You'll not be surprised to learn that books play an important part in my life. I've written posts about publishing and reading and books quite a bit lately. I did a short review of a fantastic sci-fi series just last weekend, and now I want to introduce a series of blog posts around a new book.
The book is, People of the Bear Mother. The author is TD Austin. We emailed back and forth a bit and I asked if she would share her writing experience with us, as I read the book and prepare to write about it.
TD Austin wrote to me, "That the story of our Stone Age ancestors and their inner/spiritual lives should be told by a woman seems to me unremarkable because these hunting cultures were the most egalitarian in human history. Scientists tell us that the women's 'gathering' activities provided up to 80% of all food calories, that most of the shamans, spiritual leaders and healers were women and that the status of women was truly equal to that of men in ways that even our modern societies have not yet attained to.
"Even those we now refer to as gay/lesbian/transgendered were revered for their spiritual gifts and ranked high in these hunting societies which only had prestigious personal abilities and talents to be honored for since they completely lacked 'wealth' and/or political power to stratify the society. Scientists have documented their relaxed attitudes toward sex, free choice of mates, control of family size and the lack of hereditary chiefs and priesthoods making it impossible to repress women in ways that increasingly became the rule from about 3000 B.C. right down to the present in most of the world. I did not initially realize, when my creative side was cracked open like an egg and all these stories began to flow out in a confused rush, that I was indeed channeling my own past lives.
"But now I recognize that is the level of the unseen world of the subconscious mind or, the 'spiritual realm' if you prefer, that I am connected to and which continues to inspire and almost compel me to write these stories."
She goes on to say, "The creative opening that has sparked the writing of my novel, People of the Bear Mother, is the first in a series I call Periplus of the Sea of Souls, which has come at the end of a long spiritual unfoldment. I now recognize that the inspiration for these stories is coming from deep within as a channeling of my own past lives. I see that this soul-evolution has been much, much longer in coming than I ever could have imagined before this burst of creative energy began bringing these stories to consciousness. I like to say that I have the opposite of 'writer’s block' as these many stories are all clamoring to be told.
"After a career in academic research and writing, this flow of inspiration as a creative writer was a complete surprise and an unintended consequence of learning how to go within and open myself to the vast subconscious, or spiritual realm of existence, that lies within each and every one of us.
"I see now that I have been on this spiritual quest for many lifetimes. But like Little Bear, the heroine of this first novel, I have been searching 'outside' myself through others: wise teachers, gurus, authority figures, sacred writings, etc. without having ever had my own mystical, spiritual experience of connecting with something other or greater than myself until now.
This mystical, metaphysical union with the universe at the level of past lives is now the source of my creative writing. This is how the mystical traditions of all time have understood it: the mystical experience cannot be sought or taught and each must open to it in their own way and in their own time. The coming of this experience can no more be predicted than what you will dream tonight because they all come from the same source."
Welcome to Mystic Stories of the Universe, where TD Austin will share her book writing experiences, and I will comment now and then.