Inspiration and Resources
First, the ground. The centre of our life – is life. Wild, free, self-making processes of life. The vision, ‘our’ vision, is life’s response to time, it is life’s creativity streaming through us, seeking paths, insatiably curious, awake, seeking its flourishing.
To surrender to this, the vast thing that holds us, sustains us, animates us – to surrender to its enormous intelligence and intricate beauty is to join it, is to be it. To be humbled is to be free. It is to release self-importance, and regain trust.
What follows are a few of my favourite writers, writers who circle round the mystery at the centre, who humbly say yes to life.
Ursula le Guin is one of the most important writers of this age. Profoundly moral, humble, complex and kind, she has influenced, supported and encouraged me like no other person in my life. And I’ve never even met her, although she did send a beautiful reply to a letter I once wrote.
Ursula died a few years ago, but lives on in so many ways. One exciting part of her legacy is this prize, and the books that you’ll find by following its progress:
Discovering Stephen Harrod Buhner in 2012 was a revelation and inspired me to begin a PhD – because finally someone was giving me real hints into worlds still nebulous to me. Ensouling Language: On the Art of Non-Fiction and the Writer’s Life is full of great wisdom, processes, and plenty pf attitude.
Nigerian writer Bayo Akomolafe has a unique and fascinating voice and approach. It speaks to the complexity and challenge of these times in strange, tricksterish, liberatory ways. I find it beautiful, alluring and unsettling. I’m not sure of all the reasons why (some I can guess), but I can’t entirely say yes it. Yet I’m glad to meet it, and want to keep learning from him.
The Emerald podcast by Josh Schrei is the best voice out there on this topic. All of the episodes are brilliant – this here is only one that speaks to visionary experience and how it is misunderstood in the West, telling some of the story of William Blake, perhaps the most famous mystical writer in the Romantic tradition.