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Becoming Truth

Clarion Review (2 Stars)

Introducing herself as a “way-pointer on the pilgrim’s trail a blaze on the tree” Jean Christian offers spiritual advice to seekers of larger truths. Using passages and quotations from numerous classic spiritual works of various traditions she explores some big questions: “What is God?” “What is Truth?” “What is Soul?” She ranges widely through religious traditions drawing from the writings of Krishna Sai Baba Corinthians Luke Buddha and others and quotes some lovely passages. But rather than using her own writings to clarify and translate classic spiritual concepts to our everyday lives as is common in many useful contemporary spiritual works she speaks in formal abstract declarations: “There is no shortage of ways and venues. Long have they been in place. When a being comes into any measure of realization they begin to create a venue of service a space of truth for others.”

The effect is that of an oracular if enigmatic voice making pronouncements received from on high; the author in fact speaks of being a channel for spiritual wisdom and appears to have a real passion for offering these thoughts based on the aforementioned writings. She does not attempt to offer significantly new ideas which is understandable given the wisdom of the ages already available but the question then arises why not just point readers to the original material? While her passages are poetically written they are ethereal and too abstract to bridge a gap between proverb and practical wisdom. It also might have been helpful to include an index and/or bibliography to help readers work more systematically with the valuable ideas covered; how to use the breath to experience the present moment for example or the value of devotion and service uncluttering the mind the role of spiritual teachers and so on.

In the words of Zarasthushtra Yasna quoted by the author “Perfection can be reached by fervent souls ardent in zeal sincere in their toil.” While perfection is a lot to expect of any human endeavor this author can certainly be commended for her ardent zeal and the sincerity of her toil. If she might also help earthbound spiritual seekers with some more concrete formulations and practical tools her work could be more widely accessible.