Touching the Elephant is a unifying meditation on common values stemming from the world's major religions. It is also, importantly, though probably not intentionally, a mirror into Thompson's heart and soul. The author doesn't set out to make the book about her, but one can't help feeling as they progress from chapter to chapter that Thompson has suddenly, yet quietly, become a good friend.
This progression dovetails nicely with the book's thesis, that all the world's religions share the values she examines, and that these connections are not mutually exclusive. It's a path, not unlike the Buddhist in Thompson, that takes the reader on a journey, a vision quest, toward greater knowledge and understanding toward an empathy which enables one to integrate, and then act, on these sacred values."
-Telly Halkias, Bennington Banner
"As the world changes around us, many people seek comfort in music, literature, or a hobby; others seek comfort in spirituality, organized religion, or fellowship among friends. Many of us are confident in the path we walk, yet some appreciate guideposts.
Touching the Elephant provides readers with the wisdom of dieties, examples of the failures and successes of humanity, and a heart-felt journey with Nancy Thompson through her life's moments that led her to write this book."
-Cosimo Giovine, Editor
"Regardless of what we believe in-or if we believe in anything at all-Thompson asserts there is more to know, and that we have much more in common than we realize. She writes, 'We can benefit if we stop insisting that people should believe in God. We can benefit if we focus instead on the shared spiritual values that shape human society. We can benefit if we will admit that there are beliefs and actions that can beneficially bind human society together and work to cultivate them.'
Thompson suggests that there is a fundamental human need to care for one another, and that we need to look for commonalities (starting with the "same basic needs for survival and safety") in order to internalize this understanding. She identifies "eight specific traits that the world's major religions all prize"-effort, compassion, generosity, acknowledgment, order, truth, mindfulness, and humility-and shows how each trait shows up in stories from some of the world's major religions (including Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism, among others)."
-Michael Quinn, IndieReader