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August 22, 2004

The Spiral Staircase - Karen Armstrong

Interesting and well written this book chronicles the period of time after denouncing her vows with numerous flashbacks/glimpses of experiences as a nun.

I felt connected to her in her rejection of "religion". I was curiosity elated by it and could identify with feelings of disgust at any traditional ceremony. Yet she was still drawn to the investigation of "God". It's interesting that she suffered from epilepsy with a very different outcome than Sister John in Lying Awake.

The surprising thing I learned in reading this book were the similarities between all three of the main world religions. They all have the same core beliefs and all have the same figures as their source (i.e. Moses, Abraham). Islam got it's start from communication between Mohammed and the Angel Gabriel.

Spirituality is not about believing some doctrines or following traditions. Our image of Gad is so far from the true reality of Gods' true nature. Ture mystics undetstad this. It's all about changing ourselves by practicing compassion. The Jewish belief central to the Torah "Find out what distresses you and don't do it to others." Which is essentially the same message as Christianity "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

Posted by Priscilla at 09:52 AM | Comments (0)

August 10, 2004

Raise High the Roof Beam Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction - J.D. Salinger

The book is totally about Seymour, the deceased brother of Buddy. It's divided into two vastly different parts. The first part - Raise High the Roof Beam was totally enjoyable. The second part was somewhat of a struggle to get through and I was disappointed that there was not more of a revelation at the end.

Posted by Priscilla at 08:55 AM | Comments (0)

August 01, 2004

The Member of the Wedding - Carson McCullers

Very similar to her other book "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter" with the main character Frankie (F. Jasmine) being a young girl 11-12 yrs old, intense, unhappy, searching.
It's a good read. Likeable characters, especially Bernice, the Black cook/mother figure. Not much happens - it all occurs in the span of a summer in the hot south but there are some really profound kind of observations made by this little girl about life/momentary connections with other people, longing for love, closeness, meaning in life. One noteable conversation with Bernice about how we're all stuck in our own skins without being able to escape, with others yet separate from all. Frankie prefers to describe it as "loose".

Posted by Priscilla at 07:11 PM | Comments (0)