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the life of a devotee,
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This review is from: Beyond the Illusion (Paperback)
This is no doubt a well-written and intriguing book by a woman with a remarkable life. Having spend her childhood and youth in a Hollywood milieu as daughter a renowned dirctor and a movie star mother. And later becoming a pioneer in yoga, health food, home birth, in other words new age before new age was born.
But the real topic of the book is her devotion to her spritual master Adi Da Samraj (aka Franklin Jones aka da Free John aka ...). And certainly Antonia Vidor seems to have an unusual degree of surrender, almost complete surrender, for a Westerner. Never apparently questioning any of Da's peculiarities and getting blissful by massaging his feet for hours. And totally accepting Da's rather pompous claims about himself as the ultimate Avatar, seeing him as "an enormous sphere of indescriable immensity that encompassed everything and everyone and was indefinetely above but included the tiny speck of his body.."(p.293).
Antonia seems to be a human with an inborn capacity for access to 'higher' realms, communicating with spirits of the death and able - later on in life - to guide them through the afterworld. And endowed with strong healing gifts. But for a more mundane/profane person like myself it all becoms a bit flimsy and very hard to discern what's real and what is dreams and fantasy. In this aspect it's perhaps telling that her quest - instigated by Da - to discover by spiritual means some original manuscripts settling the authorship questions about the works of Shakespeare turns out to reveal nothing at all. Despite her spending years with this, travelling to England and Denmark and even getting permission to do excavating work in some British cathedrals. And that she seems just as unable as I was to deal with her dement mother in her last days.
But one things is undoubtable - this is a very honest and captivating description of a highly unusual life and a highly controversial master.