Paper Castle Press harbors a concern for existentialist ideas; for the essence of living; for authenticity. We have a philosophy that harks back to those of the forebears of our previous generations, ideals that have been eclipsed by capitalist identity consumption.

Identities are spend-thrift in today’s culture. We devour and denounce identity, and our sense of self as rapid as the food we consume, the videos we watch, the paths we go down. With internet and digital media so prolific and easy to use, expression is everywhere, and possible everywhere. So, where is our voice? Where have all the deep, hearing and speaking voices gone?

Paper Castle provides the channel and tap for these voices to be developed, sharpened, and reawakened. To illustrate our philosophy, consider two powers of the recent cultural geography: First, the existential concerns of 1970s rock band Pink Floyd, in particular bassist Roger Waters, who introduces what can be called the cornerstones of Paper Castle’s philosophy. In essence these are concerns about the nature of being, of time and finitude, for the economy, and modern psychology.

Fear, alienation, anxiety and madness are elements of human existence that artists, writers and musicians hardly touch today, but which Pink Floyd dared to explore in an environment of warping cultural change. From the floral psychedelia of the ’60s, Pink Floyd began to focus minimalistically on two poles: the limitless space of philosophical musings, or ‘possibility’, up against the stone cold ground of reality. These two poles form the elemental structures of human existence. Philosophy is, after all, about “stripping away all of our confusions and prejudices, so that the light of understanding can reach the objective, permanent truth of things.”*

Another force who has infected past generations and indirectly premeditated a key psychological feature of modern society, is the Marchesa Luisa Casati. This electric tornado of a woman was muse to countless artists, aristocrats and spectators. She was, as many are today, preoccupied with her own transformation; with how she appeared in reality; in essence, with her being. However, her drastic exhibitionism eventually led to the obliteration of her self. We are interested in the reversal of that phenomenon. What if we begun paying at least as much, if not more attention to that which has the power to succeed our eventually evaporated shells?

Paper Castle Press is more than a publishing house. It is a clearing for a tribe, a vessel for philosophic ideas, intelligent speaking voices and listening brains. One does not need to shout to be heard. One does not need to know Hamlet by heart, have read all the classics, nor have a degree in English to be an intelligent human. Being an intelligent human is about listening, not just hearing. It is about reflecting, not just watching. It is about speaking, not just saying.

Paper Castle Press celebrates all forms of difference, and recognizes that life has not created two people in likeness of each other in all the history of men and women and children. In light of our difference, our speaking, listening and propulsion for reflection; we humans are unusual, terrifying, and absolutely amazing as a race of spirits on this great, blue ball in the galaxy. We have immense power, immense capacity for mistakes, immense propulsion towards discovery and breakthrough.

In the 21st century, identity seems to overthrow what we as people think, feel and experience. Why, one might ask, should I divulge that part of my human existence? Why speak louder from an internal place than act in defense of my external self? Because space is becoming available for what works for humans, as intelligent beings living on a great and now connected planet of continents and cultures, to shine through the lattices of those externally crumbling structures.

We stand as a generation who have learnt a lot, heard a lot, and inherited a great history of teaching. Things are not what they used to be, and they never will; be they good or bad, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that we stand as a generation now able to use the resounding ideas of the past in an intelligent way. We have powerful new tools, a newly amorphous culture to navigate, and new requests to make of our world.

In his Inaugural Address as President of a divided America in 1961, John F. Kennedy addressed the future of spirits unborn when he said:  “Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation.” He explains that “In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility – I welcome it.

“I do not believe that any of us would exchange places with any other people or any other generation,” he said. “The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it – and the glow from that fire can truly light the world.”  LIFE magazine declared in it’s ’60s double issue that the era he welcomed was one of “tumult and change.”

Another leader from not so long ago addressed his people heralding the same torch: “What we have already achieved gives us hope for what we can and must achieve tomorrow,” and that the people who made this difference are those who “put their hands on the arc of history” and bent it “once more toward the hope of a better day”** It is not victory itself, but human beings who bring the light of infinite possibility into realization.

There exists now an immense opportunity to develop a thriving culture of voices and ideologies, personal and individual expressions, concerns of a human matter – concerns for the young, our fears, hopes, anxieties, madnesses and alienations. Youth is potent. Age is the inheritance of education. Choices are able to be made now more powerfully than ever.

What remains and what we will remember are voices: learned, listening and inherited, those of the people around you – your own as it makes a mark on the fabric of this world’s reality. Above all other fleeting guests on the river of time and space, we will remember you, what you say, what you change, and how we transform.

An invitation to greatness, written by Sophie Ward,  writer and founder of Paper Castle Press.

*George A. Reisch, philosopher and independent scholar
**President Elect Barack Obama’s acceptance speech.

12 Comments, RSS

  1. de Vie February 19, 2011 @ 1:53 am


  2. Nick Jenkins February 20, 2011 @ 7:54 am

    I love it. I am a fan of your mission/vision. I would like to meet sometime and talk about possibly being a part of the Paper Castle “gang” if you ever decide to form one. I am a new New Yorker and would love to stay. Meeting like minds is probably a good place to start.

    N J

    • Sophie Ward February 21, 2011 @ 8:37 pm

      Hey Nick, for sure. Let’s meet! Thank you for your love and support of the vision! (You’re already a part of the ‘gang’ just by having reached out. Welcome!)

  3. A CASTLEY LETTER | Charlene Lim May 14, 2011 @ 10:59 am

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  4. jan May 15, 2011 @ 6:48 am

    Sophie! I read about you in today’s Sydney Morning Herald….and now on reading your philosophy, I want to wish you well…I’m interested in what you doing!! We need wisdom of insight into who we are and how we can empower each other from a place of beauty & stillness and to know that in our search for perfection we must get to know the shadow we cast on this earth….. I’m greatly looking forward to exploring your site and reading your work. Cheers..jan

    • Sophie Ward May 16, 2011 @ 5:37 am

      Thank you Jan! How great!! I’m so happy to have you here and to meet you through this realm. Thank you for hearing the message and for articulating it in your own words. It reminds me of the work done, and the work still to do! Always with love, joy, fervour and passion.. Please return when you can! Sophie

  5. Andrew Pun July 3, 2011 @ 6:32 am

    I am a 16 year old boy from portland, oregon and your philosophy inspires me. I love your voice, keep it up!


  6. Caitlin December 4, 2011 @ 12:32 pm

    The dream of a manuscript going to print is soared higher every time I read these words. You are continually an inspiration Sophie, and I hope to become apart of this vision in 2012. This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius.


  7. PAPER CASTLE PRESS FALL NEWS | Charlene Lim December 7, 2011 @ 6:56 pm

    […] the Paper Castle Press Fall Newsletter is out. If you don’t know what this is yet, read here! I am always happy producing these 4 times a year, the 4th to come soon before the year ends. […]

  8. PAPER CASTLE PRESS FALL NEWS | Charlene Lim December 7, 2011 @ 6:56 pm

    […] the Paper Castle Press Fall Newsletter is out. If you don’t know what this is yet, read here! I am always happy producing these 4 times a year, the 4th to come soon before the year ends. […]

  9. SOPHIE WARD Interview | Mana Blend March 17, 2013 @ 1:45 am

    […] Big thanks to Sophie Ward for living an inspired life. Keep track of Sophie with the below links: Read: The Beginning of an Inexplicable Journey Discuss: Paper Castle Salon Dinners Gather: Paper Castle Gathering Blog: Big Long Open Gash About: Paper Castle Press […]

  10. Paper Castle Press Fall | Charlene Lim July 24, 2015 @ 8:34 pm

    […] the Paper Castle Press Fall Newsletter is out. If you don’t know what this is yet, read here! I am always happy producing these 4 times a year, the 4th to come soon before the year ends. […]

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