Pippa's Progress Paperback – Illustrated, 19 Oct 2012
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A multi-layered, multi-faceted book written for anybody who is interested in the inner journey within the spiritual life. --Birgit Ewald, Reform Magazine
About the Author
Simon Parke is modern-day writer and mystic. He was a priest in the Church of England for twenty years as well as a script-writer for Spitting Image and a Sony award-winning for radio writer. As well as many books, including The Beautiful Life (Bloomsbury), One-Minute Mindfulness (Hay House) and Shelf Life (Random House), he has written a weekly column in the Daily Mail for the last four years. A pilot episode for his comedy/drama Shelf Life is currently being made by ITV Studios.
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Top Customer Reviews
'To become fully yourself is a terrible risk.
It would commit you to God knows what and lead you to God knows where.'
If we were all more aware of ourselves it would be at this point only the brave would continue to read on.
This book allows people to read it at different levels. On a surface level it's a good story with some wonderful illustrations, but read from a deeper place, it offers an invite to journey to find out about ourselves warts and all.
As I said before 'Only the Brave'
But Pippa is brave and she sets out on this journey, and I was with her every step of the way.
I shared her fear, her frustrations, her anger, her longing and ultimately her joy. I'll even admit to shedding a few tears.
'Pippa's Progress' like 'Pilgrim's Progress' is an allegory and therefore every character and place is a metaphor for a state of being or a way to understand a state of being.
Read at this level it is deeply insightful. Simon Parke is able to capture the width, depth and breadth of human madness and human beauty.
The book is about Pippa's Journey, but it also invites every reader to travel alongside her to discover not only a truthful relationship with themselves but also the holding of something bigger and more mysterious altogether.
There is, however, a case to be made. Simon Parke has valuable insight, and can go on to find wonderful ways of putting it across with all of its impact and none of the hostile or incredulous reaction. That is his magic, and you will feel it in Pippa's Progress.
"The goal of life is to become who we are...The path is not to take you from one place to another, but from here to a deeper here." I especially liked that.
Having read it, I encourage anyone to try Pippa's Progress and perhaps try a bit of exploring of their own as they go. It is open to interpretation - it might seem light or it might seem very deep.
And then try it in different ways with a few of Simon's other books (I liked Solitude a lot, it really made me think).
If you are a reader of Parke's column you will also know he has a delicious sense of humour which is also evident in Pippa's Progress. I think this would also make a good Confirmation present - or adapted as a course perhaps?
I see that the author was a Spitting Image script writer and he brings that kind of humour to a story which pokes gentle fun at the kind of distractions and false trails that many of us follow in our search for 'heaven'. This is a book for all ages from 10 to 100. I loved it.
Most of Bunyan's readers would have shared a concept of heaven and professed a faith. Christianity was important enough to be striven over and factionalized as Bunyan's imprisonment winessed. Belief today is embattled by secularism and indifference, and the prevailing idea of heaven is in the here and now and through self-fulfilment. Pippa's pilgrimage is to lead to her facing and accepting her true self before she can understand that 'Heaven is exactly where we are standing'.
Pippa has to negotiate the lure of Con the consultant's 'solution-based scenario' of heaven and Glossy Mags' offer of 'body heaven' before she has even reached the wicket gate - as in Bunyan - which leads to the path Yortether, which will test her endurance and lead eventually to heaven. Will Good, the Christ figure with his scarred hands, initiating her journey, told Pippa to 'trust the path'. This leads her to let go of her usual props and accept the guidance of the rat Veronica, which Pippa finds so irritating.
Pippa/Pilgrim progresses through seventeen stages on her way to heaven - moving through Headspin's Hallucinatory Mental Circus - representing all the delusions of ephemeral satisfactions, and meeting Happy the Clown who tells her that everyone makes their own journey to heaven 'separate but gladly relating'. Passing through the town of Social Meja she encounters Dee Straction, simultaneously operating four electronic devices and holding what passes for a conversation.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have taken much from Simon Parke's books particularly The Journey Home and Solitude. I would recommend Pippa's Progress to anyone who feels they don't know who they are and have... Read morePublished on 5 April 2013 by Ed Newsome
I read this book quickly as I wanted to know the story. Now need to re read it as there was much for me to think about. As usual, Simon gets under the skin with his writings.Published on 30 Mar. 2013 by jessie ruxandra worland
I picked up this book in the naïve expectation that it would be a light-hearted take on Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, perhaps combined with Swiftian satire on the way we live now. Read morePublished on 27 Dec. 2012 by Lay Anglicana
I read the book during a sleepless night( what a gift it was!) . I am now reading it again.... slowly and savoring it . Read morePublished on 17 Dec. 2012 by julie gent
Read this book with an open and inquisitive mind and then read it again! Its a guide for life. I would be suprised if you didn't find something you relate to. Read morePublished on 11 Dec. 2012 by Amanda