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Facing the Lion, Being the Lion: Finding Inner Courage Where It Lives

Mark Nepo, Author
Mark Nepo, Author . Conari $17.95 (301p) ISBN 978-1-57324-315-5
Reviewed on: 08/06/2007
Release date: 10/01/2007
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The word “courage” comes from the Latin cor, Nepo explains in a densely worded, poetic meditation on this essential quality. If to find our way to the core is to face the lion, then to stand by our core is to be the lion, he says. Nepo, a poet, philosopher and teacher, believes there are two paths to manifesting courage: going within and knowing oneself, and turning outward, steadfastly facing life, allowing oneself to be vulnerable to experiences. The cost of not doing so is numbness, or living death, Nepo believes, and he sees courage as an ongoing series of choices. Nepo relates his own experiences surviving cancer and overcoming certain fears. While the book is filled with verbal images, stories and analogies, including the archetypal tale of Jacob wrestling with the angel, some of the extended imagery is vague (for instance, big waves and water in the lungs and inhaling the smoke of burning ropes). What makes the book valuable is Nepo's quiet understanding of the constant interplay of surface and depth in our lives, the need to let go of judgments and exercise compassion as we view our own flaws and the flaws of those around us. (Oct.)

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