Over the years I have thrown out, or given to the library, most of my favorite books. The reason I did this was because they had become too sacred to me. Each one was like a bible that I consulted whenever I had an insight or revelation.
I came to realize that I had a desperate need for validation and approval. And, that it was easier to let someone else speak for me. Rather than elaborating on my own ideas or writing my own books, I had enslaved myself to “self-chosen” elders who were always more knowledgeable, more erudite, wittier. I was satisfied with being a “second-hand” person, a lonely mimic who could never utter an original word.
For three years I even kept up a blog that was nothing more than cut and paste repostings of things other people said that I liked. I sent a link for this blog to a friend once and he said, “Where is your writing?” I felt silly. Yes, where was my writing?
A short time later, I got a job where writing blog posts was one of my responsibilities. I had to come up with original material and craft a story every week. Most of the stories were based on interviews I conducted with people in the community. The blog writing led to getting Op-Ed pieces and articles published in two local newspapers. Through the job I became a published writer. And the response I received to my writing was overwhelmingly positive.
Ira Progoff, in his book, At a Journal Workshop, speculated on what would happen if all the bibles in the world were destroyed. If this happened, he concluded, we would simply write more bibles.
“Spiritual contact, the awareness of the profounder meaning of life and the experience of its symbols, is an individual endeavor that can be carried through only in the silence of privacy. It is a work that each person has to do alone, but it is helpful to know that many of us are working alone together. It is helpful also to understand that we do not all have to hold the same beliefs in order for us each to contribute an atom of spirit to the human atmosphere.”
Writing on a blog has become my way of working alone, together. Thanks to all of you who have liked, visited or follow me.