This site began as an exploration of inner dimensions. For many years, as a historian exploring society and culture, I had written mostly about what could be verified and discussed outwardly – events, traditions, interpretations. Yet, as a student and practitioner of mysticism and spirituality, those writings were only half my life, and I knew the same was true of everything I wrote about. Everything that leaves a trace in the outer world has inner dimensions as well. I started the blog as a forum where I might use my skills to evoke and portray those dimensions.
Then the world turned topsy-turvy. At least that was the way it felt inwardly. Life went on, but many of my basic assumptions were challenged: that all people long for truth and goodness and beauty, that humans enjoy being compassionate and caring, that we want to expand goodness to embrace everyone. I had known, of course, that there were exceptions, but I didn’t think people who spouted hatred and exclusiveness had the potential to change the modern society I lived in, let alone determine the direction of the world. I also thought that most of the differences among us were matters of strategy, not goals – how you help everyone have a decent life, not whether everyone deserved it. So I wrote in a socio-political vein, trying to see more deeply into the currents that were sweeping around us.
After a while I realized that I was throwing sand into a sandstorm. Much of what I was saying found its way into the world through others’ voices. I kept what I thought were the best pieces on my blog, but I decided my main direction would be different. Maybe mystical philosophy or theology? No, I wanted to write about experience, not go further into abstraction.
I chose, for the first time in my life, fiction. I wanted to write a novel. Once I got started, I thought maybe I’d want to write more than one. I discovered that inside the world of a character, one could discover many portals opening to other dimensions, inner and outer. And so, with the help and encouragement of many friends and family, I did it. I’ll still be using my blog space occasionally (see below for link), to write about things related to my new work.
Here’s a synopsis of this first novel, Earth Island Rising – available on Amazon soon:
Journalist Elise Rubin has forged a successful career despite grief, loneliness, and an emotionally demanding marriage. When she undertakes a new project to explore a lost civilization in the Midwest, she is drawn by dreams and visions into the mysterious spaces between ordinary American towns and cities. Yet others have arrived before her, seeking to exploit the magic of the ancient places for questionable purposes. She is pursued by the living and the dead – the living who want to stop her, and the dead who see her as their champion — and their portal.
The mysterious lost civilization is real: the Adena-Hopewell culture of the Ohio River region two millennia ago. You get to learn about that too!
Other parts of this site include my 2016-2018 blog (you can read it here) which was largely a response to American political developments; and my bio and information about other writings on a variety of subjects, particularly in the fields of American religious history and Jewish spirituality (click here).