On a pilgrimage to see the Dalai Lama in the foothills of the Himalayas; blissed out in Germany with a beautiful Indian girl, believed to be "the Divine Mother"; witnessing miracles in the ashram of Sai Baba; and searching for the Messiah in the back streets of London- the spiritual tourist is the Candide of the age, on a voyage of inner search and illumination. The spiritual quest- a yearning for a sense of the sacred - has become a leitmotif of 20th- century life as we head for the Millennium. In his vivid, interrogative and highly entertaining book, Mick Brown joins the holy, the lost, the wise and the foolish on the highways and backroads of spiritual tourism.
In India he encounters the miracle-working Sai Baba, and discusses reincarnation with the world's most revered spiritual figure, the Dalai Lama. In a tiny backwoods church in Tennessee he examines the "crosses of light" which are held as evidence of Christ's imminent return to earth. Mick brown, a writer of passionate engagement, reports with candor, wit and clarity.
|Product dimensions:||5.88(w) x 8.28(h) x 0.83(d)|
About the Author
Mick Brown is the author of two previous books: Richard Branson, The Inside Story and American Heartbeat: Travels from Woodstock to San Jose by Song Title, which was shortlisted for the Thomas Cook Prize for best travel book in 1994. Born in London in 1950, he is a freelance journalist and broadcaster.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I was anticipating a happy wanderer, objectively visiting churches, mosques, temples. This was a different story. The author starts his journey by openly stating that he has "received no epiphany to give (him) faith." He wanders from one cult-like spiritual group to another, finding little more than disappointment and disillusionment everywhere he goes. His last stop is to a Buddhist group where he seems to finally feel some sense of peace. My criticism of his trip centers on two things: (1) he started the journey with an admittedly strong bias against religion and (2) he only went to the very wackiest of spiritual groups.
In this combination journalistic endeavor and travel narrative, Mick Brown investigates the outer reaches of religion. He visits Buddhist and Hindu gurus, Theosophist disciples and evangelical Christians in the throes of a miracle. He reveals some as charlatans while still remaining compassionate and respectful to believers. He points out that the spiritual end result may be of great value regardless of the means of achieving it. Although he mostly achieves journalistic objectivity, I preferred when he explored his reactions to the people he met and the experiences he had. There are moments of exultation and skepticism as he seeks religious Truth. As someone who is most familiar with Judeo-Christian religion, however, there were times when I found that more knowledge was expected than I actually have. Although the books sags a little in the middle, Brown ends on a high note. Perhaps this is because I agree with his ultimate conclusion. He writes: [Love] is the thing beyond self, for true love is selflessness...Happiness does not lie in separation from others, but in unity with them. Love is timeless and endless. Love goes on, and somehow we go on as part of it, sometimes glimpsing it, sometimes blind to it, warm in its flame, cold and alone when we turn our backs to it. Ultimately only love can conquer despair. Only love makes us whole. This is a worthwhile read for the religious or spiritual seeker who is willing to look at the variety of human religious experience.
Unlike many books on what might be called alternative subjects this is beautifully written and intellectually sharp. Brown is a distinguished British journalist and it is clear why when you read this truly splendid book.