I work for the Church of Holistic Science which owns Peace of Mind Books, Aquarian Age Massage and Spiritworks Gifts located on beautiful historic Cherry Street in Tulsa, OK. A little history concerning the place, I feel is in order.
According to legend, Peace of Mind was founded in 1975 as a little used bookstore in the corner space of what then was a run-down old hotel called the Lincoln Lodge…the kind of place where Tulsa’s indigent were more than likely to end up. The then owner and founder of Peace of Mind soon after, with the help of our current boss, opened Aquarian Age Massage; Tulsa’s very first spa that still boasts the best steam and sauna in Tulsa. In 1980, it was incorporated as the Church of Holistic Science a non-denominational organization.
From its inception, this was no ordinary place. First of all, it is a metaphysical bookstore. We carry books covering every religion in the world, a very large and extensive astrology section, hundreds of decks of tarot cards, and an herb room where we weigh up herbs by hand from over 200 types that we keep in stock. We also pour our own essential oils and carry a very large selection of incense, gemstones, runes, wands, and anything else an esoteric practitioner may need.
And books…lots and lots of books. It was said back in the 90’s, when I first came on board, that we were the largest metaphysical bookstore in the Mid-West. In that 20 year span of time, we can now boast that we are the largest in the nation. And I have even heard it said by bibliophiles who travel the globe, that we may be the largest in the world. Yes, that’s right….in Tulsa, Oklahoma….right smack dab on the buckle of the Bible Belt which makes for a very interesting dichotomy. If I were to estimate, I’d say we have over 100,000 books in our collection. Some so rare that you cannot find them anywhere else in the world.
Once you enter here, it feels as if you have stepped back in time. As soon as you walk in the door and smell the incense soaked walls and top those ancient marble stairs, it feels like home. It is the only place that some feel is where they belong. Peace of Mind is just that for many others besides me.
And now here we are at the dawn of the digital age. Bookstores are dying by the hundreds everyday, and this ancient beauty has nearly succumbed to that same economic peril. How does a store that sells print material compete in the age of the Kindle Fire and digital downloads? How do you retain the idenity that makes you who you are but not become obsolete?? That is our current challenge…not only with the store…but with the church as well. People just don’t crave the social interaction they once did before Facebook and Twitter satisfied the need for socializing from the comfort of our couches. How do we make the turn? Navigate these unknown waters? Not become a dying relic that no longer has a useful purpose??
That is the question dear readers. And the more I ponder it, the more I realize it is a question for us all to ponder…individually, as a community, as a specie and as a planet.
How do we make the turn??