“Living Behind the Beauty Shop,” by Hal Manogue. An inspiring metaphysical novel aboutDown’s Syndrome

Hal Manogue is a long-time blogging buddy. We met in Nashville when I laid down the tracks for my audio book “Sightlines: A Family Love Story in Poetry and Music.”

His new book“Living Behind the Beauty Shop” has been embraced by the Down syndrome community and homeless advocate groups. I’m happy to be part of getting the word out about Hal’s latest wise and probing book.

In “Living Behind the Beauty Shop” a Middle Tennessee boy understands that the psyche is able to communicate with the self experiencing other dimensions. The boy, Mase Russell, is living with Down syndrome. He is considered disabled in our normal reality, but he is far more enabled and connected than we are to that stream of consciousness that flows through all of us.

Read on to discover how Mase is able to communicate with other aspects of the self while dreaming, and he accepts his dream experiences as real. He is even able to remember those experiences and express them in his own way.

And then, of course, buy Hal’s book!



What The Hell Are You Trying To Say In That Book?
by Hal Manogue

Beliefs and perceptions play an important role in what we experience in this physical reality, but we’re not taught to recognize these energy forms as creative expressions. They are capable of creating the reality we find ourselves experiencing, but we give credit to outside forces and situations.

I’m not here to change anyone’s beliefs. I am here to share some of mine. They may be strange to some of you and others may feel a vibration in your psyche that resonates with my thoughts. The psyche of course is hard to define using our physical terms, but let’s say it is that aspect of the self that experiences the whole picture of who we are.

The self is multidimensional. In some innate way we all believe that fact. Religions teach that, and science is confirming our multidimensionality using transformational psychology, quantum physics, and other new age metaphysical technologies. We are finally recognizing that we are more than what we have been told we are, and we are much more connected to each other than we realize. That connection is not only defined by the physical aspects of the human species; it is defined by the non-physical aspects of the self that communicate through vibrations and interactive consciousness units.

All physical things are qualities of consciousness, and they all experience a reality regardless of how foreign those realities appear to us.

Our consciousness senses its physical connection on several levels, but we tend to discount those levels because they don’t conform to the limited beliefs that are formed by external as well as internal means. Different elements of consciousness become physical in order to expand the awareness of the stream of consciousness that connects all of us to all that is.

So, we all are a quality of consciousness that creates a physical reality in order to expand other aspects of the self and psyche. We are not aware of it, but the self is functioning in several dimensions simultaneously.

We divide our physical life into at least two realities each day: the wakeful state and the dream state. Each night or in some cases each day we fall asleep, and have experiences. Many other dimensions appear clearly when we dream. Those dimensions are not limited, but we try to compact them in our world of limited beliefs and perceptions so we usually get a distorted view of the dream. We forget that we not only participate in dreams we are actually the audience in dreams as well.

When we sleep we use psyche images and languages in pure form. When we wake up we try to squeeze our psyche’s language into our physical language, but it usually doesn’t work. The psyche uses the true language of our consciousness, but we don’t consciously translate it into our physical language even though we have that ability.

The dreaming psyche is as awake as we are when we are wide awake. It is organizing and sending impulses. But the impulses that are received from these other aspects of the self are usually discounted and overlooked in some way, especially if they conflict with our core beliefs. Our focus is on other physical things, but at times we capture this aspect of the psyche in daydreams, hypnotic trances and, psyche flashes–which we call déjà vu.

Dream activity contains perspective alterations, different viewpoints, and chaotic events that feel real and are, but we discount them because our belief system tells us they are not real. In other words, in the waking state we deal with what we call normal reality. We only operate on one level when awake, even though there are many other levels of the psyche that have experiences we can appreciate when we are aware of them.

When we dream, we enter some of these other levels of reality. These are quite native to the psyche. At times we try to view them through our normal reality, and they may become the dreams we remember. Those dreams are then interpreted using the brain frequency that is familiar. We use just one frequency while we are awake, and we believe there is no other reality that the one we recognize. Only our beliefs about the psyche and the self limit our experiences in the waking reality.

In dreams we find ourselves communicating with the dead or we visit old houses that have been torn down or destroyed. We sense true freedom where time and space are at our disposal, and we can do what we want with them. We feel infinity with the connected portions of the self that are crafty, creative, and knowledgeable. We could easily put science and religion out of business when we begin to understand the greater reality of the psyche.

“Living Behind the Beauty Shop” tells the story of a Middle Tennessee boy who understands that greater reality where the psyche is able to communicate with the self that is experiencing other dimensions. The boy, Mase Russell, is living with Down Syndrome. He is considered disabled in our normal reality, but he is far more enabled and connected than we are to that stream of consciousness that flows through all of us.

He is able to communicate with other aspects of the self while dreaming, and he accepts his dream experiences as real. He is even able to remember those experiences and express them in his own way. His family begins to sense that his disability is a challenging gift not a sentence of suffering.

His family is like any other family. They experience the typical dramas that we all create in our waking reality. His grandfather, Warren Russell is a wealthy business man that lives on his family’s 1000 acre farm in Leipers Fork, Tennessee. The farm was a land grant given to his triple great-grandfather after the American Revolution.

Warren and his wife Claire considered the farm their right of passage until they both experienced a near-death experience on a trip to Florida in their Cessna. After the accident Warren decides to donate 500 acres to a non-profit foundation he formed called Perception Farms. Perception Farms is a self-sufficient community off the grid that gives the homeless a fresh start.

His daughter Cindy realizes that she’s gay after she marries her college sweetheart. She returns home from California and finds an ex-nun, who is now called Margie, at one of Perception Farm’s fundraisers. Margie discovered her true sexuality when she was in the convent. They become partners and decide to have a child using the sperm of their friend Alan Sutton, a well-educated and athletic individual who works in the shoe business. Baby Mase is born with Down’s Syndrome. “Living Behind the Beauty Shop,” follows his life and the experiences of the family as he becomes an accomplished poet and artist.

Years later, Mase finds Mischa Eddington who is another Down Syndrome artist, in a local college art class, and they develop a close relationship. Together they watch members of the family experience the pains of getting older. They offer the family another perspective about that aging process. The family realizes that Mase and Mischa chose to be born with Down syndrome in order to help others see that there are no boundaries or limits in physical life unless we put them there through our beliefs and perceptions. They show us that other realities are just as real as our waking reality.

When we consider that consciousness does not have a beginning or an end in the non-physical world we can better understand that the people we call disabled are actually teachers who choose to experience life in extraordinary ways. They teach us that putting limits, judgments, and sterilized beliefs in action is the art of separating one aspect of the self from other elements of the psyche.

When that happens, we find ourselves living in the beauty shop of life, which is filled with exterior self serving nothingness. Mase and Mischa live behind the beauty shop of life and they try to share and explain that aspect of life through their thoughts and deeds. They appreciate life as they know it and the life that all of us believe is only available through death. They show us that all there is, in this physical world, is the now and eternal love surrounds it.

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  1. Thank you Janet for adding your energy to this amazing adventure. When I was writing the book I sensed that the story was actually being lived by these characters somewhere in the mulitverse, and I was just writing it down and sharing their story in this reality.

    If anyone is in the Nashville area October 7th, please join us for a book tasting and an original art exhibit that highlights some of Bernadette Resha’s work. Bernadette is a well-known Nashville artist living with Down syndrome. Mischa, one of the characters in the book, is loosely based on her accomplishments. Landmark Booksellers, which is located in an building built in 1801 on Main Street in Franklin Tennessee is hosting the book tasting and art exhibit from 5:30 to 7:30 that Friday night.

  2. Hal,

    It’s been fascinating to watch your writing career move from poetry to essay to blog post to novel. Your writing is helping so many!

    Love your innovative book launch idea of combing literature, art, and celebration.


  3. It has been a journey of appreciation and discovery. You thoughts have inspired me plus you have gracefully challenged the writer in me along the way.
    I appreciate you and all you do Janet.

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