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A young curandera...an evil archbishop!
International Winner/New Age Fiction
Pinnacle Winner/Metaphysical Thriller
January 22, 2017
In a New York Times article
entitled How Did Rumi Become One Of Our Best-Selling Poets? we read, "There Rumi inherited his fatherís mantle, presided over a shabby but magnetic seminary, and became one of the most beloved and discussed religious figures in the realm. His reputation and appeal, both across time and in his own, lay in some elusive layering of acute religious knowledge, personal charm and wit, and a capacious spirit that was both deeply human and haloed with otherworldly prescience. He brought musical instruments into prayer and practiced the whirling dance of sama, declaring that these practices helped the human soul connect with its divine source. Princes and commanders flocked to him, tolerating icy reproach. Christians and Jews followed him in the street. Beggars felt comfortable approaching him."
The mystic knows no bounds. In culture after culture, individuals throughout time have experienced that which is mysterious, inexplicable, and numinous. In The Unholy
, we witness mystic women in tune with self, nature and intimate others. The mystic, numinosity felt within the heart, is open to all people and is best recognized as a healing and generative force.
As we seek what is right for us in life, we inevitably encounter mysterious happenings. The mystic surrounds us and fills us. It informs our life whether, as with Rumi, it is in music, meditation or relationships. The mystic in The Unholy
, infuses everyday life with what the Times article describes as acute religious knowledge, charm, wit and a capacious spirit.
January 16, 2017
Finding the exceptional in our self is a challenge. I've discovered in years of psychotherapy, helping hurting people heal, that discovering and nurturing the good is as much of a challenge as working through the bad. It's as though the bad is easier to believe than the good.
In The Unholy
, the young medicine woman feels hopeless. She wonders if there is anything good about her or her life. What has been bad and continues to be so crushes down on her. She struggles to find a way out, if there is a way out.
The difficult situations surrounding her loom large. Problems feel overwhelming and she considers herself, at one point, unable to go on and clear her way through. The odds seem stacked against her.
Healing calls us to take a step back and turn within. We all too easily get caught up on the outside dilemmas; instead, as the medicine women in The Unholy
teach, there is another way. Turning within, to the realm of deep feelings and dreams, holds the potential to see us through. But, it requires courage to listen and discover the exceptional that lies within us.
~ The Unholy
January 9, 2017
Our early upbringing sets the course for how we are in relationships as adults. When we learn we can't depend on parents, insecurity sets in. We have a hard time bonding and finding stable relationships. But, there is hope. Attachment injuries can be helped to heal as we work on deeply held fears and seek to better understand ourselves and others.
A recent New York Times
article noted, ďOur attachment system preferentially sees things according to what has happened in the past,Ē said Dr. Amir Levine, a psychiatrist at Columbia University and the co-author of the book ďAttached,Ē which explores how attachment behaviors affect the neurochemistry of the brain. ďItís kind of like searching in Google where it fills in based on what you searched before.Ē
In The Unholy
, Claire seeks her way out of the fear of love. It's unclear whether or not she stands a chance. But one thing is for sure: she must set about this task and then discover whether past traumas can be healed. ~The Unholy
January 1, 2017
Beginning a new year can usher us into a new way of seeing things. In stories, we learn that humans are complex creatures. Our place in the universe is relative to the entirety of cosmic dynamics beyond our ken. In reading a good story we learn, as stated in the Copernican principle, that we are not at the center of the universe; yet, our relevance is found as we permit curiosity and passion to open up new vistas of meaningful and significant life experience for a new year.
"The Copernican principle tells us, in short, that from a purely physical perspective, we are just a speck of dust in the grand scheme of things. This may sound depressing, but notice that every step along the way in extending the Copernican principle represents a major human discovery. That is, each decrease in the sense of our own physical significance was accompanied by a huge increase in our knowledge.
The Copernican principle teaches us humility, but it also reminds us to keep our curiosity and passion for exploration alive and vibrant." (On the Copernican Principle)
December 30, 2016
Last night in a dream I was quoting Ralph Waldo Emerson to a religious zealot. Emerson said, "Religion is a disease. It is the measles, mumps, and whooping cough of society." The person was shocked and outraged.
The dream came because I dealt with the pain of religion all this month. Patients have suffered brutally from its dark side. The guilt and fear of religion mounted through the years and deeply injured their sense of self and self esteem.
In The Unholy
, the dark side of religion calls, lures, and seduces. People follow blindly. They end up giving over their soul to the heartless enterprise known as religion. In the words of Emerson, religion is a disease, and so many especially at this time of year have been hurt by and even consumed by it.
Beware the dark side - consume you it will . . . ~ The Unholy
December 25, 2016
As we make the transition to 2017, we celebrate the end of 2016, grateful for all we've been through and learned. It is a time of transition, a passage to a new way of seeing things and being in the world. Enjoyment of self and others nourishes the soul and reflects the true magick of the season.
In the writing of The Unholy
, I discovered inspired moments in which the characters moved with magick. These came in tender moments and in times of desperate need. The medicine women abide in the realm of magick. They are satisfied with attunement to nature and its mysterious forces-magick.
We read in The Unholy
, ďIím so glad you were able to come, Claire,Ē Francesca said with a warm smile, taking her by the shoulder to pull her inside. Moving into Francescaís home was like making passage from one world to the next as the crisp outside air and twilight sky gave way to the warmth and cozy dim lighting of the adobe living room" (p.30).
So often we look for the dramatic episodes that evidence the reality of the supernatural. In truth, as the medicine women in The Unholy
continually live out, the most real magick happens person to person, soul to soul. Magick is right before us, in daily life and live if we but open our hearts and minds. ~ The Unholy
December 22, 2016
The atmosphere and energy of Solstice is evoked for me in this passage from The Unholy
: "Claire stayed quiet, her eyes riveted on Francescaís, then she moved to the wooden rocker near the white-plastered fireplace and sat down, the roaring cedar and piŮon fire taking away the early evening chill. She had much to share, but first it helped to calm her mind by enjoying the surroundings in which she had been raisedó the comfort of the living room with its rugs from the village of Chimayo scattered across the red Mexican tiles; the warmth of the ceilingís vigas, pine logs that offered structural support to the white stuccoed ceiling; the two-foot-thick adobe walls plastered white and decorated with ristras, three-foot-long strings of red chile, and surrealistic Native American paintings of planets swirling through the cosmos, depicting primal forces of earth, air, fire, and water. It was these primal elements that inspired the mysticism and natural magic in the lives of the women of northern Aztlan who were known for their enigmatic ways and dark healing arts. Francescaís own wall weavings made from wool produced in Los Ojos were a particular delight, made with the attention to detail that characterized Francescaís approach to all things" (pp.30-31). ~ The Unholy
December 19, 2016
Dylan at his most innocent struck the right cords. He sang on key. He wrote incredible verse. In this frame, of mind he tapped into natural and universal currents.
"I just donít have any religion or philosophy, I canít say much about any of them. A lot of people do, and fine if they really do follow a certain code. Iím not about to go around changing anything. I donít like anybody to tell me what I have to do or believe, how I have to live. I just donít care, you know. Philosophy canít give me anything that I donít already have. The biggest thing of all, that encompasses it all, is kept back in this country. Itís an old Chinese philosophy and religion, it really was one . . . there is a book called the ďI-ChingĒ, Iím not trying to push it, I donít want to talk about it, but itís the only thing that is amazingly true, period, not just for me. Anybody would know it. Anybody that ever walks would know it, itís a whole system of finding out things, based on all sorts of things. You donít have to believe in anything to read it, because besides being a great book to believe in, itís also very fantastic poetry" (Jung Currents)
Dylan and the medicine women in The Unholy
would have been quick pals. They were on each other's current. There's much to be said for listening and following the simple currents of life and not making a religion out of them. The medicine women lead that kind of existence. It's simple and it's healing. ~ The Unholy
December 7, 2016
In The Unholy
, Claire the young medicine woman, suffers. Within her psychic depths she struggles against fears that have been there since childhood. She tries to run from what she has to face, what she legitimately has to suffer her way through; so, she becomes, in a sense, neurotic. She can't commit to love, she can't move on in her life. She's caught by the neurosis of fearful living! Her quest lies in finding her way through this neurosis-a challenge and a "must do" in the life of one who considers herself a woman of courage and determination.
To do less than find our way through in life leaves us prey to needless suffering. It get us nowhere. We move from one complaint to another, no end in sight. This is symptomatic of neurotic suffering, pain without meaning or purpose.
In the writing of The Unholy
, the character of Claire often came to me in dreams. I saw a frightened young woman. She was seriously afraid to take up her calling, walk her path as a healer. I looked in her eyes and saw one who was paralyzed, a doe in headlights.
I didn't know which way things would turn out for Claire. But as the story evolved it became clear that meaningless suffering, neurosis, would be a tragic end to a woman loaded with potential. So I wrote The Unholy
as Claire told me of her life, its pain, suffering, and unfolding.
November 30, 2016
Omar on The Wellness Ultimatum Radio Podcast
asked me to delve into religious guilt and how it compromises quality of life. His podcast radio show focuses on well being, physically, mentally and spiritually. He was an insightful interviewer who managed to get to the heart of things concerning the dark side of religion, guilt, and the human need for spiritual freedom.
As we discussed The Unholy
, his questioning moved into the dark side of religion. The podcast is about health and the importance of wellness, so our discussion included physical and mental issues as well as spiritual. He continually directed our conversation into religious guilt as compromising health in all its aspects.
I agree that religious guilt causes us to descend into a sickness of soul. Our minds and bodies suffer. General medical problems increase when a person is afflicted by untreated guilt, including of the religious variety. Here I'm talking about guilt that is neurotic, serves no productive purpose. In bad religion, as Omar and I emphasized, people are pressured to believe and behave in certain ways, to conform to group think. Group think is toxic. It leaves no room for individual growth, a person walking their own path.
Toxic religion imposes guilt on those who do not believe as they are told. Wellness is compromised when spiritual individuality is compromised. A person suffers mentally, physically and spiritually. We talked about psychotherapy helping people heal from religious abuse, the imposition of religious guilt on a susceptible psyche. Depth therapy is a form of exorcism, a working through and releasing of troubling and destructive spirits, emotional complexes that threaten mental stability and well being.
As you listen to The Wellness Ultimatum Radio Podcast
, I'm sure you'll find inspiration and perhaps even an awakening to the importance of exorcising, healing, the religious guilt addressed in the story of The Unholy