callison a tissue box. He was moved but remained professional. ‘I think you should talk to her about it,’ he said. ‘It’s your choice, but it will help you.’ He sat down at his desk again.
‘I can’t. I’ll end up crying like a baby again. She can’t see me like this. I have to be strong for her.’
What’s the first binge-worthy book you read and why was it a must-read?
I’m going to say The Alchemist, by Paolo Coelho for the pure escapism and feel-good factor. The story/plot is now fleeting and sporadic in my memory, but the story was about following your dreams despite their unlikeliness and I read the book within a day and even had a happy cry at the end! It’s also a special book for me, because it nudged me into the idea of using fiction rather than non-fiction to describe some of the concepts of spirituality.
What makes your featured book a binge-worthy read?
I’ve thought about this deeply and would have to say, its the pages. Without the pages holding my words, sentences and paragraphs in stasis there would be nothing to binge-read on… Ok, so I jest. I like to think I’ve written a unique, captivating, enlightening, well-paced book of real substance for the human condition, but then again I’m its author so you shouldn’t believe a word I say! Others have binge-read it, and said they loved it, so I’ll go with that.
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Runs August 1 – 31.
Drawing will be held on September 1.
William Disdale was born in 1980, and grew up in Reading, UK. He’d been divided between science and art at school, enjoying both, but science won him over and he studied engineering at university, going on to gain a PhD in mathematical simulation in 2007. Upon graduation with the big wide world beaconing, he fell into motor racing instructing for 8 years (you might get an inkling of this in chapter 17).
During this period, and all initiated by a strange coincidence, he came to question the interplay between thought and imagination and their relationship to experience. It was like there were things happening ‘out there’ in the real world, so-to-speak, somehow shaped by a parallel experience of things happening on the inside; emotion, thought and imagination. After more wondering and searching, and more synchronous events, he came to conclude that there was a subtle, hidden aspect to our consciousness that was outside of time and space in nature, commonly referred to as soul/spirit/energy/light/essence/life force – choose your term. This was a life-changing paradigm-shift for a hardened scientist, and one that triggered the writing of This Soul’d World in 2010.
In 2014 William moved to Dublin, Ireland where he currently lives with his wife, Siobhra. This Soul’d World hit the Amazon shelves in late 2018.
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