In Media Res

joe-cowboyAfter taking a month’s writing hiatus to focus on my book series, I am back. Perhaps this is your first time reading about my projects and so you are joining me in media res. Welcome!

My books were advanced much in August but they are still a significant way off, and I do not want to spread myself too thin. Therefore my publishing on the website and social media will need to be light out of necessity if I am to finish the books on my planned schedule. You won’t be hearing much from me in the months ahead, but I am still working out of view.

The book series is called Kalen O’Tolán and is currently slated for release in three volumes plus appendices beginning in 2015. The publisher is not yet determined, and I am considering publishing the entire series in total online at www.kalenotolan.com (though I haven’t decided).

These are the working titles of the first four books:

Kalen O’Tolán: A Canon of Supreme Mystery

The Season of Yang: Rise of the Great Oracle (Kalen O’Tolán, Vol. I)

The Season of Yin: Fall to the Fathomless Ocean (Kalen O’Tolán, Vol. II)

The Season of You: Return to the Beckoning Stars (Kalen O’Tolán, Vol. III)

Appendix I: Lingua-U, A Unification of the World’s Wisdom of Sacred Word Traditions

The books do not fit neatly into a conventional genre but are partially inspired by the poetry of the ancient Chinese classic T’ai Hsuan Ching (The Canon of Supreme Mystery). These are poetic works, but they are also philosophical and divinatory books. They are sacred literature which aspires to provide a sort of guided tour of consciousness from the Symbiotic Station through the Unitive Station, step by step, in individual and collective dimensions.

There is a definite psychology in the books as well as philosophy, one which is Idealistic but not based on any extant school of thought. It is not empirically derived from research into human subjects. It is inductively derived from the structure of phonemes as they are arranged in Lingua-U. The book does not present a map of consciousness by means of which mental phenomena are interpreted; it provides a literary canon which articulates a complex cosmology in which the features of consciousness are induced.

The fact that this feat is even possible is nothing short of miraculous, in my view. Many spirituality books and poetry books are published every year. But how many aspire to use language in such a way that every phoneme is meant to mirror a comprehensive cosmology at the level of sound symbolism? One really must look back centuries, I think, to find comparable efforts. This is not to say that my books will succeed at achieving this sort of inspiration, but I am doing my best.

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Letting Go of Mediocrity

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I’ve been taking spring cleaning quite literally when it comes to my online presence. I have been reviewing over a thousand posts that I wrote over a ten-year period of time and throwing many of them away.

Actually I’ve really just been making some posts a bit more difficult to find while making other posts much easier to find. But it feels like I’m tossing some 700 or 800 posts in the recycling bin. I am not yet removing them from the Internet, but they will be more difficult to discover.

The worst part has been realizing that some 80% of the posts that I wrote over ten years just aren’t very good, in my opinion. I held an overly positive view of the quality of my writing output and upon a fresh look so much of it appears ephemeral, dispensable, mediocre.

The degree of narcissism in a few of the posts strikes me today as almost shocking. I had a real chip on my shoulders because my writing was never as popular as I felt it ought to be, so I spent a bit too much time all but telling people that they ought to be paying attention because it was SO important.

Perhaps I’m being too hard on myself. One of the blogs I maintained, Until, was written when I had only dozens of T-cells and was suffering from multiple “mystery illnesses” which made every waking hour a living nightmare. It’s amazing I could write anything at all.

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Out of the hospital

I am now fresh out of the hospital for a staph infection (and other assorted challenges and unpleasantries … “I really got my money’s worth” said my doctor on my multi-day, multi-diagnosis ER visit and hospital stay). If I missed you at A Different Light… my heartfelt apologies. If I missed you on Until or Integral Christian or wherever… I have been out of commission and look forward to being in touch soon. If you’ve been in Seattle lately, or sent me an email, etc., ditto with love.

I will, God permitting, be making a NPR Interview for the Seattle market tomorrow. Listen to Dave Beck’s show tomorrow afternoon, KUOW 94.9 (Public Radio) on Soulfully Gay. And I’ll be seeing a few of you this Saturday at 7:30 PM at Elliott Bay Books. Looking forward to it