Shalom Place Community
Vital Source

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17 May 2012, 06:26 AM
Vital Source
Hi folks,

It's been a while! Hope everyone's well.

I feel a little embarrassed turning up to point you all in the direction of an ebook I've written. Am I being forward? Still, some of you might be interested.

My writing life and spiritual life have been running together for a while now. I've had a few books of poetry published but this is more of a prose journal detailing a 3 month period last year. The past couple of years have led me over a kind of bridge, which I'm still crossing - blocked kundalini in the head, crown trying to open, various "encounters" and help along the way. I don't go into too much detail about that because the book is focused on prayer and my relationship with God. It's really about day to day grace and the act of writing about it. So here's the link:

Vital Source

I hope some of you get something from it, and don't worry, I'm not going to charge in promoting myself, then disappear into the sunset. That would be rude, and slightly obnoxious. Got a few topics I'd like to raise elsewher on these boards.

Thanks for your time and all best wishes from me,

17 May 2012, 02:50 PM
Thanks, Stephen. I just bought a copy for my Kindle and look forward to reading it.
18 May 2012, 05:31 AM
Well thank you, Phil. I hope you get something from it.
18 May 2012, 09:23 AM
So far, so good. Of course, I can't read much of anything in one sitting or else my brain gets messed up, so it might take awhile to finish it. Smiler
18 May 2012, 11:12 AM
I'm the same actually. Haven't finished a book in a while. Current bedtime reading is Peanuts, which is fab.

Btw, you wouldn't know any Catholic sites that might be willing to review the book, would you?
07 June 2012, 09:58 AM
I'm poking along, Stephen, and enjoying it. You reveal your soul very deeply here, and share some exquisite experiences. You're also very discerning about what's going on.

So many contemporary spiritual writers are down on coffee and fun foods, but you are not. Neither am I! Coffee helps me every morning to transition from being a slug to a mystic and philosopher. For me, it's practically a sacramental, and I thank God for it. Smiler

I've not read any reference to your job duties or anything like that. Do you have regular employment?
11 June 2012, 06:15 AM
Good, Phil, thanks.

There's a reference, I think, to work in the last section. I occasionally do part time youth work - teaching songwriting, creative writing, general youth work, but actually haven't worked for a while and didn't during the writing of most of the book.

Would you believe my kundalini experiences allow me to claim benefit? I have to go through the psychiatric profession who register me unfit, which for the most part has been quite necessary given the frequently trying, even traumatic nature of the awakening (you remember the connection I had to the spiritualist healer which caused so many problems - it's still ongoing, though integrated in my life and diminshed to a great extent, and, I think, reaching an end point given the intensity of k activity in my head and everything that surrounds that). Funny, I don't go into it in the book, mainly because I wrote it during a three month period when I was free and very much enjoying God's grace as a preparation for the stage I'm in now.

Thanks again. Your comments are appreciated and welcome.

I should say I do literally nothing to promote the book and don't really want to. I'd love some of the folks at sp to read it however, so do dive in, and if anyone feels like reviewing it or suggesting review sites, I'd be grateful.
12 June 2012, 01:05 PM
Sure, Stephen, I remember your sharing about your struggles. So glad to hear things are better.

Just curious (if you don't mind sharing) about how psychiatrists labeled your condition?

I do encourage readers to pick up a copy of your work. If you don't yet have a Kindle, here's a good reason to buy one. Smiler
13 June 2012, 05:36 AM
No psychiatrist has ever labelled the condition or given me a proper diagnosis as such. Psychiatric nurses I've come across used terms like psychosis or paranoid delusions, which used to annoy me no end, but now just makes me smile.

Interestingly, when I explain exactly what I'm experiencing in terms of energy or traspersonal states, some doctors are quite open to a spiritual interpretation, one psych even saying my condition was like an "enlightenment experience"; others dig in to their hardline materialist model and I can see them squirm as I describe my condition in my terms. These types used to annoy me too, but again, now I just smile.
14 June 2012, 01:17 AM
Hi Stephen,

Just wanted to say I downloaded the free sample of your book for my kindle.

I really enjoy the way your writing flows and how easily I'm transported into the story, as though I'm right there along side you, or even simply experiencing the journey myself.

No budget for new books at the moment I'm afraid, but definitely one for the wishlist in the future Smiler
14 June 2012, 05:26 AM
Nice one, Jacques. Thanks!
14 June 2012, 09:58 PM
Hi Stephen,

I don't have kindle equipment either, but I did read the free sample. I enjoy your openness and free-association style. Reminds me of the compliant patient of psychoanalysis who has settled comfortably on the couch, fully trusting that his listener is delighting in his productions.

I felt drawn into your playful, pleasure-ful writing.

Do keep us posted on your journey, if you like. I remember some of the struggles you had a few years ago with the 'healer.' "Still ongoing" though? You don't have to get personal with us, but what do you mean?
15 June 2012, 05:58 AM
Hi Shasha,

Thanks for your comments about the book. Yea, I like a freewheeling writing style.

As for the ongoing connection to the healer, what can I say? It seems to be a really tangled knot that needs loosed. Of course I've asked Christ several times to undo it, been prayed over etc, but it seems that God has left it there to teach me, to humble me, to purify me. Now however, certain things in my life seem to be unfolding which are diminishing the power and hold of this connection a great deal, until I can finally see light and complete freedom at the end of the tunnel. Maybe a way to go, and I don't want to talk about things too much as yet because it's all still to fully unfold.

I do hope you're good, Shasha. Get yourself a Kindle, girl!

15 June 2012, 09:21 AM
Stephen, maybe you could publish this book as a .pdf with I've done that with a number of my books and it's very easy. Just set up an account with, choose ebook as the format you want to publish, and upload the pdf. You set the price (should be the same as the Kindle's format) and include a link to the book here and on your web site. You get a hefty percentage of sales and no one needs a Kindle to read you.
15 June 2012, 01:33 PM
Nice tip, Phil. Thanks!

And here it is, ready to be downloaded directly to your laptops and PCs:

Vital Source: Diary of an Urban Contemplative
15 June 2012, 06:16 PM
Hey, way to go! Now you non-Kindle-owners have no excuse! Wink

Don't know why but the Preview didn't work for me. I got a huge cover image that I couldn't scroll or navigate.
16 June 2012, 06:14 AM
That's happened to me before at Lulu, although this one worked ok. It may be necessary to download Adobe Digital Editions to view the book, I'm not sure. That only takes a minute however. One sale since last night woohoo.
24 June 2012, 10:14 PM
Hey Stephen,

Glad to see you've found a way to get your book out there. I'm in the middle of a few materials right now. When I'm done, I'll be getting "Vital Source" too. woohoo. ;-)
29 August 2012, 07:24 PM
I bought your book on Lulu, but I can't open it on my MacBook Pro. I see it in my "Downloads" folder. Tried installing Adobe Reader, but that hasn't worked. Any advise for the not-so-computer-savvy?
30 August 2012, 04:40 AM
Try downloading Adobe Digital Editions, Shasha.
30 August 2012, 07:34 AM
Yeah, I did that. No luck yet. When I try opening the downloaded file, it keeps trying to open it as a Text Edit, which only produces a page of weirdness. I've got a 'report a problem' into Lulu. So, still working on it...
30 August 2012, 09:16 AM
Try deleting the file and downloading it again...perhaps it was corrupt somehow in the first download.
30 August 2012, 09:24 AM
Shasha, can you locate the file? It's supposed to be a pdf, and so Preview would be the application used in Mac OS X to read that. If it doesn't have a .pdf extension, try adding that to the file suffix and then opening.

If you'd like, send me the file as an attachment and I'll see what I can do (I already bought the Kindle version, as noted above).
30 August 2012, 10:20 AM
If the worst comes to the worst drop me a line and I'll email you the document.
30 August 2012, 11:21 AM
Jacques and Phil,
I did try all of your suggestions, but no luck yet. Will take a fresh look at it later...

Thanks. And maybe I'll admit 'defeat,' swallow my pride, and go crying to Stephen for help. Big Grin