In December of 2016 I reached a milestone for me, I sold my 1000th copy of my book, “The Andean Cosmovision: A Path for Exploring Profound Aspects of Ourselves, Nature, and the Cosmos“. In addition to just announcing that remarkable (to me) fact I would like to share a little about the book and my process and what I hoped to accomplish by writing it.
As a young man I used to be a voracious reader of books about consciousness, Taoism, Sufism, Buddhism, meditation, lucid dreaming, altered states of consciousness, and many other related topics. I developed an intellectual understanding of those topics that was both deep and broad. When I met don Américo Yábar in 1994 and he invited me to be his student I realized that I was embarking upon an exploration where words and concepts would be of no avail. I completely stopped reading about consciousness. I wanted to enter into a new way of experiencing reality and I did not want my thoughts (so steeped in the Western world) and the thoughts of others to shape and distort my experinces. I decided to simply experience the Andean Cosmovision, and then eventually, perhaps, I could write about those experiences. I wanted the experiences to inform my thinking and writing and not the other way around.
For roughly 18 years I let my heart and my body and perhaps my spirit lead me in this exploration. When I would return to Peru I would try to make sense of my experiences after the fact, as I worked to integrate this new experience of reality with my continuing life in the West. For several years Américo encouraged me to write a book but I knew I wasn’t ready. Finally I did. I had a hard time starting as the ‘book project’ seemed so huge and massively tricky to pull off while remaining true to the experiences. A friend of mine suggested that I begin by writing a blog where I could get my ideas out piece by piece and then write my book. So I did, and it worked.
My goal in writing the book is to help nourish salka on this planet. It is not a message that “should” be heard, it is a message that might touch others as deeply as it has touched me. I also believe that the path described in the book, the path of heart into the Andean Cosmovision, could help change the trajectory of our society toward a future of greater health and beauty. I self-published the book to get it out more quickly and to insure that it would say exactly what I wanted it to say. I hope each copy is a like a pebble tossed into a pond, with ripples of influence spreading out.
When I went the route of self-publishing I knew the number of books sold might be small. As some sort of marker I thought that if I could sell 100 copies then I would feel that the extensive effort I put into the book (and innumerable lattes) would be worth it. I am more than gratified to have sold 1000 copies, with almost no advertising, just word of mouth. No path works for everyone, nor does this book, some people have reported that they stopped reading it part way through, but more have been along the lines of a reviewer who said that he keeps a copy of the book strapped to his body. That’s how I feel! Thank you to all of my friends and to those who have bought the book and told others. I really appreciate it. Love, Oakley