Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Another Book as a Spiritual Path

There are a couple of books that have meaningful to me as spiritual development:
The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennen Manning
A Hidden Wholeness by Parker Palmer
A Testament of Devotion by Thomas Kelly
Holy Silence by J. Brent Bill
 I just finished reading How to Want What You Have: Discovering the Magic and Grandeur of Ordinary Existence by Timothy Miller.  This book jumped out at me when I was looking for another volume by call number in the library.
I was shocked how the book talks about so many of the spiritual aspects of my life that I'm been trying to nurture: compassion, mindfulness, and gratitude.  This is perhaps why I was drawn to it.  Though there as a bit of psycho-babble and patient scenarios here--at times making it seem like Miller is writing more to other psychologists than to a general public--the information is strikingly practical. 

Part of my spiritual journaling practice is to copy down meaningful passages so that I can go back and reflect on them later.  (This also serves me well as a library book reader because then I still have notes on the book, if not the book itself).

So I thought I'd just share the nuggets I've found so far from How to Want What you Have.

“Spiritual longing is better understood as the wish for certainty that we are living the right way; the wish certainty that our shabby lives have some deep and lasting significance; the wish to know that our small, anonymous acts of courage, decency, and self-sacrifice will somehow count and be remembered; the wish to know why we live and what we are supposed to do with our lives; the wish that somewhere among all the dross of our days we might find golden nuggets of eternal truth”  (Miller 41).

“The philosophy of wanting what you have is supported by an underlying assumption that there is beauty, meaning, truth, love, and mystery in the world at all times and under all circumstances, although these things are sometimes hard to perceive, or even to imagine…Beauty, meaning, truth, love, and mystery do not just each add their separate share of goodness to life.  The whole is far greater than the sum of its parts.  Beauty, plus meaning, plus truth, plus love, plus mystery equals something awesome, nameless, and inconceivable.  That something might be called the divine Reality” (Miller 51).


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