Thursday, June 15, 2006

Thursday's Read

I'm doing my best to finish up two books before they're due back to the library and thought I would share them with you as they are both inspiring works.

Light from the East
by: Frank Machovec

"Truth is one, though sages speak of it by many names."
Rig Veda, 10th century BCE

"The goal of Light from the East is to present the wisdom of Asia without bias, not to convert or persuade but to allow the light to shine of and by itself. I made every effort to stay out of the way of and not distort that pure, natural light. Every available version of ancient writings was used, in an effort to discern what was most likely the original intent. Read this book you will be able to see how similar Eastern philosophies and religions are, that there is in fact one light from the East."

Frank Machovec is a retired psychologist who began studying Eastern philosophies during the Korean War as a Marine. His continuing study has resulted in translations of many Asian spiritual works. This book is the result of 50 years of reflection and study. He lives with his wife near the mountains of central Virginia.

Gandhi's Hope
by: Jay McDaniel

"This small book is written for the spiritually interested general reader who would like to learn about and from the world religions; who is troubled by the arrogance and violence that can sometimes be inflicted on the world in the name of religion; who believes that despite their shortcomings all religions embody wisdom that is essential to the well-being of life; and who is especially interested in prospects for peace between religions."

The book is a rich mix of philosophy, religion, poetry, science, and history and offers "Five Challenges" for those on the path of any religion: to live compassionately, to live self-critically, to live simply, to live ecologically, and to welcome religious diversity.

McDaniel offers us the concept of "Deep Listening," from which emerges "an acoustic vision of reality." McDaniel states, "Consider listening to music in a live concert. If we close our eyes while listening, we realize that the sound of the music is inside us and outside us at the same time, such that we would have a difficult time saying exactly where it is."

"It is present in us, and yet it is also beyond us. It is this sensation-this feeling of something being both part of us and more than us-that is at the heart of an acoustic vision of reality."

5 Comments:

Blogger anonymous julie said...

I have been wanting to ask what people are reading lately, so this is a welcome post! Hope to hear more about both of these...

1:19 AM  
Blogger Trev Diesel said...

"...not to convert or persuade but to allow the light to shine of and by itself." Yeah, man.

Thanks. Like I needed more books to read.

10:48 AM  
Blogger Meredith said...

I love how Jay McDaniel describes "deep listening".

And for a musician like you, Tommy, I'm sure his words, "an acoustic vision of reality." struck a chord. (!)

I love to close my eyes while listening to music, nature, or people talking, and I've had this sensation that the sounds I hear are inside and outside my body at the same time. Just like Presence, yes? It seems to me that in this next part of the quote McDaniel is describing just That:

"It is present in us, and yet it is also beyond us. It is this sensation-this feeling of something being both part of us and more than us-that is at the heart of an acoustic vision of reality."

Thank you for sharing this. It rings so true. (!)

8:32 PM  
Blogger isaiah said...

M-

Yes. The "Acoustic Vision" is an Alfred North Whitehead concept...and it resonates (get it!)deeply with me.

This is one of the best books I've read in a very long time and should be required reading for any serious student of world religion as well as those seeking to understand their unique role in furthering peaceful dialoge between our fellow human beings.

11:04 AM  
Blogger Danielle said...

I gotta check out this Ghandi book. Never heard of it...thanks mucho.

1:56 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Site Meter