I'm so grateful to everyone who's been writing me about my short novel, The Oasis Within and the series it begins. I'm getting two sorts of emails: (1) "I wish I had been able to read a book like this years or decades ago" and (2) "This book has come into my life at the perfect time." I'm sure there are also people with the response (3) "This is an extremely odd book for Tom Morris to write," but so far they're not emailing me or posting perplexed reviews on Amazon. Many readers are asking how I ever came to write such novels at all, set as they are in Egypt in 1934 and 1935.
I've just come to understand the role that relentless, deep, and difficult self examination played in freeing me up for this great adventure.
If you had asked me ten years ago about my childhood, I would have sincerely said, "It was great." But that was because I was blocking a lot of the real truth, which was that I had an attractive, young, emotionally damaged mother who had been raised in an orphanage and was determined to live out her frustrated ambitions through her only child, who therefore could not possibly please her. Such damage is never confined to one generation. So if, as a child, I brought home less than excellent grades, war ensued—a scorched earth spiritual Aleppo campaign against the loudly delineated deficiencies of a frightened bewildered little six or eight or ten-year-old. And so I lived for decades unaware of the engines of need buried deep in my psyche. Nothing was ever enough. I couldn't write one article, I had to write fifty. I couldn't have one fountain pen. I needed twenty. Imagine how expensive this could get with BMWs. Until I was one day able to face up to the fact that my constant need for achievement, my continual rushing about, my never being satisfied, might all be due to something that desperately needed attention, and perhaps healing.
Socrates stressed the importance of self-examination, and when I decided to do it relentlessly, and even with a measure of courage and great pain and glimmers of hope, it cleansed me and freed me from so many inner obstacles that I had not been aware existed.
And then my mental movie started to play. it was showing me in living color and surround sound Dolby X the great lessons of life wisdom that went beyond anything I had ever felt or thought. I met young people in Egypt in 1934 and the adults in their lives, and I fell in love with them to the extent that the criminals and revolutionaries who were their enemies caused me great concern for their safety as I wrote and wrote, typing as fast as I could, while the scenes and stories and insights poured over me—the inner visions that, so far, have resulted in eight novels of over a million words, with the first three now in print: The Oasis Within, The Golden Palace, and The Stone of Giza. And I'm already excited about the next installment just months from now, The Viper and The Storm. But I truly can't wait until the one after that, The King and Prince, that taught me some of the deepest lessons of my life. And still the very deepest is in the last that's now written, a book called The Ancient Scroll. There I learned the most powerful lessons about redemption and personal transformation.
I tell you this short and ultimately happy story in case you may have hidden, deeply buried obstacles in your own psyche that need your attention. A program of honest and relentless self examination may just be the thing to free you for your own next adventure, which as I've experience, can be a joy you could never otherwise have even imagined.