Local author writes spiritual book for children
Leonard Jacobson was in search of the light. According to him, he found it and now shares his epiphanies with people in Santa Cruz and beyond by way of his nonprofit, The Conscious Living Foundation. (Visit leonardjacobson.com to take a look.) An accessible version of his search and subsequent discovery of “the light” is unveiled in the local author’s new book, aptly titled, “In Search of the Light.” The children’s storybook was released on June 1 and sells at Bookshop Santa Cruz and Capitola Book Café. The story was 30 years in the making, and, in a way, mirrors Jacobson’s own spiritual journey.
The tale goes something like this: A group of furry friends discovers a mystery—that the light in the sky has disappeared. So, they join together in a pursuit to find out where it went. Molly Mouse, Bert the Bumblebee, Ned the Horse, and Peter Rabbit set out to find the missing light and along the way they encounter a series of questions and ultimately two key lessons that the book teaches, “The source of the light is in us,” and “Remember if you’re not in the center at the source of the light, then you’re standing in your own shadow.”
These two principles are key to Jacobson’s own viewpoint on “what is the light.” The spiritual teacher came to his own understanding of this when he was in his mid-thirties (he’s now 66). At the time, he was living in Australia working as a barrister (an attorney). He had practiced law for 10 years and spontaneously decided that that wasn’t his true calling, so he gave up his career in law, having no idea what his future held for him other than personal growth. At the time, a friend suggested he try writing a children’s book. Chapter one (of what would become “In Search of the Light”) came easily to him. But it wasn’t until 30 years later that the book would be completed and released. The book, like the author, had to undergo a transformation.
Jacobson’s metamorphosis started to occur when he attended a spiritual retreat in the countryside of Australia. One day, while out for a walk, he came across a river. There, he did a series of meditations. “I found myself open to a different level of consciousness,” he says. “I wasn’t prepared for this or looking for this. I opened up my arms and absorbed the presence of the trees with the bank on the river. I swam through the rapids, dived in and emerged with a primal roar. It was spontaneous and happened three times. … I surrendered completely. … Everything was illuminated. … I went through a series of experiences to … tell the truth about Jesus and what I had discovered about God.”
According to Jacobson, what he learned in his spiritual awakening is the following: “This is not the God of the Bible that I had read about—a judgmental or punishing God,” he says, “but an unconditionally loving and accepting and allowing God. I was allowed to say, ‘no.’ God didn’t go away. … It transformed me completely and took me a long time to integrate this experience.”
Over the years, he had several more experiences like this. “It refined my consciousness and I worked with people in depth about the nature of the human condition, what happened to us, who are we really, and what’s the truth about God,” he says. Since those spiritual encounters, he’s been working intimately with people to help them in their own “search of the light.”
Nowadays, through The Conscious Living Foundation, Jacobson runs workshops and seminars around the world, counting Santa Cruz as his home. “I teach people to free themselves from the limitations and emotional pain of the past and anxiety about the future.” His website also hosts live webcasts that people can watch.
“I wrote the book as an expression from my own journey,” he says. “It began with an eclipse of the sun and the animals couldn’t understand what had happened and were very concerned that perhaps the sun had lost its way. … The story is ultimately a journey we must all embark upon if we’re to find the center within us and settle into the present moment and free ourselves. … The source of the light is within ourselves, the center of our being.”
“In Search of the Light” sells for $16.99 at Bookshop Santa Cruz, Capitola Book Café, Avalon Books, Seascape Foods and Amazon.com. Visit insearchofthelight.com for more information.
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