I started this novel in response to being asked about my own spirituality and became aware that most people were quite vague about their own spirituality or its meaning. I was explaining to people about a definition of spirituality and the ten basic pillars that made up the whole. Further question followed and I was asked many times what the process entailed. It occurred to me that it would be more helpful if I put it into a novel and demonstrated the recognition and developmental stage for each area of spirituality.
The novel explores ten areas of spirituality through four individuals’ journeys from their dystopian world to new realities. As they discover themselves and each other, their thinking radically changes, enabling them to shape and give their world a positive meaning. Spirituality is defined as things we don’t know, things that are a mystery to our understanding, such as conscience, consciousness, justice etc. As the characters begin to understand these different types of spirituality their changing consciousness of reality manifests itself through their actions.
The novel opens with four actors staging productions that no one is listening or watching. The city they inhabit is full of foreign conversations and busy people wrapped in their own lives. Frustrated by their stage performances being ignored they leave the city into unknown territory. They procure a horse, converted car adapted as a wagon, a goat and a quantity of animal food which is edible for human consumption. As they proceed through a monotonous and desolate environment they explore an issue each day, taking on characters, which they explore during their trek and perform a scenario each evening. This challenge involves them questioning themselves and their relationship with each other. In time they reach a city which has been totally destroyed; in their search for any life they meet two old women who left their city years ago and have formed a new life. They introduce the actors to a range of cultured mushrooms which sustain them, also with berries that they collect. During the visit the actors take hallucinogenic mushrooms, each one having a different experience which change their lives. They begin to question reality, identity and the reasons for living. As the novel proceeds the characters, with each new piece of awareness, begin to change how they interact with each other and their environment. Their encounter and communication with a forest of dying trees makes them aware of having responsibility for the environment and the selfishness of constantly looking inwards at their own needs. From there they meet a tribe of people whose life is ruled by conformity and who communicate through thoughts. Realising that this is skill that some of the actors have been developing, they are able to read a section of the tribes thoughts whilst they are asleep. Escaping from a dangerous situation they begin to question all their thoughts and actions, leading towards understanding their own spirituality. Their different paths and levels of awareness bring them into conflict with each other.