In this memoir, the author revisits ordinary moments in his life and distills the wondrous in the terrible, and the sublime in the remarkable. Carse freezes moments of time and consciousness, infusing them with insights from Sufi, Hindu, Zen, Taoist and numerous Western sources.
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Part memoir, part spiritual meditation, this plainspoken yet brilliant consideration of manifestations of the divine in everyday existence distinguishes between the ego and the soul and celebrates life's one constant: change. Carse draws upon personal experiences to illustrate his insights, beginning with his observations of the proprietor of the Victory luncheonette in the East Village. A vet who lost a leg in combat, Ernie serves his customers with fluid energy and grace, working and cajoling his way through life with a minimum of resistance or resentment. As Carse recalls his own Wisconsin youth, including an unforgettable description of sailing Lake Michigan by starlight, he ponders the speechlessness of animals and the verbosity of humans, the roles of teacher and student, and the fact that there is no end to knowing. As he remembers the deadhis wife of 37 years and his brotherCarse muses on how easily we confuse religious practice with God, knowledge with understanding, and our visible, public selves with inner truth. Donna SeamanFrom Publishers Weekly:
This thought-provoking book turns ordinary experiences on their heads, almost forcing readers to find the mystical in their own subjective engagement of daily events. Carse ( Finite and Infinite Games ), who is director of Religious Studies and professor of the history of literature at NYU, interprets his own life with the help of the Sufi poets, Aristotle, Descartes and Freud. Drawing parables from daily experience (a golf match, a Halloween party, a mouse eating a grain), Carse gently prods us to see beyond the obvious in the world and in our lives. In so doing, he brings the profound within the grasp of everyone. The engaging and insightful stories reconsidered here also explain why Carse has gained an almost cult-like following on his own campus as well as beyond it.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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