A friendly neighbor gave me Das Energi to read when I was 24 years old. It was such a timely gift, as I was working at my first “real” job, living far from home, and facing the precipice of establishing my own worldview… Imagine a chick about 2 days before it is to hatch. For that chick, what was once comfortable seems confining. What was once home, warm and familiar, becomes a prison, stale and bleak. Chicks are given a gift, however; a temporary tooth to chip the shell that once protected them but now threatens to suffocate them. Das Energi, for me, was that tooth. It helped me crack the all-encompassing shell of religion and fear and inexperience that housed my entire being.
Das Energi, through simple poems and truisms, challenges the reader that is yearning for transformation to drop material trappings that mean nothing, and cultivate the inner-self which holds everything. The point of the book is to keep you high. Reading it, grasping it, meditating on it, believing it felt like I was being born into a much brighter, much bigger world. For me, the words of Paul Williams brought self-awareness, the greatest tooth-tool a person can ever possess. Awareness allows you to shatter the misconceptions that hinder your energy. And live.
“The amazing thing is, it's not that easy to stifle awareness. It requires constant diligence. You have to work at it to be miserable.” -Paul Williams, Das Energi, 1973.