Thoughts on Thinking

"When somebody persuades me that I am wrong, I change my mind. What do you do?" John Maynard Keynes

"If you're unhappy with your life, change your thinking." Charles Fillmore

"The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it." Eckhart Tolle

"People are not disturbed by things, but by the view they take of them." Epictetus

"The unexamined life is not worth living." Socrates

"Consciousness is a terrible thing to waste." PunditGeorge

Monday, August 24, 2009

Mack, The Shack, and Me

For most of the year I was dimly aware of The Shack as a run-away religious best-seller promoted mostly by word-of-mouth. What interest I had was centered mainly on its self-published nature and non-traditional marketing - always refreshing when any book (or product) succeeds outside of the “norm.”

Recently I read William P. Young’s tale of a weekend encounter with the Deity. I was happily surprised - the book is far more than I expected. The fiction centers around an unhappy and deeply stressed man, Mack, who responds to a strange invitation to meet God (a.k.a. Papa) in a remote mountain shack which was the scene of a great horror. Like James Redfield’s “The Celestine Prophecy” the book presents a simple mystery plot anchoring discussions on topics hidden, secret, and taboo.

“The Shack” provides a forum for direct question, answer, and discussion from God, in all of her Trinity magnificence. God, as Father, takes the form of a black woman who calls herself Papa; Jesus is a Middle Eastern carpenter, and the Holy Spirit displays himself as an oriental woman called Sarayu. Needless to say, it’s hardly what Mack was expecting. Nor, it seems, many of the gazillion readers. For example:
'Then,' Mack struggled to ask, 'which one of you is God?'”
“'I am,’ said all three in unison.'

An interesting read on many levels, the book is also a head-knocker. Many sacred cows are turned loose from their human created corrals and this disturbs some people. If one has a notion that God is Love, then this presentation of the Ultimate Source will be delicious. Jesus is a Jew who really, really, likes mankind and is the sort of deeply personal friend you’d love to have a beer with. The third leg of the Trinity stool is Sarayu - an ethereal essence of life that remains translucent even when Papa and Jesus present themselves in totally human form.

Although a different venue, the novel reminded me of Neal Walsch’s “Conversations with God” from the middle 1990’s, which continues to rattle theological edifices.

The Shack is ultimately a healing/forgiving/redemption story with plenty of mystical and quantum physical elements to cause a reader to wonder if such a loving and delightful supreme Being and Universe is, in fact, the reality? That is profound freedom. And, as always, there are those among us who are very uncomfortable with that.
On the other hand, there are some people who are having a good time with expanded thinking, as I wrote about not too long ago.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments welcome. You know the etiquette.