Spiritual Traveler: Journeys Beyond Fear
by Cameron Powers
Cameron Powers has immersed himself in the Arab world, the Greek world and the Inca world.
He has derived some fascinating knowledge about different ways of cultural being as a result.
Cameron and Kristina Sophia, who has journeyed through the Arab world with him, pursued their own brand of diplomacy as “Musical Ambassadors”, and were on the streets of Baghdad singing popular Iraqi music with Iraqi citizens during the spring of 2003.
They have made eight trips to other Arab-world nations as well between 2002 and 2010 carrying their “Musical Missions of Peace” through Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt.
Cameron and Kristina were invited to perform for an audience of 60,000 Egyptians in the Cairo stadium in October of 2003 to help raise money for an Egyptian Children’s Cancer Hospital. Subsequently traveling through Syria, they sang on the streets and in the homes of Palestinian refugees in a large camp near Damascus. The photo on the front cover shows some of these Palestinian children who spontaneously joined in the singing.
Back in America during parts of 2003 – 2016 they drove more than 100,000 miles to bring their uplifting musical and multi-media presentation, “Singing in Baghdad,” and other presentations to thousands of American citizens in more than half of the states in the union.
Recently returned from more musical adventures in the Arab world, Cameron has written this “People’s Guide to Basic Decency” to help others who desire to go through the personal process of spiritual soul growth which accompanies experiencing oneself as a truly global citizen.
Promoting a natural state of compassion which can easily exist between people in the absence of fear, author and musician Cameron Powers presents a glimpse into a very modern world with extensive internet connections but which simultaneously drinks from the ancient wisdom of the Dervish-populated realms of the Middle East.
“I sure enjoyed your book and learned so much from it. I will read it a second time to learn more. I wish I could pass it along to many other people, it has so much truth in it.”
— Lois conklin
A Feast of Insight into Human Relatedness & Separation June 6, 2007
Cameron Power’s “Spiritual Traveler” book is fresh, insightful, heartfelt writing at its best. It is a feast of wisdom and humanity such that one seldom comes across in literature; a true invitation to imagine, not only that our Middle Eastern brothers and sisters are “human beings too,” but that perhaps we can benefit profoundly by availing ourselves of the wisdom and love that men and women in the Middle East so readily offer those who allow that they too have something amazing to share from the depths of their experience.
“Spiritual Traveler” is a powerful antidote to the corporate media and government misportrayal of the inhabitants of ancient and profoundly relevant Middle Eastern civilizations and invites us into recognizing that other people’s human experience may be as rich, as loving, as human and as generous as ours – and that we can courageously and lovingly enrich our lives with others. “Spiritual Traveler” is full of enlightening insights into how the language which we use to describe others might also be limiting our experience of our earthly sojourn.
I recommend “Spiritual Traveler” without reservation. Read it and you too will want to open your heart to others in news ways, with new appreciation of the wonder that we are as human beings, as cultural participants, as lovers, as singers, as friends.
The Spiritual Traveler book is incredible!! You just might be the wisest man I know! I really love how you write. I want every Bellydancer who trains with me to read it!!
– Sadie Marquardt
I love that the tone of his Cameron Powers’ writing is also characteristic of his speaking tone (obvious for those of us lucky enough to witness his speech firsthand). Not all writers achieve this, and that, in and of itself, IS an achievement!
To read his words is indeed a journey beyond fear regardless of the range of your geographic and cultural travel. In fact, the heart of this book hearkens you on an adventure of relating to yourself and others regardless of who the ‘others’ are (and who ‘you’ are, for that matter) at any point in time and space. And Powers’ approach is unique. The chapter and sub-chapter headings are enough to shake ya awake and getcha moving! I mean, how can you not be drawn forth by such chapter titles as ‘Do We Speak Language or does Language Speak Us?’ or “‘Civilization’–Whose?” or ‘Sacred Flirtation’ or ‘Do We Really Want to Waste this Precious Lifetime?’
There’s such an immediacy, urgency, insight and exuberance to the content of this book that it should always be within reach.
Oh yeah…don’t you dare put this book down until you read the ‘Tomatoes’ poem at the end!
– F. Medina
I have had the good fortune of reading two of Cameron’s books. Just like his and Kristina’s visionary simplicity in connecting with peoples our culture habitually misconstrues, they are replete with profound insights. It is not often that I get entirely new perspectives on how our world is shaped through culture. Cameron’s works are chock full of them. For example, so many Americans take the oppression of women in the Middle East as a given, without ever imagining that below the head scarf, the veil or the burka there is a human being and a feminine expression of Life that deserves to be discovered before it is summarily and casually dismissed under the reductive epithet “oppressed.” Cameron’s books speak of the amazing power of feminine presence in the Middle East, a feminine enchantment that, in the United States, people hardly have an inkling of, much less deep, experiential appreciation for. To read Cameron’s books is to feast upon delicious new territories of the heart, it inspires taking the next flight to the Middle East so that we ourselves might become a little bit more roundly human.
I recommend Cameron as someone who is an expression of the change our world inspires. When you meet him, you realize that he is the change wherever he is, always ready to sing and travel widely with spirited gentleness into the landscape of the human heart. And all of his words lead toward that knowing that there is a realm which is fully human that we can dwell in together in a way that words can’t express – but a voice, a drum or an oud can… And that is the disarming genius that Cameron expounds; rather than taking us through more thought processes about how we might think ourselves into having a different perception of other, Cameron takes us directly into ecstatic song, directly into shared ecstasy which, once shared, radically softens the very sense of other and opens us to mutual discovery through the bliss that inhabits our core and is yearning for release and connection. He is not out in the world resisting fear; he is out in the world inviting fear directly to the party and the feast which always awaits us in the communion of hearts.
Cameron’s vision of turning the “missionary efforts” of the West inside out is brilliant: rather than sending Western young men and women out to the far corners of the Earth to spread Jesus and Tupperware, Cameron has a vision of sending young men and women out to learn songs, wisdom and culture from global inhabitants. When I think of that, I am astounded by its brilliance: nothing to teach, nothing to propagandize – simply the willingness to learn from others a new way of being human together.
In Baghdad, Kristina and I were singing songs which had been popular in Iraq at least since the 1930’s. “We need to see more people like you!” an Iraqi man was jubilantly exclaiming to us while hugging me with delight. Again, I felt like a genuine ambassador. People looked at us: we were not wearing uniforms or carrying guns. We were carrying a musical instrument, an oud, and we were singing popular Arabic songs on street corners in Baghdad with whichever Iraqis cared to stop and sing… Another Iraqi man lovingly adjusted my eyebrows for me as I sang. Kristina led the vocals for the next song and then I passed my oud to an Iraqi musician in the crowd who treated us to another popular song.
We were transported into a street-corner, market-place world beyond fear and anger; beyond the symbolism of choosing between the “good guys” and the “bad guys…” We had been doing this on street corners in Jordan and the West Bank and Egypt for months and it was perfectly natural for us. The sound of gunfire around the corner and the smoke rising from the high-rise buildings was a dramatic tragedy. But it was a drama being played out by other players in another reality.