I read this entire book and got a lot out of it, though at the end I thought I had somehow missed the whole "letting go technique". That being said, HI read this entire book and got a lot out of it, though at the end I thought I had somehow missed the whole "letting go technique". That being said, Hawkins composes thoughts, ideas, strategies about the concept of letting go - which has been addressed in many and various ways by both psychological and spiritual traditions - that do seem somewhat novel. I especially appreciate his explanation of the "hierarchy" of emotions and their actual frequency levels. One thing that annoyed me is that he would tell stories or use examples about an individual but without pronouns (i.e., instead of saying "I" or "He" the story would read: "The illness kept occurring until one day the realization occurred that something different should be tried." I realize the idea was probably to separate attachment from the "small self" but it read very awkwardly.) I really did get a lot out of this book and plan to read it again - especially to make sure I didn't miss the magic technique! But I believe, as with many promised methods of gaining inner peace and freedom, this is not about a quick fix, but a daily - hourly - yearly - consistent practice. ...more
I read this book because of a growing fascination with Africa as a continent and a particular interest in Botswana after meeting several members of thI read this book because of a growing fascination with Africa as a continent and a particular interest in Botswana after meeting several members of their government last year. I've never studied Apartheid and was unaware of Botswana's role and relationship with South Africa during this time. I like Sena Jeter Naslund's and others' reviews of this book and agree that there is wisdom in these pages. It is love story (stories) intertwined with political strife, personal suffering, environmental and indigenous issues; the tangled terror, triumph, and tenderness of the human experience and human relationships.
I struggled with wanting more depth from the characters until about two thirds of the way through the book. I found my self impatient with the main character's uncertainty of herself and love interests, and even until the end of the book never felt I really knew her. This is likely due to her age and struggle to define herself as a person/character. I felt that once she began to form a solid romantic attachment the book gained in depth, complexity, and momentum. The character of Isaac Muthethe is gentle and precious, and his story in this book felt like reading the true story of so many who suffered during Apartheid. Morse's writing itself is poetic, lyrical, and I found myself reading many lines several times over.
By the end of the book I was living and breathing with these characters and, (the sign of a really good book), did not want the story to end. Sequel?...more
This is a great book to grab when you find yourself in the grips of any sort of desire, addiction, or affliction, be it in the form of substance, compThis is a great book to grab when you find yourself in the grips of any sort of desire, addiction, or affliction, be it in the form of substance, compulsive behavior, or addictive thoughts. Those who, however, are still offended or wounded by dualistic religious or biblical experiences, will likely be turned off and stop after the first chapter (or page - each chapter begins with several quotes from scripture that correspond to the step the chapter is about). Those who choose to open themselves to the deeper meaning of these scriptural references and the wisdom with which Father Richard Rohr uses to extrapolate meanings and messages, will find riches here. Rohr calls the 12 Steps "America's most significant contribution to spirituality". I am intrigued by Bill Wilson's relationship and correspondence with Catholic priest Father Ed Dowling at the time of his evolutionary work on the 12 steps and his own personal journey (and the connections between the 12 steps and the 12 Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius). In Breathing Under Water, Fr. Richard is able to go into the depths to draw upon the connectivity between the 12 steps and the archetypal human journey of struggle and growth. I consider this a First Aid kit or "go to" book when I find myself in the grips of my very human self, helping to refresh my perspective and find the inspiration needed to get back on the path of my higher self....more
I love Saint-Exupery. Coming from a family of pilots, having been an enthusiastic Francophile after 6 years of francais, and not to mention being raisI love Saint-Exupery. Coming from a family of pilots, having been an enthusiastic Francophile after 6 years of francais, and not to mention being raised on the mysticism of The Little Prince, it did not take much for me to swoon over St. Exupery's essays and experiences in the early days of flight between Europe, Africa, and South America. I've met many pilots in my day, and it is a known trait of pilots to tell stories. But it is uncommon and rare, in my experience, to meet a pilot who is also a poet. God Bless Exupery for his gorgeous observations and daring adventures into the unknown. One must admire that his commitment to adventure super-ceded any fear of death, and that ultimately his exploits lead him to his death. But what beauty, mystery, and singularity of experience was captured prior, and remains a gift to us all. If you cannot travel, fly, or otherwise access those most remote of places, be they geographical or mystical, treat yourself to a journey with this poet-pilot....more