Local Author Offers A Beacon For The World
Published 3:38 pm Tuesday, May 28, 2013
In a recently published book, Congruencism: A Beacon for the World, Ken Brumfield tackles such weighty topics as morality and the pursuit and understanding of happiness. His book offers a journal of insights into these issues as well as a striking visual aid on the book's cover. Created by the author, a wood crafted beacon encourages readers to follow its far-reaching beams of light.
Brumfield's book is dedicated to “the Beacon within all of us.”
“Be a Beacon,” the introductory page proclaims.
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“There's definitely symbolism in the beacon,” Brumfield stated. “It's something that helps guide you to make the right decisions, to help instead of hurt, to enable instead of disable.”
Obviously skilled at woodworking, Brumfield created his “Beacon Craft” from an assortment of woods – from Madagascar Ebony to Big Leaf Maple Burl. The book features 15 pages of color photographs detailing Brumfield's process in creating the “Beacon Craft.”
“After writing the 'Beacon' poem on June 1, 2011, I decided that it was an excellent illustration of my personal concept of an ideal in regards to emotional and social ethics,” the author explained. “I spent an estimated 250 hours over four months to transform this literary illustration into a tactile representation for my cover.”
The ideology the beacon represents is explained in the beginning pages of the book.
“The writing contained here in is, in essence, a journal of my thoughts and what I perceive to be insights into the world around me and the people that occupy it. If nothing else, it has helped toward solidifying my personal ideology that I have coined Congruencism – an ideology that teaches one to 'Embrace the Positive' and 'Discard the Negative' through encouraging a benevolent congruence of emotions, cognition, and actions. If one is truly congruent (their inner emotions, subconscious, and outward display of their emotions are all matching), the people that should be in their life will gravitate to them, and those that should not will gravitate away from their day to day life.”
“I started writing this as a journal,” Brumfield explained. “Things would come into my mind that I wanted to work out, so I would write them down.”
In the beginning Brumfield did not foresee his journal evolving into a book.
“During the first six months, I had no intention of anyone ever seeing it,” he said. “Then a few people started telling me there was some value in this, so I started treating it in a different manner. About a year into it I decided I might want others to see it on a wider scale.”
“I ended up self-publishing,” he noted.
The basis for Brumfield's writing, “Embrace the Positive,” evolved over time through personal experience.
“I realized what a positive impact positivity had on me,” he noted. “I feel like if you exude positivity it more or less comes back to you.”
An important component of that positivity, Brumfield believes, is consistency.
“If you change who you are for the different people in your life you'll never have who truly should be in it,” he stated.
A positive outlook, the author pointed out, does not negate the value of healthy human emotions.
“I'm not saying that you'll never get angry,” he observed. “What I've tried to learn is to use my emotions instead of having my emotions use me.”
Brumfield views his book as a catalyst.
“I had a friend who said that what the world needs is a splash – sometimes ripples impact way beyond that,” he noted.
That ripple effect, the author believes, also applies to people.
“You accept the individual, you don't necessarily accept everything that they do,” he stated. “That's the type of acceptance that I received.”
Brumfield also appreciates the assistance he received from a number of people in the community.
“Farmville Printing helped me a lot,” he commented. “Chris Mason helped me with the mechanics of a frame, Keith Brydie helped with graphic designing, and William Bryant, a tattoo artist, did the five illustrations.”
The photographer, Ted Hodges, literally went above and beyond the call of duty.
“We actually went up on the roof of the Hotel Weyanoke to get the blue background for the author photo at the end of the book,” Brumfield noted. “There aren't many places where you can get just the sky behind you.”
Brumfield knows the hotel well. While in the rental property/construction phase of his life he owned the historic Farmville hotel.
The author is pleased with comments he has received about the concepts he presented in his book.
“One girl that I know told me she was making a lot of bad decisions in her life,” he related. “Six months later when I saw her again I asked if what she read made a difference.”
Brumfield's friend commented, “Honestly, Ken, every social dynamic I encounter I actually reference in my mind what you wrote – is this a plus, or is this a minus? Is this something that will help me or hurt me?”
“A large part of congruencism is being consistent,” the author concluded. “And a large part of being consistent is learning who you are. It's a discovery – it's the journey, not the destination.”
Brumfield hopes that his book will help others along the way.
A book signing for Congruencism: A Beacon for the World will be held on Saturday, June 1, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., at the Barnes & Noble store in Farmville.