Schnarr's Authoring Approach
Grant Schnarr's books focus on
your personal relationship with yourself, life,
and God as you understand God. His wisdom ranges
from the ancient disciplines of the warrior spirit
in learning to conquer yourself, as in the Art
of Spiritual Warfare, to offering a new and refreshing
perspective to traditional faith.
His works touch
on the Bible and the New Age, on the mystical
and the practical. He is serious to the point
of bringing tears, and can have you laughing
the next moment. His books are about life.
This book describes a series of events that happened over several months, and in the preface to the book you say you wrote them down almost immediately after they happened. Did you have a sense then that this would become a book? At what point did you decide you wanted to publish this story?
I knew right away that I had to share this story. So, yes, I did have the aim of writing and publishing a book about these series of events and what I learned. I waited to actually seek publishing for many years because I needed to sit with it and see if more insights didn’t come over time, and they did!
I knew right away that I had to share this story. So, yes, I did have the aim of writing and publishing a book about these series of events and what I learned. I waited to actually seek publishing for many years because I needed to sit with it and see if more insights didn’t come over time, and they did! These are now incorporated into the book. Also, I must admit, I felt people in the church I was ministering to at that time might think the book was too “far out” when it comes to the paranormal aspects of story. I didn’t want to make waves. Times have changed both in society’s interest and acceptance of the paranormal, for instance the dozen or so shows now filling the menu on the television screen, to more acceptance in the church about people’s individual personal accounts of being touched by loved ones in the afterlife. The time just seemed to become ripe, and submitted it for publication.
The events described in this book happened more than fifteen years ago. Has your perception of what happened changed since then? If so, how?
I’ve told the story many times to a variety of people over the years, and I suppose there are two lessons that I have learned and hope to share with others who read this book. The first lesson is that you can change, that is, overcome childhood fears, wounds, and memories. I know this is very hard for those who have gone through real trauma, and that takes a lot of help and support. But healing to one degree or another is possible, and these events recorded in this book, and my own growing understanding and initiating life change could help others to have hope. The second important lesson for the reader is that there is hope for an afterlife and being reunited with loved ones. The other world is real, beautiful, and closer than you think.
Many of the events you describe had (and maybe still have) deep emotional implications for you. Was it difficult for you to share? Did any of your friends or family express reservations about you publishing it?
These experiences were not difficult to share with my close friends, as I indicate in the book. My mother, however, said that she was ok if I published the work, but with a smile she said, “And I’d especially like you to publish it after I’ve passed on.” Her wish has been fulfilled. The difficulty in the first few years after writing the book was that I wasn’t sure how the book, especially the paranormal experiences, would be received by members of my church, since I was in a fairly high profile job at the time. Over the years our culture has changed, and people are much more willing to talk about such experiences and respect what others are saying. The time has ripened for the release of this book, and so has the book itself, having waited over a decade to update and publish.
The book opens with a real-life ghost story. Could you talk a little bit about how you view ghosts from a Swedenborgian perspective?
I don’t believe Swedenborg talks about “ghosts” but he does talk about the reality of the afterlife, spirits, and how they are associated with not only people, but places and things. Swedenborg says, and I teach this, it is not a good idea to try to contact spirits, and you’ll most likely get what Swedenborg calls, “an enthusiastic spirit” who would like nothing more than to lead you astray. This is a rare occurance, but worth heeding the warning. Swedenborg does say that there are people who do have contact with angels on occasions and loved ones, especially the elderly who are preparing for the other world. This is natural and not dangerous in any way, but can often make people feel better about the passing of a loved one or their own passing with age.
I don’t necessarily believe that ghosts are actual spirits trapped in this world. There is not enough time to explain my entire views, but I believe that something in this world is attached to certain spirits, or events. The appearance or feeling of a “ghost” may be something that is more like a recording in this world associated with the spirit but not actually the spirit itself. A good example of this is visiting a Civil War battleground. Many have felt the spirits of the men who fought there, and for many, the area feels especially sacred. Are the soldiers hanging around, or is it some sort of impression they have left behind? I think the latter. But I could say more.
Brotherhood is a major theme in these events, especially in the broader sense of sharing a close emotional bond with other men. What does brotherhood mean to you, and what kind of role has it played in your life?
I have a lot of male friends who are my “brothers” and have worked with men is my SWET (Spiritual Warfare Effectiveness Training weekends, and we emphasize the importance of brotherhood and brotherly support. This means a lot to me. But growing up without my brother present in my life, to actually experience that I HAVE a brother, a “bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh” brother is deeply moving and special to me. It’s huge, and when you read the book, you’ll see that it has changed everything for me.
Although some of the things you describe were traumatic at the time, you describe looking back later and seeing the hand of the Lord guiding you through these “coincidences.” Do you think this happens to other people, too?
I think there are signs all around us all the time of God’s presence and leading. We just have to look for them, and be open to his leading. It’s always in the right direction. I don’t believe God makes bad things happen. This is contrary to his pure and absolute love, but when bad things happen, he can make the best come out of it, and even good come out of it, if we let him. He’s that loving and that powerful. Why some people have more dramatic lives than others is beyond me. I happen to be one of those people, and I often wish my life were a little more bland. But who knows? Maybe I need huge signs that God is there to keep me on track? I don’t know.
Has anything similar to the events described in this book happened to you since? Would you want it to?
Although I’ve been involved in helping others when things like this happen, whether it’s investigating a paranormal experience from a priestly perspective, or giving hope to those who are bereaved, I have never had anything happen, like what is written in this account, since. I am glad. It was a lot to handle, and though I grew much from it, I am happy to have no more near-death experiences, or the like.
1. I am always fascinated by the story behind the story--how did The Guardian Angel Diary come to life?
The Guardian Angel Diary (TGAD) started out as an idea to create a forum for providing an opportunity for me to share the knowledge and, uhem, wisdom I have accumulated over the years with people about the basic questions of life – Why am I here? What kind of deity created me? What happens when I die? What’s the purpose of life? Big questions.
I’ve seen so many books where the author had used a story of someone running into a mysterious sage, or a Native American elder, or visited a different culture, as a forum for just that. So, in the beginning, that’s all I was looking for. The idea of a sixteen-year-old girl talking with her guardian angel came out of nowhere. Or, maybe the idea came from my guardian angel. But once the idea came, well, everything started to happen!
The idea of a sixteen-year-old girl talking with her guardian angel came out of nowhere. Or, maybe the idea came from my guardian angel. But once the idea came, well, everything started to happen!
The first shot at the book was pure dialogue between Nicole and her angel, and it was good, but the story hadn’t developed. I hadn’t really tried to do that yet. I knew she developed a brain tumor, and she needed to resolve everything she could about her life before the big operation, but the sub plots had not been created at all. After the initial work with dialogue I sat down and meditated on the plot. It all pretty much came to me right away when I gave myself a chance to listen inside, and be inspired. Many of the stories are true, meaning they are based on true accounts, mostly of my life, and also of some others whom I have life-coached over the years, as well as pure fiction. I studied and interviewed cancer survivors, and also relied on several teens who had shared with me their struggles with growing up during our life-coach sessions – all with permission.
It took three and a half years to write the novel, and finish the story, and literally, the ending was tweaked the day it went to press! In fact, the original ending of the book was very different from how it ends now, and I am glad it took so long to finish the book, because it gave me time to actually see how the book should end, and every time I think about it I get excited – it’s so much fun!
2. I was completely taken with how well you captured the voice of Nicole. It reminded me of Blake Nelson's "GIRL", where the reader is completely, believably transported into the narrative of a teenage girl. Was there anything specific that you read or listened to before writing to help you find that consistent voice?
Having worked in the men’s movement and written the Art of Spiritual Warfare, based on the military general and sage, Sun Tzu, people do ask, “Where the heck did you get that girl voice of Nicole in TGAD?” In some ways, it surprises me, that Nicole became so real, but I can trace some of it back to a few origins. First, I grew up with four sisters. Need I say more? Also, having spent much of my career working and appreciating teens as a counselor, pastor, life-coach, and teacher, it came pretty naturally. But this book was written differently than all my others. I had to get out of town and be all alone to write this, and this was my biggest hurdle in writing the book. I couldn’t write it an hour here or an hour there between job and family life. I had to be alone for long periods of time, mostly renting or borrowing friends’ cabins in the mountains of PA, where I could sit with Nicole and her angel, and really allow them to come alive in my heart and mind, so that the writing would flow, and the characters could take on a life of their own. It was a spiritual experience to do it that way, learning so much about life, as I explored it deeply through their conversation, and Nicole’s challenges and growth. I cried a lot in those mountains. I really did. Most of the times when Nicole says, “Crying…”, no, every time Nicole took time out to cry, I was taking time out to cry. And that’s how real this story is, because much of what she remembers really happened, to someone, to me, to someone I love, and she represents all of us, readers included.
One more word about that. The voice of Nicole, though a very rugged teen, and owning something of a foul mouth (you should have seen the original manuscript which the editors made me tone down!), her voice was also the voice of a very innocent child, and that child talking to her angel, to God, was my child inside, and I think everyone has that child, and identifies with the child inside Nicole. But this is the only book I have written that I can go back to again and again and never get tired of reading, because the final product is not me. Nicole is her own beautiful, innocent, rugged, determined, loving self. I love Nicole. I really do. I know readers will too.
3. TGAD is not your first book--how does it differ from what you have written before?
This is my first novel. It’s also really from the heart and not written for any other reason except to share my heart and soul with others. I don’t represent any church, denomination, belief system in this book but my own, and it feels real to me. Other books of mine are teaching pieces, non-fiction self-help, or explanations of the philosophy of Recovery Program or the teachings of Emanuel Swedenborg, or presenting broad thought on the noble warrior from all cultures. This book is pure heart and soul, and depth. It’s not that all I’ve learned in the past isn’t in this book. It is, but it’s freely given with no agenda except to share the experience of life and its value, and help people connect with all that is and be happy.
4. Give us a little history on how you came to writing--did you always know there were stories inside you? Which authors were your inspiration?
When I was in Fourth Grade I began my writing career with a humorous composition about my dad taking me to church, and everything going wrong. The teacher actually called my parents in and kind of asked, “What’s wrong with that boy?” I had no idea why there was so much fuss, but apparently even my first writing stirred up a lot of buzz. In seventh grade I wrote a story about a boy who was called by a dark angel to go with him to heaven. Again, dark. But the teacher took me aside and told me it was promising, and actually asked me if I ever considered being a writer. I did, after that. He was instrumental in putting that idea in me.
The really funny story though, and ironic, is that in my local church someone offered a $10,000 prize for anyone who wrote the first self-help book from a Swedenborgian perspective. That stuck with me in High School and College, and when I got out I wrote that book, Unlocking Your Spiritual Potential, based on the twelve steps of AA, and Swedenborg’s teachings, which are very similar. The man who offered the prize knew I wrote the book, and it was even published by a Catholic organization, Abbey Press, and did quite well, but he never acknowledged my achievement and I didn’t get the prize. I really didn’t care at that point because my career had been launched and I was off and writing from the pure love of it, and that was fine with me. A year after the man passed away, we were at a church convention, and his wife announced that the prize was finally going to be given to someone who had written a self-help book, and I was very excited. Well, they gave it to a friend of mine, Ray Silverman, who had written the same sort of book as me on the Ten Commandments, very ecumenical, good book. But I was, as Nicole would say, “Pissed.” I never did find out why that happened, but family members confided in me that the man just didn’t think I had done it the way he wanted, and his wife had such a love for this other book that she went ahead and gave the prize to Ray. Today Ray and I joke about it. He’s still publishing, but I have him beat out by about five books, and I love rubbing it in his face that karma is on my side on this one. It’s all in fun. But you know, it’s all good, and perhaps not winning that prize spurred me on to write more on my own. Six books later, and published in almost a dozen different countries, I’m proud of myself not giving up back then, and striving to write for the right reasons, like helping people, rather than for prizes anyway. But that tantalizing offer did get me started.
As for influential authors, I like Shakespeare, Swedenborg, Lao Tsu, T.S. Elliot, John C. Maxwell, Thich Nhat Hanh, J.K. Rowling, Mealody Beatty, Dan Millman, Robert Bly, Robert Moore, John Lee, Stieg Larsson, Elizabeth Gilbert, Alice Sebold, Tony Jones. Some of these are inspirational and some were more like, hey, if they can do it, so can I.
5. There is some theology woven into this novel, some truths that you are sharing, and the story is published by a religious press. Did you struggle with the balance of doctrine and plot?
TGAD is published by the Swedenborg Foundation, who published five out of seven of my books. I’m grateful to have a good relationship with them, and there is certainly a solid Swedenborgian theme in the book, about a loving God, angels, and the reality of the afterlife. But it’s funny. I wrote the book, as said before, with the idea in mind that this wasn’t a sales job for any church or denomination, and it did not represent any theology except my own. I submitted it to several publishers, and I was surprised the Swedenborg Foundation was interested. When considering signing the contract with them, and going through a re-read myself seeing if this book was a good fit, I was surprised to see just how much it still did resonate with my religious roots. Here I thought I was being a rebel! But if you pay attention, some things are said in this book that resonate with a much more universal approach. This book is for everyone, and I say a few things in here about the nature of God and revelation that I’m surprised some theologian-colleagues of mine haven’t jumped out of their chairs after reading it. I suppose they probably haven’t read the book yet since it just came out! Oh no. If they read this interview, they’ll be sure to look into it!
I didn’t struggle with the balance between the lessons that are definitely in the book, and the plot, but it was a process. I really wanted the wisdom of Nicole and her guardian angel to stand on their own, and remain with people. That’s probably the most important thing, but the plot became so strong it really took over, and I think the balance is good. In fact, I’m surprised that people who have read the book seem to be taken with the plot, and I really hope they also walk away with the message too.
6. Tell us a funny story from the trenches of a writer's life... like the time I showed up to a reading and the only person there was a woman sleeping in the back who was mad at me for waking her up. Anything special come to mind?
The funniest and most difficult time was doing a book signing in Toronto. Actually, the Toronto Star did a full page on my book, Art of Spiritual Warfare, which made the trip more than worth my while, but the book signing was a disaster! I usually do a fairly emotional storytelling routine. The people there were like zombies. They didn’t smile, didn’t laugh, and didn’t move. One woman’s phone went off during my talk and she just let it ring and ring right in front of me. I just wanted to get off the stage and go home. Finally I just stopped and said, “Am I in Toronto? Or did I land in Quebec? Because I’m beginning to think that I’m speaking English to a bunch of French speaking people who don’t understand a word I’m saying!” They laughed at that! Then it ended. No one had any questions. No one bought a book. I still shiver when I think of that night!
7. Criticism comes with the game--how do you handle it?
I’ve been a public figure for over a quarter of a century. It comes with the territory. Yes, it bothers me when people criticize, but I’ve gotten to a point where I can fairly easily brush it off as part of the business. If it fits, learn from it. If not, don’t even give it the time of day. I’ve come to a point in my life where I just don’t have the time or energy to put up with critics. Nine out of ten times the criticism reflects more on the critic than the criticized, and like I said, if there is something that I need to learn from it, I grab it, but then move on. Love what you do and never look back.
8. What's on your iPod/reader/nightstand right now?
I’m reading Love Wins by Rob Bell, Abandon by Meg Cabot, and a bunch of Swedenborg in connection with my teaching at Bryn Athyn College. I always have the Bible on my night table, and I often read spiritual and self-help books, and only one or two good novels a year, like Chosen!
You probably weren’t asking about music but it’s a big part of my life. My iPod has a lot of hard rock on it, like my band, “No Reserve!” on it, and the most awesome blues singer and player - Joe Bonamassa, also Led Zep, Soraia, A7X, Jimi H., Buckethead, Tool, U2, Stones, Rage Against the Machine, Pink Floyd, Jeff Beck, Bowie, Bon Jovi, and I even have to admit – Metallica. I also like new age music, Deva Premal, and am getting into some lighter stuff like Mumford and Sons.
10. I don't want to give too much of the story away, but I was especially touched by the sibling relationship between Nicole and her brother. It rang true and was full of the love and affected ambivalence of teenage siblings--can you talk a little about your inspiration for this?
No, I can’t. Because it is real, and it’s personal. I’m glad you caught that.
11. This book has an obvious audience in young adult readers, but I also imagine there are many of us who will find the idea of someone watching over us very compelling and reassuring. Do you think this story has particular resonance right now?
In light of trends, angels are the new vampires. This book is riding the wave of a huge trend not only with teens and young adults, but also in growing interest in the afterlife. A lot of new books are here or coming on the market with an afterlife flavor, Meg Cabot in Abandon, Heaven is For Real, Rob Bell’s Love Wins is about the afterlife, The Summer We Came to Life, a new release by Deborah Cloyed. It’s a hot market, and I must say, I wrote the book for everyone, not just young adults. Everyone can benefit from this book, getting connected to their own personal reason for being, comfort and hope for what might await them, and also get in touch with the depth of love and courage which Nicole so bravely manifests.
1. What was yuor inspiration for writing this book, and what did you pick to do it in diary format?
I could say, "It came from within," but that sounds like the title of a very B classic horror film. I might even say I got it from my Guardian Angel, and there is some truth to that, because I believe all the good thoughts and wisdom we hear deep inside of us comes from a heavenly source. The whole process of writing the dialogue was very similar to Nicole's approach. A lot of quiet time, a lot of thinking, and yes, I shed a lot of tears writing this book.
But the initial concept itself, the idea of the conversation, came from a strong desire to write a book, which in the best of traditions, would gently impart wisdom.Not that I'm wise, but that there are some basic ideas about love, about how to see people from love, to look at God and all of creation as the source and embodiment of love and beauty, to show love in action, that helped birth the idea of the Angel Diary as a medium to do this. So many good books which help bring wisdom into the world do this. You can go back to Jesus, or look at Mythology, or come into today's world with modern tales where someone meets a fictitious character who takes them on a spiritual journey and gently teaches them the way. The surprise for me, in Diary, was that it didn't take too long to find that it was actually Nicole who had most of the wisdom, as such a loving, innocent girl, and GA, her angel, came in strong with his "wisdom" when he needed to, but really spent most of the time pulling it out of her. He's basically her heavenly life-coach, I guess you'd say. So, the initial concept was to form a medium to share wisdom collected from life, my Swedenborgian heritage, the best of Christianity and other religions, and perhaps what is different about this book than my others, it's really my take on what I've learned about life so far. The story developed from that concept, and the story wrote itself, and I was like, "WOW! Where did that come from?" GA?
2. Was the main character, Nicole, based on anyone that you’ve met? [Note: feel free to ignore this question if the answer would be a repeat of what you said above.]
Nicole's actual character is based on several real people and their experiences, ranging from people who helped me understand what one experiences when she undergoes chemo, to over the years hearing many young people's stories about the hardship of growing up, as I listened in my role as a life coach. However, there are specifically three people who I draw on heavily, two young women whom I coached for several years, and me. I have permission to talk about the two young women, now in college. They are both so very vibrant and have grown so much over the years, just like Nicole. One had a brain tumor as a teen-ager, and really helped me understand what that was like for her, and the other lost her mother when she was just coming into adolescence, and shared deeply her struggle with everything such a hard loss brings. But a lot of the stories from childhood are my stories. The great thing about fiction is, and the wonderful mystery of it all is beautiful, it all comes together to form a single story of one girl and her struggle, and yes, some of it is pure fiction. That's about as far as I can go with the explanation. By the time the book was finished, it wasn't about anyone but Nicole, her relationship with her angel, and her spiritual journey.
3. One of the things you do very well in this story is to capture the voice and the feelings of a teenage girl. Was that a challenge? How did you go about it?
People ask me that all the time. They especially find it interesting because I've had so much involvement over the years with the Men's Movement, Robert Bly, Robert Moore, New Warrior, SWET, and all that. I can't say I've never been accused of having too much testosterone. But stepping into this role for writing, or might I say, settling into this role was uncannily easy. For this book I had to get out of town to write and be by myself, so I'd head off to someone's house in the mountains on weekends or long summer jaunts and sit with the character for hours while I wrote. It was a moving experience, to let go of the layers of armor, you could say, and become vulnerable, and get in touch with the child within, and actually have that conversation with GA. Like I said, I cried a lot writing this. Nicole became so real, she became a part of me, or was always that child inside that wanted to understand life and make sense of life, and fix everything that had gone wrong, and love -- that was me. In fact, that's everyone! Isn't it? But the angel is me too. Or rather I'd like to say, the angel is there for all of us, inside, ready to talk. It was real. I know Nicole's voice is strong. It's real.
4. In the book the angel reveals very little about himself to Nicole—she never even learns his name. Was that a purposeful move on your part? How did you envision the angel when you were writing him?
Keeping the angel something of a mystery was very much part of the plan. Though he is more human than most writers or movie directors depict angels, his background, his personal feelings apart from Nicole, even his name, remain a mystery to allow people to fill in their own connection to angels, perhaps even fill in their own faith system about angels. Sometimes not telling it all is more powerful than vivid description. Is GA real? Is GA a figment of Nicole's imagination. Is GA Nicole, and she knows that the whole time she is writing? Hah! No one knows. I tend to think he's real, but no one knows for sure. Maybe even Nicole doesn't know for sure. But isn't that how life is? There is always room for our interpretation and ability to build our own perspective on life and faith, and heaven - I think God planned it that way. Nicole does conclude at one point that perhaps part of the answer to life is the mystery, and to embrace the mystery may be the gateway to wisdom. She's so smart!
5. Do you believe it’s possible to communicate with angels the way that Nicole does?
Yes. She talks. She listens within. She hears some good things. She responds. She hears more. She take action. Isn't this what we all do? Where do those great ideas come from? Where does that voice inside of us that urges us to look at the world through eyes of wonder come from? Where does the urge to love and reach higher come from? I believe from my Christian and Swedenborgian heritage, and from all the other religious belief systems in the world who also say the same thing, that these gentle voices within are from angels, messengers of God, who are always with us. I believe God, who is pure love, speaks through these, into our thoughts. We can listen, or shut those tender voices right down. Nicole decides to not only listen, but to converse, argue, even sass her angel. It's a real conversation inside of her, highlighted by her belief that he is real. And the more she believe, the more she recognizes that he is very real, perhaps the most real thing in her life. Yes, I believe we can talk to our angels, and we do, every day.
6. Although the story focuses on events in Nicole’s personal life, she talks quite a bit about how the cancer (and its treatment) are affecting her. Where did you get the technical details?
Not only did I learn from several people who fought cancer how they experienced their life-threatening situation, but also what they went through spiritually at the time. Facing potential death wakes you up! But I also was fortunate to have several in the medical profession give the book a read, and they gave me advice, put me on the right track, noted inaccuracies, and helped me a lot to capture what someone faces when diagnosed with cancer and the treatment that follows. There are parts I stretch a little here and there, when the patients I interviewed had a different experience than the doctors who helped me, but I think that adds. A patient's experience, or memory of what happened, especially a teen, may see it one way, while a doctor sees it another. No one is wrong. It's just the way they experienced it, and recount it.
7. What was the most difficult part about writing this book?
Writing this book was a spiritual experience, so the actual writing was a delight. The most difficult part was finding the time to write it. As I said earlier, I had to literally leave everything behind and get out of town to write this book. I couldn't do it in my spare time. I couldn't do it sitting for a few hours at home or at the desk in my office. I had to go somewhere completely alone, almost always to a cabin or home surrounded in nature, and be with Nicole and her angel for long periods of time in order to get into Nicole's world. So, it took a long time to write this book. But it was worth it. I still cry when I read it.
8. What do you hope people will take away from this story?
Hope. A piece of heaven. And when it comes to the story itself, the desire to take action to bring that heaven into their lives while they are still here. If Nicole can do it, so can you. But I also want people to consider deeply the discoveries Nicole makes with the help of her angel - about God, love, life, forgiveness, what it means to be human. Those are timeless healing perspectives on life, whispered by her guardian angel, discovered by Nicole, there for all of us, every day.
Nancy Lee Nancy Lee is a noted spiritual teacher, clairvoyant,
visionary, a member of the Colorado Association of
Psychotherapists and the author of Awakening
the Mystic and Voices of Light . Nancy
hosts a weekly talk show, Lights
On! with Nancy Lee . She interviews well-known
authors, mystics, scientists, philosophers, spiritualists,
and authorities in many arenas of human potential & consciousness.
visit her website www.nancylee.net
Interview About: YOU CAN BELIEVE!
is the book about? Grant: It
is about reconnecting people
with spirituality and God.
It's not just a self help
book. It has meat, doctrinal
ideas to chew on. For vegetarians,
think of a good hearty vegetable
soup! All the flavor and
How does this book fit with your other books such as Spiritual
Recovery, or The Art of Spiritual Warfare? Grant: Both of these books are about the practice of spirituality,
and leave most of the belief system of the individual up to the individual.
I give some advice, for example, how to combat dysfunction and overcome the
negative self, but don' talk much about where that negative self comes from,
or who the higher power may be that helps us. That's left for the individual
to decide -- the old adage "God as you understand God." This book
is different. This book is about belief. Hence the title - "You Can
Believe!" It compares beliefs, some which seem to work in life and some
which don't work so well, and then offers a new idea, a new belief to consider.
These new beliefs are based on the teachings of Emanuel Swedenborg's religious
books and philosophy. They aren't mine, but I do flesh them out with examples
and illustrations from modern life.
is spiritual warfare? Grant: Spiritual warfare
is about conquering your own demons, gaining
control over your destructive tendencies,
like fear, anger, impulsive behavior, addiction.
It's the old fashion war against human evil,
fought by individuals for centuries.
The book is based on Sun Tzu's, Art of War . Can you tell
us about him? Grant: Sun Tzu was a Chinese military strategist
who lived about 2500 years ago. The Art of War has long been recognized
as one of the most important treatise ever written on the strategy
of warfare. It's principles have been studied and adopted by military
generals throughout history, from ancient battles in China, to the
wars of Napoleon, to modern world wars. Now it has been popularized
for business strategy and gaining the upper hand in any sort of competitive
Reid Baer, an award-winning playwright for "A Lyon's Tale" is also a newspaper
journalist, a poet with more than 100 poems in magazines world wide, and a novelist
with his first book released this month entitled Kill
The Story . Baer has been a member of The ManKind Project since 1995 and
currently edits The New Warrior Journal for The ManKind Project www.mkp.org.
He resides in Reidsville, N.C. with his wife Patricia. He can be reached at email@example.com .
Interview About: ART OF SPIRITUAL
Still . what
about those who just haven't experienced any
kind of higher power in their life?
Schnarr said he was taken aback by that question because he spends so much time
with people who are actively seeking spirituality, and "connecting with light
and higher meaning." Ultimately, the author said he believed spirituality was "intuitive."
"Give yourself a chance to experience the divine by opening your
eyes and seeing . be open to the signs that are around us all the
time! If we're not being led by some kind of spiritual discipline,
we usually don't see the signs of God. We need to turn on our consciousness
and get involved in some kind of sacred practice or ritual. MKP has
their sacred acts that give one a foundation for a deeper spiritual
experience. All kinds of things start happening when you honor nature,
Schnarr told a story of a time where he was in a sweat lodge in
northern Pennsylvania and he was speaking of the place of the coyote
when a nearby coyote began howling. "It was magical to hear that
coyote singing. I realized then that if you work with nature, nature
works with you."