The Shadow and the Light, March 19, 2012
By T. Crockett (Virginia) – See all my reviews
This review is from: LIFE WITH A HOLE IN IT: That’s How the Light Gets In – The Wisdom of an Awakened Heart (Paperback)
Having read a lot of what is written under the banner of Nonduality and spirituality, I can say that this book has what so many of those books lack: life. That might be an odd thing to say about a book that is so heavy with the shadow of death, but it is true. Vicki Woodyard’s book is at times funny, angry, sweet, bitter, eloquent, messy, and all the things that real life is and which so much of contemporary spirituality tries to wrap in pink light and lavender and wish away. Waking up is not easy. Most of us don’t want to wake up. We want the appearance of having woken up. We want the enlightenment merit badge with the Nonduality decoder ring that lets us both speak pithy pronouncements and platitudes and nod our head knowingly when someone parrots the words of some sage as if it were the answer to every question a human could ask.
Real life is about pain and pleasure. We suffer when we cling to either one. Vicki Woodyard shows us that by sharing her real life as it unfolds, walking a spiritual path while living the death of her husband. Like waking up, this is not an easy book. It pulls no punches and is relentlessly honest. There is a spiritual practice in Nonduality traditions called direct inquiry. It usually means inquiring into the nature of what we take to be real in order to discover how illusory those things actually are. In this beautiful little book you see the author relentlessly and deeply asking who am I and what is this at a time when most people would put their spiritual quests on the shelf.
Honesty is, of course, an acquired taste. But if you have a taste for it, read this book.