Bob Friedman and the endless chain

The February Issue of the Echo World is on the stands, so I can post my tribute to Bob Friedman which appears there. I was glad to see tributes there by publishers Michael Langevin and Sofia Axelsson, as well, and author P.M.H. Atwater. (To read the issue, go to http://theechoworld.com/Magazine/magazine.html.)

Bob Friedman and the endless chain

By Frank DeMarco

Our lives are tied to others by invisible connections. Who we are, what we think and feel, what we do – it all affects those around us. Some of these connections (with family, friends, associates, casual acquaintances) we see. But our influence upon others doesn’t stop there, not by a long chalk. Bob Friedman’s life is a good example of how our lives are part of an endless chain of influence.

Bob Friedman’s life (Feb. 15, 1942 to Jan. 7, 2019) affected uncounted and uncountable others. He co-founded The Donning Company in 1974, co-founded Hampton Roads Publishing Company in 1989, and founded Rainbow Ridge Books by himself in 2009, in all publishing more than a thousand books, some of which have already changed our world.

In the 1980s, Mary Summer Rain was unknown. Her manuscript had met so many rejections that she was almost ready to give up. Bob read it, showed her what needed to be cut, and added her to his list of authors. If her books had never been published, how many lives would have been diminished?

Similarly, Neale Donald Walsch. As soon as Bob saw Conversations with God, he saw the potential that other people (including me, as I had already rejected it) had missed. How many people’s lives have been changed by the Conversations series? And these are only two of those he shepherded into print.

Only an author can know what it means when someone is willing to invest time and money to get his baby out into the world. Bob’s long-time friend John Nelson, author of five books Bob published, wrote (as part of his yet-unpublished book of Zen poetry):

98.

A friend passes on, and one feels sad.

What do you recall from your first meeting?

A promise of success, or the kind eyes offering it?

Bob spent more than 40 years making it possible for authors to get their brain-children into print. In that alone, he changed their lives, regardless of the book’s subsequent fate. (And, remember, many books with limited sales nonetheless are deeply important to some.) More invisible links. And those affected readers lead lives that then affect others in turn, continuing the chain.

As an Aquarian, Bob valued friendship. I don’t know how many publishers number their authors among their friends, but certainly he did. For that matter, some of his friends dated back to high school years. He kept his friends.

And how many people he influenced! I should know. Over more than 30 years, he and I were friends, then business partners at Hampton Roads, then again friends, and publisher to author. If I had never met Bob, my life would have been unimaginably different.

Up to this point, writing this was relatively easy. But it is difficult to write about our various relationships. Bob and I were extremely close, and bitterly incompatible, and instinctively aligned, and living in different worlds, depending on the time of day. We worked together and pulled off some amazing things, and we worked against each other and wound up losing what we had built from nothing, and then, being forced to work together again, without others (and, in fact, against others), we rediscovered what we had valued in each other, so that our final dozen years were again productive and mutually satisfactory. But nobody else could really understand the good and the bad that went on between us.

What stays with me is the feeling I have had since learning that Bob was on his way out. On the one hand, “Bon voyage!” which is how our mutual business partner, friend and author Ed Carter and his wife greeted the news of someone’s graduation to whatever comes next. I don’t regard death as a tragedy, just as another departure in lives filled with departures. I am fully confident that the spirit that clothed itself as Bob is on to other things.

But for me, as for others who are left behind, what a sense of loss! Over the past dozen years, whenever I transcribed and posted new sessions – with the guys upstairs, with Rita, with Nathaniel – I had this strong sense of Bob as supportive background presence. One after another, he published my books, even though they made him little money. Early mornings, transcribing, I would wonder what Bob would make of the latest sessions. I won’t have that background presence now. (Or perhaps I will, in an entirely new way. Time will tell.)

That’s a small example of how Bob changed lives, in the way our lives all contribute to the great chain of consciousness and connections and consequences.

Bon voyage, old friend. And, well done.

—–

Frank DeMarco lives in Charlottesville. He is the author of many books on communication with those in the Non-3D world. His website is www.ofmyownknowledge.com. On Facebook, frank.demarco.10.

 

An example of quiet service

Different people will find different things in this obit of Mary Boyd Higgins. What I take away from it is an example of how your life may accomplish things from the shadows, given quiet dedication.

Wilhelm Reich was a great man; his work was important enough, ground-breaking enough, to threaten the existing ways of thinking. As a result of his honesty and integrity and his go-it-alone dedication, this man was successively persecuted by Nazis, then Communists, then both conservatives and liberals in the United States. Quite an achievement!

After his death, this then-unknown woman, working alone, gradually salvaged what otherwise must have been lost, and thereby put future generations deeply in her debt, though of course they knew it not, and would not have thanked her for it. It’s worth remembering, sometimes you find your life’s work, sometimes it finds you. Either way, pay attention.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/23/obituaries/mary-boyd-higgins-dead.html

Judith Pennington talking at TMI, June 2018

For those who would like to hear Judith Pennington’s hour and a half talk to participants in last June’s program at The Monroe Institute:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JREAYLkF_rU

This is not the webinar from which I shared her eight-minute introductory remarks, but prepared remarks explaining Mind Mirror per se, illustrated by results obtained during the week-long program.

For more, search Judith Pennington, and/or Institute for the Awakened Mind, and/or Mind Mirror.

 

Judith Pennington on how she and I met

An eight-minute introduction by Judith Pennington, of the Institute for the Awakened Mind, that I particularly like.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YcPF4Pn0zmo&feature=youtu.be

Watch this 44-minute interview

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TM6WKeZ43s4&fbclid=IwAR1O5qBjYYRFaH4uLWt_Mk3KF1dzjZ1i8DpT7NpgX0C3oNEUh4dBb0v7U-4

Bob

We live in a culture that fears death and seems to think that death is tragedy. When you really think about it, that’s a weird idea, which as much as says that life is a failure in that it ends.

Death is an ending, yes, but it is not a tragedy, just a natural culmination. However, still it is an ending, and there’s no talking it away.

&&&

I’m thinking these thoughts because my friend, publisher, and longtime partner in Hampton Roads, Bob Friedman, died on Monday the seventh, just a few weeks shy of his 77th birthday. He died of a relatively short illness which was apparently painless, not a bad way to go.

He leaves behind not only his beloved companion Beth Hines, and his four children, but friends too many to count, and a rich legacy of books.

Bob founded or co-founded no fewer than three publishing companies (The Donning Company in 1974, Hampton Roads Publishing Company in 1989, and Rainbow Ridge Books in 2009) and, in a career spanning more than 40 years, published more than 1,000 books.

Mary Summer Rain, Mary Elizabeth Marlow, Winter Robinson, Neale Donald Walsch, John Nelson, and so many others: Bob gave them their first chance. Without him, would they ever have found a sympathetic publisher? Without their books, would thousands of people have received the encouragement and inspiration they needed? And what of the people that these people may inspire and encourage in turn?

Certainly he changed my life! Changed, enriched, complicated, provoked, encouraged, facilitated…. Anything I accomplished as editor or author, I accomplished because Bob and I teamed up to start a publishing house. Anybody I encouraged came out of that base, which means it is a secondary effect of Bob’s life. You see the point, there’s no end to it.

For that matter, it was Bob’s idea that he and I do Gateway together in December, 1992, and put the cost on the company. The consequences that flowed from that decision make up an entirely different but equally important chain of influences.

There is no way to estimate this one man’s influence, because for one thing we will never see the end of it. Seems to me there’s an encouraging lesson there for all of us.

 

 

Charles Sides on Paul Brunton

https://charlessides.wordpress.com/2019/01/06/the-wisdom-of-the-overself-the-path-to-self-realization-and-philosophic-insight-volume-two-by-paul-brunton-3/