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Description - Standing in the Light by Sharman Apt Russell

From acclaimed author Sharman Apt Russell comes this wise and haunting new memoir about her life as a pantheist.'Everything is connected, and the web is holy.' So wrote Marcus Aurelius, the starting point of Perhaps no other religious philosophy is as simple and inclusive as pantheism. What is, right now, is divine; there is no God apart from the universe itself. In "Standing in the Light", Russell explores the history of this tradition from the Stoic philosophers to the Transcendentalists while reflecting on her own life during a year spent in the mountains and desert of New Mexico, where nature provides the inspiration for meditations on subjects ranging from Buddhist thought to the death of her father, from the Quaker tradition to the sadness of children leaving home, from global warming to the ineffable loneliness of human experience.With a humane heart, an inquisitive mind, and luminescent prose, Sharman Apt Russell invites sceptics, scientists and seekers everywhere to join in her exploration of the soul of pantheism.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780465005178
ISBN-10: 0465005179
Format: Hardback
(210mm x 140mm x 27mm)
Pages: 256
Imprint: Basic Books
Publisher: The Perseus Books Group
Publish Date: 3-Jul-2008
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions - Standing in the Light by Sharman Apt Russell

Book Reviews - Standing in the Light by Sharman Apt Russell

US Kirkus Review » The author weaves together an account of a single year in rural New Mexico with a history of the pantheistic tradition from ancient Greece to the present day.Russell (Creative Writing/Western New Mexico Univ.; Hunger: An Unnatural History, 2005, etc.) opens with a quote from Marcus Aurelius: "Everything is interwoven, and the web is holy." This nutshell definition of pantheism is expanded upon but not superseded in the pages that follow. Russell lives in New Mexico's Gila Valley, next to a Nature Conservancy wildlife refuge and near an ecological research center where visiting scientists involve amateur naturalists in research projects along the Gila River. She describes netting and banding birds, hiking the Sacaton Mesa, stargazing, encountering wild javelinas, observing sand hill cranes, butterflies and the native loach minnow. In this setting, she readily imagined that she was walking through the "Mind and Body of God," but that wasn't so easy to do in less felicitous surroundings. Pantheism, Russell found, could be a lonely business; at times she mourned the loss of a personal God and felt envious of those with faith in prayer. Meanwhile, she attended Quaker meetings, where she found a welcoming, comfortable community. With some misgivings, she experienced their hour of silence and pondered her compatibility with the Society of Friends' religious philosophy. Russell weaves into this personal journal a selective history of pantheism in which she examines the writings of Aurelius, Baruch Spinoza, Giordano Bruno, Walt Whitman and Robinson Jeffers, among others. She also looks at elements of pantheism in Hinduism, Buddhism and Taoism, as well as in the works of contemporary authors who describe themselves variously as holistic scientists, religious naturalists or deep ecologists.A deep reverence for nature shines throughout Russell's rich, enjoyable text. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author Biography - Sharman Apt Russell

Sharman Apt Russell is the author of several books including Hunger. She has written for publications including Discover and teaches creative writing at Western New Mexico University.

Books By Sharman Apt Russell

Knocking on Heaven's Door by Sharman Apt Russell
Hardback, January 2016
Teresa of the New World by Sharman Apt Russell
Hardback, March 2015
Diary of a Citizen Scientist by Sharman Apt Russell
Paperback, November 2014
Hunger by Sharman Apt Russell
Paperback, September 2006