Ascending Spiral: Humanity's Last Chance [NOOK Book]

Overview

Join us on an epic journey older than civilization itself...

Dr. Pip Lipkin has lived for 12,000 years, incarnated many times as man, woman, and even as species beyond our world and senses. But he's here for a reason: to pay restitution for an ancient crime by working to save humanity from certain destruction. Ascending Spiral is a book that will take the reader to many ...
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Ascending Spiral: Humanity's Last Chance

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Overview

Join us on an epic journey older than civilization itself...

Dr. Pip Lipkin has lived for 12,000 years, incarnated many times as man, woman, and even as species beyond our world and senses. But he's here for a reason: to pay restitution for an ancient crime by working to save humanity from certain destruction. Ascending Spiral is a book that will take the reader to many different places and times, showing, ultimately, that our differences and divisions, even at their most devastating, are less important than our similarities.

From Marvelous Spirit Press www.MarvelousSpirit.com
"Books that maximize empowerment of mind and spirit
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Editorial Reviews

CompulsiveReader.com - Magdalena Ball
"Dr. Bob Rich's Ascending Spiral is a true genre-buster, incorporating elements of historical fiction, literary fiction, science fiction, and even a hint of nonfiction to create an entertaining novel with an important message."
Magdalena Ball, CompulsiveReader.com
Burke - Frances Burke
"The way of karma rings true for many people, and this book is a very well written and thoughtful explanation of its message. It is also an exciting, historically accurate series of linked stories that will hold the reader in his chair for a single sitting. Highly recommended."
Frances Burke, author of Endless Time
Wing - Diane Wing
"Bob Rich powerfully evokes the wounded healer archetype in Ascending Spiral, taking readers on Pip's painful and insightful journey through lifetimes that serve as a shining example of how to turn misery into virtue."
-Diane Wing, author, Coven: Scrolls of the Four Winds
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940016245645
  • Publisher: Loving Healing Press
  • Publication date: 3/23/2013
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 248
  • Sales rank: 1,166,892
  • File size: 2 MB

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 23 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 23 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2013

    A Metaphysical Novel for Our Times Buddhism is an ancient philos

    A Metaphysical Novel for Our Times
    Buddhism is an ancient philosophy studying the human mind. As you read Bob Rich’s new novel, Ascending Spiral: Humanity’s Last Chance, you can’t help but notice the Buddhist Four Noble Truths written between the lines of this exquisite page- turner. 
    The First Noble Truth states that life includes pain, disease, aging, and death. Through the eyes of Pip, the main protagonist, we learn of his early experience with the Nazis and how that encounter tormented his soul. Through Pip’s determination, he digs within himself to uncover four past lives to bare the suffering his soul has experienced over the centuries. 
    During this literal soul searching, Pip learns the Second Noble Truth—craving, an emotion most of us know too well, and causes suffering. But as an extraterrestrial? Overcoming this suffering and finding happiness is a difficult assignment explained in the Third Noble Truth, and a goal of each of Pip’s five lives, two of which take place beyond our solar system. 
    In a fluid writing style that will captivate readers from the first page to the last, Rich brings us a novel that is thought provoking as well as humbling. He brilliantly unfolds a story that entertains as well as educates as Pip develops wisdom and empathy—the Fourth Noble Truth. Ascending Spiral is a novel based on an ancient philosophy, but perfect for our times. 

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2013

    Bob Rich has crafted a very unusual novel and in the proces




    Bob Rich has crafted a very unusual novel and in the process he delved into both the virtues and vices of the human race. Despite bringing into focus the myriad ways humans can be so cruel and vicious toward each other and toward groups with different attitudes or beliefs than their own, he contrasts this bloody-mindedness of our species with the way we are also capable of deep love and sacrifice in response to the suffering of others.
    Rich uses a central character in different guises to tie epochs together that span continents and millennia, ranging from Viking times to the modern era and beyond. What he does in the process is make us think about what we’re reading despite the tendency to become absorbed in a truly memorable novel.
    Bob Rich’s concern for and appreciation of the environment of Earth stands out clearly, connecting man and Earth in a bond, one that is too easily broken and certainly not taken seriously enough.
    When you pick up this book and turn the first age prepare yourself for a journey through history that is accurate and deeply moving despite scenes that sometimes depict all too well how often and how badly we treat those different from us. A book to remember and re-read.
    Darrell Bain

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 9, 2013

    Ascending Spiral is a wonderfully curious book and one that defi

    Ascending Spiral is a wonderfully curious book and one that defies instant categorisation. At first, I thought it a series of historical stories – expertly crafted and meticulously researched – that put you right into the times so you can actually feel what the characters are experiencing. You live as Padraig, his short life terminated by a Viking raider; as Irishman Dermot fighting against British tyranny; as Amelia, the wife of a brutal landowner in Outback Australia; and as Pip Lipkin, a young man in 20th century Australia, fighting prejudice and his own failings. But it was so much more than just historical stories. The central character in each account turns out to be the same soul, experiencing different lives, learning some lessons, failing others, falling and rising, though the overall journey is one of ascent – one soul’s journey on an ascending spiral.
    This, in itself, would be a fascinating tale of men and women buffeted by circumstance, but the story is twelve thousand years in the making. Furthermore, it encompasses the lives of aliens as well as humans, told in a way that seems both realistic and meaningful. A Space Flower and a Walking Plant add their lives to the mix, and if it seems odd that these beings should be included in a story of an ascending soul; think again. Every action leaves its mark, both on ourselves and those around us, and if we do harm, we must atone for our actions before we can move forward. With every death comes an accounting and a chance for the soul to pick a future life that will help it right the wrongs of a previous existence, help it on its spiral of ascent.
    If all that wasn’t enough, one is left with a strong feeling that the latter part of the book is at least partly autobiographical, as the character Pip Lipkin finally realises his long history and what it all means. He has learned lessons from his past lives and can now put them into practice. This would be enough for most books, but Bob Rich goes further, pointing out the future of the planet and the fate of every species on it unless we too learn the lessons that Pip has learned over twelve thousand years of existence.
    Ascending Spiral is a book that held me fascinated while I was reading it, and made me sit and think when I finished it. I know I’ll be reading it again, especially the latter part where the future of the planet – my future, your future – is laid out, and how we can yet save it from destruction. Thank you, Bob, for this wonderful and thought-provoking experience.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 24, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    This book is unlike any I've read before. I made the mistake of

    This book is unlike any I've read before. I made the mistake of skimming the beginning one night, even though I was in the middle of reading another book and was committed to reading several others before it. By the time I got to the end of the first chapter, I was hopelessly and happily hooked. I couldn't seem to get my eyes to read fast enough. I don't usually like any type of historical fiction or metaphysical books, but maybe I'd be a fan of the genres if they were all as well written and engaging as this book. My heart was completely invested in the main character's story from the beginning, even though I had to find out about him first when he was several other people.
       The main character, Dr. Pip Lipkin, has lived for twelve centuries as many people -- both men and women -- and even some other species. That may sound strange, but the account of his other lives and how they are all interwoven is an epic saga filled with adventure, fully developed characters, rich historical details, exotic settings and events that run the emotional gamut. I'm a hopeless romantic, but it wasn't only the parts about all his loves that had me in their grips. The tactical strategies and details of his adventures are gripping as well, even when they involve horrific deaths, torture and rape. And although this book makes social, philosophical and ethical statements, the reader is allowed to glean them from the unfolding story rather than having them thrust in their face.
       ASCENDING SPIRAL is the first book I've read by Dr. Bob Rich, but it definitely won't be the last.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 24, 2013

    Ascending Spiral Reviewed by Alfredo Ascending Spiral is not on

    Ascending Spiral
    Reviewed by Alfredo
    Ascending Spiral is not only a book but a work of art. Like all works of art, it is not what is immediately apparent that captures the reader’s attention but what is hidden, yet still obvious to those who are closer to the Light.
    It is less fiction than it seems, particularly for those of us who have a good hunch that the human spirit relives many lives, and we have some proof if we look at children’s past lives stories. There is no doubt that the author is an old soul who looks at humanity from the eyes of someone who does not belong here and yet is here to help others. It is an uncomfortable, yet rewarding, journey that will reap rewards in the end. It is the story of a soul that has been through much trauma through the many lives and comes to embody a young man, a teenager who is bullied by other children simply because of being Jewish. That must have been extremely traumatic for a young man who was kind and gentle and sensitive. A young man who today is a rare psychologist and who would probably look back at the bullies with some compassion and sadness, knowing very well how much help they need and how that experience has served him well. It was not negative but all positive today.
    But above all, it is the story of a quest for the meaning of life. Why are we here? What is the meaning of our life? And what is this Universe all about? Perhaps the questions we are asking have been replied in our dreams, dreams that we cannot recall. The mystery of men and women. Through all of this chaos there is suffering, the negative energy that propels humanity into greatness, for it is out of suffering that we get closer to the light. Those of us who can suffer with dignity and with acceptance are the ones who transform themselves into real artists that shape our life. It is a constant battle but if we look closely there is so much good that comes out of the struggle, perhaps enough to save us all.
    Ascending Spiral is a quest more inner than outer, for there is a Universe out there but also one in each of us, for we are a universe in our own right.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 24, 2013

    Dr Pip Lipkin has lived for 12,000 years, in many lives, differe

    Dr Pip Lipkin has lived for 12,000 years, in many lives, different sexes, and even different species and he’s here for a reason.  Dr Bob Rich’s Ascending Spiral is a true genre-buster, incorporating elements of historical fiction, literary fiction, science fiction, and even a hint of nonfiction to create an entertaining novel with an important message.  
    Beautifully researched, the book opens in present day, but quickly moves back to 805-806 AD, where the first person protagonist is named Padraig, and he is fighting a Viking attack.  The book then moves into the life of Dermot, an Irishman dealing with the campaign of repression conducted by the English against the Irish during this period. Dermot’s section is the longest, taking the reader through full scale war, vigilantism, transportation to Australia as a convict, slavery, life on a squat as a free man, and the committing of a terrible crime. Dermot’s act has repercussions that take him into the next chapter of his existence, as Amelia, a woman who has to experience the consequences of Dermot’s crime again and again.  When Amelia dies, our protagonist experiences something completely different – a life that is free of gender and hate – focused solely on survival and the support of the species.  The next life jumps to 10,000 BCE, where, as a giant space flower, the protagonist commits a thoughtless but devastating crime, the likes of which forms the basis for the atonement and multiple births throughout the novel.  The final section belongs to Pip, bringing us back to the start.  
    Pip is the most evolved being and the development from Padraig to Pip is the ascending spiral that the title refers to.  Along the way he learns (and teaches us) about the meaninglessness and pain of war, about greed and violence, about the folly of our desperation for happiness over wisdom, about the beauty and delicacy of our planet, and about the power of love and forgiveness to change these cycles.  The themes of the book are Buddhist, showing us the Samsara or "the cycle of birth and death” and the lessons we all need to learn in order to evolve ourselves and to save our rapidly dying world. Though the ultimate purpose of the book does appear to be didactic - global warming and impending environmental catastrophe are generally accepted within the mainstream scientific community as proven fact - and the parallels between Dr Lipkin and the author’s own studies are probably the subject of at least a few fascinating interviews, the story reads well as fiction, creating each world entirely so that the reader becomes engrossed in the historical time and place along with the protagonist.  The overall message is delivered with subtlety and sophistication, and the descriptions are particularly powerful, especially in Dermot’s section where we move from war-torn Ireland to NSW.  The long, painful journey by boat is evocative, as are the space flower descriptions which add a fun sci-fi twist to the story and showing Rich’s scientific bent. 
    Through each section there are a number of important threads that link the novel together, including the recurring cycle of racism and prejudice in all of its forms, of uncontrolled hunger and its ability to damage, and of the healing power of sympathy, connection and perception.  All of these threads come together through a series of stories that are historically engaging and powerful, at times whimsical, and above all, meticulously presented.  Ascending Spiral is a book that will take the reader to many different places and times, showing, ultimately, that our differences and divisions, even at their most devastating, are less important than our similarities. This is an important and timely novel full of wisdom and insight. 

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 23, 2013

    Ascending Spiral by Robert Rich is not your typical read. A nov

    Ascending Spiral by Robert Rich is not your typical read. A novel told in stories joined together by a common thread or two, the novel defies genre distinction, provokes thought, causes the reader to recall the past, and hope for the future. The cycle of life is woven through history, the psyche, and spirituality. Rich invites you to follow his character, Pip Lipkin, on his spiritual journey through space and time.
    Padraig, a shepherd boy in Ireland falls in love. The Vikings land. There is aggression, resistance, war, death, conquering and enlightenment. The religious conflict in Ireland brews around the life of Dermot nearly a thousand years later. “The bloody English” bring aggression which births resistance, that boils into war, death, conquering and enlightenment. Dermot and others are found guilty of treason against the Crown when England wants to expand its borders to include the Green Isle. The traitors are shipped to New South Wales...Australia...for life. Dermot, after a valient effort as a soldier for his people, becomes a criminal, at last falling dead as he rapes the wife of another man.
    Dermot thinks, “I should become her, the squatter's wife who suffers rape....I should have the power, the ability to ease hurt, to lead people from hate and despair to strength and love.”
    Amelia is born in the 19th Century. She marries into bondage to a man who regards her only as his property. He isolates her, regularly rapes her and the Aborigine women employed on his plantation. She is the mistress, the peacemaker. And her good deeds, she hopes, will win her freedom one day.
    The Great Chain of Being continues from humans through plant life. Everything in the Universe is believed to contain some amount of life force. Through reincarnation the narrator experiences the cycle of plant life. “A Walking Plant will die for the love of others of her kind...In my next life I need to continue to defend the weak, the victim, but then progress to doing so without hurting the aggressor.”
    The next incarnation is Space Flower living in 10,000 BCE. “Before my drift to the periphery, life had been vital, interesting and meaningful. Now it became a bore. I used to be famous for the beauty of my forms. Now my best was nothing compared to the ordinary of others. I used to be involved in many endeavors. Now I could only observe. So I stopped trying...” And died.
    Death and life are illusions, writes Rich. All people as individual entities are illusions. “There is just the One, and we all are parts of it...”
    In contemporary times Pip grew up a hated Jew although he claims to be a Buddhist Jew. He fixes spiritually and emotionally broken people for a living because one life is brief and there is the belief that we get to repeat until we get it right. But who knows what the future holds? Rich wants to share his thoughts about that with you through Ascending Spiral due out March 2013.
    This atypical tale is thought-provoking. The reader can take the major points of the book to craft a measuring stick for the Self to determine, “If you aren't part of the solution, you are part of the problem.”

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2013

    "The Ascending Spiral" takes the reader on a wild ride

    "The Ascending Spiral" takes the reader on a wild ride, across deep time and deep space, and then touches base in recent historical time and on our planet, including a long interlude on an Australian sheep station. It's not always clear how the characters relate to each other - does Dermot the vengeful Irishman transmute into the lovely, sensitive Amelia? Not to mention the shift into plants that walk. But toward the conclusion Rich ties his varied characters together, showing how they flow into each other. This is a story of change, metamorphosis, and of growth. The spiral of this book coils around the belief that our sufferings on this planet are given to us so that we may learn and then teach others.

    And what causes this suffering? Greed is the short answer. Rich ends his book with a personal and heart-felt plea for us to start simply, on the planet the nourishes us, to create a sustainable and loving life together.

    One of my favorite episodes occurs as the Space Flower swoops through space, examining the planets it finds. It sees a planet, a nursery for souls, beautiful but "baffling." This planet has a toxic water-oxygen sheath,, beneath which might be some "bizarre lttle life form." The Space Flower needs to destroy these forms to supply fuel for its return journey - and then our traveler wonders: could such beings have "feelings and emotions like real living beings?...Did they have any apprehension of beauty?...If I shortened their lives, would it make any difference?"

    How wonderful if we could see all the lives we touch from this perspective. The Space Flower learns the lesson which all of us Earthlings should learn: that no matter how alien it seems to us, each "little, short-lived things was as valuable, as worthy respect and care, as any of [its] people."

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2013

    When was the last time a book actually made you think....? I be

    When was the last time a book actually made you think....?

    I began this book with some trepidation. I had never considered too deeply my views on re-incarnation.

    However, from the moment I started to read, I was instantly drawn to the characters and engaged by the style of writing.

    Despite being a complex topic, the story flowed beautifully and was incredibly easy to read. So much so that I finished it in two days!

    Not only is the emotion clearly conveyed but the whole book is so very thought provoking. Once I'd finished it, I sat for a moment, pondering the message that had been written. It really does make you consider the 'bigger picture' and want to aim to be a better person. A wonderful read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2013

    This is an inclusive metaphysical book. Christian, New Age, Bud

    This is an inclusive metaphysical book. Christian, New Age, Buddhist, and Psychological views are employed to give an important message which eventually leads to a strong emphasis on Conservationism. All are aimed at producing greater individual understanding and a better, safer, cleaner world for everyone.
    I applaud the author for his engaging story of Pip’s lives, beginning in the present day where Pip is a counselor. The prologue was so engaging that it made me want to read more.
    Pip in one past life is an Irishman called Dermot fighting the tyranny of English oppressors. I got a real sense of Ireland and I liked Dermot even though his vengeance against the cruel invaders knew no end. I felt so sad at the abuse the “convicts” (including Dermot), transported to Australia suffered.
    Pip in another life is born again as an innocent woman, Amelia, who lives with an abusive husband. She is a very strong person in a winning story about Outback life which explores the struggles of powerlessness including the plight and wisdom of Aborigines.
    There are some other lives lived by Pip too, gems of creativity that explore other aspects of being both human and non-human.
    Pip, in each of his many lives that span the ages learns many lessons--from survival of the fittest to the need for speaking truth to power--on his journey to spiritual maturity. Reincarnation, it seems to me, is one way to understand suffering. I particularly liked the karmic idea that we reap what we sow but we get chances to experientially learn from our past and change ugly behaviors.
    The book is rich (forgive the pun) with wisdom and words of advice that resonate as true and are genuinely helpful. We really need to heed Bob Rich’s words and emphasis on living simply, giving up lust for vengeance and power, learning to forgive, trusting the process of our, in this case, many lives, to become better developed people who contribute to the betterment of the All, which includes animals, insects, plants, people, the earth and other worlds.
    In the ending story we learn about Pip’s journey in his current life. It is interesting, moving and as engaging as the beginning.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2013

    Dr. Bob Rich's remarkable and exceptionally well written, though

    Dr. Bob Rich's remarkable and exceptionally well written, thoughughtful and emotionally evocative novel weaves together horrific and beautiful tales.  Each tale is set within a different historical period and illustrates the humanistic value of good overcoming evil. 
     
    Dr. Rich posits that throughout the ages, humankind has survived despite horrific conditions into which leaders were born.  The situations they confronted brought out their strengths.   Through unfortunate and grave circumstances, they recognized their two choices: To prevail, they could muster their inner resources-- the virtues of compassion, courage, strength, native intelligence, imagination, and the instinctive ability to draw out these qualities in others to overthrow oppression and move forward. Or, inevitably they would suffer the consequences: alienation, humiliation, slavery, starvation and premature death.  




    While many events depicted in this unusual novel are painful to imagine, the reader is left with a sense of optimism.  Our species has demonstrated the ability not only to survive, but also to advance and improve our condition.
     
    Sandra Levy Ceren, Ph.D.
    Clinical Psychology

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2013

    An eon of experiences and learning that can span many physical b

    An eon of experiences and learning that can span many physical bodies?  Is that possible?  Well after reading “Ascending Spiral – Humanity’s Last Chance”, you will rethink the meaning of life, death and what may follow, especially the future of humanity.
    This thought provoking book by Dr Bob Rich is a page turner from first to last.  It is meticulously researched through many historical periods, and during the story you follow the journey of a single entity, Pip Lipkin, who is traversing many timeframes.  The genre of this book is difficult to categorise, spanning historical drama, science fiction, and the metaphysical.  That is not to say that the book is difficult to read.  Far from it.  It flows effortlessly from life to life, who are all connected in a particular way, which leaves the reader to ponder deeply.  The environmental theme is subtly disguised throughout the story until it becomes crystal clear in the final sequences.  
    This story had me hooked from the very start, and I could emotionally identify with all of the characters that I was introduced to during his progression.  In fact, I cried with tears of joy as I flipped through to the end as the story reached its climax.  Its powerful message was loud and clear.  We are the owners of our own future!
    This is a must-read book!  5 stars. - Gavin Webber

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 23, 2013

    ¿Ascending Spiral¿, written by Bob Rich, is a medley of intertw

    “Ascending Spiral”, written by Bob Rich, is a medley of intertwining lives that result in lessons learned for mistakes of past lives. Dr. Pip is the connecting factor between all of these life forms, and brings wisdom and meaning to each existence as he searches for their reason for being. The stories within this book are filled with adventure, terror, love, hate, loneliness, despair, antisemitism, war, slavery, insanity, prejudice, sexism, and above all how mankind of today may be destroying itself on a rapid road filled with misconception and greed.

    Life connects and disconnects as one presumably is reincarnated and finds the meaning for what life is truly about. In the beginning of the book, and also at the end, Dr. Pip realizes that his existence in the here and now is directed toward healing others. His messages to the reader are profound, and without a doubt, will leave you in a soul searching state of mind. His true to life view will grip your emotions and awaken you to what could happen in the world of excessive consuming and industry.

    I believe the author’s all intent goal for this book is for his reader to enjoy these pages filled with controversy and adventure, and to join his efforts in thwarting greed, promoting love, and to secure the preservation of the Earth, as well as the human race.
    I give this book five stars plus, for content that grips, stories of true emotion that entertain, and intent that serves others. Great book!

    This book has been reviewed by Susan Hornbach

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2014

    This is a complex book spanning a period of 12,000years to the p

    This is a complex book spanning a period of 12,000years to the present through Pip’s eyes.
    Pip travels through time as various souls, first descending downward into violence and cruelty and then climbing back up as he learns how to become a better man, one who can work to save humanity.
    He needs to “...learn the lesson of forgiveness; heal hurt, and lead people from despair and helplessness to strength and Love...what it’s like to be without the pain of loving.”
    It’s a plea to look at the world as it is and what we’re doing to it and to create a sustainable society.
    It’s not your typical read or a specific genre as it touches on history, reincarnation, the paranormal, contemporary, and love.
    The story is well written and it will grip you and keep you reading from one century and one chapter to the next. I highly recommend it and particularly liked the message at the end. Beverley Bateman

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2014

    What on earth's it all about? On the brink of human extincti

    What on earth's it all about?




    On the brink of human extinction, as we might well be, many of us are wondering 'what's it all about?'




    Why do we try so hard when it seems there is little to try for except money, success and things if -IF you are very lucky.   What else is there?




    Good Question, and if you are one of those seriously asking the question, then maybe Ascending Spiral will contain answers that will ring bells for you.




    We need, in this time, to begin to face the fact that there has to be more to life than just a mere 70 or 80 years in which we can be saints or sinners and end up in either heaven or hell when we die.  Do you really believe that?




    This does not make any real sense for the efforts we put into our lives and to see it all come to nothing much at the end, as we can't take it with us, is perplexing to say the least.




    Dr. Rich was not a believer in reincarnation until events in his life took over and demanded that, as a psychologist, he had to come to the realisation that were was more to life if any sense was to be made of any of it.




    Now he has written a definitive account of one man and his journey through many lives and the reasons for why this should be so for all of us.




    It is a clear account without any mumbo-jumbo and makes sense to the most logical among us.




    It's a good read and and worthy of thought for a long time after you put it down.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2013

    Bob Rich¿s remarkable novel is a valiant, vivid, at times brilli

    Bob Rich’s remarkable novel is a valiant, vivid, at times brilliant attempt to solve the puzzle of the human animal. Consisting of gripping, interconnected narratives of the many lives of Pip Lipkin, the novel retells, in a most original way, the myth of Original Sin and the possibility of redemption. We humans have a broad streak of greed, malice, and willful destruction within us. “Humanity is a toddler” we are told, and our two dominant words are NO! and Mine! Nietzsche recognized this and called it the Will to Power, present in all life forms, all of us striving to grow by devouring the Other—only in the case of human beings, the Other is planet Earth. The lesson of the novel/primer/metaphor/parable is that we alone, among the interconnected species that make up the living surface of this ball of energy that is Earth, are capable of recognizing the final and horrific result of No! and Mine! We alone can curb our primitive impulses and learn to love unselfishly. Unlike Nietzsche, Bob is an optimist. He shouts a warning: We must and can act to halt the destruction of our Earth. Pip/Bob is a very old soul who has learned to heal with love, to build rather than devour. But what to do about the exploitative and destructive youngsters, “toddler souls” like Bob’s Vikings, his English in Ireland and Australia, his Mr. McQuade, our own entrepreneurs? Teach love. Give, not Gimme. Bravo, Bob! May you draw many readers, and may they join the healing effort!

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  • Posted September 19, 2013

    "In the ascending spiral of evolution each new generation a

    "In the ascending spiral of evolution each new generation absorbs the experiences of the previous level and expands upon them…" (theorist and scholar Gene Youngblood, 2010).

    Such is the underlying theme of Dr. Bob Rich's profound and sometimes confounding literary masterpiece Ascending Spiral - Humanity's Last Chance.

    The journey of Rich's protagonist Pip Lipkin through 12000 years of human history is a powerful and often lyrical narrative featuring a vivid pallete of historical settings and fully realized protagonists - all of whom represent a singular hero on a quest for redemption. From the Viking era of Continental Europe to the Irish vs. English struggle for supremacy in the Middle Ages and beyond to the present day, each vignette is visually lush and evocative, laying the foundation of the hero's journey and building on it with thought provoking subtlety and an eye towards a powerful message of atonement for the sins of the past.

    The connective tissue of reincarnation allows the story to advance through the ages until we come full circle with the modern day with Pip Lipkin. I really enjoyed this aspect of the story as reincarnation is a concept that I am really drawn to and I like to read different takes on it. Rich's use of it in his story - under the convention of the Ascending Spiral - was satisfyingly original.

    Bob Rich's Ascending Spiral - Humanity's Last Chance is a unique piece of fiction, an almost hand crafted literary work that lingers in the mind long after the final page. You will be captured by the story and perhaps changed by it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2013

    Life is an adventure; some say a never-ending one. Ascending Spi

    Life is an adventure; some say a never-ending one. Ascending Spiral by Bob Rich takes us on that rollercoaster of life. As they say, “Keep your arms and legs inside the car at all times.” It’s a wild ride.
    As the book opens, we join therapist Pip Lipkin assisting patients in recent times then swiftly travel backward, ultimately some 12,000 years. As each chapter introduces a new character and their personal drama unfolds, it soon becomes obvious we are witnessing the same being again and again struggling with new life challenges as they gradually resolve, evolve, and reawaken. There’s never a dull moment. Friends and adversaries resurface in each life playing different roles—some nurturing, some violent—as “Pip” continues his spiraling metaphysical journey from one calamity or triumph to the next. 
    I had little idea what to expect when I began reading, but was soon wrapped up in the fascinating adventure. As I devoured the book within two sittings, (one has to sleep), I was reminded how all events, even minor, can be interconnected. There are no coincidences and personal choices constantly create or resolve our karma. This simple reminder can help reassure and heal us through the darkest of times.
    Ascending Spiral is an engaging adventure, blurring the lines of genre while appealing to a wide audience who enjoy adventure, sci-fi, philosophy, metaphysics, and historical fiction. I heartily recommend it.
    Brandon Wilson, Lowell Thomas Award-winning author of Along the Templar Trail and others

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  • Posted August 20, 2013

    Have you ever wondered why you are inexplicably drawn to a parti

    Have you ever wondered why you are inexplicably drawn to a particular person as if you know them well, though have never met them? Have always had a strong particular personal trait that you can’t explain where it originated from? Ascending Spiral may just answer these questions for you. This is a brilliantly written and extremely thought provoking journey of the soul. The central character could be anyone of us as we journey through our particular life/s in search for the meaning of our existence. The stories are told in such a realistic way that placed me in the bodies and minds of many of the characters. My perception of the central theme (and there are a few thread throughout), is that we reap what we sow. That violence and aggression beget the same and we will be confronted with many hard life-lessons until we embrace the fact that we are the masters of our own fate; only our own love and genuine kindness brings peace. I found Bob Rich’s novel Ascending Spiral to be emotionally confronting in a positive way that triggered private reflection and it questions our own level of personal and spiritual growth.

    David Norman, author of Alcohemy – The Solution to Ending Your Alcohol Habit for Good.

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  • Posted August 8, 2013

    Such a thought provoking story I have never read before. Do I be

    Such a thought provoking story I have never read before. Do I believe in reincarnation? Hardly. As a Bible believing Christian I believe in one life, one death and the resurrection of the eternal soul…. And just what does that mean. As an open minded intellectual I humorously entertain thoughts of what or who I may have been, or might become in different lives because of something that has just happened to me.

    And the Question still begs for an answer, “Why am I here?”
    I chose this book partly from curiosity, partly from personal need, and partly from a drive I had no control over. As a person who focuses mainly on children’s books or much lighter and predictable Westerns, I first found this book to be hard to read. But it was harder to put down. And now that I’ve turned that last page, it will be impossible to forget.
    I followed Pip through his life. I struggled through many of ‘his’ other lives, and when I gaze at the myriad of stars over the Texas plains at night I really do wonder how many others are looking down on me. “What is my purpose here?” I feel the struggle as life continues, and the surprise as I begin to realize that one soul has moved on to a new lesson. Then more surprise as I discover that the soul may be able to choose the lessons. “What could possibly be next?” I was driven almost to the point of stress as Pip’s life became complex and confusing, the story bouncing from one time frame to another and back again. But, Isn’t that how life goes as we mature, grow, and find success?
    I love the ‘spiral’ motif. It is motion, it is economy of motion. It can lift but it can also drill, or be a feather drifting lazily to settle in the shade of a willow tree. Do we spiral toward a more complex lifestyle or to a simpler one? Like Pip, I have choices. How can I know that each choice I make will result in peace of heart and mind for me and my children? And what about the temptation to choose wealth or just a tiny dab of celebrity? I pray that my choices will result in my being able to ‘pass’ this lesson, but even more than that, that my choices will result in my children being able to also learn and pass their own lessons.

    Thank you, Bob, for your writing. And by the way, I’ve been a conservationist, and mostly off the grid, for a large part of my life. I now live in a ‘tiny house’ and the solar panels are on the way. And, thankfully, just as with Pip, the ‘taker’ has become the ‘giver’, the ‘destroyer’ has become the ‘builder’, and I hope that the stubborn will soon learn enough to become the teacher.

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