19 December, 2014

#GuestPost by #Author Mike Dickenson

About the Author:

My biggest shifts in writing have come to me during times of tremendous inner-change. Most of this change has been self-induced and has almost always involved travel. After graduating with a degree in English Education at Montana State University, I left Elko, Nevada on a hitchhiking adventure which would culminate in Argentina almost two years later. This journey gave me a much needed perspective about our world and where we are going, both globally and individually. My experiences have shown me that humanity yearns for positive change, that people are inherently good, and that anything is possible. Our perception of the world can transform our reality before our eyes, and it is this message that permeates my novels and films. My writing is part satire, part literature, part humor, part parable. In an effort to change this world for the better, I strive to create works of fiction that both inspire and captivate others to find their truest potential.
I have been a whitewater raft guide, an off-the-grid homesteader, a montessorri teacher, and currently and always, an explorer.
I also create documentary films and lead courses in writing and storytelling with Commonlink Productions.

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The world is changing at an astounding rate and to solve these problems will take courage. Our world needs people who are unafraid of embodying their purpose, though in today's society following your truth can be overwhelming at times. We are born into a world with an already established social paradigm. How are we to proceed?

These thoughts are at the core of what drives my passion to write. The Dreamer's Lotus is a book about uncovering the secrets of the soul, it is about redefining who we are as individuals and who we are as a collective. There are times in our lives when, for whatever reason, something "clicks." These a-ha moments can be few and far between, but when they happen, they become the foundations of our path to enlightenment. I use the term enlightenment lightly, because these days I feel it is overused and misunderstood, a product of the love and light movement perhaps. Enlightenment comes from the late 17th and 18th centuries emphasizing reason and individualism rather than tradition. Think about that.

Culture plays a big part in our identity. It shapes our values, our beliefs, and our actions. Those who are on a path of "awakening" (again, another term I'll come back to) often find themselves asking, "Who am I?" Well that's a very good question. Are we our personalities? Are we our ideas and beliefs? Are we the products of our culture, our friends, our society? Or are we something more?

Halfway through the story, the main character Corvus finds himself communicating with a tree, a concept unheard of (if not feared) by those in his village. The tree tells him, "At first glance you might think that I am just a tree. You can see my bark, and my branches, and my cones lying on the ground. But what about the things you cannot see - the insects beneath my bark, the mushrooms along my roots, the water in my veins? These things are a part of me just like my branches are, but they are not who I am. There is more to this world than what the eyes can see, just as there is more to you than what others perceive. An essence within you awaits your awakening." 

And so returns that word, "awakening." What does it mean to be awakened? What does it mean to see that which we have been unable, or unwilling, to see until now? Our path to our truth is one without a clear destination, although I believe that it is a path that we are collectively taking together. From my own experience, I have come to understand that our own stories have the power to awaken others. We are sharing this journey together, and the more we are able to break away from the "norms" of society, the more we venture into the unknown, the more we learn about why we are here, and ultimately, why we are alive. 


In a world where everything is symbolic, a young outcast followed by crows knows that not everything is as it seems. Corvus believes the Elders have corrupted the meanings of the symbols for their own gain, but who would believe a boy followed by dark omens? A brave girl, his only friend, convinces him that his truth awaits him in the forest, for that is where the crows come from… No one enters the forest alone. It is a mysterious land of madness and illusions – a place where animals talk, a prison where banished villagers survive, and a darkness so convincing that a person’s fears can manifest without warning. A beautiful lotus, born out of a dream, has the potential to light the way to the true meaning of existence. Corvus must consume the hallucinogen not only for himself, but also for the world he belongs to. If the villagers don’t awaken from their illusion soon, the murder of crows will transform the village, and the forest, into a waking nightmare. 




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