I am he. As you are he. As you are me. And we are all together.
– The Beatles "I am the Walrus"
Standing in the Light:My Life as a Pantheist was another one of those books I grabbed while I was at the
library the other day. The subject matter intrigued me so naturally I
had to check it out. The author, Sharman Apt Russell, a creative
writing instructor at Western New Mexico University is also an
award-winning science and nature writer. After a long and winding
personal journey exploring Buddhism, Hinduism, scientific materialism,
Quakerism and human rights struggles, she has come to embrace a low-key
form of pantheism. Like many atheists and agnostics, she sees no rift
between the spiritual and material worlds, in other words all things
are of the material world and all things are interconnected in one way
or another. But Apt Russell sees that universe is divine and beautiful
or as Marcus Aurelius wrote 2000 years ago, "Everything is connected,
and the web is holy."
Her book covers the evolution of
pantheistic thought, with its origins with the pre-Socratic Greek
philosophers to Bruno to Spinoza culminating with the American
Transcendentalists like Emerson, Whitman and Thoreau. Attention is also
paid to Quaker mysticism as well as Eastern Religion.
a book I had very low expectations of and I am happy to say that
Sharman Apt Russell's recent book greatly exceeded them. While she
devoted a bit too much of the book to nature writing, all the writing
in the book was readable and interesting. I found her book a nice,