By David Stocks
Key Themes: personal quest, depression, psychosis, recovery, travel
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This book is the result of the pressures exerted in modern life, culminating in a mental breakdown and the six years recuperation process following that collapse.
The book is an autobiographical account of a quest David set himself in search of the Celtic Holy Grail. David found relief from the clutches of depression and psychosis by immersing himself in what was originally a Celtic quest for the mythical land of ‘Tir Tairngire’ (Land of Promise); which he committed to paper as a form of therapy. It was during this quest that he stumbled backwards on the original source for the Holy Grail legend, firmly rooted in Celtic Mythology. For this purpose he considered himself an accidental Grail Knight seeking relief from psychological pressures and the elusive Holy Grail.
The outcome of this is David’s first groundbreaking book, ‘The Celtic Holy Grail Quest’. It is more than just a book; it is a journey both physically and mentally in search of his personal Grail. It is full of adventure and insights that encapsulate the difficult subject of depression and psychosis. It is meant as an aid to those who also suffer from mental illnesses and as a genuine search for the Holy Grail. It is a tumultuous tale through a maelstrom of emotions, culminating in revelations leading to peace and happiness.
It takes you on an exciting journey from David’s original hometown of Nottingham, to various locations of historic significance in the UK; completing the journey in the West Midlands, visiting a host of European locations along the way, many of which are key elements to the Grail and the Celts.
During the course of the book, there are codes to unravel, dreams to interpret and demons to be faced. Every chapter brings forth new and exciting material in the labyrinth that leads you into the book. There is also much humour throughout the book, although the subject is of a serious nature, there are many amusing episodes. These are included as part of the quest and also as a kind of therapy, for ‘Laughter is good for the soul.’
It is a mind-bending, soul-searching travelogue, a quest for a secret as old as time. A quest for healing; a story of the injuries inflicted on the modern mind and one man’s battle to overcome his mental health problems.
About the Author
David’s childhood days were spent immersed in books and in imaginary worlds of his own creation. He would secrete himself away and read for hours on end, unable to escape the fantastical world of the written word. He would write stories of his own, based on childhood adventures in Lowdham, Nottinghamshire. Trips down the stream that ran by his house became journeys of adventure into lost worlds, following it through darkened woodlands and haunted churchyards. He never shared these writings with anyone but his boyhood friends who went on these treks with him.
After leaving school he continued to write stories, but kept them to himself as his career in computing progressed. He made one exception, however, in that every Christmas in the spirit of M.R. James, he wrote a ghost story and recited it by the fireside.
At the peak of his profession as a computer consultant, then working at major international London banks, David had a breakdown. It was during the next six years of his life, now plagued by mental illness that David took to writing again. The result of this is David’s first groundbreaking book, ‘The Celtic Holy Grail Quest’.
David is also a published poet.
The interior of the office was modern, but alone there at night the atmosphere of the old chapel it had once been was freed to creep into my bones. Despite the heating, a chill seemed to pervade the building. It was as if the structure was reverting back to a place of solitude and worship, a house of spirits. Spirits, whose cold fingers crept up my spine and seeped into my mind, reaching into those hidden places where the night demons dwell and stirring the depths within. My fingers were stiff and cold, as they clicked their way across the keyboard. I believed I could smell the mustiness of accumulated time. My concentration wavered. I listened to the unheard whispers which reverberated around the room. On screen the grid of database links became random and un-sequenced. I tried to fit them back together by clicking on a dead data source.
Like a dead data source? Like the dead that laid buried beneath the floor of this chapel of modern usage. A stream of binary digits pervaded the screen, even before I was able to connect it to a database. The glow of the marching digits (1101000101001001) dazzled my eyes. The secret murmurs grew louder as these digits spewed forth in an electronic whisper. Were they echoing the silent voices of the dead?
Out of the highly organised computer structures on which I was working, chaos was being generated. In a world of logic, randomness was prevailing. This place was playing with my head. Time to go home! I printed a screen dump for later analysis, shut down my computer and switched off the lights. The pools of ghostly moonlight fell across the room, shining in through the Gothic arched windows and casting furtive shadows into the inner recesses of the room.
Deep in the corner I saw the dark outline of a cowled monk standing watching me from the shadows. Fear embraced me in its freezing hold, splinters of ice passed through my body and down my spine. Tiny follicles of hair stood on end all over my tautened skin that bristled with static energy. My heart momentarily stopped, as I stood cast like a wax figurine in a dungeon of horrors, awaiting my unknown fate at the hands of ancient supernatural forces.
My vision reeled in the darkness; black images swam in the unholy moonlight, indistinct, unclear, brooding and dangerous. I was trapped in this forlorn chapel, the way to the door blocked by the spectral monk. Slowly my eyes adjusted to their dark surroundings, outlines of objects took on more form as I tuned in to the dim light in much the same way a TV tunes in to a channel; white noise, static, slowly resolving into distinct images. Seconds passed as eons in my petrified state, dark imaginings of my mind taking on their most fearful forms. My rational conscious thought processes were lost in a storm of primitive fears, buried deep in the subconscious. What manner of spirit now walked this place? What fate awaited me this lonely night?
I tensed as my fight or flight instincts kicked in. I was not religious but I prayed for God’s help all the same. At the point of action, my vision finally cleared and there before me stood not a ghoulish monk, but my coat hanging by its hood from the coat stand. Darkness and my weary state had been playing tricks on my mind.
I retrieved the monk, put on my coat and pulled up my hood. Now, monk-like myself I headed into the night. I felt like a modern disciple born into the religion of technology, a follower of secret network links and hidden databases of dark knowledge, a worshiper of the God of the internet and the World Wide Web. A fleeting thought passed through my mind. Had a God encouraged man to create the internet and, if so, what better way to distribute knowledge and wisdom? Or is it the devil’s work; a dark spider waiting for unsuspecting prey on its electronically spun World Wide Web? The battle for good and evil is waged on many levels.
This product was added to our catalog on Wednesday 24 October, 2007.