Monday, January 10, 2011

Foreword:Living Behind the Beauty Shop

For several years, I’ve enjoyed knowing and working with Hal Manogue because his books, poems, essays, and other forms of writing offer such profound spiritual insight. The story you are about to read may be fictional—although based on real places and celebrities in Nashville—but the premise that we are simultaneously living multiple lives is something many metaphysicists have believed for quite a while. Scientists are beginning to explore this possibility and while they cannot prove it to be true, they cannot disprove it either. I’ve referred to myself as one who wears many hats or multitasks as if trying to do everything at once. This makes the concept of multiple consciousnesses as described in Hal’s work seem probable—especially when we stop to consider that in this life we are currently living, we perform multiple roles and have many identities or self labels: writer, doctor, teacher, parent, student, adult, child, sibling, driver, and so on. Does your life as a mathematician end when you leave the classroom at 4 p.m. each day? Are you no longer an athlete when you put on an apron and prepare a meal? Do you stop being an activist just because you engage in teaching your puppy a new trick? No, of course not. We are still all these things. However, we may not remember our other realities while focusing on whatever role we are playing at the present moment.

We’ve all had a spark of creativity or an idea that came on like a light bulb. We’ve all felt led by our inner voice or sensed guidance from our intuition. Who’s to say that these impulses or thoughts are not from our expanded self or an aspect of consciousness from another dimension? Then, there’s the sleep-time world of our dreams where anything is possible. What if, like Mase’s poetry reveals in Living Behind the Beauty Shop, the life you live while awake is only one aspect of who you are? What if you connect with your expanded consciousness when asleep? Definitely something to consider.

While you don’t need to believe in parallel universes, reincarnation, or multiple consciousnesses in order to enjoy this book or its characters—whom I’m sure you will come to love—the story will open your eyes to new possibilities about what can be done to help homeless humanity become a productive part of society. It will show appreciation for racial and sexual diversity and present ideas about how we can protect our environment and conserve precious natural resources. Additionally, those who know someone living with Down syndrome will appreciate the sensitivity and positive light shone upon the unique individuals who have chosen a chromosome mishap as an Earthly path to lead others to enlightenment.
Fact or fantasy? You decide.

~ Yvonne Perry, editor of Living Behind the Beauty Shop, owner of Writers in the Sky Creative Writing Services (, and author of More Than Meets the Eye, True Stories About Death, Dying, and Afterlife ( and The Sid Series ~ A Collection of Holistic Stories for Children (

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