Months after self-publishing his debut ebook, a collection of inspirational poems titled ‘Enlightenment’, actor Edwin Freeman is back with a follow-up collection of inspirational poems, after becoming ‘Renewed’. We caught up with Edwin and he shared with us all about ‘Renewed’.
NNG: Why did you publish ‘Renewed’, so soon after your debut ‘Enlightenment’?
EF: ‘Renewed’ actually comes from the same body of work as ‘Enlightenment’. I split it into three parts. The first part is ‘Enlightenment’, the second part is ‘Renewed’ and the third part is entitled ‘Awake’ and will be out next year. I published ‘Renewed’ so soon, because I didn’t want to keep those who had ‘Enlightenment’ waiting too long. I was getting a lot of requests from people for me to publish more poetry and when people demand something, it’s good to supply it. That’s just good business you understand?
NNG: How did you go about grouping the poems in this collection?
EF: I just chose the poems that I thought were most relevant to the times that we’re living in. I really didn’t have any kind of special formula.
NNG: Early on in the introduction, you state that this collection is about someone who is living as a spiritually enlightened individual rather than, someone who is on the path to enlightenment. What would you say is the difference in terms of experiences when on the path to enlightenment, compared with already living as a spiritually enlightened individual?
EF: There really is no difference. It’s all about where you are in your journey of enlightenment. It’s a never ending spiritual journey, once you’re on the path you’ll be constantly learning and experiencing new things about yourself, others and the world in general. It’s all mathematics, once you go from 1 to 9, you go back to 1 and add on a 0, then you add on a 1, then a 2 and so on. It’s all about growth and development, which as long as we’re living should never stop, because the universe is constantly expanding.
NNG: You also state that pain and adversity are needed for spiritual and physical growth, how do you feel one can motivate themselves to endure the pain and adversity, and move forward in life?
EF: Whew! That’s a good question. (Laughs) Let me try to answer it… I would say that the main thing to keep in mind is that as long as you’re still living, whatever you’re going through can’t be that bad. Whatever doesn’t kill you will only strengthen you; we experience pain and adversity so that we can learn something about ourselves. How would we truly know who we are if we only experienced good, happy times? Life is filled with good and bad, life and death, love and hate. That’s the yin and the yang; it’s all about finding that balance and striving to maintain it.
NNG: One poem in particular which stood out to me was your poem entitled, ‘The Voiceless Poor’. I’m sure you are probably familiar with the Occupy Wall Street movement that has taken place. Did the Occupy Wall Street movement inspire you to write that particular poem? Also what is your opinion concerning the cause behind the movement?
EF: No it didn’t, my poems were completed ever since the early 2000’s. What you see taking place with the Occupy Wall Street movement is the effect of a greater cause, a cause that poor people have been dealing with for generations, it’s affecting the upper middle class now and that’s why it’s become a mainstream problem. As long as Blacks, Poor Whites, and other underprivileged people were solely dealing with the disparities in this nation, nobody seemed to really care. I’m glad that people are marching and expressing their disapproval of what’s going on today, but I’m dealing with a different struggle, a spiritual struggle. The Bible tells us in Ephesians 6:12, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms”. That’s my struggle; helping to overcome evil with good and that has nothing to do with me occupying Wall Street, it’s much bigger than that for me.
NNG: As with your previous book, ‘Enlightenment’, you bring in biblical scriptures to help deliver a message, with your poems. How do you choose which biblical verses to incorporate into your poems, and which ones best match your poems?
EF: Some of my poems were inspired by biblical verses that I’ve read, then there are some poems that I wrote, which while writing them reminded me of a biblical scripture that I’ve read. I started cross referencing each one of my poetry selections to show the connection. I published the first book; a lot of people appreciated the fact that I did that, so I did it again with this collection of poems.
NNG: Now at the same time, since there are so many different interpretations of the Bible, each one meaning something different to people. How do you deal with those who may misinterpret how the scripture used in your poem, relates to the poem’s overall message?
EF: It’s all about what people connect with. When I write my poems, I match them with bible passages, that I feel resonate with what I’m aiming to express at the moment. It’s all about remaining genuine and true to yourself, once you do this while creating your work, others who are true to themselves will feel what you’re saying. I just write what’s on my heart and leave the rest to the universe. Although I always hope for the best, I don’t worry about the outcome.
NNG: Which poem in ‘Renewed’, was your favorite to write and why?
EF: I don’t have a favorite; all of the poems are very personal to me. It’s just me expressing how I feel about certain situations and sharing it with the world. I enjoyed writing them all the same.
NNG: How have you grown mentally and spiritually since publishing ‘Renewed’?
EF: I would say that I’ve grown a lot in knowledge, wisdom and understanding. I’ve grown in knowledge, because I’m constantly reading, studying and adding on to the body of information that I obtain. That’s very imperative, because the world is always moving and things are always changing, so we must stay abreast of where things have not only been, but where things are and where they’re going. I’ve grown in wisdom, because of the way that I view things. I view things a lot differently since writing and publishing ‘Renewed’. Because I’ve matured a lot mentally, I see the world through a different set of lenses than I used to. I’ve grown in understanding, because of the way that I live and the things that I do. I’m always working to better myself, achieve new goals and help add on to the betterment of the condition of the world. I feel that if you’re in your thirties or forties, you shouldn’t view or do things the same way that you did when you were in your teens or twenties, if you’ve grown and matured mentally and spiritually, it should reflect in your way of life. It’s all about constant elevation, anything else is uncivilized.
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