Book Review: The Appleseed Journal

By Diane Donovan, Senior Reviewer, ‘California Bookwatch’

While most may readily recognize the name of Johnny Appleseed, which is widely connected with the propagation and popularity of apples, this same audience is just as unlikely to realize that Appleseed was actually a traveling minister with deep spiritual roots – and that he used apple seeding as one device towards the greater purpose of seeding men’s souls.

It’s about time that a biography of Appleseed were written to capture this little-known facet of his life; but while The Appleseed Journal is a story of spirituality and enlightenment as much as a chronicle of one man’s wanderings and calling, and is recommended for any who wondered about the persona and impact of the man in his 1800s world, it would not have come to exist without a chance discovery by the author.

This spiritual fictionalized story begins with a weathered sack, a blue tin box, and an old manuscript after excavating a failed swimming pool from his back yard, discovered to be written by one John Chapman (popularly known as Johnny Appleseed). The author researched the relationship between Appleseed and spiritual leader Emmanuel Swedenborg, coming to understand their spiritual connections and influences – and these facts are incorporated in a story line based around Appleseed’s wanderings.

That this is a major facet in the life of a man who today is primarily known for his apple seedlings is astonishing.

Anyone could have produced a biography of Appleseed’s life based on Internet research. The fact that this collection of fictionalized stories are driven by Appleseed’s own writings makes it an extraordinary piece that deserves a place in any collection serious about spiritual writings in general or Appleseed’s life and philosophy in particular. Its lively passion should attract a wide audience.

For more information, visit:  

The Appleseed Journal
By Stewart Bitkoff
Publisher:  Abandoned Ladder
Available at
ISBN-10: 0991577515
ISBN-13: 978-09915775414


My Role

One day, someone will ask: ‘what was your role in all of this?’ And the answer arrives from the distant shore: ‘sprinkling a few crumbs from the great loaf of wisdom so the birds of the field will not go hungry, remembering their Home in Paradise.’ -SB

Why Must It Be So?

My heart cries out: why must it be so? The flower petal decays and the seed gently falls onto the earth. Slowly, the seed burrows into the dirt reaching for nutrients and protection; Over time, combining with different elements: Straining to bring forth another flower.   In the spring sunshine, the flower’s fragrance opens to […]

The Appleseed Journal

A Spiritual Message for Modern Times Johnny Appleseed is an authentic American hero celebrated in film, literature and art. While famous for growing the apple industry, relatively little is known about his accomplishments in the world of spirit. Based on actual events, this Journal chronicles Johnny’s travels during a period of time in 1843 when […]

Rising Higher

Let us play a game and suppose you could be anything you desire. Pick someone or something and pretend you are that person or thing for just a moment. Concentrate real hard, seeing all the fine details; continue imagining yourself being whatever you like.  Now, for as long as you able, stay with this image […]

Happiness #3

Happiness is an emotional state of mind and for the most part comes and goes. Also it is state which can be learned and refined. Often we make our self-unhappy by replaying those things we consider distasteful. When something happens that is painful, usually it is over in a matter of seconds. We all have […]

Ancient Treasure

In the journey toward completion, the allegory of a treasure hunt or a search for a hidden secret is an old one.  While no real treasure may exist, in terms of jewels or gold, there is indeed something that needs to be found. The capacity to perceive or analyze every day events in a different […]

Quiet Part of Your Soul

Seek the quiet part of your soul. It is an island where you can rest and connect with what you need to know.  All of this has been written many times before. It is nothing new. Perhaps it is the first time for you; or for others a repetition of past doctrine? This quiet part […]

Larger View

It was a beautiful morning and something told Turtle to take the back road to Pond.  As Turtle approached the giant sycamore, which stood on the north shore, he noticed the tree was lined with scores of cocoons.  As Turtle drew closer, he saw the cocoons were breaking up and beautiful butterflies, slowly, through their […]

Measuring Inner Development

Q: In my inner development, how do I know if I am advancing? What criteria can be used to measure progress? Everyone is moving forward and evolving.  That is the nature of the universe.  If a path has not opened to you, pray and follow the teachings of your religion.  If you are not able […]