About two years ago, I decided to self-publish a children’s book I had written about cosmic consciousness, called The Unity Tree. Writing a children’s book on this topic is not an easy task by any means. You are walking on very thin ice, on very sensitive subject matter, and the delivery is of the utmost importance. During my creation phase, I looked back to my childhood, and the (seemingly) spiritual shows that moved me to use my imagination and feel at peace with the world around me. My biggest source of creative inspiration was Jim Henson, and in particular, The Muppet Babies of all shows.
Henson’s work always spoke to me in such a lovely, bright, non-threatening way. By managing to take all different archetypes of personality such as Kermit (the leader/mediator/friend to all), Miss Piggy (the lovable diva), Fozzy (the sacred clown/comedian), Scooter (the brain/computer genius), Skeeter (the athlete/tomboy), Animal (the wild child), Rowlf (the musician), Bunsen/Beeker (the scientists), Gonzo (the weirdo/unique one) etc. Each character represented a shade in the spectrum of the rainbow of archetypal personalities that encompass society. Every door in their shared home, opened a new dimension of thought, imagination, and exploration. The ethos of the Muppet Babies theme song also served as a source of inspiration, specifically the line:
“When your room looks kind of weird, and you wish that you weren’t there. Just close your eyes, and make believe, and you can be anywhere.”
I tried taking this same approach in the telling of my story, and the characters I chose to visually represent in The Unity Tree. While I never address who each character is in the book, I allude to their identities by imagery alone. It is up to the reader to interpret who they are, and what they specifically mean to them.
To me, in using The Muppet Babies as a source of inspiration, the model of choosing different spiritual leaders for their different archetypes, seemed to be cohesive to my “vision”. We have Jesus who acts as a leader/mediator/friend to all, Krishna who is musically inclined (with his flute) and tends to play the role of “Devil’s advocate”, Buckminster Fuller who is the scientist/builder, Abraham who is the supreme by-the-books rationalist, Mary the matriarch, Buddha the light hearted optimist, Gandhi the peaceful pacifist, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. the “social scientist” with a beautiful way with words, and the assortment of different mystical/mythological entities (ie: Unicorns, Aliens, Fun/Furry creatures) who serve as the fun/weirdo/uniquely playful archetypes.
In giving these profound thinkers/leaders a playful aesthetic, I wanted to make them approachable to everyone (adult, and child alike) to show that every great thinker, regardless of race, religion, culture or creed, has something you can learn from. You don’t have to subscribe to a certain religion to appreciate the teachings behind the wisdom, and I truly believe the essence of “cosmic consciousness” is realizing we are all one, and all path’s do lead to God. Appreciation of diversity is appreciation of the universe. Just as there are billions of stars in the sky, there are billions of different personalities, and no one way is right or wrong, it just “is”. In appreciating the “is” in life, you can learn to appreciate every facet of the “is”, even if it’s not an avenue of thought you wish to incorporate in your reality, you can appreciate it for what it “is” from a place of love.
Love is the essence of unity, and community, and as Jesus once stated, “Love thy neighbor as you would yourself.” It is through love and acceptance that we can all find peace with each other, and our differences, and my greatest desire for The Unity Tree is for this book to serve as a reminder that love is the ultimate answer. A lesson I learned as a child, but was solidified in adulthood thanks to these beautifully diverse leaders of thought, and Jim Henson’s profoundly loving, and inspirational work.