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From: "Tom Bailey" <bailey>
Subject: Reading List-Bibliography Part 3 of 4
Date: Thu, 30 Apr 1998 07:59:13 -0400
Here's part 3 of the bibliography, with part 4 to follow.
Little Traverse Conservancy,
THE SPIRITUAL SIDE OF THE NATURE-HUMANITY CONNECTION:
MOTHER EARTH SPIRITUALITY, by Ed McGaa (Eagle Man) HarperCollins 1990. A
Vietnam veteran who found his calling by returning to his Sioux roots and
spirituality, McGaa explains Sioux beliefs and ceremonies in detail.
enlightening for anyone interested in Indian culture and spirituality,
book illustrates why Indian spiritual practice and belief is growing in
popularity even among non-Indian people.
MUTANT MESSAGE DOWN UNDER by Marlo Morgan, 1991, HarperCollins, is
these days. It is the fascinating account of a woman's journey on
walkabout with a group of Australian Aborigines. This book touches deep
chords about our connection to the land and the greater spiritual unity
have with all things. It is also a deeply moving account of a small
of people who consider themselves the last of their culture. Some
Australian "friends of friends" have described it as "good fiction," yet
others insist that the substance of the book is true. Whatever your
conclusions, it's interesting.
CREATIVE ENERGY by Thomas Berry, Sierra Club Books, 1996, is actually
chapters 4, 10, 15 and 16 of Berry's The Dream of the Earth, also
recommended. Berry, described by Newsweek as an "eco-theologian", writes
that if we look deeply into our connection with the earth as embodied in
our genetic coding, we can develop a new way of looking at ourselves and
our relationship with the earth. A sample: "In relation to the earth,
have been autistic for centuries. Only now have we begun to listen with
some attention and with a willingness to respond to the earth's demands
that we cease our industrial assault, that we abandon our inner rage
against the conditions of our earthly existence, that we renew our human
participation in the grand liturgy of the universe."
TONY HILLERMAN'S NOVELS, too numerous to list here, are a delightful
of information on Navajo spirituality and also include wonderful, vivid
descriptions of the Four Corners area of the American Southwest. These
detective who-dunnit stories which take place on the great Navajo
reservation. The author weaves much about Navajo belief and custom into
each book, and has received awards from the Navajo people for his
portrayals. If you like detective novels or want to learn about Navajo
culture while reading some entertaining stories, try Hillerman's novels.
Thief of Time is one of the most popular and might be a good one to start
with. Read one and you'll be hooked. Widely available in paperback.
TALKING TO THE GROUND, by Douglas Preston, Simon & Schuster, 1995,
the story of a man who takes his wife-to-be and her daughter on a
month-long horseback ride through the heart of the Navajo reservation's
sacred land. The book weaves together the story of the new family's trip
with the Navajo creation story and various myths and tales. One of the
author's conclusions is that "we have, somehow, forgotten about the
sacredness of landscape. We have desacralized the world to the point
we've disconnected ourselves from the vast complexity and mystery of life
itself." A fun and interesting book with a little adventure, a little
Navajo spirituality, and a little about how a new family came together
against a backdrop of stunning wild country.
THE STATEMENT OF CHIEF SEATTLE How many of us have read the eloquent
words, attributed to Seattle in the last century? How many of us have
embraced the "web of life" analogy in the statement? How many of us know
that this statement was actually not made by Seattle but was written by
Perry, a screen writer, for a movie made in Hollywood? It's true! The
statement is wonderful, but it was not made by Chief Seattle himself.
Beware! This is a great statement, but it's not authentic.
GENERAL WORKS ON SPIRITUALITY AND LIFE:
MAN'S SEARCH FOR MEANING by Viktor Frankl, 1946, US version from Pocket
Books/Simon & Schuster. A concentration camp survivor and psychiatrist,
Frankl developed a theory that the primary driving force behind human
behavior is the need for meaning. Quoting Goethe's "man can withstand
'what' in life as long as there is a 'why'," Frankl uses his
camp experience to support his theory. An amazing book with much to
about, it's really not about nature, yet it delves into some of the
fundamental questions about what motivates people. A great deal for the
philosophical/spiritual thinker here.
WHAT REALLY MATTERS, by Tony Schwartz, Bantam, 1996, is a fascinating and
engaging work about the author's search for Wisdom in America. Schwartz
has embarked on the same sort of quest as many others--a search for
meaning or what some might call spiritual fulfilment. Having achieved
great success with his Art of the Deal, written with Donald Trump in the
1980s, Schwartz thought that there must be more. Not really seeing
as a spiritual seeker, he set out to find a truly American approach to
wisdom. The book contains interesting dialogs and histories of such
luminaries as Ram Dass with his meditative approach; the founders of the
Esalan Institute; and such other approaches as Biofeedback and others.
Engaging, thorough, and not in any way attempting to sum up "the secret"
any small package, this is one of the best books in the field. If you
to read one book for an overview of this category, this is it.
CHOP WOOD, CARRY WATER, subtitled, "finding spiritual fulfillment in
everyday life." Tarcher/Houghton Mifflin, 1984. This book addresses
topics from work and family to health and sexuality from the perspective
balancing all the aspects of one's life. Full of short stories including
many zen and sufi tales, the book is a fun and interesting one which can
read in small bursts of a chapter here, a passage there, or completely
front to back. Definitely containing a sort of "spiritual smorgasbord"
some new age stuff, it's interesting, thought-provoking, and worthwhile.
HYMNS TO AN UNKNOWN GOD, subtitled: Awakening the Spirit in Everyday
by Sam Keen, Bantam, 1994. An interesting book by a Harvard-educated
philosophy professor, Hymns starts out by addressing the author's ideas
about the difference between participation in organized religion and an
individual's spiritual quest. The book explores the joys and challenges
discovering the spiritual side of life without the constraints--or some
the comforts--involved in organized religion. The book not only deals
philosophy, but addresses the spiritual dimensions of the sensual and
sexual components of life, as well. There is also an interesting and
well-written section, entitled "constructing a spiritual bullshit
detector," which warns of some of the perils on the spiritual path posed
charlatans, self-promoting gurus and others whose motives and methods may
be suspect. There is also an interesting chapter on animal spirits and
THE TIBETAN BOOK OF LIVING AND DYING, by Sogyal Rinpoche, Harper Collins,
1993. This book reveals Tibetan beliefs about life and death, including
Buddhist beliefs about reincarnation in human and animal forms, and the
interrelatedness of all things. This book is primarily about
and does not really deal with conservation per se. It will be of
interest to those wishing to know more about Tibetan Buddhism or those
spiritual seekers interested in all sorts of religious and spiritual
THE TURNING POINT By Fritjoff Capra, Simon & Schuster, 1982. A good read
by the author of The Tao of Physics, also highly recommended, suggesting
that more harmony is needed between our spiritual values and our
materialistic lifestyle. One of those "looking toward the next century"
books, Turning Point like Tao of Physics seeks reconciliation between
science and spirituality for a healthier future for humanity. Many might
prefer to start with Tao, which is wonderfully fascinating with its
exploration of the parallels between post-quantum physics and eastern
mysticism. There's a similar book by another author, called The Dancing
Wu Li Masters; We've heard it's good but haven't read it.
WHEREVER YOU GO, THERE YOU ARE by Jon Kabat-Zinn, Hyperion, 1994 is about
mindfulness. The title comes form the author's observation that it is
through the self that everything is observed. No matter what you think
or do about the external world, you experience it through your self--so
"wherever you go, there you are". Mindfulness is both a form of
meditation and a way of living. It is being fully aware of what is going
on in each moment. The author makes the point that by cultivating
mindfulness in meditation, one can develop it overall. An interesting
enlightening book, this was a feature selection of the Institute for
Sciences, a group dedicated to working with connections between science
DIALOGUES WITH SCIENTISTS AND SAGES, by Renee Weber; Routledge, Kegan &
Paul, 1986 is for anyone interested in going further with the
science-mysticism parallels. Fascinating material from physicists like
David Bohm and such spiritual figures as the Dalai Lama and Lama Govinda.
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