Burning Fear and Doubt

Tomorrow the state will burn my fathers body in a funeral service which will reflect little of my own personal beliefs. As I am not a Christian and do not hold a conventional belief system I get what I get. In truth it matters not, and I can’t change the fact my dad is dead just three months after the passing of my mother. I see little point in funerals myself but i know others in my family will take comfort from it.

The one thing I have decided to take from the event is to burn all my fear and doubt in that coffin with my father. I was born into a family of worriers like most people, I can’t remember a time when my mother wasn’t afraid of something or other be it the Bank Manager or some story on the news. My father despite all his bravado seldom spoke out in public, he simply vented in the privacy of his own home. I think both of them had inferiority complexes that held them back from truly saying that they wanted and living as they wished. I by nurture inherited all this crap and from my earliest days at school that fear and doubt was smelt out by those that thought kicking the shit out of people was a fun thing to do. People up until becoming Aric, always sensed in me a weakness that could be exploited by them. Despite me achieving much so over the years, I have always been hampered by a need to still basically fit in, to not be to obviously different, for when your different you do have a habit of attracting attention and ending up mocked mauled and beaten both literally and metaphorically.

As I have no parents left to embarrassed for offend and I am now almost 48 I think it is time that I did and said exactly as I want because as they say your a long time dead. So over the past days I have been mentally packing up all the times in my life that I have been fearful and full of doubt along with all the negative out comes from those feelings. I will be mentally placing all those times in the coffin and when the furnace starts up I will be cleansed of this junk once and for all.

Some would say I should not burden my fathers soul with such stuff, but my dad died on the 12 of August and I believe by now his soul has long moved on. Whoever my father was beyond the man he acted out for us, is not in that coffin, its just a rotting shell that is no longer required much like my past mindsets.

Men throughout history have stared into fire seeking wisdom or inspiration, fires for our Kin no doubt was magical Alchemy which changed form into dust. It has always been seen as a form of cleansing for nations and individuals alike.

‘Free at last’

My fathers last years like my mothers were far from ideal full of mental and physical pain and suffering, much of my life has be the same, held down by mental chains, many of them unknowingly placed there by them. So as I walk from the church built for others than me, I will tomorrow be at peace, cleansed and finally truly born anew. My Parents did everything they could for me in life, now its time for me to honour that by living life free from the very fear and doubt that limited them truly saying and doing what they really wanted.

Suicide

As someone who has Bipolar I can’t agree with Alan Brazil (talksport presenter) on his comments on Suicide , but as I support free speech I have to respect his right to voice his views. Mr Brazil is not the first person to have a low opinion of those to take their own life. The church has been raging against those that take the ultimate decision for years. Personally I have no problem with people committing suicide as long as they do it in a way that doesn’t impact others. Yes I know family and friends will always be impacted, but those people should support their loved one’s in their decision. I’m talking about those that jump in front of trains etc, those that unwittingly involved other’s into their demise and so quite literally or at least mentally destroy another person’s life, in the taking of theirs. No one can ever understand what it is like to be someone else, so to pass judgement on anyone who takes their own life is to make comment on a situation without any of the facts.

Taking all human emotion out of the subject in a over populated world government and policy makers should be supporting suicides not condemning it. If someone really does not wish to live anymore what good can society really get from forcing them to live. Yes people will always throw up the argument that people really don’t want to die, and that suicide is simply a cry for help. I’m sure their are a few stupid people that want to play mind games with others emotions but those that intend to end their life are far from stupid and they are definitely not cowards.

Despite battling depression at times, I happen to love life but I know that will not always be the case. There will come a time when life will become simply a holding cell to the inevitable and at that point my patience for ‘just living’ will no doubt wear thin. Would I take my own life if all hope was gone? Absolutely, will it be anytime soon ? Absolutely not, is it anyone else’s business? Again absolutely not.

Robin Williams committed suicide and I respect that as his decision, a death is a death how it happens is immaterial. Mr Williams mental health is no ones concern nor is his drug addiction or anything else in his life. We should, if we wish honour his passing and give thanks to the joy and laughter he brought to the world.

So your welcome to your opinion on suicide, this is mine. For me it’s just another way to do what we all do in the end and that is just die.

One final word, Alan should not have to resign from his job simply because his opinion offends, it is up to his bosses to determine if people listen to his show for his views or simply to hear sport info. I personally am left with a sour taste in the mouth every time someone is forced to fall on their sword just for expressing an opinion, no matter how ugly. I have no wish to live in a sterile PC world were no one is offended because no one ever says anything.

EGO – Yes the spiritual can wear Armani

A friend asked me to repost this, written by me in March 2009

Before we start I must confess I am completely in ignorance of fashion, that’s to say I have no interest in it. I would no more be able to pick out an Armani suit in a crowd than I can say longest place name in the UK Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch (It’s a village in Wales).

Just because designer labels don’t rock my world doesn’t mean I live in some egoless dimension, when it comes to clothes I do have preference to what I wear. So here in lies the point of the article it is generally thought that ‘new age’ spiritual types should look a certain way. Often the look of a spiritual person is devised to suggest a lacking of ego, I’m thinking of monks and Indian holy men but this is a misnomer. There can be just as much ego vested in a loincloth of denial, as anything that struts down a Paris cat walk.

The historical Buddha is said to have worn a humble monk’s robe made of patched pieces of donated cloth throughout his life. And the Dalai Lama wears Rockport shoes, we can all jump to conclusions on both the buddhas and His Holiness dress sense, but that would be simply putting our own perception on the subject. Wearing humble attire does not mean the absence of ego, it simply means the persons wearing humble attire, they could be walking around thinking ‘I’m far more humble than your ever be dude’. Like wise a person in the much venerated Armani suit may no more think about what he, or what others around him are wearing than a tiger checks out his strips and think’s ‘Cool’

Of course you may disagree. But think on this if a billionaire turns up to a glitzy film premiere in a stretch limo does anyone really notice, if they come in a ford focus the media would have a field day, and write page upon page on the subject.

If the same billionaire drives around my town no one would even know, if he turns up in a limo everyone’s rubbernecking to see who’s inside. Once again it is impossible to say from a viewers stand point what above actions display ego. Often the purchasing of expensive items is a common sense decision.

Lets take the Dalai Lamas  Rockport’s (not literarily ) I know that when I spend £100 on a pair of boots apart from feeling ill (spending money on clothes has that effect on me) I’m getting a pair of boots that have in the past lasted me for two years of daily use. Now I have just brought a pair for £15 down the market and in 2 months they have almost totally fallen apart. So in two years at that rate it would cost me £180 but I would have also thrown 11 more pairs of boots into the land fill. Technology is another area where often buying cheap is a false economy.

While you may feel I’ve gone off the point I have not, Perceived indulgence and flaunting of the ego is not always that it is just sometimes good sense. As you will know I have shown my art work at many Mind body and Soul (spirit) shows and exhibitions, now I have witnessed people turning up in scruffy jeans and clothes and then 10 mins before the event starts putting on a white robe. Now I’m not judging that person but what is it really going on here? Have not the clothes just become a false persona (persona derives from the Latin for “mask”).

If Jesus was born in London in 2009 what would he wear? a hoodie? a Gucci suit ? I very much doubt it would be a robe. No clothes come with added ego, the ego dimension of all fashion is purely all down to our perceptions. A designer label can only impress those who have heard of it.

So weather I stand next to my art work in a £10 pair of jeans and a £9 shirt or my old trusty black suit, only the very few will not be judging the way I look. I know whatever I wear I will never sound or look ‘spiritual’ enough for the majority of people that go to these events, because most people say with surprise ‘oh you created this’. When his happens I know I’m going to spend the next few minutes, talking to a person who is driven by the perceptions in their head, and not the feelings in their heart.

 
 

Below I have posted my view on my image ‘Kingdom of the ego’ above as I think it fits well with the above subject.

The Kingdom of the ego is vast. It touches on our every thought and action. It is my belief that ego resides in us all from saints to sinners; Yes it can just as easily bask in our glory as it can wallow in our despair. This ego lives in the rich, the poor, the sick, the healthy, the wise and the fool. So the obvious question is – Are we all doomed forever to be slaves to what could be likened to a devil in our heads?

While I do not believe in an egoless state in this lifetime, I know that we can radically reduce its negative impact on our lives. This is done by tracking our ego at play and understanding when it is holding back our life experience. The divine essence (soul, spirit – call it what you will) within us all is unaffected by this leech on the mind. By listening to our inner self we can begin to view our life more from the stand point of the observer rather than the helpless puppet. While we may never totally break free from the egos clutches, we can thwart its domination of our lives and its desire to keep us often in a constant state of separation, dissatisfaction and fear. It is possible with practice to spend large slices of the day in the now and enjoy it, so reducing the time the monkey mind has to jump back and forth from past events to future hopes and nightmares at the egos whim.

Never forget that while we all have an ego we are not our ego and that within us lies stillness, peace an ultimate truth. So, when an unkind thought or word pops up or we look around us in judgmental condemnation, just acknowledge you egos handy work and re-centre your self and once again attempt to cast off the labels and stories of this false ruler of our mind.

Everything matters & nothing matters – back to basics.

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Some years ago I came to the realisation that both everything and nothing matters, I know that’s really confusing, so let me explain myself as simply as possible. This is the way I see non duality and not as many other do.

The fact is every thought we have is a perception . Even the most spiritual people are often unable to cast aside prejudgment’s and conceived ideas. People can love each other and live in peace for years and never agree, but at some point as painful as it is we all have to make decisions that will effect our life and the lives of others. Everyday we all display preferences even if they are as simple as having a glass of water over a cup of tea.

Now in order to understand my version of non duality you have to be able to grasp the concept of life being like a jigsaw. In a jigsaw each piece plays a role but seldom upon inspection makes much sense on it’s own. Sure it may have great form and colour, it may even hold clues and wisdoms, but no matter how captivating that piece is it will always be simply one thread in the vast tapestry. To draw any real conclusions from just pieces of a jigsaw is human nature but ultimately pointless. For what may look like parts of a sky may be a ocean or simply a garden pond.

So when I speak or write about anything I’m usually speaking about pieces and seldom the whole jigsaw which can not be viewed or known from our limited view point.

I’m sure many people will say this is just a clever side step as ‘oneness’ can not be proved and yes they have a point, but not a truth. You can and do make judgements on the world around you, often this is simply just to stay alive which we perceive as very important. The key for me is not to think for one minute i’m more or less than anyone else, I neither right or wrong, i’m just a simple piece in a jigsaw and I can like it or lump it, it matters not.

This is why I so often write ‘life just is’ or ‘universally speaking’ i do it just to hammer home the fact that I ultimately don’t know, and neither do you, or anyone those in society perceive as wise

Live life as you wish or as your told

You can do what you want today, buy a chocolate bar or blow your own brains out, it really matters not. You can change your piece of the jigsaw a great deal and the universe will simply reshape it’s self around your actions, unaffected . You can live your life to the word of your god, or simply make it up as you go along it matters not universally, but to your friends, family, county and country it may appear to matter a great deal. So I guess it’s all down to you and who you thinks important. I do not believe anyone is right, no one knows the ultimate truth people simply make judgement calls which they think will help them get by in this world or the next.

So for me Morality and what is good or bad is just a weak human summation on a small piece of time and space nothing more nothing less …Our views shift century to century once old men married 14 year old girls, once it was ok to sleep with the same sex, then it wasn’t and now it is depending where you live in the world. Some people say our ancestors where very very wise, others say they were very very stupid. Duality is in Constant state of flux, non duality is frame in which all this messing about goes on.

I still have duality in my life I’d rather eat chocolate than horse shit

It’s a fact Nondualism is a fringe belief system, probably because it really holds no answers and can be rather uncomfortable at times when people get all emotional about all the ‘bad’ things in life. Most people want clear define lines of good and bad so consequentially people that talk about ‘oneness’ are often seen as barking mad or tree hugging hippy types.

Within non duality their are those that claim to be so really at ‘one’ they have no preface on anything and if that’s true for them cool, but that is definitely not me. I see duality everywhere , but i feel/ believe that everything is linked and a part of a great Universal Whole or a divine matrix if you like. I can grasp that their is universally speaking nothing to do and no where to go, that up and down are just judgement calls based upon a current position and not fixed points.  I know that nothing I do is right or wrong, good or bad, but everyday I know I take actions that in my limited sphere of influence can keep me alive or make me dead.

While death it would seem is simply the result of life and the reshaping of energy, for now I would rather be alive. So daily I do my best avoid death as far as i can I step out the way of trucks and avoid touching live cables or pissing off people with guns. One day I will conclude that life is no longer worth living for me, maybe because of ill health or an oppressive situation or government. I will then take action if possible to cease to live in the most pain free and convenient method possible.

So whats the point?

Well obviously apart from being born (done that) multiplying (didn’t do that) and dieing (on my list of things to do one day) life has no point that we can see. Despite all the books and all the thinking not to mention millions of years of struggle life it would seem is apparently pointless, which really can seem at times like a real buzz kill. Then again as we can’t see the whole jigsaw who knows, maybe just like all those small cells inside us we do a really important job in the universe, even if it is just killing planets. Maybe one day someone or something will hold our piece of the universe in their gaze and say WOW! did you see what all those funny little thing have done………or then again maybe they won’t.

So worry if that feels good, suffer if that feels right.. rage against the machine knock yourself out, or simply fall asleep on a beach with a good book. Do what you want, say what you like, just don’t ever tell me how to live my life or claim to have all the answers ……unless you do lol ….you know you don’t right :)….. it’s ok no one does.

Does reincarnation exist?

Originally posted on on my visionary art blog Jan 2009

I would like to start off with my favourite quote:
“Man is the only animal whose own existence is a problem that he has to solve.”

I truly believe that in this quote lies mankind’s greatest dilemma. That said I do enjoy pondering the impossible to answer.  I believe our growth as a race lies in the understanding that no matter our insight, religious or scientific stand points what we hold to be truth is ultimately just theory. Our personal perceptions are ultimately always made from a very ‘very’ limited view of the universe and the big picture. To say that man knows nothing is a greater truth than to say he knows anything at all.

So with that as my disclaimer as it were, l stumble forth into the maze of reincarnation.

For me on one level everything in the universe is reincarnating all the time as our bodies and in fact everything breaks down and returns to the earth or cosmos .  We are born again and again in many different ways as food for micro organisms and so into that world wide and never ending food chain. Parts of us return to water and air and as such we may roam free for millennia before once again making up the bodies of beings, planets or stars. While it may not make for great dinner table talk our bodies go forth forever and most of the time its just as food or energy. As they say we are born of the stars or to put it in a less dreamy manner we are made from the stuff of stars. So everything in my view has been and will be forever and ever..

What could be greater than is? A universe (or multiverse) that remoulds and rebirths it’s self forever. What more could we ask for? Is it not comfort enough to know we will become more than we can ever know? From the beating heart of a robin to the dust on the horizon of a planet we don’t even know exists.

The fact is for the ego the above is not enough, as it does not offer a future for it’s self. It offers no continuation for the kingdom in which the ego lives, it suggests the ego is ultimately doomed. So like the idea of Oneness (we are all ultimately linked within the matrix of life) the ego rejects the concept. The above kind of reincarnation is pointless the ego demands more, for the ‘I’ it demands nothing less than to be at the centre of the universe forever.

So as I am truthful enough to say I haven’t a clue about anything, let’s say that our spirit or our life experiences goes on when we die. That sounds possible I guess and it embraces the egos need to go on.

Could all that we have been in life be uploaded in pure energy form to the great matrix? (source, god call it what you will ) Then this info, our lifetime is processed and maybe even downloaded back into a new body. This for me is as equally as wonderful as the first idea and could in fact run along side the above. The universe can now be seen as the ultimate recycler, bodies in the green bin, thoughts and life-force energy in the white bin, thank you.

While my life experiences may be reborn deep inside the knowing of another body that other body will not be me. Then the ‘I am’ that is ‘ Aric Voss’ is a one time deal, a limited edition of one, as are you. Never in the history of the whole of everything will there ever be another you or me. How cool is that, they will never see the likes of us again, ok it is a little sad if your really loving this life time. Also I’m not totally sure it meets the egos needs, as its great domain is just reduced to the deep dark memory banks of someone or somethings else’s mind.

Now things start to get a little mind bending if they haven’t already.
It could be said and in fact I’m going to say it as have others …we are reincarnating all the time in this very life time:-

I know I was a baby, an infant, a teen but I know also I’m not that person any more. Once I had my heart broken so bad I thought I would never get over it, now like so much of my past when I think of it, it’s just like watching a rerun of some old movie with actors whose faces you know, but are ultimately nameless.

I have reincarnated in this the body (like Dr who) time and time again over my 47 years, not one of my cells remains from my birth  As you will all know we are told we have a whole new body every seven or so years…..So who was born by another name is now rebrand as Aric Voss, but every year month day, I decide if the ‘Aric Voss’ show goes on or stops. For as thousands of teacher have said now is the only time of Power, so in this now I can choose to be who I want. If I was so driven Aric could die as my birth name did and a another new persona could be born. We are given the chance every minute, hour, day, month, year to change, to be reborn to resurrect a new. The problem is society demands we are who we are, a whole life time; it says we must remain this collection of screw ups and victories from our past until death. This is lifes most disempowering perception and one what forces people into the dark places of the mind, where suicide can at times seem like the only way out.

For me the truth in this life is we reincarnate when we wish, we play this role that is our life as long as it serves us. This collection of experiences, dark, light, good and bad are our choice. Only the weakest actor stays with the play that no one comes to watch. The divine matrix (god everything call it what you like) in my mind has no knowledge of dualism. Only we see the world as up or down, right or left, good or bad, right or wrong, hot or cold, alive or dead. Only we believe we can’t change can’t reincarnate. For the universe everything just is, it’s all perfect and whole forever.

So ultimately we write the script that we want to watch, if we want to believe we are small and powerless we are. If want to believe no one will ever know who we were once we die, they won’t. We can believe we need to be punished for our past acts and we will be. We can believe we are part of god and straight way we are. Reincarnation starts and ends when you think it should and no one other than yourself will ever change your mind on that.

The real questions should be not does reincarnation happen but do we deserve to be reincarnated? I say this not from a moral stand point, but from that stand point that asks have you truly proved you can live life? As the saddest mutterings on a death bed must be ‘I wish I’d lived more’. How many times have you heard ‘maybe in the next life’ Is that’s all reincarnations is, some kind of idea we created to make us feel better for not living this life the way we wanted. There is no time limit on dreams and no age limit on change never ever wait for the next life as long as your still in this one.

Aric Voss -

Vortex Home Print
Vortex Home Print by AricVoss
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Goodbye Mum

I guess to many people it may be a strange thing to do to sit and blog about the the death of your mum just hours after hearing about it. I don’t do it for effect and i can a sure you I’m defiantly not fishing for sympathy. I’ve never been very good at taking sympathy or complements. All my art and blogs are done for my own personal enjoyment or I guess you could say therapy, if others get something out of them cool but that is never my motivation.

I’m really not for sentimentality , sure I will cry (yes even big hairy vikings cry), I have cried. Holding the hand of your mum in hospital as she lays paralysed from a heart attack and stroke would make most people cry at some point. Grief has it’s place and hiding it or bottling it away can’t be good for the mind body or soul. My Mum lived and died as we all must. She was one of life’s meek people who worried about everything and spent most of her time in fear of something happening. She did everything buy the book to the point she would make nuns look like sinners. She was a loving mother who always worried about her family more than herself ..

Her husband, my Dad has dementia (or some form of this) She had taken care of him for years even when he didn’t . He was/is one of those men who need a mother and a wife. She was both and even when he was being an A1 A-Hole she would simply bite her tongue and maybe slam the odd cabinet door. I believe that it was the constant pressure of my fathers illness over that past weeks that brought about her final demise. Some in the family will resent my dad for that, me I think it takes two to tango, mum simply saw it as doing her duty to the man she was married to for over 50 years.

As I write this my wife is in A&E with my dad after yet another fall (I have just come home to be with the dogs a while). We now are forced to place him in a care home with all the pain and guilt that brings. My Dad obviously new my Mum was ill but I don’t think he could grasp how much. I know he feels guilty about the pressure he put on her, as he said as much to me, but as i have hinted everyone always has a choice in life and she could have asked for help but pride and the guilt always stopped her.

I loved my Mum even if she could talk the back legs off a donkey lol

I will miss her and thank her for every sacrifice she ever made in giving me a childhood that was safe warm and loving….

I’ve nothing more to add as this viking has got something in his eye……..

Goodbye MUM you made the right choice to go ……..love Aric x

aricvossm
Mum and Dad when times were good.

 

Not all Panda’s know Kung Fu

aricvosspanda
Note artwork does not have large copyright on

Before the release of a certain Hollywood movie life was very chilled for the Panda Community. They would wake up have a nice breakfast of bamboo sleep a while, have bamboo for lunch sleep a while, have bamboo ….OK well you get the picture. Then Hollywood thought it would be cool to turn their lives upside down. Suddenly animals of all shapes and sizes far and wide where pounding their way to the sleepy Bamboo groves, at first they where flattered by the attention. After a while the attention took a more sinister twist.

You see not every one in the animal kingdom where happy about such a bunch of couch potatoes muscling in on there hard beast reputations. Animals that made a living in protection and extortion decided that these martial art panda’s should be brought down to size. The problem was in truth very few of our black and white friends new what Kung Fu even was, let alone be masters in the art. After a few months of being beaten up and intimidated by thugs who wanted to make a name for themselves the Pandas decided it was time to do something about this.

They requested that Hollywood drop the movie but that fell on deaf ears, so without any other options they decided that the best course of action was to simply buy some guns, really big guns. Obviously as a generally peaceful species their was initially a reluctance to packing pistols, but once they realised that it required very little effort on their part to blow these trouble makers away panda’s of all ages and clans took to carrying the bang bang stick which they affectionately named them.

After a few months the tooth and claw mobs gave the panda’s a wide birth,life returned to the traditional peaceful routine of eating a sleeping, except for friday afternoon which was now set aside for gun practice.

The above image is available in UK Postcard & Greeting card  with and without text it is also available in my USA Zazzle store links on sidebar

Problem Reaction Solution

You don’t have to be a full blown conspiracy geek to see that Problem, Reaction, Solution is at work everywhere. What is it? Well in short ‘the powers that be’ want to enforce something that in normal everyday life would not be acceptable to the common man. It is usually but not always something like a law that would chip away at our everyday freedoms. In order to get people to go with what ‘they’ wish to achieve a situation must be created that will out rage the public enough that they will demand for something to be done. Then the powers offer up the solutions and people agree as they simply don’t want to have to deal with the ‘problem’ again. So via manipulation governments or indeed the power behind them get what they want, we loose a few more civil Liberties in return for the perception of safety. It is a fact once any law is enforced it is seldom repealed.

The Ravings of a Mad Man.

Anyone at any time that questions implementation of these laws that are for out apparent safety are usually, labelled as trouble makers Mad or worse. So any meaningful public debate is often sidelined. Those that think differently to the prevailing wisdom of the time have always been persecuted throughout history in a myriad of ways. David Icke has always been seen as one of societies loonies, many people that would described themselves as open minded or even fringe thinkers often scoff at what he says. That said not giving a committed ear to the likes of Mr Icke could be seen as ‘throwing the baby out with the bath water.’ Within the massive web of conspiracy, deception and alien manipulation their are nuggets of wisdom and truth that few other people in public life have the guts to discuss. I’m sure many of us fall outside the barrier of what is deems good, proper and sane but I sure we all still believe our points and views are valid. Discrediting people is just another tool used by the powers that be within the framework of ‘problem reaction solution’. If we do not at least listen to apposing views on all subjects then we will and often do miss the fact that the presented ‘truth’ is simply a manipulation to justify someones crusade or personal betterment.

Trust no one

Agent Mulder may have been the one most linked to that phrase ‘Trust No One’ but he was was not the first to utter it, he definitely won’t be the last. Over the past years, the general publics framework of naive trust has begun to disintegrate before our very eyes. No longer do we hold Prime ministers, MPs Government officials or even our media celebrities in such high esteem. For all have been shown to be wanting, when it comes to honesty, all have been shown to be fallible and human just like us. ‘Trust no one’ like ‘question everything’ does not mean we can not move forward in life because everyone and everything is out to get us, it simply means nothing and no one is ever what they seem and that we must never become blind to this. There are no perfect people, There is no absolute truth other than there is no absolute truth.

So what to do about Problem Reaction Solution?

If you can see that many of the problems that face mankind are of our own doing and the mass media are demanding to do something about it you should very seriously look at the answers being offered. If these ‘solution’ include new restrictions and laws, we owe it to ourselves and the people of the future the make sure these ‘solution’ don’t in fact make life worse for the majority of us. That is the Key the need of the many must always out way the need of the few. Our freedom be it on the internet or in the real world is under attack everyday and those that attack it will use the most persuasive of arguments. The upshot is this, if we are not free then yes the number of crimes and deaths will go down but is that really a price worth paying for? I for one think not.

We must all simply be aware that no matter what we do or no matter how we do it someone somewhere wants us to stop. Apathy and being whipped up into a media driven lynching must be avoided. We must keep our eyes open for ‘Problem Reaction Solution’ for it may indeed be the very darkest of all societies problems.

Short sighted Customer Service

I have three rules when I get bad customer service from anyone, first I make sure the company knows I am not happy, which gives them a time to rectify their approach. If they do not even acknowledge my complaint about the service they have offered, I simply never deal with that company again (ever) and secondly i make sure to warn all my friends, family about my bad experience.

Having worked in the retail sector I know that the customer isn’t always right, but I’m also aware that bad customer service experiences are best solved quickly and if possible a customer should be appeased. That said I believe the customer has to respect and understand the service the people they are dealing are prepared to offer. If I am about to make any purchase of significance I always find out what the companies return policy is. I seldom shop with a view to returning products but I like to know where I stand. If a company says yes you can return a product in 3, 5, 30 days with a receipt then that is good enough for me. If I loose the receipt or miss the deadline that’s my fault and i never ever even bother trying to return anything if I can not meet the sellers return requirements. Politeness in business is a two way street as far as I’m concerned (up to a point).

The one thing many companies still fail to understand is the long term repercussions of a bad customer experience. The unhappy customer is just the tip of the iceberg, relatives, friends, strangers in a bus queue, even the aggrieved customers dogs and cats will be told about the day that they were wronged by this or that company. Get to many unhappy customers and it doesn’t matter how much you pay for advertising or how good your product is you will not be able to reverse public perception, word of mouth rules. Businesses that fail to care about their customers will not get repeat business and the minute someone comes along that offer a comparable product or service your business will dry up quicker than a goldfish in the Desert.

Vue Esprit / E-on software
(Note -Now contains a happy ending at bottom of blog)

All the above is a lead up to my complaint about the customer service offered buy e-on software who make Vue Esprit which is a 3d landscaping and environment software. If you read their promotional info it’s the darling of 3d hollywood movies.
see promo video below.

>

Now I have used versions 4 and 5 of this program but neither of these programs will run on my new mac. I decided that I would buy the current version Vue Esprit 2014. It should be understood that this software has multiple versions starting at a free model and rising to versions costing many hundred’s of dollars. This is good because it’s nice to be able to purchase a product that fits your budget and needs. Many 3d software companies simply offer one product at a price well beyond that of hobbyists and newbies. E-on is to be congratulated for this approach, but that is as far as my praise for them will stretch today. I purchased a product that sits about middle of their range. I believed wrongly that the program, would have a much larger range of materials and textures included than it did.

For example my first day I got the program I was asked to produce a quick image of a cross in a grave yard for a friend. I thought Vue would help me get this job done quickly and enjoyably. I Had created a cross in another program and imported it into Vue Esprit no problem. I selected the wood texture from the texture window only to be greeted by a message that i would have to purchase this texture for another $5+. I had just payed out $199 for the program and i could not believe I was being asked for more money for what I viewed was a basic wood texture. I may have expected this for the free of lower cost versions,but not this one. Raising a question with e-on it was confirmed the wood textures were not included. So many of the other textures, materials and objects in the programs import window that looked great also cost extra. My heart sank, sure i could make my own wood textures but that wasn’t the point, I had brought Vue because I wanted to use it’s ‘large’ range of included materials . I still had Vue5 on a old windows an laptop and Bryce 7 pro ( another companies version of this kind of program) I concluded that for me and I stress that for me Vue Esprit 2014 for now was not worth the outlay and so i asked for a refund inline with the policy on their website which is as follows:-

‘For Download Versions, you can ask our sales representatives for a refund within 5 days after the download period has expired. A 15% processing fee will be charged on the total amount to be refunded.’

Now I must point out e-on software communication policy is as follows from their website :-

‘Please do not send any support requests by e-mail: because of spam, we can no longer guarantee that e-mails will reach our support technicians. To avoid any support requests being lost, we now handle all of our technical support online’

So I had raised a support ticket and some hours later the answer came back:-

2014/04/28 06:37:38
Hi Aric,
I’ve forwarded your request for a refund/ .
Best regards. (name withheld by me)

Short and not very informative, but I felt ok the answer had come back quickly enough so I thanked Lee. Then I got to thinking ok but what happens next and in what kind of time scale? So asked this on this thread as it was not closed. Since then I have not heard a single thing from them. I phoned both their numbers in France and USA no answer. I Phoned their office in USA again and after waiting for a time it simply went through to a answer phone which i must confess I vented on. I am angry and while i know it never helps sometimes it’s hard to control ones temper when you face a wall of silence.

Basically there is no way to contact these people and have a conversation with them and for that reason alone I pass this info on to you. No company no matter how big or small that takes people’s money should be virtually unreachable.

You can conclude from this what you will, but I concluded that e-on has absolutely no interest in me as a customer. The way I have been treated so far (they still have time to redeem themselves) is beyond belief. If I had got my refund in a speedy time frame I would have be more than happy to deal with them in the future with other products and services but as it stands right now (this could change) I will never deal with this company again and based on my experience how can i recommend them to anyone?
So as it stands not only do I have a program that doesn’t meet my personal needs, I have no money left to by one that does. Hollywood may not notice spending $200 on a program but I do. I will keep you informed of further developments.

Follow up :-
Got this from e-on today Well I guess it’s something right ??
2014/05/02 05:31:02
Hi Aric,
I’m checking on this
Best regards. (name withheld by me)

Follow up (Good News):-
2014/05/02 15:18:48
Hi Aric,
Your refund is being processed. It may take a day or two to go through.
Best regards.(name withheld by me)

Follow up (Very Good News)

2014/05/05
Well this morning I got my refund phew! I have to admit I did not think I would. So they Have  honoured what they said they would do on the website. Now I won’t take this blog down because it is still valid, as I all my stress, worry, anger could have been avoided if in the the very first response from them they had said something like. Once we have checked your purchase details a 15% handling fee will be deducted and you will receive your refund in 7/10 days. The lack of info and inability to talk to someone about this was what made it a mountain out of a mole hill. I will leave you to conclude if this is good customer service or not. But thank you e-on software. Vue Esprit 2014 is a good, maybe brilliant bit of software, it’s just this version did not meet my personal expectations/needs I will continue to use my older versions I sure.

 

Don’t Hold Your Breath – lost love

Life can be great and it can also be a pile of poop.
We have all been scarred by events and people in our life, sometimes the very people we thought loved us end up hurting us the most. Heartbreak may be all in the head but if you have ever had the misfortune to truly feel this emotion then you have my deepest sympathy. People outside your personal pain can seldom grasp what you are feeling. They may offer words of comfort or simply demand you get over it. They say there are plenty more fish in the sea, but every love is different and everytime your heart breaks it gets a little colder. In the end we dare open up our hearts to anyone or anything, then we become cynical bitter and twisted old farts.

Our heart if it could would buy a time machine and go back to that time of wonder, that first glance, first crush, first kiss. We may all grow old on the outside but those emotions never leave us. First love is like the nectar of the gods it may be simply the trick of hormones or the mind, but nothing will ever taste so sweet or perfect again.

So while the heart would return and play the movie over and over again the mind couldn’t bare it. As the years pass who we loved and why we loved them fades on many levels, but once in a while a song a smell or a taste takes us right back to the frontline, the minute our world changed forever. So beautiful young people when an old man or women looks in your direction they may not just be lusting after your bodies as the media would have you believe or fear, they may be for a second simply remembering a time long ago when a girl or a boy they loved looked a bit like you.

oh Past loves and times If you think were coming back Don’t hold your breath.

http://www.nicolescherzingermusic.com

Personal views, Comment and Art Work

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