After listening to my sermon from this past Sunday, a blog follower recommended Barbara Ehrenreich’s latest book, Living with a Wild God. The suggestion that my tentative attempts to express my personal mystical experiences might be improved by reading Enrenreich’s engaging memoir, which chronicles her own encounters with the inexpressible, propelled me into a sleepless night of reading as I devoured Erenreich’s stellar work that recounts her epic quest to make sense out of experiences that are so often never spoken of.
Suggesting that I turn to Erenreich for enlightenment is like suggesting that I return to an wise, familiar friend. I first encountered Enrenreich’s thinking way back in the late seventies when I was growing into the radical feminist movement and “For Her Own Good” awakened me to Enrenreich’s genius and introduced me to a way of articulating my own innate suspicions of the advice that was coming my way. Enrenreich’s wit left me hoping that I might grow up to become a careful thinker who could use incisive humour to move mountains. Recently her exploration of the darker side of positive thinking caused me to cheer out loud as I turned page after page of “Smile or Die,” in which Enrenreich’s observations revealed “How Positive Thinking Fooled America and the World”
I never would have imagined that Enrenreich would pen a “spiritual” memoir that reveals her personal mystical experiences. The book chronicles the mature, dare I say curmudgeonly adult’s relationship with her teenage self. While Enrenreich herself is mortified by the word “spiritual” the epiphanies of her younger self reveal so very much about the human quest for meaning. Enrenreich enjoyed an earlier career as a molecular biologist and her rational approach toward the examination of her experiences is priceless! The book speaks of the unspeakable in ways that defy easy or esoteric answers. As always Enrenreich’s considerable writing skills provide a compelling window into the human condition as she attempts to make meaning out of her experiences while steadfastly refusing to glorify her epiphanies. Will I doubt that either theists or atheists will be pleased with the book, those of us who are willing to live in the questions can’t help but applaud Enenreich’s courage! Enjoy CBC’s Mary Hynes interview in which Enreneich exhibits her characteristic surliness that makes her writing so engaging and refreshing!