16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
A truly integrated person - inspirational!,
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This review is from: Etty Hillesum: A Life Transformed (Paperback)
Patrick Woodhouse has brought to life a young woman who truly integrated her ego self with her higher self and thus found the depth and breadth of the kingdom of God within. Through the guidance of her Jungian mentor and through her own incredible self-discipline she acquired self acceptance of her chaotic personality and eventually self-mastery even in the midst of the greatest of evils and the brutality of a totalitarian world.
Etty truly explored the question 'Who am I?'outside the boundaries of any religious institution and as a result of her persistence she attained a strong ecumenical faith in God. The key elements of her faith journey are silence, solitude, mindfulness, the use of images (Jungian), reading the scriptures (the Psalms) and poetry (Rilke)and prayer. For Etty the key was 'LEARNING TO LISTEN' developing a deep intuitive awareness of the interconnectness of all things and helped her 'in learning to live artistically' (her phrase). There are moments of great poignancy in this book as Patrick Woodhouse shows us glimpses of this woman's tremendous awareness of God within ('my life has become an uninterrupted dialogue with You, oh God ..') and without (her love of flowers - reminding me of Teresa of Lisieux). The result of this self-mastery and knowledge of God was a tremendous compassion for those suffering around her and she became a tower of strength and light to many.
The author reflects in the chapter 'A Woman of Our Time': '...this question of God is no longer the point at which the contemporary spiritual quest begins. What drives that is the question - the bewildering, even mysterious question -of the self. Who am I, in the uniqueness of my feelings, relationships, reactions and sense of belonging or not belonging...'. A paradigm shift that speaks to our contemporary society.
This beautiful story should be on the reading list of anyone on a faith journey, practising yoga or meditation or who is looking for a way into peace in our troubled times. One book I will be dipping back into and indeed buying as a gift over and over again - it needs more exposure! Thank you Patrick Woodhouse for making her story so accessible.