Godseeker's Guide

Godseeker's Guide

by Lionel Blue


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Godseeker's Guide by Lionel Blue

Rabbi Lionel Blue has written this book to answer questions posed by young people starting out on their life’s journey, oldies finishing it and the many muddled rest of us in between. Can we trust, albeit cautiously, our own religious and spiritual experience? How do we get it? Will we like it? And will it lead us to common and uncommon sense or cloud cuckooland?

People start out on the God search for all sorts of reasons – a broken love affair maybe, being stood up, seeing the good and recognising its beauty (and conversely seeing evil and shuddering fascinated at its ugliness), burial arrangements, addiction, shocking your nearest and dearest, and falling in love with Love.

Learning from radio and lecture listeners, theatre audiences, and his own varied life experience, Rabbi Blue shows how we can fit common honesty and higher truths together. As he himself says ‘I went into religion because I had problems and stayed with it because it worked.’ To his surprise it taught him laughter as well as compassion, even for himself.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781847064189
Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
Publication date: 12/28/2010
Pages: 200
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Rabbi Lionel Blue was a British Reform rabbi and author who appeared frequently on the stage, on college podiums and on the radio; he was a regular and entertaining contributor to BBC Radio 4's Thought for the Day.

Table of Contents

Introduction ix

1 The Purpose of this Book 1

The names of God 3

The wrong motives for the right reasons 6

Problems 9

2 Why Did I Become a Godseeker? 13

Introduction 13

Childhood pilgrimage 14

Evacuated, I wandered into churches 17

My first substantial religious experience 20

God Direct 23

'Away from here' 26

And then... 30

An East European footnote 33

3 Falling in Love and its Results 35

Introduction 35

I fall among Quakers 36

My call 40

Advice to fellow Godseekers after a 'big' experience 42

4 Repeated Later - The Positive Consequences of Religious Experience 43

In a chapel 43

Life's a jest 45

Remembering nice things 48

Cheering up God 50

Humour - on the air! 52

Is religion a good thing? - a problem for Godseekers 53

The positive consequences of religious experience 55

Worries and the supernatural 57

Parachuted into Gentile homes 59

5 The Holocaust at War 61

A big black lump 61

Armistice thoughts 62

A cabalist answer to the creation of evil 63

A black lump within me 64

6 The Hidden Problems of Religious Experience 69

Introduction 69

A problem 69

How we falsify religion 71

First-rate and third-rate religion 74

A note on doubt 76

Silence 79

Self-knowledge 83

The after-effects of religious experience 86

7 Unofficial Seminaries and Teachers 91

Introduction 91

A lesson I had to teach myself 92

A lesson from life experience 93

The cabalah changes my life! 95

A very awkward woman 96

Retreats 100

How do you find God Direct? 103

Rabbi retreating solo into Nada (Nothing) 104

The Holy Spirit in the steam 107

Unofficial seminary sauna in Amsterdam 108

God bless 112

8 Hospitalization 115

Introduction 115

A degree in kindness 115

Click, click in hospital 117

The spirituality of the NHS 118

9 Scriptures of Tradition and Personal Scriptures of Life Experience 121

Introduction 121

Private prayers 122

Late arrival at traditional Scriptures 123

The ram's horn - making sense of a tradition 127

The Scripture of your own life 129

Private practical honest prayer! 130

Which Scripture? 131

Heresy in the Holy Book - what a relief! 133

Your own scripture - buy yourself a notebook! 135

Remembering what you fancy you feel! 138

The cause of tragedy 140

10 God at Work! Getting to Grips with the World 143

Introduction 143

Stock Market blues 144

Prayer when the FTSE goes down 145

Yet another recession 147

Press 1 for this and 2 for that and 3 for God ... 148

Suicidal at Christmas 150

A not so Holy Land 151

Turning troubles into treats 153

11 Ageing, Dying, Death and Heaven 155

An introduction to ageing 155

A gay life! 156

Smart casual but decrepit 157

Ageing - the experience 160

Old, grey and gay 163

Getting acquainted with death 164

Heaven 169

Be British beyond life! 172

A birthday present 173

Who's Who and What's What 175

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