This is a thought-provoking and enlightening exploration of spirituality and perception. The text functions as a guide to self-improvement, with a mixture of autobiographical elements and snippets of universal wisdom. The speaker provides accessible solutions to life’s difficulties, and an outlook of optimism applicable to any circumstance. The illustrations and graphics are thoughtfully chosen, and the interactive textual elements give this work an originality that sets it apart. The speaker’s own experiences and conclusions are at the heart of this fiction, and the first person narrative voice creates a sense of proximity between author and reader. The text describes itself as ‘a journey to the heart’, and this truthful discovery of the self is reflected in the speaker’s revelation of his whole self through the text. The narrative often presents a dichotomy between positive and negative outlooks or voices.
For example, the speaker includes sections in which his self-doubt speaks, ‘you’ve got no proper education, you can’t spell properly, you’re dyslexic and your grammar is crap. You’re not really a writer’. This negative voice directly opposes the sense of self-belief the speaker builds within the narrative. He uses examples such as this to remind readers that the journey to happiness is complex and that flaws or setbacks are natural. The negative separation or fragmentation of the self is prevalent in the lines, ‘I do not love the grumpy me, the sad me, the hostile me, the parts of me that act as if I do not care’. The act of writing represents a unification of the self and an attempt to reframe the speaker’s life into coherence. The frequent use of direct address and rhetorical questions promotes an active reading experience, in which the author opens up a dialogue with the reader. The text includes prompts and activities for the reader to engage with and learn from. Encouraging readers to take part in the text is emblematic of their journey to self-fulfilment and love, in which they must take responsibility for actively creating their own happiness.
The speaker depicts his process of enlightenment as a framework for others to emulate, and the format of the text demonstrates the transfer of agency to those who take part in the speaker’s challenges at the end of each chapter. This work ultimately teaches us that ‘we are the cause of what is’ and thus sheds light on the crucial idea that every individual has the power to create themselves and their world positively.
A song without heart carries no life.
It is from the heart that comes so many defining qualities of love and the human adventure of life. It is the source of our abiding happiness, because the wish of the heart is for our happiness. It knows what is best for us because it knows us intimately. Within its chamber lives our loves, hopes, and our dreams.
The heart is the source of all the world’s greatness. It can pull star dreams to earth, for the heart has created all the wonders of the world, all the gifts of humanity and all the songs of love. It is the home of an innocence, a wise innocence that dispels the cynicism I hold in myself and of myself.
It is the place of our truth, not the truth of yesterday or tomorrow that my mind struggles to know, but the truth of the moment, the living truth. And when I allow it, it is a cathedral of light, a library of illumined text that describes the union of my heaven and earth. Its call has the power to move mountains or create the gentlest touch of love. It is the artist within, the writer of meanings, and the manifestor of dreams.
Although we live in a world of this-and-that, there is within the heart the dreams of forever and memories of the infinite.
There was a man who lived in a house, in a street, in a town. Every day he would have breakfast of toast and marmalade. It was always toast and marmalade and it was always tea with one sugar. After breakfast, he would go for a walk in the park. He would follow the same path and see the same trees as he had always done. There were other paths in the park but he always walked the same path. He had done it for years and knew it well. He would sit on the same bench that he always did and feed the birds with the bread that he always put in his pocket before he left home.
One strange morning, he looked at his marmalade, toast and his cup of tea he wondered if he might like something different to eat. But he couldn’t think of anything else, so he ate his toast and drank his tea and went to the park as he always did, but this day he felt confused at the juncture in the path. He always took the left path but today he was not sure. He felt he wanted to take the right path, but that was ridiculous, he always took the left path and anyway that was where his bench was, that was where he fed his birds.
So, he took the left path. As he was sitting on his bench, feeding the birds he wondered where the right path would lead to and if he should have taken it. OK, he thought to himself, tomorrow I would take the right path to see what’s there. The next day as he approached the choice of path in the park, he became unsure. Will there be a bench there?
Where will I feed the birds? There were just too many questions he did not know the answer to. I will take the right path tomorrow he thought and so, took the left path. But tomorrow came and he never took the right path, nor the day after or the day after that. And he never found out what was at the end of the other path.
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Toby Negus has studied and taught spiritual and personal development in the UK and around the world for over two decades. He is qualified in advanced counselling, as a life coach and as a Cognitive Behaviour therapist. He is an Amazon best-selling author of a collaborative Conscious Creators book and has illustrated and self published two books on the subject of self-awareness and the spiritual journey. He is also a published author of a children’s book The Boy Who Dreamed in Colour. He has given talks and run workshops in support of his published work within the UK.
In the last few years, he has created many pieces of artwork that are a reflection of his spiritual journey. These have appeared in magazines and have been exhibited in the UK.
Amazon Author: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Toby-Negus/e/B00PS7U9VK