Stephen Mitchell's translation is just as beautiful as his notes at the end where you can see his precise and playful poetic mind at work OMG officialStephen Mitchell's translation is just as beautiful as his notes at the end where you can see his precise and playful poetic mind at work OMG officially in love....more
I thought I had really liberal ideas about translation until I read this and found myself turned off by some of the poems. My mind tells me that I shoI thought I had really liberal ideas about translation until I read this and found myself turned off by some of the poems. My mind tells me that I shouldn't be weird about them since I was such a Coleman Barks' Rumi reader back in the day. But Ladinsky is on another level. Why, for example, is Ladinsky's Rumi telling me "That idea of a threesome with you ON A COLD NIGHT got me excited." Is this real. I do not understand where this came from. I know that it sounds hilarious, but I am actually upset.
As a collection of Ladinsky poems riffing on Rumi, this could have more stars, but as a collection of Rumi, I can'T...more
Now that Rob has been through so much crap and found a very large non-Christian audience, he sounds more evangelical than ever. I wasn't turned off beNow that Rob has been through so much crap and found a very large non-Christian audience, he sounds more evangelical than ever. I wasn't turned off because his enthusiasm is really wonderful and endearing, as are the italics and bolding and adjective lists and other stylistic quirks that he's picked up to express that enthusiasm. He's a big dork who reads widely and wants to have a conversation, and with each book his vision expands. It's an inspiring testimony and well-crafted creative essay that draws from all of his previous work. He's so smart and great at synthesis, and I love his heart. Always excited to see what's up next with him....more
3 for Rollins' awkward writing and 5 stars for his compelling ideas!! Love the examples that he uses and his understanding of psychology as he applies3 for Rollins' awkward writing and 5 stars for his compelling ideas!! Love the examples that he uses and his understanding of psychology as he applies it to religion....more
I should really give ETERNAL LIFE: A NEW VISION 2 stars, but because it majorly enlightens me at this moment in life, I give it 4.
Now, this is the firI should really give ETERNAL LIFE: A NEW VISION 2 stars, but because it majorly enlightens me at this moment in life, I give it 4.
Now, this is the first of Bishop Spong's that I've ever read and I can sense that it's definitely not his best and that he's probably expressed most of these ideas in his bajillion other works.
But ETERNAL LIFE is a great introduction to him because it's an easy-to-read, interesting synthesis, a spiritual autobiography combined with an interpretive spiritual biography of humanity. Also, it is very brief (though often repetitive), and he wrote it in retrospection at like age 78.
So Spong is pretty pretentious. Somehow this did not deter me from liking him. He's articulate, earnest, and unafraid, he genuinely loves his readers, and he's very passionate about...Jesus.
First he takes us on a highly personal tour of his own spiritual evolution. I could totally identify with him even as someone who did not grow up with religion. He put into words a lot of the things I've been struggling with recently and pointed precisely to the reasons for them so that I was like "OMG EXACTLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Now I can break free, srsly.
Later Spong takes us through an overview of the history of the universe, our evolution, the development of religion, and into the post-modern, post-Christian Western world of the present. Though oversimplified and probably not without errors and funky interpretations (history & science are areas of intense interest for him but certainly not areas of expertise), it's a fascinating picture to contemplate. I especially enjoyed his insight into the blessing & burden of our self-consciousness as a species.
His relationship to the Bible is complicated and loving and unapologetically postmodern. Something that I most strongly disagreed with is his belief that all religious metaphors & symbols of the past are officially unfulfilling and should be left behind. Personally I don't mind referring to God or the earth as a paternal/maternal figure because while it's a limited conception, it is at least one facet of things that we can relate to as human beings.
Basically Spong thinks we need to move beyond traditional religion, which belongs to the childhood of our humanity. Secularism is a necessary step, and the next is to embrace a new kind of "religion" that is about oneness. He "redefines" worship, God, and other religious concepts for a humanity that is realizing the blessing of its self-consciousness instead of fleeing from its mortality.
I found myself pretty convinced by his overall thesis. Obviously each individual should move through these stages at their own pace, but society/culture as a whole can prepare for a shift.
Spong now believes that God is "the Ground of All Being" and the "universal consciousness." He sort of jumped into this very suddenly in the narrative by talking about the mystics. And his belief seems to be based in an intuitive subjective knowing. I wish he'd explained it better, but it must be something that you have to experience for yourself, so my new goal in life is to be a mystic. lol.
Overall a small, thought-provoking book that I would recommend with my whole heart to critical thinkers and religious seekers who are feeling a little stuck and alone....more
This isn't my favorite Rob Bell book, but it's his first, and it shares his first major steps outside of a lot of the harmful, stifling elements in thThis isn't my favorite Rob Bell book, but it's his first, and it shares his first major steps outside of a lot of the harmful, stifling elements in the evangelical Christian tradition. Reading it you know right away that he's a great communicator and a great heart. The things he has to say are urgent and passionate. He invites you to make these little illuminating shifts in your thinking and offers ways of reading the scripture that are loving and exciting and grounded in its various original contexts. He also paints this huuuuge picture of reality as he reads it that is extremely beautiful. Read this along with his latest book, LOVE WINS, and you'll see how he's continued this pure vision and desire and opened it even wider in the past 6 years. Pretty awesome!!...more
Rabbi Spitz has written super sensitive and insightful book, a patchwork of Jewish thought and personal experiences exploring the role of despair in oRabbi Spitz has written super sensitive and insightful book, a patchwork of Jewish thought and personal experiences exploring the role of despair in our lives and how it relates to purpose, forgiveness, suffering, and healing. Anyone who has been through despair will just totally know exactly what he is talking about. He really enlightened me on the mentality of despair and how all kinds of pressures and concerns can build up over time and lead to a breakdown at some unexpected point in life.
The book is very easy-to-read, somewhat repetitive (probably on purpose), and full of stories, including the Torah narrative.
Awesome "Tools for Perspective" at the end of each chapter give you exercises to work through your own despair and healing.
I super recommend this if you're looking for a spiritual approach to recovery....more