Parent as Mystic, Mystic as Parent

David Spangler, Author
David Spangler, Author Riverhead Books $21.95 (191p) ISBN 978-1-57322-106-1
Reviewed on: 11/30/1998
Release date: 12/01/1998
Paperback - 208 pages - 978-1-57322-778-0
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""We are each slices of God, pieces of the infinite, of the primal Mystery,"" writes Spangler (The Call) in this sweet-spirited rumination on parenting. ""How can we afford not to contact each other, whatever our age, our relationship, or our station in life, with wonderment, respect, and a sense of new possibilities?"" This striving to keep a sense of existing within a greater wholeness is not a hobby but a full-time job for Spangler, a self-described ""freelance mystic"" and father of four. Through personal anecdotes, the author, who is often cited as a pioneer of the New Age movement, reveals an earnestly nonhierarchical approach to parenting and spirituality that underlines the sacred dimension of simple parental acts such as welcoming kids onto a warm lap and listening deeply. ""To discover God, make a lap,"" Spangler proclaims. He encourages parents to let their natural feelings of tenderness and nurturing responsibility flower rather than to perpetuate authoritarian stereotypes, stressing that children emerge through a co-creative, fostering process. They can't be hammered into shape. Spangler's take on painful subjects such as divorce and abuse focuses on the need for parents to be courageous enough to face and forgive their own wounds and shadows in order to break old, harmful patterns. The gentle mystical approach he offers is sound, because it is rooted in the understanding that while we may all ultimately be One, we are also inescapably separate, with our loving attention the most priceless gift we can give to another. (Jan.)
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