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A Study of the Sacred, Part One|
Loneliness and Revelation
Author: Brendan Myers
Publisher: O Books, UK
Category: Philosophy, ethics, religion, art Level: Advanced
Everyone experiences loneliness in their lives. Yet most people are secretly afraid of it, and will do nearly anything to avoid it. Few are willing to talk about it at all.
A recent study found that half of all Americans have only one close friend that they can confide in, and one-quarter of all Americans have no close friends at all. The last United States census found that 27.2 million households, one-fourth of the total, consisted in just one person. Half a century ago, that was the case for only one-tenth of all households. Research has also shown that popular self-help methods to cope with loneliness, such as reciting positive affirmations, often make people feel worse than they already do.
This book shows that loneliness is not simply a social phenomenon, nor a medical condition. Rather, it is an existential condition of life. So you can’t turn to other people, or true love, for a solution. Nor can you turn to the gods, for they are probably lonelier than you are! But loneliness is not evil. Indeed it can be a source of profound spiritual insight. Great religious heroes like Odin, Moses, Jesus, Buddha, and Mohammad made their most important spiritual revelations in solitude. This book offers a new understanding of the idea of Revelation. It is available to everyone, not just priests and prophets. It gives spiritual significance to the arts, human relationships, love, and indeed to loneliness itself. It has four simple but far-reaching principles: "I am here; this is what I am; and what I am is beautiful! Is anyone else out there?"
Brendan Myers in his probing Forty-Five Meditations on Loneliness and Revelation: A Study of the Sacred explores the absolute uniqueness of each individual as part of the existential solitude of human life. This inquiry into isolation and separation as a life-affirming good begins interesting and steadily becomes more interesting. Both lightly personal and philosophically penetrating, the author cogently argues that, beyond the superficial diversions we employ to distract ourselves from fear, insignificance and meaninglessness, there is the ‘Revelation’ of presence and identity. This avowal concerning the goodness and beauty of life is ultimately an act of personal will – one that challenges the reader to examine, direct and even change her or his life. More than just another vitally important book, Myers’ analysis confronts our very raison d’ętre against our uncertain times. He asks the questions that most prefer not to ask.
-- Michael York, Theologian, former director of the Sophia Centre at Bath Spa University, and author of "Pagan Theology: Paganism as a World Religion"
Loneliness, like old age and death, is a taboo subject in our neophilic culture that worships youth and surface at the expense of depth and experience. Brendan Myers, in this thoughtful and eloquent book, travels to the heart of the existential issues that underpin the experience of loneliness. In doing this, he reveals the potential that loneliness holds for each of us to realize our full humanity. Instead of being an experience to avoid at all costs, this book shows how it can act as a gateway that can help us deepen our sense of being alive.
-- Philip Carr-Gomm, Chief of OBOD, author of "Sacred Places" and "A Brief History of Nakedness "
As if washed through by a rain storm, this short book sparkles and glints with clarity, honesty and beauty. For those who have dedicated their life to the search for truth and the experience of the sacred, these are issues gentle and thoughtfully handled. It is no self-help book; it is more intelligent, subtle and respectful of the reader. Each of the 45 pieces, particularly if taken as daily meditations, are valuable provocations to deep thought and inspired consideration. A valuable piece of work.
-- Emma Restall Orr, author of "Living with Honour" and Kissing the Hag
This book does not describe any spells, rituals, invocations, or magic (with or without the 'k') .
What it does do, instead, is explore a deeply serious problem in psychology, society, and personal spirituality, and explore it from a philosophical and spiritual point of view. Many pagans will find its point of view familiar. But I also hope that pagan readers could share this book with their non-pagan friends and family, if they too find the problem of loneliness appearing in their lives.
I think of this text as a work of practical theology. I hope that you agree it contributes usefully and meaningfully to the intellectual tradition of our movement.
Where To Buy:
- Any bookstore in the world can order it, using the ISBN number.
- The usual online retailers, such as Amazon, B&N, Chapters-Indigo, etc.
- Direct from the publisher.
Here's the link to Amazon.com:
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