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Eternal Echoes: Celtic Reflections on Our Yearning to Belong

Average Rating 4.5
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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 24, 2000

    Modern Take on an Ancient Problem

    Stylistically speaking, John O¿Donohue is almost Hemingwayesque, often stringing together brief, pithy declarative sentences. Taken out of context, savored separately they are terse bits of Irish wisdom ('The heart is an eternal nomad.' 'The child and the artist are pilgrims of discovery.' 'Suffering is the sister of future possibility.'). One is tempted to plaster them about as reminders of positive, focused aspirations. Yet he is also capable of soaring, poetic passages as well. O¿Donohue incites/ invites us to look for the higher versions of our humanity by pointing out various current attitudes which have led society to a leprosy of spirit. He reminds us that our normally healthy desire for satiation had mutated to obsessive consumerism. ('Consumerism is the new religion . . . Quantity is the new divinity . . . Advertising is its liturgy.') This may fuel the world economy but it does so at the cost of emptying our souls. He further suggests that the technology which promised to make us belong has only isolated us and severed our ties to nature. And that in losing our respect for the earth we are destroying ourselves in ways that transcend the mere poisoning of the environment. The author is described on the book¿s back cover as 'a Catholic scholar.' Followers of other religions should not be put-off by this. O¿Donohue obviously possesses profound, definitive ideas about his own faith, but he does not 'inflict' them with undue pressure upon the reader. In an effort to locate something to criticize in this book, I must say that I read lightly and quickly a short segment on Celtic spirituality relating to the fairy world. As a cynical, twentieth century American, I am discomforted by suggestions of unseen presences from an 'in-between world.' It seems too convenient a means of explaining the unexplainable: those seemingly bizarre twists of Fate to which each of us is subjected. (In an effort to maintain some flexibility in this matter, I have relegated it to a personal mental subheading entitled, 'More things in heaven and earth, Horatio . . .') There are passages in Eternal Echoes that I would be hard-pressed to reword and explain. Yet on some level they click. I might suggest this as a kind of epiphany where the intellect recognizes the spiritual and vice versa. The power of words often rests in their very subjectivity --- that what we derive from them may not be precisely what the author intended, but nonetheless a mind-door has opened. John O¿Donohue leads us to such thresholds, then suggests what he believes may lie beyond. It is for us to step through these portals and explore the potential of our own inner scenery.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 2, 2013

    One of the best by John O'Donohue

    Another great one to add peace to your life.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2012

    Great Read

    Full of inspirition & hope.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 19, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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