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Wilderness, The Gateway To The Soul: Spiritual Enlightenment Through Wilderness

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  325 ratings  ·  50 reviews
Through his deeply poetic and wildly provocative tale of personal transformation, Scott Stillman takes us on a spiritual journey, away from a chaotic world of details, obligations, smartphones and noisy machines, to a place that is unspoiled, untamed, free.

Mostly solo, he guides us deeply into American Wilderness. There is heart-wrenching beauty. Undeniable presence. In
Kindle Edition, 147 pages
Published September 19th 2018 by Wild Soul Press
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I really wanted to like this book. I thought I would enjoy it. After all, like Stillman, I have done many wilderness trips, both overland and on water. I’ve solo backpacked, off-trail and cross-country, in some of the same areas in which he explores in his book. Wilderness is a collection of accounts of Stillman’s mountain, desert and backwoods trips across the American West. Sadly, I found many of his stories to be flat. Too many lacked suspense and a plot line. To me, Stillman’s book reads ...more
Josh reading
Jul 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wilderness: The Gateway to the Soul, by Scott Stillman, is one of those books that is so rich, not just in descriptions of the remote and majestic locations chronicled, but in the nuggets of simple yet affirming pieces of wisdom bestowed. I loved this book but I chose not to devour it as I normally would. I took my time, reading a few pages a day over a few months. Gorgeous writing, Stillman reminds us that there is such much more to our world that the pavement and sedentary lifestyle associated ...more
Sep 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This short book of prose forms a powerful and insightful love letter to the great remaining wilderness of America's western backyard, a portrait traversing the forests of the Pacific Northwest to the desert expanses of Utah. Stillman offers a world of incomprehensible beauty, not only for its incomparable landscapes, but for the wisdom these ventures into solitude continue to offer the human soul. In an era in which man-made interruptions are a pervasive feature of modern life, Stillman's ode to ...more
Amanda Geoppinger
Sep 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow... This book had me from Chapter 1 until the final page. The author takes you on a guided tour of some of the most amazing places in the US. This is not my normal genre of books but so glad I took the leap and changed things up. Read this book, it will not disappoint.
Dec 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Scott Stillman is preaching to the choir in my corner or the world. One of my stories set in Sedona is titled Not Enough Said for Solitude. I have been encouraging people to toss the clicker out the window and breathe deeply of our beautiful world for some time. However, it is refreshing to find this younger voice share the many ways that nature can be our salvation. I believe people are too concerned about being connected and are so harried keeping up of with technology they have lost touch ...more
Jan 28, 2019 rated it it was ok
A book by an author whose first and last names start with the same letter.

I really thought I was going to like this book, but alas, I did not. The story was too meandering without any specific story line and the journal entry style chapters left a lot to be desired. To be fair the author did warn of this at the preface, but nonetheless I would have preferred a solidified timeline and less random thoughts that were sporadically scattered among the stories.
Feb 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book. Maybe because I've been to nearly every place he describes, maybe. because I once had an RX7, and maybe because he writes so eloquently the thoughts that I have running through my brain. Whatever the reason. If you enjoy backpacking, sitting in remote places looking at the wonders of this planet, if you enjoy solo nights under the stars. Read this book.

Some may wish for more description in the writing. For me, more words do not describe the wonder and peace I find while taking
Todd Sharp
Jan 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Was a wonderful read which helped at a very difficult time. As an avid outdoorsman I started this book while laying in a hospital bed, just getting out of major surgery. The next 5 days were spent healing and reading this wonderful book. The book took me back to the wilderness where I experience many of these same encounters. I would highly recommend everyone to read this book, than go for a walk in the wilderness and replenish the soul.
Renee Putman
Nov 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Come on a journey with the author thru the wilderness. Wonderfully written and thought provoking questions throughout the journey. Scott Stillman takes you on a journey thru the wilderness thru his eyes. On his journey you learn of his love for the wildnerness and how it helps him reset himself. Could you go on journey into the wilderness yourself? Could you take and unplug from all the elcetronics, gadets, and the noise of the cities to seek out silence in the wilderness? We all have that inner ...more
Tracy Boyd
Jan 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a 5 star if you hike, especially if you hike solo. ...more
Matthew Harris
Mar 02, 2019 rated it it was ok
Actually kind of boring. I agree that wilderness is good for the soul and I like being outside with nature. I just didn't connect with the author's writing style and failed attempts at poetry. It didn't "inspire" me. In fact, I got half way through it and gave up. I won't bother to finish it. I expected better.
Nov 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The book repeats. A lot. And each repetition took me back to places that having been I've never left. Reading through this book is an invitation to delight for any who know the wilderness, the forest, the world of rock. Scott Stillman takes us there in simple imagery that captures something so simple it is too complicated for most of us to remember without refresher courses. Back out there and into our selves.
Lorraine Van
Nov 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wish I were there!

Loved hiking with you through all of these beautiful places. In the chapter titled ancient people, I'm glad you didn't divulge the exact location and hope it stays pristine.

I hiked all my life mainly in the west but did hike the presidents range in New Hampshire. Now I'm older and cannot but I did again by vicariously hiking with you. Thank you - let your God light shine always.
Mar 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
While reading this book, I found myself mesmerized by the picture that the author painted in my mind about his experiences! Although I would have loved to see pictures throughout or a section dedicated to the places he describes, the pictures weren't needed. And, as the author points out, would have taken him out of the present moment anyway from being in communion with nature. :)

My favorite type of vacation is one out in nature where I am camping, hiking, & hot springing & when I read
Robert Allen
May 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
A good read

Initially, I didn't enjoy because of the new age tone. Yet I found myself looking forward to the moments when I'd have the opportunity to read a page or two, especially after this quote began to resonate with me ,
"Most of us never give ourselves the chance to ask these questions. At the first itch of loneliness we pick up the phone, log onto the internet, knock at the neighbor’s door, or start a project. What about boredom, depression, anger, sadness? We run. Constantly we’re running
Jim Crotty
Jun 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful collection of heartfelt essays on what it means to be fully present in the overwhelming peace of wilderness and nature. Through Scott Stillman’s words I could feel the heat and silence of the canyons and the drenching rain of the woodlands. I know that same mountain sky and the serenity of aloneness on the trail. This book was very inspiring, not only encouraging my own wanderings but makes a strong case for why these sacred places in wilderness must be preserved and protected, for ...more
Dec 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is amazing. While currently dealing with some troubling times and added anxiety and depression this book helped to settle me an realize im missing out on a lot in my life being stuck in the rat race called life. It brought me back to my childhood growing up always being in the woods an made me realize this is what made me so happy as a child and that in the new coming year i need to incorporate a lot more of this and create my own happiness an memories again in the wilderness. Truly ...more
Pam Beeler
Jan 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nature
Part Journal, Part Call to Action, 100% Beauty

Absolutely beautiful book. If you meditate, if you enjoy being in nature, or if you're a backpacker, this is a must read. Stillman has a writing style that is easy to read, but so descriptive that you can literally see in your mind the scenes he describes and feel in your soul the same longing for a truth that so often feels just out of reach.
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was an interesting book which I read very quickly. It was enlightening to my heart. Scott Stillman paints a very clear picture of his landscape and environment as he travels and hikes. It was fun to here him write about the Pacific Northwest. Photographs would not do it justice. I really enjoyed his thoughts on getting to know ourselves and that in the silence there is much to be learned.
Dec 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a beautifully written book that is a love song to wilderness lands. The book is about "Taking sanctuary to the mountains and deserts, back of beyond, where the pavement ends." The author simply writes that wilderness is the gateway to the soul. We need to pay attention to this, and use this book to help us walk through that gateway.
Suzi Breeden
Pleasing memories!

Enjoyed Scott Stillmans writing. Made me feel as if I was hiking those trails myself. Even when I wasn't reading I was thinking of previous chapters. The spiritual aspect of nature was conveyed perfectly. Having hiked over 1600 miles of the AT it brought back the peace and solitude of being one with nature!
Holly Mowery
Apr 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Cannot express enough that I feel this book was calling me; written just for me. There's a few of us who long for the wilderness; the scary solitude it brings and the power it has to heal. In a world where people can't shutdown and remove themself from technology, a fake world and a society that pushes your boundaries; this is the reminder to those of us who want more.
Mike Ely
Oct 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was an excellent read. I enjoyed travelling alongside Stillman throughout the west and hearing about his thoughts on life. I've spent time in many of the same areas and miss the wide expanses and quiet solitude of the wilderness of the west. This is a book that you could read again and again to help reconnect to nature.
Greg Greenwood
Apr 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing

Scott’s way with words alongside his love and adventurous spirit for the outdoors is special. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about his incisional journeys from the Utah desert, to the Pacific coast to Wyoming’s vast wilderness. Superbly written & I couldn’t stop highlighting! The new age desert solitaire.
Cindy Bush
Dec 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Interesting and good read

Took a bit to get into it since most of us live in the flurry of the modern world and need to be reminded to live in the present. Nature is a beautiful reminder to appreciate each moment and this book reminds us of the essence of nature. Namaste.
Nov 30, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you're already a fan of hiking and the outdoors, this book will resonate with you. But, it's not going to convert anyone of the joys of the outdoors. There are some good nuggets in here but otherwise the writing is pretty bland. Kind of the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte of outdoor books.
Jan 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
At first, I did not think I would like the book. I then decided to just enjoy the prose, the meandering musings of a man who loves the spirituality of the wilderness. He paints a picture of places I could only dream of going, and I really enjoyed the journey.
Jim Williams
Jan 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A treasure. A book to read again.

Wilderness, The Gateway To The Soul starts by awakening that feeling of warmth and gratitude that enfolds you when immersed in the wild. I savored every page and look forward to reading it again and discovering more by Scott Stillman.
Steve Tompkins
Jan 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If you like Desert Solitaire, or anything else by Abbey, you’ll like this book. It immediately made me re-appreciate the stunning surrounding that are right outside my door, and encouraged me to be more mindful and in the moment as I go thru my day.
Nov 21, 2018 rated it really liked it

The book reads like a collection of journal entries, with each of numerous backpacking trips serving as the inspiration for the entry and proof of his love of all of natural earth.
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