Tag - world of pond stories

Spiritual Writing & The World of Pond Stories

By Dr. Stewart Bitkoff

The following is a discussion generated by a letter from a reader of my new book: The World of Pond Stories; this recent inquiry offers an opportunity to have a discussion about the dynamics of spiritual writing and my experience while writing. Hope you enjoy this interchange.

Inquiry Letter About Spiritual Writing

Hi Stewart:

As I was reading your latest book, I was wondering what your experience was like as you write them. The influence of the Idries Shah books is obvious in many places. I was particularly affected by the story of the Three Sisters which seemed to have a very similar impact to The Tale of the Sands.

As an amateur composer of music, every so often I get into a mode where new music seems to be coming into my head from somewhere and all I need to do is to capture it. Other times, it feels like a more labored experience requiring a lot of trial and effort.

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So when you write your books, particularly the last one, is your everyday consciousness pretty much just acting as a receiver? A lot of the material feels like it was generated this way.

Also, how aware are you of the multiple levels present of which every now and then I get a small glimpse? I suspect that some of your writing and things like the overall plot of the Turtle prophesy cannot be contrived by ordinary consciousness and refer to deep transformational processes.

Is it worth asking you about what you think the meaning is of some of the material? For example, it occurred to me that silver minnow catching was a metaphor describing how our everyday consciousness works and how it might be mined to catch glimpses of something higher, possibly through Gurdjieff-like practices of self-observation or maybe in meditation. Or perhaps you are simply saying that if you get sufficiently skilled at something and pay sufficient attention to what is going on than this can be a conduit to the higher self.

Thanks again for The World of Pond Stories and all of your other books. I truly hope they help as many people as possible to bring more light into these troubled times.

May we all rise higher!


Some Thoughts On Spiritual Writing

Hi Mark:

Here is an initial response into your inquiry about my spiritual writing.

I’ve been at this spiritual writing for 50 years or so; during that time there have been many different ways this writing has manifested itself.

I first started writing poetry in my late teens; it was just something that happened. Until then, I never thought about writing: used the poetry to share some of my darker moods and ideas. This was when I was in college and I was fortunate to have an English Literature/Composition teacher who worked with me to improve my writing skills. She worked with me for a year and I learned basic skills.

Later, when I was working in psychiatric hospitals, after meeting my spiritual teacher, who suggested that someone write down what we talked about; this writing skill expanded and changed.

Sometimes a very strong energy would come over me and I could not resist writing down ideas/thoughts that were coming through me. Many times this went on for days and I could not resist/fight this energy; when I did it made me feel worse. I was unaware of the source of this energy and for many years it remained a mystery. Often, I was living in 2 worlds at the same time- going to work and writing down all the ideas and thoughts that would be coming through me. Nowadays the energy flow is more mature and causes less of a daily disruption but I must continually honor the call.

At first I thought it might be automatic writing, or someone/something infusing their ideas through me. Also at night I would have dreams/visions where someone in white robes was dictating books to me. At first, I really wasn’t sure where these ideas and the persistent, demanding energy came from. Over the years, I realized it was part of me and part of something else.

In the beginning this energy was persistent and demanding- I couldn’t run from it and it would manifest in short doses over a period of time (days, hours, and weeks). Many of my writing and early books were done this way; the energy would signal time to write, and idea would enter, and then I would begin seeing many dimensions to what ordinarily was in front of me or part of daily life. In some ways it was like putting on another kind of glasses that helped me see/understand things and interpret them for others.

They say writers write because they have to write- there is no other choice. In many ways, that summarizes the motivation. Also I always wanted to share something of wisdom with others; this also seemed like it was part of me; an inborn need/desire.

Now the Turtle stories and the silver minnow catching material were conceived, probably first written about 20+ years ago and I have recently updated some of this material. There are many short books in this series and I wanted to get something out there in this format. Silver minnows represent flashes of intuitive spiritual knowledge that come and go; sort of like spiritual states. By focusing on the movement of the minnow’s tale, the young turtle enters in a meditation of sorts watching the movement and then as he/she focuses another window in the soul opens. I experienced this one sunny lunch time, at work, watching blades of grass move on the wind . . . For some that is the potential of transcendental meditation- focus visually on an object and gradually something else emerges within our consciousness.

In the World of Pond, silver minnow catching is in addition to awareness of the Great Turtle- here you have the Path and the Godhead. Similarly, each Pond creature has their own view of the God head (i.e., for grasshoppers it is the Great Hoppah and grass science). Silver minnow catching is the inner teaching because young turtles can experience spiritual learning through these classes/exercises; and it is helpful to have a teacher to help you along the Path.

Over the years, I have had at least 2 seers indicate the relative importance of my writing. At times, this direction/input has helped me fight through the ups and downs of trying to share this material. Over time, I have come to see some of this writing’s strengths and limitations. I realize it is not for everyone but needed to express myself in this way. Generally my writing skills are adequate and hopefully get the job done.


To Purchase The World of Pond Stories:

Amazon: www.bit.ly/bitkoffpond (Paperback $13.99 | Kindle $5.95)

Stewart Bitkoff’s Online Store: www.StewartBitkoff.com/books


The World of Pond Stories

Dr. Stewart Bitkoff has announced the publication of his latest book, The World of Pond Stories.

The introductory book in Dr. Bitkoff’s new series, it will take readers on a trip to a wondrous land where pond creatures live in harmony and often work together to solve problems.

These stories offer the opportunity for children and adult readers alike, to travel alongside amusing and delightful woodland characters that are expanding their hearts and minds. From “silver minnow catching” class; to humorous, yet meaningful exchanges among grasshoppers, turtles and dragonflies; to a mysterious quest with Master Turtle, you and the children in your life will enjoy reading about the spiritual journey of life in a unique and lighthearted way.

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Reactions from some readers:

Dr. Bitkoff presents modern day fables and a fairy tale to entertain spiritual travelers of different ages. Tired of reading the same old thing, stories filled with violence and ill will, then try this book for the entire family. As you travel with the different pond characters through their struggles and triumphs, it will make you smile and even laugh. And perhaps learn a little more about yourself and the larger Pond, we call life.
-ML, San Diego, CA

“If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.” This quote, attributed to Albert Einstein, tells us that the world needn’t be as complicated as we make it out to be. And indeed, “The World of Pond”, Stewart Bitkoff’s latest book, demonstrates the truth of this. Written in an easy to understand style, this book will appeal to six year olds of ALL ages. Whether you’re 6 or 96, the stories in this book will entertain and provoke deeper questions. Here we meet the inhabitants of ‘Pond’ – from the enigmatic Turtle to the carefree Grasshopper, who do their best to make sense of the world in which they live. A collection of short stories, all linked by a common theme gives the reader the chance to look at his or her own life. How do we make sense of the world? Why are we here? Not merely a collection of children’s stories, “The World of Pond” is both philosophical and thought-provoking. Enhanced by Stewart’s own commentaries, this book is a ‘must read’ for everyone.
– Stephen Tidbury

One Sunday morning as I was driving with my five-year-old daughter to church, she asked me if her mother and father were going to die. She also asked if she too was going to die. This totally stunned me. I floundered a bit and I told her as tactfully as I could that yes, we were all going to die someday but it would be a long time from now. She then said, “What’s the point?” Stewart’s book answers this question in an amazingly simple, gentle, and graceful set of stories about the denizens of a certain pond. The book captures the highly distilled essence of all the great world spiritual traditions in a way that goes down easily. The language used has universal appeal since it avoids religious specific terminology. It is simple-minded and extremely sophisticated at the same time making it particularly valuable to share between generations. I highly recommend this for anybody who from time to time becomes aware of our short duration here on earth and wonders as my daughter did, “What’s the point?”
– Mark Berlin

About the Author

The author of The World of Pond Stories, Dr. Stewart Bitkoff is a poet and spiritual traveler who has written on the topic of the completed person and the original human development system. Professionally, working to help the mentally ill integrate their altered states of consciousness into the physical world. His website is: www.stewartbitkoff.com.  Connect on Facebook: www.facebook.com/stewart.bitkoff