tuesday, april 5
i am finishing editing my first book, and i wanted to share the introduction:
freedom + pain + truth + liberation
why did i write this book? aren't there enough books already?
sitting and watching corpses burn in kashi, at the banks of the holy river ganges, i wrote:
" i wonder to myself, if i rip out my guts telling my story, will anybody care? will it change the world? i am driven by something unholy to be here, to write. i pray to the god of heaven and earth and the holy river that it will make a difference to someone, most of all myself."
my indian friend rohan told me, "all the world will be in your book, the the burning ghat, the shakti, the coming and going". he is silent for a moment. "sometimes with our eyes we see something beautiful, and then we don't see how difficult it will be. like the sun was beautiful this morning, but the burning body was hard to see. we see both. this is truth, no?" "yes, this is truth", i say, "satya". "in america, we say the truth will set you free". "truth is pain though, truth is hard, no?". "yes", i agree, "it can be. but the truth will make you free".
in the process of writing this book, i have doubted myself many times. i have doubted the importance of sharing my story, asking myself, "does anybody care? are you just making a big deal out of yourself?" i have doubted my talent as a writer, my ability to wrestle articulate words to share in language from the silent masses of emotional clay that form my personal subconscious. i have doubted the rightness of telling so much truth. it is the truth from my perspective and may not be the way other people in my life story see the truth of our experiences, but i have gleaned my stories to the bone, slicing away anything that was not true to me, so that it cut through many of my nerves in exposing these bones. sometimes i feel as if my fingertips are burning as i touch the pages of this book, the words are burning. i have asked myself, "is it the truth?" and this has been my measure of the rightness of carrying so many souls along with my own in this book.
much of this book was written by some force outside myself, my fingers would move quickly and the most difficult part was to sit there and witness my own life like watching a movie playing on the computer screen in front of me. many times i would cringe or cry or feel ashamed of myself. many times i had to get up and walk away. but always i was drawn to come back, to let this terrible force of creativity surge through me. and even when i doubted myself, i knew it was an important part of my souls purpose to write my story, to speak out to the great, nameless sky, to hear my own voice echoed in the void of all time. i say, brothers and sisters and gods do you hear me? do you bare witness to me baring my soul? and even in the solitary task of writing itself i am answered, i am met. i speak to the great invisible mind of the collective unconscious and i know i am never alone in this experience.
i have written to be exposed to others and to bear witness to myself. this book is a soul retrieval, shining awareness into the dark places and closets i have hidden pieces of me from me. and one day, when i was busy doubting myself, i got this letter from someone i never met, who was reading my blog on the internet:
You are a mirror to my unlived Self. I asked for inspiration, I asked for
something, anything to give me one morsel of hope today. You, Psalm, you speak my truth. You have the courage I haven't found. You gave me hope today. I have to trust and speak and stop being silent. My body pays the price of this with the pain I am struggling with. I have to embrace all aspects of Myself. Thank you Psalm. Thank you for being you. Your journey is bold,
brave and honored. I know it has not been easy. You are a pioneer and a wayseer. Blessings to you. May I find the courage to walk into the unknown.
"You are a mirror to my unlived self...I have to trust and speak and stop being silent. My body pays the price of this with the pain i am struggling with". I took a sharp breath in when i read these lines. yes to the soul, yes.
I hope this book gives freedom. i have broken the molds of a lot of "spiritual teachers" in exposing my own raw path in this book. i like to think that this book is crazy wisdom, a freedom teacher. may we all give voice to our unlived lives, and those we have lived but hidden in the shadows. may we remember who we are.