Radical Optimism: Practical Spirituality in an Uncertain World

Radical Optimism: Practical Spirituality in an Uncertain World

by Beatrice Bruteau

Paperback(1ST SENTIE)

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Radical optimism is our deepest response to the immense and threatening challenges of our contemporary world. In this profound exposition of the truths of an integrated life, Radical Optimism challenges the reader to confront difficulty with authentic spirituality. Meditation, the practice of silence, and the body of mystical experience are all effective forces that confound evil and give us the means to live a loving life.

Beatrice Bruteau is both a brilliant synthesizer and an original thinker. She brings to bear her knowledge of Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, and science in this exploration of how to embrace the spirit of optimism in a world grown increasingly dark and desperate. "The deepest truth is our union with the Absolute, Infinite Being, with God. That's the root of our reality. And it is from that root that my optimism is derived," she states. This is a viewpoint that acknowledges evil, but puts it in its place. In Bruteau's view, evil is not simply the opposite of good, because goodness has the unique power to create, whereas evil can only react, distort, and destroy. It is the creative power of goodness that sustains us in our confrontation with evil.

Radical Optimism describes the value of meditation, leisure, relaxing the body, and keeping silent for a period of time—all within the context of the ordinary demands of life. There is a role to be played by imagination, mythology, and self-image in either promoting or interfering with our ability to "find our base and our center in the sense of eternity and wholeness." As the founder of an international network for contemplatives of all traditions, Bruteau is able to present her practical spirituality in terms that all readers can understand, no matter what their backgrounds.

Radical Optimism also expresses the idea that our growing global interdependence—cultural, economic, and ecological—can help us to "sense the reality of each person within the unity of shared life" and thus be motivated to act in the interests of the larger community.

Radical Optimism shows us who we really are—a unique, precious, creative act of God—and with this understanding we can find the way beyond evil and suffering.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781591810018
Publisher: Sentient Publications
Publication date: 10/28/2002
Edition description: 1ST SENTIE
Pages: 139
Sales rank: 454,265
Product dimensions: 5.62(w) x 8.61(h) x 0.47(d)

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Radical Optimism: Practical Spirituality in an Uncertain World 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
TonyMilner on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This relatively brief book is a beautiful expression of the nature of the spiritual life at its best. I life rooted in God - and so 'radical' and 'optimistic' - but because it is rooted in God the Creator (who is envisioned as community of total self gift in the Trinity) it is also radically committed to loving all that God loves - indeed in the spiritual life the goal is not so much imitating God's love - as revealed in Jesus Christ - rather through union with God our love becomes one with the love of God, we become transparent to the love of God in a Sacramental way and become the way in which God's love is made present in the world.As can be seen from the above, Bruteau writes as one very much rooted in the Christian tradition. None the less she draws on wisdom from other sources - notably the contemplative traditions of Buddhism and Hinduism - in an effective way.My only slight reservation is that the section on the ways of contemplative prayer is rather brief. She gives some guidance on the meditative practice of 'entering into' a Gospel scene, but something on the more unthematic forms of prayer, which she mentions in passing, would have been good. So although the spirituality is practical, the book is perhaps a bit theoretical at times.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Beatrice Bruteau sets forth a deep and shining vision of spirituality, one that guides the reader into the contemplative life and the very root of our being'