Illuminations: Expressions of the Personal Spiritual Experience

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9781587612770: Illuminations: Expressions of the Personal Spiritual Experience
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It is precisely when we are struggling with doubt and confusion-or the persistent sense that there must be something more-that spiritual exploration begins. Considering the questions we often share when pursuing or choosing our beliefs allows us to deepen our understanding and empathy for others-even as we travel along disparate sacred paths. In ILLUMINATIONS, Mark L. Tompkins and Jennifer McMahon have compiled a profound and visually stunning collection of original artworks, photographs, short prose pieces, poems, and interview excerpts contributed by more than 180 artists and writers from 43 countries. Instead of attempting to provide answers or explain doctrine, ILLUMINATIONS gives voice to a worldwide collective of truth seekers, including Nobel Laureate Desmond Tutu, peace activist Fatima Gailani, bestselling authors Julia Cameron and Marianne Williamson, Reverend Tamara Siuda, and spiritual leader ShantiMayi. Representing a diverse range of cultures, traditions, and faiths, Illuminations is a provocative celebration of the personal spiritual experience.Reviews"This celebration of curiosity and questioning will appeal to those who are on a spiritual journey and find individual exploration to be more fulfilling than institutional religious experience." -Publishers Weekly"A refreshing counterpoint to the one-answer religious tract. . . The collection is beautiful visually and intellectually. The works are spiritual without being sentimental, no easy task. . . This book is a blessing."-Dallas Morning News and The Oklahoman "Mark Tompkins and Jennifer McMahon have undertaken an important task, mining the spiritual diversity that lies at the heart of humanity. Understanding each other'?s spiritual quest will lead to deeper healing for us all." -Marianne Williamson, author of A Return to Love and Everyday Grace"Illuminations merges art and spirituality into an elegant and moving collection of profound beauty. This book is a physical blessing to all who are fortunate enough to view it." -Arielle Ford, founding partner of The Spiritual Cinema Circle "Illuminations helps the reader move past understanding to empathy, which is the way to peace." -Jody Williams, 1997 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate "An important book, Illuminations allows all of us to deepen our connections with one another through the profound questions that live in every faith, every culture, and every heart. This is a book that affirms the inner dependence and interdependence of out time." -Lynne Twist, author of The Soul of Money "Sometimes religious systems expand life, introducing us to our spiritual natures; sometimes they diminish life, surrounding our fears with the mirage of certainty. In this book, Mark Tompkins and Jennifer McMahon open our spirituality in wondrous new ways, challenging and deepening all religious systems." -John Selby Spong, former Episcopal Bishop of Newark, New Jersey "Illuminations portrays an ecumenical inquiry in to the questions that lead the reader to uncover and remember the essences of living. Its symphony of stories and images lifts the spirit and invites conversations designed to end the separation of humanity from life and to reconnect us to that ineffable light that guides our journey." -Juanita Brown and David Isaacs, authors of The World Caf? and founders of the World Caf? Community Foundation

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About the Author:

MARK L. TOMPKINS is an award-winning writer and photographer, partner in a real estate development firm specializing in low-income housing, and the author of Remembering to Live. He splits his time between Houston, Texas, and Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
JENNIFER McMAHON is an editor and creative designer with a background in marketing and business development. She lives in San Francisco, California.

From Publishers Weekly:

Try to love the questions themselves," wrote Rainer Maria Rilke in his oft-quoted Letters to a Young Poet. That's what writer and photographer Tompkins and editor and creative designer McMahon have done in this collection of prose, poems, interviews and artwork from 180 contributors in 42 countries that explore questions that launch and keep people on the spiritual journey. Each piece is prefaced with a description of the spiritual "influences" felt by the author or artist, highlighting the concept that despite differences in particular faith perspectives, the questions we all ask are much the same. Chapters address the need to ask questions, following a particular spiritual path, coping with dark times and the roles of beauty, nature, rites, doctrine, practices and creativity in spiritual quests. The full-color pages and the layout and design are inviting and signal that the book is to dip into rather than read straight through. As with any anthology, the quality of the pieces is uneven, but overall this celebration of curiosity and questioning will appeal to those who are on a spiritual journey and find individual exploration to be more fulfilling than institutional religious experience. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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