Sunday, October 31, 2010





For those who would like to know more about Alice Hickey, the person, click here for a fascinating portrait of her as a child, mother and lover by Christopher Hickey (L), her only child.

It is a  must read for anyone who has read ALICE HICKEY: Between Worlds. It fills in all the blanks as they say.

For those interested in the mystery of the Great Sphinx of Giza, I have a new site THE SPHINX: WHEN WAS IT BUILT AND WHY, as well as a new novel  called RIVER MOTHER: The Face of the Sphinx

A free PDF of the galley of the novel can had by clicking here: RIVER MOTHER, which is the story of the female Nubian shaman who became the face of the Sphinx around 6000 BC during the preliterate Proto-Egyptian Mother Goddess period.

If not, on to:
ALICE HICKEY: Between Worlds

WINNER 2010 John Ringling Towers Award for Literary Arts

Here is a quick synopsis: 

ALICE HICKEY is a lightly fictionalized memoir of an  eight year period ( 2000-20007)  in which psychic Alice Hickey and the author were unexpectedly pulled into a cryptic world of voices and visions.

Their journey starts in a Florida supermarket only to quickly plunge back in time to the prehistoric Mother Goddess period. It is a heady skein that Alice ultimately unwinds  to reveal to  the author what the psychic world was trying to tell him: that his visions and voices are the harbinger of a new evolving consciousness that will be more balanced between intuition and reason.

In short, it will be a consciousness balanced between the older, artistic, intuitive consciousness that we enjoyed as preliterate humans during the Mother Goddess period, and the modern, examining consciousness that evolved 4000 years ago as we began to read and write. It is a consciousness  that strikes a new balance between reason and intuition, between self and soul and self, between the physical and spiritual parts of our nature.  

This is  a book that also sheds new light on  poetry’s psychic roots, its inherent ability to heal deep emotional wounds, and its powerful linkage to our first consciousness and the Mother Goddess period. If you don't mind going where you have no idea, this book will take you there and  back.

Here's what readers are saying:

Few books allow us to really feel what encounters with the psychic world are like. Castaneda comes to mind, of course, and that is his enduring gift to us. Here is a book that has that same power, but it is not set in the austere Sonora desert, but the nutty, everyday world of contemporary Florida, as the author  brings us smack into his humpty-dumpty world of supermarkets, intuitives, treasure hunters, bars, poets, preachers, Starbucks, pawnshops, drunks and dopers as he travels between Florida, Sedona, California, Mexico, Panama, and the Florida Keys trying to make sense of a series of psychic events triggered by a mysterious encounter with psychic Alice Hickey. This is a book you won’t want to put down. It is visionary in its scope and devilish in its pace.”

Scylla Liscombe
Director, Sarasota Poetry Theatre Press

“This is a book that masterfully crisscrosses reality and fantasy until they blur into each other completely. I would say the same for the writer and for most of the characters portrayed, including myself. Maybe especially myself. It is a book that shuttles back and forth from head to heart, never missing a beat. Welcome to the world of the mystical. It is no more or less crazy and funny and engaging than the world we call real life.”

Joan Adley
Performance Artist, Author, Intuitive

“What can I say about ALICE HICKEY: Between Worlds? You taught me many things that I may have known on a mystical level but not in the way words can pull it all together, words that explain why I feel such a connection with all dimensions, and why I feel so drawn in this lifetime, especially at this point in my life, to the Feminine Divine. 

There's so much more I want to say about the book. I intend to read it again (and again!) and share it too! The ending chapters were just beautiful; you write brilliantly and pulled such a variety of experiences and people together—both of this world and the "Other"—so as to lift the spirit and inspire hope in all who will read it.
We are all here for our own awakening and, finally, ultimately, for the awakening of all. That is when there will be true harmony and peace on this planet. I appreciated your great courage in being completely honest; it is the new way of spiritual writing, it is the only way it can have any true, lasting    impact. 

And, by the way, thank you for allowing my spirit, my being, to influence your thinking. You created a character of me that was at times exactly me and yet also, the Diane you see through your eyes, through your heart and soul. That humbles me, because it reminds me how connected you and I are, and for that, I am eternally glad and grateful. 

ALICE HICKEY: Between Worlds proves that, although we may not think we know a great deal about the spiritual realm—which is our true divine nature and home— our inner knowing always shines through whenever we write, speak, or create works of the soul. 

When we begin these processes, we also invite a host of beings who want so very much for us to know how special we are, how loved and essential each of us is in the great Cosmic Realm of All That Is. That's something I hope you've learned for yourself, and I know you have inspired others to know it for themselves.”

Diane Randall
Intuitive, Poet, Spiritual Guide

Click here to download a free PDF

Click here to download a free PDF of the Appendix*
*The Appendix contains detailed journal entries used in writing Alice Hickey and is must reading for those interested in the thinking behind the book.

Click here to see a printed version of the Witnesses Log Myth

Other Media Aspects of Alice Hickey Between Worlds

Click on PLAYER below to see a video version of the "Witnesses Log Myth", which is central to "Alice Hickey". The soundtrack is a "speaking", a contemporary version of preliterate, musical, antiphonal poetry, the original primal poetry that took form in the Mother Goddess period.

LinkClick here to hear an audio version of the "Witnesses Log Myth". What you will hear is called a "speaking", a contemporary version of preliterate, musical, antiphonal poetry, the original primal poetry that took form in the Mother Goddess period.

Here is another speaking called Dark Journey. What distinguishes a speaking from today's written poetry is that it is only done once and without premeditation of any kind. It just happens, because the form is in our genes. You simply have to surrender completely to the Muse, which takes a great deal of nerve at first, but becomes easier as you begin to trust the genius within you.

As you will hear, a speaking is double voiced, i.e., it is spontaneously spoken in antiphonal form to music which is also spontaneously composed as the speaking takes place. There is no erasing, no editing, no going back. Just load and go and the Muse be with you. 

Click on PLAYER below to see a chatty video by the author
on the characters and locations in
"Alice Hickey: Between Worlds."

Click here to see Christopher Hickey's
extraordinary and revealing biography
of his mother, Alice Hickey.

Click on Player below to see a video series on
"The Psychic, Unconscious Roots of Poetry.

The series is an extension of the themes presented
"Alice Hickey: Between Worlds."

For those who would like a concise overview of some of the prime issues covered by the book, here are both the Author's informative  Foreword and Afterword to ALICE HICKEY.

Author’s Foreword

The psychic world, the Other World, the world of the collective unconscious, the soul’s world, is real. It is continually visiting us whether we want it to or not. The central problem for us, as modern humans, is that we’re not quite sure who, or what, is visiting us. Or why. We don’t have the ready answers our forefathers did.

Nor did I. I was totally unprepared for what happened to me in March 2000, when an elderly woman—a complete stranger—approached me and did something so incomprehensible it completely upended my rational worldview.

Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, that incomprehensible event triggered others. Inexplicable things started happening to me that were not of this world. As disturbed and bewildered as I was by these psychic intrusions, the poet in me decided to let what was happening unfold of its own accord—as if it were a poem insinuating itself into the landscape of my mind. 

I also decided to record what was happening in somewhat the same way by giving the Muse her head, which accounts for the somewhat serpentine movement of this book. It is movement of which I have become very fond.

If those psychic intrusions had been the end of it, I probably would have gone about my life pretty much as before, but with an increased awareness of how mysterious our lives really are. That was not to be the case, however, because nine months after those events a long, enigmatic poem that was completely beyond my understanding suddenly came to me. 

I couldn't get a grip on it until I realized it was a myth, although I was at a loss to say exactly what kind of myth. What’s more, I couldn’t even rightly call it a myth; after all, time is the great arbiter in that. All I can say is that it felt like a myth. As I began to unwind its skein over the years, it indeed seemed to have many of the characteristics of our ancient myths. Here is an excellent summation of those characteristics by author Robert T. Mason in The Divine Serpent in Myth and Legend:

“Myths are stories, usually, about gods and other supernatural beings. They are often stories of origins, how the world and everything in it came to be in illo tempore [Eliade]. They are usually strongly structured and their meaning is only discerned by linguistic analysis [Levi-Strauss]. Sometimes they are public dreams, which, like private dreams, emerge from the unconscious mind; they more often reveal archetypes of the collective unconscious [Jung]. Myths are symbolic and metaphorical, and they orient people to the metaphysical dimension, explain the origins and nature of the cosmos, and on a psychological plane, address themselves to the innermost depths of the human psyche.”

The myth, which I called The Witnesses Log, had those same qualities, and spoke of the same things, so it was clear to me it wasn’t just a lot of tasty, unconscious gibberish. Yet we may have a difficult time accepting one of the things The Witnesses Log says—that very early humans had a much different consciousness than ours, one that was in constant interplay with the psychic world.

We see our current rational, self-reflective consciousness as one in which our making sense of the world has become self-powered, needing only the physical world and the application of reason as necessary for knowing.

But that is an illusion. That other, older way of knowing is still there beneath the veneer of our modern consciousness, and it is as strong and as vibrant as ever. Jung has taught us that, as have many thinkers before and after him. Our greatest poets have taught us its power as well, but in a more fundamental, more intuitive way, as poetry must. 

Unfortunately, we have lost our taste for poetry because we have lost sight of the soul, and with it we have also lost sight of the fundamental role of poetry: it is the way that the soul, the unconscious, the unknowable, speaks to us. And here's the really mysterious part—it's the way we speak back.

Poetry holds a special place in the pantheon of arts. It is the primal seed from which all our other arts have come. Poetry, in its initial tribal form, was a full-blooded, communal oral poetry that contained other primal forms (mask, movement, mime, music, song) that eventually developed into the separate arts we have today: It is not only the most human of our arts, it is also the mother of those arts. 

It has been my experience, moreover, that when we allow ourselves to surrender to something like that early, primal form of poetry—a form of poetry that was an integral part of our early consciousness—it will speak to us in a way like no other. In short, it will speak to us the way poetry should.

Poetry gives us a way of knowing that bypasses the traps of the rational mind and strikes “zero at the bone.” It gives us a transcendent way of knowing that allows us to feel truths that are beyond logic: Death is Life. Love is Pain. More than anything, this older way of knowing tells us we are not a cosmic accident. 

It is a way of knowing that has nothing to do with logic and facts, but everything to do with the intimations of the soul, with the transcendent feelings that are continually visiting us through poetry, continually whispering: We belong.

There is something else I’d like to say about this book: it wouldn’t have gone anywhere if I hadn’t created it communally. I don’t mean it was written with others; there was no need for that. I knew how to write, and I could sense the story was going to have the energy of a poem—a long extended narrative poem—and that I was the one who was supposed to write it. 

What I needed, though, was psychic guidance. I knew something extraordinary was taking place, something not of this world. As fate would have it, I was able to obtain help initially from three friends who were gifted intuitives: Joan Adley, Jane Washington, and Diane Randall. All it took was a few words and they gathered around me like dancers in a play. And then, some four years later, the stranger reappeared, and as Jung would say, completed the quarternity. She was the fourth, final dancer, and she was just in time. I was in desperate need of the kind of guidance only she could supply. 

I’m not embarrassed to admit that I often became so lost I had to rely almost entirely on their guidance—which they unfailingly supplied me with all the assurance of sleepwalkers. I can’t tell you how beautiful and unusual those experiences were. You might say I had many Muses this time and not just the one I ordinarily rely on.

Justin Spring
March 2010,
Merida, Yucatan, Mexico

Author's Afterword

In case you’ve been too busy to notice, all of us are on a very fast train called Western Civilization and there is no getting off. There are those who think they can get off by going to India, or Oregon, but that is an illusion. The train is not outside us; it is in our genes, our cells. We carry it with us wherever we go. To get a truer picture of the train, you might want to think of it as a massive gathering that first appeared about 4,000 years ago. And it is no paper tiger. It has teeth. Gatherings always do, especially one of this size. And for better or worse, we are part and parcel of it.

There are those who will tell you that Western Civilization is taking us on a journey that will allow us to become more enlightened, more civilized, more the architects of our own progress; but, in truth, at this point in time we are becoming less human. We are living only half a life, while the other half, the life of the soul, is rapidly disappearing. We may soon lose sight of it entirely. One thing for sure: our inability to find some way of bringing this older way of knowing back into our everyday lives is making us dim boys in a dim room.

But what is it we should do? For starters, we should turn our thinking minds off and allow ourselves to be attracted to the small, contrary gatherings that are continually forming along the edge of the larger one, like the eddies that form on the edge of a large whirlpool. It is a natural process, these smaller contrary movements. 

We should take heart from them. Just as we should take heart from the remains of past gatherings that occasionally bob to the surface. After all, that is what archaeological finds like the Essene Scrolls and the Nag Hammadi Codices are: the remains of gatherings that ran contrary to the general flow.

But those are the remains of relatively large gatherings. The gatherings I’m talking about don’t have to be large; a few souls are enough. And they don’t have to have to be driven by a complex set of ideas. All that’s required is an interest in becoming more complete. If that interest is visceral enough, a gathering will begin to form. There is nothing else that has to be consciously done. Everything will take care of itself, including the arrival of the other participants. Believe me.

The success of those gatherings will depend upon whether they can be successfully centered on a psychic gateway of some kind. The form the gateway takes, however, isn’t important. What is important is that we be open to it. Being open to the psychic world may be a real problem, however, because there is both a fear and a general confusion throughout our culture as to its nature.
Let me be very clear then about what I mean by a psychic event. Rather than give you a logical definition, however, I am going to define it in the same way those ancient Babylonian mathematicians defined the nature of an isosceles triangle—by giving many examples and letting you intuit that nature. 

The examples I’m going to give you, however, are not going to be of my own making, but yours. I am going to ask to look at your orgasms on the most elemental level and intuit what they have in common. What you’ll eventually find—if you float inside them long enough—is that they all have, at their very core, a brief ecstatic state in which we not only lose conscious control of our bodies but also normal consciousness itself. Something else arrives and takes its place. 

What that something else is, and where it comes from, and what it means, has been debated since the beginning of time. But we instinctively know it is different: it is a state of consciousness in which we, and the world around us, momentarily become one. All boundaries dissolve.

For most of us, that ecstatic state is a very familiar one, even those of us who believe the psychic world is so much nonsense. But what I have just described as the essential nature of sexual orgasm is also the essential nature of a psychic event, whether it is a vision, or the act of poetry, or true mystical prayer, or meditation. The surfaces of all of these events may differ, but at their core they are all moments in which we become one with the Serpent of Creation—which is always with us—because that is what happens in a psychic event.

What is at stake then when we turn our backs on the psychic world is the opportunity of experiencing that oneness. When we turn away, we become dimmer emotionally; which is exactly what is happening to us as a culture. We have become smarter but not wiser. We have become less complete

What I am proposing as an alternative is that we begin to consider a return to the world of the soul. We have to stop attempting to rationally know what our most basic instincts tell us is utterly unknowable. We have to go back to the old ways, and begin to feel those mysteries. 

There are many ways to accomplish that—but it is my poet’s instinct that we should consider a return to some form of unpremeditated narrative poetry. It need not be the written form. There are many others: mime, movement, speaking, singing. They all provide a natural, two-way bridge to the unconscious.

The only thing we should ask of any form is that it brings us to that ecstatic moment of awareness unique to poetry. How it’s actually accomplished is unimportant. What we want are the tendrils to intertwine, not win a Pulitzer as Alice was fond of saying. The fact of the matter is this: the tendrils will intertwine whenever we spontaneously create stories from the unconscious. All we have to do is surrender without reservation to the narrative genius of the Muse. 

For those who see poetry either as an archaic form of written expression or just something artsy they couldn’t care less about, what I have just said must seem absurd. Yet it is the truest thing I can say about poetry. To experience it, you simply have to forget everything you know or have heard about poetry and then open yourself to the possibility that it harbors the gateway to our total humanity. It is not a complex task—the poetic instinct is as much in us as the sexual instinct. 

It simply needs the proper cues to awaken it. This often involves no more than reading or hearing the right poem and surrendering to its interest. All we have to do is allow the poem to take us to the moment of ecstatic awareness that is particular to poetry and everything else will follow. 

Surrendering conscious control to the interest of a poem, however, may be a tall order for many. We are so dominated by the needs of the self that we view surrendering as tantamount to death itself, which in a way it is, because it involves opening ourselves to the psychic life of the soul and the psychic essence of poetry. I can assure you, however, that it is not a big risk—it only appears so. 

There is an old parable about the man who finds himself in complete darkness hanging from the edge of a high cliff. He knows he can’t climb back—that all he can do is hang there until he loses strength and plummets to his death. That is how most of us view surrendering. But, as the story goes, when the man’s last ounce of strength finally gives way and he lets go, he falls but an inch or two to a ledge that was always just beneath him. 

That is what our situation truly is with regards to surrendering. Experiencing it—and with it that older way of knowing—is but a drop of inches.

I wanted to say this about surrendering because of what I see all around me—our mistaken assumption that the conscious mind alone can guide us to a more complete life. Perhaps in an age where the conscious mind is so valued and the unconscious so undervalued, it is the way such a journey may have to begin. But it can’t remain on that level. 

I can’t tell you how saddened I am watching what takes place in most of the seminars and retreats conducted by modern spiritual leaders. It is an entirely intellectual activity—the attendees are given something to think about. They sit there, making mental notes and the like—but the intuition, the emotions, all of the ways we naturally communicate with the unconscious, are never brought into active play. What the attendees take home with them are ideas. 

Most of them are safe ideas, although some may even be dangerous, the kind that could lead them to the creative power of the unconscious. The attendees, however, seldom reach that stage. It is not their fault, however. If the guidance comes in the form of ideas, it will most likely remain as ideas. 

The unconscious doesn’t care about ideas. What it understands, what it cares about, are feelings. That is what poetry really is—an instinctive human act that allows us to respond to messages that rise unbidden from the unconscious. What is important to understand, however, is that those messages always take the form of a complex of feelings. It is our human genius, our witnessing, that turns those feelings into language, into stories, into poems. 

What the unconscious wants back, however, isn’t language, but the feelings carried by the poem’s language. To be even more specific, what the unconscious wants back are its feelings made “glittery with time.” It wants to feel our humanity. 

The healing energy contained in the act of poetry is worth a thousand intellectual seminars and retreats, because it opens the gates between the two worlds, and to paraphrase Alice—if we don’t open those gates—we haven’t done Diddly. At some stage we have to stop thinking and act. We have to leave the world of ideas and enter the world of feeling with all of its unpredictability. We have to take our chances. 

I don’t say this as a theoretical observation. I have worked with many people who consider themselves spiritually advanced, but the fact of the matter is they are living almost entirely in their conscious minds. They are complete strangers to the benefits that come from establishing commerce with the unconscious. 

How much they are strangers to the unconscious becomes apparent when I attempt to guide them in a speaking. The mere thought of surrendering conscious control terrifies them, making the speaking impossible. The exact opposite occurs when I encounter a person who is truly spiritually advanced, who is familiar with the ways of the unconscious, of the soul. They’re ready for the leap—and take it, eyes wide open.

Alice talked often about a massive change in consciousness that was somewhere in the wings, but she could never say exactly when it was going to occur, or what form it was going to take. She was scrupulously honest in that regard, and we should be too. What we can do in the meantime is what human beings have always done: we can try to make earth move heaven. Alice was in favor of it, and strangely enough, I am too. 

But unlike some of the visionaries of the Vietnam era who predicted their efforts were going to levitate the Pentagon, we should keep in mind that trying to make earth move heaven doesn’t mean we can control the outcome. The collective unconscious, as Jung so often reminded us, will respond to our efforts, but we never know how, or when. That is why gatherings are not for the weak of heart. All we can really do is surrender to where they want to take us. 

We may start out by having an interest in becoming more complete; but a gathering hasn’t really occurred at that point. Our emerging interest is simply the opening gambit in a game that goes back to the beginning of time. What will happen next depends on how attentive we are to the wisps of fate that begin to appear. If we don’t recognize them for what they are, or are too sluggish in surrendering to them, the gathering may never occur. 

If we are attentive, however, and allow ourselves to surrender to where those wisps want to take us, the gathering will begin to form. What shape it will take, and where it will eventually lead us, is completely out of our hands, and always has been. After all, if it weren’t that way, we wouldn’t have any stories worth talking about. Not a single one.

Justin Spring
March 2010,
Merida, Yucatan, Mexico

About the Author

Among the many prizes and honors Mr. Spring has received are: the 1997 State of Florida Individual Artist Fellowship for written poetry, the 1993 Homer Award for Spoken Poetry for oral poetry, and the 2003 Images and Voices of Hope Award and Point of Life Award for Excellence awards for his therapeutic work with poetry. In addition he has received the 2005 John Ringling Individual Artist Fellowship, the 2006 State of Florida Individual Artist Fellowship, and the 2006 State of Florida Individual Artist Enhancement Award for his groundbreaking work in Audio/Visual Poetry (Dreamstories) and the 2010 Ringling Trust Award for his book ALICE HICKEY.

Mr. Spring was educated at Columbia College and has three children. He divides his time between Florida and Mexico. 

All of Mr. Spring’s CDs, DVDs, Dreamstory Videos are available for free downloading at SOULSPEAK Studio 

His Poetry and Prose Books are available for free downloading as PDFs, or purchasing as AMAZON Kindle or Soft Cover at Sarasota Poetry Theatre Press

Other Sources of Justin Spring's Work

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Radio / Video SOULSPEAK

 My Best Video Dreamstories  

Mixed With Eclectic Music Videos.

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                                        Free Audio or Video Downloads of Everything

Radio SOULSPEAK (24/7 web broadcasts of the most eclectic music and best spoken poetry  on the web, bar none)

Video SOULSPEAK (Over 200 SOULSPEAK Dreamstories)

An example of Mr. Spring's SOULPRINTS

justin.sprng@y ss1