Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom

John O'Donohue, Author HarperCollins $24 (256p) ISBN 978-0-06-018279-3
""Anam is the Gaelic word for soul; cara is the word for friend. So Anam Cara means soul friend."" So begins poet, priest and scholar O'Donohue as he examines the meanings and different phases of the Celtic life and how they blend together, symbolized by the Celtic circle. Through a series of short essays, he looks at love and contends that ""technology and media are not uniting the world."" In a world preoccupied with computers and the Internet, O'Donohue turns back to earth and nature and the Celts' obsession with them. Although a Catholic priest, he urges ""acceptance of eros,"" which was rudimentary to the Celt. He defines ""styles of visions"" and breaks them down into fearful, greedy, judgmental, resentful, indifferent, inferior and loving, and he shows how they have robbed our hearts in a modern society. He looks on negative qualities--vices to most people--and urges us ""to exercise kindness towards them."" He warns ""that one of the greatest sins is the unlived life."" O'Donohue also examines creativity in the workplace; aging--a time of freedom, he says--and the importance of ""time as a circle""; and finally, the meeting with the one that ""came out of the womb with you""--death. Decorated with the myths of old Ireland--faeries, forts, ghosts, the sacredness of the land and the imagination of the people--and ingrained with a sense of deep Irishness, this book will be a lively spiritual companion to all Celts--or to those who are Celtic in their hearts. 150,000 first printing; $150,000 ad/promo; author tour; rights: Kim Witherspoon. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/29/1997
Release date: 10/01/1997
Genre: Religion
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