Read the News Late

by Rick Hamlin

Fear sells.

It’s worth remembering when you pick up the newspaper and gaze at the headlines or scroll down an article on a news site or hear the drumbeat of the upcoming news story on TV.  It always sounds terrible and they want you to know it’s terrible.  A tremor goes through you.  You know for sure that the world is gone to hell in a hand-basket.  You thought only minutes before how could things get any worse and now here’s a story to let you know.  Things ARE worse.

Whoever wrote that piece or produced that segment or came up with one of those headlines knew just what they were doing.  They wanted you to be upset.  They hoped you’d be outraged.  They wanted you to tremble.

They hooked you with fear.  Let’s face it.  If it didn’t hit your gut, if it didn’t disturb you, if it didn’t make you want to go bury some cash under a mattress for that rainy day that was much closer than you thought, that tempest, then why would you read on or listen for more?  You want to do the right thing and be informed and if the government is going to fold on Monday or the stock market is going to crash again on Tuesday or the war is going to start on Friday, you need to know.

Read the News LateBut what are you going to do about the war or the government or the stock market for that matter?

I suppose you could write a letter to your Congressman and sell off what little stock you had, but then what are you going to do?  Buy Treasury bills that are backed by a government that is supposedly failing?  Put more cash under the mattress that would supposedly be worthless in a few years because of rampant inflation?

The options are few.  And you have just successfully wasted a few pleasant hours by being truly riled up.  It’s worth considering that somebody got you afraid for their own personal benefit, not really for yours.  It’s like a kid sticking out a foot at a playground and tripping you.  “Got you,” they should say.  Unless you refuse to fall for it.  Again.

I’m a sucker for the news.  I like to be informed.  But I’ve grown wary and weary of the story tellers trying to manipulate me.  I forgive them for doing it because they’re just doing their jobs.  They need as many eyeballs as they can find to stay in business.  I’m glad for them to stay in business because they help me keep informed.  But I’ve given up the fear as much as possible.

The angels of the Lord made it their greeting, “Be not afraid.”  I try to pay attention to the angels of my own best nature.  And I try to choose the times of day when I give the fear mongers my eyeballs.  Not too much in the morning.  I could end up wasting my day.  Better late in the day.

Why buy fear wholesale?  I’d rather spend my emotional capital elsewhere.

Rick Hamlin is the executive editor of Guideposts magazine, where he has worked for more than 25 years. His spiritual memoir, Finding God on the A Train, was a Book of the Month Club alternate selection and a selection of One Spirit Book Club. He lives with his family in New York City.



Rrwwc_logo_300dpi_onlyed Wheel Weiser, LLC (RWW) and New York Open Center (NYOC) announce the creation of a New York Open Center imprint that will support the Center’s mission to offer the best possible approaches to wellness, consciousness expansion, and spiritual transformation.  RWW will work with NYOC staff to identify and develop potential authors and projects from the many practitioners and faculty who teach classes, lead workshops and lecture at the Center.  Michael Kerber, President of Red Wheel Weiser, LLC, says, “Our continued goal is to publish ‘books to live by,’ and this collaboration with New York Open Center is both a natural and complementary fit given our shared mission to inform and improve people’s lives.”

“For the last thirty-one years the New York Open Center has been a platform for the world’s leading teachers in holistic thought, wellness, spirituality, and interdisciplinary approaches to human and societal transformation. We have been committed to offering the best, cutting-edge programs in these fields—often long before they gain mainstream acceptance.  Now, as an expanded expression of our ongoing mission, we are thrilled to be writing this new chapter with Red Wheel Weiser. And, as someone who has read, and benefited by, Weiser Books since my teens, I am personally very happy for this partnership!” –Thomas Amelio, President of the New York Open Center” ny-open-center

Red Wheel/Weiser Publisher Emerita, Jan Johnson, will help select the initial list of titles.  There’s no set number, but all titles will fall into one of three main categories.  There will be general introductory guides on topics regularly taught at the center, such as shamanism, mindfulness, lucid dreaming, and a variety of others.  Books that delve deeper into subjects based on NYOC workshops and webinars and broad survey books drawn from NYOC major conferences round the list.  The next such conference is the Art of Dying: Spiritual, Scientific, and Practical Approaches to Living and Dying to be held in New York City April 24 – 26 and features such presenters as Eben Alexander, MD, Therese Schroeder-Sheker, and Peter Fenwick, MD.

“Although I’ve never lived in New York, I’ve been a longtime fan of the Center,” said Johnson.  “They provide a great service to New Yorkers, and now with these books, we are pleased to become a part of their mission to provide broader and more in-depth information for seekers.  I think we can work together to develop new authors and to bring cutting edge information to readers.”

“This is an exciting opportunity for both Red Wheel and the Open Center.  It is part of our wider efforts of collaborating with like-minded companies in a variety of areas,” added Kerber.  “For us to grow as a publisher, we must engage readers wherever they seek guidance, wisdom, and new ideas.”

The imprint will be launched at Book Expo America in 2016.


Red Wheel/Weiser, the well-known metaphysical and self-help publisher, has imprints that include Conari Press, Weiser Books, and Disinformation Books.  Conari Press publishes books on topics ranging from spirituality, personal growth, and relationships to women’s issues, parenting, and social issues.  Weiser Books publishes titles across the entire spectrum of occult, esoteric, speculative, and

New Age subjects.  Disinformation Books publishes on topics as wide-ranging as conspiracy theory, secret societies, ancient civilizations, and current affairs. Red Wheel/Weiser distributes titles for a variety of publishers including Hampton Roads Publishing, Hierophant Publishing, Quest Books, Nicolas-Hays/Ibis Press, Atlantis Rising, and more.


The New York Open Center was founded in 1984 with the intention of creating a forum for a new generation of seekers. Recognized as New York City’s leading center for holistic learning, the Center offers educational programs to create positive transformation in individuals and the world. Programs are offered in spiritual inquiry and practice, psychology and self-development, holistic health, bodywork, movement and yoga, arts and creativity. The center also features concerts, performances and other special events. Today, the New York Open Center presents more than 300 programs of exceptional depth and integrity to audiences totaling more than 10,000 annually.

Five million dollar grant to fund research of life after death

From the Templeton/University of California news release

regarding the $5 million grant:

“Anecdotal reports of glimpses of an afterlife abound, but there has been no comprehensive and rigorous, scientific study of global reports about near-death and other experiences, or of how belief in immortality influences human behavior. That will change with the award of a three-year, $5 million grant by the John Templeton Foundation to John Martin Fischer, distinguished professor of philosophy at the University of California, Riverside, to undertake a rigorous examination of a wide range of issues related to immortality. It is the largest grant ever awarded to a humanities professor at UC Riverside, and one of the largest given to an individual at the university.”

Read the full Vancouver Sun article.