SPOILER ALERT! The following are answers to comments and questions people have had regarding THE GARDEN OF SOULS sequences.
Some have asked whether the images I used in the novel are a fantasy born out of my imagination. The answer to that question is an unqualified, "No!"
The images of the sentinels at the gate of the Garden of Eden are right out of the scripture. The river the characters float down is from Jewish mysticsm and the scripture.
The river issuing from the Garden is noted for its dream-like qualities in Jewish mysticism, and is often referred to as the River of Dreams. Alana's vision of the tragedy in the Andes is her subconcious mind trying to resolve her complicity in the deaths of her comrades. This is in keeping of the river lulling her into a state of mind that enables her to finally confront what happened.
Liam's vision is taken directly from the Midrashic account of Rabbi Akiva's death. The Rabbi's death is not only deeply moving, but it contains an important lesson about God's Oneness, the connection of our soul to the breath of God, and the Jewish practice of drawing out the word ehad as they pray. It is this lesson Liam needs to review in order to find the final symbol to enter the Garden.
Avi's encounter in the Garden is scriptural and based on the Kabbalistic account of creation. Liam's encounter is out of the scripture, also. What he sees is based on Jacob's dream of the Ladder in Genesis, and some Aggadic references. The Aggadah is the Oral Testament of the Jews, and contains many explanations of problematic verses in Genesis. The New Testament was originally an Oral tradition. This makes the Aggadah an important part of understanding some Old Testament narratives and dispels the four-source theory of interpreting Genesis.
Although the Garden sequence appears to be highly fantastical in nature, the root of all my scenes there comes from sources other than my imagination. I used images from some individuals who died and were brought back by extraordinary medical means to tell what they encountered while dead. And the rest was from deducing the origin of all plant life, and what the world would like if Adam had not sinned in the Garden. The only thing from my imagination was the cottage.
I also took a page from some individuals who have the ability to see sounds and other remarkable sensory exchanges. It seemed logical to me that if we were once again united with our unfallen natures, what miracles would happen to our senses, how would they be enhanced, and would we be able to see the spiritual world in all its beauty.
So, perhaps my imagination was in full flower, but I believe that the world that awaits us, once we have left this world, is far grander than we suspect, that it holds untold opportunities for us to experience what God intended for us to experience before we fell from grace.
I hope you enjoy my novel, and will recommend it to others.
Chéri Vausé’s new book, THE GARDEN OF SOULS ( paperback 978-1-62697-114-1 e-book, 978-1-62697-115-8) is published by Xulon Press, a division of Salem Communications, the world’s largest Christian self-publisher, with more than 8,000
titles published to date. Retailers may order THE GARDEN OF SOULS through Ingram Book Company and/or Spring Arbor Book Distributors. The book is available online through xulonpress.com/bookstore, amazon.com, and barnesandnoble.com.